Thanks for visiting the Sever Storey web page for the State of llinois. There is a ton of great information on this page including videos about the eminent domain and condemnation process and how to get just compensation in Illinois. As eminent domain attorneys for landowners we represent a lot of Illinois landowners just like you and have tried to address your key questions. A lot of the information may appear below the fold so take as long as you need to explore the page. If you need immediate attention please contact us directly at 1-888-318-3761 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout my experience as an eminent domain attorney in Illinois, I have found one disturbing and reoccurring theme for landowners: the non-Chicagoland area gets ignored. For example, whenever I speak to landowners in Plainfield, or Orland Park, or even McHenry, there are always mentions and hints that other attorneys have marketed to them. On the contrary, whenever I speak to people in Pekin, Bloomington, or Quincy, the general sentiment is that they can’t believe someone like me exists.
Indeed, the reality for most Illinois eminent domain attorneys is that the only land subject to condemnation takes place inside of I-80/294/355.
The reality for Attorney Jordan Walker, however, is that it doesn’t matter of you’re in Marengo or Marion, Moline or Marshall, I am willing to take the fight to you across the great state of Illinois. We are also friendly to the Chicagoland, too, and represent several landowners in the 312/708 area codes. Sever Storey and Mr. Walker have been specifically aggressively marketing their services for landowners subject to the proposed Illiana Expressway.
For landowners in south and central, Illinois, Sever Storey’s full-state services become crucial. For the next several years, powerlines and pipelines will be criss-crossing and tearing apart the landscape of downstate Illinois. These massive utility companies—like Ameren and Enbridge—will be preying on the ignorance of landowners and acquiring land for pennies on the dollar. Don’t let these companies run over you and your land without adequate legal representation.
It is our mission to hold the State of Illinois and utilities accountable to provide just compensation to landowners. Besides the State of Illinois, landowners can have their land taken by eminent domain and condemnation by utility companies–including water departments and electric and pipeline companies. These takings can include sewer installations, electric line construction, natural gas pipelines, oil pipelines and even coal gasification pipelines.
Many of our Illinois clients are concerned about paying legal fees in an eminent domain action. That is why Sever Storey has provided contingency fee arrangements for its eminent domain clients. A contingency fee is simple, easy and cost effective for most clients. In a contingency fee arrangement our firm will only be paid if we recover more money than you were offered. In this arrangement we will take 33% of the amount that we add to the offer. Let me give an example; let’s assume that you were offered $100,000.00 as part of the eminent domain action. You agree to hire our firm and we negotiate a settlement of $200,000.00. In this situation your fees would be $33,000.00.
Initial offer: $100,000.00 (client keeps this full amount)
Final Settlement: $200,000.00
Value added: $100,000.00
33% on value added: $33,000.00
Total to client: $167,000.00
If we were not able to successfully add value to your case then you would not owe attorney fees!
How does the client benefit from using a contingent-fee arrangement?
Risk is one of our clients’ biggest concerns. Many eminent domain clients are very concerned about spending a lot of money on attorney fees when there is a chance of little recovery. By using a contingency fee arrangement, the client eliminates this risk. It allows them to feel comfortable hiring qualified and experienced eminent domain attorneys like the ones at Sever Storey without worrying about fees and billing on a monthly basis.
An added general incentive of contingency fee arrangements is that they reduce the litigation of frivolous or bad cases and incentivize the attorneys to pursue better, more worthwhile cases. From an attorney perspective, why take a bad case if you won’t be paid? In a contingency fee arrangement the attorney has no incentive to conduct wasteful discovery, use unnecessary experts, or drive-up needless litigation costs. The attorney has every incentive to be efficient and, most importantly, win the case. In our opinion, a contingent-fee arrangement is the most efficient method of compensating the attorney for the result obtained.
Why does Sever Storey prefer Contingency fee arrangements?
We prefer the contingent-fee arrangement because it is the model of efficiency. The arrangement aligns—perfectly—the interests of the client and attorney and effectively makes them business partners in the eminent domain litigation. It is this partnership between client and attorney that provides the best possible litigation experience and results.
