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March 2020 Archives

Entry onto Neighboring Land for Maintenance and Repair - Trespass, Licenses and the Application of G.L. 266, § 120B

Many sections of the greater Boston area are characterized by densely populated neighborhoods. Many of these neighborhoods were established before the adoption of zoning codes that set minimum side and rear yard setbacks. And even today, in urban settings, there are some zoning codes that allow zero-foot set back criterion in some zoning districts. The result is that there are many structures in the Commonwealth built on, or within, just a few feet of a lot line. And in urban areas, there are row houses with shared party walls and adjoining roof lines. The proximity of these structures to abutting lot lines makes it extremely difficult or sometimes simply impossible for a property owner to make a repair to their property without entering their neighbors' land.

Phillips & Angley - Public Announcement on COVID-19 Pandemi

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we will continue providing legal services, while taking appropriate steps to insure the health and safety of our staff and clients. Part of that effort is to work remotely to the greatest extent possible and limit the time that attorneys and staff are in the office. Our goal is to continue offering the highest quality legal services, in a manner that will be convenient and safe to all. Our office has full remote access capabilities so that our attorneys are fully able to access phone calls, draft and respond to emails, write letters, access our servers, conduct legal research and provide the kind of services that our clients have come to expect.

Easement Basics Part III: How Easements Are Extinguished

Having discussed what easements are, and how easements are created, this Part III of our series on easement basics will address how easements cease to exist-are extinguished or terminated. Once granted, an appurtenant easement generally has perpetual existence, as it comprises a vested property right, subject only to the application of various theories of extinguishment, recognized by Massachusetts common law. Therefore, if your property is subject to an easement, even a paper way, i.e., a right of way that exists only on paper, on a plan, and has not been developed on the ground, in order to use and/or develop your property as if the easement does not exist, you would need to satisfy the elements of one of the following theories: (1) release, (2) merger, (3) frustration of purpose / impossibility, (4) abandonment (5) adverse use, and (6) estoppel.

Phillips & Angley Attorneys, Nick Shapiro and Robbie Hopkins, Successfully Assist in Overturning Erroneous Appeals Court Decision before the SJC

Phillips & Angley attorneys, Nick Shapiro and Robbie Hopkins, co-authored and filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of the Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts and the Abstract Club, in the further appellate review proceedings, before the Supreme Judicial Court (the "SJC"), in Murchison v. Sherborn Zoning Bd. of Appeals, SJC-12867. In that brief, Shapiro and Hopkins advocated for the overturning of the Appeals Court's decision in Murchison v. Sherborn Zoning Bd. of Appeals, 96 Mass. App. Ct. 158 (2019); which itself had reversed the judgment of the Land Court, Scheier, J., dismissing the abutter appeal for lack of standing. For background and context on the Appeals Court's decision in Murchison, see Hopkins's blog post of October 16, 2019.

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  • Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys
  • ABA | Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
  • American Association of Justice
  • REBA | The Real Estate Bar Association
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