From the Chair

Greetings:

This year‘s themes for our section are revival, continuity, and new directions. What better evidence is there of revival than this very newsletter? We anticipate the publication and distribution of two newsletters. Many thanks to former Section Chair Anne Sapp and our current Secretary/Treasurer Melissa Perignat for compiling, editing and distributing this newsletter. We are still hoping to adopt a new clever (but in good taste) masthead and welcome any suggestions, mockups or any other input which will enhance our already exceptional newsletter. Below you will find contact information for each of the Section’s officers. Please feel free to contact any of us at any time with any comments, questions or concerns. We are here for you.

With regard to continuity, our annual seminar and Section meeting will be held on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, at State Bar. The Hon. Craig Schwall of the Superior Court of Fulton County will deliver the Ethics and Professionalism portion of the program. Your comments about last year’s seminar which, incidentally, were universally positive, provides the theme for this year’s seminar. This year’s seminar is titled “The Whys and Wherefores of the Eminent Domain Trial”. Our presenters this year each will present a key portion of an Eminent Domain trial and explain their reasoning and strategy underlying their questioning or presentation.

As for new directions, the Section has undertaken several new projects.

First, the Section has established a Legislative committee, chaired by Section Vice Chair Ivy Cadle, charged with the responsibility of monitoring national and local legislation and suggesting modifications or new or alternative legislation. A process to bring the committee’s recommendations to the attention of the entire Section and to obtain the entire membership’s consent prior to suggesting to the State Bar any new legislation or modifications to existing legislation is being developed. Additionally, the Section is taking great care to insure that the committee is composed of individuals representing the interests of both Condemnors and Condemnees.

Second, we are working to compile a directory of expert witnesses which we expect to distribute at the annual meeting. The directory is expected to include potential expert witnesses from nearly all disciplines involved in Eminent Domain practice. The Directory simply will list by discipline expert witnesses along with their contact information but will contain no other information or comments. We welcome your contributions to the directory. Information on how to contribute can be found in this newsletter.

Third, with the cooperation of the State Bar, Melissa Perignat is compiling a member directory listing the names and contact information for each member of the Section. It is anticipated that this directory will be distributed electronically to Members.

Finally, for some additional fellowship, we are planning a holiday social for early December.

We are truly privileged to live and work in a country that values and protects private property rights. The work that we do, whether it be representing Condemnors or Condemnees or as other professionals working in the field of Eminent Domain, is essential to the protection of these rights and example the United States sets throughout the world for the protection and an enlargement individual liberties. Don’t ever think that your contribution to our practice through your work or otherwise is unimportant or unappreciated.

I encourage and welcome you to participate fully in all of our Section’s programs and activities. If there’s anything of any nature which you may wish to discuss with myself for any of our officers, we are as close as your phone. Have a pleasant and safe fall.

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Ken Levy | Eminent Domain Law Section Chair 2016-17