Litigation is a huge mess and "the government always wins" - right?
No. While eminent domain proceedings are court proceedings (at least if they continue past the special commissioners phase), they are somewhat different from typical court proceedings, and do not necessarily result in a trial. In eminent domain cases, the goal is simple: to acquire title to property and to pay "just compensation" to the owner. Unlike ordinary litigation, there are usually no claims of wrongdoing or fault, and, with the right counsel, the owner does not usually have to become extensively involved in the litigation. You should not be afraid of eminent domain litigation. The vast majority of these cases eventually settle, and this process is usually the way to obtain maximum compensation for your property. The reality is that the vast majority of eminent domain cases settle without going to a final trial. Those who believe the "government always wins" are usually the ones who give their property to the government for far too little compensation.