Jody Kline Participates in University of Maryland Real Estate Development Program as Guest Lecturer

On Thursday, February 8, the University of Maryland’s Colvin Institute Real Estate Development Program hosted Miller, Miller & Canby’s land use and planning attorney Jody Kline. Mr. Kline addressed students in  “Introduction to the Principles, Practice and Process of Real Estate Development.” He was invited to speak by University of Maryland Professor Stephen Shapiro; Mr. Kline and Mr. Shapiro are both members in Lamda Alpha, an honorary land economics society.

The main objective of the comprehensive course is to provide a foundation for study of all aspects of real estate, to acquaint students with an overview of the real estate industry, including the development process, and to help students understand the roles of multiple parties, politics and citizens in real estate development.  The class also serves to help students understand how to analyze the development potential of real property sites.

In a lively question and answer discussion led by Professor Shapiro, Mr. Kline engaged with students representing a variety of different disciplines of study.  Drawing on his more than 45 years of experience in a successful land use and zoning practice, Mr. Kline brought valuable hands-on knowledge and perspectives to the students to help illustrate the concepts and skills they had been learning in the course.  Mr. Kline used real-world examples of several projects that have been impacted by zoning, in the context of discussing the personnel, processes and risks involved with the development of land.

Mr. Kline
has served as head of Miller, Miller & Canby’s Land Development practice group since 1981. He concentrates his practice in land use, zoning, and subdivision law.  During the course of his career, he has been involved in a number of important land development projects that have helped to shape Montgomery County. He has been featured as a Washingtonian Magazine “Top Lawyer”, and has also been named a Super Lawyer in the state of Maryland every year since 2008, as well as a recognized Best Lawyer for the past 11 consecutive years.  To learn more about Jody Kline  and Miller, Miller & Canby’s land development practice click here or contact Mr. Kline at 301.762.5212 or via email.


MM&C Welcomes New Estate Planning Attorney David Lucas

Miller, Miller & Canby is pleased to welcome David A. Lucas to the Estates & Trusts and Business & Tax Practices, where he will focus his practice on Estate Planning, Trust and Administration, Elder Law and Business Law.

“Miller, Miller & Canby’s Estates & Trusts and Business & Tax, Elder Law and Business Law practices have served families and businesses throughout Maryland and Washington, DC for decades,” said Robert E. Gough, Managing Shareholder for the firm. “We are very pleased to welcome David. His extensive private practice experience in estate and legacy planning, asset protection planning, retirement and business planning services will strengthen and expand our capabilities in these important disciplines.”

Mr. Lucas
is committed to providing his clients with a well-crafted estate plan so they may avoid probate, protect their assets and legacies, and provide for the security of their loved ones. He takes a special interest in ensuring that the dreams parents have for their children and grandchildren are not lost to taxes, poor planning, or procrastination. He speaks frequently on a variety of estate planning topics to both the general public and private groups.

Prior to joining Miller, Miller & Canby, Mr. Lucas was in private practice for 14 years. He began his legal career by serving as a Law Clerk to The Honorable Dennis M. McHugh of the Montgomery County Circuit Court in Rockville, Maryland. After his clerkship, he worked for a general practice firm, where he gained practical experience in a variety of disciplines, including civil litigation, employment law, workers’ compensation, administrative law, family law, estate planning, and business formation. Since 2006, Mr. Lucas has focused his practice on helping families preserve their financial wealth and legacies for future generations through the use of Trusts, Wills, Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives, Living Wills, and other estate planning strategies.

Mr. Lucas is licensed to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia and is admitted to practice before the respective local and federal courts. He is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the Montgomery County Bar Association. He earned a B.A. in Sociology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and earned his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law.

Click the download button below to view the firm's formal press release. For more information about Miller, Miller & Canby’s Estates & Trusts and Business & Tax Practices, click here or contact David at 301-762-5212.

Attorney Joseph Suntum to Speak at National Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Conference

Miller, Miller & Canby Eminent Domain attorney Joseph (Joe) Suntum will be joining the faculty for the American Law Institute’s 35th Annual Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation Conference, to be held in Charleston, South Carolina on January 25-27, 2018. The conference draws hundreds of eminent domain practitioners from all over the country, and is recommended for experienced practitioners as well as those new to the field. In addition to pertinent information such as effective case planning strategies and tips on staying current in eminent domain practice, discussions are targeted for attendees to learn about emerging issues.

