Steven M. Wald
St. Louis, Missouri
Steve helps landowners get compensation from the government when their private property is taken for public use. He litigates inverse condemnation claims involving recreational, highway, rail and utility projects. One of his primary focus areas is Rails-to-Trails litigation, which stems from the development of public recreational trails on former railroad rights of way.
Steve has recovered millions of dollars for companies, farmers and private citizens across the country. Among his recent successes:
- Sutton v. United States – Represented 37 landowners in a suit over the taking of a nine-mile strip of land in Yolo County, California. The land in question had an easement for the Sierra Northern Railway for rail operations; when the train service stopped, the government converted the rail corridor into a recreational trail. Steve successfully argued that the landowners deserved compensation, and the parties reached a $2.9 million settlement.
- Longnecker Property, et al., v. United States – Represented 65 landowners in a suit after the federal government authorized a recreational trail on a three-mile right of way in Thurston County, Washington. Railroads had originally obtained easements to operate on this land between 1890 and 1911; Steve argued the new trail use interfered with landowners’ property interest and constituted a taking of property for public use. The parties reached an $11.2 million settlement.
- Furlong, et al., v. United States – Obtained a $13.4 million settlement for 272 landowners in Albany County, New York. The plaintiffs own land along a nine-mile stretch of defunct railroad that is being converted into a public recreational trail. Steve negotiated the settlement agreement short of a scheduled trial.
Steve earned his master’s degree in business administration; he works with clients who have a demonstrable business case for a claim, and he approaches litigation with research, discipline and sensibility.
Steve has more than two decades of experience in civil litigation. Prior to co-founding Stewart, Wald & McCulley, he served as a partner at two Midwest firms, where his work included property claims, shareholder litigation, insurance coverage disputes, consumer fraud claims, and other breach of contract and fraud claims. He is adept at managing document-heavy cases and working with experts in business valuation and real estate appraisals.
Before entering private practice, Steve served as a law clerk for the Honorable Tom Stagg, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.
Missouri Supreme Court
Illinois Supreme Court
Texas Supreme Court
United States Court of Federal Claims
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Speaker - April 23, 2009, ABA Legal Professional Liability Seminar, Miami, FL; "Case Developments"
Speaker - April 11, 2007, DRI Insurance Claims and Coverage Institute, Chicago, IL; "The Tripartite Relationship: Recognizing the Landmines"
Speaker - October 24, 2006, BKD Forensics Group, St. Louis, MO; "Traps for the Unwary Expert: How to Avoid Problems in Drafting Reports, Providing Testimony, and Producing Information"
Speaker - Legal Victory of 1999 for the National Food Processors Association,
Speaker - May 14, 1999, St. Louis, MO
"The Ten Best Ways to Protect Your Business When Selling or Purchasing Goods"
Speaker - October 9, 1999, National Food Processors Association Annual Food Defense Conference, Tucson, AZ