Our team can guide your project through acquisition of land rights, servitude or right-of-way contracts, and – when necessary – expropriation and condemnation.
Acquisition of land rights for a pipeline project is one of those necessary areas that can – if not handled correctly – delay or disrupt a project. We have been assisting in the acquisition of land rights, servitudes, rights of way, and condemnation and expropriation for over 50 years, and we have a reputation with pipeline entities, landowners and courts for getting these matters resolved as efficiently and fairly as possible. We know the major landowners In Louisiana, we know the sticking points in negotiations, we know the contract provisions that need to be avoided, we know the boxes that need to be checked in case expropriation is necessary, and we know how to move expropriation cases as quickly and expeditiously as possible. Most importantly, we know your goal is to obtain those rights in a way that does not disrupt or delay the project.
Handling acquisition of land rights and disputes
When it comes to land rights, servitudes, or rights of way, details matter. Everything begins with determination of the owners of the land – all the owners, even in situations where title is confusing or unclear. We can assist in dealing with those situations and using the tools provided in the law to make sure that unclear or uncertain title to property does not delay a project.
When it comes to negotiation with landowners, reputation matters. Landowners are more likely to come to an agreement when they are dealing with someone who has a reputation for being direct, honest, and fair. We have that reputation with major landowners throughout Louisiana. We can provide advice and direction to your land group in their dealings with landowners and, when it appears that there may be an impasse or when a landowner engages counsel, we can step in and often bring the matter to an amicable resolution.
If and we expropriation or condemnation becomes necessary, it is important to check all the boxes necessary to give you that right. Nothing can derail an expropriation action as quickly as a failure to take one of the necessary prerequisite steps. If and when an expropriation action comes to trial, we have decades of experience with both small cases (where we can handle the matter efficiently and in a cost-effective way) and multi-million dollar claims tried to juries, where we have successfully obtained the necessary rights for a price we believe was fair.
Finally, there are inevitably going to be disputes with landowners after a pipeline is in the ground and has been operating for some time. We approach these disputes in the same way; we first try to assist you in a fair resolution without litigation, if possible. If litigation becomes necessary, however, our goal is to protect your rights and to make sure there is no disruption in your operations.