Jack Sperber represents both private and governmental entities in condemnation proceedings around the country, including individual landowners, developers, tenants, utilities, energy companies, special districts and other entities. He is experienced in large and complex cases, including the representation of numerous clients in acquisitions for highways, airports, light rail facilities, electric transmission lines, pipelines and redevelopment projects. Jack has worked with countless appraisers, brokers, land planners, developers, engineers, water and mineral specialists, and other experts in preparing and presenting condemnation cases.
This experience has provided Jack with comprehensive knowledge of the valuation process and the ability to represent clients in every stage of a condemnation case, including initial property valuations and negotiations, the filing of a condemnation case, discovery, pretrial motions, the valuation trial and appeals. Because Jack has represented both condemning entities and those condemned, he understands the objectives of both sides in such proceedings and can readily recognize and anticipate issues his clients may encounter.
Representative Experience – Condemnation Proceedings
- Representation of a Fortune 500 company as national eminent domain counsel in condemnation matters around the country.
- Representation of the Town of Telluride, Colorado, in its condemnation of approximately 572 acres for open space purposes.
- Representation of multiple landowners in the Denver metro area whose property was condemned as part of the T-REX project, some of whom received multi-million dollar awards and settlements. Examples include a parcel at I-25 and Evans in which the client was awarded more than $3 million more than RTD's value testimony at trial, and another matter which was settled for $3.6 million, plus the return of approximately 10 acres of valuable development land to the client.
- Representation of a landowner at the base of Buttermilk Ski area in Aspen resulting in an award of $5.9 million.
- Representation of multiple landowners in Colorado Springs as part of the Powers Boulevard Project, including the representation of one owner in negotiating a complete reconfiguration of an interchange in order to ensure access to the landowner's property.
- Representation of a landowner at a U.S. 36 interchange awarding total just compensation of approximately $4.5 million.
- Representation of a landowner in a challenge to the Colorado Department of Transportation's legal authority to condemn property resulting in dismissal of the lawsuit and the award of the landowner's attorney fees.
- Service as an eminent domain consultant to redevelopers of urban renewal projects in several Colorado municipalities, including Denver, Thornton, Aurora and Federal Heights.
- Litigation and consultation with landowners to establish or defend against the creation of access roads, including condemning private ways of necessity, R.S. 2477 claims, prescriptive easements and quiet title actions.
Jack regularly represents public utilities and energy companies in the acquisition of utility corridors for electric transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines, water pipelines, and related facilities. He has experience counseling clients and managing projects from inception through acquisition of the final parcel—whether by voluntary agreement or through disputed condemnation proceedings ending in the appellate courts.
Through this experience, Jack has become adept at initial strategic planning and issue spotting, assembly and coordination of acquisition teams, and the efficient use of these resources in pre-condemnation activities. He also has extensive experience filing, managing and prosecuting multiple condemnation cases with the goal of obtaining possession of all properties necessary to construct the project on a timely basis and acquiring properties as economically as possible through the efficient use of trial resources and eminent domain expertise.
Representative Experience – Corridor Acquisition
Representation of Public Service Company of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company, in the acquisition of hundreds of miles of right-of-way for electric transmission lines, natural gas transmission lines and other major facilities such as electrical substations and gas compressor facilities. Projects where Jack has served as lead counsel include:
- Acquisition of approximately 95 miles of right-of-way for an ongoing project involving a new 345kV electric transmission line extending through a variety of properties from the northeastern Colorado plains to the outskirts of Denver.
- Acquisition and pre-condemnation counseling for a new 34-inch high pressure natural gas transmission project covering approximately 35 miles through an urban area to support the conversion of a coal-fired generation plant to natural gas.
- Acquisition of approximately 50 miles of right-of-way for new and upgraded electric transmission lines from Pueblo, Colorado, to the Colorado Springs area through a range of rural, residential and development properties.
