Miller, Miller & Canby Welcomes Attorney Raymond L. Gambrill to Firm’s Litigation Practice


Miller, Miller & Canby is pleased to welcome attorney Raymond L. Gambrill to the firm’s Litigation group. Mr. Gambrill focuses his practice in business, commercial and real estate litigation, as well as criminal defense litigation.

Prior to joining Miller, Miller & Canby, Mr. Gambrill worked in private practice focusing on landlord-tenant law, and was primarily responsible for the representation of landlords in the review of lease agreements, and the litigation of summary ejectment actions, wrongful detainer actions, tenant hold over actions and breach of lease actions.  

Earlier in his career, Mr. Gambrill served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Montgomery County. During his time in the State’s Attorneys’ Office, he was a member of the District Court Division, where he successfully litigated criminal and traffic matters. He began his legal career as a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable John W. Debelius, III in Circuit Court for Montgomery County.

A graduate of the Leadership Development Academy of the Montgomery County Bar Association, he holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Hampton University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law.  

Connect with Raymond here. To learn more about Miller, Miller & Canby's Litigation practice, click here. Click the download attachment link below to view the formal press release.


 





Miller, Miller & Canby Attorney Diane Feuerherd Promoted to Firm Principal


Miller, Miller & Canby is pleased to announced that attorney Diane Feuerherd has been named Principal of the firm.

Feuerherd is an attorney in the Litigation practice group and focuses in appellate, business and real estate litigation. She joined the firm in 2013 after serving for two years as an appellate law clerk to the Honorable Lynne A. Battaglia of the Court of Appeals of Maryland.

She has been named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers every year since 2016, a Best Lawyers in America® “One to Watch” and a Daily Record “VIP” for 2020.

In addition to her work she is active in state and local bar associations, serving as co-chair of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Judicial Appointments Committee, Blog Manager of the Maryland Appellate Blog, Board Member of the Maryland Bar Foundation and a past Fellow of the MSBA’s prestigious Leadership Academy.

“We are very pleased to make this announcement for this well-deserved recognition for Diane,” said firm partner Donna McBride. “Diane is a valued member of our litigation practice and this promotion is indicative of her great leadership, skills and dedication to serving our clients.”

Feuerherd graduated summa cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law, and received her B.S. in International Business from the University of Maryland.

Connect with Diane here. Click the download button below to view the formal press release.

 





Miller, Miller & Canby Welcomes Attorney Debra Yerg Daniel to Firm


Miller, Miller & Canby is pleased to welcome Debra Yerg Daniel to the firm’s Land Development Practice Group. She focuses her practice in zoning law and land use planning and development, as well as administrative and municipal law for clients that include municipalities, property owners and developers.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Daniel enjoyed a long-standing career in state and local government, previously serving as the City Attorney for the City of Rockville and as Associate General Counsel with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. As City Attorney, she served as legal counsel to the Mayor and Council of Rockville, as well as the City’s numerous Boards and Commissions. At the Commission, she served as supervising attorney for the General Counsel’s Montgomery County Land Use team.

“We are delighted to welcome Debra to our firm,” said Land Development practice co-chair Soo Lee-Cho. “Debra’s history of public service aligns with our firm’s dedication to serving our clients, and her track record of representing clients across a wide range of issues, from land use and zoning to ethics, election and employment matters will help us expand our breadth of services, particularly in municipal and administrative law.”

“I am looking forward to joining a practice with deep roots and a strong tradition of service throughout the State of Maryland,” said Ms. Daniel. “With the marking of Miller, Miller & Canby’s 75th anniversary in 2021, I can’t think of a more exciting time to be part of this firm.”

About Miller, Miller & Canby
In 2021, Miller, Miller & Canby will celebrate 75 years of serving the legal needs of metropolitan Washington, DC. As the oldest law firm in Montgomery County, MD, the firm recognizes that this milestone reflects the relationships built and maintained with our clients, friends and the business community, many spanning multiple generations. The firm maintains its focus on its core areas of practice: Land Development, Real Estate, Eminent Domain, Tax Appeals, Litigation, Business and Tax, and Trusts, Estates and Elder Law. The firm's moderate size allows its attorneys to maintain close contact with clients and have the opportunity to develop and foster trusted, lasting relationships. In all of our practice areas, an overarching concern for quality of product and efficiency of accomplishment assures clients that we strive for true value in legal representation. Miller, Miller & Canby is proud to have maintained this standard of service since the firm’s founding in 1946.

