Josh Patashnik on Regulatory Takings Law

Munger, Tolles & Olson attorney Joshua Patashnik published an article for Law360 on July 3, 2017 about the limited impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s long-awaited decision in Murr v. Wisconsin, which many hoped would clarify how courts should identify the “denominator” in regulatory takings law.

In his article, Mr. Patashnik describes the longstanding confusion in takings disputes over how courts should define a specific parcel of property – aka the “denominator” – for owners of multiple properties.

The Supreme Court was expected to clarify the process for identifying the denominator in Murr, a case in which regulatory changes prevented two brothers who owned separate parcels of land from selling one lot separately from the other.

Adopting a multifactor balancing test to determine the denominator for the takings claim, the High Court ruled in favor of the state, which had argued that the two properties were commonly owned and, under state law, could not be sold separately. Mr. Patashnik argues that the test itself is not likely to change the results of many takings disputes that were decided before Murr, limiting the overall impact of the decision.

Mr. Patashnik focuses his practice on appellate and complex civil litigation. He is the author of several articles on water law, property and takings, and is a frequent speaker at conferences on these subjects.