Anish J. Banker
Mr. Banker is an accomplished civil litigator with extensive experience in handling a wide array of general and complex commercial, real estate and business litigation matters. He has a proven track record of achieving favorable results for his clients. His practice is concentrated primarily on eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and related real estate litigation and valuation disputes, including landlord-tenant disputes. Mr. Banker regularly advises real estate developers, financial institutions, institutional investors, private property owners and business owners in all aspects of eminent domain and inverse condemnation matters, and has successfully resolved some of the largest, complex land acquisition and valuation disputes in Southern California.
Mr. Banker has been consistently named a Rising Star in Eminent Domain, 2012 - 2018 in Law & Politics magazine's Southern California Super Lawyers - Rising Stars, a designation given to the top 2.5% of attorneys in California. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
- Representative Cases
- Pomona Unified School District v. Gateway Triangle Development, LLC -- (Initial Offer: $5.5 million; Result: $14.5 million). Represented property owner in a full-take action where the School District sought to take an urban infill site zoned for commercial use. The District initially offered $5.5 million, but tried to deduct over $2 million of its original offer for alleged remediation of potentially hazardous waste. At the time of the action, the developer was in the process of up-zoning the property for residential development. After extensive litigation regarding probability of zone change, environmental contamination and remediation costs, and even an attempt by the condemnor to partially abandon the taking, the matter settled shortly before trial for $14.5 million with no offset for any future environmental clean-up costs.
- Caltrans v. Newport Diversified, Inc. (Combined Initial Offer: $606,308.00; Result: $6.75 million PLUS). Represented property and business owner of the Santa Fe Springs Swap Meet in a part-take action where Caltrans took temporary and permanent easements along the property's frontage for the I-5 freeway widening project. Initially, Caltrans attempted to minimize the project impacts and damages of its takings by piece-mealing the litigation into 3 separate actions over multiple years. After protracted litigation regarding entitlement to purported "temporary" losses, the matter settled shortly before trial for $6.75 million PLUS, including replacement property rights.
- City of La Mirada v. Majestic Realty -- (Initial Offer: $93,000; Result: $2.3 million). Represented property owner in a part-take action where City initially offered only $93,000 to take permanent and temporary easements along the perimeter of an approximately 6 acre industrial property. The case settled before trial in excess of $2.3 million.
- Caltrans v. 7301 Artesia Blvd., LLC -- (Initial Offer: $301,000; Result: $1.25 million PLUS). Represented real estate developer in a part-take action of the former Nabisco factory along the I-5 freeway in Orange County. Caltrans initial offer for various fee and temporary construction easements along the property's perimeter was $301,000. The matter settled on the day of trial for $1.25 million plus $350,000 in related improvements for my client's future development of the site.
- Palm Springs Unified School District v. Palm Investment Group -- (Initial Offer: $4,446,000; Result: $7.8 million PLUS). Represented property owner in a part-take action where the School District sought to take more than half of an undeveloped 70 plus acre lot in Riverside County for the construction two new schools. The District initially offered $4,446,000. The matter settled weeks before trial for $7.8 million plus an additional $1.75 million of facility improvements.
- OCTA v. Cobblestone 1993, Ltd., et al -- (Initial Offer: $2,661,000; Result: $4.7 million). Represented property owner of a commercial shopping center located at the intersection of a major grade separation project in Placentia, California. OCTA's initial offer for various permanent and temporary construction easements located along the property's southeast perimeter was $2,661,000. The matter settled after mediation for $4.7 million.
- Caltrans v. Capistrano Enterprises, et al -- (Initial Offer: $1,049,000; Result: $2 million). Represented property owner of an industrial business park located in San Juan Capistrano along the I-5 freeway and SR-74. Caltrans initial offer for various fee and temporary construction easements along the property's northwest perimeter was $1,049,000. The matter settled on the day of trial for almost double Caltrans' initial offer at $2 million.
- Caltrans v. Kardos -- (Initial Offer: $176,000; Result: $675,000). Represented property owner in a part-take action where Caltrans sought to take more than half of an undeveloped lot in San Bernardino County for the Interstate 15 and 215 Improvement Project. Caltrans initially offered $176,000. At mediation, we were successful in convincing Caltrans that the remainder property was not suitable for any type of commercial development. The matter settled at mediation for almost four times Caltrans' initial offer at $675,000.
