MM&C Attorneys Jody Kline and James Thompson Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017

 

Miller, Miller & Canby congratulates its Land Use & Zoning Law Practice Leader, Jody Kline and Senior Litigation Attorney, James ("Jim") Thompson, who have each been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.  This will mark the 11th consecutive year for both attorneys to achieve this recognition, as both have been named to this list since 2007.  This prestigious award is a testament to their long-standing reputations for their individual legal abilities and professionalism.  

Jody Kline is recognized in the field of Land Use and Zoning Law and Jim Thompson is recognized for his litigation practice in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law.

Best Lawyers® is based on an exhaustive peer review survey of  more than 55,000 attorneys in 140 practice areas, covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Inclusion in this year's publication is based on more than 6.7 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice." Best Lawyers® listings are included in some of the nation's most recognized publications, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune.

For more information about Jody Kline and Miller, Miller & Canby's Land Use and Zoning Law practice click here or for information about Jim Thompson and Miller, Miller & Canby’s Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law practice click here.  View the formal press release by clicking the download attachment link below.  Click here to see Jody Kline's coverage by Washington Business JournalClick here to see Jim Thompson's coverage by Washington Business Journal.

 

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  • Michael Campbell, Litigation Attorney, Published in the August 2016 IPT Insider

     

    The Institute for Professionals in Taxation published Michael Campbell's article that analyzes a recent decision by Maryland’s highest appellate court concerning the interpretation of the “date of finality” rule, which was thought by many practitioners to exclude comparable sales after January 1 of the tax cycle. The Court of Appeals interpreted the statute expansively to allow sales after the date of finality in certain circumstances, joining such states as New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Oregon. Mr. Campbell's article is published in the August 2016 issue of The IPT Insider.  Click here to view the issue or click the download attachment link below.

    Michael Campbell
    leads the Litigation practice of Miller, Miller & Canby. In addition to appellate advocacy, he concentrates his practice in the following areas of litigation:  Business & Commercial, Real Estate, Residential & Commercial Construction, and Maryland Property Tax Appeals. He has particular expertise in property tax litigation and appeals. Please feel free to contact Mr. Campbell at 301.762.5212 or send him an email for commercial property tax guidance in Maryland. For more information about the firm's Maryland Property Tax Appeals practice click here.

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  • Maryland’s Highest Court Affirms “Date of Finality” Rule for Property Tax Assessments

     

    In a recent decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals concerning the interpretation of the “date of finality” rule, which was thought by many practitioners to limit the consideration of comparable sales to a time frame before January 1.  The Court interpreted the statute more expansively to allow sales after the date of finality in certain circumstances, joining such states as New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Oregon.

    View the article by MM&C Litigation Attorney, Michael Campbell, which reviews the recent ruling and its effect on property tax appeals in Maryland by clicking the download attachment link below.

    Miller, Miller & Canby has been handling assessment appeals of various types of commercial properties in Maryland for more than 30 years.  In 2014, we obtained over $20,000,000 in property assessment reductions for our clients.  Our litigation attorneys regularly represent clients at the assessor level, before the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board (PTAAB) and in the Maryland Tax Court.  We have successfully appealed the assessments on office buildings, hotels, casinos, retail stores, industrial sites, warehouses, apartment buildings and land at various stages of development.  

    Michael Campbell
    leads the litigation practice group of 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.  For more information about the firm’s Maryland property tax appeals practice and representative cases, click here.
     

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  • MM&C Litigation Attorney Michael Campbell Published in the August 2015 IPT Insider

     

    The Institute for Professionals in Taxation published Michael Campbell's article that analyzes a recent decision by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals concerning the interpretation of the "date of finality" rule, which was thought by many practitioners to limit the consideration of comparable sales to a time frame before January 1. The Court interpreted the statute more expansively to allow sales after the date of finality in certain circumstances. Mr. Campbell's article is published in the August 2015 issue of The IPT Insider.  Click here to view the issue

    Michael Campbell
    leads the Litigation practice of Miller, Miller & Canby. In addition to appellate advocacy, he concentrates his practice in the following areas of litigation:  Business & Commercial, Real Estate, Residential & Commercial Construction, and Maryland Property Tax Appeals. He has particular expertise in property tax litigation and appeals. For more information about the firm's Maryland Property Tax Appeals practice click here or contact Mike Campbell.

