Douglas J. Evertz

Top rated Eminent Domain attorney in Costa Mesa, California

Murphy & Evertz, LLP
Douglas J. Evertz
Murphy & Evertz, LLP

Practice Areas: Eminent Domain, Land Use & Zoning

Licensed in California since: 1986

Education: University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2023

Murphy & Evertz, LLP

650 Town Center Drive
Suite 550
Costa Mesa, CA 92626 Visit website


Douglas J. Evertz has been a partner at Murphy & Evertz since 2010. He is an accomplished trial lawyer representing clients in complex litigation and real estate matters at the trial and appellate court levels.  He has specialized trial experience in disputes involving eminent domain, inverse condemnation, real estate, land use/CEQA, water rights and enviroinmental matters.  He has served as lead trial counsel in many high profile eminent domain and land use cases, both on behalf of public agencies and private interests.

Over his career, Mr. Evertz has represented a number of cities, counties, water districts and school districts in connection with major public agency acquisitions/public works projects.  He has also represented a number of commercial and industrial property owners and business owners in eminent domain actions filed by Caltrans and other local governments.  Clients include small family-owned businesses, Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations, including churches.

Mr. Evertz is a 1982 Bachelor of Arts recipient from the University of San Diego. He was awarded his Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in 1986. Highly regarded by his colleagues, Mr. Evertz has received an AV Preeminent* peer review rating through Martindale-Hubbell. A member of the Orange County Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association, he is admitted to practice in California and before the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Eminent Domain, Land Use/Zoning
  • 60% Eminent Domain
  • 40% Land Use/Zoning

First Admitted: 1986, California

Professional Webpage:

