7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Eminent Domain Attorney

Concept image of the six most common questions and answers to ask before hiring a lawyer on a signpost.

Whether the government is seeking your property for a utility project, to build a road or sidewalk, or to construct a municipal building, eminent domain matters can cause a significant disturbance in your life. Even though the government can exercise its right to take your land, you have rights — and are entitled to just compensation. Critically, eminent domain is an extremely complex area of the law and it’s important that you don’t attempt to navigate the proceedings alone. By hiring a lawyer, you can rest assured that your interests will be protected, and you will be compensated fairly.

Selecting an eminent domain attorney for your case can feel overwhelming. You may have many questions about the attorney’s experience and what you should expect during the legal process. Here are seven questions you should consider asking at the consultation before hiring a lawyer:

1. What are the Benefits of Hiring an Eminent Domain Attorney?

Before hiring a lawyer, you should discuss the benefits of having representation for your case. Not only can they help ensure your rights are protected, but they can also negotiate with the government on your behalf, research the project to make sure it is for public use, and ensure you receive the full compensation to which you are entitled. In addition, an eminent domain attorney can assist you with navigating the complicated legal process from the beginning to conclusion — and guide you every step of the way.

2. How Many Years Have You Been Practicing Eminent Domain Law?

When selecting an eminent domain attorney, find out how long they have been practicing in this area of law. Eminent domain is a highly nuanced field of law that requires specific knowledge which can only be acquired through many years of practice. Your attorney’s experience can make all the difference to the outcome of your case. With the stakes being so high, it’s vital that you choose eminent domain representation who has been handling these types of matters for a significant amount of time.

3. How Much of Your Practice is Eminent Domain?

Ask the attorney what percentage of their practice consists of eminent domain and condemnation matters. This area of law is extremely complex — and you shouldn’t risk the outcome of your case by hiring an attorney who only takes eminent domain matters occasionally. An attorney who does not focus on these types of cases may not be well-versed in the law or up to date with the latest legal developments. When hiring an eminent domain attorney, it’s best to choose representation who dedicates the majority of their practice to these matters.

4. Which Side Do You Represent in Eminent Domain Matters?

In every condemnation case, there are two parties: the landowner and the government or condemning authority. It’s crucial to have eminent domain representation who is dedicated to fighting for your rights. By hiring an eminent domain attorney who exclusively represents landowners and has never represented the government, you can be confident in knowing that you have counsel by your side who is fully committed to safeguarding your interests.

5. What is Your Track Record of Results?

When you’re selecting an eminent domain attorney, ask about the results they’ve achieved in past cases. Although every case is different, a good attorney with years of experience should have an established track record of obtaining substantially more compensation for clients than the government initially offered. You might also ask them about the strategies they used to achieve the results.

6. How Will You Keep Me Updated About My Case?

Not being kept up to date about the latest developments in your case can not only be frustrating, but it can also make the legal process much more stressful. It’s essential to have eminent domain representation who is communicative and responsive. Before hiring an eminent domain attorney, ask them how often they will communicate with you about your case and the means of communication they prefer.

7. What Should I Expect in My Case?

While an attorney can never guarantee a specific outcome, they can give you an idea of what to expect in your case based on the law and similar matters they have handled. They can also discuss the legal process and explain what will happen during condemnation proceedings. You may also have questions regarding the timeline of a condemnation case, how fair market value is determined, and how an appraisal is conducted. When selecting an eminent domain attorney, be sure that they answer your questions and address any concerns that you may have.

Contact an Experienced North Carolina Eminent Domain Attorney

If you are facing an eminent domain issue, it’s important to have skillful representation to obtain the best possible results in your case. Located in Charlotte, Murray Law provides reliable representation to landowners concerning eminent domain and condemnation matters. We welcome you to call Murray Law’s Charlotte office at 704-940-9095 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

Categories: Eminent Domain