    MM&C’s Somer Cross Published by APA as Author of May 2015 Zoning Practices Magazine

     

    Article Supports Community Staff-Led Comprehensive Zoning Revisions

    Miller, Miller & Canby’s Somer Cross was recently published by the American Planning Association as the author of its May 2015 'Zoning Practice' publication.  In the article, a case is made for staff-led comprehensive zoning revisions, citing staff member understanding of community issues, knowledge of historical successes and challenges in the existing zoning ordinances and insight into legislative perspectives.

    To read the entire article, click here.

    Miller, Miller & Canby has represented business and property owners for over 65 years. Please feel free to contact Jody Kline or any of the land use attorneys with Miller, Miller & Canby for land planning and zoning guidance.  For more information, click here.

    MM&C Legal News & Notes March 2015

     

    The March 2015 issue of Miller, Miller & Canby's Legal News & Notes quarterly email newsletter covers Governor Hogan's Delay of the Purple Line, Montgomery County's 'Rain Tax' Update, Achieving a Better Life Expectancy Act: Tax Advantages for the Disabled, Commercial Business Leases: Use of Clauses, the Firm's New Business & Tax Attorney, and much more.  Click here to view newsletter.

    Sign-up here to receive future installments of MM&C's quarterly newsletter.

    Commercial Business Leases: The "Ins and Outs" of Use Clauses

     

    The “use” clause and the “exclusive” clause are crucial provisions that arise in commercial lease negotiations which require careful and thorough attention from the perspective of both the landlord and tenant.  The well-represented party must consider current and future business and legal issues in order to effectively negotiate these clauses and, more importantly, provide for meaningful remedies in the event of a breach. 

    There are two types of “use” clauses in commercial leases: permissive use clauses and restrictive use clauses.  

    Permissive Use Clauses
    Permissive use clauses describe in the affirmative what the tenant can do in the leased space (e.g., “Tenant shall use the premises solely for the purpose of operating a burger restaurant selling burgers, shakes and fries…”).  From the tenant’s perspective, the use clause should be as broad as permissible (e.g., “any lawful use”).  The reason for this is that any uses which are not allowed are, by implication, not permitted.  Therefore, tenants must negotiate language broad enough to allow flexibility for an evolving business.  Also, broad language benefits tenants for future subletting or assignment of the space if a future sublessee or assignee will not have the same type of business as the current tenant.  Landlords, on the other hand, will want to define the use of the leased space as narrowly as possible to maintain greater control over the space and to prevent any possible misuse.

    Restrictive Use Clauses
    Restrictive use clauses describe in the negative what the tenant cannot do in the leased space (e.g., “Tenant shall not use the premises for the purposes of selling burgers, shakes or fries…”).  Again, tenant’s counsel will want to negotiate the narrowest restrictive use clause, if any are included,  in order to allow the tenant the broadest possible right to use the space. 

    Why Use Clauses are So Important in Commercial Leases
    Why do landlords insist on restrictive use clauses?  First, like narrowly-drafted permissive use clauses, they allow the landlord the ability to maintain some control over the business of their tenants.  Secondly, restrictive use clauses are tied to exclusive clauses which the landlord has previously negotiated with other tenants or which a landlord may wish to limit in order to maintain the desired tenant mix.  Frequently, a landlord, to attract a prized tenant, grants a tenant the exclusive right to sell certain merchandise in a shopping center (e.g. sports apparel), or sell a type of food (e.g., coffee), or operate a certain type of business (e.g., a fitness studio).

