Owner’s Counsel of American (OCA) is a 501 (c)6 business association dedicated to assisting private property owners in eminent domain and takings cases nationwide. OCA believes that the right of private property ownership is a fundamental constitutional right and the beacon of our individual freedoms as citizens of the United States. OCA was founded in 2000 by Toby Prince Brigham, one of the premier eminent domain lawyers in the country. After graduating from Yale University in 1956 and the University of Florida College of Law in 1959, Mr. Brigham devoted the next 50 years of his law practice exclusively to the defense of constitutional property rights on behalf of private landowners. At the time he began practicing law, eminent domain was not a special area of practice and few lawyers were experienced in handling such cases. In fact, Toby Brigham was instrumental in developing the field of eminent domain and condemnation litigation as a focused discipline. As a past co-chair of the annual ALI-ABA (now ALI-CLE) Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Conference, for over two decades Toby sought to educate and inspire other lawyers in the complexities of eminent domain law and the importance of private property ownership. Indeed, it was the fellowship he developed with leading eminent domain lawyers all across the country through their mutual participation in the conference that inspired him to bring OCA to life as a resource for private landowners facing eminent domain, inverse condemnation and regulatory takings. Today, both Andrew Prince Brigham (Toby’s son) and Amy Brigham Boulris (Toby’s daughter) continue their father’s legacy of dedication to eminent domain representation on behalf of landowners as proud members of OCA.
In recognition of Toby Brigham’s lifetime contributions to private property rights, each year William & Mary Law School hosts the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference.The conference is designed to bring together members of the bench, bar and academia to explore recent developments in the law that affect property rights. Annually, the conference awards the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize to an individual whose work has advanced the cause of property rights and has contributed to the overall awareness of the important role property rights play in the broader scheme of individual liberty. We give thanks to one of OCA’s founding members, Joseph T. Waldo for his efforts in bringing about the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference.