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Nicholas P. Shapiro

Headshot of Nicholas P. Shapiro
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Nicholas P. Shapiro is the President and a shareholder of Jeffrey T. Angley, P.C., the real estate litigation practice at Phillips & Angley. Nick joined the firm as an associate in May 2011. Nick's focus and practice areas are concentrated on zoning, land use, real estate, and telecommunications, counseling real estate developers, private landowners, neighbors and abutters, and institutional/corporate clients throughout Massachusetts. Nick appears predominantly before the Massachusetts Land Court - a trial court of specialized jurisdiction over zoning, land use and real estate disputes. However, in his time at Phillips & Angley, Nick has argued all manner of motions and appeals before every level of the Massachusetts judiciary, from the District Court to the Supreme Judicial Court. Nick has, in particular, argued numerous appeals before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court during his tenure at Phillips & Angley.

Nick is presently the co-chair of the Massachusetts Real Estate Bar Association's Land Use and Zoning Section, and is the Clerk of the Board of Directors and sits on the Executive Committee of that organization. He is also co-chair of the Real Estate and Condemnation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Section, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Nick is also a member of the Abstract Club, which is a voluntary association of experienced lawyers who practice real estate law in MA, has been in existence for over 100 years, and is limited by its by-laws to 100 members. Nick has been quoted in the Boston Globe and Massachusetts Lawyer's Weekly concerning particular cases and land use issues. From 2015 to date, Nick has been awarded the distinction of being named a Super Lawyers Rising Star or Super Lawyer in New England for Land Use and Zoning, and was named to Boston Magazine's 2021 & 2022 Top Lawyers list. Nick was the recipient of the Real Estate Bar Association's Emerging Leader Award in 2017 and was named Most Valuable Editor for the ABA's Litigation Section for the 2020/2021 bar year.

Prior to joining the firm, Nick was law clerk to the Hon. Joseph A. Trainor, Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and, prior to that clerkship, to the Hon. Harry M. Grossman, Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Land Court. Nick received a J.D., cum laude, in 2008 from Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts where he was a member of Suffolk's Transnational Law Review.

Areas Of Practice

  • Disputes and Litigation
  • Land Use and Zoning Law
  • Easements, Access, Beach Rights, and Use Rights
  • Real Estate Contracts, Title, and Boundary Lines
  • Commercial Landlord/Tenant
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Development and Permitting
  • Zoning, Planning, Wetlands
  • Homeowners Association Documents

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts, 2008
  • U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, 2014
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 2023


  • Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts
    • J.D. - 2008
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Honors: Jurisprudence Award, Antitrusts, 2007
  • Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
    • B.A. - 2002
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Major: English & Philosophy

Published Works

  • Taylor v. Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission: Old Habits Die Hard, ABA Real Estate Litigation and Condemnation Committee Journal, February 2, 2017
  • ‘Taylor’ Showcases Need to Jettison Doctrine of Overloading, REBA news, the Newspaper of the Real Estate Bar Association, March, 2016
  • Overloading Doctrine: The Last Bastion of Hypertechnical Formalism in Property Law, Article, ABA Real Estate Litigation and Condemnation Committee Journal, Winter, 2015
  • Preparing for Your First Appellate Oral Argument: A Practical Primer, Article, ABA Real Estate Litigation and Condemnation Committee Journal, Fall, 2014
  • MA Expands Decision Allowing Unilateral Reduction of Easement Area by Servient Estate, News and Development, ABA Real Estate Litigation and Condemnation Committee Journal, March 17, 2014
  • More Flexible Easement Relocations Post-M.P.M. Builders Case, Article, ABA Real Estate Litigation and Condemnation Committee Journal, Winter, 2014
  • Permanent Mission of India v. City of New York, Suffolk Transnat'l L. Rev., Summer, 2008
  • Bayview Irrigation Dist. v. United Mexican States , Suffolk Transnat'l L. Rev, Winter, 2009

