This is an exciting time to be a condemnation lawyer.
We are attorneys who represent governments and private property owners; we are academics and scholars; we are law students interested in this growing area of law. Our committee membership includes some of the most experienced eminent domain lawyers in the nation, as well as newer attorneys looking to network with colleagues.
Although we may come from both sides of the table, we’re collegial and friendly.
Until recently, most of our practices involved issues related to just compensation, with "right to take" issues taking a very secondary part. After the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London, however, issues of public use and public purpose are again being litigated in state and federal courts, so our committee has expanded our focus to include the latest developments from around the country on that issue.
And we don't just focus on direct condemnations and eminent domain law, but our interests include inverse condemnation, regulatory takings, land use law, and just about anything that could be related to “Condemnation Law.” During the next few years, issues involving “smart growth” and consequent down-zoning, will grow in importance. Environmental issues and their intersection with property rights is also a burgeoning area. These developing areas have only made our practices more interesting and challenging.
You are invited to participate in the Committee -- join the email listserv, attend (or teach) an in-person or virtual CLE, publish an article in the Section’s law review The Urban Lawyer, in our quarterly newsletter State and Local Government News, or the section's e-news, contribute to one of our many book publications. Join in one of our conference calls in which we informally discuss the latest issues and decisions. Come to one of our meetings and get to know your colleagues.
Participating in a substantive law committee such as ours will maximize your ABA membership benefits. Joining us will help you to stay on top of the latest issues, meet colleagues from across the nation and around the world (we recently held a session on comparative takings law, discussing the compensation regimes in Canada, Israel, Japan, and Germany, in conjunction with the Section’s publication of the book Takings International), and enhance your professional reputation among your peers and clients.
If you have any concerns about the time participation will take, fear not. We are all busy professionals, who understand that practicing law takes time.
Join by visiting signing up on this page, visit the Section’s Facebook page, or by contacting me at email@example.com (I'd be delighted to sign you up).
Come, join us!
Robert H. Thomas
Chair, Condemnation Law Committee