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George Robertson Murphy

George Robertson Murphy Partner, Condemnation & Eminent Domain

George is Co-Head of V&E’s Condemnation and Land Use Litigation practice group. Selected as Best Lawyers of America's Houston Eminent Domain Lawyer of the Year for 2019, George's trial practice is principally focused on the representation of private property owners involved in eminent domain lawsuits wherein the State, counties, municipalities, and other government authorities seek to acquire his clients’ property. He has extensive first chair jury trial experience confirmed by his invited membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and George has represented owners of properties of all types, including retail, commercial, industrial, and residential properties. George has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the publications Best Lawyers in America and by Texas Super Lawyers for his extensive experience in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law.

Recent Trials

  • 2018 Jury verdict 281% above State’s First Offer – Lead counsel in a jury trial resulting in a Judgment in favor of the owner of a 52.75 acre tract of land in the Klein area of Northwest Houston that was taken by the State of Texas for construction of a portion of the Grand Parkway and an associated detention pond. The trial resulted in a net recovery to the client of $9.34 million on an original offer of $3.2 million. The State did not appeal the verdict. (Houston Condemnation Case – trial counsel, monetary damages)
  • 2018 Jury verdict 110% above State’s Offer – Lead counsel in a jury trial resulting in a judgment in favor of the owner of a refrigerated warehouse facility in Houston, Texas that was condemned for the State’s US 290/610 Expansion Project. The trial resulted in a net recovery for the client of $8.37 million compared to the State’s offer of $4.40 million during the administrative phase of the litigation. The State did not appeal the verdict. (Houston Condemnation Case – trial counsel, monetary damages)
  • 2018 Jury verdict 1,005% above County’s First Offer – Lead counsel in a jury trial for a partial takings case for the owner of a trucking facility in Houston, Texas, a part of which was condemned for Harris County’s Hardy Toll Road Extension Project. The trial resulted in a net recovery to the client of $1.6 million on an original offer of $177,000. Harris County voluntarily dismissed its appeal. (Houston Condemnation Case – trial counsel, monetary damages)
  • 2017 Jury verdict 292% above State’s First Offer – Lead counsel in a jury trial resulting in a judgment in favor of the developer of a large anchored retail development in Montgomery County, Texas for the Grand Parkway. The property taken by the State was to be developed as pad sites fronting a big-box retail store. The State appealed the trial verdict and the parties settled shortly after the appeal was filed, resulting in a net recovery to the client of $8.51 million on an original offer of $2.94 million (Montgomery County Condemnation Case – trial counsel, monetary damages)

