Nossaman LLP

Bradford B. Kuhn

Partner

T 949.833.7800
F 949.833.7878
18101 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 1800
Irvine, CA 92612

Brad Kuhn, chair of Nossaman's Eminent Domain and Valuation Practice Group, is a widely recognized leader in advising on all real property aspects of California’s most critical infrastructure projects, with a unique ability to advise public agencies, property owners and businesses to creatively resolve complex land acquisition and valuation disputes.  With over a decade of real estate expertise, Mr. Kuhn assists clients with eminent domain, inverse condemnation, land use, zoning, landlord/tenant, construction, telecommunications, and contractual disputes.

Mr. Kuhn's work and accomplishments have been profiled in numerous publications. Chambers & Partners, the guide to the world's best lawyers, reports that he is held in high regard by clients, with feedback such as: “He is one of the most responsive people I’ve ever worked with,” and “He values his clients’ technical expertise and is able to use that in formulating a case effectively.”  Some of Mr. Kuhn’s other accolades and recognitions include:

  • Named to the Daily Journal's Top 20 Under 40 list, a recognition given to the top 20 lawyers in California that are on the cutting edge of legal issues, and who are making an impact on changing an industry, region or society;
  • Selected as a Top 25 Orange County and Top 100 Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers;
  • Chosen for individual recognition by Chambers USA for Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use Law;
  • Recognized as the Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning by the American Lawyer;
  • Named the Best Land Use/Zoning Attorney in Orange County by OC Metro/Orange County Register;
  • Named a Southern California Rising Star by Los Angeles magazine, a designation only given to the top 2.5% of attorneys in California;
  • Chosen for an AV-Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, a rating given to only those attorneys who exhibit the highest level of professional excellence based on a review of their peers.

With a commitment to improving peoples' quality of lives through infrastructure development, Mr. Kuhn is actively involved in California's real estate and transportation industries.  He is the only attorney serving on the Advisory Board to Mobility 21, where he works with industry leaders to solve the transportation challenges facing Southern California.  He is also general counsel to the 10,000-member International Right of Way Association (IRWA), where he has also served as President of the Inland Empire Chapter and has been named the Professional of the Year. 

Given his expertise, Mr. Kuhn is routinely called upon to present on valuation and property acquisition-related topics across the United States. He also regularly writes articles on court decisions and policies impacting eminent domain for the Daily Journal, Law 360, and on the Firm's California Eminent Domain Report blog.

Representative Work

Private Focus

  • Winchester 700 v. Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority  Represented the owner of a 454-acre property in Riverside County that the RCA sought for conservation purposes.  The RCA and the County refused to process the owner’s development entitlements, yet they never made an offer to purchase, instead “de facto” conserving the property.  Under threat of an inverse condemnation action, Mr. Kuhn assisted the owner in an arbitration which ultimately resulted in a settlement for more than $70 million.
  • Penn National Gaming / San Diego Gaming Ventures  Providing client with real estate and land use advice related to the construction of the new $400-million Hollywood Casino Jamul project in San Diego.  Mr. Kuhn successfully represented the client before the County Planning Commission, defended litigation, including the award of attorneys’ fees, related to the use of property for construction purposes, negotiated numerous real estate transactions, addressed mitigation efforts related to the development, and obtained rights of entry and processed a transfer of jurisdiction with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) and Caltrans.
  • Makar Properties v. City of Huntington Beach  Represented developer in connection with a dispute regarding the value of Makar's “Pacific City,” beach-front property, which value determined the park-in-lieu fee to be paid as part of its development.  The parties were nearly $50 million apart in their valuation figures.  Mr. Kuhn assisted Makar at binding arbitration where the three judge panel awarded a value exactly at Makar’s appraisal testimony, which equated to a savings of $20 million in park fees.
  • T-Mobile  Represent client in a wide-range of litigation matters related to co-location issues, access, coverage and utility service disagreements, landlord/tenant and contract disputes, relocation claims, easement rights, consumer claims, and eminent domain proceedings.  All matters resolved favorably with T-Mobile remaining on site and/or recovering millions of dollars in compensation.
  • Caltrans v. Northridge Properties  Represented Burbank property owner in an eminent domain action filed by Caltrans as part of its I-5 widening project.  Caltrans initially offered $1.8 million for the partial acquisition of the multi-acre property.  The matter settled days before trial for $4.5 million.
  • Truxtun Court Partners/Young  Represented commercial property owners in an inverse condemnation and writ action related to the city’s closure of the property’s primary driveway which resulted in a taking of abutter’s rights and a substantial impairment of access.  The case settled for $2 million.
  • Caltrans v. Bayport Imperial Promenade  Represented several restaurants suffering loss of business goodwill as a result of Caltrans’ Imperial Highway grade separation project.  At trial, Mr. Kuhn successfully excluded Caltrans’ goodwill appraiser, and subsequent to the jury’s verdict, Caltrans settled the case by paying the business’ attorneys’ fees.
  • Sprint/Nextel Corporation  Represented client in numerous real estate litigation matters involving landlord/tenant and breach of contract disputes, real-property tort claims, unlawful detainer actions, and eminent domain proceedings.  His work has included securing judgment and attorneys’ fees in Sprint’s favor related to its right to terminate leases for the nationwide decommissioning of Nextel cell sites.  (Public Storage v. Sprint Corp. (2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30204.)
  • Lincoln Center, LLC v. Ross Dress for Less Represented commercial shopping center landlord in a lease dispute with a large, national tenant. Following the filing of an unlawful detainer action, the parties settled just weeks before trial, resulting in a new lease on substantially more favorable terms for the landlord.

