Joseph P. Suntum
Top rated eminent domain attorney in Rockville, MarylandMiller, Miller & Canby
The principal attorney at the law firm of Miller, Miller & Canby, Joseph P. Suntum has been representing the rights of property owners in eminent domain and condemnation cases since 1988. He is also well-versed in business litigation, commercial litigation and real estate law matters. He accepts clients in Rockville; Washington and Montgomery counties; and across the Maryland metro area. He leads the firm’s eminent domain/condemnation group.
Mr. Suntum understands that it can feel dreadful for his clients when a government entity threatens to take away their properties. With an innovative spirit and the necessary resources, he has obtained a range of positive trial court and appellate outcomes. Some of his notable results include a $3.7 million settlement for the owner of a shopping center, $1.5 million for an owner left with a landlocked remnant and $2.7 million in a highway construction case.
After studying wildlife biology at the University of Montana, Mr. Suntum completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Maryland in 1979. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in 1982. He clerked for the Hon. Elsbeth Bothe at the Baltimore City Circuit Court and served as an assistant public defender at the Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office.
A fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, Mr. Suntum is the former secretary of the Bar Association of Montgomery County and a board member of the Montgomery Bar Foundation. He holds memberships in the Maryland State Bar Association and the American Bar Association – Litigation Section. Furthermore, he was a member of the Maryland Court of Appeals Character Committees.
Mr. Suntum is known for his professional achievements and high ethical standards. He is AV Preeminent peer-review rated,* the highest rating, through Martindale-Hubbell. He also holds a 9.8 out of 10 rating on Avvo, and he was named to Best Lawyers’ Lawyer of the Year list in eminent domain and condemnation law. More importantly, he has received myriad testimonials from his satisfied clients.
Mr. Suntum has also published numerous articles on topics related to his area of law.
*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 Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.
Practice areasEminent domain, Appellate
- 90% Eminent domain
- 10% Appellate
First Admitted: 1982, Maryland
Professional Webpage: https://www.millermillercanby.com/attorney/joseph-suntum/
- Mr. Suntum lectures regularly on litigation and eminent domain and condemnation topics for various continuing legal education organizations, including Lorman Educational Services, the American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education (ALI-CLE) and the Bar Association for Montgomery County.
- Mr. Suntum is an avid outdoorsman and successfully climbed Denali via the upper West Rib in June 2007. He has traveled the world to climb "big mountains" and is currently enjoys running in the woods with his canine companions.
- We represent owners of all types of real property subject to condemnation by eminent domain, including single family residential, apartments, condominiums, shopping centers, grocery stores, office buildings, warehouses, storage facilities, vacant land, and farms.
- Mr. Suntum is admitted to practice in all State and Federal courts in Maryland. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association, and the Bar Association of Montgomery County (Secretary, 1995-1996; Executive Committee 1997-1999). He served on the Character Committee of the Court of Appeals of Maryland (1992-1997).
- Mr. Suntum obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maryland in 1982. His undergraduate studies were at the University of Maryland, Bachelor of Arts, Government and Politics, 1979, and the University of Montana, Major Wildlife Biology, 1975 1977. Mr. Suntum graduated from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland in 1975.
- The Condemnation process and Just Compensation in the State Courts of Maryland, Owners' Handbook, Eminent Domain
- How to obtain more compensation than the condemnor's offer., Preparing Your Condemnation Case, Eminent Domain, 2007
- Keys to an conducting an effective direct examination of an appraiser in a condemnation trial., Direct Examination of a Valuation Witness, Eminent Domain, Trial Practice, 2009
- How to effectively advocate for full compensation is settlement negotiations and mediation venues., How to Successfully Settle a Condemnation Case, Eminent Domain, Trial Practice, 2007
- Discussion of strategic issues that regularly occur in a condemnation trial, Trial Issues in a Condemnation Case, Eminent Domain, Trial Practice
- Winning ideas and best practices for preparing and trying a condemnation case before a jury., Taking Your Condemnation Case to the Next Level, Eminent Domain, Trial Practice, 2008
- The importance of pre-condemnation planning to maximizing just compensation., Pre-Condemnation Planning
- Mr. Suntum has served on the Character Committee of the Court of Appeals of Maryland (1992-1997). He served on the Board of Directors of Montgomery General Hospital (2003 to 2009) and the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Bar Association of Montgomery County (2005 to 2009).