    Tenant’s counsel can assist in maintaining a broad use definition notwithstanding exclusive clauses or restrictive clauses by negotiating the right to perform certain restricted business uses in a limited manner (e.g., the activity is confined to a discrete floor area or is an ancillary use to the primary use).  

    It is also important for both landlords and tenants to enumerate the specific remedies available to either party in the event of a breach of a use or exclusive clause.  These include injunctive relief, arbitration, termination, abatement of rent or money damages.  To avoid disputes and litigation down the road, the parties should clearly draft permissive and restrictive use clauses.

    Lastly, use restrictions may also be imposed by outside sources, such as zoning ordinances, covenants and restrictions affecting the landlord’s title to the property.   Since zoning ordinances restrict the type of commercial operations permitted (e.g., industrial or manufacturing operations are normally limited to specified districts), it is in the benefit of both parties to determine whether the tenant’s use of the space is allowed under the applicable zoning ordinance.  Prohibitions on use might arise from condominium association bylaws.  A common example is a limitation in condominium bylaws on the total square footage that a certain types of business may occupy in a project (e.g., “not more than an aggregate of 10,000 square feet of space shall be used for auto body repairs, painting, finishing or related purposes”).   If such restrictions exist, sophisticated tenants would benefit from the advice of experienced land use counsel with localized knowledge of such land use restrictions.   

    Miller, Miller & Canby has represented businesses and property owners for over 65 years. Please feel free to contact Bobby Bagheri or any of the real estate attorneys with Miller, Miller and Canby for a complete range of transactional and advisory services.  For more information on the firm's real estate practice, click here.
     

    A New Year, A Good Time To Review Your Will

     

    Remember when you cleaned out your home or office and found your Will?  Yes, the one you signed in the 80s!  You and your spouse were just starting out, didn’t own much, but you were starting a new life and family.  You needed a Will to name a guardian for your children.    You were advised then to review your Will every five years.   Time sure flies.  Your business and career advanced, your children grew, and you now have grandchildren. It’s time to redo your Will and plan your estate to protect what you have worked for all these years.  And there’s no time like the beginning of a new year to plan and prioritize. You'd like to save taxes, maybe minimize probate, make sure that everything goes smoothly for your family.

    Read Ellen Walker's 3 Step Process to update your Will by clicking download attachment below.

    Miller, Miller & Canby has assisted clients with estate planning for over 65 years. Contact Ellen Walker if you would like to review and update your Will or if you need a new Will prepared.  View more information about Miller, Miller & Canby's estate planning services by clicking here.

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  • MM&C Attorneys Review New Treatise on Litigation in Federal Courts for MD Bar Bulletin

     


    A review by Jim Thompson and Donna McBride of the newly published Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts was featured in the September 2013 issue of the MSBA's Maryland Bar Bulletin.

    In their article, Mr. Thompson and Ms. McBride  recommend the 11-volume work as valuable reading for litigators who try cases in federal court. Learn more about what makes this collection of contributions from both lawyers and judges particularly useful and unique by reading their synopsis here.
     
    Jim Thompson
    and Donna McBride are both part of Miller, Miller & Canby's litigation practice group.  They concentrate their practice in business and commercial litigation, as well as other areas. Mr. Thompson is a past president of the MSBA, and Ms. McBride is currently a co-chair of the MSBA Committee on Judicial Appointments.

    Landmark Supreme Court Ruling Protects Landowners; Admonishes Local Government

     

    On June 25 the Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District  that will help to protect private landowners against excessive demands made by government regulators during the land use approval process. In the ruling, the Court held that the government's demand from a land use applicant must satisfy the "nexus" and "rough proportionality" requirements previously addressed in two prior cases even when the demand is for money, not land.

    Read Sue Carter's summary of this important decision by clicking download attachment below.

    Miller, Miller & Canby has represented land developers for over 65 years. Contact an MM&C land use attorney with your land use planning & development legal needs or view more information about Miller, Miller & Canby's land development services by clicking here.

