Steven is a shareholder in the Litigation Group and the Tax Disputes & Litigation Group at Fredrikson & Byron. He has broad experience representing land owners in eminent domain, property tax appeals and special assessment proceedings. While Steve has primarily represented land owners in these disputes, he also has extensive experience representing utilities and other taking authorities in eminent domain proceeding. Steve’s understanding of real estate valuation provides the foundation for both segments of his practice.
Prior to graduating from law school, Steve spent one year studying law at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
- University of Minnesota, J.D., 1994, cum laude
- Saint John's University, B.A., Government, 1989, magna cum laude
- Minnesota, 1994
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, 1995
- Condemnation & Eminent Domain
- Real Estate Litigation
- Renewable Energy
- Property Tax Appeals
- Tax Disputes & Litigation
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Alliance Pipeline – was involved in all aspects of Alliance Pipeline L.P.’s right-of-way easement acquisition in Minnesota. The 36-inch high pressure natural gas Alliance Pipeline runs 1,900 miles from British Columbia to Chicago, with approximately 252 miles in Minnesota. The $3.0 billion project was North America’s largest construction project in 1999. Prior to condemnation, Fredrikson & Byron successfully brought a survey access petition in North Dakota and Minnesota. Fredrikson & Byron commenced condemnation actions in thirteen Minnesota counties, involving over 300 parcels of land and over 1,000 respondents, and was also responsible for obtaining numerous permits and authorizations from each county, which included finding, engaging, coordinating, and presenting appraisal experts, and experts in agronomy, soil compactions, engineering, pipeline safety, and crop disease.
- MinnCan Pipeline – since 2005, Steve has been a member of the Fredrikson & Byron team that represents Koch Pipeline, L.P., and Minnesota Pipe Line Company, L.L.C., regarding the right-of-way acquisition for the 305-mile long crude oil “MinnCan” pipeline project. In August of 2007, District Court Judge Steven Drange granted our survey access petitions, and in September of 2007, granted the condemnation petitions and quick-take motions at a consolidated hearing.
- Xcel Energy – since 1999, has represented Xcel Energy in various land rights and land use matters, including the condemnation of right-of-way for transmission and natural gas lines, property tax appeals, franchise matters, special assessment appeals, and zoning and use disputes.
- Minnesota Twins – in 2007, represented the interests of the Minnesota Twins in connection with Hennepin County’s acquisition of the site for the new ball park. Worked closely with Hennepin County and Hennepin County’s outside counsel at the commissioners’ hearing and in connection with the County as it prepared for the jury trial.
- Since 1996, Steve has developed an extensive practice representing landowners in condemnation proceedings. The cases have ranged from narrow strip takings for road-widening projects to total takings of substantial commercial properties. Steve has represented landowners with respect to pre-petition settlement negotiations, at commissioners’ hearings, at jury trials, and at the Court of Appeals. Steve’s goal, at each stage of the process, is to make sure that his client is fairly compensated for the taking. Examples of landowner representation include:
- Reichhold – served as lead trial counsel in Minneapolis Community Development Agency v. Reichhold, Inc. (2005). After three contested hearings on petition, the District Court denied the MCDA’s condemnation petition. Ultimately the District Court granted Reichhold its costs and attorneys’ fees.
- Obtained a $1.3 million jury verdict on behalf of the owner of an approximately two acre commercial property in Buffalo, Minnesota. The taking authority’s final offer before commencing the condemnation proceeding was $555,000.
- Obtained a $495,000 commissioner award resulting from the partial taking affecting a 40 acre parcel located north of Rochester, Minnesota on Highway 52. The taking authority’s final offer before condemnation was approximately $100,000.
- Obtained, through settlement, over $1,050,000 for partial taking of parcel located on Highway 52 near Oronoco, Minnesota. The taking authority’s final offer to the landowner prior to commencing the condemnation proceeding was $231,000.
- Obtained, through settlement, over $1,000,000 for partial taking of parcel located near 48th Street and Highway 63 in Rochester, Minnesota. The taking authority’s final offer to the landowner prior to commencing the condemnation proceeding was $255,000.
- Obtained $196,000 commissioner award for a partial taking affecting a convenience store property. The taking authority’s final offer to the landowner before commencing the condemnation proceeding was $4,000.
- Represented a hotel developer with respect to a property affected by the Highway 10 improvement project in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Negotiated a resolution with the taking authority that was based on a slight redesign of the road project, the conversion of a portion of the taking from a fee taking to an easement, and an increase in compensation to the landowner. As a result of the settlement, the developer was able to go forward with the hotel development project.
- American Bar Association
- Minnesota State Bar Association
- Hennepin County Bar Association, Eminent Domain Section, Member
- Volunteer Lawyers Network
- Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., Board of Directors