Land Use and Local Government Law and Litigation

The Law Office of Robert K. Lincoln, P.A.  provides legal services to private and public entities involved in complex land use disputes.  Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.  Before you decide, ask and I will provide free information about my experience and qualifications. 

If they weren't on the hook statutorily, DOT should be subject to atty fees under 57.105 for this one

Despite having lost exactly the same battle last year in the 1st District, FDOT appealed a trial judge's award of attorney's fees for time spent establishing the value of expert witness fees in an eminent domain proceeding. Case is FDOT v. Lockhart, here's the opinion.

After a lowball offer of $70,000, which turned (miracle of miracles) to over $400,000 at trial, FDOT then forced the landowners to a hearing to establish the value of the expert fees (rather than negotiating and/or stipulating to them). It then claimed that because the witness fees would be set by the court - and the witnesses had apparently testified that they would accept the fees deemed reasonable by the court - that the attorneys were working for the experts, not the landowner in the expert fee hearing.

I'm sure that the FDOT lawyers see themselves as simply battling the greedy eminent domain bar, who suck the public funds trough low by litigating these fee cases. But from where I sit, all they're doing is delaying the process and running up the cost to the public through unnecessary litigation over claims so weak or unfounded (and already rejected) that a private attorney would be risking sanctions to file them.

2055 Wood Street, Suite 206, Sarasota, FL 34237      Phone (941) 681-8700

Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask and I will send you free written information about my qualifications and experience. Additionally, the comments, statements and articles contained herein are general in nature and should not be relied upon as a basis for any legal opinion, action or conclusion on the part of the reader with respect to any particular set of facts or circumstances, or to establish an attorney-client relationship between us.