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Statute of Limitations for Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Property Damages Claims Clarified (And, Possibly, Extended)
Practice: Development/Land Use, Environmental, Green Business, Real Estate, Real Estate Litigation, Regulatory
Recently the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that the statute of limitations for a property damage claim brought by a private party under Chapter 21E did not begin to run until that private party knew that the environmental damage to their property was permanent.  As noted in the Court’s opinion, “The plaintiff must have knowledge that he or she suffered damage that is not curable by the MCP remediation process.”

Legislation Introduced to Amend the Framework Element of the Comprehensive Plan
Practice: DC Land Use, Zoning & Historic Preservation, Development/Land Use
Since initiating the process to amend the District of Columbia Comprehensive Plan (“Plan”), the Office of Planning (“OP”) has received over 3000 comments from stakeholders.  Legislation was recently put forth before the District Council to amend the Framework Element of the Plan in an effort to prioritize and expedite the adoption of certain amendments.  The Framework Element is often considered the foundation of the Plan as it establishes guidance, themes, and land use descriptions otherwise found throughout the Plan. 

Tax Reform Advisory: Provisions Impacting Debt Financing
Practice: Banking & Finance, Corporate, Tax
On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law H.R. 1, informally known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “Act”), implementing sweeping changes to the United States tax regimes generally applicable to businesses.  Most provisions of the Act take effect as of January 1, 2018, and generally apply to tax years beginning after 2017.  Certain highlights of the Act that may be relevant to debt financing transactions are discussed below. 

Tax Reform Advisory:  Real Estate Industry
Practice: Real Estate, Tax
On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law H.R. 1, informally known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “Act”). The Act will have a significant impact on many sectors of the economy including the real estate sector. Significant aspects of the Act relevant for commercial real estate are described below.

Tax Reform Advisory:  Corporate and General Business Provisions
Practice: Corporate, Tax
On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law H.R. 1, informally known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “Act”), implementing sweeping changes to the United States tax regimes generally applicable to businesses.  Most provisions of the Act will take effect as of January 1, 2018 and (except as noted below) generally will apply to tax years beginning after 2017.  Certain highlights of the Act are discussed below.

Tax Reform Advisory:  Exempt Organizations
Practice: Charitable Planning, Private Client & Trust, Tax
On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law H.R. 1, informally known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “Act”), implementing sweeping changes to United States tax regimes for exempt organizations, businesses in which they invest and individuals donating to such organizations.  Most provisions of the Act will take effect as of January 1, 2018, and will apply to exempt organizations for tax years beginning after 2017.  Highlights of the Act impacting exempt organizations are discussed below.

Tax Reform Advisory:  International Provisions
Practice: Banking & Finance, Corporate, Real Estate, Tax
On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law H.R. 1, informally known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “Act”), implementing sweeping changes to the United States tax regimes generally applicable to businesses.  Most provisions of the Act will take effect as of January 1, 2018 and (except as noted) generally will apply to tax years beginning after 2017.  Certain highlights of the Act are discussed below. 

Private Client & Trust Tax Reform Advisory
Practice: Private Client & Trust
On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law H.R. 1, informally known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (the “Act”), implementing sweeping changes to United States income tax regimes for individuals and businesses and greatly expanding the existing exemptions from gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes. Most of the provisions of the Act will take effect as of January 1, 2018.  Many of the provisions relating to individuals are temporary and expire (or “sunset”) after 2025 if not extended by future law. Highlights of the Act impacting individuals are discussed below.

Massachusetts Appeals Court Clarifies When Restrictive Covenants May Extend Beyond Thirty Years
Practice: Litigation, Real Estate
PDFIn Berger, et al. v. 2 Wyndcliff, LLC, et al., No. 16-P-336 (Mass. Appeals Court, Dec. 5, 2017), a group of homeowners in a subdivision subject to an agreement limiting construction on their lots to one single-family dwelling sought to extend the agreement beyond its original 30-year period and enforce the restriction against a fellow landowner.   A judge of the Land Court held that the 30-year period set out in the agreement could not be extended.  The Appeals Court affirmed, though for a slightly different reason.  

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Revisions to Local Patent Rules
Practice: IP Litigation
PDFOn December 11, 2017, the Judges of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts proposed amendments to Local Rule 16.6 governing patent proceedings. 
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