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Friday, March 21, 2014
HART Lawyer Gives Last Word on Rail Case
By Robert Thomas @ 6:15 PM :: 3070 Views :: Rail

Worth Reading - The Last Word On Honolulu Rail, And 2013 Eminent Domain Year In Review

by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation, March 21, 2014

It's Friday, so we're slacking a bit on the blogging. But our colleagues at the Nossaman firm have given us a couple of good pieces for our reading enjoyment.

First is "9th Circ. Simplifies Enviro Process For Transit Projects," by Robert D. Thornton. If his name sounds familiar, it's because he's the lawyer who represented the City and County of Honolulu in its successful defense of a federal lawsuit.

The Ninth Circuit and the District Court recently sided with the City on the project (see our summary of the Ninth Circuit and the District Court rulings), and the plaintiffs have stated that they are not going to seek further review. In other words, this is probably the final substantive chapter in the major legal challenges to the Honolulu rail project.

Mr. Thornton notes that the decision is one "of national importance for transit and highway projects" because it "recognizes that federal transportation agencies may

  1. define a project's purpose and need and the range of alternatives based on the objectives described in an approved metropolitan transportation plan, and
  2. narrow the range of alternatives based on prior state and local studies of project alternatives under certain circumstances."

Worth reading.

Rick Rayl and Brad Kuhn, who, with others, produce the California Eminent Domain Report, have written "2013 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2014 Forecast," which runs down their view of the biggest cases of the year in our favorite area of law. Covers al the major cases.

Good stuff. Read it.

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