Mr. Suntum’s presentation is part of the “Condemnation 101” portion of the conference directed to new practitioners in the field of eminent domain law, and is titled “Back to Basics: An Overview of Common Condemnation Issues.”  This is the 10th year that Mr. Suntum has been a member of the faculty for this highly-regarded event. He will be joined at the conference by Miller, Miller & Canby’s eminent domain practice group, James Thompson, Diane Feuerherd and Callie Carnemark.

The conference is sold out for live attendance, but interested persons may sign up for the live webcast by visiting this link.

Joe Suntum
is a principal with Miller, Miller & Canby and leads the firm’s Eminent Domain and Condemnation Group. His decades of trial experience and his in-depth knowledge of real property valuation and the law of eminent domain allow him to protect his clients’ property rights and maximize compensation for his clients when their properties are targeted for condemnation. Mr. Suntum speaks regularly on issues pertaining to eminent domain practice. He is the Owners’ Counsel of America (OCA) member attorney for the State of Maryland. Membership in the OCA, a national network of experienced condemnation attorneys who represent property owners in federal, state and local condemnation proceedings, is restricted to only one member attorney per state.

For more information about the practice of Eminent Domain, or if you have questions about your rights as a property owner, contact Joe Suntum at 301-762-5212.

Property Owners Have 45 Days to Appeal New Maryland Property Tax Assessments

Last week, the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) issued new Assessment Notices to owners of one-third of all commercial and residential properties in Maryland.  For instance, in Montgomery County, commercial properties in Rockville and Gaithersburg were reassessed.  In Frederick County, commercial properties in Ijamsville, Emmitsburg, Thurmont and portions of Frederick were reassessed.  In Prince George’s County, commercial properties in Bladensburg, District Heights, Landover, Lanham and Suitland were reassessed.

Property owners have 45 days from the date of the Assessment Notice to challenge these new assessments.  The “first-level” appeal takes place at the local Assessment Office.  If the assessor refuses to reduce the assessment, the owner may file a further appeal to the county Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board (PTAAB).   This Board will consider the evidence and issue a written decision, usually within two weeks.  If the property owner is still dissatisfied, another appeal may be filed to the Maryland Tax Court.

Miller, Miller & Canby has been challenging the assessments of various types of properties in Maryland for more than 30 years and has obtained substantial reductions in real property assessments for our clients.  Our litigation attorneys regularly represent clients before the local Assessment Office, PTAAB and the Maryland Tax Court.  We have successfully appealed the assessments on office buildings, retail stores, senior living centers, warehouses, industrial sites, casinos, apartment buildings and cemeteries.  Let us help you reduce your Maryland property assessments in 2017.  

Michael Campbell
is a partner in the litigation group at Miller, Miller & Canby.  In addition to trial and appellate advocacy, his practice focuses on real estate litigation and property tax assessment appeals.  Please feel free to contact Mr. Campbell at 301.762.5212 or send him an email for property tax guidance or to help reduce your commercial Maryland property tax assessment.  For more information about the firm’s Maryland property tax appeals practice and representative cases, click here.

Diane Feuerherd Joins the Maryland State Bar Association’s Maryland Appellate Blog as Blog Manager

Miller, Miller & Canby’s Diane Feuerherd has joined the Maryland State Bar Association’s Maryland Appellate Blog as its Blog Manager. Founded in 2013, the Maryland Appellate Blog is sponsored by the MSBA Litigation Section, and is dedicated to disseminating information about appellate practice and appellate law. The blog covers news from Maryland’s Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. It features commentary from a number of contributors and guest authors, including coverage of notable arguments, practice tips, commentary on implications of specific rulings or trends, and interviews with appellate judges.  “I am thrilled to be working with other members of the Maryland Appellate Blog to continue its tradition of spreading important Maryland legal news and fostering community and dialogue among appellate practitioners,” said Ms. Feuerherd.  

Click here
to view recent blog entries.

Diane Feuerherd
is an associate in Miller, Miller & Canby’s Litigation Practice Group and focuses her practice in appellate, commercial and business litigation. She has successfully represented individuals, property owners, and businesses in a variety of matters ranging from administrative hearings before the Board of Appeals of Montgomery County, to trials in state and federal courts, and to appeals before the Court of Special Appeals and Court of Appeals. She may be reached at 301-762-5212.

5G Wireless Telecommunications Driving Wireless Infrastructure Development in DMV

In the past several years, state and local governments nationwide have been under increased pressure to grant wireless infrastructure site approvals to expand wireless technology connectivity, in order to meet dramatically increasing consumer demand for better and faster service. In fact, the use of data (watching videos and television, searching the internet, sending photos, using social media, etc.) on mobile devices increased 42 percent from 2015 to 2016.  Sixty-one percent of mobile traffic consists of watching videos, and this is projected to grow to 77 percent by 2020.

