Rails to Trails FAQs

Explain what you handle in your practice.

I represent landowners from across the country in filing inverse condemnation claims. We bring lawsuits against the federal government on behalf of landowners seeking just compensation for their property taken for rail-trail conversions. My days can vary widely. Some days I’m researching potential cases, inspecting potential rail-trail corridors and meeting with landowners. Other days I may be reviewing century-old deeds and state-specific research to determine how a railroad was originally acquired. This research then carries over to writing and editing briefs and oral arguments. We interview and meet with appraisers and inspect the properties in question. In some cases where settlement is not possible, we represent our clients in valuation trials. 

What got you interested in your practice area?

Before law school I spent a few months working at a local law firm that represented landowners in these types of cases. I then returned to this law firm to work as a summer associate during law school and then as an associate after law school. I fell in love with this area of law where we can represent landowners in vindicating their constitutional rights. 

What guides you in your law practice?

My law practice is guided by three core values: passion for upholding landowners' constitutional rights, dedication to securing the highest compensation possible, and creativity in finding efficient solutions with our skilled team at Lewis Rice. I take the time to understand my clients’ concerns and work tirelessly to secure the maximum award, even if I can’t prevent the taking itself.

How do you approach understanding your clients and their needs to provide the best legal advice?

I enjoy meeting with my clients in person. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn more about their concerns, their property, and what a successful outcome would look like for them.

How do you stay up to date on the latest developments and trends that could impact your clients?

I attend several conferences throughout the year pertaining to eminent domain litigation. I also read new cases each week and confer with attorneys who handle the same type of legal representation. 

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to spend time with my family and friends. My husband and I have three kids, two dogs and a lizard. My kids are very involved in sports, so that consumes much of our time. My family and I also love to travel, and when I get the time, I enjoy being outside playing tennis, golfing and hiking.  

How are you involved in your community?

I serve on the tennis committee at our community’s golf and tennis club due to my lifelong passion for tennis. I am also an assistant coach for my daughter’s volleyball team. Volleyball was a significant part of my upbringing, and it brings me joy to help the girls learn and grow within the sport. I also help prepare Chaminade’s mock trial team for competitions and enjoy attending events and fundraisers for local organizations such as Marygrove and Marian Middle School.