Jensen Baird Gardner and Henry
Jensen Baird Gardner and Henry
Jensen Baird Gardner and Henry

News from Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry

updated 9.23.2019

Jensen Baird Welcomes a New Associate in the Real Estate Department

Katherine "Kacy" Bailey recently joined Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry as an Associate in the firm's Real Estate Department. Prior to joining Jensen Baird, Kacy was associated with Massachusetts law firms focusing on land use and real estate matters and she served as a judicial clerk for the justices of the Maine Superior Court.

Joseph G. Carleton, Jr. Receives CAI’s Hall of Fame Award

The New England Chapter of Community Associations Institute (CAI) recently awarded Joe Carleton with the The Hall of Fame Award, which is the highest honor the chapter bestows, recognizing members who have served the organization and the industry “with honor and distinction” and who have “consistently supported and promoted CAI and the community association industry.”  Joe was nominated for the award by members of the Maine Legislative Action Committee, which he helped found and on which he has served multiple terms.  His colleagues also cited his key role in establishing CAI-NE in Maine with his “unique understanding of and experience with” industry issues, his tireless efforts to improve the condominium industry and condominium law, and his “lifetime commitment to condominium associations, CAI, and the New England Chapter.”

Joe is also a fellow of CAI’s College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). This elite national group of about 150 attorneys is highly selective. Attorneys who are invited to join must demonstrate skill, experience, and high standards of professional and ethical conduct in the practice of community association law, as well as a dedication to excellence in this specialized practice. Joe is the only member of CCAL from Maine.

Congratulations Joe!

2019 Legislation for Community Associations Institute (CAI)

Charlie Katz-Leavy, the new Chair of the Maine Legislative Action Committee for the New England Chapter of the CAI, talks about Legislation that would extend the lien period for non-payment of condominium assessments from five to six years, giving associations more time to foreclose and reducing the revenue they lose by delaying foreclosure actions.  For more on this article, see link below.

Please Click Here for more details.

Jensen Baird Elects a New Shareholder

J. Casey McCormack was elected as a new Director/Shareholder, effective January 1, 2019.

Casey is a member of the law firm's Business Services and Real Estate Practice Groups.  He counsels clients on a variety of commercial matters ranging from start-up entity formation to complex real estate transactions. He also has considerable experience working with tax credit investment structures with respect to low-income housing, historic preservation, and commercial development. Casey works out of the law firm's Portland office.

Maine State Property Tax Appeals Board Upholds Assessment

By a vote of 3 to 1, a panel of the State Board of Property Tax Review upheld the $42,000,000 assessment of Louisiana Pacific’s laminated Strand Lumber plant in New Limerick, a small town in Aroostook County.  The property owner, a nationally known building materials supplier, argued that the assessment should be lowered to $8,500,000, which would have meant a loss of over $500,000 of annual tax revenues to the Town.  Bill Dale represented the Town throughout the process. The property owner has also filed abatement requests for three subsequent years, and so the decision is of even greater importance than if there had been only one year at issue.

Jensen Baird Welcomes a New Associate

Sharra L. Inglis, is an associate attorney in the firm's Real Estate practice group. She assists clients with real estate, business entity, and title matters, and practices primarily in the firm's York County office and is a Biddeford resident.

2019 Best Lawyers in America

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.”

Sixteen 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.

· Pat Dunn was selected for Employment Law - Management.

· Lee Ivy was selected for Trust and Estates Law, as well as Trust & Estates Litigation.

· David Jones was selected for Real Estate Law.

· Charlie Katz-Leavy 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, as well as Mergers & Acquisitions Law.

· Brendan Rielly was selected for Commercial Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement Litigation (SEC, Telecom, Energy).

· Bruce Sleeper was selected for Bankruptcy & Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law.

· Rick Spencer was selected for Real Estate Law.

Court Rules in Favor of Town of Lovell’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance and Awards Attorneys Fees & Costs

After a 2 ½ day trial, the Maine Superior Court ruled in favor of our client, the Town of Lovell.  It issued an injunction, ordering the owners of a vacation house on the shore of Kezar Lake in Lovell to remove a newly constructed stone patio, erected in violation of the water setback restrictions of the Town’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance.  The case was heard in June before Superior Court Justice Lance Walker, his last State court trial before stepping down to take the open federal court judgeship in Bangor.  Bill Dale represented the Town and its CEO, in the face of a vigorous defense put on by another Portland law firm.  The MeDEP joined the Town as a co-plaintiff.  The Court invited the Town to submit an application for an award of its attorney’s fees and expenses, and ultimately awarded the Town 97% of its $60,000 fee request.

New England Super Lawyers

Five attorneys have been 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.

· Tudor Goldsmith was selected as a New England Rising Star in 2018 for Estate Planning & Probate and Estate & Trust Litigation.

· Charlie Katz-Leavy was selected as a New England Rising Star for the period 2016-2018 for Real Estate, Land Use/Zoning, and Energy & Natural Resources.

· Casey McCormack was selected as a New England Rising Star in 2018 for Real Estate.

· Nicholas Morrill was selected as a New England Rising Star for the period 2013-2018 for Real Estate & Business/Corporate Law.

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Law Firm’s Client City of South Portland in Lawsuit Challenging City’s Clear Skies Ordinance

Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry successfully represented the City of South Portland in a federal lawsuit aiming to overturn the City's Clear Skies Ordinance.  The U.S. District Court for the District of Maine issued its decision on August 24, 2018, finding that the local zoning ordinance, which prohibits the bulk loading of crude oil onto ships in South Portland's harbor, does not violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  The victory comes after three years of litigation.

