Bruce’s Beach, in Southern California, represents the first example in the United States of reparations to a family harmed by the racist use of eminent domain. This agreement — and the family’s recent sale of the land back to L.A. County for $20 million — was made possible by careful, skilled pro bono representation. Hear from George C. Fatheree III, partner at Sidley & Austin and lead counsel for the Bruce family’s descendants, about this unprecedented matter — and why he found it personally and professionally compelling.
PLI is proud to offer programs, Pro Bono Memberships, and scholarships to support the essential public service work of the legal profession.
FEATURED IN THIS EPISODE
George Fatheree III
George Fatheree advises clients in large and complex real estate transactions. He also advises professional sports teams, artists, museums, and other arts and cultural institutions across a range of issues and transactions. His clients value his commercial approach, pragmatic advice, market perspective, collaborative style, creative problem solving, and ability to execute time-sensitive transactions. George has experience in a broad range ofcommercial real estate transactions, including joint ventures, fund formations, financings, acquisitions and dispositions, leasing and real estate M&A with a focus on hospitality, industrial, multifamily, entertainment venues, sports arenas, casinos, and energy deals.
George led a team of attorneys in securing the return of Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce, in a precedent-setting case that saw land returned to a Black family nearly a century after it had been taken by the city of Manhattan Beach as a result of racial animus. George developed and implemented a strategy that involved advising on statewide legislation to enable the transfer, conducting genealogical research, determining the proper appraisal methodology, helping defend litigation brought to stop the return of the property, analyzing federal tax treatment and, ultimately, negotiating the terms of the return of the property and the lease back to the county.