     

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  • Michael Campbell Featured in May 2013 Issue of IPT's The Tax Report

     

    The Institute for Professionals in Taxation published Michael Campbell's article about a recent Maryland Court of Appeals Decision that drew new attention to property tax exemptions in the State of Maryland. In Green v. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Court was asked to consider the tax exempt status of an apartment complex owned and used by the Church to house temporary workers who perform religious ceremonies. The Church ultimately had to litigate its case through five levels of adjudication before Maryland's highest court issued its decision in the Church's favor. Mr. Campbell's article is published in the May 2013 issue of The Tax Report.  Click here to view the issue.  A complete copy of the article may also be found by clicking on Download Attachment at the end of this entry.

    Michael Campbell is a partner in the Litigation practice of Miller, Miller & Canby. In addition to appellate advocacy, he concentrates his practice in the following areas of litigation:  Business & Commercial, Real Estate, Residential & Commercial Construction, and Property Tax Appeals. He has particular expertise in property tax litigation and appeals. For more information about these areas, contact Michael Campbell

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  • Montgomery County Council Enacts Important Property Rights Legislation

     

    Attorney Soo Lee-Cho, in conjunction with The Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association, recently achieved the successful enactment of three separate but related pieces of legislation through the Montgomery County Council (ZTA 12-16, ZTA 12-18, and SRA 12-03) that finally clarifies once and for all the property rights of "pre-1928 substandard lots" in the County. When the County enacted its first Zoning Ordinance on March 16, 1928, it established a minimum lot size requirement of 5,000 square feet for a one-family dwelling, rendering substandard a number of smaller pre-existing lots located mostly in down-county areas such as parts of Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Glen Echo and Cabin John, among others. To read Soo Lee-Cho's complete summary of this important legislation, click on Download Attachment at the end of this entry.

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  • Joe Suntum Featured in March Issue of The Practical Real Estate Lawyer

     

    As part of the American Law Institute's Continuing Legal Education, Joe Suntum recently participated in a program geared to preparation and presentation of eminent domain cases. The program, titled "Condemnation 101: How to Prepare and Present an Eminent Domain Case," was held this past January in Miami and was open to attorneys and legal practitioners, property owner representatives, and appraisers who work within the condemnation process. Mr. Suntum and his co-presenter, attorney Brandee Caswell, spoke specifically to procedural and strategic issues involving opening statements.  This program on opening statements was also summarized in an article for the March 2013 issue of The Practical Real Estate Lawyer.  To read the article in its entirety, click on Download Attachment at the end of this entry.
    Joe Suntum is a principal with Miller, Miller & Canby and focuses his practice in the areas of Eminent Domain, Real Estate Litigation, Appeals and Complex Commercial Litigation. For more information about eminent domain cases, visit the eminent domain section of this website or contact  Joe Suntum.

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  • Washington Business Journal Features Article by Soo Lee-Cho on Annexation Laws in Urban Planning

     

    As a follow up to the December 17, 2012 presentation by Miller, Miller & Canby Land Use team to members of the American Planning Association, attorney Soo Lee-Cho authored an article for the Washington Business Journal discussing the role of annexation laws in urban planning and development. We invite you to read the full story by clicking on Download Attachment at the end of this entry.

    For more insight on how Miller, Miller & Canby can bring their expertise on annexation and urban planning to your development plans, contact  Soo Lee-Cho or practice group leader, Jody Kline

     

     

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  • Joe Suntum Joins Esteemed ALI CLE as Lecturer and Panelist

     

    Condemnation 101:  How to Prepare and Present an Eminent Domain Case

    As part of the American Law Institute's Continuing Legal Education, Joe Suntum participated in a program geared to preparation and presentation of eminent domain cases. The program, titled "Condemnation 101:  How to Prepare and Present an Eminent Domain Case," was held January 24-26 in Miami, and was open to attorneys and legal practitioners, property owner representatives, and appraisers who work within the condemnation process. Mr. Suntum and his co-presenter, attorney Brandee Caswell, spoke specifically to procedural and strategic issues involving opening statements.  He also participated with fellow eminent domain counsel on a panel discussing closing arguments. Mr. Suntum regularly teaches topics at this ALI CLE course, which draws eminent domain attorneys and related professionals from across the country.  A complete copy of the paper on Opening Statements may be found by clicking on "Download Attachment" at the end of this entry.  A copy of the course brochure and further information may be found here.  

