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 –

Sarasota Landowners Represented by Thor Hearne and True North Law File Motion Asking Court to Hold the Government Liable for Taking Property for the Sarasota Legacy Trail

About 200 Sarasota landowners whose property was taken for the development of the northern extension of the Legacy Trail public recreational rail-trail filed a motion in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims asking the court to hold the federal government liable for taking their land without paying them compensation.  The motion was filed by Thor Hearne and True North Law on behalf of the landowners.

When the government takes private property for public use, the government must pay the landowner “just compensation” under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.  Under the federal Trails Act, the federal government enabled Sarasota County to construct a public recreational rail-trail park across hundreds of Sarasota County residents’ property.  In violation of the Fifth Amendment, the government did not compensate these landowners for the private property the government took.  The motion asks the court to hold the government liable and order the government to pay compensation.

In constructing the rail-trail, Sarasota County also destroyed the landowners’ fencing and structures.  The construction has also created water drainage and flooding issues on the landowners’ property.  Although Sarasota County has promised to pay the landowners for the damage it caused, Sarasota County has not done so.

In addition to these 200 landowners along the northern extension of the Legacy Trail, Thor Hearne successfully represented the landowners whose property was taken for the southern segment of the trail.



After Trial, Court Issues Sweeping Ruling in Favor of Georgia Landowners Represented by Thor Hearne

Following a trial in Atlanta, Georgia, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has issued its decision awarding the plaintiff-landowners the full value of their property taken by the federal government for the creation of a recreational rail-trail across their properties.

“This is a sweeping win and total vindication for these landowners,” said Thor Hearne, who served as lead trial counsel for all the nearly sixty landowners in Jackson, et al. v. United States (court opinion and order available here).

The court awarded the full value of the landowners’ property taken by the government as valued by the landowners’ expert witnesses.  The court overruled the government’s appraiser on every point, including stating that the government’s appraiser’s opinion “strains credulity.”

“The government actually tried to get away with saying that taking many of these landowners’ property for a public recreational trail actually made their properties more valuable and that the government shouldn’t have to pay these owners anything,” Hearne said.  “We took the government to trial, and we prevailed on every single point.”

Thor Hearne pioneered rails-to-trails takings litigation and was named by the National Law Journal as one of the nation’s Top Fifty Litigation Trailblazers and Pioneers for his work.  Over the past thirty years, he has represented thousands of landowners across the country in similar cases.


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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