In October, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court reversed a lower court's judgment and ruled in favor of the firm's clients that a major property re-valuation of certain oceanfront properties, including the firm's clients at Prouts Neck, violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. The decision invalidates the Town of Scarborough's increased assessments for 2012 through 2015 and compels tax refunds based on the invalidated, discriminatory treatment. Bill Dale and Tudor Goldsmith represented the owners of 10 oceanfront properties.
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Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry has been ranked in the 2017 "Best Law Firms" list by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® in the following areas:
Administrative / Regulatory Law
Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
Land Use & Zoning Law
Litigation – Construction
Litigation – Land Use & Zoning
Litigation – Municipal
Litigation – Real Estate
Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
Litigation – Trusts & Estates
Public Finance Law
Real Estate Law
Trusts & Estates Law
Firms included in the 2017 "Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.
The 2017 Edition of "Best Law Firms” includes rankings in 74 national practice areas and 120 metropolitan-based practice areas.
The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings, for the fifth consecutive year, are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. Clients and peers were asked to evaluate firms based on the following criteria: responsiveness, understanding of a business and its needs, cost-effectiveness, integrity and civility, as well as whether they would refer a matter to the firm and/or consider the firm a worthy competitor.
In Maine, co-owners of real property have the right to have their interests divided in a partition action. Debbie Mann and Tudor Goldsmith recently won a decision in our highest court, which clarified that the right to partition is trumped by the parties' prior agreement to a right of first refusal. (Pew v. Sayler, 2015 ME 120.) Thus, Maine law is now clear that the parties' agreement to extend to each other rights of first refusal to purchase each other's interests must be satisfied before anyone may resort to partitioning their interests. This comes as a relief to those of us who practice in the real estate area, since a different result could have had a dramatic impact on a whole universe of rights of first refusal that are now in effect throughout the state.
Jensen Baird attorneys Brendan Rielly and Tudor Goldsmith successfully defended an appeal in the matter of Fiduciary Trust Co. et al. v. Manchester H. Wheeler Jr. Our client is the rightful beneficiary of a trust. A relative asked the court to declare that our client was not a trust beneficiary, on the grounds that a decades-old decision of the Maine Law Court disqualified her from being a beneficiary because she was adopted. On appeal, Rielly and Goldsmith argued that the earlier Law Court decision spoke to completely different issues, and that our client was a trust beneficiary despite not being related by blood. The Law Court agreed, and our client's status as a trust beneficiary was upheld.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ("Law Court") recently upheld a decision in favor of one of the law firm's many local government clients, the Town of Owls Head, in a highly contested road dispute, Edwards v. Blackman, et al. The plaintiffs had sued the Town to prevent both the long-time neighboring property owners and the Town from accessing the road, known locally as Cooper's Beach Road, which runs along Rockland Harbor and provides access to a local sandy beach. After a six-day bench trial, the Superior Court confirmed the Town's position that the road in question is a so-called "public easement" road, meaning that the Town has the right, but not the obligation, to provide summer and winter maintenance and that the members of the public have the right to travel on it both by foot and by motor vehicle. On appeal, the Law Court agreed, and further held that any procedural challenges to town road or public easement acceptances are time-barred unless raised within 30 days of municipal action. Jensen Baird attorneys Bill Dale and Mark Bower represented the Town both at trial and on appeal.
Charlie Katz-Leavy recently joined Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry as a Director in the firm's Real Estate Practice Group He handles commercial and residential real estate transactions for a variety of clients, including investors, lenders, developers, landlords, tenants, associations, and others. Prior to joining the firm, Charlie worked in Verrill Dana's Real Estate Department.
Debbie Mann has been selected as a 2015 Legal Leader in Construction Law by the American Lawyer and Martindale-Hubbell™
Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. Over 52,000 leading attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”
Fourteen partners have been selected for inclusion in the latest edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
· Natalie Burns was selected for Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law, as well as Land Use & Zoning Litigation.
· Larry Clough was selected for Real Estate Law.
· Sally Daggett was selected for Administrative/Regulatory, Land Use & Zoning, and Municipal Law.
· Bill Dale was selected for Administrative/Regulatory, Land Use & Zoning, and Municipal Law, as well as Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Litigation.
· Ron Epstein was selected for Real Estate and Public Finance Law.
· Lee Ivy was selected for Trust and Estates Law, as well as Trust & Estates Litigation.
