Michael H. Leifer

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Eminent Domain Attorney in Irvine, CA

Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm & Waldron, LLP
 | 1900 Main Street, Suite 700
Irvine, CA 92614
Phone: 866-452-2707
Fax: 949-851-1554
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2020
Licensed Since: 1988
Practice Areas:
  • Eminent Domain (80%),
  • General Litigation (10%),
  • Land Use/Zoning (10%)
Attorney Profile

For three decades, Mr. Leifer's practice has focused on being at the forefront of representing property owners and business owners against public agencies in the eminent domain or inverse condemnation context.  In addition to the eminent domain/public project context practice area, Mr. Leifer and his law practice group handle a wide variety of disputes involving adverse impacts to real and business property.

Mr. Leifer and his practice group have consistently achieved outstanding results.  During the deepest part of the recession, while financial institutions and government agencies were shutting down, or in crisis, Mr. Leifer and his trial team received a $60,000,000 jury verdict against a city.  The matter later settled for over $70 million.

His first condemnation trial, tried with Patrick Hennessey, resulted in the first reported appellate court opinion concerning contaminated property in the Eminent Domain context.  Mr. Leifer's jury victories also include what is believed to be the highest pre-condemnation damage verdict in California.  Mr. Leifer also represented a business achieving the largest amount of loss of business goodwill in an eminent domain proceeding.  Despite the size of the award, the business was not displaced from its location.

In a recent inverse condemnation matter submitted to arbitration, Mr. Leifer obtained an award against Caltrans for more than $3.2 million. Caltrans' position was initially to deny liability and compensable damages.

Mr. Leifer has also successfully challenged the public agencies' right to take in eminent domain cases and has also successfully forced public agencies to change the scope of their takings.

Mr. Leifer has also successfully represented various property owners in challenging land use approvals or denials from various cities and public agencies.

Mr. Leifer also represented the landowner in a land lease adjustment arbitration against the owners of 150 condominium units. A significant arbitration award was issued against the unit owners.  Post-arbitration, the unit owners attempted to challenge the arbitration award.  Mr. Leifer successfully defeated the challenge to the arbitration award in the Superior Court and Appellate Court.

Mr. Leifer was instrumental in securing favorable reported appellate decisions on behalf of his clients including:  Kunec v. Brea Redevelopment Agency (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 51; Abers v. Rohrs (2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 1199; and HPT IHG-2 Properties Trust v. City of Anaheim (2015) 243 Cal.App.4th 188.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Eminent Domain (80%)

General Litigation (10%)

Land Use/Zoning (10%)


Selected to Super Lawyers for 3 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2020

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About Michael Leifer

Admitted: 1988, California

Professional Webpage: https://www.eminentdomainlawyercalifornia.com/attorneys/mich...

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • California
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • International Right of Way Association (Chapter 67)
  • State Bar of California
  • American Bar Association

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Krav Maga, Orange County, Instructor


  • Kunec v. Brea Redevelopment Agency (1997) 55 Cal.App.4th 51
  • Abers v. Rohrs (2013) 217 Cal.App.4th 1199

Educational Background:

  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., with Honors, 1985

Industry Groups

  • Condemnation; Eminent Domain; Valuation
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Office Location for Michael H. Leifer

1900 Main Street
Suite 700
Irvine, CA 92614

Phone: 866-452-2707

Fax: 949-851-1554

Michael H. Leifer:

Last Updated: 11/4/2019

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