John F. X. Peloso Jr.


  • Overview


    John Peloso is co-chair of Robinson+Cole's Litigation Section and a member of the firm's Business Litigation and Real Estate Litigation Practice Groups. He is a trial lawyer, and in that capacity represents companies, municipalities, and individuals in a wide range of matters. At the administrative, trial, and appellate levels, John litigates business and real property disputes, including real estate, land use, environmental, bankruptcy and property tax matters.

    Real Estate Litigation

    In the area of real estate litigation, John represents institutional, municipal, and individual clients in disputes involving, among other things, title, zoning (including enforcement actions), wetlands, land use, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), eminent domain, foreclosure, and other real property rights cases. He also represents clients in all disputes involving commercial leases, purchase and sale (PSA) agreements, and other real estate transactional disputes.

    In the area of RLUIPA litigation, he counsels municipalities regarding RLUIPA as it relates to local legislation and the application process. He also has extensive experience litigating RLUIPA cases. In the past year, John has obtained favorable resolutions for municipalities in New York and New Jersey involving large scale (eight figure) RLUIPA claims. He is a regular contributor to the firm's RLUIPA Defense blog and is a frequent RLUIPA webinar panelist.

    Property Tax Litigation

    In the area of property tax litigation, John represents corporate and individual clients in real and personal property tax valuation and classification proceedings at the regulatory, administrative, and trial levels. In this regard, he has dealt with specialized issues involving, among other things, class action tax appeals, the valuation of high-tech software and wireless communications equipment, contingency fee tax audits, special use properties (including military facilities), the impact of environmental conditions on the value of real property, commercial office buildings, Section 8 CHFA, and other affordable housing properties.

    John has been litigating tax appeals since 1992, and has a consistent record of obtaining favorable resolutions for clients involving valuation disputes between taxpayer and municipality. 

    Environmental Litigation

    Consistent with his experience in litigating real property matters, John represents clients in environmental litigation matters, most notably Superfund cases and related proceedings involving state and federal regulatory agencies. He has litigated environmental matters involving hundreds of millions of dollars, including serving as lead counsel in a $300 million plus Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) action related to a Rhode Island Superfund site.

    Business Litigation

    The other side of John's practice is commercial business litigation. He handles a wide range of business litigation matters, including, but not limited to, securities fraud (individual, class action, and derivative actions), broker-dealer regulation, software, franchise, licensing, partnerships, limited partnerships, closely held corporations, employment and noncompetition agreements, creditors' rights, insurance, probate, and business torts.

    Tort Litigation

    John has extensive tort litigation experience, having litigated more than 50 cases in New York and Connecticut on behalf of corporations and manufacturers. In addition to Connecticut, his New York experience is considerable, having picked juries and litigated cases in all five boroughs of New York City. 

    Pro Bono

    John is committed to pro bono work. Among other engagements, he has assisted Habitat for Humanity with housing matters. He is currently assisting an animal shelter organization as well as a non-profit legal justice organization. 

    Prior to joining Robinson+Cole, John was a member of the litigation department at White & Case LLP in New York City, where he concentrated his practice in complex commercial, property, and securities litigation, and business torts.

  • Experience
    • Experience


        Land Use

      • Lead counsel for several municipalities in large-scale RLUIPA litigation matters. Obtained favorable settlements in $10 million+ RLUIPA cases in New York and New Jersey.

      • Environmental

      • Representation as lead counsel in defending a drum recycling company in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) action in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island concerning the Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund site in North Providence, Rhode Island. The Superfund site includes a nine-acre peninsula where various entities operated a chemical manufacturing facility and the client operated a drum reconditioning facility. The principal containment of concern is dioxin. Obtained a highly favorable regulatory and private settlement for the client.

      • Real Estate

      • Regularly represents commercial clients in litigation involving commercial leases, purchases, and sales. Obtained a favorable resolution on behalf of a commercial property owner in a complex lease dispute involving two large commercial tenants. Obtained favorable resolutions of ground lease and purchase and sale disputes.