Click the download button below to view a PDF of the press release.





Pandemic Provides Opportunity to Appeal Maryland Property Tax Assessments


The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) recently issued new Assessment Notices to owners of one-third of all commercial properties in Maryland for tax years 2021-2023. With the harmful economic effect of the pandemic in 2020, many property owners saw a decrease in rental income and an increase in vacancies. The moratorium on evictions inflicted further harm as owners could not remove their delinquent tenants. This downturn will continue into 2021, which provides a potential basis to appeal the new property assessment.

Maryland property owners have 45 days from the date of the Assessment Notice to challenge these new assessments. The “first-level” appeal allows for an informal hearing with the assessor to discuss the new assessment. If the assessor refuses to reduce the assessment, the owner may file a further appeal to the local Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board (PTAAB).  This hearing is conducted like a trial with the opportunity to testify, call witnesses and present written evidence.  The assessor defends the assessment and the burden is on the property owner to convince the Board that the property is over-valued. The Board will consider the evidence and issue a written decision, usually within about two weeks.  If the property owner is still dissatisfied, another appeal may be filed to the Maryland Tax Court in Baltimore.

Miller, Miller & Canby has been protesting the assessments of various types of commercial properties in Maryland for more than 30 years.  Our litigation attorneys regularly represent clients before the local Assessment Office, PTAAB and the Maryland Tax Court.  We have successfully appealed the assessments on office buildings, strip malls, retail stores, warehouses, casinos, apartment buildings, nursing homes, cemeteries and vacant land.  

Michael Campbell
is a partner in the litigation group at 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.

 





MM&C's Cathy Borten Featured in AGL Media Profile



Miller, Miller & Canby's Cathy Borten was profiled in an AGL Media Group article titled, "For Cathy Borten, it's a Wonderful Life in the Wireless Industry." 

The article ran in the publication's December 22nd issue and is reprinted in its entirety below:

For Cathy Borten, it’s a Wonderful Life in the Wireless Industry
BY J. SHARPE SMITH, SENIOR EDITOR

Cathy Borten comes from a family with a deep connection to the law profession. That background led to a career — indeed, a life — devoted to performing the legal work that has made many, many wireless systems possible.

Her father, who passed away in 2014, was a lawyer and graduate from Washington and Lee University Law School, as are her uncle and nephew. From an incredibly early age, six to be exact, she began talking about the profession with her father, Leonard “Curly” Greenebaum, who was a managing partner in the high-profile practice of Sachs, Greenebaum & Tayler in Washington, D.C.

“I admired him more than I could ever say,” Borten said. “I was fascinated by his job. And I spent all of high school and all of my college years laser-focused on becoming a lawyer.” Because of her family connections, she grew up knowing a judge who would become her mentor. A life in law seem preordained.

After graduating from college, she took a seven-year detour as a media buyer and marketing director, but at the urging of the Judge Paul H. Weinstein, who was a family friend, she followed the family tradition and entered Washington and Lee University. Upon graduation, she clerked for Judge Weinstein in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland.

In 1996, although she was offered a job in a high-powered D.C. law firm, Borten opted not to follow her father’s path. She instead joined smaller firm with four partners and two associates — Abrams, West, Storm & Diamond (AWSD). She was in her 30s and wanted to raise a family.

“I had just seen too many women wind up in this situation where they were really torn between working for these big law firms and taking care of their families, and they couldn’t meet anybody’s expectations,” Borten said.

That firm’s diverse client base, which included developers, Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems (BAMS) and the City of Gaithersburg, Maryland, would begin a career-long education for Borten as she became immersed in multiple points of view in the zoning and permitting of wireless structures.

