Matt Hurt

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Eminent Domain Attorney in Dallas, TX

Dawson & Sodd LLP
 | 8333 Douglas Avenue, Suite 1260
Dallas, TX 75225
Phone: 214-373-8181
Fax: 214-217-4230
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2019
Selected To Rising Stars: 2005, 2013 - 2014
Licensed Since: 2001
Practice Areas:
  • Eminent Domain
Attorney Profile

As a partner with the Dawson & Sodd, LLP, law firm, attorney Matt Hurt concentrates his practice primarily on property condemnation and eminent domain law. With more than 15 years of experience, Mr. Hurt possesses the extensive skills and resources necessary to protect his clients' rights and interests while defending property owners against all types of condemnation and eminent domain actions from local, county and state authorities. He serves clients throughout the Dallas metropolitan region, as well as all of Tarrant, Ellis and Dallas counties, and the surrounding areas.

A 1996 magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering, Mr. Hurt worked as a civil engineer before attending law school. This experience provided him with invaluable insight and knowledge that helps him deliver more effective strategies and solutions for his clients, particularly with cases involving complex engineering analyses of property damage from highway takings and other similar matters.

He then attended Texas Tech University School of Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, in 2001. While pursuing his law degree, Mr. Hurt served as technology editor for the Texas Tech Law Review and won the Texas Tech University School of Law mock trial competition. He also served as president of the Texas Aggie Bar Association and was a member of the board of barristers.

In 2001, the State Bar of Texas admitted him to practice, and the Colorado Bar Association admitted him in 2002. He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. In addition to being active with the State Bar of Texas and the Colorado Bar Association, Mr. Hurt is a member of the Dallas Bar Association. In recognition for his professionalism and service, Thomson Reuters selected him for inclusion in Rising Stars for eminent domain and construction litigation.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Eminent Domain (100%)


Selected to Super Lawyers for 6 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 3 years

Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2019 Rising Stars: 2005, 2013 - 2014

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About Matt Hurt

Admitted: 2001, Texas

Professional Webpage:


  • Selected to the Rising Stars list published annually by Thomson Reuters service in construction litigation in 2005, and in the area of eminent domain in 2013 and 2014
  • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list published annually by Thomson Reuters service for eminent domain for 2014 through 2017

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Federal Courts in Texas
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Colorado, 2002
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Texas Aggie Bar Association
  • Texas Courts statewide

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Member of Northwest Bible Church
  • President of Ranch POA Board of Directors for 1300 acre residential ranch development in Colorado

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • CLE Presentation: Eminent Domain, Texas Aggie Bar Association Annual Meeting, March 2015, Texas A&M University
  • CLE Presentation:  Overview of Texas Condemnation and Eminent Domain Law, Collin County Bench/Bar Conference, March 2012
  • CLE Presentation:  Presenting Your Case with Demonstrative Evidence, Center for American and International Law; Planning, Zoning, and Eminent Domain Seminar 2010, SMU Plano Campus
  • CLE Presentation:  Attacking an Appraiser by Attacking the Other Experts, Attacking and Defending an Appraisal in Litigation CLE Conference in Austin, November 17-18, 2016
  • Improving the Landowner’s Odds in Eminent Domain Cases, published in April 2015 issue of Headnotes for the Dallas Bar Association, co-authored with Tyler Milton and Jody McSpadden


