Gary Weisberg is a Director and Co-chair of Woodruff & Smart’s eminent domain practice group. He has over 35 years of experience litigating eminent domain, inverse condemnation, and other complex real estate matters. Mr. Weisberg serves as chief litigator in eminent domain matters involving the Firm’s public agency clients as well as a mentor to the other attorneys in the eminent domain group.
Currently, Mr. Weisberg provides legal support for property acquisitions in connection with Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) $2.0 billion I-405 Improvement Project, $475 million California 55 Improvement Project, and $427 million SR-91 Improvement Project. In this capacity, he is charged with acquiring the necessary property interests from many of the 300+ individual parcels to facilitate these important infrastructure improvement programs in a timely and cost-effective manner. Mr. Weisberg assisted with property acquisitions for OCTA’s $630 million OC Bridges Program, eliminating seven dangerous at-grade street/railroad crossings in northern Orange County. He also guided OCTA through the acquisition process for numerous property interests and rights of way for the SR-22 and I-5 freeway expansions in Orange County. Prior to joining WS&S, Mr. Weisberg was a senior partner at another prominent Orange County law firm specializing in eminent domain and valuation litigation.
During his career, Mr. Weisberg has served as lead trial counsel in numerous jury and bench trials on behalf of both public agencies and private property/business owners. He has presented arguments on eminent domain matters in the California Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. He has acted as chief negotiator in countless mediations and settlement conferences in the eminent domain context and has been invited by his peers on several occasions to preside over mediations in other condemnation cases. Judges and clients alike have commended Mr. Weisberg on his tough but affable approach to private property acquisitions. He has successfully tried and/or negotiated hundreds of cases involving property rights acquisitions with an aggregate value in the many millions of dollars.
Mr. Weisberg has been selected by his peers to the Southern California Super Lawyers® list for successive years (an honor reserved to the top 5% of attorneys who exhibit excellence in their area of practice). He is a member of the Orange County Bar Association, the International Right of Way Association and a past participant of the Robert A. Banyard American Inn of Court. He received the “AV-Preeminent” rating by Martindale-Hubbell publishers and was featured as one of Southern California’s Top-Rated Lawyers in The American Lawyer magazine. Mr. Weisberg served as an adjunct faculty member at Western State University College of Law and frequently lectures on eminent domain trial tactics and related topics. Mr. Weisberg has published several articles on eminent domain matters and was an articles editor for the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.
- Argued on behalf of Petitioners before the California Supreme Court in Weiss v. Superior Court (2020) 9 Cal.5th 840
- Defeated federal NEPA challenge to major freeway project, avoiding costly injunction to commencement of construction
- Obtained a $5 million jury verdict in favor of property owner group against County of San Bernardino for unreasonably delaying commencement of eminent domain proceeding
- Defeated inverse condemnation and nuisance claims by multiple homeowners alleging increase noise, dust and fumes from public project resulted in a taking of their properties
- Secured a published appellate court opinion on motion to change venue in Clayton v. Superior Court (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 28
- Assisted in securing a published appellate decision setting aside resolution of necessity due to violation of conflict and disclosure laws in Kunec v. Brea Redevelopment Agency (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 511
- Assisted in securing a published California Supreme Court decision rejecting property owners’ inverse condemnation and nuisance claims for intrusion of power line electromagnetic fields in San Diego Gas & Elec. Co. v. Superior Court (1996) 13 Cal.4th 893
- Assisted in securing a published California Supreme Court decision transferring action to foreign country for forum non conveniens in Stanvik v. Shiley (1991) 54 Cal.3d 744
- Served as lead trial counsel in multi-party action involving claims of clergy sexual abuse
- Acted as private mediator in condemnation case involving multi-million-dollar business relocated due to State Route 91 expansion project
Relevant Publications & Presentations
- “Contamination and Eminent Domain,” CLE International Eminent Domain Conference (February 2016)
- “The Nuts and Bolts of Trying an Eminent Domain Case,” sponsored by Orange County Bar Association, Business Litigation Section (March 2015)
- “Temporary Severance Damages and Other Compensation Conundrums in Condemnation Law,” CLE International Eminent Domain Conference (April 2014)
- “Inverse Condemnation and Pre-Condemnation Blight,” CLE International Eminent Domain Conference (April 2012)
- “Working with Real Estate Appraisers,” CLE International Eminent Domain Conference (April 2010)
- University of California at San Francisco, Hastings College of the Law (J.D., 1987)
- University of California at Irvine (B.A., magna cum laude, 1982)