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Andrew H. Schuster

See Andrew H. Schuster's rating at Martindale-Hubbell

Miami, FL
(800) 380-3338
aschuster@brighammoore.com


Andrew Schuster has been a partner with Brigham Moore LLP since 1982. He presently works in the firm’s Miami office. An eminent domain trial lawyer for 30 years, he has represented both condemning authorities and property owners in cases throughout Florida. Prior to joining the firm, he represented the Florida Department of Transportation and Broward County in condemnation cases. He has handled valuation trials in both state and federal courts involving a wide range of property types, including vegetable farms, orange groves, commercial properties, industrial plants and vacant land. Mr. Schuster is also an active lecturer and author on a variety of topics related to eminent domain. He has written articles and lectured for many organizations in Florida and nationwide, including the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges, ALI-ABA, the Southwestern Legal Foundation, and the American Bar Association. In 1997 and 1998, he also served as the Program Co-Chair for the CLE International Eminent Domain Conference. His experience, creativity and commitment to the eminent domain field of law have earned him recognition as a Top Lawyer in the South Florida Legal Guide, Best Lawyers in America® and recognition as “Legal Elite” by Florida Trend Magazine.

Areas of Practice

Eminent Domain, Inverse Condemnation, Property Rights Litigation, Regulatory Takings

