Victory at Texas Supreme Court Leads to $7.4M Verdict for Client

October 15, 2014 – Press Release

October 15, 2014 (Austin, TX) – In 2013, Dallas partner Robert B. Gilbreath teamed up with Southern Methodist University School of Law Professor William V. Dorsaneo, III to win a groundbreaking victory in an inverse condemnation case. For the first time, the Texas Supreme Court held that a reversionary interest in real property is capable of being taken by the government and that the government must pay compensation for taking such an interest.

Hawkins Parnell & Young’s client donated land to a city on the condition that the city build a park on the land. If a park was not built, the client had the right to take the land back--what the law calls a “right of reentry” or “power of termination.” The city ignored the restriction and built a library, instead of a park. The Texas Supreme Court held that this amounted to inverse condemnation of the client’s right to take back the land. On October 15, 2014, the client’s trial attorneys persuaded a jury to award $7.4 million as the value of the reversionary interest.