Rick Rayl is an experienced litigator on a broad range of complex civil litigation issues.  His practice is concentrated primarily on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and other real-estate-valuation disputes.  His public agency clients have built some of the largest public infrastructure projects in California, including Orange County’s cutting edge 68-mile toll road system, Los Angeles County’s Alameda Corridor, and the Los Angeles Unified School District’s massive school expansion program.  He currently works with three of the largest regional transportation agencies in California on their projects:  San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA), San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), and Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA).

Rick also represents property owners and lessees in all aspects of real-estate-valuation disputes, including:

  • Precondemnation planning, offers, and negotiations;
  • Right-to-take challenges and disputes concerning prejudgment possession;
  • Relocation claims and disputes;
  • Fair market value disputes;
  • Claims for loss of business goodwill and other business claims;
  • Claims for precondemnation damages and blight;
  • Inverse condemnation and other property-damage claims; and
  • Regulatory takings.

Rick also advises developers and property owners on various aspects of land use entitlement disputes, commercial unlawful detainers and other lease disputes, and other types of real property disputes.

He speaks several times each year to national audiences, the most recent of which was a July 2016 presentation in Washington D.C. at the Transportation Research Board’s 55th Annual Workshop on Transportation Law.  He also regularly comments on news, events, and policy impacting eminent domain in California on the California Eminent Domain Report blog.

Rick is also active with the following organizations: International Right of Way Association - Chapter 67 (Past-President), Appraisal Institute of Southern California (Associate Member).



San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA). Currently representing SBCTA with right-of-way acquisition/eminent domain services for portions of 150+ properties for the sbX E-Street Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Project, a 15.7-mile bus rapid transit line designed to shape the future of public transit in the Inland Empire.

San Diego Associated Governments ("SANDAG"). Currently representing SANDAG with right-of-way acquisition/eminent domain services for the Sorrento Valley Double Track, Inland Rail Trail, South Bay BRT and Mid-Coast Projects, major rail, bus and bike lane projects within San Diego County.

Caltrans v. Bayport Imperial Promenade Represented four business owners in condemnation action against Caltrans involving view and construction impacts resulting from Caltrans' part taking of property for construction of a new bridge on Imperial Highway. Caltrans made no offers of compensation to the businesses. Two cases settled prior to trial (a Golden Spoon and an Italian Restaurant) for more than $400,000; two went to trial. Acted as lead trial attorney in month-long jury trial on compensation in which the trial court excluded Caltrans' business-goodwill appraisal. Settled one matter for a Subway restaurant for $225,000 following a successful jury verdict (Caltrans' final offer before trial was $50,000; Subway's final demand before trial was $125,000); the other matter remains pending.

City of Anaheim v. Yoder Represented City of Anaheim in condemnation action to acquire parcel of land for road widening. Acted as lead attorney in a case that settled in 2009 before the exchange of expert reports.

Kelly-Wright Hardwoods v. Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District Represented lumber company in inverse condemnation case in which District initially made no offer of compensation despite having forced the business to relocate under threat of eminent domain. Business owner demanded $400,000 before litigation and the parties ultimately settled for nearly three times that amount.

Alameda Corridor Transportation Agency v. Gautier Land Company Represented public agency in the acquisition through eminent domain of a parcel of land in Vernon, California. Acted as lead trial counsel in a month-long jury trial, obtaining a favorable result on real estate value and a complete victory on the tenant's business goodwill claim.

Lincoln Center, LLC v. Ross Dress for Less, Inc. Represented landlord in a commercial lease dispute resulting in unlawful detainer action against tenant. Following extensive discovery, the parties settled just weeks before trial, resulting in a new lease on more favorable terms for the landlord.

Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. Member of the Nossaman team responsible for dozens of eminent domain cases on behalf of the Flood Control District. Served as lead trial attorney on several cases that reached settlements favorable to the District both before and during trial.

City of Anaheim. Represented the City in a large, complex, inverse-condemnation/tort action, which included two separate three-month-long jury trials. The action arose out of a landslide that was alleged to have damaged dozens of properties, including the complete loss of approximately twenty homes and involved approximately 100 parties.

Las Galinas Valley Sanitation District v. Silveira, et al. Member of the Nossaman team representing landowner in a multi-million dollar eminent domain proceeding. The condemning agency's pre-litigation offer was $650,000. The jury verdict amounted to $14,660,000, which was the largest condemnation verdict in the state for 2000 and one of the largest of any kind in Marin County. Client also won a substantial litigation expense award.

Garden Grove Agency for Community Development v. Dionisie and Daniela Goia, Garden Grove Auto Care and Care Rent-A-Car Represented land and business owners in four week condemnation jury trial. The Agency's pre-litigation offer was $636,000. The verdict and attorneys' fees award totaled $1.6 million. Following trial, represented property owner in successful appeal in which the Court upheld the jury's award in its entirety.

NOLP v. Holmes Represented national real estate syndication company in a partnership dispute involving a shopping center in Arizona. Claims included usurping partnership opportunities, mismanagement, fraud and others. Case ultimately settled after two phases of the arbitration proceedings.

Building Industry Defense Foundation v. Superior Court Represented developer and BILD in petition for writ of mandate to overturn City Council's refusal to process development applications on the ground that moratorium precluded such action. Court issued writ to compel city to process development applications without regard for moratorium.



Blog Posts

Speaking Engagements



Community & Professional

Orange County Bar Association, Member

California Bar Association, Member

International Right of Way Association - Chapter 67, Secretary, Past-President

Appraisal Institute of Southern California, Associate Member


Honors & Recognitions

Named one of the "Top Litigation Attorneys" in Orange County by OC Metro Magazine, 2012 and 2013

Named one of the "Top Five Real Estate Attorneys" in Orange County by OC Metro Magazine, 2010

Selected to the Southern California Super Lawyers list, 2004-2006



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