(603) 225-2585

Litigation and Appeals

Our attorneys litigate in all New Hampshire courts and before numerous administrative bodies throughout New Hampshire, including the Site Evaluation Committee. Some of our clients are plaintiffs; other clients come to us because they have been sued and need to be defended. We also represent clients who wish to join (intervene) an ongoing lawsuit. Some of the more common claims that we litigate involve the following:

 

  • Environmental Pollution or Degradation
  • Conservation Easements
  • Wetlands and Water
  • Boundaries and Rights-of-Way
  • Nuisances
  • Planning and Zoning Issues
  • Siting of Energy Commercial or Industrial Facilities
  • Timber Trespass
  • Tax Abatements
  • Agriculture

Where We Litigate

We practice before too many courts and agencies to list them all. Below is a list of where we most frequently appear.

NH Superior Court

The Superior Court is the trial court in New Hampshire. Trials may be before a jury or a judge. Each county has a Superior Court that hears a broad range of cases. The Superior Court also hears appeals from municipal planning and zoning boards.

NH Supreme Court

Our attorneys represent existing clients at the Supreme Court as well as new clients who come to us after Superior Court. These cases involve appeals of issues decided by the Superior Court.

Federal Court

The United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire is in Concord. The Federal District Court handles a variety of cases, including cases brought pursuant to federal environmental statutes such as the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee

The Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) determines the siting of major energy facilities in New Hampshire, including large transmission lines, wind facilities, and power plants. In recent years, the Site Evaluation Committee has undergone substantial changes to its rules and regulations.

The Environmental Councils

Four councils review permitting decisions made by the NH Department of Environmental Services. The Wetlands Council is by far the busiest. The Wetlands Council is an appellate body to which one would appeal the issuance or denial of a permit, including permits involving docks.

Board of Tax and Land Appeals

The Board of Tax and Land Appeals handles a variety of matters, including eminent domain proceedings, otherwise known as “takings”, in which the State of New Hampshire proposes to use private land for a public purpose. Landowners can also appeal to the Board of Tax and Land Appeals if their municipality has denied their request for a tax abatement. Tax abatement appeals may also be filed in Superior Court.

Zoning Boards of Adjustment (ZBA)

Municipal ZBAs, and occasionally municipal Planning Boards, are the first line of decision-makers for appeals of certain municipal actions.

Illustrative Cases

Site Evaluation Committee

Days before the beginning of a weeks-long hearing, a prominent conservation organization hired our attorneys to represent the organization before the NH Site Evaluation Committee. The siting of a wind farm threatened a super-sanctuary and pristine Willard Pond in Antrim. Our attorneys convinced the Site Evaluation Committee to do what it had never done before, deny a certificate for a major wind farm.

Construction of a Straw Bale Home

Our client was sued in Superior Court by the contractor that she had hired to build her innovative home in which the walls were insulated with straw bales. The contractor had run over-budget and demanded payment for work not performed as planned. Our attorneys defended the homeowner and prevailed on a counterclaim for damages arising from substandard workmanship.

Lake Litigation

Our attorneys represented lakefront homeowners whose property had been damaged by the next-door neighbors. On behalf of our clients, we blocked construction that would have exacerbated the damage, sued and then collaborated with the neighbors on an out-of-court settlement that required the neighbors to repair the damage and to refrain from causing the damage again.

Environmental Defense

Our attorneys successfully defended clients who spoke out against air pollution in their neighborhood. Our clients came to us after having been sued in Superior Court for a variety of claims, including defamation, nuisance, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Our attorneys successfully defeated several counts on a motion for summary judgment and prevailed at trial on the remaining claims.
Contact Us

Contact us for more information. We offer free one-hour in-person consultations.