Miller, Miller & Canby Announces Five Attorneys Named as 2019 DC Super Lawyers


Miller, Miller & Canby is pleased to announce our attorneys who have been named to the list of Super Lawyers in the D.C. Metropolitan area for 2019. Attorneys James Thompson, Jody Kline and Donna McBride have been once again selected for this honor, and attorneys Diane Feuerherd and Callie Carnemark have been named to the 2019 Rising Stars list, which recognizes attorneys under the age of 40.

2019 marks the 13th year that James (Jim) Thompson has been named to the list. He has led Miller, Miller & Canby's Litigation Group for more than 25 years, concentrating 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. 

Jody Kline has been a named Super Lawyer for each of the past 12 years, and has led Miller, Miller & Canby’s Land Development and Zoning practice group since 1981. He focuses 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.

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. 

2019 is the fourth year that attorney Diane Feuerherd has been named to the Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list. She has briefed and successfully argued cases before the Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals, including a notable representation of a commercial developer challenging the validity of Montgomery County’s Rain Tax.  Ms. Feuerherd is active in state and local bar associations, including:  the Maryland State Bar Association, where she was named a Fellow of the prestigious Leadership Academy and now serves on the Judicial Appointments Committee; the Bar Association of Montgomery County; and the Montgomery County Inns of Court. In 2016, she was appointed to a social media workgroup for the Judicial Council, which is a policy advisory body to the Maryland Judiciary. She has also worked with the Finding Justice Project, a committee of the Women's Bar Association Foundation, to research and memorialize the history of women lawyers. 

2019 is the first year that attorney Callie Carnemark has been recognized as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star.” An associate in the Litigation group, she focuses her practice on real estate and business litigation as well as the firm’s appellate practice. She is a member of the Montgomery County Inns of Court, the Montgomery County Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association and the Montgomery County Women’s Bar Association. She is a graduate of the 2017 Class of the Montgomery County Bar Association Leadership Academy. 

These five 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, and Pat McKeever, whose practice focuses in real estate law.

Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in the nation’s capital through a patented multiphased selection process which involves independent research, as well as peer nomination and review/evaluation. The objective is to create a comprehensive listing of exceptional attorneys 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. The lists are published annually in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers nationwide. In 2019 the DC list will be published in the June issue of Washington Lawyer magazine and The Washington Post Magazine on Sunday, April 21, which reaches more than 800,000 readers.

View the firm press release by clicking the Download button below.





MM&C Attorneys James Thompson and Jody Kline Honored for the 13th Year as Best Lawyers in America


Best Lawyers® released the 25th Edition of Best Lawyers in America on August 15, 2018. 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 (with partner Mike Campbell) 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.

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. View the firm press release by clicking the Download button below.





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.

 





Michael Campbell, Litigation Attorney, Published in the August 2016 IPT Insider


The Institute for Professionals in Taxation published Michael Campbell's article that analyzes a recent decision by Maryland’s highest appellate court concerning the interpretation of the “date of finality” rule, which was thought by many practitioners to exclude comparable sales after January 1 of the tax cycle. The Court of Appeals interpreted the statute expansively to allow sales after the date of finality in certain circumstances, joining such states as New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Oregon. Mr. Campbell's article is published in the August 2016 issue of The IPT Insider.  Click here to view the issue or click the download attachment link below.

Michael Campbell
leads 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 Maryland Property Tax Appeals. He has particular expertise in property tax litigation and appeals. Please feel free to contact Mr. Campbell at 301.762.5212 or send him an email for commercial property tax guidance in Maryland. For more information about the firm's Maryland Property Tax Appeals practice click here.





Maryland’s Highest Court Affirms “Date of Finality” Rule for Property Tax Assessments


In a recent decision by the Maryland Court of Appeals concerning the interpretation of the “date of finality” rule, which was thought by many practitioners to limit the consideration of comparable sales to a time frame before January 1.  The Court interpreted the statute more expansively to allow sales after the date of finality in certain circumstances, joining such states as New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Oregon.

View the article by MM&C Litigation Attorney, Michael Campbell, which reviews the recent ruling and its effect on property tax appeals in Maryland by clicking the download attachment link below.

Miller, Miller & Canby has been handling assessment appeals of various types of commercial properties in Maryland for more than 30 years.  In 2014, we obtained over $20,000,000 in property assessment reductions for our 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.  

Michael Campbell
leads the litigation practice group of 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 Litigation Attorney Michael Campbell Published in the August 2015 IPT Insider


The Institute for Professionals in Taxation published Michael Campbell's article that analyzes a recent decision by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals concerning the interpretation of the "date of finality" rule, which was thought by many practitioners to limit the consideration of comparable sales to a time frame before January 1. The Court interpreted the statute more expansively to allow sales after the date of finality in certain circumstances. Mr. Campbell's article is published in the August 2015 issue of The IPT Insider.  Click here to view the issue

Michael Campbell
leads 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 Maryland Property Tax Appeals. He has particular expertise in property tax litigation and appeals. For more information about the firm's Maryland Property Tax Appeals practice click here or contact Mike Campbell.





MM&C’s Somer Cross Published by APA as Author of May 2015 Zoning Practices Magazine


Article Supports Community Staff-Led Comprehensive Zoning Revisions

Miller, Miller & Canby’s Somer Cross was recently published by the American Planning Association as the author of its May 2015 'Zoning Practice' publication.  In the article, a case is made for staff-led comprehensive zoning revisions, citing staff member understanding of community issues, knowledge of historical successes and challenges in the existing zoning ordinances and insight into legislative perspectives.

To read the entire article, click here.

Miller, Miller & Canby has represented business and property owners for over 65 years. Please feel free to contact Jody Kline or any of the land use attorneys with Miller, Miller & Canby for land planning and zoning guidance.  For more information, click here.





MM&C Legal News & Notes March 2015


The March 2015 issue of Miller, Miller & Canby's Legal News & Notes quarterly email newsletter covers Governor Hogan's Delay of the Purple Line, Montgomery County's 'Rain Tax' Update, Achieving a Better Life Expectancy Act: Tax Advantages for the Disabled, Commercial Business Leases: Use of Clauses, the Firm's New Business & Tax Attorney, and much more.  Click here to view newsletter.

Sign-up here to receive future installments of MM&C's quarterly newsletter.





Commercial Business Leases: The "Ins and Outs" of Use Clauses


The “use” clause and the “exclusive” clause are crucial provisions that arise in commercial lease negotiations which require careful and thorough attention from the perspective of both the landlord and tenant.  The well-represented party must consider current and future business and legal issues in order to effectively negotiate these clauses and, more importantly, provide for meaningful remedies in the event of a breach. 

There are two types of “use” clauses in commercial leases: permissive use clauses and restrictive use clauses.  

Permissive Use Clauses
Permissive use clauses describe in the affirmative what the tenant can do in the leased space (e.g., “Tenant shall use the premises solely for the purpose of operating a burger restaurant selling burgers, shakes and fries…”).  From the tenant’s perspective, the use clause should be as broad as permissible (e.g., “any lawful use”).  The reason for this is that any uses which are not allowed are, by implication, not permitted.  Therefore, tenants must negotiate language broad enough to allow flexibility for an evolving business.  Also, broad language benefits tenants for future subletting or assignment of the space if a future sublessee or assignee will not have the same type of business as the current tenant.  Landlords, on the other hand, will want to define the use of the leased space as narrowly as possible to maintain greater control over the space and to prevent any possible misuse.

Restrictive Use Clauses
Restrictive use clauses describe in the negative what the tenant cannot do in the leased space (e.g., “Tenant shall not use the premises for the purposes of selling burgers, shakes or fries…”).  Again, tenant’s counsel will want to negotiate the narrowest restrictive use clause, if any are included,  in order to allow the tenant the broadest possible right to use the space. 

Why Use Clauses are So Important in Commercial Leases
Why do landlords insist on restrictive use clauses?  First, like narrowly-drafted permissive use clauses, they allow the landlord the ability to maintain some control over the business of their tenants.  Secondly, restrictive use clauses are tied to exclusive clauses which the landlord has previously negotiated with other tenants or which a landlord may wish to limit in order to maintain the desired tenant mix.  Frequently, a landlord, to attract a prized tenant, grants a tenant the exclusive right to sell certain merchandise in a shopping center (e.g. sports apparel), or sell a type of food (e.g., coffee), or operate a certain type of business (e.g., a fitness studio).

Tenant’s counsel can assist in maintaining a broad use definition notwithstanding exclusive clauses or restrictive clauses by negotiating the right to perform certain restricted business uses in a limited manner (e.g., the activity is confined to a discrete floor area or is an ancillary use to the primary use).  

It is also important for both landlords and tenants to enumerate the specific remedies available to either party in the event of a breach of a use or exclusive clause.  These include injunctive relief, arbitration, termination, abatement of rent or money damages.  To avoid disputes and litigation down the road, the parties should clearly draft permissive and restrictive use clauses.

Lastly, use restrictions may also be imposed by outside sources, such as zoning ordinances, covenants and restrictions affecting the landlord’s title to the property.   Since zoning ordinances restrict the type of commercial operations permitted (e.g., industrial or manufacturing operations are normally limited to specified districts), it is in the benefit of both parties to determine whether the tenant’s use of the space is allowed under the applicable zoning ordinance.  Prohibitions on use might arise from condominium association bylaws.  A common example is a limitation in condominium bylaws on the total square footage that a certain types of business may occupy in a project (e.g., “not more than an aggregate of 10,000 square feet of space shall be used for auto body repairs, painting, finishing or related purposes”).   If such restrictions exist, sophisticated tenants would benefit from the advice of experienced land use counsel with localized knowledge of such land use restrictions.   

Miller, Miller & Canby has represented businesses and property owners for over 65 years. Please feel free to contact Bobby Bagheri or any of the real estate attorneys with Miller, Miller and Canby for a complete range of transactional and advisory services.  For more information on the firm's real estate practice, click here.
 





A New Year, A Good Time To Review Your Will


Remember when you cleaned out your home or office and found your Will?  Yes, the one you signed in the 80s!  You and your spouse were just starting out, didn’t own much, but you were starting a new life and family.  You needed a Will to name a guardian for your children.    You were advised then to review your Will every five years.   Time sure flies.  Your business and career advanced, your children grew, and you now have grandchildren. It’s time to redo your Will and plan your estate to protect what you have worked for all these years.  And there’s no time like the beginning of a new year to plan and prioritize. You'd like to save taxes, maybe minimize probate, make sure that everything goes smoothly for your family.

Read Ellen Walker's 3 Step Process to update your Will by clicking download attachment below.

Miller, Miller & Canby has assisted clients with estate planning for over 65 years. Contact Ellen Walker if you would like to review and update your Will or if you need a new Will prepared.  View more information about Miller, Miller & Canby's estate planning services by clicking here.





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