Property owners, be it of residential or commercial property, could find themselves in a condemnation case where the government seeks to acquire the property. The governmental power that allows this is eminent domain. If you are faced with condemnation, contacting a skilled and experienced San Jose condemnation lawyer is the most important step you take.
Condemnation permits a local, state or the federal government to purchase private property for the purpose of creating roads, parks, or some other public use. While it is true that the government has the ability to take private property for public use, it doesn't mean you are without rights.
You will want to consult with a condemnation attorney to see if you could challenge the government's decision to take your property. It may not meet certain public necessity or public purpose standards. This is a very complicated area of law and requires the assistance of a condemnation lawyer.
In legal practice, experience matters. An experienced attorney will likely have handled issues similar to yours many, many times. Therefore, after listening to your situation, the attorney should have a reasonable idea of the time line for a case like yours and the likely resolution.
An experienced lawyer should be able to communicate a basic "road map" on how to proceed. The lawyer should be able to walk you through the anticipated process, key considerations, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Once you've laid out the facts of your situation to the lawyer, he/she should be able to frame expectations and likely scenarios to help you understand your legal issue.
A reputable attorney will be very upfront about how he/she will charge you. The three most common fee structures that attorneys use to charge for their services are:
Depending on your specific legal situation, it's possible that only one type of fee structure is available. For instance, criminal defense attorneys almost always bill by the hour. In a flat fee arrangement, an attorney accepts a one-time payment to help you resolve your issue. With a contingent fee agreement, the client pays little to nothing upfront and the attorney receives a percentage of the money recovered if you win your case.