  • Southern California Edison Company v. J.W. Mitchell Land Company, LLC - Represented J.W. Mitchell Land Company in connection with SCE's acquisition of property interests for its Falcon Ridge Substation Project in the City of Fontana.  SCE's initial offer was $462,000.  Shortly before trial, SCE agreed to pay Mr. Evertz' client $1,833,000.  SCE also agreed to modify the scope of its taking to lessen the impacts of the Project on the remaining property owned by J.W. Mitchell Lan Company.
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. Gillis Family Partnership - Represented the Gillis family against the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority ("Authority") in connection with the Authority's taking of a building owned by the Gillis family in Century City.  Before being displaced, his clients also operated a cutting edge medical laboratory in the building.  The Authority initially offered $41,416,650 for the building and improvements.  In early 2018, Mr. Evertz earned an award of $53,503,000 for the building and improvements.  
  • City of Ontario v. J.W. Mitchell Company, LLC, et. al. - Represented the owner of a 43 acre site improved with a 762,296 square foot warehouse/distribution facility.  The facility serves as the regional disbribution center.  The City of Ontario acquired portions of the property for its South Milliken Avenue Grade Separation Project.  The City's initial offer for the taking was $1,325,000.  Pursuant to the owner's request, the City modified the scope of the taking to mitigate on-site impacts.  The case settled shortly before trial for $4,500,00.
  • Riverside County Transportation Commission v. Pearl Street Properties, LLC, et al. - Represented the owner of Newport Farms, a successful family-owned and operated food sservice distributor in the City of Corona, adjacent to the 91 Freeway.  The partial taking impacted semi-truck access, circulation and parking.  RCTC's initial offer was $1,360,000.  The case subsequently settled for $3,500,000.
  • B & H Education dba Marinello Schools of Beauty v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority – Marinello was a cosmetology school operating as a tenant in a building on Wilshire Boulevard in the City of Los Angeles.  Marinello was displaced by LACMTA and forced to relocate as result of LACMTA’s Westside Subway Extension Project.  LACMTA failed to initiate a direct condemnation action, forcing Marinello to file an inverse condemnation proceeding.  In a bench trial, LACMTA was found liable for inverse condemnation and Marinello proved it was entitled to claim compensation for loss of business goodwill.  The case subsequently settled for $2,500,000.
  • Orange County Transportation Authority v. Ajax Lakeview Development – Represented the owner of one of the last undeveloped commercial-industrial zoned properties in the City of Placentia.  OCTA filed an eminent domain action to acquire a swath of land bisecting the property and severely impacting its suitability for development.  OCTA's initial offer was $2,500,000.  The case subsequently settled for $6,117,000.
  • City of Victorville v. First Assembly of God of Victorville - Represented the Church in an eminent domain action brought by the City to acquire property for its Nisqualli Interchange Project.  The property taken included the primary driveway that provided access to the Church along with the front line of parking spaces.  The City's appraiser valued the taking at $436,000.  The case settled with the City agreeing to pay $2,500,000, together with land use entitlements for new electronic reader boards, a counseling center, baseball field improvements and parking.
  • Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority v. Rowland Ranch Properties LLC - Represented the owner of a 15 acre undeveloped parcel adjacent to a prospering commercial center with prominent freeway visibility to the 60 Freeway.  ACE acquired a permanent roadway easement together with a temporary construction easement that bisected the land - - effectively rendering the property unusable until completion of the project.  ACE's initial offer was $936,000.  The case settled shortly before trial with ACE agreeing to pay $3,300,000.
  • Caltrans v. ARAMARK Uniform & Career Apparel, LLC – Represented ARAMARK in an action brought by Caltrans to acquire one of ARAMARK's key market centers for the I-215 widening project. Caltrans' initial offer was $1,881,000. The case was actively litigated and settled shortly before trial for $4,500,000.
  • City of La Puente Redevelopment Agency v. Gudzunas, et al. – Represented the owner of a 3-acre retail shopping mall developed in the 1950s. The condemning agency, the City of La Puente Redevelopment Agency, initially offered $3,550,000.  We negotiated a lost rent agreement which insulated our client from any income loss during the litigation. The case settled on the eve of jury trial for total compensation of $6,200,000 to our client.
  • City of Fontana v. Requip Corporation – Represented Requip Corporation in an action to acquire a portion of Requip's property for a freeway overpass project in the City of Fontana. The City's prelitigation offer was $916,000. The case settled shortly before trial for $1,671,000.
  • Caltrans v. Steiny & Co. – Represented Steiny & Co. in an action brought by Caltrans to acquire portions of Steiny's property in Baldwin Park. Caltrans' initial offer was $151,000. The case settled prior to trial for $600,000.
  • CREED-21 v. City of Moreno Valley (Aldi, Inc.); CUMV v. City of Moreno Valley – Representation and defense of the City of Moreno Valley and Aldi, Inc. in two CEQA actions challenging the City of Moreno Valley’s approval of Aldi’s 800,000 square foot refrigerated warehouse and distribution center.  Aldi, Inc. is a world-wide grocery chain and the project will serve as its southwestern regional headquarters and distribution center for 150 new grocery stores.  The project involves several approvals including an amended Plot Plan and Addendum to the previously approved Westridge Commerce Center EIR.  The trial court entered judgment in favor of Moreno Valley and Aldi.  The judgment was affirmed in favor of Mr. Evetrz’ clients on appeal.
  • Ganahl Lumber Company v. City of Corona (Watermarke Properties) - Representation of Ganahl Lumber Company challenging the City of Corona’s approval of a large-scale commercial and residential project adjacent to Ganahl’s property.  Ganahl contends the City failed to, among other things, properly investigate and mitigate the project’s impacts on traffic and circulation.  Ganahl contends the project will negatively impact access and visibility to its lumber business.  The case settled with the City and Real Party In Interest agreeing to approve new directional signage and easements in favor of Ganahl.
  • Residents Against Specific Plan 380 v. County of Riverside – Representation and defense of the County of Riverside in a CEQA action brought to invalidate and set aside multiple project approvals associated with the Keller Crossing Specific Plan Project, which consists of a 200 acre residential and commercial development site in the French Valley area.  The trial court entered judgment in favor of the County and judgment was affirmed in a subsequent appeal.
  • County of Riverside v. County of Imperial – Representation of the County of Riverside in an action against the County of Imperial and Burrtec Waste Industries, Inc.  Riverside alleges that Imperial improperly certified an EIR associated with Imperial’s approval of the Salton City Landfill Expansion Project.  Riverside further alleges the project will negatively impact traffic and air quality in Riverside County and that those impacts were not properly mitigated.  The parties entered into a settlement agreement providing for adoption of new conditions of project approvals and mitigation measures - - all of which will mitigate impacts of the project in Riverside County.
  • Riverside County Regional Detention Center and Riverside County East County Detention    Center – Representation of the County of Riverside in connection with the preparation of EIRs and related documents associated with the Regional Detention Center (2011) and East County Detention Center (2013).  The Regional Detention Center is a project located in the San Gorgonio Pass area and consists of a 7,200-bed jail facility and justice complex at build-out.  The East County Detention Center is a project that proposes a 1,626-bed replacement of the existing 353-bed detention center in the City of Indio.
  • John Boyd Designs, Inc. v. Los Angeles County Unified School District – Representation and defense of the Los Angeles Unified School District (“LAUSD”) against a CEQA action challenging its South Region High School District No. 12.  The matter was dismissed by petitioners following a demurrer filed by LAUSD.
  • Independent Energy Producers Association v. County of Riverside - In November 2011, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors adopted a comprehensive, integrated legislative program collectively known as the “Solar Power Plant Program.”  Previously, solar power plants were not a permitted or conditionally permitted use anywhere in the unincorporated area of the County.  The new policy requires solar power plant owners to pay the County.  In 2012, two solar trade associations filed an action raising various constitutional challenges, including allegations that the program improperly imposes a tax without first obtaining voter approval.  After several successful pretrial motions, the case settled on terms beneficial to the County.
  • Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District v. Yorba Linda Redevelopment Agency - Mr. Evertz represented the School District in an action against the Agency concerning the interpretation of a redevelopment agency pass-through agreement.  The School District contended the Agency owed the School District over $7,000,000 and that over $200,000,000 would be owing to the School District.  The Agency contended it owed nothing.  After a lengthy trial, the trial court entered judgment awarding the School District all amounts requested.  The court further ruled that the Agency pay all future amounts owing the School District, which could be over $200,000,000.  The case settled on appeal under terms favorable to the School District.
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Speaker, “How Right-of-Way Agents Ought to Help Manage – and Help Minimize – Goodwill Claims, Legal, Appraisal, and Practical Teamwork,” CLE International Eminent Domain Conference, San Diego, CA (February 10, 2017).
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • United States District Court Central District of California
  • United States District Court Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court Southern District of California
  • Federal Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
  • Orange County Bar Association
Educational Background:
  • BA, University of San Diego, 1982

Office location for Douglas J. Evertz

650 Town Center Drive
Suite 550
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Phone: 714-277-1700


6 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2023

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