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Practice Areas

Eminent Domain and Property Law

Eminent Domain Law (sometimes referred to as Appropriation Law or Condemnation Law) is the inherent power of the state to seize a citizen's private property, expropriate property, or seize a citizen's rights in property for monetary compensation, but without the owner's consent. The property is taken either for government use or by delegation to third parties who will devote it to public or civic use or, in some cases, economic development. The most common uses of property taken by eminent domain are for public utilities, highways, and railroads, and quasi public agencies such as electric and gas utility companies. Most jurisdictions require that the government body offer to purchase the property before resorting to the use of eminent domain, appropriation or condemnation proceedings.

We have experience representing parties in the following categories of eminent domain:  residential takings, complete takings of commercial office buildings, complete takings of warehouse/industrial buildings, takings of agricultural land, road widening and sewer project land takings, utility easements for electric transmission lines and natural gas pipelines.

Property Law is the area of law that governs the various form of ownership in real property (land as distinct from personal or movable possessions) and in personal property, within the common law legal system. In the civil law system, there is a division between movable and immovable property. Movable property roughly corresponds to personal property, while immovable property corresponds to real estate or real property, and the associated rights and obligations thereon. 

We have experience across a wide range of property matters including title assistance, purchase and sale agreements, deed preparation, rental contracts, landlord-tenant disputes, deed preparation, easements, foreclosures and other matters associated with property.

Commercial Law

Commercial law governs the broad areas of business, commerce, and consumer transactions. Specific law has developed in a number of commercial fields such as banking, bankruptcy, contracts, debtor and creditor, landlord-tenant, sales, secured transactions, etc. The Uniform Commercial Code, which has been substantially adopted as statutory law in nearly every state, governs numerous areas of commercial law. Currently it is divided into thirteen Articles.

Contracts Law

We have particular expertise in contracts law.  Contracts law involves an agreement creating obligations enforceable by law.  The basic elements of a contract are mutual assent, consideration, capacity, and legality.  In some states, the element of consideration can be satisfied by a valid substitute.  Possible remedies for breach of contract include general damages, consequential damages, reliance damages, and specific performance.  Contracts are promises that the law will enforce. The law provides remedies if a promise is breached or recognizes the performance of a promise as a duty.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate. Estate planning typically attempts to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of a probate and maximize the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity.

Estate planning involves the will, living will, trusts, beneficiary designations, powers of appointment, property ownership (joint tenancy with rights of survivor-ship, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety), gift, and powers of attorney, specifically the durable financial power of attorney and the durable medical power of attorney. Specific final arrangements, such as whether to be buried or cremated, are also often part of the documents. And more sophisticated estate plans may even cover deferring or decreasing estate taxes or winding up a business.
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