Regina represents cities and public agencies in all phases of the eminent domain process, from the pre-acquisition phase through trial. Regina helps clients understand and navigate through the unique and generally politically charged eminent domain process. Regina has found that many issues arising in eminent domain court proceedings are directly related to problems that were not fully addressed in the pre-acquisition stages. For that reason, she utilizes a team approach to handling the various phases of eminent domain proceedings. This approach involves working closely with the client to address everything from choosing an appraiser and preparing staff reports for hearings on resolutions of necessity to resolving relocation benefit claims and dealing with contamination and CEQA issues.
Work for Clients
Regina has served as lead counsel on acquisition and eminent domain matters for the Cities of Beverly Hills, Buena Park, Monrovia, Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, San Fernando, San Marino, and Vista. Most recently, she has been lead counsel on public improvement projects including the Orangethorpe Road Widening Project in Buena Park, the Haven Grade Separation Project in Rancho Cucamonga, and the Valley View Grade Separation Project in Santa Fe Springs. In addition, Regina has been lead counsel on a number of projects for the former redevelopment agencies of the Cities of Buena Park, Huntington Park, Monrovia, Pasadena, and San Fernando.
Regina has litigated a variety of condemnation issues including challenges to a public agency's right to take real property, claims for severance damages, loss of business goodwill, precondemnation damages, and inverse condemnation claims. She has significant experience handling all aspects of real estate acquisition for light rail projects and public works projects, including litigation, negotiation and preparation of purchase and sale agreements, right of entry agreements, title and escrow documents, deeds, and other real estate related documents.
Regina is the Chair of the Eminent Domain Department at Richards, Watson & Gershon.
Prior to joining Richards, Watson & Gershon in 2001, Regina represented public agencies and property owners in eminent domain proceedings involving a variety of cases, including multiple-parcel acquisitions for the Metropolitan Water District in connection with the Diamond Valley Lake Reservoir involving sensitive cultural and resources, and the former Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency in connection with the Staples Center requiring relocation of owners and tenants.
Professional and Community Affiliations
Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
Member, International Right of Way Association, Chapter 1
California Superior Courts
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
Regina has worked on numerous projects involving the acquisition of multiple parcels of land, dealing with state and federal funding requirements, environmental issues, and a myriad of valuation and legal issues. Regina has successfully represented public and private sector clients in both legal issues and valuation trials. Regina has litigated a variety of condemnation issues including challenges to a public agency’s right to take real property, claims for severance damages, loss of business goodwill, and precondemnation damages. She also has litigated inverse condemnation actions. She has handled numerous acquisitions for light rail and public works projects, grade separations, historic preservation, and redevelopment.
- Metro Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority. Regina represented the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority on the acquisition of multiple-property interests needed for Phase 2A of the Foothill Extension Project, which consisted of the construction and operation of a 23-acre Operations Campus and an easterly extension of the light rail line from the Sierra Madre Villa station in Pasadena to the Cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, and Azusa. The Phase 2A property acquisitions included partial fee and easement interests and full fee acquisitions of single-family residences, commercial, and industrial parcels. The Gold Line required the impacted properties for a variety of purposes including realignment of public streets, parking structures, Traction Power Substation Supply sites, and crossing and safety equipment. The subject property interests were acquired and conveyed to the Gold Line on time and under budget.
- City of Santa Fe Springs. Regina represented the City of Santa Fe Springs on the acquisition of multiple-property interests, including fee takes, partial acquisitions, and permanent and temporary construction easements for the Valley View Grade Separation Project. The City acquired multiple buildings occupied by tenants. Impacted owners and tenants alleged significant severance damages and loss of business goodwill claims. Regina successfully negotiated settlements on behalf of the city with impacted tenants.
- City of Rancho Cucamonga. Regina represents the City of Rancho Cucamonga on the acquisition of property interests needed for the Haven Grade Separation Project. The city acquired fee takes, partial acquisitions, and a variety of easements for this project.
- Historic Preservation. Regina represented the City of Pasadena in the acquisition of a historically significant YWCA building within the Civic Center area. The property owner had allowed the building to sink into a state of disrepair. Regina successfully represented the city in a legal issues trial that resulted in a holding that the city had the right to acquire the property for historic preservation purposes. After the legal issues trial, Regina assisted the city in negotiating a settlement with the owner regarding the value of the property.
- Public Works. Regina is assisting the City of Buena Park on the acquisition of property interests needed for the Orangethorpe Road Widening Project, Phase II.
Regina has delivered presentations on a variety of eminent domain topics before the International Right of Way Association, Appraisal Institute and Litigation Seminar and CLE International Eminent Domain Seminar.
- Eminent Domain Institute, 03.05.2020
- Event // Real Property Section, Valuation of Properties within Unique QualitiesPasadena Bar Association, 06.2017
- Event // Legal Ethics & Social MediaCLE International Eminent Domain Institute, 02.2017
- Event // Effective Courtroom Exhibits Jury Selection & Witness PerformanceAppraisal Institute, 11.2016
- Event // Ethics ‒ Considerations for the Eminent Domain PractitionerCLE International Eminent Domain Institute, February 2015 & 2016
- Event // Recent Developments in ED Case LawRWA Chap 1 Valuation Seminar, 10.2015
- Event // Legal Developments Impacting the Right of Way ProfessionIRWA Chapter 1 Valuation Seminar, 10.2012
- Event // Dissecting the Litigation AppraisalAppraisal Institute Seminar, 11.2010
J.D., Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
B.A., Loyola Marymount University