Monthly Archives: February 2023
February 28th, 2023 — In OCA Blog
Mike Rikon Writes About Urban Renewal and the Assault on Black Neighborhoods
In his recent article written for the New York Law Journal and entitled ‘Urban Renewal, An Assault on Black Neighborhoods,” OCA member Mike Rikon speaks of how interstate highways, many of which were built to serve white suburban commuters, “were shoved through black neighborhoods, causing surrounding blight and pollution.” Mr. Rikon says these actions were fueled by the Federal Housing Act of 1949, which authorized cities to use eminent domain to clear “blighted neighborhoods” for a “higher use.” To read Mr. Rikon’s excellent article in its entirety click here.
February 27th, 2023 — In OCA Blog
OCA Member Dan Manning Represents Property Owners Being Relocated Due to Flooding
OCA’s Iowa Member, Dan Manning, is now representing several property owners in Cedar Rapids who are losing their homes because of past floods and fears about future flooding in their neighborhood near the riverfront area. Calling the takings “above and beyond” the usual scenario, Dan Manning explained the difficulty his clients faced in finding replacement property. “These are their homes, they’ve been there and they’re very unique in their own way,” said Manning. Across the country, many private property owners are facing the same challenges and possibility of being forced to relocate due to climate impacts. To read more about this story click here.
OCA Awards Crystal Eagle to Sonia Eaddy and Nicole King
At Owners’ Counsel of America’s Annual Dinner in Austin, TX, the Crystal Eagle was awarded jointly to two extraordinary women. Sonia Eaddy is a homeowner and community activist, and Nicole King is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. The award was given in recognition of their tireless efforts to save the historic black neighborhood of Poppleton, an area in west Baltimore that has been all but eradicated in order to make way for what many have described as an ill-conceived, poorly planned, and largely failed urban renewal project. Read more about what they were able to accomplish in this Press Release.
OCA Announces Two New Primary Members from North Dakota and Oklahoma
Owners’ Counsel of America is pleased to announce the selection of two new Primary Members. Derrick Braaten from North Dakota is the owner of Braaten Law Firm and Kim Ellis Ritchie from Oklahoma is the owner and founder of Ritchie, Rock & Atwood. Both men practice in the areas of business, agricultural, and real estate law, with a heavy emphasis on eminent domain cases, predominantly (if not exclusively) on behalf of private property owners. Kim Ritchie also focuses on civil litigation, having tried over 75 jury trials over the course of his career “We are thrilled to have such outstanding lawyers join our ranks,” says OCA’s Executive Director Leslie Fields. “These are both states where we have not previously had OCA representation because we were waiting to find the perfect candidates—lawyers that would measure up to our high standards of excellence, experience and dedication to the representation of private property owners.”
Announcing Toby Prince Brigham OCA Scholar Shelly Vallone
Owners’ Counsel of America is pleased to announce that Shelly Vallone, a third year law student attending William & Mary Law School, has received the Toby Prince Brigham OCA Scholarship for 2023. “Shelly received a glowing recommendation from Robert Thomas, her Property Rights professor at William & Mary,” says OCA Executive Director, Leslie Fields. The Scholarship was created to honor OCA’s founder, Toby Prince Brigham. It is designed to inspire the next generation of lawyers to take up the cause of protecting and defending private property rights. For more information about the scholarship visit OCA’s website at ownerscounsel.com