      • Tax

      • Regularly represents clients in personal and real property tax appeals for commercial taxpayers against Connecticut municipalities. Obtained favorable resolutions for clients involving valuation disputes.

    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      American Bar Association
      Section of Litigation, Trial Practice Committee, contributing author
      Trial Practice Committee, Co-chair of Organization and Resource Subcommittee
      Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law

      Owners' Counsel of America
      Affiliate Member
    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the area of Real Estate Law for 2024 and 2023. 

    • Publications


      "2nd Circuit Reverses Finding That Village School Zoning Laws Were Discriminatory," published in New York Law Journal, co-authored with Thomas J. Donlon (2/28/2020)
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      "Avoiding and Defending Against RLUIPA Claims," co-authored with Evan J. Seeman, published in the “Government Practice” special issue of Practical Law’s The Journal. © 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. (October 2019)
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      "Local Government Regulation of Religious Land Uses Under RLUIPA," published in Practical Law, co-authored with Karla L. Chaffee, Diana E. Neeves and Evan J. Seeman (2018)
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      "RLUIPA Case of the Year? Minnesota Municipality Uses RLUIPA’s Safe Harbor Provision to Avoid Liability," published in Planning & Law, co-authored with Evan J. Seeman, Karla L. Chaffee and Dwight H. Merriam (Spring 2017)
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      "Avoiding and Defending Against RLUIPA Claims," published in Practical Law, co-authored with Evan J. Seeman (12/22/2016)
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    • Presentations


      "Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act Claims," Thomson Reuters (1/17/2018)

      "Religious Land Use Disputes; Latest Case Law Updates and Strategies for Avoiding and Defending Claims," co-presented with Karla L. Chaffee and Evan J. Seeman, webinar, presented by Thomson Reuters Practical Law™ (1/17/2018)
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      "Ten Easy Lessons: How Local Governments Can Successfully Defend against RLUIPA Claims," co-presented with Karla L. Chaffee and Diana E. Neeves, webinar, presented by the International Municipal Lawyers Association (12/11/2017)
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      "RLUIPA Land Use Claims—Latest Litigation Trends and Key Case Law Developments," co-presented with Evan J. Seeman and Karla L. Chaffee, webinar (2/22/2017)
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      "Update on the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA)," co-presented with Hiram B. Carey III and Karla L. Chaffee (9/23/2016)
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      "Litigating Religious Land Use Cases," co-presented with Evan J. Seeman and Daniel Dalton of Dalton & Tomich, PLC, panelist at American Bar Association webinar (11/6/2014)
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    • News

      R+C in the News

      • March 3, 2020

        Tom Donlon and John Peloso Author RLUIPA Article Published in New York Law Journal

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      • October 8, 2019

        John Peloso and Evan Seeman Co-author Article Published in Practical Law’s The Journal

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      • March 9, 2018

        Diana Neeves, John Peloso, and Evan Seeman Present Webinar and Author Practice Note for Thomson Reuters Practical Law™

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      • February 19, 2018

        John Peloso and Evan Seeman Elected to Affiliate Membership in the Owners Counsel of America

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      • December 21, 2017

        Diana Neeves and John Peloso Present Webinar on RLUIPA Claims

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      • June 2, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Write Articles for APA Publication

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      • February 28, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Examine Litigation Trends in RLUIPA Land Use Claims

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      • January 9, 2017

        Evan Seeman and John Peloso Publish Note for Practical Law

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      • October 4, 2016

        Land Use Litigation Lawyers Present at Touro Law Center

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      • March 30, 2015

        John Peloso Hosts CCIM Emergency Submarkets Strategy Event

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      • December 4, 2014

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Speak on Religious Land Use Litigation

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      • January 17, 2013

        Land Law Lawyers Speak at CBA Property Rights Seminar

      • March 21, 2012

        Litigation Partner to Chair Two American Bar Association Subcommittees

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      R+C News Releases

      • August 17, 2023

        78 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2024

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      • August 18, 2022

        74 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2023

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