Elizabeth G. McCulley * Member | Kansas City, Missouri
Landowners rely on Liz to advocate for compensation when the government takes their private property for public use. Her practice focuses on protecting landowners’ Fifth Amendment rights to just compensation for property designated for Rails-to-Trails developments.
Through the past 20 years of practice, Liz has obtained an abundance of rulings and settlements in favor of landowners’ rights, holding the federal government accountable for taking citizen and business real property interests within former railroad rights-of-way.
Her representative matters include the nation’s two largest Rails-to-Trails settlements to date:
• Raulerson, et al., v. United States: Recovered $33 million for 260 landowners whose property was taken for a Rails-to-Trails recreational trail in Beaufort, South Carolina.
• Haggart, et al., v. United States: Negotiated a $177 million settlement for 253 property owners in Seattle, Washington, after the Surface Transportation Board authorized a trail on land formerly subject to a railroad easement.
Liz honed her case management skills through years of complex, multi-stage litigation, where she managed large dockets involving multi-faceted claims, multiple jurisdictions, and hundreds of plaintiffs. She applies that organizational discipline to her Rails-to-Trails work and often serves as the primary point of contact for clients throughout the lifespan of a case, and Liz takes personal pride in her timeliness, accessibility, and responsiveness. Liz was named a member of Lawyers of Distinction, for Constitutional Law, 2020, and in her spare time, she loves finding as many ways as possible to help those in need.
• University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law, J.D., with distinction, 2001
- Law Review, Order of the Bench and Robe; Ambassador for UMKC
• Avila College, B.A., Business Administration, 1991
• Missouri Supreme Court
• United States District Court, Western District of Missouri
• United States Court of Federal Claims
• United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Memberships & Activities
• American Bar Association
• Court of Federal Claims Bar Association
• Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
• Compassion International
• Contributing author: "50 State Questionnaire Consumer Protection Statutes and Class Actions" (ABA 2009)
• Contributing author: "Federal Jurisdiction Based on Removal: A 50-State Survey" (ABA, Section of Litigation,
Pharmaceuticals Subcommittee, 2008)
• "School of Sharks? Bar Fitness Requirements of Good Moral Character and the Role of Law Schools"
Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics; Spring 2001
• New York Times: April 25, 2021; November 14, 2021, 2021 “Power Lawyers”
Did you receive our mailer, or have any questions for us? We’re here to help you take the next step for just compensation.
Notable Success Examples
In Haggart v. United States, our attorneys recovered $177,400,000 on behalf of 254 landowners in King County, Washington, along a 25.45-mile trail.
In Raulerson v. United States, our attorneys recovered $33,300,000 on behalf of 264 landowners in Beaufort County, South Carolina, along a 25.05-mile trail.
In Smith v. United States, our attorneys recovered $26,477,000 on behalf of 29 landowners in King County, Washington, along a 25.45-mile trail.
In Ansley Walk v. United States, our attorneys recovered $18,416,000 on behalf of 5 landowners in Fulton County, Georgia, along a 1-mile trail.
In Furlong v. United States, our attorneys recovered $14,200,000 on behalf of 272 landowners in Albany, New York, along a 10.94-mile trail.