    Joe Suntum is a principal with Miller, Miller & Canby and focuses his practice in the areas of Eminent Domain, Real Estate Litigation, Appeals, and Complex Commercial Litigation. For more information about eminent domain cases, contact  Joe Suntum.

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  • The Fiscal Cliff and Your Personal Finances

     

    The recent talk about the fiscal cliff has many of us worried and wondering how our personal finances have been and will be affected by the decisions being made.  In her article titled, "Did You Fall Off The Fiscal Cliff?" Miller, Miller & Canby's Helen Whelan breaks down how the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013 affects income and estate taxes.  To read the article in its entirety, click on Download Attachment at the end of this entry.

    Helen Whelan is a Principal in Miller, Miller & Canby's Estates and Trusts Practice Group. Her expertise is in educating and advising families and individuals in planning for their futures. For more information on current legislation and its effect on your personal finances, contact  Helen Whelan.

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  • Eminent Domain: What Property Owners Should Know About The Process

     

    The laws governing eminent domain and the process of condemnation are very complex. From the preliminary identification of a public need and the property selected to be acquired to the final settlement, Miller, Miller & Canby eminent domain attorneys Amy Grasso and Jim Thompson outline the stages of the process in "The Stages of Maryland Eminent Domain Cases," available for review by clicking on Download Attachment at the end of this entry.

    Any property owner notified of the potential taking of his/her property should consult with an attorney experienced in eminent domain. For more information about the eminent domain process and the rights of property owners, contact one of Miller, Miller & Canby's top rated eminent domain specialists:  James Thompson or Joe Suntum.

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  • Plan for the Care of your Pet: A Legal Guide

     

    If you became ill or died, who would care for your pet?  According to Miller, Miller & Canby's Ellen Walker, there are many instances where a pet owner's expectations of how a pet would be provided for go unfulfilled, sometimes with tragic results.   She counsels clients to be proactive in preparing legally enforceable documents to ensure their wishes for the well-being of their pet(s) are carried out.  Learn more by reading Ellen's complete article on this topic by clicking on Download Attachment at the end of this entry. 

    Ellen Walker concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, wills, trusts and estate administration. For more information contact Ellen Walker

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  • Filing Deadlines Approaching for Property Tax Appeals and Homestead Tax Credit Eligibility

     

    December 31, 2012 represents the due date for filing an optional petition for review of commercial and residential property assessments.  It is also the deadline for homeowners to file the mandatory application for homestead tax credit eligibility. According to Miller, Miller & Canby's Michael Campbell there are several good reasons for appealing assessments for properties; filing a petition for review can result in significant savings for the property owner. Regarding the Homestead Tax Credit, the majority of Marylanders have not filed the appropriate application, which must be filed for homeowners to qualify for the tax credit that limits the amount of assessment on which a homeowner actually pays taxes.  To learn more about these matters, view Michael Campbell's article by clicking on Download Attachment at the end of this entry.   

    Michael Campbell is a partner in the Litigation practice of Miller, Miller & Canby. He focuses his practice on commercial disputes, and handles cases relating to real property tax appeals, real estate contests, lease enforcement, contract disputes, and other business and personal disputes.  For more information regarding matters relating to property taxes in Maryland, contact  Michael Campbell

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  • Residential Condominium Development: What Developers Need to Know

     

    From land acquisition to closing, the process of residential condominium development is complex. Miller, Miller & Canby's Patrick McKeever breaks it down with advice for thought processes, steps and timelines -- invaluable information for developers and their counsel. From finding, zoning and buying the land to the sale and closing or settlement of each unit, this is a practical guide. Click on Download Attachment to read his complete article, the first in a two-part series on this subject.