- Acquisition of new right-of-way for electric transmission lines through a range of industrial, commercial, mixed-use and parkland properties in the City and County of Denver.
- Acquisition of approximately eight miles of property for a transmission line project near the Front Range Airport in Aurora, Colorado, through agricultural and development properties.
- Condemnation of multiple industrial and commercial properties for an electric transmission project in Aurora, Colorado.
- Acquisition of approximately 90 properties in northeastern Colorado for a natural gas transmission line.
- Condemnation of an electrical substation in Berthoud, Colorado.
Representation of Sinclair Pipeline Company as lead counsel in the acquisition of additional pipeline and easement rights in the first 67-mile phase of a project to expand an existing 250-mile pipeline corridor from Wyoming to the Denver metro area. The project involved a wide mix of agricultural, residential and development properties.
Representation of the East Cherry Creek Valley Water and Sanitation District as lead counsel in the acquisition of approximately 20 miles of easements for a water pipeline and related facilities in the Denver metro area. The project involved a wide mix of land uses and development status.
Representation of Black Hills Energy in the acquisition of new right-of-way for an electric transmission line near Pueblo, Colorado.
Representation of Diamond Shamrock in the acquisition of easements for an oil pipeline entering Colorado at its southern border and traveling to Denver through a wide mix of agricultural, residential and development properties
Real Estate Litigation
Jack has also been actively involved in other forms of real estate litigation, including the assertion of adverse possession claims, trespass actions, the denial of access permits, and other road and access disputes (including condemning private ways of necessity and litigating R.S. 2477 claims), property tax appeals, inverse condemnation and unlawful exaction claims, quiet title actions and similar litigation.
Jack regularly lectures and writes on eminent domain and energy matters for CLE seminars and trade associations across the country and has served for many years as the chair of Colorado's annual Eminent Domain CLE conference hosted by CLE International. He also serves as the co-chair of ALI-ABA's National Condemnation 101 CLE conference.
- The Best Lawyers in America — Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, 2008-13 (Denver Eminent Domain and Condemnation Lawyer of the Year, 2013)
- Super Lawyers — Eminent Domain, 2006-13; Real Estate, 2006-11
- Finding the Key Differences in Your Case
American Law Institute, American Bar Association, 2012
- A Clean Look at Dirty Property: Emerging Issues and Common Problems When Valuing Contaminated Properties in Eminent Domain ProceedingsAmerican Law Institute, American Bar Association, 2011
- Understanding the Three Approaches to Value: How Appraisers Use Them; What Lawyers Need to Know About Them
American Law Institute, American Bar Association, 2011
- Using the Valuation Rules as Tools to Win Your Case
American Law Institute, American Bar Association, 2010
- Just Compensation and the Valuation Rules You Need to Know to Measure It
American Law Institute, American Bar Association, 2009
- Basic Valuation Concepts: Issues of Law and Fact That Frame the Valuation Debate
Lis Pendens (ABA Section of Litigation), Vol. 9, Issue 2, 2008
- Capitalizing on Anti-Eminent Domain Sentiment: Where Does Zealous Advocacy Cross the Line Into Unethical Behavior, Reversal of the Case and Malpractice Claims
American Law Institute, American Bar Association Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Conference, 2008
- Demonstrative Evidence: Exhibits That Work in Valuation Trials
American Law Institute, American Bar Association Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Conference, 2007
- Eminent Domain Chapter
Co-Author, Colorado Bar Association, Annual Survey of Colorado Law, 2004-11
- Blazing a Trail: Condemning Private Ways of Necessity in the New West, Current Condemnation Law: Takings, Compensation and Benefits
Co-Author, American Bar Association, 2006
- How Does Your State Stack Up? A National Survey of Selected Compensation Laws and Rules
American Law Institute, American Bar Association Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Conference, 2005
- Demonstrative Evidence Upgrades and the Digital Condemnation Trial
American Law Institute, American Bar Association Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Conference, 2004