Rachael M. Crews Attorney At Law

Rachael M. Crews - Attorney at Law


T 407.843.8880
F 407.244.5690
Orlando 301 East Pine Street Suite 1400 Orlando, Florida 32801

Rachael is a shareholder with the firm focusing on eminent domain and land use litigation matters, but she has broad experience in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Not only is Rachael a highly skilled trial attorney, her exceptional writing skills make her a distinguished appellate attorney as well. 

Rachael has worked on all types of complex eminent domain cases, representing both property and business owners as well as select condemning authorities on all types of properties throughout the state of Florida. Her eminent domain cases have included large and small residential properties, commercial properties, vacant properties, agricultural properties, gas stations, mining sites, shopping centers, developed communities and subdivisions, and many more. She has been lead counsel in numerous eminent domain and inverse condemnation proceedings, valuation trials, and Bert Harris actions. Below is a sampling of some of the land use and eminent domain matters Rachael has handled:

  • Road projects and acquisitions
  • Bridge projects and acquisitions
  • Whole-System Utility valuation trials
  • Pond sites and acquisitions
  • Rail sites and acquisitions
  • Mineral and mine valuations and acquisitions
  • Power line, water line, gas line, and other utility easements and acquisitions
  • Flooding cases
  • Airport and avigation easements
  • Vested Rights litigation
  • Writs of Certiorari and Prohibition
  • Comprehensive Plan and Chapter 163 litigation
  • Land Use Decision Challenges
  • Property Tax Challenges

Rachael has wide-ranging trial experience in both federal and state court and has successfully tried and defended numerous non-jury trials and evidentiary matters on behalf of her clients. As part of defending landowners against natural gas line acquisitions in federal court, she was chosen by eminent domain colleagues around the state and outside her firm, to take the lead in writing key briefs, which helped prompt federal court rulings allowing Florida property owners to recover their fees and costs in federal court.  She was also second chair in two successful multi-million-dollar eminent domain jury trials.

Rachael has a love for the written word, and has developed a significant appellate practice. She has effectively handled a large number of appeals on behalf of both appellees and appellants in a broad range of matters including:

  • Eminent domain appeals
  • Land use appeals
  • Marital and family law appeals
  • Appeals involving high-profile athletes
  • Whistleblower appeals

Two of Rachael’s cases resulted in written opinions establishing or clarifying new law in her clients’ favor.

  • Background

    Rachael was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina. She graduated summa cum laude from Wofford College in 2001, where she double-majored in history and government. Thereafter, she attended Vanderbilt Law School, graduating with honors in 2004. Rachael joined the firm in 2007, after practicing at a boutique litigation firm for three years, where she gained significant courtroom experience.  

  • Education
    • Wofford College, B.A., History and Government (summa cum laude, 2001)
      • Phi Beta Kappa
      • Departmental Award for High Achievement
    • Vanderbilt Law School, J.D. (2004)
      • Book Awards in Comparative Law of Financial Distress and Financial Instruments 
  • Admissions
    • Florida
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit
  • Professional Associations and Memberships
    • The Florida Bar
      • Young Lawyers Section, Member
      • Eminent Domain Standing Committee, Member
    • The Federalist Society
    • Orange County Bar Association
      • Appellate Law Section
    • Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers
    • American Bar Association
    • George C. Young American Inn of Court
  • Awards and Recognitions
    • AV Preeminent® rated by Martindale-Hubbell
    • Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2023
    • Florida Super Lawyers, "Rising Star," 2009-2011, 2013-2018
    • Orlando Business Journal, Women Who Mean Business, Honoree, 2020
    • U.S. Service Academy Interview Panelist for the United States Naval Academy, 2019
  • Civic
    • PACE Center For Girls, Inc., Orange County Board, Former Chair
    • Wofford College Young Leaders
    • Central Florida Association for Women Lawyers
    • Leadership Orlando, Class 81 
    • Accendo LEADForward Roundtables Graduate, 2017
  • Articles and Publications
  • Presentations and Seminars
    • Presenter, "Getting Past "No" With Local Governments," Florida Eminent Domain Conference, October 24, 2022
    • Panelist, "Preparing for the September 18 Value Adjustment Boards Deadline," 2020
    • Panelist, Senator Rick Scott's U.S. Service Academy Interviews, 2019
    • Panelist, "Why Orlando? A Panel Discussion About Why to Work, Live, and Stay in Orlando," OCBA Young Lawyers Section Luncheon, 2019
    • Panelist, "The Direction of Law Firm Management," Law Firm Management, 2018
    • "Business Court Break Out Session: Lecture on Legal Writing," Morning at the Courthouse, 2017
    • Panelist, "Sabal Trail Natural Gas Pipeline Federal Court Cases," Eminent Domain CLE International Seminar, 2017
    • Investiture of Circuit Court Judge, 2014
    • "New Bankruptcy Law," National Business Institute Seminar