SLG Celebrates 15th Anniversary

It is our crystal anniversary.   Champagne for everyone!  The past fifteen years would not have been possible without the strong and lasting relationships we have built with our clients and colleagues.  Thank you to all who have placed their trust and confidence in us.  We look forward to many more years of working together.  

SUCCESS STORIES

In fifteen years, we have helped numerous clients resolve disputes, manage, acquire, and develop properties, and grow their businesses.  The following are just a few examples of our work:

CIVIL LITIGATION                                                      

  • In a case concerning the dissolution of a limited liability company, we successfully obtained dismissal of all claims asserted against our client, who held a minority stake in the LLC. Based upon our substantive and procedural arguments, the Essex County Superior Court dismissed all seven counts against our client.
  • In a case concerning payments allegedly due to a nursing home, we successfully argued that the Complaint filed against our client should be dismissed because the plaintiff lacked standing to assert claims on behalf of the estate of the deceased.
  • In a case filed against our client in California, we successfully argued that the case should be dismissed because the court lacked personal jurisdiction over our client, who is the trustee of a Massachusetts trust.
  • We represented a national medical device manufacturer in an action to enforce a non-compete provision against a former distributor of our client’s products and negotiated a settlement that enabled our client to protect its business interests.
  • We represented a large regional bank in a consumer action in New Hampshire District Court and obtained prompt dismissal of all claims against our client.

REAL ESTATE LITIGATION

  • Following a six-day trial in Land Court, we obtained judgment in favor of client to quiet her title in real property.  Stigum v. Johnson, 2013 WL773069 (Massachusetts Land Court, 2013)
  • We obtained summary judgment for our client in Land Court on the grounds that an abutter who appealed a Special Permit granted to our client lacked standing to appeal.  90 Exchange, LLC v. Mayo Group Development, LLC, 2009 WL3818847 (Massachusetts Land Court, 2009).
  • In a case concerning the purchase and development of real estate, we successfully obtained dismissal of all claims asserted against our client and dissolution of a lis pendens recorded against the property. Based on the arguments asserted by SLG, the Middlesex Superior Court ruled that the alleged contract failed to satisfy the Statute of Frauds and granted our Special Motion to Dismiss pursuant to the Lis Pendens Statute, which entitled our client to recover its legal fees and costs.
  • In a broker dispute in Norfolk Superior Court, we obtained summary judgment for our client and then successfully defended our win in an appeal to the Massachusetts Appeals Court.  United Multifamily v. Mayo Eight, LLC, 72 Mass.App.Ct. 1102 (Massachusetts Appeals Court, 2008).
  • We represented a property owner in a multi-million dollar dispute over a long-term commercial lease and obtained a $12 million dollar lien that enabled us to negotiate a favorable resolution for our client.

CONDOMINIUM AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

  • We represent over 150 condominium associations in all aspect of managing and operating their properties.  We help trustees understand and enforce their condominium documents and help collect unpaid fees and assessments.  We also help trustees update and amend their documents and practices and represent them in contract negotiations and disputes with owners and vendors.
  • We represent several property management firms and help them to manage their substantial portfolios which include residential and commercial condominiums and rental properties.  
  • We represent several large landlords in various aspects of owning and operating their properties and have obtained numerous judgments in Boston Housing Court and various District Courts throughout Massachusetts.
  • We have represented numerous clients in developing new condominiums and converting existing buildings including preparation of all appropriate documents including Master Deeds, By-Laws, and Declarations of Trust.

REAL ESTATE AND ZONING AND PERMITTING

  • We represent buyers and lenders in the purchase of residential and commercial properties.  We negotiate and prepare all necessary agreements and documents and review and analyze the closing documents to ensure the transaction closes.  We are also certified to secure title insurance on behalf of buyers and lenders and, accordingly, we are adept at identifying and resolving title issues.
  • We represented a client in developing a new three-unit condominium in South Boston and helped secure necessary zoning relief from the Zoning Board of Appeal. 
  • We represented clients in securing approval from the Zoning Bard of Appeal to build a roof deck on their unit in the South End of Boston. 
  • We represent several marijuana businesses in seeking to secure approval to open retail dispensaries within the City of Boston.

