Best Lawyers Releases 2018 List of Honorees, Includes MM&C Attorneys James Thompson and Jody Kline


Best Lawyers® released the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers in America on September 29, 2017. The stand-alone publication highlights 2,886 lawyers recognized for their top legal talent, along with 103 “Lawyer of the Year” recipients from the Washington D.C. metro area. Additionally, the publication features notable local news and profiles of firms and individuals across the region.

Best Lawyers in America will be mailed to recognized lawyers in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The publication will also be distributed in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and the Washington Post in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Miller, Miller & Canby’s Jim Thompson and Jody Kline have been recognized on the Best Lawyers list in their respective areas of practice every year since first being named in 2007. Mr. Thompson has been recognized for Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law and Mr. Kline for Land Use and Zoning Law. In 2013, Mr. Thompson was also named a “Best Lawyer of the Year” for his accomplishments. This prestigious award is a testament to their long-standing reputations for their individual legal abilities and professionalism.  

Jim Thompson
has been a leader in Miller, Miller & Canby's Litigation Group for more than 35 years, concentrating his practice in eminent domain (with partner Joe Suntum) and in real estate valuation litigation, as well as in property tax assessment appeals and general civil litigation. For more than a decade, Mr. Thompson represented Maryland as the sole member in the Owners’ Counsel of America, a national network of property rights attorneys with demonstrated excellence in this area, focusing upon the representation of landowners in eminent domain litigation. Currently Mr. Suntum is the selected member for the state of Maryland. With Mr. Thompson’s breadth of legal experience, proven results, mature judgment, and tenured leadership within the judicial system and the bar, having served as president of the Maryland State Bar Association, he brings the ideal blend of proven trial experience and legal skill to client representations.

Jody Kline
has led Miller, Miller & Canby’s Land Development department since 1981, focusing his practice in land use, zoning and subdivision law and representing clients in many of Montgomery County’s planning and economic development initiatives. In addition to zoning and subdivision law, he represents clients in matters related to master planning, zoning text amendments, conditional use permits, building permit issuance, and other administrative and real estate matters related to land use and development. His clients include residential and commercial developers, private individuals, religious institutions, private schools, non-profit entities and municipal corporations and agencies.

"For more than a third of a century," says Best Lawyers CEO Steven Naifeh, "Best Lawyers has been the gold standard of excellence in the legal profession." President Phil Greer adds, "We are extremely proud of that record and equally proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of these exceptional legal professionals."

Best Lawyers® is the oldest and most respected attorney ranking service in the world. For more than 30 years, the organization as assisted those in need of legal services to identify the attorneys best qualified to represent them in distant jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties. Best Lawyers lists are published in leading local, regional, and national publications across the globe.

For more information about Jim Thompson and Miller, Miller & Canby’s Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law practice click here or for information about Jody Kline and Miller, Miller & Canby's Land Use and Zoning Law practice click here.

 





Miller, Miller & Canby’s James Thompson Selected to Senior Leadership Montgomery Class of 2018


Miller, Miller & Canby is pleased to announce that James (Jim) Thompson as been selected to join the 2018 Senior Leadership Montgomery Class. For nearly 30 years, Leadership Montgomery has worked to educate, inspire, convene and connect current and emerging leaders to serve the Montgomery County community in constructive ways. Through a series of monthly interactive and comprehensive education sessions with the County’s most prominent senior business leaders, participants have a unique opportunity to increase their understanding of the complex social and economic issues facing Montgomery County and to help advance important initiatives.

Leadership Montgomery graduates play an active role, serving on numerous State, County and nonprofit boards and committees. The organization’s vision is to build and sustain a thriving Montgomery County, supported by a network of engaged, dedicated leaders.

“I am truly honored to have the opportunity to participate in the Senior Leadership Montgomery Class of 2018,” said Thompson. “I look forward to working with the Leadership Montgomery team and with other members of our community to identify opportunities to better serve the businesses, organizations and residents of Montgomery County.”

Thompson has been a leader in Miller, Miller & Canby’s Litigation Group for more than 35 years, concentrating his practice in eminent domain and in real estate valuation litigation, as well as in property tax assessment appeals and general civil litigation. For more than a decade, he represented Maryland as the sole member in the Owner’s Counsel of America, a national network of property rights attorneys with demonstrated excellence in this area, focusing upon the representation of landowners in eminent domain litigation. Additionally, he focuses in civil litigation, including complex real estate and business/commercial disputes. For his accomplishments, he has been named a Super Lawyer in the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia for the past 11 consecutive years, an AV-Rated Preeminent Lawyer for 30 years, a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a 2013 Lawyer of the Year Selection by Best Lawyers in the Eminent Domain/Condemnation area of practice. He has also received a number of prestigious leadership awards, including the Daily Record’s Leadership in Law Award and the Century of Service Award, recognizing the top judges and lawyers in the last 100 years in Montgomery County. In addition, he has served the legal community and the public as the President of both the Montgomery County Bar Association and the Maryland State Bar Association.

Learn more about MM&C's Litigation practice. To view the firm's formal press release, please click the download button below. 





The Prestigious 2017 Maryland Super Lawyers List Includes Four MM&C Attorneys


Miller, Miller & Canby is proud to announce that attorneys James (Jim) L. Thompson, Joel (Jody) Kline and Donna McBride have been selected to the 2017 Maryland Super Lawyers list and attorney Diane Feuerherd has been named to the 2017 Rising Stars list, which recognizes attorneys under the age of 40. No more than five percent of the lawyers in Maryland are selected by Super Lawyers.

Jim Thompson
has been a leader in Miller, Miller & Canby's Litigation Group for more than 35 years, concentrating his practice in eminent domain (with partner Joe Suntum) and in real estate valuation litigation, as well as in property tax assessment appeals and general civil litigation. For more than a decade, Mr. Thompson represented Maryland as the sole member in the Owners’ Counsel of America, a national network of property rights attorneys with demonstrated excellence in this area, focusing upon the representation of landowners in eminent domain litigation. Currently Mr. Suntum is the selected member for the state of Maryland. With Mr. Thompson’s breadth of legal experience, proven results, mature judgment, and tenured leadership within the judicial system and the bar, having served as president of the Maryland State Bar Association, he brings the ideal blend of proven trial experience and legal skill to client representations.

Jody Kline
has led Miller, Miller & Canby’s Land Development department since 1981, focusing his practice in land use, zoning and subdivision law and representing clients in many of Montgomery County’s planning and economic development initiatives. In addition to zoning and subdivision law, he represents clients in matters related to master planning, zoning text amendments, conditional use permits, building permit issuance, and other administrative and real estate matters related to land use and development. His clients include residential and commercial developers, private individuals, religious institutions, private schools, non-profit entities and municipal corporations and agencies.

Donna McBride
, a partner in Miller, Miller & Canby's Litigation practice since 2009, has tried hundreds of lawsuits throughout the state of Maryland and in the District of Columbia, approximately 100 of which were jury trials. 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 addition to her extensive background as a trial lawyer, Ms. McBride is a co-chair of the Maryland State Bar Association’s Judicial Selections Committee, served on the Character Committee for the Court of Appeals, is a member of the Montgomery Inn of Court and volunteers as a mediator for the District Court. She also serves on the Executive Committee for the Montgomery County Bar Association and on the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure for the Court of Appeals of Maryland.

Diane Feuerherd
is an associate in the firm’s Litigation practice, focusing in appellate, employment, commercial and business litigation. Ms. Feuerherd joined the firm in the fall of 2013 after serving for two years as an appellate law clerk to the Honorable Lynne A. Battaglia of the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the State’s highest court.  In her two years since joining the firm, Diane has briefed and successfully argued cases before the Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals, and, most recently represented a commercial developer challenging the validity of Montgomery County’s “Rain Tax.”  She is an active member of the Montgomery County Inns of Court and the Montgomery County Bar Association. She also contributes her time to the Finding Justice Project, a committee of the Women’s Bar Association Foundation, researching and memorializing the history of women lawyers in Maryland.
 
Mr. Thompson has been named a Super Lawyer for each of the past 11 years; Mr. Kline for the past 10 years, and Ms. McBride since 2014. 2017 is the second year Ms. Feuerherd has been selected as a Rising Star. They join other Miller, Miller & Canby attorneys previously named Super Lawyers, including Joe Suntum and Pat McKeever.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list.

The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes:
•    Peer nominations
•    Independent research by Super Lawyers
•    Evaluations from a highly credentialed panel of attorneys

The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both referring attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel. The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country, as well as the Maryland Super Lawyers Digital Magazine. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to SuperLawyers.com.

Click the download button below to view the firm's formal press release.  Click here to view the digital article in The Daily Record.





Joseph Suntum to Serve as Panelist at International Property Rights Conference in the Netherlands


Miller, Miller & Canby is pleased to announce that Eminent Domain Attorney, Joseph P. Suntum, will speak at the 13th Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference in The Hague, Netherlands this October. Mr. Suntum is the Maryland representative of Owners’ Counsel of America, a national association of eminent domain lawyers dedicated to representing property owners in condemnation, inverse condemnation and property rights matters.

Suntum will participate on a panel tasked with exploring the relations and dynamics between private property rights, equality and freedom.   At the center of the discussion is the question of whether the protection of private property rights becomes a barrier for equality and freedom or whether property rights encourages economic, political and social stability and promotes liberty.     

“The ability to own property and have your ownership legally protected has proven to be a powerful foundation of a robust economic system. Legally protected private property ownership has been argued to be ‘the guardian of every other right,’ and the basis of a free society,” said Suntum.  “But private property rights alone do not insure equality or freedom. Rather, the dynamic relationship between private property ownership, equality and freedom dictates the nature of society and the individual’s place in it.”

Established by the William & Mary Law School Property Rights Project, the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference promotes collaboration between legal scholars and the practicing bar through the annual conference and conference journal.  The 2016 Conference is presented in collaboration with the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University and will take place at the Peace Palace in The Hague.  Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, President of the Institute of Liberty and Democracy (ILD), will be honored at the Conference with the 2016 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize for his work advocating for legal and property rights reforms in developing nations around the world.

Read the full press release from The Owners' Counsel of America by clicking here.  You may also view the 13th Annual Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference Program by clicking the download attachment link below.

Joe Suntum is a Principal at Miller, Miller & Canby, focusing his practice in eminent domain and condemnation law. U.S. News - Best Lawyers awarded Miller, Miller & Canby a “First-Tier” honor for its Eminent Domain and Condemnation practice.  For information about Miller, Miller & Canby’s eminent domain and condemnation practice click here, or contact Mr. Suntum directly at 301.762.5212 or via email.





Jim Thompson’s Successful MD Tax Appeal Case Chosen as one of the “Top 10 Ad Valorem Tax Cases"


The 46th Annual Wichita Program Appraisal for Ad Valorem Taxation of Communications, Energy and Transportation Properties was held on July 24-28, 2016 at Wichita State University.  MM&C litigation attorneys, James (“Jim”) Thompson and Michael Campbell, represented Charles County, and David Lyon represented the State Department of Assessments and Taxation against the taxpayer’s efforts to obtain a dramatic reduction in the value of an electric generating plant in Charles County.  After a lengthy trial, they were successful in the reported case of GenOn Mid-Atlantic, LLC v. State Dept. of Assessments and Taxation, 2015 WL 9875283 (Md. Tax 2015).  This case was selected as one of the top ten significant ad valorem cases in 2015-2016 because of the complexity of the issues and the large dollar amount involved.  The case involved personal property assessments on property owned by a non-regulated coal plant in excess of One Billion Dollars.  Witnesses for the taxpayer stated that the fair market value of the plant would have been severely reduced by a number of factors, among them the contention that coal plants were becoming obsolete as new environmental regulations added increased costs to their operation and the availability of cheap natural gas made them non-competitive.  The Tax Court considered those issues, but also evaluated the long-term economics of the plant and ruled that the “highest and best use” of the property was a continuation of the existing plant, and there was nothing obsolete about the coal technology as of the valuation dates in 2009-2010.  The Court affirmed the assessments.

For a detailed summary of the case, click here.  For more information regarding the Annual Wichita Program Appraisal for Ad Valorem Taxation, click here.

Miller, Miller & Canby has been handling tax assessment appeals for owners of various types of properties in Maryland for more than 30 years, and occasionally represents governmental entities trying to protect their tax base.  In 2014, MM&C’s attorneys obtained millions of dollars in property assessment reductions for its clients.  Our litigation attorneys regularly represent clients at the assessor level, before the Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board (PTAAB), and in the Maryland Tax Court.  We have successfully appealed the assessments on office buildings, hotels, casinos, retail stores, industrial sites, warehouses, apartment buildings and land at various stages of development.  Jim Thompson and Michael Campbell have headed up the firm’s ad valorem tax assessment practice for years.

Also, Jim Thompson and Joe Suntum have an extensive practice in eminent domain and real estate valuation litigation.  Currently, Joe is the Maryland Member in the Owners’ Counsel of America, a national network of property rights attorneys with demonstrated excellence in this area, focusing upon the representation of landowners in eminent domain litigation.  With their breadth of legal experience, proven results and mature judgment, they have been extremely successful.

Please feel free to contact Mr. Thompson, Mr. Campbell or Mr. Suntum, at (301) 762-5212 for any property value litigation issues.  For more information about the firm’s litigation practice and representative cases, click here.





MM&C Attorneys Jody Kline and James Thompson Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017


Miller, Miller & Canby congratulates its Land Use & Zoning Law Practice Leader, Jody Kline and Senior Litigation Attorney, James ("Jim") Thompson, who have each been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.  This will mark the 11th consecutive year for both attorneys to achieve this recognition, as both have been named to this list since 2007.  This prestigious award is a testament to their long-standing reputations for their individual legal abilities and professionalism.  

Jody Kline is recognized in the field of Land Use and Zoning Law and Jim Thompson is recognized for his litigation practice in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law.

Best Lawyers® is based on an exhaustive peer review survey of  more than 55,000 attorneys in 140 practice areas, covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Inclusion in this year's publication is based on more than 6.7 million detailed evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers "the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice." Best Lawyers® listings are included in some of the nation's most recognized publications, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune.

For more information about Jody Kline and Miller, Miller & Canby's Land Use and Zoning Law practice click here or for information about Jim Thompson and Miller, Miller & Canby’s Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law practice click here.  View the formal press release by clicking the download attachment link below.  Click here to see Jody Kline's coverage by Washington Business JournalClick here to see Jim Thompson's coverage by Washington Business Journal.

 





MM&C Eminent Domain Attorney Joseph Suntum Awarded Prestigious CRE® Designation


Miller, Miller & Canby is pleased to announce that litigation attorney Joseph P. Suntum, was recently awarded the prestigious CRE® designation from the Counselors of Real Estate®.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the CRE designation from the Counselors of Real Estate,” said Suntum. “I am confident that collaboration with other CREs across the country and the globe will assist me in providing the best possible representation to my clients.”

Click here
to read the May 18, 2016 press release by The Owners' Counsel of America.

Joe Suntum is a Principal at Miller, Miller & Canby, focusing his practice in eminent domain and condemnation law. U.S. News - Best Lawyers awarded Miller, Miller & Canby a “First-Tier” honor for its Eminent Domain and Condemnation practice. Mr. Suntum is the Maryland member attorney for the Owner’s Counsel of America, a nationwide network of the nation’s top condemnation attorneys.

For information about Miller, Miller & Canby’s eminent domain and condemnation practice click here, or contact Mr. Suntum directly at 301.762.5212 or via email.





MM&C Represents Residents in Successfully Settled Lawsuit with PG County Over Catastrophic Landslide


Miller, Miller & Canby represented three Prince Georges County homeowners and achieved a successful settlement with the County that will compensate those homeowners for their losses and allow them to move forward with their lives. The homeowners were the victims of a catastrophic landslide on Piscataway Drive in Fort Washington, MD in May 2014 that ruptured their neighborhood road and permanently destabilized their homes and property.

Miller, Miller & Canby litigation attorney, Joe Suntum, commented on the settlement, saying, “This settlement will allow these three families to move forward after suffering devastating losses far in excess of the fair market value of their homes.” For the Washington Post story about the successful settlement, please click here.

Joe Suntum
is a Principal at Miller, Miller & Canby, focusing his practice in eminent domain and condemnation law. U.S. News - Best Lawyers awarded Miller, Miller & Canby a “First-Tier” honor for its Eminent Domain and Condemnation practice. Mr. Suntum is the Maryland member attorney for the Owner’s Counsel of America, a nationwide network of the nation’s top condemnation attorneys.

For information about Miller, Miller & Canby’s eminent domain and condemnation practice click here, or contact Mr. Suntum directly at 301.762.5212 or via email.