- Appellate Decision: Schochet v. State, 320 Md. 714 (1990) (Constitutional right to privacy), 1990
- State Roads Commission v. First Top of the Hill; Prince George's County Circuit Court; Condemnation; Original offer $62,885; Settlement $125,000, 2022
- State Roads Commission v. Washington Diocese; Montgomery County Circuit Court; Condemnation; Original offer $402,780; Settlement $776,000, 2021
- State Roads Commission v. Bank of America; Condemnation; Prince George's County Circuit Court; Original offer $322,000; Final Award $891,341 , 2022
- WMATA v. Knickerbocker Associates; Condemnation; U.S. District Court; Original Offer $41,000,000; Settlement $48,000,000., 2021
- WMATA v. Prince George's County Development Associates, LLC; condemnation; U.S. Distict Court; Original offer $8,000,000; Settlement $9,000,000, 2021
- State Roads Commission v. Marriott International Administrative Services, Inc., Circuit Court for Frederick County (Eminent Domain: Offer $ 1,473,900; Agreed Inquisition: $2,240,000), 2018
- State Roads Commission v. Campanaro Properties, LLC, Circuit Court for Montgomery County (Eminent Domain: Offer: $1,562,850; Agreed Inquisition $2,900,000), 2020
- State Roads Commission v. Eton Centers Co., LLC, Circuit Court for Montgomery County (Eminent Domain: Offer $359,600; Settlement: $2,486,387) , 2018
- State Roads Commission v. Brookside Park Condominiums, Inc., Circuit Court for Prince George's County (Eminent Domain: Initial offer $425,500; Agreed Inquisition $3,500,000), 2019
- WMATA v. Prince George's Development Associates, LLC, U.S. District Court (Eminent Domain: Initial Offer $8,000,000; Settlement $9,000,000) , 2021
- WAMATA v. Knickerbocker Properties, Inc. XI, Case No. 8:20-cv-2165 U.S. District Court, (Eminent Domain - Initial Offer $40,000,000; Settlement $49,000,000), 2021
- Maryland Transit Administration v. Round Hill Apartments, LLC, Circuit Court for Montgomery County (Eminent Domain: Initial offer: $175,550; Agreed Inquisition: $1,845,350), 2018
- Montgomery County v. John G. Grimberg Trust, Civil No. 297479-V, Condemnation Trial (Offer: $1,725,000 - Inquisition: $2,225,000), 2009
- State Roads Commission v. Bertrand T. Fang, Civil No. 295600-V: Condemnation Action (Offer $1,483,750; Agreed Inquisition: $3,698,000), 2009
- State Roads Commission v. Anne M. Willson, Civil No. 285025-V: Condemnation Action (Offer: $3,750,000; Agreed Inquisition: $4,650,000), 2008
- State Roads Commission v. Frederick Dunn, Civil No. 23395-M. Condemnation Action (Offer: $704,200; Settlement: $1,056,300), 2008
- State Roads Commission v. Donald E. McNeill, Civil No. 283022-V. Condemnation Action (Offer: $2,700,000; Settlement: $3,825,000), 2007
- Montgomery County, Maryland v. Oakmont Limited Partnership, Civil No. 330053-V. Condemnation Action (Offer: $1,600,000; Settlement: $4,390,000), 2010
- State Roads Commission v. Interdenominational Church of God, Civil Nos. 22265-M and 22226-M Condemnation Action (Offer: $147,850; Settlement: $737,727), 2008
- State Highway Administration v. Landfair Properties, LLC, Civil No. CAL11-37734. Condemnation Action (Offer: $2,300,000; Settlement: $12,500,000), 2013
- Montgomery County Board of Education v. Jean K. Phiilips, Trustee, et. al., Civil No. 364708-V. Condemnation Action (Offer: $2,300,000; Agreed Inquisition: $4,142,500), 2013
- Appellate Decision: Boland v. Boland, 423 Md. 296 (2011) (Shareholder derivative litigation Special Litigation Committees), 2011
- Appellate Decision: Lasater v. Guttmann, 194 Md. App. 431 (2010) (Conversion Intentional infliction of emotional distress), 2010
- Circuit City Supperstores v. Rockville Pike Joint Venture, Civil No. 182973: successful trial of $2 million breach of commercial lease (Affirmed on appeal: Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. Rockville Pike Joint Venture Ltd. Partnership, 376 Md. 331 (2003)), 2001