The Effect on Local Municipalities
Montgomery County and the City of Gaithersburg are both currently reviewing how they will handle the growing number of requests from a land use perspective to place wireless antennas within their borders. In the past, the practice was to place antennas on the tallest buildings, towers and water tanks. As wireless technology is evolving, local governments are receiving more applications to deploy cell antennas on smaller structures in residential neighborhoods and commercial areas. Federal law does not allow local jurisdictions to enact zoning laws that would prohibit wireless service. Therefore, in Montgomery County and the City of Gaithersburg zoning text amendments (ZTAs) are being proposed to allow for practices that enhance optimal service, while regulating the nature of exactly where these antennas may be placed and how they will screened to protect the aesthetics of community neighborhoods and commercial areas.

What Landowners Need to Know
The need for a large number of locations for new wireless infrastructure facilities will involve landowners, wireless companies and local governments in dramatic ways.  “Property owners in Montgomery County and surrounding areas who own smaller buildings and lower-height properties, as well as undeveloped land, should be advised that they may be approached for the next wave of 5G (5th Generation) installation locations,” said Miller, Miller & Canby’s telecommunications attorney Sean Hughes. “There are a number of stipulations these groups should be aware of with respect to the process of navigating leases, franchise agreements and land use entitlements.”

Sean Hughes is a member of Miller, Miller & Canby’s Land Use practice group. His career spans more than two decades of focus in legal and wireless telecommunications.
For more information about Miller, Miller & Canby’s Land Use practice, please contact Sean Hughes at 301.762.5212 or click here.

Miller, Miller & Canby Hosts Book Signing for Royce Hanson

Suburb: Planning Politics and the Public Interest Offers Rare and Insightful Look at the Transformation of Montgomery County, MD

Royce Hanson, former Montgomery County Planning Board President, author, civic leader and research professor at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, has released his new book, Suburb: Planning Politics and the Public Interest. The book looks at the history of Montgomery County over the past 100 years, exploring notable land use policies during a time of significant growth and change.
On November 14, the Land Use and Real Estate departments of leading Maryland law firm, Miller, Miller & Canby, hosted a talk and book signing for Mr. Hanson in North Bethesda, Maryland.  The Washington Post’s Roger Lewis was on hand to provide introductory remarks before Mr. Hanson spoke briefly about his motivation for writing the book.  Suburb tells the story of Montgomery County’s transformation from a rural entity into a community of more than one million people. Throughout this remarkable period of growth, the county built a stellar reputation for strategic land use decisions that were progressive and innovative while serving the public interest. “Much of what the county accomplished,” writes Mr. Hanson, “can be attributed to a general plan that presented a pervasive vision that looked forward half a century, rather than fixate on immediate challenges.”
Through this study of Montgomery County, Suburb shares a rare and insightful view of the process, and provides a valuable resource for citizens, planners, government officials and developers seeking to learn more about zoning and planning for the benefit of any community.

Added Senior Land Use Department lawyer, Jody Kline, “There are young real estate attorneys who are coming into practice here who don’t know about Montgomery County’s history. This is an important work, not only to teach a new generation here about our county, but to also educate and inspire real estate professionals and community advocates nationwide.”

In addition to a distinguished career in academia, Mr. Hanson served for many years in leadership positions on the Montgomery County Planning Board and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, as well as the Committee on National Urban Policy and National Research Council. He has won numerous awards for his service, including the AIA Kai Medal for contributions to planning and urban design, and the American Planning Association’s Benjamin Banneker Award and Frederick Gutheim Distinguished Leadership Award.

Suburb can be ordered here.

Click the download link below to view the full press release.

The book signing was featured in the December 2017 issue of The Washington Business Journal. See feature below.

October 2017 Legal News & Notes

The October 2017 issue of Miller, Miller & Canby's Legal News & Notes quarterly email newsletter covers a Purple Line update, recent litigation wins,  tips for start-up businesses and much more.  Click here to view newsletter.

MM&C Among the Sponsors of MDDCWA Golf Tournament; Raising $38,000 for Local Charities

Photo Credit: Mike Keller PhotoThe Maryland DC Wireless Association’s Ninth Annual Golf Tournament took place on September 27, 2017 at the Whiskey Creek Golf Club in Ijamsville, Maryland. It brought together members of the association, as well as friends, colleagues and community members for a relaxing day of golf in support of various worthy charities. Miller, Miller & Canby was a sponsor of this year’s event which raised $38,000.  

