Michael J. Coughlin

Michael J. Coughlin


4310 Prince William Pkwy, Ste 300
Prince William, VA 22192-5199
703.680.4664 x5113
703.680.2161 (Fax)



Michael, an experienced litigation attorney, leads the firm’s Eminent Domain Practice Group.  In eminent domain matters, Michael represents only property owners and businesses with just compensation and lost profit claims.  He assists his eminent domain clients from the beginning of the condemnation process through trial, if necessary. His other litigation experience includes land use disputes with local governments, contract and administrative disputes with government agencies, easement and title disputes, and complex construction disputes.   Michael regularly lectures on eminent domain and land use topics, and has been recognized as one of Virginia’s “Rising Stars” in Virginia Lawyer magazine.

Representative Experience

  • VDOT v. Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Inc. (just compensation jury award of $603,000 versus original offer of $321,937).
  • VDOT v. Oak Farms (just compensation award for property owner 55% above VDOT’s offer).
  • Teen Challenge of Fredericksburg, Inc. v. Stafford County, Virginia (Settled Fair Housing Act and RLUIPA claims in United States District Court Eastern District of Virginia).
  • Rohr v. Cross Creek Investments, LLC et al. (successful defense of rezoning approval).
  • Successful zoning cases in Prince William, Frederick, Stafford and Fauquier Counties.
  • Counsel to local builder and developer in contract matters.

Reported Decisions

  • McCarthy Holdings LLC v. Burgher, 282 Va. 267 (2011)

Professional Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rated Lawyer
  • Named to Virginia Business’ 2016 Legal Elite in Real Estate/Land Use
  • Named a Virginia Rising Star (2009-10, 2013-18) and Washington DC Rising Star (2014-17) by Super Lawyers® in Virginia Lawyer Magazine

Publications and Presentations

  • Speaker at 2014 Appraisal Institute Annual Meeting: “Dissecting the Appraisal Report”
  • Instructor for 2014 Eminent Domain CLE: “Settlement Strategies”
  • Appraisal Institute, Stonewall Jackson Chapter Presentation: “The Role of the Appraiser in Condemnation Cases.”
  • Author of “Solving Eminent Domain Problems Post-Kelo” published in INSIDE THE MINDS™ EMINENT DOMAIN LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
  • Author of  “Absolute Deference Leads to Unconstitutional Governance: The Need for a New Public Use Rule,” published in 54 Cath. U. L. Rev. 1001 (2005). (Link to Article)
  • Catholic University, Columbus School of Law, guest lecturer in land use
  • Article “Eminent Domain Constitutional Amendment” in Virginia’s Land Sense Newsletter
  • Article “Transportation Projects Update” in Virginia’s Land Sense Newsletter

Community and Professional Involvement

  • Rebuilding Together Alexandria, Director
  • Virginia Bar Association Real Estate Council, Member (2017–Present)

Practice Areas

Land Use and Zoning


Eminent Domain


Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D., 2005

Catholic University Law Review, Staff Member

Emory University, B.A., 1999

Professional Membership

Virginia Bar Association

The Appraisal Institute, Affiliate Member

Prince William County Bar Association

Admitted to Practice in:


U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia

U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia

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