Tim Schofield Named Top 100 Super Lawyer

Schofield Law Group is proud to announce that Tim Schofield has been named as a Top 100 Massachusetts Super Lawyer for 2017.  Tim is an experienced litigator who represents individuals and businesses in all types of disputes including breaches of contract, real estate litigation, zoning appeals, partnership disputes, condominium matters, banking litigation, and probate proceedings.  Tim was named to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers List in 2009 and from 2011-2016, but this is the first time he has been named to the Top 100 List.

About Super Lawyers and the Top 100 List

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Every year, Super Lawyers evaluates lawyers across the country for its annual list of Top Super Lawyers.  Each candidate is measured against 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The patented multiphase selection process is designed to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.

Case Dismissed

Litigation is sometimes necessary to resolve a business or personal dispute, but it can be disruptive to you and your business, which is why we aggressively pursue dispositive motions to try to obtain pre-trial judgments for our clients. The cases described below represent the types of results that our experienced litigators regularly obtain for our clients.

SLG Wins Special Motion to Dismiss and Recovers Fees
In a case concerning the purchase and development of real estate, Schofield Law Group successfully obtained dismissal of all claims asserted against our client and dissolution of a lis pendens recorded against the property. Based on the arguments asserted by SLG, the Middlesex Superior Court ruled that the alleged contract failed to satisfy the Statute of Frauds and granted our Special Motion to Dismiss pursuant to the Lis Pendens Statute, which entitles our client to recover its legal fees and costs.

SLG Obtains Dismissal on the Grounds of Personal Jurisdiction
In a case filed against our client in California, Schofield Law Group successfully argued that the case should be dismissed because the court lacked personal jurisdiction over our client, who is the trustee of a Massachusetts trust.  In dismissing the case, the Shasta County Superior Court agreed with our argument that the trustee did not have sufficient contact with the State of California to warrant the exercise of jurisdiction over him.

Lucky 13

Thirteen years ago, Schofield & Associates opened to great fanfare. Okay, we opened to no fanfare whatsoever.  Since that time, however, we have built a distinguished law firm.  We have grown and evolved and thrived by providing strategic, responsive, and cost-effective legal counsel and services to our clients.  We are grateful for our success and we look forward to another year of helping our clients resolve disputes, acquire and manage properties, and grow their businesses.

Our Roots Are Strong

While we have grown and our practice areas have expanded over the years, our roots are still in the courtroom.  Our experienced litigators represent clients in all types of disputes including contract claims, real estate litigation, partnership disputes, zoning appeals, and probate litigation.  We have the skills and experience to take your case to trial and the knowledge and foresight to achieve your goals prior to trial.  

SLG Wins Motion to Dismiss  –  In a case concerning the dissolution of a limited liability company, Schofield Law Group successfully obtained dismissal of all claims asserted against our client, who held a minority stake in the LLC. Based upon the substantive and procedural arguments asserted by SLG, Judge James Lang of the Essex County Superior Court dismissed all seven counts against our client including claims for Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Interference with Advantageous Business Relations, Civil Conspiracy, and Defamation.

SLG Obtains Dismissal of Third Party Complaint   –  In a case in Essex County Superior Court concerning payments allegedly due to a nursing home, Schofield Law Group successfully argued that the Third Party Complaint filed against our client should be dismissed because the plaintiff lacked standing to assert claims on behalf of the estate of the deceased.
 
SLG Attorney Prevails at the Supreme Judicial Court  –  In a case handled from inception to conclusion (including argument before the SJC) by Mark Rosen, who recently joined Schofield Law Group, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that an arbitration provision contained in condominium documents does not entitle the prevailing party to an award of attorneys’ fees and costs.

New SLG Attorney Wins Important Condominium Decision

In a case handled from inception to conclusion (including argument before the SJC) by Attorney Mark Rosen, who recently joined the Schofield Law Group, the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that an arbitration provision contained in a condominium’s governing documents does not entitle the prevailing party to an award of attorneys’ fees and costs.

