Overview

Brad Kuhn serves as Chair of Nossaman's Eminent Domain & Valuation Group, likely the largest group of skilled eminent domain attorneys in California and the United States.  Brad is a real estate and business litigation attorney, with a particular emphasis in the transportation, energy/gas, water, land-use development, and telecommunications industries. He is a recognized leader in advising on all real property aspects of infrastructure and development projects, and has led some of the largest projects in the nation, cumulatively totaling in excess of $25 billion.  He represents public and private sector clients with eminent domain, inverse condemnation, land use/zoning, landlord/tenant, construction, and other real estate and business disputes. 

Brad's work and accomplishments have been profiled in numerous publications.  He has been featured on the cover of Right of Way Magazine, and he has been called upon to present across the country and oversee multiple treatises and courses on real estate.  Chambers & Partners, the guide to the world's best lawyers, recommends him for the full span of land use and infrastructure matters -- particularly eminent domain and valuation disputes -- and commends his “practical, business-minded advice" and his "high level of decorum in dealing with the other sides.”  Brad has also been awarded the CRE® designation by the Counselors of Real Estate®, an international group of real estate professionals recognized as leading advisors in complex real property matters.

Some of Brad’s other accolades and recognitions include:

  • Recognized by the Recorder as a California Trailblazer, a recognition given to only a "handful of attorneys that are truly agents of change" and have "made significant marks on the practice, policy and technological advancement of their practice."
  • Named to the Daily Journal’s Top 20 Under 40 list, a recognition given to the top 20 lawyers in California that are on the cutting edge of legal issues, and who are making an impact on changing an industry, region or society;
  • Chosen for individual recognition by Chambers USA for Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use Law;
  • Recognized as the Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning by the American Lawyer;
  • Named the Best Land Use/Zoning Attorney in Orange County by OC Metro/Orange County Register;
  • Recognized as the Best Eminent Domain Attorney by US Business News’ Legal Elite;
  • Repeatedly acknowledged on Up-and-Coming Top 25 Orange County and Up-and-Coming Top 100 Southern California Rising Stars lists; and
  • Awarded an AV-Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, a rating given to only those attorneys who exhibit the highest level of professional excellence based on a review of their peers.

Brad is general counsel to the International Right of Way Association (IRWA), where he has also served as President of the Inland Empire Chapter and has been named the Professional of the Year.  He is also the only attorney serving on the Advisory Board to Mobility 21, where he works with industry leaders to solve the transportation challenges facing Southern California.

Experience

Experience

PRIVATE REPRESENTATION

T-Mobile.  Represent client in a wide-range of real estate and major litigation matters, including landlord/tenant and contract disputes, site upgrade and access rights, relocation claims, construction, property damage, unlawful detainer, eminent domain, and utility disagreements.

Portola Hotel & Spa v. City of Monterey.  Represented owner of large hotel next to Old Fisherman’s Wharf with an inverse condemnation and land use / zoning lawsuit related to the City of Monterey’s $60 million conference center renovation and its attempted changes to surrounding land uses.  The matter settled shortly before trial with total monetary consideration and the restoration of significant property rights valued at over $13 million. 

Winchester 700 v. Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority.  Represented owner of a 454-acre property in Riverside County that the RCA sought for conservation purposes.  The RCA and the County refused to process the owner’s residential development entitlements, yet they never made an offer to purchase, instead “de facto” conserving the property.  Under threat of an inverse condemnation action, Brad assisted the owner in an arbitration which ultimately resulted in a settlement for more than $70 million.

Penn National Gaming / San Diego Gaming Ventures.  Provided client with real estate and land use advice related to the construction of the $400-million Hollywood Casino Jamul project in San Diego.  Brad successfully represented the client before the County Planning Commission, and defended litigation related to the use of nearby property for construction purposes, which litigation resulted in a judgment in the client’s favor and a substantial award of attorneys’ fees.  Brad also negotiated numerous real estate transactions related to the project and off-site improvements and worked with environmental agencies to solve complex real estate-related matters.

Makar Properties v. City of Huntington Beach.  Represented developer in connection with a dispute regarding the value of the “Pacific City” beach-front property, which value determined the park-in-lieu fee to be paid as part of its development.  The parties were nearly $50 million apart in their valuation figures.  Brad assisted the client at binding arbitration where the three judge panel awarded a value exactly at the client’s appraisal testimony, which equated to a savings of $20 million in park fees.

Orange County Sanitation District v. Sukut Real Properties.  Represented owner of three Fountain Valley office buildings in negotiating sale of property under threat of eminent domain for a settlement approaching $20 million -- millions of dollars above the public agency’s offer.

