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T&E Litigation Newsletter- 8/31/17
Practice: Probate & Fiduciary Litigation

Appeals Court Confirms That a Government Building Has the Status of a Pre-Existing Nonconforming Structure When Transferred to a Private Party
Practice: Litigation, Real Estate, Real Estate Litigation
PDFIn Gund, et al. v. Planning Board of Cambridge, et al., No. 15-P-1339 (Mass. App. Ct. July 19, 2017), neighbors of the former Sullivan Courthouse in Cambridge challenged special permits granted by the Cambridge Planning Board to a developer to convert the Courthouse into a 20-story mixed-use building.[1]  As a governmental building, the Courthouse was not subject to zoning laws when built due to the principle of sovereign immunity.  The Planning Board authorized the conversion of the Courthouse by the private developer based upon the view that the Courthouse would be entitled to statutory protections as a pre-existing nonconforming structure after being sold by the government to the private developer.  The Land Court upheld the Planning Board’s decision on summary judgment, holding that the Courthouse is entitled to the protections of a pre-existing nonconforming structure under M.G.L. c. 40A, Section 6 after sovereign immunity ends.
 
[1] The developer was represented by Kevin O’Flaherty and Mariana Korsunsky of Goulston & Storrs PC.

Massachusetts Courts Issue Key Decisions Concerning Zoning and Anti-SLAPP Law
Practice: Litigation, Real Estate, Real Estate Litigation
In Blanchard v. Steward Carney Hospital, SJC-12141 (May 23, 2017) (Slip Op.) the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court changed the framework used to determine whether a case should be dismissed under G.L. c. 231, § 59H, the anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (“anti-SLAPP”) statute. In Franson v. City of Woburn, 2016 WL 4778392 (Mass. Land Ct. Sept. 14, 2016), residents in the neighborhoods surrounding a parcel that was rezoned to allow for the construction of townhouses challenged the rezoning as illegal spot and contract zoning and as arbitrary and capricious. 

T&E Litigation Newsletter- 6/28/17
Practice: Probate & Fiduciary Litigation
In Roth v. Newpol et al., 91 Mass. App. Ct. 699 (May 31, 2017), the Appeals Court considered whether a residuary clause in a decedent’s last will and testament disposing of "any monies remaining in [her] estate" encompassed her one-half interest in a house in Boston where her brother lived before his death.

Extended Again: No Policy Changes for EB-5, For Now
Practice: EB-5 Financing
The EB-5 Regional Center Program has received yet another extension, this time through September 30, 2017. The Program has been similarly extended, with no change in policy, on multiple occasions since its previously scheduled expiration date of September 30, 2015. 

The Future of EB-5 is Being Viewed through a Different Lens
Practice: EB-5 Financing
Developers, investors and other stakeholders are looking for signs as to how the new administration will approach legal immigration, specifically immigration fostered by the EB-5 Regional Center Program.

Important Decision Regarding Pre-Existing Nonconforming Structures
Practice: Litigation, Real Estate, Real Estate Litigation
PDFIn a recent decision, the Land Court clarified that Massachusetts state law does not require local zoning boards to make detailed factual findings when approving an extension or alteration to a pre-existing nonconforming structure under M.G.L. c. 40A, § 6. 

Eleventh Circuit Finds No Coverage for Contempt Proceedings under Lloyd’s Professional Liability Insurance Policy
Practice: Professional Liability

T&E Litigation Newsletter- 3/20/17
Practice: Probate & Fiduciary Litigation
This week has brought a much-anticipated decision by the Supreme Judicial Court regarding trust decanting, and the past month also brought the latest chapters in two cases that we reported on previously.

T&E Litigation Newsletter- 2/14/17
Practice: Probate & Fiduciary Litigation
Several recent decisions serve as a good reminder that it is not only the Probate and Family Court that addresses important T&E issues in Massachusetts. 
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