Home | Georgia Eminent Domain

Georgia's Eminent Domain Laws and Property Rights

Property Rights in the State of Georgia

Georgia’s property owner’s protections begin with its Constitution, which states that property cannot be taken by a governmental authority without payment of compensation. In 2006, as part of the national response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London, the Georgia General Assembly dramatically expanded the rights of property owners by passing the Landowner’s Bill of Rights.

This legislation limited the definition of public purpose and ensured that condemnations for redevelopment must be for public use. Furthermore, the public purpose, which is the basis of any condemnation, must begin within five years of the date of taking, thus limiting the ability of a condemnor to take advantage of low market prices to create “land banks.” Georgia property owners are also protected in the pre- condemnation negotiation process by laws requiring condemnors to disclose the reasoning behind their offers to purchase property. While Georgia property owners enjoy many rights not available in some other states, they are not entitled to attorneys fees in most condemnation cases, and thus the prohibitive costs of litigation limits their ability to seek full compensation in many instances.

Meet OCA's Georgia Attorney

Charles L. Ruffin

Charles L. Ruffin

Charles L. Ruffin is a shareholder in the Atlanta and Macon offices of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz, PC. He concentrates his practice in eminent domain and condemnation law, representing landowners and business operators of all sizes in eminent domain (or "condemnation") and inverse condemnation matters. Mr. Ruffin's clients include a wide variety of national and international businesses from large multinational corporations to small individually owned businesses.

A Summary of Georgia's Eminent Domain Laws

The following responses are intended to provide general information about eminent domain laws in the featured state. Such information does not constitute legal advice. Anyone interested in learning more about eminent domain law and the impact it may have on a given set of facts should consult with an OCA attorney or another attorney experienced in handling eminent domain cases.

  • Who can Exercise Eminent Domain Powers?

    The Georgia Constitution provides that the state and its subdivisions hold the power of eminent domain and may delegate that power for public purposes. The Constitution does not, however, mention eminent domain by name, as the intent was to create an inherent power unless otherwise limited. Eminent domain may be wielded by the state or its agencies, counties, municipalities, and various other quasi-governmental entities such as hospital authorities, public utilities and housing authorities.

  • What are the Legal Requirements for Exercising the Power?

    Ga. Const. 1983, Art. I, § III, ¶ 1 states that “[p]rivate property shall not be taken, or damaged, for public purposes, without just and adequate compensation first being paid.” Additionally, the condemnation must be for a public purpose. The power of eminent domain cannot be exercised to acquire the property of one person solely for the private use or private gain of another person.

    In 2006, the Georgia General Assembly adopted the Landowner’s Bill of Rights (O.C.G.A. §§ 22-1-1 through 22-1-15), which specifically outlines procedures that must be followed by condemnors prior to condemning property. These procedures were designed to protect property owners from being unfairly pressured in the often-lopsided negotiations that may take place between the condemning authority and the property owner prior to condemnation.

  • What Limitations or Defenses Exist?

    While the general power of eminent domain in Georgia is not easily challenged, there are a few defenses that may be available in specific scenarios. While a property owner may challenge whether a taking is for a public purpose, the courts are reluctant to intervene and have granted condemning authorities broad power to condemn property for public use or benefit, which leaves few circumstances that do not qualify as a public purpose.

    A more capable defense is to attack the procedure of the condemning authority. The rules laid out in the Landowner’s Bill of Rights must be strictly adhered to, and failure to adhere to said rules can result in the court’s dismissal of the condemnation action.

  • What Constitutes a Public Purpose?

    Georgia courts have divided the concept of a public purpose into two categories: public use and public benefit. Public use does not mean merely available for use by the general public, but that the public or its agencies have the right to use the property as the need may arise. For example, a railyard or a power plant are public uses even though the general public may be excluded altogether.

    A public benefit authorizes the acquisition of property to promote the public interest, develop natural resources, or provide for the public welfare. There is no fixed formula to determine whether a use is a public benefit, but the courts will examine each case to determine whether the public necessity, convenience, or welfare require governmental intervention.

  • How is Just Compensation Determined?

    The most basic general rule of compensation is that a property owner whose land is taken for a public purpose must be paid the value of the land or interest actually taken; and where only part of the property is acquired, he or she must be paid the value of the land taken plus the reduction in the value of the remaining land not taken.

