Attorney Michael F. Faherty is the President and Managing Attorney at Pennsylvania’s largest law firm devoted to representing property owners threatened by eminent domain. The Hershey location in central Pennsylvania allows Mike, Attorney Tara B. Horvath, and Attorney Anthony M. Corby to protect property owners across all of Pennsylvania. The law firm is unusual in the extreme emphasis on eminent domain rights of property owners. The firm does not provide representation to condemnors.
The zealous representation of several hundred property owners is the outgrowth of Mike’s initial law practice starting in 1989 for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Mike then worked full time in eminent domain law for PennDOT in Harrisburg. A year later, after decisive Board of View and jury victories, Mike was promoted to the lead eminent domain counsel for PennDOT. Further Board of View and jury victories followed, but Mike became disillusioned by aggressive condemnor tactics attempting to deny constitutional property owner rights.
In 1992, Mike left PennDOT and litigated in eastern Pennsylvania for a large regional law firm based in Philadelphia. In 1995, Mike returned to Harrisburg and litigated for another large regional firm based in Philadelphia. He became a shareholder of that firm and supervised attorneys in Harrisburg.
He then became a senior partner in a Harrisburg firm in which he developed and directed an eminent domain practice for property owners. While there, he directed eminent domain services and law firm marketing while he oversaw ethics compliance.
Mike continued to be active in support of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute, the Pennsylvania Association of approximately 1,000 attorneys and insurance executives. He was the longstanding editor of PDI News and served as President of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute in 2003-2004. He also served as the Pennsylvania delegate to the Defense Research Institute, a national association of leading attorneys.
In 2009, Mike was honored to be elected to serve as the first, and only, Pennsylvania member of the Owners’ Counsel of America. The Owners’ Counsel of America is a non-profit organization comprised of the most experienced eminent domain and property rights attorneys from across the country. The members serve to advance, preserve, and defend the rights of private property owners locally and nationally. The Owners’ Counsel has used its members’ combined knowledge and experience as a resource in the defense of private property ownership. Mike continues to be the only Pennsylvania attorney to be honored as a member of the Owners’ Counsel.
In 2016 Mike began service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Owners Counsel of America. In 2017 he was elected to serve as the vice chairman of the Board of Directors. In 2018 he was reelected to serve as Vice Chairman.
Mike has regularly challenged eminent domain abuse via writings, lectures, and litigation. In 2014, his preliminary objections led to the York County landmark eminent domain decision in Sunoco Pipeline v. Loper, No. 2013-SU- 4518-05. The Judge determined that Sunoco Pipeline was not a public utility corporation with eminent domain power with regard to the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Mike went on to represent Mariner East 2 property owners across all of Pennsylvania and obtained several millions of dollars of compensation for those property owners. Mike regularly negotiates and litigates property value issues. He has obtained multiple Board of View and jury verdicts exactly on the figure Mike presented in evidence. In 2018, Mike negotiated the resolution of a condemnation by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The Turnpike paid $1,750,000 in property damages but offered no funds for relocation benefits. Mike presented support for additional property damages and extensive relocation benefits. The parties agreed to the payment of an additional $5,000,000. He has served as an expert witness on eminent domain in Pennsylvania. He has been honored as a “SUPER LAWYER” for eminent domain in Pennsylvania.
Mike is a Scranton native and a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School. He wrestled and played football at Lebanon Valley College before graduating with honors. He was President of the Psychology Club and Social Chairman of the Knights of the Valley fraternity. From 1980 to 1982 he served on the faculty of the University of Akron where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Psychology and a Graduate Certificate in Life Span Development and Gerontology. He became a member of Psi Chi, the national honor society of psychology. He is a graduate of Rutgers School of Law – Newark where he served on the Women’s Rights Law Reporter.
He was an employee of the Boy Scouts of America in New York City from 1983-1989. There, he developed and directed training programs for disadvantaged youth. He designed and directed the Work Orientation and Remedial Knowledge program which served as a model for the national City Works program. Mike was promoted into fundraising and obtained unprecedented results in corporate fundraising for the New York City scouts. In 2018, the Lancaster Counsel of Boy Scouts awarded the “Ideal Scout” award to Mike, an Eagle Scout, based on his volunteer services to the scouts in an eminent domain case which took land from a camp. Mike was able to reduce the land taken and significantly increase the compensation.
He provides additional pro bono services to the Institute for Justice which protects private property rights and other vital liberties to protect constitutional limits on the power of government. Mike has been a volunteer for: Dauphin County Bar Association, Big Brothers, Communities That Care and Saint Joan of Arc Church. He has been a chairman and a champion of the Harrisburg Claims Association Golf League. Twice yearly he leads golf group adventures to destinations in eastern United States and abroad. He has been a frequent competitor in the Harrisburg Mile race.
Attorney Michael F. Faherty and Faherty Law Firm have provided eminent domain representation to over 1,000 property owners. Faherty Law Firm handles cases in state courts throughout Pennsylvania and in each of the three Pennsylvania federal district courts. Representation has involved: industrial, commercial, farm, residential and preserved property. Representation has been provided to property owners threatened by: PennDOT, Pennsylvania Department of General Services, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, public utility companies, electric utilities, pipeline companies, oil and gas companies, counties, cities, townships, boroughs, sewer authorities, municipal authorities, school districts, hospitals, and airports. Some case results may be reviewed via the Faherty Law Firm webpage here.
Licenses to Practice Law
U.S. District Court – Western District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court – Middle District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. Court of Appeals – Third Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
American Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Dauphin County Bar Association
Eminent Domain Lectures
American Law Institute
National Business Institute
Lebanon Pipeline Awareness
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
Eminent Domain Publications
Mike is the author of Eminent Domain Litigation
Lexis Nexis Practice Guide
Pennsylvania Real Estate Litigation, 2017
Mike is a contributing author to the Pipeline Safety Trust publication Landowner’s Guide to Pipelines.
American Law Institute
National Business Institute
Mike has been the author of the prominent blog on Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Law for many years.
The blog may be viewed via the Faherty Law Firm webpage here.
fax: 717-256- 3001