John's practice focuses on business and trust litigation and municipal law.
He has over twenty-five years experience advising individuals, businesses and municipalities
in a wide range of matters. He has represented clients in the Massachusetts Supreme
Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the United States Court of Appeals,
the United States Bankruptcy Court and state and federal trial courts. John was
recognized as a Super Lawyer by Boston Magazine in 2004 and 2005 for his
work in municipal law.
Business and Trust Litigation Experience.
- Represented software company in claims by customer regarding
product performance and warranty;
- Represented real estate developer in dispute involving purchase
and sale agreement for oceanfront property;
- Represented developer in claims against lender and partners
arising from foreclosure of mortgage and subsequent sale of property by lender to
one of developer's partners;
- Represented Hall of Fame athlete in claim against insurance company
regarding sale of insurance product to fund trust; and
Served as local counsel for out of state firms in wide range of business matters.
- Represented trustees in action to reform trust to fulfill
donor's intent to utilize federal estate tax marital deduction; Supreme Judicial
Court authorized reformation of trust as requested.
- Represented trustees seeking to reform trust by dividing trust
into two separate trusts, a generation-skipping transfer ("GST") tax exempt
trust and a GST tax nonexempt trust, in order to minimize Federal GST taxes and
administration expenses; Supreme Judicial Court authorized reformation of trust
- Represented trustee in action to reform trust so that contributions
qualified as annual exclusion gifts and so that distributions could be made to beneficiary
during lifetime of the donor; reformation allowed by the Probate Court.
John has advised municipal officials on a wide range of issues including: land use
planning and zoning; capital improvement projects; municipal finance and assessing;
town governance and restructuring; and Town Meeting.
He has served as special counsel to cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth
including the Town of Braintree; the City of Fall River; the City of Fitchburg;
the Town of Framingham; the City of Quincy; the Town of Seekonk; and the Town of
John is a former Town Counsel to the Town of East Bridgewater and a former Special
Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Boston.
Representative municipal matters:
- Advised municipality on Annual Town Meeting and Special Town Meeting Matters;
- Advised Wastewater Study Committee on feasibility of municipal sewer system;
- Advised Town Study Committee regarding formation of Department of Public Works and
drafted special legislation authorizing creation of Department of Public Works;
- Advised Town on proposed re-opening of privately owned landfill ; and
- Advised Town on affordable housing and preparation of Affordable Housing Manual.
Representative municipal litigation matters:
- Successfully defended municipality against landfill operator's
claim seeking millions of dollars in damages based on allegation of illegal taxation;
- Successfully defended Conservation Commission in federal court
litigation brought by developer; case dismissed on grounds of federal abstention;
- Successfully defended Planning Board in land use litigation
arising from approval of Special Permit granting developer right to construct and
enlarge race track;
- Successfully defended Zoning Board of Appeals decision to
deny variances to developer;
- Successfully recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in
past due taxes from debtor in bankruptcy;
- Successfully recovered past due taxes from mortgagee of defaulting
nursing home operator;
- Successfully recovered past due taxes from title insurer after
escrow agent wrongfully released funds to seller rather than paying the funds to
the municipality; and
- Successfully handled broad range of assessing cases including office
towers, industrial property, hotels and special use property.
- Massachusetts Bar
- United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
- United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the First, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits
United States Court of Federal Claims
- Named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer
by Boston Magazine in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007
Appointed to the Public Law Section Council and the Probate Law Section Council
by the Massachusetts Bar Association
- B.A., State University of New York, 1976
J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1979