- Olivier v. County of San Bernardino, Orange County Transportation Authority and Caltrans -- (Initial Offer: $0; Result: $305,000) Represented property owner of an unimproved parcel located in unincorporated San Bernardino County at the epicenter of two public projects to elevate Glen Helen Parkway, and realign and expand the Interstate 15/215 interchange. Before construction of these projects, the subject property was an at-grade, corner commercial parcel and benefited from direct access and view to and from two primary roadways. As part of the projects, the public agencies realigned and reconstructed Glen Helen Parkway as an above-grade overpass (bridge), thereby eliminating the property owners' direct access to this primary roadway. In order to maintain some type of access, the public agencies constructed an alleyway or "service road" to connect between the subject property and newly realigned Glen Helen Parkway. Consequently, after construction of both projects, the Subject Property was literally placed in a "hole", eliminating all direct access and visibility to and from Glen Helen Parkway -- i.e., converting this otherwise at-grade, corner lot, to an inferior interior parcel. In addition, contractors for both projects were utilizing the subject property as a construction staging area. Initially, these agencies denied the property owners' claims for compensation outright; and maintained the position that the property owners' claims for severance damages resulting from the loss of abutter's rights of access and view to and from Glen Helen Parkway were not legally compensable. As part of their police powers, these agencies claimed they had the unfettered right to reconfigure traffic circulation; and, in any event, the agencies argued that there was no elimination of abutter's rights (of access and view) since they constructed an (inferior) service road to maintain the property owners' access to Glen Helen Parkway. After significant discovery, including taking the depositions of three individuals designated by the County of San Bernardino as its persons most knowledgeable, we were able to convince these agencies of their exposure, and successfully settle all claims at mediation before a liability finding.
- Sand Canyon Service Station, Inc. v. City of Irvine, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) -- (Initial Offer: $0; Result: $300,000) Represented business owner of ConocoPhillips 76 service station and convenience store in an inverse condemnation action as a result of the City's and OCTA's temporary closure of one of the property's driveways. Before my involvement, the City denied the business owner's claim for compensation outright; and maintained the position that the City was not legally responsible for the business owner's (who, at that time, was represented by 2 prior law firms) damages, because the City had not formally "acquired" any portion of the gas station and convenience. The City maintained this positon for over 3 years. After my involvement, the City and OCTA settled the matter at mediation within approximately 8 months of filing our complaint in inverse condemnation.
- Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority (MTA) v. Blissful Images, Inc. -- (Initial Offer: $38,080; Result: $350,000) Represented business owner of Albertson Wedding Chapel, an iconic Los Angeles City business that had been in operation at its existing location for over 26 years, and on Wilshire Avenue for approximately 40 years. The business was being displaced from its existing location as a result of MTA's Purple Line Westside Subway Extension Project. Initially, MTA offered a paltry sum for the business's trade fixtures, and made no offer of compensation for loss of business goodwill, or reimbursement for the business owner's significant relocation expenses incurred as a result of the business owner's efforts to mitigate its damages. After significant discovery and investigation, we were successful in convincing MTA that the business could not be relocated resulting in a total loss of business goodwill, for which the business owner was compensated, and also assisted the business owner in receiving relocation benefits under the Relocation Assistance Act to effectively begin again, and reopen the Albertson Wedding Chapel at new location a few miles away.
- Long Beach Redevelopment Agency v. Hit & Miss -- (Initial Offer: $97,390; Result: $601,500 PLUS). Represented property owner of a small corner lot off of PCH highway improved with an independent gas station in a part-take action where the Redevelopment Agency sought to acquire less than 10% of the property's frontage for a road widening project. Initially, the Redevelopment Agency offered $97,390 for the taking. Approximately 90 days before trial, the Redevelopment Agency reduced its offer to $80,736, arguing that its project would actually benefit the remainder property's suitability for use as a gas station. Whereas, we argued that the project substantially impaired the property's existing use as a gas station during and after construction of the project. Based upon my efforts, the matter settled weeks before trial for $601,500.00, more than six times the amount of the condemnor's deposited "probable compensation" and nearly 7.5 times the amount of the condemnor's valuation position at trial.
- City of Bakersfield v. Choi -- (Initial Offer: $203,670; Result: $333,000). Represented property owner in a full-take eminent domain proceeding where the City sought to take a corner lot improved with a drive-thru restaurant for the Centennial Corridor Project. We were successful in convincing the City that its appraisal was deficit early in the litigation and settling the matter without having to incur the time and cost of appearing in the action. The case settled within a few months of the City’s filing its complaint in eminent domain thereby saving our client a tremendous amount of time and energy associated with protracted litigation.
