The Real Estate Litigation Group consists of lawyers with the essential background and skills to advance their clients’ objectives in the area of real estate litigation. Our representation spans these disciplines:
Our Services and Our Team
The members of the group are seasoned litigators who are knowledgeable in all aspects of real property law, "speak the language" of real estate, and understand the fundamental elements of real property law and transactions. The group also works closely with and leverages the resources of other Robinson+Cole practices to create multidisciplinary teams to advocate for our real estate clients and to resolve their disputes. The Real Estate Litigation Group represents clients before state and federal courts, both trial and appellate, as well as in administrative hearings, arbitration, and mediation.
General Real Estate Litigation
We provide litigation services and counseling to developers, lenders, owners, lessors, and lessees on a wide range of real estate disputes that includes these areas:
Land Use and Zoning
Our lawyers regularly represent both institutional and individual clients in both federal and state actions, including litigation matters and administrative appeals, that involve the following:
We provide litigation services and counseling to lenders in a wide range of disputes, including the following:
Real Property Tax Appeals
Our lawyers regularly represent commercial owners in all stages of the appeal process, including negotiation with municipal authorities, appearances before the board of assessment appeals, and appeals to the state court. We have years of experience with these kinds of matters:
We represent condominium organizations in almost every matter likely to affect a common interest community, including the following:
Our representation ranges from negotiation to mediation to arbitration and, when appropriate, to the litigation that may ensue when some element of the condominium process goes wrong and judicial intervention is necessary. No matter the forum, we speak the language of condominium boards, unit owners, lenders, and management.
Represented a lender in a $4.5 million foreclosure claim in which the defendant counterclaimed for $18 million in damages sounding in lender liability. The matter was contested over the last three years and settled on the eve of trial. Multiple motions were drafted and argued before the court, including summary judgment.
Marshalling over 100 years of complex title records and boundary evidence and testimony of surveying and title experts, obtained judgment for a developer following trial, affirming title to and boundaries of a 120-acre subdivision.
Defeated a class certification action against law firms and major mortgage lenders for allegedly wrongful foreclosures that would have involved over 9,000 foreclosures and tens of millions of dollars in exposure. The United States Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of class certification.
Obtained expedited and complete dismissal of claims against a developer for easements over commercial property in Boston’s Seaport District, which enabled the development and sale of a hotel on the site.
Represented Boulder County, Colorado, in defense of a claim under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) in federal district court. The principal issue, of national importance, was whether a megachurch can double in size to more than 200,000 square feet in contravention of local planning and regulations. Robinson+Cole won jury verdicts on multiple federal and state constitutional claims and one claim brought under RLUIPA. While the jury found for the church on three RLUIPA claims, the jury awarded no damages. The Tenth Circuit upheld the jury verdict.
In the area of real and personal property tax appeals, the firm has been prime counsel for one of the largest wireless service providers in the country and currently represents the provider in appeals involving the valuation of high-tech wireless equipment as well as real property.
Represented a cellular telephone tower company in a real property partition action. The client had a leasehold interest and right of first refusal on property that was the subject of litigation between family members to force the sale of multiple tracts of land owned by many family members. Preserved client's interests and avoided unnecessary entanglement in the litigation.
Litigated numerous zoning appeals in state and federal courts, including representation of leading telecommunication companies in prosecuting and defending zoning appeals in federal and state courts.
Represent condominium associations in claims brought against developer, design, and construction professionals and developer-appointed managers for design and construction defects and breach of fiduciary duties.
Persuaded the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to overturn an Appeals Court decision and affirm a condominium developer’s retention of the right to remove land from a condominium. Queler, et al. v. Skowron, et al., 439 Mass. 304 (2002).
Represented lenders in the litigation, resolution, and recoupment of mortgage frauds, overfinancing scams, defalcations, and forgeries.
Successfully represented waterfront owners, developers, and marinas before state agencies, including contested cases, related to permits and approvals for docks and other structures.
Represented the developer of a subdivision that included a wind turbine as a prominent feature in an action against subdivision purchasers who reneged on promises to reconfigure subdivision open space to allow for development of the wind turbine. Successfully negotiated resolution to dispute.
Represent high-end Boston condominiums, which are often mixed-use and two-tier, with complicated governing documents where balancing the budgetary, operational, and governance requirements of primary versus secondary condominiums and residential versus commercial interests requires knowledgeable and experienced counsel. Representative condominium clients who have called upon the full range of Robinson+Cole's legal services include Millennium Place Ritz-Carlton Boston; Parkside Condominium, Boston; Union Wharf, Boston; and Sierra+Tango, Cambridge.
Represented national public utility company in defense of environmental claims based on historic property usage.