“One day, one of the partners, M. Gregg (MG) Diamond, asked me to help with a BAMS appeal, which led to me working with him consistently on all of the wireless work that we had,” she said.  “It started out just like a lease here and there, or a special exception for zoning here and there. And it wound up really becoming an ongoing, very volume-intense matter.”

The next big change for Borten came when the City of Gaithersburg, which was growing at a fast clip, decided to bring its city attorney in house. She left the firm and became city attorney where 90 percent of her work entailed land use zoning and planning.

“I maintained, just by extension, my connection with the wireless world, as tower companies and wireless carriers would come in with applications for sites,” she said.

Borten’s former colleague, Diamond, left AWSD to start his own firm, the Law Office of M. Gregg Diamond, in Bethesda. After her stint with the city, Borten rejoined Diamond at his new firm.

“So, most people will tell you a lawyer alone is not a great scenario, because you need to be able to bounce things off of other attorneys,” Borten said. “MG was always that person for me. I just had so much respect for him, and he was just such a great mentor.”

She worked at the two-person law firm from home from 2007 to 2018, and during that time she and her husband raised two children who are now in college.  She performed the leasing and zoning and land use work for a major carrier and related work with a tower company in the area, which included macro and rooftop sites and indoor DAS, as well as the early stages of outdoor DAS. Her work included hospitals, hotels and federal secure office buildings, even the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (home of Dr. Fauci!).

“When I started out, in-building wireless was a small market,” Borten said. “It forced me to learn about so many different indoor environments. Indoor wireless ended up being a value-added proposition for the landlord and a tremendous piece of business for us.”

Borten performed the legal work for the DAS that is deployed in the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, which was the gift that just kept on giving.

“The airport is just a piece of the airport authority, and all these different levels that must give approval for changes,” she said. “It was a third party putting in the system, so we had to make sure that what they were doing was going to work for our client, which was a carrier. We worked on this lease for years, because it was always being amended to add new phases.”

In 2018, as her youngest went off to college, Borten was ready for a change. She reached out to an attorney she knew from her days as city attorney, Jody Kline, about an open position at Miller Miller & Canby. She is now in the firm’s real estate practice group and has found leasing experience in wireless to be helpful on the real estate side. But she keeps her hand in wireless, working with site acquisition companies and carriers, and she is now licensed to practice in Virginia.

The Importance of Connections

Borten acknowledges the importance of her longtime relationships with many people in the legal, land use and wireless worlds during her career.

“I think the relationship side is beyond critical,” she said. “My relationships have always helped me get to the next level in my legal career. Who knew when I left the law firm to become the city attorney that I would go back and work with MG again for 11 years?” she said.

Timing has also been essential to her success. When she started working with Abrams, West, Storm & Diamond, wireless was still in its second generation, and very few women were in land use and zoning. In fact, there were not that many women working in telecom in general.  She got in on wireless early. She eventually would help develop the ordinances that would accommodate outdoor small cells.

In 2014, when Borten was at The Law Offices of M. Gregg Diamond, Montgomery County was rewriting its whole zoning ordinance. The telecom ordinances were so outdated and cumbersome that they lagged behind the pace of wireless technology.

“We wanted the opportunity to update them. Any time the size of the antennas changed, there had to be a new amendment. I had the opportunity to help draft the original small cell provisions of the zoning ordinance,” she said.

Borten couldn’t have foreseen her life in wireless when she chose a small Maryland law firm instead of a large Washington, D.C., firm, but she has had an impact on wireless as it moved from 2G to 5G. She has spent her career zoning and permitting macrotowers, facilitating indoor DAS networks and working to keep ordinances from impeding the progress of wireless technology. Along the way, she has earned the respect of many long-term colleagues. She has had, it seems, a wonderful life in wireless.

Click here to view the online edition.

Cathy Borten is an associate in Miller, Miller & Canby's Real Estate practice group, where she focuses her practice in commercial real estate transactions and leasing, real estate litigation, and commercial financings and settlements. She also focuses in telecommunications law, handling matters for a diverse client base that includes developers, wireless telecommunications firms and municipalities.  To learn more contact Cathy via email.





