Border dispute brought by my clients' next door neighbor, claiming to own a portion of my clients' property under the adverse possession doctrine. After week long bench trial, judge determined by written decision that claim was without merit. Case tried in Rockingham County Superior Court, New Hampshire. My clients, a married couple, were issued notice not to trespass in their own yard. My clients were told that since they had only recently moved to the area, that the other side had all of the witnesses and all of the evidence and that therefore my clients could not win. This proved wrong, but it took two years of litigation, over a half dozen depositions, and a week of trial time.
Adverse possession, we are taught in law school, requires a statutory period (20 years in this jurisdiction) of open, continuous, exclusive, adverse and notorious use by the trespassory possessor. The use here was found not to be continuous or exclusive. An attempt to re-shape the case with a claim for "acquiescence" failed, as all of the cases under that doctrine involve a clear line such as a fence, a stone wall, the side of a driveway, even a railroad spike in one case. In this case the dispute was over a largely wooded and rocky area with no such clear line.
Westerback v. Harold F. LeClair Co., Inc.
Summary Judgment for client upheld on appeal.
Appeals Court of Massachusetts upheld superior court granting of our motion for summary judgment. Tavern patron claimed severe injuries in the hands of criminals who had offered her a ride home when she was walking down street in a visibly intoxicated state after leaving tavern. The appeals court held that actions by bar, which allegedly continued to serve patron while she was visibly intoxicated, violating statute, were not a proximate cause of assault and rape, which was not reasonably foreseeable to tavern. Appeals Court ruling denied review by Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Chadwell v. Chadwell
Jun 15, 2004
Victory in family dispute over real estate.
One family member brought a 'petition to partition' against another family member, my client, claiming rent from family member and other monetary items. Victory in NH Probate Court upheld in NH Supreme Court. Appeal turned in great part upon legislative history of a relatively new and untested statute which other side claimed entitled them to a new trial in Superior Court. Our legislative history research, unrebutted by opposition, contributed to win.
Defective Stairway Victory
Jan 14, 2011
Settlement prior to trial.
Severe bimalleolar ankle fracture caused by defects in stairway - spalling in concrete, improper grade of concrete and rusted metal stair lip. Confidential settlement achieved prior to trial.