272 West Exchange Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903
Telephone: 401.273.0200 | Facsimile: 401.273.0250

REAL ESTATE

Whether in the Courtroom or at the closing table, LSG’s real estate department is ready to assist you with your property transactions, real estate disputes, or other real property legal issues.

Litigation; Appeals; Dispute Resolution; Arbitration; Mediation

LSG’s real estate litigation group has successfully litigated cases to verdict and resolved seemingly insurmountable disagreements without the need for judicial intervention.  Our trained litigators are results driven; we listen intently to our clients and utilize our expertise to press through the legal system to protect our clients’ rights.  Property boundary disputes, complex commercial lease lawsuits, and condominium ownership clashes are just a sampling of the cases that LSG has successfully fought for its clients.  LSG’s real estate litigators handle matters in both state and federal courts in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.  When appropriate, LSG’s real estate litigation lawyers are also prepared to efficiently and effectively achieve results through arbitration (forced dispute resolution outside of court), mediation (voluntary dispute resolution outside of court), or direct negotiation with opposing counsel.  We are flexible in addressing our clients’ unique needs, but steadfast in our passionate pursuit of their objectives.

Commercial and Residential Transactions; Contracts; Purchases; Sales; Closings; Financing; Title Insurance

Commercial and Residential Transactions

Staffed by six attorneys and four paralegals with over a century of combined experience, LSG boasts a full service real estate transactions group capable of handling the most complex mixed use property developments, as well as ensuring the smooth closing of routine residential home purchases.  Our motto is simple; get the deal done, but complete it properly.  While LSG’s transactional lawyers and staff are vigilant in protecting the firm’s clients, we also recognize that creativity and flexibility are often needed to solve issues that might otherwise disrupt the closing process.  LSG’s attorneys and staff have successfully closed 1000’s of residential transactions, from standard home purchases to challenging short sales and REO deals.  In addition to successfully closing $100,000,000’s in commercial real estate purchases and financing transactions, LSG’s real estate transaction lawyers have also protected the firm’s clients’ money and property from risk in this ever challenging commercial real estate environment.

Development; Land Use; Zoning; Planning

LSG has experience with projects ranging from national retailers, 300-unit apartment complexes, and five-hundred acre mixed use developments to small subdivisions and family compounds.  Our team of attorneys has decades of experience with land use, zoning, and planning matters in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including counsel who possesses a Masters Degree in Community Planning.  In addition to providing continuing education courses to attorneys and other professionals, we offer practical insight and exceptional results for LSG’s clients.

Boundary Disputes; Adverse Possession; Prescriptive Easements; Acquiescence Easements; Land Swaps; Licenses

LSG’s attorneys are experienced in litigating a wide variety of boundary, easement, and land disputes and have successfully resolved numerous neighbor relations issues.  Our attorneys routinely provide continuing education to attorneys, surveyors, and other professionals concerning boundary disputes, easements, and other land use matters.  Through their experience with land disputes, LSG’s attorneys have resolved issues through the granting of easements or land swaps, with carefully prepared documents ensuring the protection of our clients’ rights, both short-term and long-term.  With respect to property transfers, LSG represents its clients through the municipal subdivision process and works closely with municipal planning and zoning boards to ensure its clients’ objectives are fully accomplished.

LSG’s litigation group has successfully settled, mediated, and tried to judgment numerous land and boundary disputes.  One of the most common property claims that LSG prosecutes and defends is adverse possession, or “squatters’ rights.”  Recent Rhode Island Supreme Court case law has signaled a growing trend against those who claim rights in property owned of record by another.  The burden on a claimant to prove the statutory elements of adverse possession is an onerous one; it must be supported by clear and convincing evidence.  Some claimants assert rights to use, but not exclusively possess, another’s property via “prescriptive easement” (e.g., shared driveway, private roadway).  Like adverse possession, prescriptive easement claimants must establish each and every statutory element of adverse possession, including hostile use, for the requisite time period (10 years in Rhode Island).  Again, LSG’s lawyers are experienced in confirming prescriptive easement rights, as well as successfully defending such claims and confirming sole and exclusive ownership by the owner of record.  Another legal theory that LSG’s attorneys often use to successfully confirm property rights is acquiescence.  Essentially, acquiescence is an unspoken agreement by abutting owners as to where property lines are, including, for example, their mutual recognition of a fence as a common boundary for the requisite number of years (10 years in the State of Rhode Island).

