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.





MM&C Attorneys Review New Treatise on Litigation in Federal Courts for MD Bar Bulletin



A review by Jim Thompson and Donna McBride of the newly published Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts was featured in the September 2013 issue of the MSBA's Maryland Bar Bulletin.

In their article, Mr. Thompson and Ms. McBride  recommend the 11-volume work as valuable reading for litigators who try cases in federal court. Learn more about what makes this collection of contributions from both lawyers and judges particularly useful and unique by reading their synopsis here.
 
Jim Thompson
and Donna McBride are both part of Miller, Miller & Canby's litigation practice group.  They concentrate their practice in business and commercial litigation, as well as other areas. Mr. Thompson is a past president of the MSBA, and Ms. McBride is currently a co-chair of the MSBA Committee on Judicial Appointments.





Landmark Supreme Court Ruling Protects Landowners; Admonishes Local Government


On June 25 the Supreme Court issued a decision in the case of Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District  that will help to protect private landowners against excessive demands made by government regulators during the land use approval process. In the ruling, the Court held that the government's demand from a land use applicant must satisfy the "nexus" and "rough proportionality" requirements previously addressed in two prior cases even when the demand is for money, not land.

Read Sue Carter's summary of this important decision by clicking download attachment below.

Miller, Miller & Canby has represented land developers for over 65 years. Contact an MM&C land use attorney with your land use planning & development legal needs or view more information about Miller, Miller & Canby's land development services by clicking here.

 





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