A: The more expensive lawyers are probably not necessarily the ones who have better reputations. In my experience, they can be either way. You’ll find that some of the best people in the world will also charge a lot of money for their services and may not be as fast as you’d like to see them.
Q: What is your advice for would-be adverse possession plaintiffs?
A: You should know what you’re doing before you do anything else. Otherwise it could backfire on you. I once had a case where someone filed an affidavit claiming title to property next door, but she hadn’t even been there since 1991! She was charged with criminal trespass and spent three days in jail because she didn’t file her claim within 90 days of moving out (or filing an affidavit). If she was serious about getting title to her own land, then this delay ended up costing us $15,000!
Q: How many years does it typically take to get rid of someone’s rights through adverse possession?
A: It takes between five and ten years prior notice plus at least three months after that time period for actual possession (i.e., actually taking control) to remove all claims by anyone else under any legal theory whatsoever; sometimes longer than 10 years if there were multiple parties likely competing over ownership or other issues relating to the same piece of ground when one party started physical occupation or exclusive use thereof