Miller, Miller & Canby Announces Five Attorneys Named as 2021 Super Lawyers in the State of Maryland


Miller, Miller & Canby is pleased to announce our attorneys who have been named to the list of Super Lawyers in the State of Maryland for 2021. Attorneys James Thompson, Donna McBride and Michael Campbell have been selected for this honor, and attorneys Diane Feuerherd and Christopher Young have been named to the 2021 “Rising Stars” list, which recognizes attorneys under the age of 40.

2021 marks the 15th year that James (Jim) Thompson has been named to the list. He concentrates his practice in eminent domain and real estate valuation litigation, as well as in property tax assessment appeals. For more than a decade, Mr. Thompson represented Maryland in the Owners’ Counsel of America, a national network of property rights attorneys with demonstrated excellence in this area. In 2018, Mr. Thompson was recognized with the President's Citation for Outstanding Service by the Montgomery County Bar Association. He was also selected as the Senior Lawyer of the Year by the Maryland State Bar Association.

Donna McBride
has been a named Super Lawyer since 2014, and has been a partner in Miller, Miller & Canby’s Litigation practice since 2009. She focuses her practice in litigation in the following areas:  business and commercial, employment, estates and trusts, personal injury and insurance, as well as real estate. In 2019, Ms. McBride was admitted to the American College of Trial Lawyers as a Fellow. In addition to her background as a trial lawyer, Ms. McBride is a member of the Court of Appeals Standing Committee of Rules of Practice and Procedure, where she was appointed to serve a second 5-year term beginning in 2018. She is also a member of the Trial Court's Judicial Nominating Commission, the Montgomery County Inn of Court, a former co-chair and current member of the Maryland State Bar Association's Judicial Selections Committee and has volunteered as a mediator for the District Court since 2008. In 2018, she was elected to serve as Treasurer for the Montgomery County Bar Association, to serve the 2018-2019 term. She currently serves as Treasurer for the Montgomery County Bar Foundation.

Michael Campbell
chairs the litigation department at Miller, Miller & Canby.  He focuses his practice on disputes involving real estate, construction projects, commercial leases and businesses in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and before arbitrators. Now in his third decade at the firm, he has tried more than 100 cases before judges, juries and arbitrators. He has resolved many other cases through mediation and private resolution with opposing counsel. Mr. Campbell has also developed an expertise in property tax assessment appeals for commercial and high-value residential properties in Maryland. He has served as Treasurer and President of the Inn of Court of Montgomery County, Maryland, and on the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of Montgomery County.

2021 is the sixth year that attorney Diane Feuerherd has been named to the Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list. She has successfully represented individuals, property owners, and businesses in a wide variety of matters, ranging from administrative hearings before the Board of Appeals, to jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, and to appeals before the Court of Special Appeals and Court of Appeals. In addition to her work, she is active in state and local bar associations. She serves as a co-chair of the Maryland State Bar Association's Judicial Appointments Committee, Blog Manager of the Maryland Appellate Blog, Board Member of the Maryland Bar Foundation and a past Fellow of the MSBA's prestigious Leadership Academy.

2021 is the third year that Christopher Young has been recognized as a “Rising Star.”  An associate in the Business & Tax Practice Group, he works with business clients and individuals to resolve tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and state agencies. He works with corporate clients on issues related to corporate disputes, governance, formations and restructurings, as well as drafting and reviewing corporate documents such as contracts and purchase agreements, operating agreements and partnership agreements. He also advises clients on matters related to foreign financial account reporting and compliance.

These attorneys join other Miller, Miller & Canby attorneys previously named Super Lawyers including Joe Suntum, who practices in the field of eminent domain and commercial litigation, Pat McKeever (now retired), who focused in real estate law and Jody Kline, whose practice focuses in Land Use and Zoning.

Each year, Super Lawyers, a Thompson Reuters business, recognizes the top lawyers in Maryland through a patented multiphased selection process that involves independent research, as well as peer nomination and review/evaluation. The objective is to create a comprehensive listing of exceptional attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, to be used as a resource for both referring attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and a variety of firm sizes, but are limited to no more than 5% of attorneys practicing in any given region (2.5% for Rising Stars). The lists are published annually in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers nationwide.


ABOUT MILLER, MILLER & CANBY
In 2021, Miller, Miller & Canby will celebrate 75 years of serving the legal needs of metropolitan Washington, DC. As the oldest law firm in Montgomery County, MD, the firm recognizes that this milestone reflects the relationships built and maintained with our clients, friends and the business community, many spanning multiple generations. The firm focuses on five core areas of practice: Land Development, Real Estate, Litigation, Business and Tax, and Trusts, Estates and Elder Law. The firm has intentionally maintained a moderate size in order to ensure that all attorneys maintain close contact with our clients and have the opportunity to develop and foster trusted, lasting relationships. In all of our practice areas, an overarching concern for quality of product and efficiency of accomplishment assures clients that we strive for true value in legal representation. Miller, Miller & Canby is proud to have maintained this standard of service since the firm’s founding in 1946 and continues to abide by this standard every single day.





MM&C Real Estate Attorney Cathy Greenbaum Borten CREW Maryland Suburban Member Spotlight


MM&C Real Estate and Telecommunications Attorney, Cathy Greenbaum Borten has been a CREW Maryland Suburban Member for two years. She will be joining the Board as its Secretary in 2021. Enjoy the CREW Member Spotlight about Cathy's practice and her involvement with CREW!

Cathy is an associate in the firm's Real Estate practice group, where she focuses her practice in commercial real estate transactions and leasing, real estate litigation, and commercial financings and settlements. She has also handled land use and zoning matters, appearing before county and city government bodies and pursuing zoning and text amendments in cities and counties and has represented clients in contested proceedings in both trial courts and appellate matters. 

 





The Daily Record Announces 2021 Best Lawyers in Maryland; Names Four MM&C Attorneys to the List


Miller, Miller & Canby is pleased to announce four attorneys have been named to the Daily Record list of Best Lawyers in Maryland for 2021. The list recognizes leaders in the state of Maryland based on their professional accomplishments in their respective areas of practice.

Donna McBride was named in the Litigation area of practice for both commercial and estates and trust litigation. McBride is a partner in Miller, Miller & Canby’s Litigation group, where she focuses in complex business matters for corporate clients, as well as insurance-related litigation and trust litigation. In 2019 she was admitted to the American College of Trial Lawyers as a Fellow, an honor reserved for experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards.

James Thompson and Joseph Suntum were named in the Eminent Domain and Condemnation practice area.

Thompson concentrates his practice in eminent domain and real estate valuation litigation, in addition to civil litigation involving complex real estate and business/commercial disputes.  Among other honors, he was selected as the 2018 Maryland State Bar Association Senior Lawyer of the Year, received the 2018 President’s Citation for Outstanding Service from the Montgomery County Bar Association, and also was honored with the Century of Service Award and the Leadership in Law Award.

Suntum is a principal in the firm and the leader of the Eminent Domain and Condemnation group. His decades of trial experience and his in-depth knowledge of real property valuation and the law of eminent domain allow him to protect his clients' property rights and maximize their compensation when their properties are targeted for condemnation. He is the Owners’ Counsel of America member  attorney for the state of Maryland, a selective membership restricted to only one attorney per state.

Joel (Jody) Kline was named in Land Use and Zoning. Kline joined Miller, Miller & Canby in 1974, has been a principal of the firm since 1981 and has served as head of the firm’s Land Development practice since that time. His practice concentrates on land use, zoning and subdivision law, representing private clients, nonprofit entities, and municipal corporations and agencies.

The Daily Record, a multimedia news source, publishes a print and online edition five and breaks news daily on its website. In addition, The Daily Record publishes more than 30 special products a year and honors leading Marylanders through annual awards events including Maryland's Top 100 Women, Influential Marylanders, Most Admired CEOs, and Best Lawyers. The Daily Record is part of BridgeTower Media, one of the country’s leading business-to-business media companies with 44 print and digital publications in more than 20 U.S. markets.

