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Eminent Domain / Right of Way

Pender & Coward represents state agencies, municipalities, transit authorities, utilities, and right-of-way consultants in the acquisition of right of way and other property for infrastructure projects. We advise our clients regarding all aspects of condemnation litigation from pre-condemnation planning to final resolution, whether through voluntary acquisition or litigation. Our top priority is to help our clients identify and eliminate issues which could drive up project costs.

Two of our attorneys hold the coveted SR/WA designation and are very active in the International Right of Way Association. We stay on top of emerging issues to help our clients address and handle challenges with every aspect of eminent domain and right-of-way work, including but not limited to:

  • Public use requirements and challenges

  • Routing and siting

  • Title examinations and title services

  • Right of way and early entry agreements

  • Negotiations

  • Voluntary acquisitions

  • Uniform Relocation Act litigation

  • Eminent domain / condemnation litigation

  • Closings and distribution of funds

  • Title certifications and opinions

  • Encroachments

  • Inverse condemnation litigation

  • Billboards and signs

  • Graves, graveyards and cemeteries

  • Appeals

Our eminent domain and right-of-way attorneys identify and resolve potential issues which can save your projects time and money.

Representative Cases
  • Defeated inverse condemnation suits by over a dozen residential landowners against a regional airport involving claims that aircraft noise had increased and taken or damaged their properties.

  • Defeated a landowner’s attempt to remove a condemnation to federal court premised on alleged violations of the federal Uniform Relocation Act.

  • Defeated a landowner’s claim that a condemnation was invalid, because the landowner had waived any alleged jurisdictional defects by drawing down the funds deposited with a certificate of take and thereby acknowledged that the only remaining issue in the case was the determination of just compensation.

  • Successfully defended a condemning authority in suit for inverse condemnation brought by numerous landowners whose properties were flooded following an unprecedented storm, who claimed that a culvert under a highway was inadequate or was improperly maintained.

  • Defended a state agency in a complex federal litigation involving both admiralty and eminent domain, stemming from allegations by lessees of substantial damages to oyster grounds.

  • Had a purported direct suit under the Uniform Relocation Act dismissed with prejudice in the trial court and consulted regarding the successful defense of the ruling on appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court.

  • Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of an alleged inverse condemnation claim against a municipality regarding leased oyster beds including successfully defending the ruling in the Virginia Supreme Court.

  • Obtained a jury verdict for a municipality in the exact amount of the municipality’s evidence with zero damage to the remainder in the contested jury trial of a condemnation case for a highway widening.

Eminent Domain / Right of Way