  • Settlement of a powerline condemnation case representing Texas Municipal Power Agency resulting in a net recovery of $1.066 million, a 35% increase over the condemnor’s initial offer. The settlement was obtained quickly, with minimal expenses and before the condemnation lawsuit was even filed. (2016) Matt settled another case for TMPA resulting in a net recovery of $992,000, which was approximately 5 times the initial offer., 2017
  • Settlement for a property owner in a TXDOT taking on vacant commercial property in Ennis, Texas (Ellis County), resulting in a $1.16 million net recovery for the landowner, which was almost double the initial offer to the client., 2015
  • Settlement of $1.6 million during the middle of trial on a TXDOT taking impacting a commercial office building site. (Settlement is gross settlement, not reduced by amount of client’s legal fees or litigation expenses.) The settlement amount was more than $700,000 over the State’s highest offer to settle the case, which was made the week before trial. (2011 trial) (Matt and Dawson & Sodd were co-counsel with Locke Lord), 2011
  • Settlement (confidential amount) in an environmental damage case against a pipeline company that allegedly released waste materials created during its construction and testing of a new pipeline in Erath County.  Dawson & Sodd did not represent the landowner in the initial acquisition of the pipeline easement (the landowner’s local lawyer did), but after the acquisition was complete and construction began, Dawson & Sodd sought additional damages from the pipeline company for violations of the easement terms, including allegedly releasing arsenic contaminants onto the landowner’s property in and around the easement area.  In addition to monetary compensation recovered, the pipeline company remediated the allegedly contaminated area., 2017
  • Settlement of six (6) different TxDOT highway takings cases for four landowner families in Ennis (Ellis County) involving the taking of land fronting along existing U.S. 287 for the widening and expansion of that highway in the southern portion of Ennis. The combined initial offers from TxDOT in the six cases of $942,991 was increased to a net recovery of just over $2,294,000 (after litigation expenses and legal fees), representing an average net increase of 2.43 times the initial offers in all six cases. The lowest net increase obtained was 1.71 times the initial offer, and the highest increase was 4.05 times the initial offer. (2017-2018)
  • Co-counsel for a property owner in a jury trial concerning the taking of natural gas pipeline easement on a vacant commercial property in Tarrant County, resulting in a jury verdict for the landowner and a net recovery of $1 million on an offer of $154,700., 2015
  • Settlement involving TXDOT taking of a commercial/retail building in Tarrant County. The settlement amount was $1.394 million after legal fees and expenses, resulting in an increase to the landowner of approximately $548,000., 2013
  • Verdict of $3,747,651 on a TXDOT taking involving the Brinker headquarters at Hillcrest & I-635 in North Dallas. Verdict was more than 10 times the initial offer, not considering the landowner’s legal fees or litigation expenses. The State of Texas appealed the judgment, but the judgment was affirmed.  See State v. State Street B. & T. Co. and Brinker Int’l Payroll Co., L.P., 359 S.W.3d 375 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2012, no pet.) (2009 trial) (Matt was co-counsel while he was still at Locke Lord), 2009
  • Settlement of a school site acquisition case brought in Collin County by Prosper Independent School District (“PISD”) which sought to condemn a very valuable 35 acre future commercial corner site in Frisco, Texas.  The settlement resulting in the conveyance to PISD of approximately 33 acres at a much more favorable site for the landowner instead of the loss of much more valuable 35 acre corner site PISD sought to condemn in the condemnation case.  PISD ultimately agreed to dismiss the condemnation case seeking the 35 acres and instead took the 33 acres that was much less valuable to the landowner.  The settlement preserved the valuable corner tract worth between $11M and $16M (for which PISD initially offered only $3,062,500).  In addition to preserving the valuable corner, our firm was able to obtain for the landowner the net amount of $4,063,000 (after legal fees and expenses) for the inferior 33 acres--$1,000,000 more than it was offered for the 35 acre valuable commercial corner site.  , 2017
  • Settlement for a property owner in a TXDOT taking involving vacant commercial property in Ennis, Texas (Ellis County) resulting in a $776,000 net recovery to the client, which was approximately 15 times higher than the initial offer., 2015
  • Dismissal of TXDOT taking for a convenience store owner and operator in Dallas. In a deposition, Matt proved through the State’s engineer that TXDOT did not have the right to condemn the property for the project, resulting in a dismissal of the case where the owner was able to keep his property, be reimbursed for his expenses in the litigation and obtain other valuable concessions from TXDOT., 2013
  • Jury verdict of $3,123,125 on SH 183 TXDOT road widening project impacting a four-story office building in Irving, Texas. The jury’s verdict was more than 40 times the initial offer to the client, not including client’s legal fees or litigation expenses. Matt successfully cross examined several of the State’s engineers and gave the closing argument at the trial of the case. The State appealed, but the judgment was affirmed, and the Texas Supreme Court denied the State’s request to consider further appeal of the result. See State v. Johnson, 444 S.W.3d 62, 79 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2014, pet. denied). (2011 trial) (Matt was co-counsel while he was still at Locke Lord), 2011
  • Settlement of TxDOT highway takings case in Tarrant County involving the taking of all of the front two rows of parking spaces (and fire lane) from a former restaurant site leased by Twin Peaks.  As a result of the taking, Twin Peaks terminated the lease on the site.  The State’s valuations ignored negative impacts to on-site circulation, safety concerns, and the seemingly obvious fact that the parking spaces closest to the front door of the restaurant (all of which were taken by TxDOT) were the most valuable parking spots for the restaurant site.  The initial offer of $522,400 was increased to a net recovery of $1,503,000 (after litigation expenses and fees)., 2017

Educational Background:

  • Texas A&M University, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, 1996, magna cum laude
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Office Location for Matt Hurt

8333 Douglas Avenue
Suite 1260
Dallas, TX 75225

Phone: 214-373-8181

Fax: 214-217-4230

Matt Hurt:

Last Updated: 10/3/2019

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