    There are three methods that a condemning authority may choose to condemn property: the assessor method, the special master method, or the declaration of taking method. The assessor method involves a hearing before a panel of three assessors to determine just and adequate compensation, with one assessor being appointed by each party and a third selected by the appointees. The special master method is designed to provide a quicker determination of compensation and involves a hearing before a special master appointed by the judge. The special master, who is an experienced attorney, may rule on questions of law. Either the assessor’s or special master’s rulings may be appealed to the superior court. Finally, the declaration of taking method generally determines compensation before a jury, although property owners may petition the court for an interlocutory hearing before a board of assessors to determine solely the amount of compensation. The declaration of taking method is only available for public road, street or transportation purposes.

    Compensation can also include business damages in certain situations in which the property is uniquely related to the business. Most commonly this is found in circumstances in which the business will no longer be able to operate on the property after the taking and there is no similar property in the area to which the business could reasonably be relocated.

  • How is Fair Market Value Defined?

    In the absence of special or unique circumstances, the courts uniformly apply the fair market value standard to determine the value of the property or interest taken, consequential damages to the remaining property and consequential benefits. The general definition of fair market value is the price the property will bring when it is offered for sale by one who desires, but is not obligated, to sell it, and is bought by one who wishes to buy it but is not obligated to do so. Generally, the property’s fair market value is the subject of opinion testimony by expert real estate appraisers, although an owner of property is also presumed competent to testify to the value of the property owned and being taken.

    Fair market value may not be the measure of compensation in cases of unique properties that are not commonly bought and sold on the open market. For example, religious properties and schools are not typically bought and sold in arm’s length transactions, so those properties may be entitled to compensation based on the cost to relocate them.

    Furthermore, if the taking is such that the property owner will no longer be able to occupy the remaining property, he or she is entitled to moving expenses and the costs of relocating the business or trade fixtures.

  • What About Damages to Remaining Property?

    Consequential damages and consequential benefits are measured by the decrease or increase in the fair market value of the remaining property caused by the taking of part of the property for a public purpose. Consequential damages and benefits are based upon the present effect of the public improvement, but not upon the temporary effects during the construction of the improvement. The effect of the taking and the public improvement on the fair market value of the remaining property is usually shown by testimony from a real estate appraiser or other expert witness with knowledge of property values. Typical damages to a remainder include a change in the highest and best use, a loss of access or loss of parking spaces for a business.

  • Is the Landowner Entitled to Recover Reasonable Attorney Fees? Expert Fees? Litigation Costs?

    Attorney fees, expert fees and litigation costs are rarely recoverable in condemnation actions under Georgia law. The exceptions to this rule are when the landowner is able to successfully defend against the condemnation on the grounds that the condemnor did not have the authority for the taking (such as when there is no public purpose) or when the condemnor abandons the condemnation altogether. Attorney fees are also recoverable in inverse condemnation cases where it is found that the condemnor failed to follow the procedural steps to formally take the property. An inverse condemnation occurs when there has been no formal condemnation action and yet a taking or damaging of real property by a condemnor has occurred.

  • Can the Government Take Possession of the Landowner’s Property Before Final Compensation is Paid?

    Generally, the condemning authority may not take possession of private property prior to tendering compensation. However, under the declaration of taking method, the condemning authority may take possession before an evidentiary hearing is held to fix the amount of just and adequate compensation. Under this method, the condemning authority files a petition to condemn the property with the court and pays its estimate of just compensation into the court’s registry. This method is effective when there are issues regarding title to the property, contingent interests, property taxes due, or need for judicial discernment of any issue. However, this method is only available for condemnations related to public road, street, or transportation purposes.

REFERENCES AND LINKS

Georgia

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz, PC
1600 Monarch Plaza 3414 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30326
Tel:(404) 577-6000 | Fax:(404) 221-6501
cruffin@bakerdonelson.com | www.bakerdonelson.com

Macon Office Location: Gateway Plaza, Suite 201, 300 Mulberry Street, Macon, GA 31201 PH: (478) 750-0777 | FAX: (478) 750- 1777

Charles Ruffin also represents nationally traded real estate investment trusts and other real estate investors. His clients include oil and gas interests, fast food franchisors and franchisees, hotel investors, commercial, shopping center and office developers, national drugstore chains, residential real estate developers, convenience store chains and a variety of individually owned enterprises, business operations, and properties.

