AN ANALYSIS OF HIGHWAY CONDEMNATION CASES UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SENATE BILL 724: COMPARISONS OF JURY AND COMMISSION AWARDS. INTERIM REPORT

The researchers analyzed court awards as a percentage of the state's highest appraisals in two areas of Virginia: the counties and cities that comprise the Virginia Department of Transportation's Northern Virginia District and Chesterfield County. The average values of the awards rendered by juries and those rendered by commissions in Northern Virginia were not appreciably different. The state's total payout for the sample of Northern Virginia commission cases was 208% of the sum of the highest appraisals, however, while the total payout for a sample of jury cases was 132%. From the latter finding, the authors concluded that the use of juries may be contributing to lower awards. It is possible, though, that the observed difference may be attributable to the small number of cases available for analysis. The state's fee attorneys in Northern Virginia have differing views on the use of lay juries. Some attorneys feel that the use of juries has led to higher rates of out of court settlements, but other attorneys have not observed this trend. The attorneys report that trials tend to take longer and require the use of more paid professional witnesses, due to lay jurors' unfamiliarity with the real estate concepts generally used in condemnation proceedings. Some attorneys feel that the use of juries has led to higher rates of out of court settlements, but other attorneys have not observed this trend. The attorneys report that trials tend to take longer and require the use of more paid professional witnesses, due to lay jurors' unfamiliarity with the real estate concepts generally used in condemnation proceedings. Some Northern Virginia attorneys indicated a preference for the old commissioner system. The legislators' extension of the jury "experiment" to Chesterfield County in 1993 and to Henrico County in 1994 will enable the researchers to analyze both a larger number of cases and cases from an area (the Richmond District) where the commissioner system may operate somewhat differently than it does in Northern Virginia.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00666236
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/VA-94-IR2, VTRC 94-IR2
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, USDOT, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Sep 20 1994 12:00AM