Michael J. Coughlin

Top rated Eminent Domain attorney in Woodbridge, Virginia

Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, P.C.
Michael J. Coughlin
Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, P.C.

Practice Areas: Eminent Domain, Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate; view more

Licensed in Virginia since: 2005

Education: The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2019 - 2024 Selected to Rising Stars: 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2017

Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh, P.C.

4310 Prince WIlliam Parkway
Suite 300
Woodbridge, VA 22192 Visit website


Armed with abundant knowledge and legal experience, attorney Michael J. Coughlin assists the residents of Northern Virginia with their real estate needs. He is a shareholder at the law firm of Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh PC in Woodbridge and focuses his practice primarily on eminent domain, land use and zoning matters. He is the front-runner of his law firm's Eminent Domain Practice Group.

In eminent domain cases, Mr. Coughlin exclusively represents property owners and companies through the whole condemnation period up to trial, helping them attain adequate compensation and demand lost profits. His additional experience comprises land disagreements with municipal authorities, agreement and executive issues with government entities, title and easement clashes, as well as complex building disputes.

Mr. Coughlin is devoted to his clientele and obtaining favorable outcomes for them. He also recognizes that developing meaningful connections with the people he works with is essential and takes tremendous pride in having honest dialogue with them.

In 1999, after finishing his Bachelor of Arts at Emory University, Mr. Coughlin went on to acquire his Juris Doctor in 2005 from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, concurrently being part of the Catholic University Law Review staff. He is licensed in Virginia (2005), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Mr. Coughlin has contributed to his local area through his constant efforts with legal groups such as the Virginia Bar Association and the Prince William County Bar Association. In addition, he is the director of Rebuilding Together Alexandria and an affiliate member of The Appraisal Institute, a global union of real estate appraisers. 

Honored in many ways for his staunch defense of the rights of his clients, Mr. Coughlin was peer-review rated AV Preeminent* through Martindale-Hubbell and named as Virginia’s “Legal Elite” in Real Estate Law: Eminent Domain as well as in Land Use Law by the Virginia Business magazine.

*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™ falls into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Eminent Domain, Land Use/Zoning, Real Estate: Business

Focus areas


  • 80% Eminent Domain
  • 10% Land Use/Zoning
  • 10% Real Estate: Business

First Admitted: 2005, Virginia

Professional Webpage: https://thelandlawyers.com/professionals/coughlin/

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Speaker at 2014 Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting: “Dissecting the Appraisal Report”
  • Catholic University Law Review, Staff Member
  • Article “Transportation Projects Update” in Virginia’s Land Sense Newsletter
  • Article “Eminent Domain Constitutional Amendment” in Virginia’s Land Sense Newsletter
  • Catholic University, Columbus School of Law, guest lecturer in land use
  • Author of “Absolute Deference Leads to Unconstitutional Governance: The Need for a New Public Use Rule,” published in 54 Cath. U. L. Rev. 1001 (2005). (Link to Article)
  • Author of “Solving Eminent Domain Problems Post-Kelo” published in INSIDE THE MINDS™ EMINENT DOMAIN LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
  • Appraisal Institute, Stonewall Jackson Chapter Presentation: “The Role of the Appraiser in Condemnation Cases.”
  • Instructor for 2014 Eminent Domain CLE: “Settlement Strategies”
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Virginia
  • Prince William County Bar Association
  • The Appraisal Institute, Affiliate Member
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
Educational Background:
  • Emory University, B.A., 1999
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Chairman of the Board of Directors for Rebuilding Together Alexandria
  • Virginia Bar Association Real Estate Council, Member (2017–Present)
  • Represented a group home pursuing a conditional use permit through the application process and in subsequent successful litigation against a locality.
  • Rated AV Preeminent by peer attorneys, AV Preeiment, Martindale-Hubbell, 2015
  • Named to Virginia’s “Legal Elite,” Real Estate Law: Eminent Domain, Virginia Business Magazine, 2020
  • Name a Top Rated Eminent Domain Attorney in Virginia by Super Lawyers®, 2019-2021
  • Named a Virginia Rising Star (2009-10, 2013-18) and Washington DC Rising Star (2014-17) by Super Lawyers® in Virginia Lawyer Magazine
  • Named to Virginia Business’ 2016 Legal Elite in Real Estate/Land Use
Representative Clients:
  • Business and homeowners displaced by takings who are pursuing either lost profit claims, or relocation claims, or both., 2018
  • Property owners whose land is being taken by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), developers whose rights are being infringed upon by a local government, a property owner adversely impacted by a neighboring property owner.
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Settled relocation claim for $689,000 where the initial determination was $141,500., 2018
  • Helmick Family Farm, LLC v. Comm’r of Highways, 297 Va. 777 (2019)
  • Martin v. Garner, 286 Va. 76 (2013)
  • McCarthy Holdings LLC v. Burgher, 282 Va. 267 (2011)
  • Rohr v. Cross Creek Investments, LLC et al. (successful defense of rezoning approval)
  • Teen Challenge of Fredericksburg, Inc. v. Stafford County, Virginia (Settled Fair Housing Act and RLUIPA claims in United States District Court Eastern District of Virginia)
  • VDOT v. Oak Farms (just compensation award for property owner 55% above VDOT’s offer)
  • Settled power line case for $5,038,730 where the initial offer was $2,484.000., 2016
  • Settled lost access case for $3,000,000 where the initial offer from the locality was $818,623., 2016
  • VDOT v. Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Inc., just compensation jury award of $603,000 versus original offer of $321,937, 2012
  • Lead counsel in an easement dispute for the successful property owner in the case of McCarthy Holdings LLC v. Burgher, 282 Va. 267 , 2011
Industry Groups:
  • Farming
  • Real Estate
  • Restaurants
  • Retail

Office location for Michael J. Coughlin

4310 Prince WIlliam Parkway
Suite 300
Woodbridge, VA 22192

Phone: 703-680-4664


6 Years Super Lawyers
7 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2019 - 2024
  • Rising Stars: 2009 - 2010, 2013 - 2017

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