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Real Estate/Land Use and Environmental Litigation

Why Nutter for Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Litigation?

Clients consistently call upon our team of litigators when faced with difficult disputes or conditions involving real estate, land use and environmental issues. Our team includes some of the nation’s top ranked environmental and land use litigators, litigators whose cases have established the law governing insurers’ obligations to property owners, and litigators who have won some of the biggest eminent domain awards in Massachusetts.

From the days when Judge Louis Brandeis was still a litigator at Nutter, we have taken great pride in training and developing generations of litigators. We have in-house mock trial and moot court programs, and conduct our own “nuts and bolts” preparation on how to try cases to win. We know how to find the crux of even the most complex cases, and how to present the best possible arguments to a judge or jury in a way that is both clear and compelling. Our team is constantly striving to assess, analyze and improve its performance. We don’t prepare to negotiate, we prepare to win. This aggressive approach of preparing cases to be won has not only resulted in many favorable verdicts, but also many more favorable pre-trial judgments or dismissals, and many favorable settlements.

Clients also choose us for our emphasis on delivering value as well as results. We prepare each case to be won without breaking the client’s budget. We commit significant partner level attention to each and every matter for the sake of efficiency without overstaffing. Our unleveraged partner to associate ratio results in superior associate training and satisfaction (as reflected in nationwide surveys), which means that clients do not have a revolving door of associate lawyers assigned to their cases.

Our Team

Nutter’s real estate, land use and environmental litigation team includes: 

  • Six lawyers named in the peer-reviewed “Best Lawyers in America;”
  • Ten lawyers named as Massachusetts Super Lawyers, two lawyers repeatedly named as Super Lawyers in prior years, and a young lawyer named as a “Rising Star;”
  • Seven lawyers listed as “leaders in their field” by Chambers USA;
  • A former Massachusetts Superior Court Judge and Probate Court Judge;
  • A former clerk to the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Land Court; and 
  • Numerous lawyers who have authored or co-authored articles or books about real estate, land use, environmental law and litigation practice.

Our team has also been:

  • Ranked as a tier one Boston law firm for work in both real estate and environmental law by U.S. News & World Report; and 
  • Listed among the ranked firms nationwide in both litigation and real estate in the Chambers USA survey.

Who We Represent

We represent a broad spectrum of clients, including:

  • Public and privately held companies, including family owned businesses; 
  • Property owners; 
  • Real estate developers; 
  • Governmental entities, such as state agencies and municipalities; 
  • Individuals; 
  • Non-profit entities; 
  • Professionals, such as architects, brokers and engineers; 
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts and other complex real estate entities; and 
  • Service firms associated with real estate and development (for sales, engineering, testing, etc).

As a result of our work in this area, our team has in-depth knowledge about the many industries in which our clients compete, such as: 

  • Biotechnology and life sciences; 
  • Computer hardware and software; 
  • Construction and related services; 
  • Energy and utility services; 
  • Financial services, including insurance, banking, and investment banking; 
  • Hospitals, nursing homes and health care; 
  • Industrial materials; 
  • Manufacturing; 
  • Medical devices and instrumentation; 
  • Media and publishing; 
  • Pharmaceuticals; 
  • Professional services such as accounting and engineering; 
  • Real estate development; 
  • Retail and other service sector industries; 
  • Specialty chemicals; 
  • Transportation, both public and private.

What We Do

Our team helps clients to assess risks and make decisions about litigation prior to the filing of any suit. We give candid advice about the prospects for success and the pursuit of other options from the outset of an engagement. We help clients prepare effectively for trial and/or to negotiate favorable settlements.

We routinely handle disputes involving: 

  • Adverse possession; 
  • Affordable housing projects under Chapter 40B; 
  • Complex construction disputes; 
  • Development projects including commercial, residential and retail projects; 
  • Easements, access, and ingress and egress rights; 
  • Eminent domain and regulatory takings; 
  • Environmental matters, including state and federal Superfund matters under Chapter 21E and CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Wetlands Protection Acts, and other state and federal regulations; 
  • Historic district preservation under Chapter 40C; 
  • Insurance coverage; 
  • Nuisance and trespass; 
  • Lease and sale of properties; 
  • Performance bonds; 
  • Permitting and license issues; 
  • Purchase & sale agreements and other real estate contracts; 
  • Registered land; 
  • Restrictive covenants; 
  • Sick Building Syndrome, mold, and other issues concerning indoor air quality; 
  • Unfair or deceptive trade practices under Chapter 93A; and 
  • Zoning, subdivision, planning, and other land use issues.

To effectively represent our clients, our team members have appeared as in multiple forums, including: 

  • Massachusetts Superior Court for all counties, including the Business Session; 
  • Massachusetts Land Court; 
  • Massachusetts Probate Court; 
  • Massachusetts Housing Court; 
  • Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board; 
  • Massachusetts Appeals Court and Supreme Judicial Court; 
  • U.S. District Court of Massachusetts and 1st Circuit Courts of Appeal; 
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court and Tax Court 
  • State and federal courts in other jurisdictions; 
  • Various Massachusetts administrative agencies such as the Department of Environmental Protection, Massachusetts Highway Department, Housing Appeals Board, and the State Building Code Appeals Board; 
  • Municipal planning and zoning boards; 
  • Regional planning boards, and commissions such as the Cape Cod Commission; 
  • Various forums for mediation, arbitration, and other dispute resolution services.