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Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Blog

Why Should I Hire An Experienced Eminent Domain Attorney?

August 12th, 2020 | by Mike Faherty
Categories: Eminent Domain

Anyone who receives notice that their property is threatened by eminent domain action should consult with an attorney who is very experienced in eminent domain law. Unfortunately, too many people obtain poor results after failing to hire an eminent domain attorney.

Some reasons people try to represent themselves are:

  • They do not want to impede progress for the “public good.”
  • They are intimidated and believe there is no other option but to cooperate.
  • They believe the government has their best interest in mind and would offer fair compensation.
  • They believe the government will negotiate fairly with them.

None of the above assumptions are correct. Pennsylvania eminent domain law has established an adversarial system in which government organizations hire an array of aggressive professionals who work jointly to take your land and pay you as little as possible, with no duty of fair dealing. Landowners can protect their rights and obtain the maximum amount of compensation with the help of an experienced, successful, eminent domain attorney. Condemnors are not motivated to pay full just compensation unless the landowner is represented by an experienced eminent domain attorney able to litigate just compensation. An attorney can help you in the following ways:

  • Advise you of your rights:
    Government organizations cannot simply take any property that they want. Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Law requires a valid public purpose and condemnation of only that which is needed. Additionally, if only part of your property is actually necessary, you have the right to protect your ownership of the rest of your property that is not needed for the project. Such partial condemnations often result in the government offering a low amount for land taken and no amount for harm to the rest of the property. Clear Pennsylvania law allows you to recover for ALL harm to ALL of your land.
  • Obtain full just compensation:
    The government organizations often put an attempt to save funds over your constitutional rights. For this reason, the first offer for your property is often the lowest amount it deems possible and rarely constitutes full, fair compensation. Faherty Law Firm has the resources to help you receive the highest amount you deserve for the value of your property, professional fees, relocation expenses, and more.

    WARNING! Pennsylvania condemnors typically and intentionally appraise an incorrect property in efforts to unfairly pay low property damages. In the most common scenario of partial condemnations, condemnors usually appraise only the part of the property they are condemning to avoid payment of damages for the rest of the property. This is in direct conflict with 26 Pa. C.S.A. §702(a) of the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code which states:
    • ” Just compensation shall consist of the difference between the fair market value of the condemnee’s entire property interest immediately before the condemnation and as unaffected by the condemnation and the fair market value of the property interest remaining immediately after the condemnation and as affected by the condemnation.”
  • Guide you through a complicated process:
    Eminent domain cases and related laws are complex and can be confusing to the average property owner. A skilled eminent domain lawyer can help guide you through every step of the process and can represent you in every stage of your case to protect your property rights.


If you are a landowner and the government wants to take your property by eminent domain, you should hire an experienced, successful eminent domain attorney. Call 717-256-3000 today to discuss your case.