- Caltrans v. Hankins -- (Initial Offer: $0; Result: $215,000). Represented business owner of a dental practice being displaced as a result of Caltrans Interstate 5 freeway widening project. Initially, Caltrans made no offer of compensation for loss of business goodwill, and disputed the business owner's ability to relocate the dental practice. After discovery, we were successful in convincing Caltrans that the business could not be relocated resulting in a total loss of business goodwill.
- Caltrans v. Carl's Karcher Enterprises. Successfully represented Carl's Karcher Enterprises for the displacement of a number of its corporate-owned restaurants located along the I-5 that were taken as a result of Caltrans' freeway widening project.
- OCTA State Route 22 (Garden Grove) Freeway Expansion Project. Member of litigation team that oversaw the property acquisition process for the expansion of the State Route 22 (Garden Grove) freeway which included the taking of substantial portions of three commercial office buildings and one major outdoor shopping center (formerly known as the Block at Orange). All claims were resolved shortly before trial within project budget.
- City of Orange -- Chapman Ave. and Tustin Street Widening Project. Member of litigation team that oversaw the property acquisition process of several parcels adjacent to the intersection. Excluding two parcels, all claims were resolved at the pre-litigation phase. Of the two actions filed, both settled well in advance of trial. Mr. Banker was able to secure possession of the entire right of way on an incredibly ambitious schedule to ensure the project secured necessary government funding deadlines.
- Caltrans v. Mike Thompson’s RV -- (Initial Offer: $192,000; Result: $1.6 Million). Represented the property and business owner of “Mike Thompson's RV Super Stores," in a part-take action where Caltrans took temporary construction easements over an approximately 20,000 square foot triangular parcel for the I-5 freeway widening project. The triangular shaped parcel was part of a larger ownership of properties also owned in fee by our client and used as a storage/parking lot for recreational vehicles. Caltrans attempted to minimize the project’s impacts and damages of its takings by piece-mealing the litigation into 2 separate actions over multiple years. After protracted litigation regarding the scope of the property rights being taken and entitlement to loss of business goodwill, we were able to convince Caltrans to buy the entire triangular parcel in the initial action. The matter settled shortly before trial for $1.6 million dollars.
- OCTA v. Lee, et al -- (Initial Offer: $59,355; Result: $740,000 PLUS). Represented business owner of family-owned and operated restaurant being displaced as a result of OCTA's grade separation project. Initially, OCTA only offered the business owner $59,355 for certain improvements pertaining to realty and trade fixtures; and made no offer of compensation for loss of business goodwill. We were successful in convincing OCTA that the business could not be relocated resulting in a total loss of business goodwill, for which the business owner was compensated in the sum of $390,000, and also assisted the business owner in receiving additional compensation in the sum of $350,000, for relocation benefits under the Relocation Assistance Act to open up a new restaurant.
- Healthy Solutions v. City of Newport Beach, Caltrans -- (Initial Offer: $0; Result: $465,000). Represented business owner of a medical office and wellness center located off of State Route 55/Newport Blvd. in an inverse condemnation action arising from a flooding that completely damaged and displaced the business. A storm drainage channel and related facilities located along the eastside of Newport Blvd. overflowed and flooded. The storm drainage system is a public improvement located within Caltrans’s right of way and was constructed, designed, operated and maintained by both Caltrans and the City of Newport Beach. For over one year, the City and Caltrans denied any liability for the flooding, made no offer of compensation for any real property damage to the business or for loss of business goodwill, and disputed the business owner's decision to shut down operations as unreasonable. Only after engaging in extensive investigation and discovery, were we able to convince these agencies’ of their exposure. At mediation, the matter settled for $465,000.
- University of California, Berkeley, B.S., cum laude, Business Administration (1998)
- University of California, Berkeley, B.A., cum laude, Economics (1998)
- University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., cum laude (2001)
- Court Admissions
- State of California
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- Professional Memberships and Activities
- State Bar of California
- Orange County Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Other Professional Experience
- During law school, Mr. Banker served as a Judicial Extern to the Honorable Patricia D. Benke, California Appellate Court Judge, for the Fourth District, Division One.
- Speaker, “The RON Process and Obtaining Prejudgment Possession”, IRWA Chapter 57 Seminar (October 12, 2018)
- Speaker, “Property Acquisition for Public Use: A Focused Look at a Complex Process”, IRWA, 3rd Annual Spring Seminar (April 11, 2019)
- Practice Areas
- Business Litigation
- Alternative Dispute Resolution & Mediation
- Real Estate and Construction Litigation
- Environmental Litigation
- Eminent Domain and Valuation Litigation
- Condemnation and Inverse Condemnation
- Valuation Litigation