Meghan S. Largent
In addition to her Fifth Amendment takings cases, Meghan also focuses her practice on appellate litigation and commercial disputes. She has assisted in drafting appellate briefs in the US Supreme Court, US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Supreme Court and Appellate Courts of Illinois. She also has experience in litigation before the United States Tax Court, ERISA, products liability, and toxic tort.
Prior to joining Arent Fox, Meghan was an associate for a large national law firm in St. Louis. After law school, Meghan clerked for the Hon. Sue E. Myerscough. In law school, Meghan interned in the Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission.
Meghan volunteers for Legal Advocates for Abused Women representing clients in s and St. Louis County, and for the Marygrove Young Professionals Board in St. Louis.
Publications, Presentations & Recognitions
Meghan has co-authored the following articles:
- “The Trails Act: Railroading Property Owners and Taxpayers for More Than a Quarter Century,” 45 Real Property Probate and Trust Journal115, co-author, 2010
- “The Fifth Amendment Requires the Government to Pay an Owner Interest Equal to What the Owner Could Have Earned Had the Government Paid the Owner the Fair-Market Value of Their Property on the Date the Government Took the Owner’s Property,” The Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference Journal, spring 2012
Meghan has also recieved the following awards:
- 2015 Missouri Lawyers Weekly "Up & Coming" Lawyer
- 2014 Albert E. Arent Pro Bono Award
Litigation — Before the Supreme Court
Meghan serves as co-counsel in the following cases before the Surpreme Court:
- Brandt v. United States, No. 12-1173 (2014), co-counsel for amicus curiae Cato Institute, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Land Title Association, Public Lands Council, American Cattlemen's Beef Association, and law professors Richard Epstein, James Ely, Donald Kochan, and Dale Whitman: The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Brandt family and issued a landmark decision protecting property owners' rights as urged by the amici.
- West Chelsea Buildings, LLC v. United States, No. 14-102 (2014). Thor has represented property owners in New York City in takings litigation regarding the H Line, a popular elevated recreational park on the West Side of Manhattan. Those landowners sought to appeal their claims for compensation under the Fifth Amendment for the taking of their property to the U.S. Supreme Court. Thor Representatives Roy Blunt, Lamar Smith and Vernon Ehlers) as amid curiae beforethe United States Supreme Court in support of Indiana election officials on issues of federal preemption and the federal Help America Vote Act.
- PPL Montana v State of Montana, No. 10-218 (2010) U.S. Supreme Court amicus, brief on behalf of Cato Institute and Montana Farm Bureau Federation.
Federal & State Court Decisions
Megan served as co-counsel in the following cases:
- Palmer Ranch v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue Service, T.C. Memo 2014-79 (US Tax Court 2013), affirmed, 812 F. 3d 982 (11th Cir. 2016). US Tax Court trial involving and $83 million dispute with the IRS. The IRS disallowed the donation. After a two-week trial, the IRS lost. After an appeal in the Eleventh Circuit, the IRS lost again. On appeal, the 11th Circuit of Appeals granted additional relief to Palmer Ranch over and above what the Tax Court rewarded.
- Romanov Equities, Inc. v. United States, 815 F. 3d 809 (2016) (Supreme Court petition for centiorari to be filed in October 2016). Appeal from the US Court of Federal Claims denying landowner relief under the Fifth Amendement for the taking of its property. This appeal is of national interest because it raises the property law and federalism issure in that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided a novel question of New York state property law without certifying that state law question to New York's highest state court. A petition for the certiorari is currently pending in the Supreme Court.
- Biery, et al. v. United States, No. 16-316 (U.S. Supreme Court petition for certiorari pending). Case of national interest regarding attorney fee reimbursements to landowners who successfully pursue Fifth Amendment takings claims against the federal government.
- Jack Ladd v. United States, 630 F.3d 1015 (Fed. Cir. 2010); Jack Ladd v. United States, 713 F.3d 648 (2013). Successful appeals reversing two decisions of the Court of Federal Claims establishing major precedent in Trails Act and Fifth Amendment litigation.
- Douglas R. Bigelow Trust v. United States, 107 Fed. Cl. 490 (2012). Counsel to Michigan landowners’ class action claim asserting Fifth Amendment taking of land subject to railroad right-of-way.
- Thompson v. United States, 101 Fed. Cl. 416 (2011). Counsel to Michigan landowners in Fifth Amendment takings claim successfully determining that landowners had reversionary rights to property underlying an abandoned railway triggering Fifth Amendment’s “just compensation” requirement.
- Hodges v. United States, 101 Fed. Cl. 549 (2011). Counsel to Michigan landowners successfully determining that abandoned railway right-of-way conversion to a public trail constituted a taking under the Fifth Amendment.
- Bright v. United States, 603 F.3d 1273 (Fed. Cir. 2010). Counsel in class-action Fifth Amendment taking case brought against the federal government. Successfully overturned adverse decision by Court of Federal Claims. National Law Journal noted this case “could dramatically change the rules for plaintiffs across the country who file big-money class actions against the federal government.” Mike Scarcella, “Broken Trails,” National Law Journal (June 22, 2009). US Justice Department touted the government’s lower court win as one of the DOJ’s most significant accomplishments in 2009. In a unanimous decision issued May 3, 2010, the Federal Circuit overturned the Court of Federal Claims and issued a decision that broadly affirmed the use of class action procedure in cases against the federal government. The Federal Circuit’s broadly written rejection of the Justice Department’s argument is a landmark victory for the plaintiffs in this and more than 30 other pending class action cases.
- Dorothy L. Biery, et al. v. United States and Jeremy Pankratz et. al v. United States, 86 Fed. Cl. 516 (2009) (certification order). Certified question referred to Kansas Supreme Court by US Court of Claims. Amicus curiae, including Kansas Farm Bureau, filed briefs in support due to precedential importance of issue. Argued before Kansas Supreme Court in October 2009. Subsequently the Court of Federal Claims ruled in favor of the landowners.
- Brandt v. United States, No. 12-1173 (2014), co-counsel for amicus curiae Cato Institute, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Land Title Association, Public Lands Council, American Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and law professors Richard Epstein, James Ely, Donald Kochan, and Dale Whitman: The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Brandt family and issued a landmark decision protecting property owners’ rights as urged by the amici.
Life Beyond the Law
When not working, Meghan enjoys visiting the zoo with her son and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bar & Court Admissions
- District of Columbia Bar
- Illinois Bar
- Missouri Bar
- US Court of Federal Claims
- US Tax Court
- US Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
- US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
- US District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- US District Court, Central District of Illinois
- US District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
Washington UniversityJD,2005University of Missouri, ColumbiaBJ,Bachelor of Journalism, cum laude,2001