In 2005, Mr. Ruffin testified on three occasions on behalf of landowner interests before a special Georgia Senate Committee considering revision of eminent domain laws following the U.S. Supreme Court decision inKelo v. City of New London.

Mr. Ruffin leads his firm’s eminent domain and condemnation law practice which is ranked Tier 1 by the US News/Best Lawyers ranking of practices in the United States.

Significant Eminent Domain and Property Rights Representations and Reported Decisions

  • April 2015 – Settled taking of 2.9 acres of property located in Sandy Springs in north Atlanta perimeter area. Settlement was for $7.0 million or $2.37 million dollars per acre. Property was taken as part of a city center project for the construction of a combined city hall and performing arts complex to be surrounded by a park. Settlement represented a 100% increase over the city’s appraisal.
  • January 2015 – Settled a case in central Georgia that involved an interference with parking area for and access to a general commercial/retail building and further development on the site. The settlement was for an amount 280 percent higher than sums paid into court by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).
  • August 2014 – Negotiated a $1.1 million settlement of a condemnation case on the eve of a 4-day jury trial. The case concerned an undeveloped commercial outparcel along I-85 in southwest metro Atlanta and involved complicated historical issues. The settlement was nearly twice what the condemnor estimated as just and adequate compensation.
  • July 2014 – Obtained a jury award of $1.03 million in southwest metro Atlanta in a case involving a complicated deed construction matter by the jury and land valuation issues. The verdict was 730 percent higher than sums paid into court by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).
  • July 2014 – Assisted as invited amicus curiae on behalf of the Firm and Owners Counsel of America in appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia. Court ruled in favor of party from whom assistance was requested on issue of when a condemnor may dismiss an appeal following a special master award. Supreme Court opinion salvaged a $5.1 million dollar award for condemnee.
  • June 2014 – Obtained a jury verdict against the GDOT in a case involving a recreational lake-oriented convenience store in central Georgia. The verdict results in an award of $1.22 million to the client, a gasoline and oil jobber, a sum 289 percent higher than that paid into court by the GDOT on commencement of the litigation.
  • November 2013 – Tried a jury trial involving damage to access to hotel property in central Georgia. Jury award resulted in a recovery 400 percent higher than the compensation offered by GDOT.
  • September 2013 – Settled major condemnation for national trucking firm in Savannah. Settlement involved substantial plan revisions avoiding taking of office building and land locking of property. In addition funds of $1.5 million were paid for property taken and for consequential damages and mitigation expense.
  • September 2013 – Settled taking of portion of major shopping center in north metro Atlanta. Settlement involved cash of $4.5 million and plan revisions to mitigate damage to center.
  • November 2012 – Tried a business loss and real estate condemnation case in west Georgia. After a nine-day trial obtained a jury verdict resulting in a recovery of $1.9 million dollars which represented a 100 percent increase over sums paid into court by the GDOT. The case involved a taking of property from and damage to a warehouse distribution company.
  • September 2012 – Negotiated for National Retailer a relocation of a power transmission line, thus avoiding major disruptions to operations.
  • August 2012 – Settled a case in Augusta, Georgia, for $2 million dollars which involved a real estate only taking of a lessor/nationally traded REIT’s interest in a casual dining concept restaurant. Settlement was 100 percent higher than the GDOT offer at mediation.
  • July 2012 – Obtained jury award after jury trial for mineral bearing property located in central Georgia that was 54 times higher than the GDOT pay-in to court resulting in a judgment after interest of a sum 80 times higher than the original payment to the Clerk of Court.
  • June 2012 – Settled condemnation for taking of right of way for access road constructed for new automobile assembly plant in west Georgia. Settlement was for $1.3 million dollars which is a 228 percent increase over the GDOT pay-in to court.
  • April 2012 – Negotiated cessation of intent to condemn northwest Georgia mountain property for upgrade of county emergency communication system. Success was based on a theory of prior dedication to a public use, that being a conservation easement.
  • October 2011 – Settled an eminent domain matter on behalf of a fast food restaurant corporation involving a metro Atlanta property. The location involved a corner interstate site in Clayton County. The Georgia Department of Transportation condemned the principal access to the site thus causing substantial damage to the value of the property. GDOT paid $2.3 million pursuant to the consent judgment obtained to conclude the settlement. That sum represented a 200 percent increase over the original sum offered by GDOT.
  • September 2011 – Settled a case involving mitigation and relocation costs for an Interstate 75 retail specialty and gasoline dispensary location. The settlement of $1,427,500 represented an increase of 60 percent over the GDOT pay-in to the court. The relocation and mitigation costs salvaged a business valued at $5.1 million.
  • July 2011 – After jury trial involving a Metro Atlanta auto repair franchisee, judgment for $1.15 million was entered for business loss award to client. Amount was 1,150,000 percent above the DOT business loss pay-in in the case.
  • January 2011 – Successfully tried to jury verdict a business loss claim by a major fast food franchisee in Central Georgia resulting from a total taking of the franchised site. The judgment was 320 percent higher than sums originally paid into court by the Georgia DOT.
  • October 2010 – Successfully defended an Atlanta based partnership that operates a 7,000 acre farming and quail hunting preserve in central Georgia against a private taking of land by an adjoining landowner.
  • April 2010 – Settled a condemnation action of a largely abandoned shopping center in Valdosta, GA. The settlement included $5.62 million in compensation while the client retained ownership of eight acres of in line space. The property was taken for a city-planned arts complex.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Probability of Rezoning as an Element of Valuation,” panelist, ALI-CLE
  • “Issues and Questions When a Franchise is Taken by Eminent Domain,” co-author, ALI-ABA National Eminent Conference presentation, Miami Beach, Florida, January 2013
  • “Overview of Private Property Development and Eminent Domain Law in Georgia,” invited speaker by Mercer University and Georgia State officials, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia, October 17, 2011
  • “How to Properly Prepare a case for Trial on Behalf of the Condemnee,” Eminent Domain Section, State Bar of Georgia, November 2009
  • “The Examination of Expected Experts in a Condemnation Case,” American Law Institute – American Bar Association Conference on Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, San Francisco, California, January 2008
  • “Update on Georgia Eminent Domain Law,” Georgia Association of Convenience Stores Convention, Board of Directors, Ponte Vedra, Florida, June 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003
  • “Update on Georgia Eminent Domain Law,” National Business Institute, Savannah, Georgia, September 2006
  • “Update on Georgia Eminent Domain Law,” Lorman Educational Service, Macon, Georgia, July 2006
  • “Business Loss Recovery in Compensable and Non-Compensable Jurisdictions,” American Law Institute – American Bar Association – Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Course of Study, San Diego, California, January 2006
  • “Kelo v. City of New London, Triumph or Tragedy,” Real Property Law Section – State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, Fall 2005
  • “Legal Issues for Georgia Civil Engineers,” Atlanta, Georgia, February 2005
  • “Taking an Eminent Domain Case to Trial,” National Business Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, September 2004
  • “Maximizing Awards in Condemnation Cases,” 26th Annual Real Property Law Institute, Amelia Island Plantation, Florida, May 2004