The decision, which was issued on January 7, 2016, is significant because many condominium documents include provisions which require unit owners to arbitrate any challenges to the actions or decisions of the Board of Trustees. In its fourteen-page decision, the SJC held that under such circumstances an arbitrator cannot award attorneys’ fees to a prevailing owner unless the arbitration provision specifically authorizes the awarding of such fees. The decision is significant for condominiums because it reduces the exposure of arbitration if the relevant provision is silent as to the issue of attorneys’ fees.

To learn more about this decision or to obtain a copy, please contact Mark Rosen at mark@schofieldlg.com

Also, please visit our website at www.schofieldlg.com

Mark Rosen Joins SLG

As we celebrate our 12th Anniversary, we are pleased to announce that we are continuing to grow and expand our capacity to serve our clients. With the addition of Mark Rosen, an experienced litigator and condominium lawyer, we now have five lawyers with a broad range of experience providing sophisticated and responsive legal services.

Mark has over 40 years of experience as a litigator and condominium attorney. He has represented clients in various types of civil and commercial litigation. Mark also has vast experience representing condominium associations and property managers in all aspects of operating residential and commercial condominiums.

Mark is a past Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Insurance Law Committee and the Solo and Small Firm Practice Section. He is also a past Chair of the Attorneys’ Committee of the Community Association Institute – New England Chapter, a trade association of condominium leaders and professionals.

Mark is a 1976 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. He is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and is admitted to practice before the Federal District Court of Massachusetts, the First Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. Prior to moving to Boston in 1989, Mark practiced law in Minneapolis and Chicago.

In addition to his professional activities, Mark has served on the building committees for the renovation of the elementary and middle schools in Needham, Massachusetts, where he resides with his wife and two children. Mark currently serves on the Traffic Management Advisory Committee for the Town of Needham. Mark has also provided representation on a pro bono basis to individuals on a wide range of legal matters. Mark is active in many social action projects both through his synagogue (of which he is a past president) as well as a volunteer for community projects to help the disadvantaged.

Airbnb Raises Concerns for Condominiums

The growing popularity of home-sharing services, such as Airbnb, is raising concerns for property managers and condominium associations. We often get calls from clients who want to end the flow of tourists and transients coming into their buildings. Fortunately, there are tools available to condominium associations to confront this growing problem.

For example, the condominium documents may mandate that a rental term be at least 180 days or may contain other restrictions on rentals which the condominium association could use to stop the practice. Similarly, the condominium documents may prohibit the commercial use of a unit which could be the basis for prohibiting such short-term rentals. The condominium documents may also empower the association to assess fines to owners who violate these types of provisions.

If the condominium documents do not contain any restrictions which could be applied to short-term rentals then an association may want to adopt appropriate amendments to their condominium documents. It is important to note that under Massachusetts law a restriction on the use of a unit (including rentals) must be formally adopted into the condominium’s Master Deed or Declaration of Trust/By-Laws. Many associations mistakenly believe that they can adopt rental restrictions by a simple vote of the board of trustees, but this is not sufficient under the law.

We can help an association to understand its rights and powers with respect to short-term rentals and, if necessary, to prepare, adopt, and record appropriate amendments to the condominium documents.

SLG Obtains Dismissal of Third Party Complaint

November 19, 2015 – In a case in Essex County Superior Court concerning payments allegedly due to a nursing home, Schofield Law Group successfully argued that the Third Party Complaint filed against our client should be dismissed because the plaintiff lacked standing to assert claims on behalf of the estate of the deceased.

SLG Wins Motion to Dismiss

November 9, 2015 – In a case concerning the dissolution of a business partnership, Schofield Law Group successfully obtained dismissal of all claims asserted against our client, who held a minority stake in the limited liability company in question. Based upon the substantive and procedural arguments asserted by SLG, Judge James Lang of the Essex County Superior Court dismissed all seven counts against our client including claims for: Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Interference with Advantageous Business Relations, Civil Conspiracy, and Defamation.