Hourly Arrangements Available
Hourly arrangements are available for those individuals or corporations that desire a more traditional billing structure. Where there is a significant difference between the offer and the amount of compensation that we believe is owed, it may make financial sense for the client to adopt an hourly billing arrangement. This is as long as the client can afford the monthly fees. In situations where we are fighting a taking, we work exclusively on an hourly basis.
Per Ethical Rules: Clients must be ultimately responsible for court costs and expenses.
Appraisals are confusing. The jargon is overwhelming.
But even with that said, the innate sense in all of us is that “I can handle this. This is my property. I can competently defend it by myself.”
This type of attitude, while admirable and seemingly obvious, can get landowners into trouble.
Eminent domain is an extremely niche area of law. Most attorneys have no idea how to handle it and what to do; there is no reason for you to be expected to be able to handle it yourself. Even the landowner that doubles his offer on his own, or negotiates what he or she sees as a sweet deal, may be missing out on tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in available money. There are so many safe havens for landowners, built into Illinois laws to protect landowners from condemning authorities. Do not miss out on these legal pockets out of stubbornness.
So the question is: when should you hire/contact an Illinois eminent domain attorney?
1) You should contact an Illinois eminent domain attorney AS SOON AS YOU BECOME AWARE YOUR PROPERTY IS WITHIN THE PATH OF THE ROUTE. Why this early? It allows your attorney enough time to start building a strategy. More often than not, you can learn the general path of a roadway or project over your property ahead of the appraisal. An experienced eminent domain attorney will automatically spot areas to look out for if the route is known.
2) You should HIRE AN ATTORNEY AS SOON AS YOU ARE PROVIDED AN APPRAISAL BY THE STATE/TOLLWAY/UTILITY COMPANY/ETC. This appraisal will give an experienced eminent domain attorney all he or she needs to have to know whether you have a case or not. It will provide the exact effect the project will have on your property, and will showcase the exact errors the condemning authority made in the valuation of your property.
Unsure if you should hire an eminent domain attorney? Let Sever Storey review your appraisal FOR FREE. Sever Storey attorneys are more than happy to take a look at your appraisal and GIVE YOU A FREE CASE REVIEW. No strings, no invoices, no hourly fees; just honest assessment and evaluation free of charge. Our Illinois attorney, Jordan Walker, is standing by, waiting for your call and free appraisal review.
If you are interested in a free consultation or appraisal review, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.
At Sever Storey Law Firm, we work exclusively for LANDOWNERS. WE believe that the State of Illinois and the Constitution demand that property owners receive just compensation for any land taken through condemnation and/or the eminent domain process. This is not a sales pitch. This is our core and fundamental belief. It is our mission to represent Illinois landowners and hold the taking authority accountable under the Constitution for any land acquired through the eminent domain process. We never have and never will represent the State, municipality, utility or any other taking authority. Our firm has made it our goal and principle.
For most people visiting us, this may be your first experience with hiring a lawyer. Naturally, you probably have several questions. Let’s address the major ones. Please bear in mind, however, that every case is different, potentially having many facets and intricate details. The responses provided below are designed to answer general, big picture questions. If you want to discuss your individual case please give one of our lawyers a call or send us an email for a free consultation.
The obvious government acquisition is the State, through its agents, knocking on your door and issuing you a notice of condemnation with a corresponding offer of just compensation. The more insidious acquisition is the State, through its agents, rendering your property worthless or significantly damaged without so much as a letter. When an authority’s decision, such as a zoning change or implementation of a floodplain, does not physically alter your property but significantly affects your property’s value, there is recourse available. In these instances, an Illinois landowner may bring an inverse condemnation suit to hold the government accountable for the limitations they have created on your property.
Every time I meet a new client, one of the first things they want to know is if the offer made for their property is fair.LEARN MORE
Many of our clients are concerned about paying legal fees in an eminent domain action.LEARN MORE
They say that moving is one of the most stressful things in your life. Imagine the stress and anxiety if you are forced to move...LEARN MORE
Before going alone against the State let us give you our opinion. It is our pledge that we will provide a free case review for any individual or business facing eminent domain or condemnation. Contact us now at 888-318-3761