Practice Areas Overview
Womack McClish Wall Foster Brooks P.C. is one of the only law firms in Texas practicing exclusively in the areas of eminent domain, condemnation, property rights, and vested rights. In their over 75 years of combined experience, our lawyers have successfully helped large and small landowners throughout the state obtain the highest possible compensation for their property, while successfully representing numerous landowners and land developers in litigation involving vested property rights. Our areas of expertise include:
Eminent Domain & Condemnation
Eminent domain is the government's power to take the land of private citizens for public use, and condemnation is the process by which the government exercises this power. The government must pay landowners just compensation for their property, based on the land's market value. At Womack McClish Wall Foster Brooks P.C., our attorneys are also experienced in handling inverse condemnation (or regulatory takings) matters, where the government regulates land beyond its legal bounds, effectively taking the land without paying just compensation.
We represent urban and rural landowners ranging from large businesses to individual ranch owners, helping them obtain higher compensation for their property and challenge the government's taking when appropriate. We have extensive experience in assisting clients at every step of the condemnation process, including:
- Land Appraisal and Valuation
- Government Negotiations and Settlements
- Administrative Proceedings
- Special Commissioners' Hearings
- Judicial Review
- Jury Trials
- Civil Appeals
Land valuation can be complex, involving numerous underlying legal issues affecting what is considered fair and adequate compensation. We assist clients in valuing their land so as to effectively counter the government's initial offer in the negotiation stage, at Special Commissioners' Hearings, or before a judge or jury. We also help clients challenge the government on issues related to the legitimacy of the taking, the land's proposed use, and whether the government's actions constitute a regulatory taking. For more information about our services in this area, please see our eminent domain and condemnation page.
Property Rights Counseling & Litigation
Businesses and individuals investing in development projects face increasingly complex and costly regulatory challenges. Our firm represents landowners and land developers in matters involving land use and property rights, with a particular emphasis on vested property rights.
The state of Texas has enacted laws to prevent municipalities from changing the zoning and regulatory landscape on landowners and land developers in a way that negatively affects their investments mid-project. Therefore, owners and developers have the vested right to have rules, regulations, and ordinances in place at the time they applied for their project continue to apply throughout the duration of that project.
However, as many landowners and developers have learned, in practice this is not as clear cut as it may seem. Numerous issues often arise as to the timing of when these rights vest and the statutes contain numerous exceptions, requiring developers to act cautiously in relying on their vested rights. Our experienced property rights lawyers offer both counseling services and litigation services to landowners and land developers in matters involving vested rights. We have significant experience handling both civil trials and appeals, as well as mediations and arbitrations. To learn more, please see our property rights counseling and litigation page.
We are based in Austin, Texas with a statewide practice and offer services both on a contingency fee basis and at billable hourly rates. For our clients' convenience, we also offer free initial consultations. Call Womack McClish Wall Foster Brooks P.C. at (512) 474-9875.