Acker even named the home after his dog, Figo. Not only had Acker put a large amount of money and hard work into the house, but he was also experienced in commercial litigation. With his legal smarts the fight was on to keep his home.
Acker recalled meeting with the PR represented from the opposing side, whom made it clear that “in no uncertain terms,” TriMet would end up with his property. According to Acker “I told her in no uncertain terms I would be fighting. And she asked me what kind of law I practice and I said, ‘If it’s necessary over the next few years it will be eminent domain law.’ And I told her I wanted to thank her in advance because if I prevail I planned to go after TriMet to recover my attorney fees.”
Acker’s aggressive resistance paid off when he found some “troubling” information about TriMet’s plans. He uncovered confidential conversations between TriMet and nearby Portland State University in which they hoped to have the historic preservation society reclassify the Figo House, thus making an eminent domain acquisition easier. Acker commented, “there was a lot of underhanded stuff that was going on and a lot that was being kept from the public.”
Acker exposed TriMet’s questionable conversations by handing them out in packets at a public hearing. Public opinion started to sway in Acker’s favor. “The public was fantastic,” Acker said of the episode. “The media was fantastic.”