Professional Activities

  • President, State Bar of Georgia, 2013-2014
  • Chair, Institute of Continuing Education of Georgia
  • Chair, Constitutional Law Section, State Bar of Georgia
  • State Bar of Georgia (President, 2013-2014; Treasurer, Founding Chair, Eminent Domain Section; Chair, Military Legal Assistance Program; Member, Board of Governors Executive Committee)
  • Past President, Macon Bar Association
  • Member, Emory Law School Council
  • Member, Lawyers Club of Atlanta
  • Chair, Eminent Domain Seminars, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2003-04
  • President, Downtown Macon Rotary Club
  • Member, Leadership USA
  • Member, Leadership Georgia
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Georgia Bar Foundation
  • Advisory Board, Institute for Local Government Legal Studies
  • Board of Directors, Owners’ Counsel of America, 2013-2016

Education

  • Emory University School of Law, J.D., 1980
  • Auburn University, B.S., 1977

Bar Admissions and Memberships

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • Court of Appeals of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle and Northern District of Georgia
  • All Georgia Superior and State Courts
  • All Specialty Courts of Georgia
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Macon Bar Association
  • American Bar Association (Member, Eminent Domain Committee, Real Estate Section)

Honors & Awards

  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Atlanta Lawyer of the Year, Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, as recognized by The Best Lawyers in America®, years 2016 and 2020
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the area of Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, 2007-2016
  • Listed in Georgia Super Lawyers in the area of Eminent Domain, 2014-2019

Charles Ruffin also represents nationally traded real estate investment trusts and other real estate investors. His clients include oil and gas interests, fast food franchisors and franchisees, hotel investors, commercial, shopping center and office developers, national drugstore chains, residential real estate developers, convenience store chains and a variety of individually owned enterprises, business operations, and properties.