Public Agency Focus
Mr. Kuhn has led some of the largest public works projects in California, managing the initial project planning and precondemnation acquisition process all the way through trial and appeal.  He has advised public agency clients on a variety of infrastructure improvements, such as roadways, railroads, grade separations, schools, bike paths, utility transmission lines, bus rapid transit and flood control projects.  His project oversight and coordination ensures projects are kept on schedule and under budget, and his involvement regularly results in property acquisitions at a significant cost savings.

  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority  Currently assisting Metro with acquiring numerous properties for the Purple Line Westside Subway Extension Project, a $6+ billion, 9-mile subway extension through Beverly Hills and Westwood. Also assisting with the LAX/Crenshaw Transit Corridor Project, a $2+ billion, 8.5-mile light rail line through the Crenshaw and Inglewood area.. 
    • LA MTA v. KBG Associates  Successfully represented client at the Court of Appeal to defeat property owner’s $2+ million severance damages claim due to the termination of a license to cross railroad tracks.  The decision confirmed eminent domain law regarding the non-compensability of a license, the enforceability of a waiver of the right to just compensation, the scope of the “project influence rule,” and the applicability of the substantial impairment of access test.  (2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7267.)
  • San Diego Association of Governments  Currently representing SANDAG with property acquisitions for the Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project, a $1.7 billion, 11-mile trolley line extension from downtown San Diego to University City.  Also provide condemnation services for the South Bay BRT, the Inland Rail Trails, the Sorrento Valley Double Track, and the Bayshore Bikeway Projects.
    • West Coast v. SANDAG  Defeated unsuccessful bidder’s lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the award of a contract for a substantial public works project and obtained a dismissal of the action.  The first-of-its-kind decision has widespread impacts on public agencies across California, as the court held that a corporation that owns nearly 1,000 construction entities across the world could simultaneously bid on public works projects, which will allow for more bidders and lower proposals.
  • Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority  Represented Expo with acquiring properties for the Expo Light Rail Transit Project, a $2+ billion, 15-mile light rail line connecting downtown Los Angeles with Santa Monica. 
    • Expo v. Patchett  Work included the condemnation of the Bergamot Station Art Center in Santa Monica in which Mr. Kuhn was able to secure favorable settlements with all but one business at the property which claimed damages of over $10 million.  Mr. Kuhn served as lead trial attorney, successfully arguing a legal issues motion and motions in limine to exclude the business’ real estate, goodwill, and inventory experts which resulted in the case settling for less than 1% of the business’ claims. 
    • Expo v. 9000 Venice Partners  Work also included the condemnation of a portion of a retail shopping center in which Mr. Kuhn was able to secure settlements with fourteen of the fifteen businesses on the property, and served as lead trial counsel in a three week jury trial as to a real estate claim by the property’s owner and a goodwill claim by a Wendy’s fast food restaurant.  The jury verdict was exactly at Expo’s damages figure as to the real estate, and only 5% of the goodwill claim presented by the business.  The total verdict was far less than Expo had offered to settle for before trial. 
  • San Bernardino County Transportation Commission / SANBAG Assisting client with the acquisition of properties for the Downtown San Bernardino Passenger Rail Project/San Bernardino Transit Center.  Also acquired portions of 150+ properties for the sbX E-Street Corridor BRT Project, a 15.7-mile bus rapid transit line in the Inland Empire.  Mr. Kuhn was able to secure possession of the entire right of way, under budget, on an incredibly ambitious schedule to ensure the project secured necessary FTA funding. 
    • SANBAG v. Luga  Work included the condemnation of a portion of a gas station where the property/business owner was seeking compensation for nearly 10 times SANBAG’s appraised value.  On the first day of trial, the court granted SANBAG’s motions in limine and excluded the owner’s appraisers’ damages opinions.  The case then resolved for a nominal amount above SANBAG’s appraised value (an amount far less than SANBAG’s previously exchanged final offer of compensation). 
  • United States Postal Service  Advised client on land use, zoning, affordable housing, and title issues impacting the eventual sale of a 25-acre property in Aliso Viejo for over $30 million.
  • Southern California Edison  Currently representing SCE with right of way acquisition services for the Falcon Ridge Substation Project which involves construction of a new substation and electrical transmission lines through San Bernardino County.
  • Metro Gold Line  Represented client in defending inverse condemnation and real-property tort claims related to the Metro Gold Line Extension Project.  Judgment in client’s favor.
  • Orange County Transportation Authority  Currently providing OCTA with real estate/condemnation advice for various projects.  Work included representation in an eminent domain and inverse condemnation action arising from the Placentia Avenue Grade Separation Project where the property owner and two national retail tenants, Home Depot and Sam’s Club, cumulatively claimed nearly $100 million in damages due to OCTA’s acquisition and the purported impacts on the ability to redevelop the site.   The matter was resolved shortly before trial for approximately 3% of the claimed damages.
  • Los Angeles Unified School District  Represented LAUSD in numerous property acquisitions for school expansion projects.  Work included the condemnation of a 24-acre industrial property along the Los Angeles River.  The litigation involved issues of contamination, overlapping easements, and undocumented encroachments.  After defeating the owner’s right-to-take challenge at trial, the matter settled for $50 million, which was over $25 million less than the owner's appraiser's valuation.

