John H. Buonocore, Jr.

“The power to take private property from law-abiding citizens can be abused by government, whether through lowball offers of compensation or attempts to take property on behalf of politically connected developers. As an attorney, I take pride in standing up for the rights of property owners and in my ability to effectively fight City Hall when others believe it can’t be done. It can be done, and I do it every day.”

Noted eminent domain attorney John Buonocore’s clients depend on his knowledgeable, blue-chip advocacy to shepherd them successfully through the eminent domain process and secure for them the highest compensation for the taking of their property. They appreciate his ability to provide a clear roadmap of how their case will be handled, to assemble a team of knowledgeable valuation experts appropriate to their case, and to effectively demonstrate the value of their property before a jury.

Mr. Buonocore is editor and co-author of New Jersey Condemnation Practice, the standard New Jersey treatise on eminent domain. He is also the author of Eminent Domain – New Jersey Practice, Skills & Methods. He lectures frequently before appraisers, real estate professionals and attorneys on condemnation and real estate value litigations. He has been a featured speaker at numerous professional organizations, including the American Law Institute, the Appraisal Institute, the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, Continuing Legal Education International, the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, and The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

He has been ranked among top lawyers by New Jersey Monthly Magazine, New York Magazine and The Best Lawyers in America.

Representative Cases »
  • Mr. Buonocore has been entrusted with handling significant valuation matters.  Some of the results he has obtained for his clients in recent years include the following:
    • He negotiated a $23.6 Million settlement in condemnation litigation of industrial property in Bayonne representing an increase of $7 Million over the condemnor’s offer;
    • He negotiated a $23.95 Million settlement in condemnation litigation of industrial property in Jersey City representing an increase of $4.78 Million over the condemnor’s offer;
    • He obtained a settlement at trial involving a condemnation of commercial property in Long Hill Township for $4.3 Million, representing an increase of $1.5 Million over the condemnor’s offer of compensation.
  • Not all eminent domain fights are over money.  Mr. Buonocore has successfully handled dozens of matters across the state defending clients against attempts by municipalities to declare their properties “blighted” and taken by condemnation in behalf of politically-connected developers. He recently concluded litigation successfully overturning a blight designation where a redeveloper had sought to obtain his client’s industrial property through the redevelopment process for a fraction of its true value. By eliminating the threat of condemnation, his client was free to sell the property on the open market for full value.
Noteworthy »
  • Mr. Buonocore holds the highest ranking, AV Preeminent, from the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory.
  • Recognized by New Jersey Monthly Magazine for many years as a “New Jersey Super Lawyer” , and selected by that magazine as one of New Jersey’s Top 100 Attorneys for 2011
  • Named “New York Area Top Lawyer” as published in New York Magazine.
  • Included in “The Best Lawyers in America,” the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.
Reported Opinions »
  • Dept. Env. Prot. v. North Beach 1003, LLC, 451 N.J. Super 214 (App. Div. 2017)
  • City of Asbury Park v. Asbury Park Towers, 388 N.J. Super. 1 (App. Div. 2006)
  • Casino Reinv. Dev. Auth. v. Marks, 332 N.J. Super. 509, certif. den. 165 NJ 607 (App.Div.2000)
  • Casino Rein. Dev. Auth. v. Lustgarten, 332 N.J. Super. 472, certif. den. 165 NJ 607 (App.Div.2000)
  • Casino Rein. Dev. Auth. v. Katz, 334 N.J. Super. 473 (Law. Div. 2000)
  • State, by Comm’r of Transportation v. Van Nortwick, 287 N.J. Super. 59 (App. Div. 1995), certif. denied 143 143 N.J. 320 (1995)
  • Ellison v. The Evergreen Cemetery, 266 N.J. Super. 74 (App. Div. 1993)
  • State v. Van Nortwick, 260 N.J. Super. 555 (App. Div. 1992)
  • State by Comm’r of Transportation v. Morristown, 129 N.J. 279 (1992)
  • State by Comm’r of Transportation v. Morristown, 246 N.J. Super. 156 (App. Div. 1991)
  • State by Comm’r of Transportation v. D’Onofrio, 235 N.J. Super. 348 (App. Div. 1989)
  • Rockaway v. Donofrio, 186 N.J. Super 244 (App. Div. 1982)
Publications »
  • “The Law of Eminent Domain” (Co-Author, New Jersey Chapter) – Fifty State Survey, American Bar Association/First Chair Press, 1st Ed. (William G. Blake, Editor)(2012)
  • Diminished Just Compensation in Eminent Domain Cases“, New Jersey Law Journal, Vol. CXCII, No. 16, Index 164, April 21, 2008
  • “The Politics of Eminent Domain” – American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Phoenix, 2006
  • “Condemnation in the Redevelopment Context” – CLE International, Princeton, 2006
  • “Eminent Domain and Land Valuation” American Law Institute – American Bar Association, San Diego, January, 2006
  • “Redevelopment Law”, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Las Vegas, 2005
  • “In Need of Redevelopment Designations – Mounting an Effective Defense” – CLE International, Princeton, 2005
  • “Novel Issues in Direct and Cross Examination of Witnesses” – American Law Institute – American Bar Association, Eminent Domain and Land Value Litigation, San Francisco, 2004
  • “Strategies for the Handling of the Eminent Domain Case” – New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, 2002
  • “Real Estate Value Litigation – Eminent Domain”- 62nd Annual Princeton Conference of the Appraisal Institute

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