Knicely & Associates

Attorneys at Law

Williamsburg, Virginia

Courthouse, Williamsburg, VA Credit: Bradley Jones


Bruton Parish Church, Williamsburg

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Royal Crest, WIlliamsburg

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Colonial Courthouse, Williamsburg

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Governors Palace, Williamsburg, VA Credit: Larry Pieniazek


Article on 2013 Virginia Eminent Domain Constitutional Amendment

Firm attorney James J. Knicely and attorney Francis A. Cherry, Jr., of Randolph, Boyd Cherry & Vaughan, of Richmond, have published in the Winter 2016 edition of The Real Estate Law Journal, an 80 page article entitled “Eminent Domain Reform: The “Virginia Way.” The article sets forth the extended legislative history of the Amendment and the numerous adjustments over several years as part of the process leading to legislative approval, and then, approval by voters in a state-wide referendum in 2012. The article discusses the foundations of eminent domain law in the Commonwealth, and the constitutional changes and interpretations made by the courts over the years, particularly with reference to public use and acquisition of land necessary for projects. It also considers the impact of the 2013 Amendment with regard to the definition of public use and the requirement that no more land than necessary be acquired for public projects. The authors conclude that while “the 2013 constitutional amendment did not on its face profoundly change eminent domain law in Virginia,” it nevertheless reminds the body politic that “Virginia‚Äôs just compensation clause has never been in the past and cannot be in the future construed to endorse the use of eminent domain for economic development purposes in the broad manner approved in the Kelo decision.” The article may be found in Real Estate Law Journal, Vol. 45, Winter 2016, starting on page 290.

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