Awards & Honors

 

Named to the Daily Journal's Top 20 Under 40 list for 2015.

Selected as a Top 25 Orange County and Top 100 Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2010 - 2016 by Los Angeles magazine.

Chosen for individual recognition for Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use Law in California by Chambers USA, 2015 and 2016.

Named one of the top five Land Use/Zoning Law attorneys in Orange County in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by OC Metro magazine.

Named a 2013 and 2014 Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning by Martindale-Hubbell and American Lawyer Media.

Chosen for a AV-Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, a significant rating accomplishment given to only those attorneys who exhibit the highest level of professional excellence based on a review of their peers.

Named the Professional of the Year by the International Right of Way Association (IRWA).

Bradford B. Kuhn
Bio Photo

Practices

Education

J.D., Chapman University School of Law, magna cum laude; Chapman Law Review Executive Board Member; Mock Trial Board Member

B.S., University of Southern California, cum laude

Admissions

California

Professional Affiliations

Mobility 21, Advisory Board

International Right of Way Association, Chapter 57, President

Eminent Domain and Land Use Committee Member of the Transportation Research Board

California Wireless Association

Orange County Bar Association

Awards & Honors

 

Named to the Daily Journal's Top 20 Under 40 list for 2015.

Selected as a Top 25 Orange County and Top 100 Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers in 2010 - 2016 by Los Angeles magazine.

Chosen for individual recognition for Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use Law in California by Chambers USA, 2015 and 2016.

Named one of the top five Land Use/Zoning Law attorneys in Orange County in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by OC Metro magazine.

Named a 2013 and 2014 Top Rated Lawyer in Land Use and Zoning by Martindale-Hubbell and American Lawyer Media.

Chosen for a AV-Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, a significant rating accomplishment given to only those attorneys who exhibit the highest level of professional excellence based on a review of their peers.

Named the Professional of the Year by the International Right of Way Association (IRWA).

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