- Appellate Decision: Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. Rockville Pike Joint Venture Ltd. Partnership, 376 Md. 331 (2003) (Commercial landlord-tenant Surrender of lease Breach of contract Reasonable rejection of sublease), 2003
- Appellate Decision: 8621 Ltd. Partnership v. LDG, Inc., 169 Md. App. 214 (2006) (Specific enforcement of joint venture agreement), 2006
- Marla Bliecher v. Carolyn Literati, Civil No. 143005, successful trial of Will Caveat action (undue influence) to save $2 million estate for decedent's children, 1997
- Appellate Decision: Golub v. Cohen, 138 Md. App. 508 (2001) (Specific enforcement of settlement agreement), 2001
- Appellate Decision: Buxton v. Buxton, 363 Md. 634 (2001) (Fiduciary duty of guardians, Laches), 2001
- Lowell Baier v. First American Bank, Civil No. 82434, Lender Liability, successful prosecution of Motion for New Trial to overturn $10 million judgment, 1999
- Cecilia Defries v. Santos, Civil No. 132068, successful trial of claim to extinguish covenants on real property, 2000
- State Highway Administration v. Harding, Civil No. 133036, condemnation trial, 1996
- Virginia Pope v. Robert Pope, Declaratory judgment to determine ownership of real property
- Zeltman v. Yingling, plaintiff personal injury trial
- Park Avenue Associates v. Peter Davis, successful trial of Breach of Commercial Lease
- DGA Associates v. Cory Schupp, Specific Enforcement of Partnership Agreement, 1998
- Hassler v. Sutton, successful defense of defamation claim (Claim dismissed by plaintiff during trial.), 1999
- The Korth Companies, Inc. v. Material Culture, Construction arbitration
- Schettino, et. al, v. Modanlo, Civil No 220156, Shareholder derivative action against corporate President, $6.3 million judgment for fraud and misapproriation of corporate assets, 2003
- Appellate Decision: State v. Calhoun, 306 Md. 692 (1986) (death penalty post-conviction litigation)
- State v. Chester Mowell, successful defense of First Degree Murder charge - Not Guilty
- Clemenceau v. Cardiotech International, Civil No. 150076, successful defense of Breach of Employment Contract claim
- Appellate Decision: State v. Tichnell, 306 Md. 428 (1986) (death penalty post-conviction litigation)
- SHA v. Karen Leach, Trustee, Civil No. 238305, Condemnation Trial (Offer: $231,950; Inquisition: $723,751), 2003
- Montgomery County v. Jack F. Poole, Civil No. 334945-V, Condemnation Trial (Offer: $74,650; Inquisition: $225,000), 2011
- Montgomery County, Maryland v. Wilgus Associates, Civil No. 325597-V, Condemnation Action (Original offer $4,819,000; Settlement: $9,669,000), 2011
- Montgomery County, Maryland v. Montrose Medical Associates, Civil No. 259921-V, Condemnation Action (Original Offer $1,162,800; Settlement: $4,500,000), 2006
- SHA v. Southern Asis Adventist Association, Civil No. 281607-V, Condemnation Action (Original Offer $2,150,000; Settlement: $3,375,000), 2007
- Fellow: Litigation Counsel of America. The Litigation Counsel of America is a trial lawyer honorary society whose membership is limited to less than one-half of one percent of North American lawyers, judges and scholars. Membership in the LCA is highly selective and by invitation only. Fellows are selected based upon excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, and superior ethical reputation., Fellow: Litigation Counsel of America, https://www.litcounsel.org/, 2022
- Maryland State Attorney in Owners Counsel of America. Owners Counsel of America is a nationwide association of experienced eminent domain attorneys. Membership is limited to one member attorney per State. Served as Chair of the Board of Directors 2019-2021., Chair, Owners' Counsel of America Board of Directors, http://www.ownerscounsel.com/, 2021
- Eminent Domain
Office location for Joseph P. Suntum
200-B Monroe Street
Rockville, MD 20850
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