    In nearly fifty years of practice in Montgomery County and the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Patrick McKeever has been called upon by clients and attorneys to devise innovative solutions in the area of real estate and its development and financing. He has particular expertise in public-private agreements to facilitate land development, condominium, cooperative and homeowner association concepts and applications. Tap into this expertise by contacting  Patrick McKeever

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  • Montgomery County Responds to State Septic Restrictions

     

    Montgomery County's legislative response to septic restrictions imposed by the state of Maryland is good news for property owners. The Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012, signed into law in May, potentially impacts a property owner's ability to develop property using septic systems. The Montgomery County Council's response has been to introduce legislation that will enable the county to approve both minor and major subdivisions on septic.

    Learn more about the legislation and the county's response by clicking Download Attachment.

    Miller, Miller & Canby has represented landowners and businesses in master planning and land development processes for more than 65 years. Anyone interested in seeking specific guidance on how the new Zoning Ordinance affects a particular property or how to get involved in the County’s master planning process is encouraged to contact the firm’s Land Use Practice Group for additional information.

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  • Maryland Bar Journal Features Landmark MM&C Case

     

    Joe Suntum recently prevailed in a significant commercial law case; the case is featured as the lead story in the July/August issue of the Maryland Bar Journal. Joe represented the successful petitioners in Boland v. Boland, a complex business litigation involving shareholder derivative suits.

    Read the entire article by clicking on Download Attachment.

    Joseph Suntum is Miller, Miller & Canby's Litigation Practice Leader, handling a wide variety of substantive areas of litigation including eminent domain condemnation, complex business litigation, and appellate advocacy. Tap into this expertise by contacting  Joe Suntum.

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  • Take Advantage of the "60-Day Rule" for Reducing Property Taxes

     

    “What you don’t know won’t hurt you,” goes the old proverb.  But in tough economic times the better practice is to arm yourself with information that saves money.  This applies to the “appeal upon purchase” right granted to new property owners.   Many purchasers of residential and commercial property in Maryland don’t know they have a special right to appeal their property assessment during the first 6 months of the year.

    Purchasers of properties that are transferred after January 1 and before July 1 have a special right to appeal the assessment within sixty (60) days of the date of transfer.   For transfers completed after June 30, the purchaser must wait until year-end for any appeal to be processed.  The statutory framework also allows for appeals to be filed after July 1st if the date of the delivery of the deed was prior to July 1st.  The new owner must closely follow the 60-day calendar to benefit from the appeal right.

    Learn more about the buyer's right to appeal under the "60-Day Rule" by clicking download attachment below to read Michael Campbell's explanation of the rule.

    Miller, Miller & Canby has represented commercial and residential property owners for over 65 years with real estate transactions, financing, settlements, litigation and property tax appeals. Contact Mike Campbell to take advantage of the "60-Day Rule" and potentially reduce your commercial real estate property tax.

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  • New Restrictions on Developments Using Septic

     

     On May 2nd, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law a controversial piece of legislation "The Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012", that may significantly impact a property owner’s ability to develop property using on-site septic systems.  The law becomes effective on July 1, 2012.  The legislation seeks to reduce the nitrogen load and other pollutants from on-site sewage systems that ultimately flow into the Chesapeake Bay and seeks to limit developmental sprawl that fragments State-wide agricultural and forested lands.

    Learn more about this controversial legislation and its impact on Montgomery County property owners intending to develop on septic, by clicking download attachment below to read Sue Carter's full commentary.

    Miller, Miller & Canby has represented land developers for over 65 years. Contact an MM&C zoning attorney with your land use planning & development legal needs or view more information about Miller, Miller & Canby's land development services by clicking here.

