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Don C. Griffin, Jr.

Don C. Griffin, Jr. Partner, Condemnation & Eminent Domain

For more than 25 years, trial lawyer Don Griffin has represented his clients in multimillion-dollar lawsuits in Texas state and federal courts. He is a trial lawyer with extensive courtroom experience and numerous jury trial verdicts. His practice focuses primarily on assisting property owners and developers subject to condemnation by government authorities. 

Don has appeared before the Texas Supreme Court multiple times on behalf of his clients, most recently in February 2018 (W.A. “Andy” Meyers v. JDC/Firethorne, 548 S.W.3d 477 (Tex.2018)). Among his most high-profile verdicts was a February 2018 judgment against the State of Texas that resulted in an amount 1,837% above the State’s $1,300,000 compensation number after a three-week jury trial in Harris County — the largest reported jury verdict ever on behalf of a property owner in a Texas condemnation case.

Smaller verdicts, however, can be just as meaningful. In June 2018, Don led a group of V&E lawyers who won $913,563 (net recovery to client) jury verdict for a family-owned collision repair facility in Little Elm, Texas when the Texas Supreme Court confirmed the trial court judgment obtained in a May 2015 Denton County jury trial. Prior to trial, the State had offered $49,104 in compensation. The victory was the result of a six-year-long legal battle with the State of Texas and the Texas Supreme Court opinion (Morale v. State of Texas, 557 S.W.3d 569 (Tex.2018)) is now cited at eminent domain conferences as one of the most important decisions affecting Texas condemnation cases. 

Experience Highlights

Recent Cases & Results

  • Jury verdict 1,837% above State’s First Offer – Jury trial verdict in a partial takings case for the Grand Parkway equivalent to compensation sought at trial for owner of a 600+ acre residential development in Harris County, Texas. This is believed to be the largest jury verdict for a property owner in a condemnation case ever in the state of Texas (The Texas Lawbook, February 7, 2018). The State has filed an appeal. (trial counsel, monetary damages)
  • Jury verdict resulting in 170% increase in Compensation to Client – Jury trial verdict equivalent to compensation sought by property owners at trial for the taking of a 42-acre tract for a detention pond in Harris County, resulting in a net recovery to clients of $8.85 million, when condemning authority’s first offer was $3.28 million. The verdict was affirmed by the Houston Fourteenth Court of Appeals and the County’s petition for review to the Texas Supreme Court was denied. (Deer Park Condemnation Case - trial counsel, monetary damages) 
  • Jury trial verdict equivalent to compensation sought by property owners at trial for the taking of a 42-acre tract for a detention pond in Harris County, resulting in a net recovery to clients of $8.8 million, when condemning authority’s proposed compensation at trial was $2.6 million (August 2014) (trial counsel, monetary damages)
  • Settlement and net recovery to a Bell County property owner of $4,875,000.00 on an original offer of $1,907,717.00 based upon Texas Department of Transportation condemning IH-35 Travel Center (August 2013) (settlement counsel, monetary damages)
  • Settlement and net recovery to a Fort Bend County property owner of $1,463,386.00 on an original offer of $850,000.00 by the Texas Department of Transportation (February 2009) (settlement counsel, monetary damages)
  • Settlement and net recovery of $3.75 million for a Dallas property owner impacted by Texas Department of Transportation’s IH-35E (Stemmons) expansion project (January 2009) (settlement counsel, monetary damages)
  • Settlement and net recovery to a Fort Bend County property owner of $593,000.00 on an original offer of $417,976.00 by the Texas Department of Transportation (January 2009) (settlement counsel, monetary damages)
  • Settlement and net recovery of $800,000.00 for a Dallas property owner with two parcels impacted by Texas Department of Transportation’s IH-35E (Stemmons) expansion project (January 2009) (settlement counsel, monetary damages)
  • Special Commissioners’ Award of $3.5 million net recovery for a Dallas property owner impacted by Texas Department of Transportation’s IH 635 (LBJ) expansion project; the State of Texas filed an objection to Special Commissioners’ Award, claiming the Award amount was too high (November 2008) (settlement counsel, monetary damages)
  • Bench trial in Dallas County Court at Law for a Dallas property owner recovering $124,000.00 in attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses from the State of Texas upon dismissal of a condemnation case (August 2008) (trial counsel, monetary damages)


Contact Details

Houston

T +1.713.758.3508
F +1.713.615.5985
dgriffin@velaw.com
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 2500
Houston, TX 77002
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Don's Practices

  • Baylor Law School, J.D., 1990 (Baylor Law Review; Order of Barristers; various law school organizations)
  • University of Texas, B.B.A., Finance, 1986
  • Admitted to practice: Texas; U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
  • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, 2020
  • Member: American Board of Trial Advocates; Texas Association of Defense Counsel; American Bar Association; Houston Bar Association
  • Past Board Member: Texas Association of Defense Counsel
  • Past Chair: Young Lawyers Committee, Texas Association of Defense Counsel