Jody Sodd McSpadden

Jody Sodd McSpadden has made her mark in a wide range of successful courtroom appearances in eminent domain matters. Her diverse experience directly contributes to her unique insight into condemnation cases. She has represented landowners in numerous kinds of condemnation proceedings, including complex takings for the Dallas Cowboys football stadium, water rights takings, pipelines, highways, and takings of convenience stores and gas compressor sites. The more complex the case, the better she likes it.

Jody received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Development in 1998. In 2002, Jody earned her Juris Doctor from Baylor Law School.

The Thomson Reuters service has recognized Jody as a Rising Star in eminent domain for three consecutive years (2005-2007) and for 2014 and 2015. In addition to her dedication to the practice of law, Jody has also served the community as a member of the Corsicana Education Foundation Board, Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Navarro County Child Advocates, and was an Adjunct Professor at Navarro Junior College. Jody was appointed to the City of Corsicana’s Planning and Zoning Board. In addition, she was the Chairperson of the Corsicana Independent School District Bond Committee. Jody is also a member of the Navarro County Bar Association and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.

Jody was born in Corsicana, Texas, and returned to her hometown roots after law school. Jody married Chris McSpadden in 1998 and they have four children: Will, Annie, Jake, and Luke. She and her family enjoy spending time together at their ranch, The Refuge, where Chris breeds and raises whitetail deer. Jody also enjoys reading, antique shopping, and running.

Cases and Results
  • Settlement for an adult entertainment operator/owner in Tarrant County in a partial taking case filed by the State/TXDOT that resulted in a complete loss of the property owner’s building. The case was settled resulting in a net recovery to the client of $5.48 million on a $3.4 million offer.
  • Settlement for a property owner in Brazoria County for a partial taking for a natural gas pipeline easement resulting in a net recovery to the client of $1.85 million on a $700,00 offer, a favorable early settlement achieved prior to litigation.
  • Settlement for a convenience store owner in Bell County for a whole taking of an operating convenience store. The settlement resulted in a net recovery for the client of $1.355 million on a $900,000 offer.
  • Settlement for a convenience store owner/operator in Dallas County on a condemnation filed by the State/TXDOT resulting in TXDOT being required to dismiss its case, as well as pay attorneys’ fees and expenses to the landowner. In addition, the landowner was able to keep his store and other valuable concessions were obtained from TXDOT.
  • Co-counsel for a property owner in a jury trial concerning the taking of natural gas pipeline easement on a vacant commercial property in Tarrant County, resulting in a jury verdict for the landowner and a net recovery of $1 million on an offer of $154,700.
  • Co-counsel for a property owner in a jury trial where TXDOT condemned 28 acres for a rest stop on I-35 in Central Texas. Presented the landowner’s valuation witness to the jury. Trial resulted in a jury verdict for the landowner. The State appealed and the case was subsequently settled for the jury’s verdict amount resulting in a net recovery to the client of $3.22 million, on an offer of $389,323.
  • Settlement for a unique airline manufacturing owner/operator in Tarrant County in a partial taking case that resulted in a complete loss of the property owner’s building and facilities. The settlement resulted in a net recovery to the client of $3.5 million, on a $1.8 million offer.
  • Settlement for a convenience store operator/owner in Dallas County in a partial taking filed by the State/TXDOT, resulting in a $5.77 million net recovery to the client, on an offer of $4,114,808.
  • Settlement on an inverse condemnation claim involving a sand and gravel operator/tenant who was not compensated by a pipeline company prior to the pipeline company installing a gas pipeline on the leased property, which was an active sand and gravel operation. The settlement resulted in a net recovery for the client of $226,000 and no initial offer was made by the pipeline company.
Representative Matters

Jody has represented landowners against a variety of condemning authorities in a wide range of condemnation cases, including:

  • The State of Texas and TxDOT
  • Numerous gas pipelines
  • Cases against several Texas cities
  • Dallas Cowboys Stadium
  • Dallas and Fort Worth Trinity River projects
Presentations & Publications
  • Improving the Landowner’s Odds in Eminent Domain Cases, published in April 2015 issue of Headnotes for the Dallas Bar Association, co-authored with Matt Hurt and Tyler Milton.
  • Condemnation Proceedings for Easements from the Landowner’s Perspective, presented at the Law of Easements: Legal Issues and Practice Considerations seminar, hosted by Lorman Education Services, August 2007.
  • Defending Property Owners from the Government, presented at the Advanced Consumer Law CLE on behalf of the State Bar of Texas, November 2005.
Education
  • Baylor University School of Law, Juris Doctor, 2002
  • Texas A&M University, Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Development, 1998
Admitted to Practice
  • Texas Courts statewide
Professional & Community Involvement
  • Navarro County Bar Association
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Chairperson of the Corsicana Independent School District Bond Committee
  • Member of the Corsicana Education Foundation Board
  • Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Navarro County Child Advocates
  • Former Adjunct Professor for Navarro Junior College
  • Appointed to the City of Corsicana’s Planning and Zoning Board
  • Chairperson of the Navarro County Youth Exposition
Awards & Recognition
  • Selected to the Texas Rising Star list published annually by Thomson Reuters in the area of eminent domain for three consecutive years (2005-2007) and for 2014 and 2015.