Thomas S. Stewart
Thomas S. Stewart * Member | Kansas City, Missouri
Tom graduated from the University of Missouri in 1976 and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School in 1979 at the top of his class. He also served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review.
Over his 40 years of law practice, Tom has handled over 60 jury trials. Although he has been in large firms and small firms, and served as the Managing Partner of one of Kansas City’s largest firms for 18 years, Tom now helps landowners enforce their Fifth Amendment rights for just compensation for the government’s taking of private property. He works with citizens and businesses whose property is designated for public use in Rails-to-Trails developments, pipeline and utility projects, and other inverse condemnation actions.
Tom has, through his extensive Rails-to-Trails practice, developed significant experience with appraisals, the Yellow Book, and a variety of complex valuation issues. Tom has recovered many millions of dollars for landowners across the country as lead counsel or as a substantial contributor. Tom has successfully conducted 7 valuation trials in Rails-to-Trails cases and his 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.
Over the years, Tom has served on a significant number of Boards in the Kansas City area, including the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Civic Council, Kansas City Tomorrow, United Way, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Board of Trustees, and even negotiated the long-term leases for both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals.
Specific aspects of his practice include:
Tom works with farmers and ranchers whose land is affected by inverse condemnation. These cases involve complex appraisal concerns, including access and production issues. Tom has resolved nine of these cases in Iowa alone, and has successfully represented agricultural landowners in Nebraska and Colorado.
Tom’s national class action experience includes more than 20 Rails-to-Trails matters and a current pipeline trespass lawsuit that involves landowner plaintiffs in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas and Nevada. He applies his Rails-to-Trails experience to litigation involving real estate ownership, including right-of-way, eminent domain, inverse condemnation and the diverse array of state property laws.
Tom has been recognized in four editions of Super Lawyers in the field of business litigation.
- Missouri Supreme Court
- United States District Court, Western District of Missouri
- United States District Court, District of Kansas
- United States Court of Federal Claims
- United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law, JD, with distinction
Recipient of the Thomas E. Deacy Trial Practice Award
Order of the Bench & Robe
Editor-in-Chief, UMKC Law Review (1978-1979)
- University of Missouri, Kansas City, BA (Political Science), magna cum laude
Phi Beta Kappa
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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.