Edward G. Burg
Edward Burg concentrates his practice on representing California property owners in inverse condemnation, eminent domain and real property litigation while also maintaining a general trial and appellate practice. Ed often speaks and writes on eminent domain and real estate industry issues affecting California landowners and is frequently invited to speak to national audiences on condemnation and takings law.
Significant Eminent Domain and Property Rights Representations and Reported Cases
- Orange County Flood Control District v. ACC. Won jury verdict of $15,000,005 in an eminent domain proceeding in Riverside County for the owner of 364 acres of undeveloped land that straddled the Santa Ana River. The Flood Control District took a 233-acre flowage easement over part of the ACC property, and the main issue in the case was the extent to which the ACC property could have been developed in the absence of the condemnation. Our experts testified that residential development would have been likely even within the floodway of the Santa Ana River, by modifying the floodway through FEMA and by obtaining a series of regulatory permits to fill wetlands on the property. The Flood Control District took the position that the Santa Ana River floodway had never been modified before, that the regulatory permits could not be obtained, and therefore the part of the property it took was undevelopable and worth only $2.3 million. Following a five-week trial, the jury returned a verdict of $15,000,005, adding $5 to their verdict to express displeasure that the Flood Control District’s appraiser had rounded his final number down.
- Yamagiwa v. City of Half Moon Bay. Won judgment for $36.8 million in favor of plaintiff landowner in inverse condemnation action against City. A City-built storm drain project altered the topography of client’s 24.7-acre parcel, causing stormwater to collect in depressions on the property. The City approved subdivision of the property for 83 homes, but development could not proceed due to 7-year City-imposed moratorium based on sewer treatment capacity shortage. After the sewer plant was expanded, City reversed its earlier decision and determined that wetlands had developed on the property, precluding its residential development. Following bench trial, Court ruled that the City’s storm drain project was a substantial cause of the development of the wetlands, and awarded the full amount of damages sought. (Yamagiwa v. City of Half Moon Bay, 523 F. Supp. 2d 1036 [N.D. Cal. 2007].)
- Anderson, et al. v. State of California and Ahrens, et al. v. City of Malibu. Inverse condemnation actions on behalf of Pacific Coast Highway oceanfront homeowners against the State and the City of Malibu. Following the 1993 Malibu fire, mud, rocks, and other debris washed out of Pena Canyon and Piedra Gorda Canyon, blocking culverts under Big Rock Drive and Pacific Coast Highway. The materials flowed onto the highway and into Clients’ homes, flooding them with as much as four feet of debris. After a 7-week bench trial, the trial court ruled that the State was liable for inverse condemnation. The cases thereafter settled for $11.25 million.
- County of Contra Costa v. Tosco Corporation. Acquisition of strips of Client’s property on both sides of a State highway that bisected Client’s 640 acres in western Contra Costa County. The property included a petroleum coke facility on 130 acres, but the remainder of the land was undeveloped. The highway widening project damaged the development potential of the property by reducing its access to and from the highway. Following legal issues trial to determine the size and number of larger parcels, case settled for $9.6 million.
- Orange County Transportation Authority v. OC Mills. Represented owner of The Block at Orange, a regional mall in Orange County, in eminent domain action. OCTA acquired 1.29 acres from mall’s parking lot and outer ring road in connection with widening of State Route 22. The take impacted parking and internal circulation on the property. OCTA’s initial offer was $2.2 million; after two years of litigation, the case settled for $7.75 million just prior to trial.
- City of Rancho Cucamonga v. Hofer Properties, LLC. Clients owned 9.6 acres adjacent to the Metrolink railroad tracks in Rancho Cucamonga. The City acquired a strip off the property’s frontage to construct a grade separation, allowing the abutting street to pass underneath the railroad tracks. The grade separation caused the Clients’ remaining property to suffer severance damages consisting of diminished access and visibility. The City’s initial offer was $225,000; one week before trial, the case settled for $2 million plus a project change allowing restored access to the property.
- City and County of San Francisco v. Chevys Restaurants. Eminent domain action by City and County of San Francisco for expansion of Moscone Convention Center. The acquisition included Client’s flagship restaurant location. Client relocated its restaurant one block away from the acquired location and, after legal issues trial concerning lease, Client settled its claim for lost goodwill for $3.8 million.
- Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority v. EKCO Metals. Acquisition of a portion of property owned by family-run metals recycling business that had been in business for over 50 years. The acquisition was reconfigured in order to allow Client to stay in business, and Client’s remaining claims were settled for $4.1 million.
