Business Eminent Domain

A California business owner facing condemnation of the business's property or acquisition under eminent domain law may well be confused and overwhelmed by the process. Business owners work hard to build their businesses, and facing a government acquisition of the property can be difficult emotionally and financially. As an AV Rated law firm recognized for its successes in legal excellence, the experienced California eminent domain attorneys at Peterson Law Group have years of experience helping California business owners facing eminent domain actions.

The government's power of eminent domain is limited by both the U.S. and California constitutions: no government agency can exercise its power of eminent domain to acquire private property unless it provides the property owner with "just compensation." California business property owners have the statutory right to claim loss of business goodwill. After establishing entitlement to the satisfaction of the court, business owners have the right to have just compensation determined by a jury trial. At Peterson Law Group, our experienced eminent domain attorneys can help property owners protect their just compensation rights at every step of the eminent domain process in the following ways:

Seeking an independent valuation of the property.

  • The government agency will hire an appraiser to review the property and estimate its fair market value. While this appraiser may estimate the property's fair market value to his or her best ability, the fact remains that the appraiser is hired by the government – not the business property owner. An experienced California eminent domain attorney knows the skills and experience of appraisers in the field and will help a business property owner choose the appraiser who will best represent the property's true value.

Considering all forms of compensation available.

  • The California Code of Civil Procedure allows for business owners to recover for the value not only of the land they own, but of many items related to the business. These may include the value of fixtures, equipment, and other improvements installed on the land, the value of leasehold interests, and the value of the business's lost goodwill. California business property owners may also be able to recover relocation benefits and litigation expenses. An experienced California eminent domain attorney knows the full range of a business property owner's compensation options and will strive to ensure the government provides the full compensation to which the property owner is entitled.

Reliable Jury Trial Experience in Los Angeles & Orange County

The right to have a jury determine valuation is invaluable to owners of business property. A business property owner can protect that right by hiring a Los Angeles eminent domain attorney with a strong record of successful jury verdicts. At Peterson Law Group, our eminent domain attorneys have represented clients and won jury verdicts including:

  • $3.4 million in compensation for a business property owner's fiberglass and resin products manufacturing business location. Although the original offer was $1.76 million, the jury determined that just compensation for the real estate was in fact $3.4 million. An additional settlement of $992,740 compensated the business property owner for the loss of business goodwill and the costs of fixtures and relocation.
  • $795,000 for a marine equipment supply company's loss of business goodwill. The government agency's appraiser had initially concluded that the value of the business goodwill was $0. After the jury trial, the court also provided for payment of attorney and expert fees. Separately a relocation allowance of more than $1.2 million was negotiated for the relocation of the business.

Recognition for Legal Abilities

John S. Peterson of the Peterson Law Group is a member of many prestigious legal organizations including the American Bar of Trial Advocates ( ABOTA), which works to preserve civil jury trials and admits attorneys who exhibit skill, civility and integrity. Peterson Law Group has represented corporations, small businesses, and individuals in eminent domain cases before several California government agencies and in jury trials.

Although we believe that every business property owner facing an eminent domain situation should receive the help of experienced eminent domain attorneys, we are admittedly selective of the cases we choose to take. We believe this selective approach allows us to give each client the best possible representation. For an assessment of your case, please get in touch with one of our Los Angeles eminent domain attorneys today at (213) 236-9720.

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