Miller, Miller & Canby’s Sean Hughes serves on the board for the Maryland DC Wireless Association and, along with other board members, is involved in testifying and providing key insight for policymakers concerning wireless legislative issues and amendments on the local, state and even federal level, as well as raising funds for charitable causes through events like its annual golf event. Each board member is able to direct a portion of the proceeds to a needy charitable organization. Miller, Miller and Canby has directed its portion to the American Red Cross in support of hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.  

Sean Hughes
is a member of Miller, Miller & Canby’s Land Use practice group. His career spans more than two decades of focus in legal and wireless telecommunications.
For more information about Miller, Miller & Canby’s Land Use practice, please contact Sean Hughes at 301.762.5212 or click here.

Photo Credit: Mike Keller Photo

Starting a New Business? Having a Trusted Team of Legal and Financial Advisors is a Key to Success

Starting a new business is a very exciting time for entrepreneurs with future success in mind. Having a start-up team of trusted financial and legal advisers that includes bankers, lawyers and accountants who listen to your goals and provide cohesive advice is one of the key ingredients to future business success.

Why Hire A Business Law Attorney?
In today’s high-tech world, there are several online resources available to get your business started that may seem cost effective. Keep in mind the old saying, “You get what you pay for”. There is seldom a one size fits all strategy for structuring a business. The key is to find a business and tax attorney who can discuss the issues that the new business owner should consider, explain options, and map out the best strategy for the business owner based on his or her particular needs. Many may want to choose one form of entity over another because they know someone else who chose that form. However, just because an S Corp was the right entity for your father (as he had taken Social Security at 62 and didn’t want the income from the side business to reduce his Social Security benefits), or a friend of a friend set up a C Corp (to maximize certain retirement plan benefits for his long-term financial plan), or a co-worker who set up an LLC (as one of the owners was not a US Person), that doesn’t mean that is the right choice for you and your new business.

The Small Business Administration has outlined “10 Steps to Start Your Business” on their website. Below is a summary of the 10 point plan from the SBA and the steps where a business lawyer should be engaged.

Step 1: Conduct Market Research
Is there an opportunity to turn your idea into a success? Do your research to find a competitive advantage.

Step 2: Write a Business Plan
A well written business plan is your roadmap to success. A business attorney should be consulted during this step to help write the plan to show investors and key stakeholders that you have addressed all legal aspects to make your business a success.

Step 3: Fund the Business
How much money do you need to start the business? If you don’t have the funds, do you borrow or raise the capital needed? A financial advisor should be involved in this step.

Step 4: Pick a Location
Whether your new business is in a physical location or an online store, there is an effect on taxes, legal requirements and revenue.  You should obtain advice from your attorney and accountant in this step.

Step 5: Choose Your Business Structure
Choice of entity for your business impacts personal liability, taxes and most importantly business registration legal requirements. A business attorney with experience in the location of your business is critical during this stage.

Step 6: Choose a Business Name
Choosing the perfect name that reflects your brand may keep you up at night. A business attorney should be engaged to ensure you have rights to the name you select.

Step 7: Register the Business
A business lawyer is critical in this step to make your business legal and protect your brand. You need an attorney who directs your business registration with federal, state and local governments.

Step 8: Obtain Federal and State Tax IDs
Your Employer Identification Number (EIN) needs to be obtained to start and grow your business. Some states require a state tax ID as well.  A business and tax attorney can help you obtain all ID’s that are legally required for your business.

Step 9: Apply for Licenses and Permits
A business attorney will help you keep your business running smoothly by staying legally compliant. Licenses and permits vary by industry, state, location and other factors. Engaging a knowledgeable business lawyer during this step is important.

Step 10: Open a Business Bank Account
Once you have all the business registrations and paperwork completed, it is time to open a small business checking account.

Miller, Miller & Canby’s business law attorneys have over 70 years of experience assisting small businesses as well as large corporations in all aspects of business law and corporate planning, including choice of entity, entity formation and dissolution of taxable and tax-exempt entities, corporate reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions, and business succession. As both CPAs and practicing attorneys, MM&C attorneys are an incredible resource as legal, tax and financial advisors to our clients.

Please feel free to contact any of the business & tax attorneys at Miller, Miller & Canby at 301-762-5212 with your business start-up or legal needs.  View more information about Miller, Miller & Canby's Business & Tax practice by clicking here.  

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