Eminent Domain

Otten Johnson’s Eminent Domain practice group specializes in large, complex condemnation cases. We represent land owners whose properties are being acquired by the government in urban, rural and mountain communities across Colorado.

From a land owner’s perspective, eminent domain proceedings are rarely welcomed and can usher in serious difficulties for the continued operation of the land owner’s business or management of its real estate asset. Moreover, navigating the condemnation process, itself, can be daunting. Accordingly, land owners facing the threat of eminent domain proceedings need strategic advice from people who know the importance of the land owner’s interest and the land use context, understand the eminent domain process, and have developed effective strategies for minimizing burdens on the land owner. This includes the time before an eminent domain proceeding even begins, as pre-condemnation positioning can help land owners reach a more favorable result, maximizing the value received at the end of the day. Otten Johnson’s Eminent Domain lawyers have counseled many land owners over the years, both before the initiation of court action and throughout the eminent domain proceedings.

Our Approach:  Thoughtful Preparation, Rigorous Defense

Otten Johnson’s Eminent Domain practice group specializes in large, complex condemnation cases. We represent land owners whose properties are being acquired by the government in urban, rural and mountain communities across Colorado for a variety of purposes. Backed by experienced and skilled trial lawyers, we take a multi-disciplinary approach to ensure that there is a proper governmental purpose and authority to condemn and to obtain just compensation for our clients, in the event there is a taking. 

Scrutinizing (and possibly challenging) both the public purpose behind the eminent domain and the authority of the condemning body is just the first step. We put the firm’s land use and real estate expertise to use for our clients facing a possible eminent domain, helping build a case for just compensation. Maximizing value in the event of a taking requires advance planning and our Eminent Domain team is well-versed in helping clients position their property well. This strategic approach has helped Otten Johnson build one of the strongest and largest Eminent Domain practices in Colorado. The firm played a leading role in many of the largest condemnation actions in Colorado history and has been a leader in trial presentation, including trying large cases to verdicts before juries. The success of this group is also attributed to its creative and practical collaboration with a network of experienced consultants in this area, such as land use, planning, engineering, water law, geology, economic development and valuation.

Our Eminent Domain practice group represents clients in many contexts, including:

  • pre-condemnation planning
  • condemnation
  • inverse condemnation
  • regulatory takings
  • private takings
  • eminent domain for highway widening and transportation expansion projects
  • condemnations for open space and recreational purposes
  • takings for drainage improvements and water and gas pipelines

Our Eminent Domain lawyers are highly sought after for presentations on issues relating to land use, planning, trial techniques and valuation hearings. The thoughtful planning and rigorous defense provided by our lawyers, paired with the same level of client service present in other areas, makes our Eminent Domain team one of the most successful in the state.