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 Download attachment >>
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. Download attachment >>
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. Download attachment >>
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.
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
. Download attachment >>
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. Download attachment >>
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. Download attachment >>
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, Joe Suntum or Amy Grasso. Download attachment >>
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 Download attachment >>
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 Download attachment >>
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 Download attachment >>
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 to read Sue Carter's article. Download attachment >>
Susan Carter concentrates her practice in the areas of land use, zoning, administrative and real estate law, with emphasis on special exceptions and regulatory approvals. Tap into this expertise by contacting Sue Carter
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. Download attachment >>
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. Download attachment >>
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 Sue Carter with your land use planning & development legal needs or view more information about Miller, Miller & Canby's land development services by clicking here. Download attachment >>
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. Download attachment >>
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!”
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.
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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. Download attachment >>
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. Download attachment >>
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. Download attachment >>