About Miller, Miller & Canby
In 2021, Miller, Miller & Canby will celebrate 75 years of serving the legal needs of metropolitan Washington, DC. As the oldest law firm in Montgomery County, MD, the firm recognizes that this milestone reflects the relationships built and maintained with our clients, friends and the business community, many spanning multiple generations. The firm maintains its focus on its core areas of practice: Land Use and Zoning, Real Estate, Litigation, Business Law and Tax Advocacy, and Estates and Trusts Law. The firm's moderate size allows its attorneys to maintain close contact with clients and have the opportunity to develop and foster trusted, lasting relationships. In all of our practice areas, an overarching concern for quality of product and efficiency of accomplishment assures clients that we strive for true value in legal representation. Miller, Miller & Canby is proud to have maintained this standard of service since the firm’s founding in 1946.





Estate Planning for Athletes Part 2: Notable Real-Life Examples


Proper estate planning does much more than address what happens to your assets and property at death. It starts with taking control over your assets and well-being.  Your estate plan must consider all aspects of your life and protect your assets and property so that you receive the maximum use and enjoyment during your life and preserve whatever you choose to leave to your loved ones upon your death.

For many people, a trust is the correct estate planning strategy to provide this protection – especially athletes and others with high-risk occupations. In its basic form, a trust is a formal relationship in which someone (the Grantor) appoints someone else (the Trustee) to hold title to and manage the trust accounts and property for the benefit of one or more people (the Beneficiaries). Often, when people refer to a trust, they are usually referring to the legal document that outlines the trust’s details. There are different types of trusts that can achieve various objectives - such as protecting the Grantor’s accounts and property from the Grantor’s creditors, divorcing spouses, and lawsuits, or providing for the Grantor’s family if the Grantor passes away.

If you are an adult and you own something, then you need an estate plan and could possibly benefit from the use of a trust as part of that plan. The following are some notable athletes who have used trusts to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson, also known as “The Answer,” played professional basketball from 1996 until his official retirement in 2013. During his career, he played for numerous NBA teams, including the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, and Memphis Grizzlies. Commentators estimate that Iverson earned over $200 million (including contracts and endorsements) over the course of his career. In 2012, however, rumors circulated that Iverson was experiencing financial troubles due to an outstanding creditor issue.

However, there is a bright side for Iverson. As part of a deal he signed with a shoe company, Reebok, in 2001, Iverson currently receives $800,000 per year.  In addition, Reebok placed a lump sum of $32 million into a trust, which Iverson will be able to access when he turns fifty-five (55) years old in 2030. Now, this strategic planning has protected a large part of the Reebok contract for Iverson’s future use and enjoyment. (Click here for Bloomberg article. Click here for Business Insider article.)

Lesson: Saving money for a rainy day is an excellent strategy, and using a trust can be a perfect way to set aside money or property for a future date. It is never too late to get a proper estate plan in place. Depending on his current legal situation and the terms of the existing trust with Reebok, Iverson should probably consult with an experienced attorney and financial advisor to develop an asset protection strategy for this money before the first disbursement is made in 2030. Through proper planning, this money should be able to go a long way toward ensuring a comfortable retirement.

Michael Carter-Williams
Currently playing for the Orlando Magic, Michael Carter-Williams made headlines in 2013 when he announced that he would place the entire salary that he received from the Philadelphia 76ers into an irrevocable trust managed by his mother and a close family friend. Instead of living off his high salary, he chose to live off his endorsement deals. Per the terms of the trust, Carter-Williams would not have access to the money for three years.

Using a trust in this manner was unique because Carter-Williams was relatively young (22 years old at the time), did not have a family of his own to support, and did not have any known creditor issues. This strategy was a forward-thinking financial decision in light of what was happening in the industry at the time. Today, little is known about the status of the trust, but with proper oversight by his trusted advisors, this shrewd planning should offer him a source of income whenever he may need it. (Click here for ABC News article. Click here for CBS Sports article.)