Representative Cases

  • Successfully argued motion for summary judgment/for judgment on the pleadings, defending developer/client’s ANR endorsement for subdivision that violated condition/covenant granted in connection with underlying definitive plan approval, against abutter appeal in the Land Court.
  • Successfully argued motion to dismiss and obtained dismissal of Chapter 40A, Section 17 appeal of special permits to convert an existing hotel into a mixed-use development, in Superior Court, owing to the plaintiff’s lack of standing.
  • Successfully argued motion for summary judgment, clearing title to client’s property of putative easement rights over cart paths extending over clients property, and having the Court declare that client’s property was not subject to restrictive covenant applicable to adjacent subdivision.
  • Successfully made closing arguments in trial through which access rights over paper way bisecting clients’ lawn were extinguished by abandonment, in the Land Court.
  • Successfully argued motion for summary judgment and procuring dismissal of action to perfect mechanic’s lien against client’s property, in the District Court.
  • Successfully argued opposition to motion for judicial endorsement of a memorandum of lis pendens in an abutter appeal of ANR endorsement, in the Land Court.
  • Successfully defended against motion for real estate attachment, based on the Massachusetts homestead law and a resulting trust theory, in the Superior Court.
  • Successfully negotiated a six-figure settlement of an abutter zoning appeal in Boston, in the Housing Court.
  • Successfully argued the appeal in Commonwealth v. Landing Group, Inc., Mass. Appeals Court Docket No. 20-P-686, contending that the MA Wetlands Protection Act includes protection for repairs to and maintenance of preexisting structures in jurisdictional resource areas
  • Successfully argued special motion to dismiss, pursuant to the so-called anti-SLAPP statute, G. L. c. 231, § 59H, against a slander of title counterclaim, in Iannuzzi v. Bondi-Pickles, 29 LCR 334 (July 15, 2021) (17 MISC 000564) (Vhay, J.)
  • Successfully argued the appeal in Kubic v. Audette, 98 Mass. App. Ct. 289, 156 N.E.3d 204 (2020), and on clarification and post-trial briefing on remand before the Land Court, concerning the ownership, littoral boundaries of, and use rights over, a right of way connecting a public way to a great pond
  • Successfully argued against an application to expand a preexisting, nonconforming structure and convert a single-family residence into two single-family residential units before local zoning board, on behalf of abutter client.


  • “Easements and Restrictions: Law and Essential Practice Pointers for Attorneys and Paralegals,” at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, panelist (2/12/20, 2/10/21 & 2/10/22)
  • "Real Estate Litigation: Real Estate & Environmental Professional Development Plan Unit 13," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, panelist on “Pre-Litigation Strategy,” “Introduction to the Land Court,” “Overview of G. L. c. 40A, § 17,” and “Common Easement Issues” (2/25/15)
  • "Litigating Real Estate Disputes," at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education program, panelist on “Litigating in the Land Court" and "Easement Disputes Post-M.P.M. Builders" (2/5/2013)

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyers, Super Lawyer, New England, Land Use/Zoning, 2020-2021
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Star, New England, Land Use/Zoning, 2015-2019
  • Emerging Leader Award, Real State Bar Association (MA), 2017
  • Top Lawyers, Boston Magazine, Land Use and Zoning, 2021 - 2022
  • Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
  • Most Valuable Editor, American Bar Association, Litigation Section, 2020/2021

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Real Estate Bar Association (MA), Land Use and Zoning Section, Co-Chair, 2018 to Present
  • Real Estate Bar Association (MA), Member, 2011 to Present
  • Real Estate Bar Association (MA), New Lawyers Section, Co-Chair, 2015 to 2017
  • American Bar Association, Member, 2014 to Present
  • Real Estate Bar Association (MA), Board of Directors, 2017 to Present
  • American Bar Association, Real Estate Litigation & Condemnation Committee, Co-Chair, 2022 to Present
  • Abstract Club (MA), Member, 2021 to Present
  • Real Estate Bar Association (MA), Executive Committee, 2020 to Present
  • Real Estate Bar Association (MA), Clerk, 2023

Past Employment Positions

  • Massachusetts Appeals Court, Law Clerk, 2009 to 2010
  • Massachusetts Land Court, Law Clerk, 2008 to 2009