In its decision, the Court concluded that "the City Council enacted an ordinance that would block a tar sands project like the one PPLC proposed because it had concerns about the air quality, water quality, aesthetics, and redevelopment risks of crude oil loading in general, and the transporting and coastal loading of crude oil derived from tar sands in particular."  This is one of the first times that a federal court has ruled that municipalities can prohibit crude oil pipeline and loading facilities through local zoning without being preempted by any federal statute or violating federalism principles in the Constitution.

South Portland prohibited the bulk loading of crude oil into ships on its waterfront in 2014, as domestic demand for imported oil was declining and production in the oil sands of western Canada was increasing.  In December 2017, the Court ruled in the City's favor on eight of nine claims contained in the Complaint – that the ordinance was not preempted by the federal Pipeline Safety Act, the federal Ports and Waterways Safety Act, or the Maine Oil Discharge Prevention Law; it was not preempted by federal powers over foreign affairs or maritime commerce; it did not violate Portland Pipe Line's due process or equal protection rights; and it was not inconsistent with the City's Comprehensive Plan – but found that a trial was needed on the Commerce Clause claim.  After five days of testimony, the Court has now ruled in the City's favor on the final claim, finding that that the ordinance "does not discriminate against interstate or foreign commerce on its face, in effect, or in purpose."

"Faced with the prospect of hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude oil being loaded onto marine vessels in the City and threatening the health of the residents and preventing redevelopment of the waterfront, the City Council prohibited this new activity.  We are pleased that the Court upheld the ordinance," said Linda Cohen, Mayor of South Portland.

Sally Daggett and Mark Bower of the law firm's Government Services Practice Group served as local counsel for the City, and Foley Hoag LLP, a Boston-based law firm with a national environmental law practice, served as lead counsel, led by Jonathan Ettinger, Euripides Dalmanieras and Jesse Alderman.

MERTON G. HENRY, a Founding Partner, Passes Away at 92

Please see attached article for a glimpse into a life well-lived.

Please Click Here for more details.

Jensen Baird Continues Success in Eminent Domain Challenges

Jensen Baird attorney Mark Bower successfully defended an appeal before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, in the matter of Bayberry Cove Children's Land Trust v. Town of Steuben. The plaintiff had challenged an eminent domain taking by the law firm's client, the Town of Steuben, which had taken a small section of the plaintiff's land in order to confirm the boundaries of a 130-year-old town way. In the Rule 80B appeal, the Superior Court held that the taking was justified, finding both that there was a public exigency for the taking and that the road was taken for a public use. The Law Court agreed on appeal and affirmed in a unanimous opinion. This case is the latest in a number of successful appeals handled by the law firm in the area of eminent domain. Jensen Baird attorney Deborah Mann and Natalie Burns previously defended a taking by the City of Portland (The Portland Co. v. City of Portland) and Mann also represented the Town of Cumberland in defending a taking by the Maine Department of Transportation (Blanchard v. Department of Transportation).

Jensen Baird Elects Two New Directors/Shareholders

Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry elects two new Directors/Shareholders, effective January 1, 2018.

Charles M. Katz-Leavy

Charlie is a member of the law firm’s Real Estate and Land Use and Permitting Practice Groups.  He handles commercial and residential real estate transactions for a variety of corporate, municipal, and individual clients. His clients include corporate entities and individuals involved in real estate, including large and small owners, investors, lenders, developers, condominium and homeowner associations, landlords and tenants, utilities, municipalities, and others with real estate needs. Charlie works out of the law firm’s Portland office.

Alyssa C. Tibbetts

Alyssa is a member of the firm's Government Services and Employment Law practice groups.  In her employment practice, Alyssa represents both public and private clients in all aspects of employer-employee relationships, including employment contracts, separation agreements, personnel policies, benefits administration, investigations, collective bargaining, arbitrations and matters before the Maine Human Rights Commission and Maine Labor Relations Board. In her government services practice, Alyssa represents both public and private clients in land use, zoning and development matters, which include ordinance drafting, permitting, site plan and subdivision approvals, code enforcement and tax increment financing.  Alyssa works out of the firm's Portland office.

Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry ranked in 2019 "Best Law Firms"

Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry has been ranked in the 2019 "Best Law Firms" list by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® in the following areas:

  • Administrative / Regulatory Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
  • Employment Law - Management
  • Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Litigation – Construction
  • Litigation – Land Use & Zoning
  • Litigation – Municipal
  • Litigation – Real Estate
  • Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy)
  • Litigation – Trusts & Estates
  • Municipal Law
  • Public Finance Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Trusts & Estates Law

Firms included in the 2018 "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 2018 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 sixth 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.

New Attorney - Condominium and Homeowner Association Law

Joseph G. Carleton joined Jensen Baird on September 1, 2017.  Joe has practiced condominium and homeowner association law for over 30 years, representing major developers and large homeowner association clients.  Before joining Jensen Baird, he was based in Wells, where he was active in community affairs, serving on several civic and land use boards and as town meeting moderator for 25 years.  He will continue to be based in York County and will meet clients at Jensen Baird's Kennebunk office.

Joe is a Fellow of the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL), a group of about 150 lawyers nationwide recognized for excellence in condominium and homeowner association law.  He is the only CCAL Fellow in Maine and the only Maine attorney who is also a Registered Parliamentarian.

Prouts Neck Tax Case Victory

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.

Please Click Here for more details.

Right of First Refusal Means What it Says – in recent Law Court win

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.

Law Court Upholds Trial Court Victory

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.

On the Road Again

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.

Acquisition of Atlantic Place Office Park by Atlantic Place Partners

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.

Redevelopment and Sale of JJ Nissen Complex

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.

511 Congress Street Sells to Portland, Maine Investor

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.

The Cliff House Resort & Spa Under New Ownership

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.