Michael Kehoe

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Michael I. Kehoe

Partner

Biography

Mr. Kehoe handles eminent domain and inverse condemnation cases for private and publicly traded companies, real estate investors, property management groups as well as homeowners whose properties were condemned and/or damaged by public projects. He has also represented clients in disputes involving government action impacting land use rights, permits, and entitlements. He advises clients on land use rights and permitting including but not limited to code enforcement and conditional use permits. On condemnation matters Mr. Kehoe has achieved outstanding results ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars above the public agency's first written offer to the property owner. He has successfully resolved cases even when the public agency denied any liability. Responsible for assembling and managing the litigation team, Mr. Kehoe also hires and manages outside experts used to value a business or property that is being taken.

In his general litigation practice, Mr. Kehoe represents Southern California-based business in disputes involving contract interpretation, enforcement, real estate, environmental contamination and employment matters.

Representative Matters:

Assisted and advised a national, publicly traded company to resolve threatened code enforcement action and obtain permitting entitlements for multi-acre operations yard critical to client's business operations in Southern California.

Part of litigation team that successfully challenged City's efforts to rescind hotel development's vested property rights resulting in reported appellate decision.

Resolved dispute with Caltrans for over $1 million above initial offer of $18,000 involving compensation claims that hinged upon client's land use entitlements.

The client owned property impacted by groundwater contamination.  Was co-trial counsel with senior partner Patrick Hennessey resulting in the contaminating party being found obligated to fully indemnify our client for all contamination of client's property.

Represented auto dealership affected by the Riverside freeway widening project.  Claims were loss of business goodwill.  Settled case for more than $2.5 million.  The agency initially offered no compensation for loss of business goodwill.

County sought to acquire the client’s business location and yard.  The County originally offered $531,000 for the property and $0 compensation for business goodwill, fixtures and equipment.  After filing a condemnation lawsuit and exchanging of expert witness valuation statements, the County settled the case at mediation for $1.2 million.

Handled an eminent domain action where Caltrans sought to take a strip of street frontage from our client’s apartment property.  Caltrans originally offered  $631,000.  After exchanging our expert’s opinion on compensation for the taking of land and damages to the client’s remaining property, Caltrans settled the case at mediation agreeing to pay $2.1 million.

A County denied taking access from our client's seven acre, unimproved property located off the I-10 freeway.  Its only settlement offer was $57,000.  The court found the County temporarily took access rights, used the client’s property without permission, and engaged in other unreasonable conduct.  Because the County refused to settle even after the judge found the County was liable, the case proceeded to a compensation trial.  After a jury verdict in favor of our clients, the County ultimately settled for $2.5 million with our clients retaining ownership of their property and access rights.

The clients owned neighboring homes in Norwalk that suffered damage to their backyards from a sliding Caltrans slope.  Caltrans denied all liability and offered no compensation.  Caltrans ultimately settled the cases.  The settlements included Caltrans demolishing and reconstructing the slope, repairing the clients’ backyards, and paying over $1.6 million as compensation for damages and reimbursement of litigation expenses, including attorney and experts’ fees.

The clients owned a residential property next to the 22 freeway.  The clients originally signed a contract with Caltrans selling a portion of their property.  Caltrans, however, damaged the clients’ remaining property, which it did not acquire.  Caltrans originally denied all liability and offered $0 in compensation.  After we filed and litigated an inverse condemnation case against Caltrans, Caltrans settled with our clients at mediation for $487,000.

The State originally offered $311,000 for the taking of a portion of our client’s industrial property located in San Bernardino County.  The State offered $0 in compensation for loss of business goodwill.  After exchange of expert valuation statements, the State ultimately settled the case at mediation for approximately $6.4 million, which included reimbursement for attorney and experts’ fees.

Caltrans filed an eminent domain action to condemn a 30-foot wide strip of commercial property located off the I-10 freeway.  The property was a little less than an acre in size.  Caltrans' initial offer was $65,600.  After exchanging our expert’s opinion of compensation totaling $1.2 million, Caltrans settled the case and agreed to buy our client's property for $2 million.

A public agency wanted to condemn a small strip from our client’s industrial property in Riverside for a railroad grade separation project.  The property was improved with two, multitenant industrial buildings.  The original offer was $90,000 and no damages.  After expert exchange and depositions, the city agreed to pay $1,580,000 and also convey approximately a half-acre of property to our client.

The clients owned property that the Flood Control District sought to acquire for the raising of a dam.  The District originally offered a little more than $1.5 million and argued that the property could not be developed because of the lack of public infrastructure.  After we demonstrated the depressing influence of the District’s project on development in the area, the District agreed to compensate our clients $5.2 million.

Commercial lessor/redeveloper contended that it complied with the rights and obligations pertaining to a "buy-out" provision of the lease with our client.  The trial court determined otherwise and awarded a verdict for the tenants.  As a result, the clients received a judgment and buy-out in excess of almost $900,000 plus interest.  The Court also awarded reimbursement of attorney's fees to our clients as the prevailing party.  On appeal, the Court of Appeal affirmed the award in all respects.

  • Education
    • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, B.A., summa cum laude (1992)
    • University of California, Los Angeles, J.D., Order of the Coif, Moot Court, Distinguished Advocate Award (2002)
  • Court Admissions
    • State of California
  • Professional Memberships and Activities
    • State Bar of California
    • Orange County Bar Association
  • Other Professional Experience
    • Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Kehoe clerked for the Honorable Jeffrey T. Miller, United States District Judge for the Southern District of California.
  • Practice Areas
    • Litigation
      • Business Litigation
      • Alternative Dispute Resolution & Mediation
      • Real Estate and Construction Litigation
      • Environmental Litigation
    • Eminent Domain and Valuation Litigation
      • Condemnation and Inverse Condemnation
      • Valuation Litigation
      • Lease Renewal Valuations