Condominium Formation; Condominium Development; Condominium Association Governance

Our condominium law group is uniquely situated to assist LSG’s clients concerning condominium matters— large and small— by virtue of its extensive representation of both developers and Associations (developer and unit owner controlled).  Our team of condominium lawyers has worked with some of the largest developers of commercial and residential condominiums, including complex mixed use and “land only” projects.  It also has represented some of the largest and most sophisticated condominium associations in the State of Rhode Island.  When necessary, our condominium law group engages in litigation with respect to developer, owner, Association, and other condominium matters.

LSG provides the following types of condominium law services for our clients:

  • Preparation of residential and commercial condominium documents, including Declarations of Condominium, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations, Articles of Incorporation, Easements, etc.
  • Assistance with securing necessary municipal and quasi-municipal (e.g., service providers) permits and approvals, including appearing before and meeting with municipalities, governmental agencies and quasi-municipal agencies
  • Declaring mixed use and “land only” units to address unique developer related concerns and objectives
  • Declaring condominium conversion projects (including small condominium projects containing only a few individual units and large, complex mixed use projects containing numerous units)
  • Representation with respect to declaration, build-out, and progressive amendment of condominium documentation to help preserve developer flexibility and limit exposure to unnecessary costs and liability
  • Advice and document preparation concerning the sale of condominium units and associated disclosure, escrow, and other legal requirements
  • Assisting the Association and Board of Directors concerning annual and special meetings; answering questions about documents and the pertinent condominium law; enforcing the covenants and restrictions; and drafting and negotiating contracts for provision of services for the condominium property
  • Interpretation, amendment and enforcement of the governing condominium documents — Declaration of Condominium, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations
  • Answering day-to-day questions regarding operational, technical, regulatory, and practical issues affecting condominium property and governance
  • Advising the Association and Board of Directors regarding fiscal matters, such as budgeting, levying special assessments, and establishing reserves
  • Addressing maintenance and repair issues and distinguishing between those projects requiring Board of Directors approval and those requiring unit owner authorization
  • Preparing and reviewing contracts for the management, maintenance, repair and operation of the condominium community
  • Preparing construction-related contracts and documents in compliance with applicable law
  • Counseling unit owners and developers concerning the transfer of Association control from developer to unit owners
  • Prosecuting, defending, and resolving developer warranty, consumer protection, accounting, and misrepresentation claims
  • Analyzing loan documents and structuring lines of credit and other financing for recreation lease purchases, capital improvements, etc.

Affordable Housing

LSG serves as General Counsel, as well as due process hearing officer, for several Public Housing Authorities.  This work requires a broad range of expertise including detailed knowledge of landlord/tenant law, open meetings and public records law, federal housing regulations, employment and labor law, and tort liability, as well as the ability to protect housing authority interests in a court of law.  LSG’s attorneys routinely guide our clients concerning the termination of government benefits.  The regional public housing association has recognized LSG’s expertise in public housing law by repeatedly inviting its attorneys to speak at its meetings.

Commercial and Residential Leasing; Evictions; Collections

LSG has represented landlords in both a litigation and transactional context for over a decade.  The firm currently represents large and small commercial property owners, as well as residential landlords, requiring leasing and eviction legal services.  From preparing effective leases empowering our clients to the maximum permitted under the law, to ensuring the enforcement of their legal rights in court, LSG’s attorneys are tireless in their pursuit of using their comprehensive knowledge of property law to benefit our clients.

Licensing and Regulation

LSG’s real estate lawyers use their decades of experience to represent real estate brokers and salespersons concerning professional licensing matters, commission disputes, and other matters before state regulatory agencies and professional organizations.  As counsel to Kent Washington Association of Realtors since 2004, LSG assists with grievances, professional standards, and arbitration matters.  LSG’s lawyers have successfully defended serious allegations of misconduct before the Department of Business Regulation and intervened to ensure the payment of commissions due and owing to our clients.


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