Los Altos School District v. 201 San Antonio Circle.  Represented Mountain View property owner in fending off school district’s efforts to condemn property through various right-to-take challenges and CEQA-challenges.  After rejecting the district’s nearly $90 million offer, the successful defense against condemnation allowed the owner to move forward with securing entitlements for a 450-unit mixed-use residential development.    

Caltrans v. Northridge Properties.  Represented Burbank property owner in an eminent domain action filed by Caltrans as part of its I-5 widening project.  Caltrans initially offered $1.8 million for the partial acquisition of the multi-acre property.  The matter settled days before trial for $4.5 million.

Truxtun Court Partners/Young.  Represented commercial property owners in an inverse condemnation action related to the city’s closure of the property’s primary driveway which resulted in a taking of abutter’s rights and a substantial impairment of access.  The case settled for $2 million.

Caltrans v. Bayport Imperial Promenade.  Represented several restaurants suffering loss of business goodwill as a result of Caltrans’ Imperial Highway grade separation project.  At trial, Brad successfully excluded Caltrans’ goodwill appraiser, and subsequent to the jury’s verdict, Caltrans settled the case by paying the business’ attorneys’ fees.

Santa Barbara Flood Control & Water Conservation District v. Funk Youth Hostel.  Represented property owner in an eminent domain action involving the acquisition of easements for a flood control project.  Shortly before trial, Brad successfully convinced the district to partially abandon the broad rights being acquired, and secured a judgment from the court awarding substantial attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses.  The matter ultimately settled with total compensation and litigation expenses in excess of $1 million.   

City of Santa Ana v. Pacific Industrial.  Represented owner of industrial site sought to be acquired for a new homeless shelter.  After receiving an offer under threat of eminent domain for nearly $10 million, Brad successfully convinced the city to shift its project to another location by demonstrating potential liability for precondemnation damages and a property value at more than double the city’s offer. 

Sprint/Nextel Corporation.  Represented client in numerous real estate litigation matters involving landlord/tenant and breach of contract disputes, real-property tort claims, unlawful detainer actions, and eminent domain proceedings.  Work included securing judgment and attorneys’ fees in Sprint’s favor related to its right to terminate leases for the nationwide decommissioning of Nextel cell sites.

International Right of Way Association (IRWA).  Serves as general counsel to the 10,000+ professional member organization comprised of global infrastructure real estate practitioners from over 15 countries around the world.

PUBLIC AGENCY REPRESENTATION

San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).  Representing SANDAG with property acquisitions for the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project, a $2 billion, 11-mile trolley line extension from downtown San Diego to University City.  Also providing strategic advice and oversight related to the planned Airport Connectivity Project, and provided real estate/condemnation services for the Downtown Bus Stopover, South Bay BRT, Inland Rail Trails, Sorrento Valley Double Track, and Bayshore Bikeway Projects.

  • West Coast v. SANDAG.  Defended SANDAG against lawsuit challenging the award of a contract for a public works project, and obtained a dismissal of the action after defeating contractor’s request for a preliminary injunction.  The first-of-its-kind decision has widespread impacts on public agencies across California, as the court’s decision allows for more bidders and lower proposals on public works projects.

City of Los Angeles / Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).  Advising on real property matters related to a $5 billion program to ease access in and out of LAX airport by developing a consolidated rental car center, an elevated 2.5-mile automated people mover system, intermodal transportation facilities, and a joint station connecting to Los Angeles’ rail system.

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART).  Advising client on complex property acquisitions and relocation issues for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project, an $8 billion, 20-mile elevated rail corridor system running from East Kapolei to Ala Moana Center, with stations at 21 key commuter and visitor destinations.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  Assisted Metro with acquiring numerous properties for the Purple Line Westside Subway Extension Project, a $6+ billion, 9-mile subway extension through Beverly Hills and Westwood.  Also assisted with the LAX/Crenshaw Transit Corridor Project, a $2+ billion, 8.5-mile light rail line through the Crenshaw and Inglewood area, and the Rosecrans/Marquardt Grade Separation Project, a project to improve one of the most dangerous intersections in California.  Also defended client with numerous inverse condemnation and other real property tort claims.

  • LA MTA v. KBG Associates.  Successfully represented client at the Court of Appeal to defeat property owner’s multi-million dollar severance damages claim due to the termination of a license to cross railroad tracks.  The decision confirmed eminent domain law regarding the non-compensability of a license, the enforceability of a waiver of the right to just compensation, the scope of the “project influence rule,” and the applicability of the substantial impairment of access test.