Experience Highlights

  • 2016 Jury verdict resulting in 283% increase in Compensation to Client – Lead counsel in a jury trial resulting in a judgment for the owner of a large grocery company related to the condemnation by the State of a part of its retail development for the construction of the Grand Parkway in Montgomery County, Texas. The trial resulted in a net recovery to the client of $4.6 million on an original offer of $1.2 million (Montgomery County Condemnation Case – trial counsel, monetary damages)
  • Combined Jury verdicts 292% above State’s Combined First Offer – Combined jury trial verdicts for 100% of the compensation sought in single consolidated trial involving two commercial reserve parcels owned by the same entity taken for the Grand Parkway in Harris County, Texas; the Judgment was affirmed by the Houston 1st Court of Appeals in State v. Gleannloch Commercial Development, LP, 2018 WL 4134926 (Tex.App.—Houston [1st Dist.] Aug. 30, 2018, pet. filed). (Houston Condemnation Case – trial counsel, monetary damages)
  • 2015 Jury verdict 367% above State’s Compensation Estimate – Jury trial verdict 40% above compensation estimate at trial by owner of commercial reserves taken for the Grand Parkway in Harris County, Texas, and 367% above State’s first offer; the Judgment was affirmed by the Houston 14th Court of Appeals in State v. Gleannloch Commercial Development, LP, 2017 WL 6559745 (Tex.App.—Houston [14th Dist.] Mar. 8, 2018, pet. filed). (Houston Condemnation Case – trial counsel, monetary damages)
  • 2014 Jury verdict 367% above State’s Compensation Estimate – Lead counsel in a jury trial resulting in a judgment in favor of a family who owned a tract of vacant land, a part of which was taken for a detention pond associated with the widening of FM 529 in the Katy, Texas area. The trial resulted in a net recovery to the family of $725,000. The jury verdict was affirmed on appeal. See State v. Chana, 464 S.W.3d 769 (Tex.App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2015, no pet.). (Houston Condemnation Case – trial counsel, monetary damages).
  • Lead counsel in a jury trial for the acquisition of property needed by an electric utility client for a transmission line project in Wise County, Texas (Wise County Condemnation Case – trial, monetary damages)
  • Lead counsel for the acquisition of approximately 180 miles of right-of-way in multiple counties in North Texas needed by a client for CREZ transmission line projects
  • Lead counsel for the acquisition of approximately 300 miles of right-of-way in multiple counties in the panhandle region of Texas needed by client for CREZ transmission line projects
  • Lead counsel resulting in a favorable jury verdict in which the jury awarded the client 100% of the amount sought on behalf of a family who owned commercial property on I-45 in Montgomery County, which was condemned by the City of Shenandoah (Montgomery County Condemnation Case – trial counsel, monetary damages).
  • Co-counsel for a property owner in jury trial resulting in a favorable jury verdict in which the jury awarded the client 100% of the property owner’s estimate of compensation. The case involved the widening of I-10 and the resulting impact on a property improved with a Class A self-storage facility in Houston, Texas (Houston Condemnation Case – trial counsel, monetary damages).
  • Lead counsel for a property owner in a jury trial resulting in a favorable verdict for the owner of a retail shopping center that lost parking as a result of the widening I-10. The Judgment was affirmed on appeal by the Houston 14th Court of Appeals. See State of Texas v. Gaylor Investment Trust Partnership, et al., 322 S.W.3d 814 (Tex.App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2010, no pet.) (Houston Condemnation Case – trial counsel, monetary damages) 

Additional Experience

  • Lead counsel for a joint venture pipeline company in the acquisition of property needed for a new crude oil pipeline constructed across terminal/railroad property
  • Lead counsel for the acquisition of 25 miles of property for a canal project intended to provide an additional water supply source to the City of Houston and surrounding areas
  • Lead counsel for numerous property owners in settlements reached with the State of Texas related to the condemnation of their property for the expansion of several major freeways
  • Lead counsel for numerous property owners in settlements reached with Harris County related to the condemnation of their property for highway and road widening projects, toll road projects, and flood control projects
  • Lead counsel for the owner of property improved with a distribution center for a national restaurant chain resulting in a favorable verdict following a jury trial.

    • Co-counsel for a property owner in a jury trial resulting in a favorable verdict resulting from the condemnation of a portion of a property improved with big box retailer for the widening of S.H. 6 in Bryan, Texas.
    • Represented a manufacturer of asbestos-containing products as trial counsel in various counties throughout the State of Texas
    • Represented major building products manufacturer in a multiparty case involving property damage and product liability claims in combined construction/personal injury litigation resulting from the failure of a commercial building
    • Served as arbitrator in two AAA arbitration proceedings involving contract disputes and unfair trade practices claims


    Contact Details

    Houston

    T +1.713.758.2693
    F +1.713.615.5433
    grmurphy@velaw.com
    1001 Fannin Street
    Suite 2500
    Houston, TX 77002
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    George's Practices

    • Paul M. Hebert Law School at Louisiana State University, J.D., 1994 (Order of the Coif; Louisiana Law Review)
    • Northeast Louisiana University, B.A. with honors, 1991
    • Admitted to practice: Texas; Louisiana; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; U.S. District Courts for the Western, Northern, Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas, and the Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana
    • The Best Lawyers in America© (Woodward/White, Inc.), "Lawyer of the Year" in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law (Houston), 2019−2020; Eminent Domain, 2017−2020
    • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2014−2017, 2019
    • Selected to the Texas Rising Star list, Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), 2005 
    • Member: Houston Bar Foundation; American Bar Association; Houston Bar Association (Campaign for the Homeless Committee, 1997–1998; Professionalism Committee 1998–1999); Houston Young Lawyers Association
    • Member: American Board of Trial Advocates