Consistent with Robinson+Cole's ability to offer a full range of legal services, the Real Estate Litigation and Title Insurance Group offers experience and depth in the area of real estate litigation, spanning many disciplines, including title insurance, land use, zoning, condominiums/common interest, landlord/tenant, and general real property litigation. The members of the group are seasoned litigators who are well versed in the substantive areas of real property law, "speak the language" of real estate, and understand the fundamental aspects of real property law and transactions. The group also works closely with and leverages the resources of other disciplines within the firm to create multidisciplinary teams to advocate for our real estate clients and to resolve their disputes.
We have extensive and significant experience advising title insurance companies on all aspects of title insurance coverage, from exclusions to loss to insured closing letters, and representing title insurers in coverage litigation, including extracontractual claims. The group's experience includes investigation and prosecution of fraud and defalcation claims, including recoupment. We are also frequently retained by title insurance companies to defend insured owners and lenders in establishing the validity and priority of their interests.
General Real Estate Litigation
We provide litigation services and counseling to developers, lenders, owners, lessors, and lessees on a wide range of real estate disputes, from leasings to takings to mortgages, liens, and foreclosures to title to adverse possession to waterfront rights. Our experience includes practice before state and federal courts, both trial and appellate, as well as administrative hearings, arbitration, and mediation.Land Use and Zoning
We regularly represent both institutional and individual clients in federal and state actions, including litigation matters and administrative appeals, involving permits, variances, subdivision, covenants, restrictions, affordable housing, and wetlands.Mortgage Litigation
We provide litigation services and counseling to lenders on a wide range of disputes from the validity, priority, and foreclosure of mortgages to defense of lenders in consumer protection, predatory lending, and class action claims.Real Property Tax Appeals
We regularly represent commercial owners in all stages of the appeal process, including negotiation with municipal authorities, appearances before the board of assessment appeals, and appeals to the state court. Our lawyers have substantial experience with special use, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and other income-producing properties, as well as contingency fee tax audits and the impact of environmental conditions on the valuation of real property.
We represent condominium organizations in almost every matter likely to affect a common interest community. Our experience includes the assessment and collection of common area fees, contract, and construction disputes, the due diligence requirements of the first independent board after turnover, problems of governance (including challenges by dissident unit owners and internal boards of trustees disputes), claims against developers and contractors, disputes with insurers, negotiations with management companies, and controversies with municipalities and neighboring condominiums. Our representation ranges from negotiation to mediation to arbitration and, where necessary, to the litigation that ensues when some aspect of the condominium process goes wrong and judicial intervention is necessary. In whatever forum we find ourselves, we speak the language of condominium boards, unit owners, lenders, and management.
Represented a law firm in a class action regarding the firm's handling of a large share of foreclosures in Massachusetts. The plaintiffs sued three major mortgage lenders and their law firms for allegedly wrongful foreclosure practices arising out of assignments of mortgages. The potential class would have involved over 9,000 foreclosures from 2004 to 2008 and tens of millions of dollars in exposure. The U.S. District Court of Massachusetts denied class certification; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the decision.
Litigated numerous zoning appeals in state and federal courts, including representation of leading telecommunication companies in prosecuting and defending zoning appeals.
Represented condominium association in claims brought against developer, design, and construction professionals and developer-appointed managers for design and construction defects and breach of fiduciary duties.
Successfully represented waterfront owners, developers, and marinas before state agencies, including contested cases, related to permits and approvals for docks and other structures.
We represent high-end Boston condominiums – often mixed-use, two-tier condominiums with complicated governing documents where balancing the budgetary, operational and governance requirements of primary vs. secondary condominiums and residential vs. commercial interests requires knowledgeable and experienced counsel. Our services cover all the issues that typically affect condominiums, and we regularly counsel our condominium clients about their internal governance and operations, about the balancing of association rights versus unit owner responsibilities, about the condominium's often-contentious relationship with the declarants, developers, contractors and subcontractors who have brought it into legal and physical being, about the state and municipal laws and ordinances of its community, and about balancing the competing demands of trustees, unit owners, developers, investors, tenants, lenders, abutters and employees. Though our guidance is intended to keep our condominium clients out of the litigation process, we are not afraid to go to court and to alternative dispute resolution forums to protect our clients' rights and interests where that is necessary. Representative condominium clients that have called upon the full range of Robinson & Cole's legal services include Millennium Place Ritz-Carlton Boston, Parkside Condominium, Boston, Union Wharf, Boston, and Sierra+Tango, Cambridge.
Represented national public utility company in defense of environmental claims based on historic property usage.