Stephanie Hutchins Autry has been a trial lawyer since 1987 and has focused her practice on eminent domain since 2000.  Before joining Cranfill Sumner as a partner in 1995, Stephanie was a partner in the Raleigh office of an international law firm. Stephanie’s career has included dozens of successful jury and bench trials and reported appellate decisions.

For the last 15 years, Stephanie has concentrated her practice exclusively in the area of eminent domain, representing property owners in land condemnation matters throughout North Carolina.  She has tried over a dozen multi-million dollar land condemnation cases to favorable jury verdicts, resulting in awards greatly in excess of the condemnor’s estimated just compensation.  Stephanie also has an exceptional record of resolution through settlement. Stephanie, along with her husband and law partner, George Autry, has won the two largest land condemnation judgments in NCDOT history. Stephanie’s track record includes trial and settlements of virtually every type of eminent domain case, including condemnations of shopping centers, gas stations, hotels, mining and manufacturing facilities, golf courses and country clubs, office and residential condominiums, livestock farms and historical properties, to name a few. Stephanie regularly represents clients against the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the City of Raleigh, the City of Charlotte, the Triangle Transit Authority, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, and Duke Energy Progress.

Representative clients include Target, Inc., Developer’s Diversified Realty, Chick-Fil-A, Triad Holding Co., Roseclay, LLC, Public Storage, Boggs Construction Co., Duke Realty, Corp., Kirkpatrick Assocs., as well as many other individuals and businesses.

Stephanie has been admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States and is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. She was recently appointed to the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference Advisory Board.

Representative Matters

Cases or matters referenced do not represent the lawyer’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or a law firm’s past results.

  • Received the highest jury verdict ever awarded in Alamance County, in a case involving the Department of Transportation’s condemnation of a portion of a largely vacant tract suitable for commercial development.
  • Received a jury verdict, with interest, more than 60 times the condemnor’s initial offer for the partial taking of an office complex in Durham County.
  • In a case that pitted the State’s police power against the requirement to pay just compensation, achieved a favorable multi-million dollar settlement and additional non-monetary concessions for owner of a large mixed-use development.

Articles, Presentations, and Publications

Author and Presenter of numerous publications and lectures, including:

  • “Techniques that Work in Selecting and Trying your Condemnation Case to a Jury,” (American Bar Association, Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, San Diego, CA January, 2006)
  • “The Impact of Kelo v. New London: Blurring the Line Between Public Use and Private Gain,” (Research Triangle Park, January, 2006)
  • “Inverse Condemnation,” (Greensboro, November, 2005)
  • “Medians, Access and Change of Grade: Obtaining Compensation for Legitimate Interferences with Property Rights,” (Cary, October, 2004)
  • “Eminent Domain: Representing the Landowner,” (Raleigh, March, 2004)


  • Co-author of proposed legislation protecting property owners’ rights to just compensation, including compensation for lost business profits, appraisal and expert witness costs, and attorneys fees; protecting property owners’ access to public records relating to condemnation of their property; and limiting the use of eminent domain for economic development.

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