- City of Placentia v. Office Depot. Acquisition by City of Placentia of successful office supplies store for ONTRAC trenched rail project. The store relocated to a nearby location in Fullerton which was not as favorable as the acquired location. Client asserted claims for value of the real estate, lost goodwill, and fixtures and equipment. Following depositions of expert appraisers, case settled just before trial for $5.6 million.
- State of California v. U-Haul Real Estate Company. Direct condemnation case involving 25,000 square feet of land taken from Client’s 4.25-acre parcel located in City of Riverside. Jury verdict after two-week trial and partial settlement resulted in recovery of more than four times the amount originally deposited by the State.
- Ellis v. State of California. Represented owner of Pacific Palisades home severely damaged by earth movement. This was a test case for five other properties in the Castellamare area. Following a 3-week jury trial, jury returned a verdict in favor of Clients. The cases then settled for a total of $7.5 million.
- Los Angeles Unified School District v. KFC of America, Inc. Acquisition by LAUSD of 2.9-acre site in South Gate which included Client’s restaurant on leased pad. Client asserted claims for lost goodwill (against LAUSD) and for the bonus value of its lease (against its landlord). Following mediation with LAUSD, and on the eve of trial against the landlord, case settled for a total of $1.35 million.
- City of Oakland v. Oakland Raiders. Research and writing, as junior associate, on trial and appellate proceedings involving City’s effort to acquire football team by eminent domain.
Listed below are a selection of the most recent speaking engagements Ed has given. To view more of his presentations and continuing legal instruction, please click here.
- American Law Institute, Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “When Judges Overstep Their Authority: What to Do in the Courtroom,” San Francisco, CA, February 5, 2015.
- American Law Institute, Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “Defining the Nature and Scope of the Taking When it is Unclear and Ambiguous,” New Orleans, LA, January 23, 2014.
- American Law Institute, Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “Regulatory Takings Update,” Miami, FL, January 26, 2013.
- American Law Institute, Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “Condemning Underwater Mortgages: A Dialogue Around the Pros and Cons,” Miami, FL, January 24, 2013.
- American Law Institute-American Bar Association, Condemnation 101, “Working With Clients and Suggestions for a Case Plan,” San Diego, CA, January 2012.
- American Law Institute-American Bar Association, Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “Cross-Examining Expert Witnesses in Complex Cases,” Coral Gables, FL, February 2011.
- “Who Froze My Zoning?” California Building Industry Select Conference on Industry Litigation, Ojai, CA, November 2010.
- American Law Institute-American Bar Association, Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “Eminent Domain Wish List for Landowner and Government Lawyers,” Scottsdale, AZ, February 2010.
- American Law Institute-American Bar Association, Condemnation 101, “Bridging Gaps in Valuation,” Miami, January 2009.
- California Building Industry Association Select Conference on Industry Litigation, “Yamagiwa v. City of Half Moon Bay: City’s Storm Drain Project Caused Wetlands to Develop on Private Property,” Palm Desert, May 2008.
- American Law Institute-American Bar Association, Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “Crossing the Line Between Public Use and Public Abuse,” San Francisco, January 2008.
- American Law Institute-American Bar Association, Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, “What a Difference a Day Makes: The Substantive and Practical Aspects of the Date of Valuation in Determining Just Compensation,” Miami, January 2007.
- Outdoor Advertising Association of America, “Vegetation Control Litigation,” San Diego, April 2006.
- International Council of Shopping Centers, “Reflections on the Kelo Decision,” Long Beach, December 2005.
- California Building Industry Association Select Conference on Industry Litigation, “Takings Update,” Santa Barbara, November 2005.
- Lorman Education Services, “Challenging Governmental Land Use Decisions in California,” Los Angeles, July 2005.
Listed below are a selection of Ed’s most recent written works To view a complete list of his published articles, please click here.
- “When the Project Matters,” The Practical Real Estate Lawyer, May 2014.
- “Plan to Seize Underwater Mortgages Not Viable,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 9, 2013.
- “The California Supreme Court Takes Up the Date of Value Question,” American Law Institute-American Bar Association Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, January 2007.
- “Record Rainfall Will Lead to a Flood of Litigation,” Insurance Journal, April 4, 2005.
- “Litigation Over Rain Damage Pits Experts Against Experts,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 1, 2005.
- “Landlord/Tenant Issues in California Condemnation Actions,” Institute of Planning, Zoning, and Eminent Domain, Ch. 5, Center for American and International Law, 2003.
Bar Admissions and Memberships
- State of California Bar Association, Member
- Board of Directors, Disability Rights Legal Center
- Board of Directors, Owners’ Counsel of America (2009-2012)