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Nossaman LLP

Bernadette M. Duran-Brown


T 949.833.7800
F 949.833.7878
18101 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 1800
Irvine, CA 92612

Ms. Duran-Brown is an eminent domain and real estate litigation attorney primarily focusing on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, regulatory takings and valuation matters.  Ms. Duran-Brown also has experience assisting clients with land use, entitlement matters, and landlord/tenant-related disputes. 

Ms. Duran-Brown has worked for some of the largest public agencies and projects in California, such as San Bernardino Associated Governments, San Diego Association of Governments, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, and Los Angeles Unified School District.  She plays an active role in project planning and implementation, from initial planning and the precondemnation acquisition process all the way through trial and appeal.  She has advised public agency clients on a variety of infrastructure improvements, such as roadways, railroads, schools, and flood control projects.  Her experience in project oversight and coordination ensures the necessary steps are taken to meet project construction schedules, thereby minimizing construction delays or the potential loss of project funding.  Her team's early involvement results in a high percentage of voluntary acquisitions at a significant cost savings, and where agreements with property owners cannot be reached, her agency clients see far fewer challenges to their right to take or their attempts to secure prejudgment possession.

Ms. Duran-Brown also represents a broad-range of property and business owners in California, including Sprint/Nextel Corporation, T-Mobile, and Outback Steakhouse.  She has experience litigating issues related to the acquisition of personal property and intangible rights, business goodwill claims, relocation issues, severance damages, precondemnation damages, entitlement and challenges to a project's environmental approvals.

Representative Work

  • San Bernardino County Transportation Commission.  Currently representing SBCTC with the acquisition of approximately 65 properties for the Downtown San Bernardino Passenger Rail Project, a proposed Metrolink commuter rail line between San Bernardino and Redlands.
  • Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority.  Currently assisting Expo with acquiring commercially developed properties in Santa Monica necessary for future terminal stations for Phase II of the Project, along with securing easements for street widening and utility relocations.
  • San Diego Association of Governments.  Currently representing SANDAG with project planning, environmental approval, and right of way acquisitions for the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project, the Sorrento Valley Double Track Project, the South Bay BRT Project, and the Inland Rail Trails Project.
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  Currently assisting MTA with acquiring property necessary for the LAX/Crenshaw Transit Corridor Project and the Westside Subway Extension (Purple Line).
  • Southern California Edison Company.  Currently assisting Edison with acquiring property necessary for its Falcon Ridge Substation Project, which includes construction of a new substation and installation of 66 kV subtransmission lines and related appurtenances in the cities of Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga and Rialto.
  • San Bernardino County Transportation Authority.  Represented SBCTA with acquiring portions of 150+ properties for the sbX E-Street Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Project, a 15.7-mile bus rapid transit line in the Inland Empire.  Ms. Duran-Brown was part of the team that was able to secure possession of the entire right of way on an incredibly ambitious schedule to ensure the project secured necessary FTA funding.  The team also ensured all property rights were obtained under project budget.
  • Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit.  Currently assisting HART with acquiring certain complex, high-value parcels and advising it on relocation issues for its Honolulu Rail Transit Project, a $6.7 billion passenger rail project that will provide a 20-mile rail corridor with twenty-one (21) new transit stations and a maintenance and storage facility.
  • OCTA v. M&H Realty Partners.  Represented OCTA in an eminent domain and inverse condemnation action arising from the Placentia Avenue Grade Separation Project.  The property owner and two national retail tenants, Home Depot and Sam's Club, cumulatively claimed nearly $100 million in damages due to OCTA's acquisition and the purported impacts on the ability to redevelop the site.   All owner and tenant claims were resolved shortly before trial for approximately 3% of the claimed damages. 
  • SANBAG v. Luga.  Represented SANBAG in an eminent domain action to acquire a portion of a gas station where the property/business owner was seeking compensation for nearly 10 times SANBAG's appraised value.  On the first day of trial, the court granted SANBAG's motions in limine and excluded the owner's appraisers' severance damages opinions.  The case then resolved for a nominal amount above SANBAG's appraised value (an amount far less than SANBAG's previously exchanged final offer of compensation). 

Other Real Estate Litigation

  • Nextel adv. 801 S. Los Angeles, LLC.  Represented Nextel in an unlawful detainer action related to a cellular telecommunications facility.  Ms. Duran-Brown successfully briefed and argued a motion to quash service of the summons and the three-day-notice, which effectively concluded the matter and resulted in a dismissal by plaintiff. 
  • Nextel adv. Campbell.  Represented Nextel in a breach of contract action related to a former cellular telecommunications site.  Ms. Duran-Brown successfully settled the matter in mediation for a quarter of the compensation the plaintiffs were seeking from Nextel.
  • Natalie Anne Kotsch v. Hyo Koo Lee, et al.  Represented Ms. Kotsch regarding her complaint to quiet title by adverse possession, a feat rarely accomplished for an entire property, complete with improvements.  Ms. Duran-Brown successfully obtained a default judgment in Ms. Kotsch's favor, which awarded her legal title and ownership of the home and property she had occupied since 2002.

Awards & Honors

Named a Super Lawyers "Southern California Rising Star" in 2014-2017 by Los Angeles magazine

Bernadette M. Duran-Brown
Bernadette M. Duran-Brown



J.D., University of Southern California School of Law, 2007

B.A., Seattle University, 2004, magna cum laude



Professional Affiliations

Women in Transportation Seminars, Orange County Chapter, Mentoring Committee

International Right of Way Association, Chapter 67

American Bar Association

Orange County Bar Association

Awards & Honors

Named a Super Lawyers "Southern California Rising Star" in 2014-2017 by Los Angeles magazine

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