Prior Professional Experience
  • Represents property owners in acquisitions by the South Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Transportation and numerous condemning authorities.
  • Florida Department of Transportation, Trial Attorney, Condemnation section 1975 – 1978
Notable Cases
  • United States of America v. 820 acres of land, John Kennelly - Member of the trial team representing the owner of an 820 acre citrus grove located just west of Wellington in Palm Beach County in 2000. The property was condemned by the federal government for construction of Stormwater Treatment Area 1-East for everglades restoration. The government’s initial offer to the property owner was approximately $6,065,000. After a three-week trial in federal court , the jury rendered a verdict in the amount of $ 22,700,000.
  • Represented the owner of 112.55 acre tract condemned by the South Florida Water Management District for construction of a reservoir in Weston, Florida. The District had offered the owner $2,200,000 for the property. In 2004, the parties reached a settlement whereby the owner recovered $19,000,000 for the property. South Florida Water Management District v. Investors Mortgage Funding
  • South Florida Water Management District v. Lina Russo - Represented the owner of a 274 acre vegetable farm located in southwest Dade County. The South Florida Water Management District initially offered the owner $1,700,000 to acquire the property. The parties settled the case in 2005 for approximately $8.1 million.
  • Successfully negotiated a settlement for a property owner whose drive-in movie theater was being acquired by Broward County for expansion of the Fort Lauderdale International Airport. Broward County v. HiWay Drive In Theatres, Inc.
  • Defeated an attempted acquisition by the City of Lauderhill of client’s property for public road. The City of Lauderhill was seeking to condemn a substantial portion of our client’s property to provide an additional access road to serve two other private developments. The other private developments already had substantial access, but the City was contending that additional access was needed. After calling to the Court’s attention that the City’s own City Hall and Police Department complexes had only one access point, the Court denied the City the right to take our client’s property. City of Lauderhill v. City National Bank, Trustee
  • Negotiated a settlement for a client whose property was being valued on the basis that it was contaminated. Investigation uncovered the fact that the contamination was actually caused by government. The County condemned a portion of our client’s land. At the beginning of the case, the County appraised the value of the property at more than $1 million and offered to buy the property at the appraised value. When the owner did not accept the County’s offer, the County did an environmental assessment and determined that the groundwater was contaminated by a vinyl chloride, a carcinogen ordinarily caused by solvents used by dry cleaners. The County reappraised the property as being worth less than $300,000, claiming that the value was reduced by extraordinary clean-up costs and the stigma attached to contaminated property. We were able to determine that the contamination on the owner’s property originated on the County’s own property (the adjacent airport) and was probably caused by the Navy using degreasers to clean airplane engine parts during World War II. We were able to establish that the vinyl chloride contamination had migrated through the water table from the County’s property onto the owner’s property. Once we were able to prove this point, we were able to secure a settlement from the County worth more than four times the original offer. Broward County v. LaPointe
Education
  • University of Florida College of Law, J.D., with honors, 1974
  • University of Florida, B.A., with honors, 1971
Professional Activities
  • American Bar Association, Panel Discussion on Expert Witnesses (2005)
  • Florida Conference of Circuit Judges, Eminent Domain Seminar (2004)
  • American Bar Association, Panel Discussion on Order of Taking Hearings
  • The Florida Bar, Eminent Domain Committee (Vice-Chairman, 1982)
  • Program Co-Chair, Continuing Legal Education International, Eminent Domain Conference (1998)
  • Moderator, Florida Conference of Circuit Judges, Eminent Domain Presentation (1995)
  • Broward and Dade County Bar Associations
  • Editor, Tallahassee Bar Bulletin (1978)
Honors
  • Recognized in South Florida Legal Guide as Top Lawyer, 2003 - 2008
  • Recognized in Florida Trend Magazine as one of Florida’s Legal Elite, 2005
  • South Florida Business Journal, “Heavy Hitters” in Commercial Real Estate, 2005
  • Chosen among the Best Lawyers in America® by Woodward & White, 2007-2008
  • Highest rating by Martindale - Hubbell for legal skill and professional ethics
Publications & Speeches
  • Co-Author, “Attorney’s Fees in Eminent Domain,”
  • Florida Conference of Circuit Judges,” Eminent Domain Presentation (2004)
  • Author, “Preparing and Presenting a Condemnation Case in Federal Court,” Lis Pendens newsletter of the Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association (2004)
  • Author/Lecturer, “Eminent Domain: Trial Practice and Current Issues,” Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia Seminar (2004)
  • Author/Lecturer, “Pitfalls and Tactics for an Owner in Federal Condemnation,” American Law Institute - American Bar Association Committee of Continuing Professional Education - Eminent Domain and Land Value Litigation (2004)
  • Moderator, Fairness in Federal Condemnation, American Law Institute - American Bar Association Committee of Continuing Professional Education - Eminent Domain and Land Value Litigation (2004)
  • Author/Lecturer, “Furnishings, Fixtures, and the Functional Unit,” American Law Institute - American Bar Association Committee of Continuing Professional Education - Eminent Domain and Land Value Litigation (2003)
  • Co-Author, “Pretrial Procedures and Preparation for Trial or Settlement,” Chapter 8, Florida Eminent Domain Practice & Procedures Manual, (6th Ed., 2003)
  • Author/Lecturer, “Brainstorming, Winning Ideas,” American Law Institute - American Bar Association Committee of Continuing Professional Education - Eminent Domain and Land Value Litigation (2002)
  • Author, “Brainstorming Condemnation Cases: Thinking Your Way to Success,” The Practical Real Estate Lawyer (2002)
  • Author/Lecturer, “Selling Your Case to the Jury – Creating Motivation and Momentum,” American Bar Association (1999)
  • Author/Lecturer, “Providing Full Service in Pretrial Taking Cases,” CLE International Seminar, Eminent Domain Conference (1999)
  • Author/Lecturer , Practice Tips for Use in a Jury Trial, CLE International Seminar, (1998)
  • Author/Lecturer, “Eminent Domain Power,” CLE International Seminar, Eminent Domain Conference (1997)
  • Lecturer, “Practical Considerations for the Attorney Representing an Owner of Contaminated Property in Eminent Domain Proceedings,” American Bar Association, Annual Meeting, (1996)
  • Moderator, Florida Conference of Circuit Judges, Eminent Domain Seminar ( 1995)
  • Author, “Valuation of Public Utilities,” Southwest Legal Foundation, Institute on Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain, Annual, (1991)
  • Co-Author, “Pre-Condemnation Planning,” Chapter 1A, “Taking Procedure,” Chapter 2, and Settlement Techniques,” Chapter 6, Nichols on Eminent Domain, Matthew Bender (1990)
  • Co-Author, “Costs and Attorney’s Fees,” Chapter 15, Nichols on Eminent Domain, Matthew Bender (1990)
  • Florida Supreme Court Rules Median Damage Non-Compensable,” Right of Way, 1981
Interests
  • Reading and Golf
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