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Inverse Condemnation of Oysters, Oyster Leases and Oyster Beds: A Podcast


It is not an enjoyable feeling when the appellate court grants the other side an appeal on your recent victory. The inevitable concern is that the appellate court intends to overturn your client’s win, but that is not always the case. Sometimes the appellate court takes the appeal to clarify the law on the subject, not change the result, and thus vindicates your win. Not only did you win, but the appellate court has confirmed that you won, as with our recent victory in Johnson v. City of Suffolk, where the plaintiffs claimed that sewer and stormwater discharges inversely condemned their leased oyster grounds in the Nansemond River. That clear confirmation is an enjoyable and relatively rare feeling for a litigator.

Another enjoyable feeling is being asked subsequently to speak about your win. Nobody likes a braggart, but if other people are going to ask you to talk about your work, sure, why not? Therefore when the Pendulum Land Podcast asked me to join them and William & Mary law professor Robert Thomas to discuss the case, I was more than happy to do so, with or without the promise of a delicious oyster lunch at the Atlantic on Pacific in Virginia Beach which I had been wanting to try.

I am first and foremost, a nerd about the things I am interested in, one of those things being the intersection of public needs and private property rights which is at the core of the infrastructure projects which allow our quality of life.  This meshes well with the Pendulum Land Podcast, where they refer to my sort of interest as being an “infrastructure junkie.” The podcast is intended to be entertaining, educational, and informative for people interested in takings, property rights, right-of-way, and infrastructure development, among other topics. They are in their second season and are in the Top 100 in iTunes, and I hope you will give them a listen. The episode about Johnson v. City of Suffolk, entitled “Inverse Condemnation of Oysters, Oyster Leases and Oyster Beds. Say What???” is available on iTunes at the following link: And yes, lunch at Atlantic on Pacific turned out to be just as delicious as advertised, and you can hear all about it on the show.

Ross Greene is a Pender & Coward shareholder and chair of the Eminent Domain Practice Group.  He focuses his practice in the areas of eminent domain, real estate, wills, trusts, estates, and business matters. Ross speaks regularly on topics related to eminent domain and right-of-way law. He holds the prestigious SR/WA designation from the International Right of Way Association and is a CLIMB-certified instructor with the IRWA, as well the Secretary/Treasurer for IRWA Region 4, and a past President of IRWA Chapter 52 (Old Dominion). Ross is AV-Rated (“Preeminent”) by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings system and has been listed among Virginia’s Legal Elite and Super Lawyers.