In 2005, Mr. Ruffin testified on three occasions on behalf of landowner interests before a special Georgia Senate Committee considering revision of eminent domain laws following the U.S. Supreme Court decision inKelo v. City of New London.

Mr. Ruffin leads his firm’s eminent domain and condemnation law practice which is ranked Tier 1 by the US News/Best Lawyers ranking of practices in the United States.

Significant Eminent Domain and Property Rights Representations and Reported Decisions

  • April 2015 – Settled taking of 2.9 acres of property located in Sandy Springs in north Atlanta perimeter area. Settlement was for $7.0 million or $2.37 million dollars per acre. Property was taken as part of a city center project for the construction of a combined city hall and performing arts complex to be surrounded by a park. Settlement represented a 100% increase over the city’s appraisal.
  • January 2015 – Settled a case in central Georgia that involved an interference with parking area for and access to a general commercial/retail building and further development on the site. The settlement was for an amount 280 percent higher than sums paid into court by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).
  • August 2014 – Negotiated a $1.1 million settlement of a condemnation case on the eve of a 4-day jury trial. The case concerned an undeveloped commercial outparcel along I-85 in southwest metro Atlanta and involved complicated historical issues. The settlement was nearly twice what the condemnor estimated as just and adequate compensation.
  • July 2014 – Obtained a jury award of $1.03 million in southwest metro Atlanta in a case involving a complicated deed construction matter by the jury and land valuation issues. The verdict was 730 percent higher than sums paid into court by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT).
  • July 2014 – Assisted as invited amicus curiae on behalf of the Firm and Owners Counsel of America in appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia. Court ruled in favor of party from whom assistance was requested on issue of when a condemnor may dismiss an appeal following a special master award. Supreme Court opinion salvaged a $5.1 million dollar award for condemnee.
  • June 2014 – Obtained a jury verdict against the GDOT in a case involving a recreational lake-oriented convenience store in central Georgia. The verdict results in an award of $1.22 million to the client, a gasoline and oil jobber, a sum 289 percent higher than that paid into court by the GDOT on commencement of the litigation.
  • November 2013 – Tried a jury trial involving damage to access to hotel property in central Georgia. Jury award resulted in a recovery 400 percent higher than the compensation offered by GDOT.
  • September 2013 – Settled major condemnation for national trucking firm in Savannah. Settlement involved substantial plan revisions avoiding taking of office building and land locking of property. In addition funds of $1.5 million were paid for property taken and for consequential damages and mitigation expense.
  • September 2013 – Settled taking of portion of major shopping center in north metro Atlanta. Settlement involved cash of $4.5 million and plan revisions to mitigate damage to center.
  • November 2012 – Tried a business loss and real estate condemnation case in west Georgia. After a nine-day trial obtained a jury verdict resulting in a recovery of $1.9 million dollars which represented a 100 percent increase over sums paid into court by the GDOT. The case involved a taking of property from and damage to a warehouse distribution company.
  • September 2012 – Negotiated for National Retailer a relocation of a power transmission line, thus avoiding major disruptions to operations.
  • August 2012 – Settled a case in Augusta, Georgia, for $2 million dollars which involved a real estate only taking of a lessor/nationally traded REIT’s interest in a casual dining concept restaurant. Settlement was 100 percent higher than the GDOT offer at mediation.
  • July 2012 – Obtained jury award after jury trial for mineral bearing property located in central Georgia that was 54 times higher than the GDOT pay-in to court resulting in a judgment after interest of a sum 80 times higher than the original payment to the Clerk of Court.
  • June 2012 – Settled condemnation for taking of right of way for access road constructed for new automobile assembly plant in west Georgia. Settlement was for $1.3 million dollars which is a 228 percent increase over the GDOT pay-in to court.
  • April 2012 – Negotiated cessation of intent to condemn northwest Georgia mountain property for upgrade of county emergency communication system. Success was based on a theory of prior dedication to a public use, that being a conservation easement.