Purple Line Update: Maryland Approves Purple Line Contract


Construction to Begin This Year; Property Acquisitions Moving Slow

The Maryland Board of Public Works approved a contract with a team of private companies to build and operate the 16-mile Purple Line and approval for the contractor to begin “pre-construction activities” has been given. The State is withholding full go-ahead for construction until it receives a full funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration for $900 million dollars. The federal financial contribution is critical to the project and is expected to be formalized later this year.

In addition to the federal funds, Montgomery County will contribute $210 million and Prince George’s County is expected to pay $60 million toward the project. The total cost of the project over 30 years, including operation and maintenance, is expected to reach $5.6 billion.

In anticipation of the start of construction later this year, the State has been actively seeking to acquire privately-owned real property in the right of way. But the volume of properties to be acquired and the limited number of appraisers available to provide the State with independent valuations of the property have slowed the process. Many owners along the planned route of the project have yet to receive offers from the State for their property.

In order to avoid the delay in acquisition of title to the properties causing a delay in construction, the State will use its quick-take authority where possible. Quick-take authority allows the State to pay into court the amount of compensation an independent appraiser has determined is appropriate for the property and take possession, not title, to the property and proceed with construction. The property owner is permitted to withdraw the funds deposited with the court without prejudice to the owner’s claim that additional compensation is due.

The quick-take procedure is not available for all properties along the Purple Line route, however. So, the contractor may have to schedule construction around properties that have yet to be acquired until the State completes the acquisitions, either by negotiation or condemnation.

What Owners Need to Know

Updated appraisals for those properties for which offers have not yet been made are coming in to the State. Such owners may expect to receive offers to purchase their properties at any time. It is important for owners to realize that they do not need to accept the offers. Often the offers do not reflect the full amount of compensation the owner is entitled to receive. For the properties for which offers were made before the Governor's stay, but for which voluntary sales have not been reached, the State has begun to file formal condemnation petitions. In addition, owners should expect the window for negotiations based on new updated appraisals to be narrow. Additional condemnations will have to be filed in the coming months if voluntary agreements are not reached, in order for the project to stay on schedule.

The eminent domain attorneys at Miller, Miller & Canby will review any offer made by the State without charge to determine whether we believe you may be entitled to greater compensation than has been offered by the State.  If you are interested in a no obligation review of your offer, or if you have any questions about your rights or the condemnation process, please call our office at 301-762-5212 and ask to speak with one of our eminent domain attorneys, Jim Thompson or Joe Suntum.  To learn more about our eminent domain and condemnation law practice and representative cases, click here.





Purple Line Update: Residents Along Path of Proposed Purple Line Told to Move Fences & Sheds


The Washington Post reported on January 6 that some Maryland residents along the planned route for the light-rail Purple Line are being told that they have until April 30 to tear down fences, sheds and anything else built on publicly owned land preserved for the project.  Click here to read the full story.  As the article confirms, Maryland is moving full steam ahead with the property acquisition process in order to acquire the property it needs to be able to begin construction as soon as the preferred contractor is chosen and the contract finalized later this year.

Some properties have already been acquired and other acquisitions are in process. Appraisers engaged by the State to value the property rights needed are in the field and their submitted appraisals continue to be reviewed by the MTA and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in preparation for offers to be made to owners.

What Owners Need to Know

Updated appraisals for those properties for which offers have not yet been made are coming in to the State. Such owners may expect to receive offers to purchase their properties at any time. It is important for owners to realize that they do not need to accept the offers. Often the offers do not reflect the full amount of compensation the owner is entitled to receive. For the properties for which offers were made before the Governor's stay, but for which voluntary sales have not been reached, the State is preparing to file formal condemnation petitions. It is expected that the "first wave" of condemnation petitions will be filed this month. In addition, owners should expect the window for negotiations based on new updated appraisals to be narrow. Additional condemnations will have to be filed in the coming months if voluntary agreements are not reached, in order for the project to stay on schedule.

The eminent domain attorneys at Miller, Miller & Canby will review any offer made by the State without charge to determine whether we believe you may be entitled to greater compensation than has been offered by the State.  If you are interested in a no obligation review of your case, or if you have any questions about your rights or the condemnation process, please call our office at 301-762-5212 and ask to speak with one of our eminent domain attorneys, Jim Thompson or Joe Suntum.  To learn more about our eminent domain and condemnation law practice and representative case, click here.
 





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