We are a National Authority in Property Rights, Constitutional Law & Appellate Litigation

Nationally recognized trial attorneys specializing in property rights, IRS disputes, appellate litigation and more.

The National Authority In

Eminent Domain Litigation

If the government takes private property the Constitution requires the government to pay the landowner “just compensation” for that property the government took form the landowner.  The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution says, “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Every state constitution contains a similar provision protecting an owner’s right to their private property.  Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may also be entitled to be paid additional compensation for what the government took and the expenses you may have incurred in defending your right to be compensated.  The federal Uniform Relocation Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4601, et seq., requires the federal government (or a state government using federal funds or acting under federal authority) to pay your legal fees and litigation expenses.  The text of the Uniform Relocation Act is available here.


– Breaking News –

Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Landowners Supported by True North Law Amicus Brief

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled in favor of Missouri landowners – reversing the trial court’s erroneous decision – in a case where True North Law filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of a distinguished property law scholar and professor.

 In Behrens, et al. v. United States, Missouri landowners who own property taken by the federal government for a public recreational rail-trail filed claims against the government for the “just compensation” they are guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment.  The trial court erroneously ruled that the landowners were not entitled to compensation because the easement the railroad gained across these owners’ land in the early 1900s was broad enough to encompass not only railroad use, but public recreation.

 The court of appeals explained that the trial judge wrongly interpreted Missouri law, holding, “in Missouri, trail use with the purported but speculative purpose of preserving the right-of-way for future railroad use does not fall within the scope of an easement granted for railroad purposes.”

 True North filed its amicus brief on behalf of Professor James W. Ely, Jr., a renowned property law expert and legal historian and co-author of the leading property law text, The Law of Easements & Licenses in Land, which has been quoted and followed by the U.S. Supreme Court and many other courts across the country.

Federal Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Property Rights Amici Curiae Represented by True North Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied the Department of Justice’s petition for rehearing en banc in a Trails Act case brought by Indiana landowners.  True North Law filed two amicus briefs supporting the landowners on behalf of four property-rights organizations, the National Association of Reversionary Property Owners, the Cato Institute, Owners’ Counsel of America, Reason Foundation, and the Southeastern Legal Foundation, and also on behalf of distinguished scholar of property law, Professor James W. Ely, Jr.  The most recent amicus brief is available here.

True North’s first amicus brief in this case was filed before a three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit.  That panel ruled in favor of the landowners in a unanimous decision.  But then the Justice Department asked the Federal Circuit to convene all the judges on the court and rehear the case, hoping the full court would reverse the panel’s decision.  True North then filed another amicus brief asking the court to deny the federal government’s petition to rehear the case.

As the amici parties represented by True North pointed out in their brief, the federal government’s petition for rehearing en banc was a fool’s errand.  The panel’s earlier decision in the case was based upon decades of the Federal Circuit’s prior precedent – precedent that the federal government had originally favored.  In sum, the government failed to provide any reason why the Federal Circuit should reconvene en banc to reconsider and overturn thirty years of the Federal Circuit’s Trails Act jurisprudence in order to implement a new rule contrary to the Supreme Court’s Takings Clause jurisprudence.  The landowners, supported by these amici parties, prevailed, and the Federal Circuit denied the government’s petition.

About Us

True North Law Group


True North Law Group is a Thor Hearne law firm, making us an authority in property rights and appellate litigation.

We have spent the last 30 years ardently fighting for the rights of our clients in a variety of constitutional and appellate law cases, including pioneering rails-to-trails compensation law and winning more cases on behalf of landowners than any other firm.

Your constitutional rights should never be infringed – particularly by the government – and we have devoted our practice to protecting and defending citizens through dedicated trial advocacy.

Practice Areas


Property Rights

& Eminent Domain

Protecting your 5th Amendment rights so that you receive just compensation for your property.

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Law & Voting Rights

Ensuring laws comply with the constitutions at the state and federal level, including fair elections and voting rights.

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Commercial Litigation

Advocating for businesses in complex property valuation, patent disputes, eminent domain lawsuits & more.

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Appellate Litigation

Federal & State Courts

Professional appellate litigation attorneys at all levels, including US circuit courts, state Supreme Courts and the US Supreme Court.

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Tax Court Litigation

Conservation Easements

Representing clients in tax courts for IRS disputes in land valuation, conservation easements, retirement benefits & more.

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Trial Advocacy

Federal & State Courts

Experienced trial attorneys representing clients in a range of technical areas of law, including property rights, patents & more.

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Success Stories


“Mr. Hearne,

We appreciate your work in representing the homeowners along the Legacy Trail in Mission Valley, Nokomis, FL.  The case was Rogers v. U.S.  Over a decade-long fight your firm held fast and was successful.  Thanks!”

Bob and Madeline Havlick

Accreditations &



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(314) 296-4000
112 S. Hanley Road, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63105
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