  • October 2011 – Settled an eminent domain matter on behalf of a fast food restaurant corporation involving a metro Atlanta property. The location involved a corner interstate site in Clayton County. The Georgia Department of Transportation condemned the principal access to the site thus causing substantial damage to the value of the property. GDOT paid $2.3 million pursuant to the consent judgment obtained to conclude the settlement. That sum represented a 200 percent increase over the original sum offered by GDOT.
  • September 2011 – Settled a case involving mitigation and relocation costs for an Interstate 75 retail specialty and gasoline dispensary location. The settlement of $1,427,500 represented an increase of 60 percent over the GDOT pay-in to the court. The relocation and mitigation costs salvaged a business valued at $5.1 million.
  • July 2011 – After jury trial involving a Metro Atlanta auto repair franchisee, judgment for $1.15 million was entered for business loss award to client. Amount was 1,150,000 percent above the DOT business loss pay-in in the case.
  • January 2011 – Successfully tried to jury verdict a business loss claim by a major fast food franchisee in Central Georgia resulting from a total taking of the franchised site. The judgment was 320 percent higher than sums originally paid into court by the Georgia DOT.
  • October 2010 – Successfully defended an Atlanta based partnership that operates a 7,000 acre farming and quail hunting preserve in central Georgia against a private taking of land by an adjoining landowner.
  • April 2010 – Settled a condemnation action of a largely abandoned shopping center in Valdosta, GA. The settlement included $5.62 million in compensation while the client retained ownership of eight acres of in line space. The property was taken for a city-planned arts complex.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Probability of Rezoning as an Element of Valuation,” panelist, ALI-CLE
  • “Issues and Questions When a Franchise is Taken by Eminent Domain,” co-author, ALI-ABA National Eminent Conference presentation, Miami Beach, Florida, January 2013
  • “Overview of Private Property Development and Eminent Domain Law in Georgia,” invited speaker by Mercer University and Georgia State officials, Mercer University, Atlanta, Georgia, October 17, 2011
  • “How to Properly Prepare a case for Trial on Behalf of the Condemnee,” Eminent Domain Section, State Bar of Georgia, November 2009
  • “The Examination of Expected Experts in a Condemnation Case,” American Law Institute – American Bar Association Conference on Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, San Francisco, California, January 2008
  • “Update on Georgia Eminent Domain Law,” Georgia Association of Convenience Stores Convention, Board of Directors, Ponte Vedra, Florida, June 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003
  • “Update on Georgia Eminent Domain Law,” National Business Institute, Savannah, Georgia, September 2006
  • “Update on Georgia Eminent Domain Law,” Lorman Educational Service, Macon, Georgia, July 2006
  • “Business Loss Recovery in Compensable and Non-Compensable Jurisdictions,” American Law Institute – American Bar Association – Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Course of Study, San Diego, California, January 2006
  • “Kelo v. City of New London, Triumph or Tragedy,” Real Property Law Section – State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, Fall 2005
  • “Legal Issues for Georgia Civil Engineers,” Atlanta, Georgia, February 2005
  • “Taking an Eminent Domain Case to Trial,” National Business Institute, Atlanta, Georgia, September 2004
  • “Maximizing Awards in Condemnation Cases,” 26th Annual Real Property Law Institute, Amelia Island Plantation, Florida, May 2004

Professional Activities

  • President, State Bar of Georgia, 2013-2014
  • Chair, Institute of Continuing Education of Georgia
  • Chair, Constitutional Law Section, State Bar of Georgia
  • State Bar of Georgia (President, 2013-2014; Treasurer, Founding Chair, Eminent Domain Section; Chair, Military Legal Assistance Program; Member, Board of Governors Executive Committee)
  • Past President, Macon Bar Association
  • Member, Emory Law School Council
  • Member, Lawyers Club of Atlanta
  • Chair, Eminent Domain Seminars, Institute of Continuing Legal Education, 2003-04
  • President, Downtown Macon Rotary Club
  • Member, Leadership USA
  • Member, Leadership Georgia
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Georgia Bar Foundation
  • Advisory Board, Institute for Local Government Legal Studies
  • Board of Directors, Owners’ Counsel of America, 2013-2016
close