· David Jones was selected for Real Estate Law.
· Lee Lowry was selected for Real Estate Law.
· Debbie Mann was selected for Construction and Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law, as well as Litigation in Construction, Commercial, Real Estate and Trust & Estates.
· Nick Morrill was selected for Real Estate Law.
· Roy Pierce was selected for Commercial Litigation.
· Mike Quinlan was selected for Corporate Law.
· Brendan Rielly was selected for Regulatory Enforcement Litigation (SEC, Telecom, Energy).
· Rick Spencer was selected for Real Estate Law.
David Jones has been selected as a 2017 Real Estate Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Portland, Maine.
Debbie Mann has been selected as a 2017 Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Portland, Maine.
Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry elects a new Director/Shareholder, effective January 1, 2015.
Mark is a member of the law firm’s Government Services Practice Group. He represents public and private clients in all aspects of land use, zoning, environmental and energy matters -- including trial and appellate work. A native of Bangor, Mark formerly clerked for the U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock. Mark works out of the law firm’s Portland office.
Roy Pierce recently joined the firm's Litigation Practice Group representing individuals and businesses in commercial litigation cases. He has a varied practice with experience litigating business tort, breach of contract, trade secrets, copyright infringement, products liability, real estate, land use, and tax disputes. In addition, he maintains an active appellate practice and has argued more than two dozen appeals before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals.
Five partners were selected for inclusion in the latest edition of New England Super Lawyers.
· Natalie Burns was selected for Land Use/Zoning and State, Local & Municipal Law.
· Charlie Katz-Leavy was selected as a New England Rising Star 2016 for Real Estate, Land Use/Zoning, and Energy & Natural Resources.
· Nicholas Morrill was selected as a New England Rising Star 2016 for Real Estate & Business/Corporate Law.
· Roy Pierce was selected for Business Litigation.
· Brendan Rielly was selected for Business Litigation.
Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry congratulates Atlantic Place Partners, on its acquisition of Atlantic Place Office Park located at 311 Darling Avenue in South Portland, Maine from Dead River Atlantic Place LLC for $8,487,870. Atlantic Place Office Park is one of Maine's premier suburban office parks consisting of three separate buildings totaling approximately 78,125 square feet of Class-A office space, and on-site surface parking. Nicholas J. Morrill of the firm’s Real Estate and Business Services practice groups served as counsel throughout the acquisition and financing transaction, advising Atlantic Place Partners on various real estate and business matters, and continues to provide advice on leasing currently unoccupied space at Atlantic Place Office Park.
Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry congratulates Art and Andréa Girard and their family on the completion of the successful multi-year redevelopment and leasing of the landmark 138,000 square foot former JJ Nissen Bakery building located on Munjoy Hill in Portland. The project culminated this spring in its submission to the Maine Condominium Act and the closing of sales to new owners. Lawrence Clough of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group served as counsel throughout the entire process, including the structure of the developers’ $1 million donation to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland for its 25,000-square-foot expansion so as to maximize the donors’ income tax benefits.
Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry congratulates Edmund S. Gardner III of Ocean Gate, LLC, on his acquisition of 511 Congress Street, Portland, Maine for $12,450,000. Originally constructed in 1973, the nine-story former Maine Savings Bank building features approximately 130,000 in Class-A office and retail space, and 154 onsite surface parking spaces. The property will be rebranded “Ocean Gate Plaza” and undergo interior and exterior renovations, which are intended to breathe new life into a pinnacle of the Portland Peninsula skyline. Nicholas J. Morrill of the firm’s Real Estate and Business Services practice groups served as counsel throughout the acquisition and financing transaction, advising Mr. Gardner on various real estate and business matters, and continues to provide advice on leasing currently unoccupied space in the building.
Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry congratulates Peter Anastos of Maine Course Hospitality Group on the acquisition of the Cliff House Resort and Spa, in partnership with Rockbridge Capital, a hotel investment firm located in Columbus, Ohio. The property will undergo a comprehensive renovation and revitalization to become one of New England’s premier resorts and travel destinations. Kenneth Cole of the firm’s Real Estate and Government Services Practice Groups and Alyssa Tibbetts of the firm’s Government Services Practice Group served as local counsel throughout the transaction, advising the new owners on various land use and development considerations such as Department of Environmental Protection permits, general land use and shoreland zoning, and local and state business licensing requirements.