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  • Mike Campbell Notes New Statistics Show Trends in Property Values

     

    On April 16, 2012, the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) issued its annual assessment ratio report to Governor O’Malley and the General Assembly.  The report contains statistics from which interesting trends in Maryland’s real estate markets can be gleaned.  The report indicates that 739,764 properties were valued by SDAT in the new triennial reassessment for years 2012, 2013 and 2014, based on relevant sales or income data obtained as of December 31, 2011.  SDAT reports that, on average, residential property values decreased by 22%, while commercial property values decreased by only 1%.  

    But the averages don’t tell the whole story because certain counties had different experiences than others.  Download the full article by Miller, Miller & Canby Commercial Real Estate Property Tax Appeals attorney, Mike Campbell

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  • Maury Epner Authors Lead Article for The Maryland Litigator’s February 2012 Issue

     

    Miller, Miller & Canby’s Maury Epner writes about the award of attorneys’ fees in Maryland for the publication of the Maryland State Bar Association Litigation Section. The article specifies two exceptions to the established “American Rule” which prevents the prevailing party in a lawsuit from recovering attorney fees as part of damages. These exceptions, contractual and statutory fee-shifting provisions, are outlined and examined in the article titled, “Attorneys’ Fees in Maryland:  Careful What You Wish For!”

    Click here to read full article >>

    Condemnation of the Whole – Why a Full Taking Involves Unique Considerations

     

    Why a Full Taking Involves Unique Considerations That Condemnors Often Overlook

    It is nearly axiomatic that a condemnor will base its initial offer of “just compensation” upon the “fair market value” of the real property being taken in its “as is,” “as used” and “as zoned” condition as of the date of take. This axiom is not intended to be derogatory towards condemnors. Rather, it simply states the obvious. Many condemnors will accept and recognize alternative uses and additional damages when those issues are persuasively presented. But it would be unusual for a condemnor to retain a land planner or other expert in advance of its initial offer, or undertake any significant analysis of the property, or the actual damages that will be suffered by the owner as a result of the taking, before its first offer of compensation is made.

    View publication co-authored by MM&C Litigation attorneys, James L. Thompson and Joseph P. Suntum.
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  • Condemnation of Easements

     

    The condemnation of easements by public agencies and privately owned public utilities presents a series of special legal and appraisal problems for the property owners and their counsel. It is important to understand the nature of easements and the differences between the acquiring agencies (the condemnors) in the easement area. This paper will explore some of the problems and possible solutions when easements are condemned and created for the benefit of the condemnor and also when pre-existing, privately held easements are condemned or interfered with by the condemning authority. Issues unique to easements plus valuation and apportionment will be considered as well as strategic and trial issues that are impacted in this process. This discussion will cover some of the various phases involved in the taking of an easement from the point of view of the landowner's attorney.

    View ALI-ABA COURSE OF STUDY MATERIALS Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation authored by James L. Thompson.

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  • Pre-Condemnation Planning

     

    Pre-condemnation planning is a very important part of the eminent domain process in Maryland. Obviously, the condemning authority (the “condemnor”) undertakes a planning process, which Janet Bush Handy could explain from the governmental perspective of the State Highway Administration. Sometimes, that process can extend for decades and become very complex.

    View publication authored by Miller, Miller & Canby Condemnation litigator, James L. Thompson.

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  • Owner’s Handbook – The Condemnation Process and Just Compensation in the State Courts of Maryland

     

    This handbook will provide a general overview of the eminent domain and condemnation process in the Maryland state courts. It is not intended, and should not be used, as specific advice or opinion on any particular case, or specific property. One of the most interesting and challenging aspects of this area of the law is that every piece of real property is unique. And every business operated from a property subject to condemnation will have different issues to address. Please use this handbook for general information purposes, as it is intended, and consult with counsel experienced in the substantive law and procedural rules peculiar to eminent domain actions for advice specific to your property or business.

    View publication co-authored by Miller, Miller & Canby Eminent Domain Litigation Attorneys, James L. Thompson and Joseph P. Suntum.

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