Lesson: An estate plan is not a one-size-fits-all product. With the multitude of planning strategies available, an experienced attorney can design a plan that will provide what you need for today and the future. During the estate planning process, it is important to consider your priorities. Are you looking to avoid a potentially large tax burden; protect your accounts and property from lawsuits, creditors, or a future divorcing spouse; or protect the inheritance you are leaving your loved ones after you have died?

Kobe Bryant
The legendary professional basketball player Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and a few others died tragically on January 26, 2020, in a helicopter accident. With an estate worth over $600 million, proper estate planning was crucial to ensure that his assets and property were protected for his wife and children.

There are few details about the extent of Bryant’s estate planning for one very good reason: he had an estate plan! The only apparent misstep in the estate planning process was Bryant’s failure to update the Kobe Bryant Trust upon the birth of his youngest child. According to court documents filed by his wife, the trust had been amended each time one of his children was born, but because his youngest child was born in June 2019, Bryant had not yet amended his documents as he had done in the past prior to his death. (Click here for Forbes article.)

Lesson: Estate planning is not a one-and-done task. Your estate plan documents must be up to date to ensure that your wishes are followed in the best possible way. Once you have signed your estate planning documents, we encourage you to review them every year or two. You should ask yourself the following questions often and act accordingly:

●       Have there been any marriages, divorces, births, or deaths that might affect my estate plan?

●       Are the individuals I have chosen as my trustee, executor, guardian for my minor child, agent under a power of attorney, or healthcare decision-maker still the individuals I want?

●       Do I want to change the types of items or amount of money that I am leaving to my beneficiaries?

MM&C Is Here to Help
Estate planning can be a difficult and intimidating process for many people. It forces you to evaluate aspects of your life that may not be ideal. However, by diving in and addressing these concerns, we can help you design a unique estate plan that will protect you during your lifetime and provide for your loved ones upon your death. Give us a call today to schedule your in-person or virtual consultation.

David A. Lucas is an attorney in the Estates & Trusts and Business & Tax practice groups at Miller, Miller & Canby. He focuses his practice in Estate Planning and Trust and Estate Administration. He provides extensive estate and legacy planning, asset protection planning, and retirement planning. Contact David at 301.762.5212 or send him an email.





U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers Name Miller, Miller & Canby among 2021 “Best Law Firms”


Miller, Miller & Canby is pleased to announce the firm has been recognized among the  2021 “Best Law Firms” in the Washington, DC metro area.

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers publicly announced the latest edition of the Best Law Firms rankings this month. Miller, Miller & Canby received Metropolitan Tier 1 honors for its Eminent Domain practice. Tier 1 is the highest rank given; the rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process.

“We are honored to be recognized once again to this prestigious ranking of law firms,” said Miller, Miller & Canby’s Joseph Suntum, who leads the firm’s Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law practice. “We take great pride in our dedication to our clients and to be recognized for this service is a great privilege.”

Mr. Suntum is also a recognized “Best Lawyer” in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law.

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are determined based on the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in the field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. To be eligible for a 2021 ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer recognized in the The Best Lawyers in America list for that particular location and specialty.

Rankings will be featured in the physical edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”, which will be distributed to more than 30,000 in-house counsel. The 2021 “Best Law Firms” rankings can be seen in their entirety by visiting bestlawfirms.usnews.com.

ABOUT MILLER, MILLER & CANBY
In 2021, Miller, Miller & Canby will celebrate 75 years of serving the legal needs of metropolitan Washington, DC. As the oldest law firm in Montgomery County, MD, the firm recognizes that this milestone reflects the relationships built and maintained with our clients, friends and the business community, many spanning multiple generations. The firm maintains its focus on its core areas of practice: Land Development, Real Estate, Eminent Domain, Tax Appeals, Litigation, Business and Tax, and Trusts, Estates and Elder Law. The firm's moderate size allows its attorneys to maintain close contact with clients and have the opportunity to develop and foster trusted, lasting relationships. In all of our practice areas, an overarching concern for quality of product and efficiency of accomplishment assures clients that we strive for true value in legal representation. Miller, Miller & Canby is proud to have maintained this standard of service since the firm’s founding in 1946.

 





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