Craig M. Collins
Mr. Collins is one of California’s preeminent property lawyers. One of the top land use and condemnation lawyers in the United States, Mr. Collins' cases have involved planning, zoning, eminent domain, various kinds of business litigation, landslides, contract, due process, equal protection, defective construction, nuisance, insurance and environmental law.
Mr. Collins focuses on land-use and environmental impacts of a wide range of private and public projects, including industrial scale solar facilities, university campuses, hospitals, research and development facilities, water supply and storage projects, oil refineries, maritime port and airport expansions, and numerous industrial, commercial, housing and mixed use developments. He also reviews compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), legislative and quasi-adjudicatory approvals required under the California Planning and Zoning Law, and permits and approvals required by other land use and environmental regulations, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, federal and state Endangered Species Acts, California Coastal Act and the Subdivision Map Act.
Mr. Collins is an experienced litigator, and has both defended and challenged projects in both the state and federal courts.
Rancho California Water District v. Vail Lake USA, in Riverside County, which resulted in the Court issuing a mandatory injunction requiring the Water District to build a $28 million pipeline for our client, the owner of Vail Lake.
Manulife Insurance Co. v. City of Los Angeles, et al., in a $12 million land subsidence against the State of California, City of Los Angeles, and County of Los Angeles. Part of the case settled and part of it went to trial.
Paul Haggis v. City of Los Angeles in an inverse condemnation subsidence and landslide case against the City of Los Angeles. The Haggis home was completely destroyed by the earth movement. This case was eventually appealed to the California Supreme Court.
Phil Spector and Rachelle Spector v. City of Alhambra – an inverse condemnation for the Spectors following a landslide affecting a large estate property. The City agreed to repair the landslide and reimburse the Spectors' attorney fees.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California v. Domenigoni Family, two 6-week trials for the Domenigoni Family of Riverside County against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) in a complex eminent domain case that resulted in a jury verdict of $43.2 million in my clients’ favor. This remains one of the largest eminent domain verdicts in California history.
Raceway Ford v. State of California (CalTrans) – represented a large Ford dealership in an inverse condemnation case against CalTrans arising out of the State’s failure to comply with its own construction plans for the 60-91-215 Freeway Project in Riverside County.
City of Fontana v. Sunrise Ford – represented the second largest Ford dealership in the United States, in an eminent domain case arising out of a widening of the 10 Freeway in San Bernardino County.
St. Johns Medical Plaza v. Lincoln Electric, et al. – a lawsuit for the doctors who owned the St. Johns Medical Plaza, in Santa Monica, in their full-value $11 million recovery against contractors following the near collapse of the St. Johns Medical Plaza as a result of the Northridge earthquake.
City of Milpitas v. Great Mall of the Bay Area – represented shopping mall owner in a series of eminent domain actions brought by the City to take part of a successful shopping mall property for a regional transportation project.
Awards and Honors
Recognized as a Lawyer of Distinction
Awarded to Top 10% of Lawyers in the USA
Rated an AV Preeminent Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell for professional excellence
Approximately Top 10% of Lawyers in the USA