The California Law Revision Commission ( CLRC or Commission ) is a unique source of information concerning the law of eminent domain as well as on proposals underway to change the law of eminent domain. While the CLRC studies and makes recommendations on all kinds of laws, it has historically been particularly active in the field of eminent domain. The principal duties of the Commission are to: Examine the common law and statutes for the purpose of discovering defects and anachronisms. Receive and consider suggestions and proposed changes in the law from the American Law Institute, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, bar associations, and other learned bodies, and from judges, public officials, lawyers, and the public generally. Recommend such changes in the law as it deems necessary to bring California law into harmony with modern conditions. Even as we speak there are a number of significant proposals being studied to change various procedures, rights or entitlements that are part of our current law of eminent domain or to clarify ambiguities caused by conflicting court decisions. I will be reporting on some of these in newsletter articles during the coming months. Before the Commission recommends a change in the law to the State legislature, it studies the existing law, prepares memorandums analyzing and explaining the state of the law and the need for revision, and makes tentative recommendations that are circulated to the public and commented upon. All of this information is available on the Commission’s website (www.clrc.ca.gov). Oftentimes you will gain insight concerning eminent domain issues in dispute by reviewing the Commission’s memorandums and the comments from the public. For example, last year the Commission studied the issue of what benefits may be offset against severance damages and the related issue of whether the California Supreme Court in the case of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority v Continental Development 16 Cal. 4th 634 changed the law concerning the type of damages that may be claimed as severance damages in a condemnation case. This was the subject discussed by Judge Waldrip at one of Chapter 67’s luncheon meetings last year. While the Commission ultimately determined not to make a recommendation to change or clarify the law, it did provide a comprehensive discussion of the issues that may benefit right of way professionals that face the issue in the future. Other topics recently studied and commented upon by the Commission include: Whether a public agency’s appraisal used to determine the deposit for prejudgment possession can be used as evidence for any purpose by the property owner (to impeach the agency’s appraiser, to provide evidence of unreasonableness for the ultimate determination whether to award attorneys fees, etc.) Whether the date for exchange of valuation (appraisal) data in a condemnation case should be pushed back to 90 days before trial rather than the current 60 days before trial. Whether a clear formula should be established as to when attorneys fees and litigation expenses should be awarded a property owner who obtains a significantly higher recovery than what was offered by the condemning agency. And more. Visit http://www.clrc.ca.gov/ and learn. This article is reprinted with permission from Chapter 67’s April 2001 Bundle of Writes’ newsletter. Mr. Rubin is an attorney who specializes in condemnation and inverse condemnation matters with the law firm of Rutan & Tucker. Mr. Rubin was the Newsletter editor for Chapter 67 for 3 years (1993 to 1995) and initiated the contest that resulted in their Chapter adopting the Bundle of Writes name.