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Site Notification

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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Public Roads - September/October 2002

Training Update

The National Highway Institute (NHI) Training Update

901 N. Stuart Street, Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22203

NHI Eminent Domain Course Available

The National Highway Institute, a training arm of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has updated its Eminent Domain Training for Attorneys and Appraisers course (NHI 141036). The course is designed to enhance the performance of attorneys, appraisers, and other expert witnesses in the delivery and presentation of testimony and arguments in a courtroom setting to obtain realistic court awards in eminent domain proceedings. The course illustrates the importance of a team approach for effective presentation in condemnation actions and how to develop that kind of approach.

The course presentation includes lectures, with the use of visual aids, handouts, and interactive case studies. Each participant will receive a course manual that should serve as a valuable reference tool.

Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify valuation techniques, methodology, and practices associated with estimating fair market value and just compensation
  • Describe the legal framework of eminent domain actions necessary to perform effectively as attorneys and expert witnesses
  • Describe the basis for a proposed stipulated settlement, including the respective role of the appraiser and attorney in the consummation of such a settlement
  • Recognize the extent to which the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (Uniform Act)—as amended, 49 CFR Part 24—and implementing State laws and regulations apply to potential settlements
  • Recognize what constitutes acceptable valuation techniques and the approaches used by the appraiser to fully document appraisal estimates for condemnation purposes, based on applicable State law
  • Document a report of the trial
  • Formulate a theory of a case that will be acceptable to the jury, based on the facts of the case and the theory's compatibility with the trial team
The Eminent Domain training course is designed to help attorneys and expert witnesses present their arguments and testimony.


The course is intended for State highway or transportation agency real estate staff, appraisers, fee contract attorneys, and other potential expert witnesses working for State highway or transportation agencies. Participants should have a basic knowledge of the Uniform Act, including the implementing regulations. The course also is intended for beginning government attorneys acting as legal counsel in condemnation trials, as well as beginning- and intermediate-level appraisers acting as expert witnesses in condemnation trials.

For technical information on the course, contact Bryan O'Neill of FHWA's Office of Real Estate Services at 202-366-9881 or bryan.o' To schedule a session, contact Danielle Mathis-Lee of NHI at 703-235-0528 or