Jody Sodd McSpadden has represented clients in a wide range of successful courtroom battles regarding eminent domain and property rights’ disputes. Her diverse experience directly contributes to her unique insight into condemnation cases. She has represented landowners in various kinds of condemnation proceedings, including inverse condemnations, takings for Dallas Cowboys football stadium, water rights takings, pipelines, powerlines, highway takings, and takings of convenience stores, restaurants and gas compressor sites.
McSpadden has been integral to the eminent domain fight against the Texas Rail Project and will continue to help protect landowners from unjust condemnation.
McSpadden received her undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Development in 1998. She graduated from Baylor Law School in 2002.
McSpadden was selected to the Texas Rising Star list published annually by Thomson Reuters in the area of eminent domain (2005-2007) and for 2014 and 2015. She is a member of the Navarro County Bar Association, Dallas Bar Association, Dallas Women’s Lawyer Association, Texas Trial Lawyers Association, and State Bar of Texas. McSpadden is a past member of the Corsicana Education Foundation, served as Co-Chairperson for the Corsicana ISD Bond Committee and served as an Adjunct Professor at Navarro Junior College. McSpadden was appointed by the Mayor of Corsicana to the City of Corsicana’s Planning and Zoning Board, where she served for several years before resigning her position. She has also served as Co-Chairperson of the Navarro County Youth Exposition for two years and is on the Board of The Camp of the Rising Sun, a local organization that assists children with special needs.
McSpadden was born in Corsicana and married her husband, Chris, in 1998. She has four children and enjoys spending time with her family at their ranch.
Cases and Results
- Settlement of a group of 11 landowners’ partial taking cases for a pipeline easement on valuable ranching properties that resulted in $1,986,177 net combined recovery to the clients on $348,000 combined offers.
- Settlement of landowner’s partial taking case for a pipeline easement resulting in $1,947,638 recovery to the client on a $621,405 offer.
- Settlement of a condemnation case for a shopping center where TXDOT condemned a portion of the property for a roadway project resulting in a net recovery to the clients of $807,285 on a $49,670 offer.
- Settlement of a partial taking case for a restaurant where TXDOT condemned a portion of the property for a roadway project resulting in a net recovery for the client of $786,859 on a $460,000 offer.
- Settlement of a landowner’s partial taking for a pipeline easement within a pipeline corridor resulting in $1,567,000 net recovery for the landowner on a $510,000 offer.
- Settlement of a partial taking by TXDOT for a roadway project with a net recovery of 267% increase over the initial offer.
- 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.
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
- “Road Warriors: Building and Trying an Eminent Domain Case From Your Laptop,” presented at the 37th Annual ALI CLE Advanced Course, Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation 2020.
- Presenter, 29th Annual Outlook for Texas Land Markets Conference, 2019.
- 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.
- Maintaining a Successful Balance, Jody Sodd McSpadden was featured as Partner of the Month in the March 2018 issue of the Greater Dallas Edition of Attorney at Law Magazine.
- 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
- Dallas Bar Association
- Dallas Women’s Lawyer Association
- Board member of The Camp of the Rising Sun
- Past co-chairperson of the Corsicana Independent School District Bond Committee
- Past member of the Corsicana Education Foundation Board
- Past 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
- Past co-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.