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    The National Law Journal Names Arent Fox Partner Thor Hearne Litigation ‘Trailblazer’ of the Year

    January 5, 2015

    Washington, DC — Arent Fox LLP partner Thor Hearne has been selected by The National Law Journal as one of the nation’s Top 50 Litigation Trailblazers after his precedent-setting work “fighting for land-holders, small businesses, and farmers against the government’s right to take their property,” and ensuring they are fairly compensated when it does.

    The National Law Journal reported that Mr. Hearne was recognized as one of the best litigators in the country for demonstrating a “deep passion and perseverance,” and “having achieved remarkable successes along the way.” Mr. Hearne has earned a national reputation for handling complex federal and state litigation and appeals, especially in matters involving property rights, constitutional law, and election issues. Mr. Hearne also represents property owners in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Last year, Mr. Hearne won a landmark Tax Court verdict in a lawsuit the IRS brought against a taxpayer challenging a $28 million donation of land in Florida.

    Arent Fox is currently representing more than a thousand landowners in more than a dozen eminent domain cases against the federal government. Mr. Hearne and his team also recently launched Federal Takings, a legal blog that covers critical developments in Arent Fox’s Fifth Amendment takings work. A link to the blog is here.

    The National Law Journal highlighted Mr. Hearne’s work in Ladd v. United States, a case that vindicated the constitutional right of Arizona ranchers and other landowners to be compensated when the federal government takes their land for public recreation and so-called “railbanking.” The National Law Journal previously featured the Ladd case in a cover story after Mr. Hearne won several lower court rulings and two appeals in the Federal Circuit.

    Mr. Hearne told The National Law Journal that it has been frustrating to see the federal government resist owners’ rights to be paid after it takes their property. “But, even when the government has lost repeatedly, the government keeps making the exact same losing arguments in trial court,” Mr. Hearne said. “Let’s fairly compensate these owners and stop wasting taxpayer funds and scarce judicial resources tying up the courts with decades of useless litigation.”

    Mr. Hearne has earned a national reputation for his work in complex federal and state litigation and appeals — especially in cases involving constitutional law, property rights, and election issues. Previously, Mr. Hearne represented the leadership of the United States House and Senate as amicus parties in the Crawford v. Marion County voting rights case in the Supreme Court.

    In addition, Mr. Hearne has written and lectured on the Fifth Amendment and property rights at the Brigham-Kanner Annual Property Rights Conference and for the past several years been a faculty member of the American Law Institute during its annual conference on property rights and eminent domain. The United States Court of Federal Claims recently appointed Mr. Hearne to its Advisory Council, which makes recommendations on ways to more efficiently resolve private citizens claims against the federal government.

    A member of Arent Fox’s Appellate group, Mr. Hearne is lead counsel in two cases currently pending before the United States Supreme Court, the Missouri and Florida Supreme Courts, three cases in the Federal Circuit, and one in the Eleventh Circuit.