Southern California Edison.  Representing Edison with right of way acquisition services for multiple electrical transmission projects.  Work has included defeating multiple property owners’ right to take challenges, successfully defeating precondemnation damages claims, and securing favorable rulings on significant legal issues motions.

  • Edison v. Constant.  Work included the taking of a transmission line easement over a portion of commercial property.  The property owner sought compensation of over $4 million.  Brad was able to secure a verdict at trial for Edison’s appraised value of $66,000. 

Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority.  Represented Expo with acquiring properties for the Expo Light Rail Transit Project, a $2+ billion, 15-mile light rail line connecting downtown Los Angeles with Santa Monica.

  • Expo v. Patchett.  Work included the condemnation of the Bergamot Station Art Center in Santa Monica in which Brad was able to secure favorable settlements with all but one business at the property which claimed damages of over $10 million.  Brad served as lead trial attorney, successfully arguing a legal issues motion and motions in limine to exclude the business’ real estate, goodwill, and inventory experts which resulted in the case settling for less than 1% of the business’ claims. 
  • Expo v. 9000 Venice Partners.  Work included the condemnation of a portion of a retail shopping center in which Brad served as lead trial counsel in a three week jury trial as to a real estate claim by the property’s owner and a goodwill claim by a Wendy’s fast food restaurant.  The jury verdict was exactly at Expo’s damages figure as to the real estate, and only 5% of the goodwill claim presented by the business.  The total verdict was far less than Expo had offered to settle for before trial. 

San Bernardino County Transportation Authority.  Assisted SBCTA with the acquisition of properties for the Downtown San Bernardino Passenger Rail Project/San Bernardino Transit Center and the Redlands Passenger Rail Project, which projects will combine to provide a 10-mile extension of Metrolink rail service in the Inland Empire.  Also represented client in acquiring portions of 150+ properties for the sbX E-Street Corridor BRT Project, a first-of-its-kind 15.7-mile bus rapid transit line.  Brad was able to secure possession of the entire right of way, under budget, on an incredibly ambitious schedule to ensure the project secured necessary FTA funding. 

  • SANBAG v. Luga.  Work included the condemnation of 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’ 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). 

California Water Service Company.  Providing client with real property acquisition advice for a variety of water projects.  Also advising client with inverse condemnation, utility relocation, franchise rights, and other legislative issues.

United States Postal Service.  Advised client on land use, zoning, affordable housing, and title issues impacting the eventual sale of a 25-acre property in Aliso Viejo for over $30 million.

Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority.  Advising client on various real property and construction-related issues for the Foothill Gold Line Extension Project.

County of Amador.  Represented client in securing necessary property for an intersection improvement project.  Work included addressing complex title issues, including the clearing of a conservation easement.

Orange County Transportation Authority.  Providing OCTA with real estate/condemnation advice for various projects.  Work included representation in an eminent domain and inverse condemnation action arising from the Placentia Avenue Grade Separation Project where 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.  The matter was resolved shortly before trial for approximately 3% of the claimed damages.

Los Angeles Unified School District.  Represented LAUSD in numerous property acquisitions for school expansion projects.  Work included the condemnation of a 24-acre industrial property along the Los Angeles River.  The litigation involved issues of contamination, overlapping easements, and undocumented encroachments.  After defeating the owner’s right-to-take challenge at trial, the matter settled for $50 million, which was more than $25 million less than the owner's appraiser's valuation.

Insights

Publications

Blog Posts

Speaking Engagements

News

Multimedia

Organizations

Community & Professional

Mobility 21, Advisory Board

International Right of Way Association, General Counsel, Chapter 57, Past-President

Eminent Domain and Land Use Committee Member of the Transportation Research Board

Orange County Bar Association

Honors

Honors & Recognitions

Awarded the CRE® designation by the Counselors of Real Estate®

Recognized as a California Trailblazer by the Recorder, 2019

Named to the Daily Journal's Top 20 Under 40 list, 2015

Selected to the Southern California Rising Stars list, 2010-2019

Selected to the Up-and-Coming Top 25 Orange County Rising Stars list, 2015-2019

Selected to the Up-and-Coming Top 100 Southern California Rising Stars list, 2015-2019

Chosen for individual recognition for Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use Law in California by Chambers USA, 2015-2019

Recognized as the Best Eminent Domain Attorney by US Business News’ Legal Elite Awards

Named one of the top five Land Use/Zoning Law attorneys in Orange County by OC Metro magazine, 2012-2017

Named a Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning by Martindale-Hubbell and American Lawyer Media

Chosen for an AV-Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, a significant rating accomplishment given to only those attorneys who exhibit the highest level of professional excellence based on a review of their peers

Named the Professional of the Year by the International Right of Way Association (IRWA)

Education

Admissions

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