The Case of a Homeowner vs. the Town
Attorneys are often called upon to serve individuals on a “pro bono basis”. This case involved a careful analysis of a complex situation, soliciting expert engineering advice, negotiations with Town officials and an implied threat of litigation which I convinced the Town it would lose.
I was contacted by a prominent Boston attorney looking for help for a friend living in my community. The case involved a homeowner living alone along an old, out of code street. The street suffered from chronic and severe flooding during heavy snow melting and rainstorms such that her yard and front driveway were often under water. Many times she had to call the fire department. They would come and put sandbags at the entrance to her downward sloping driveway. After years of erosion, floods, destroyed landscaping and her sending letters and personal appeals to the Town, she had exhausted all hope.
I met with the homeowner and assessed the several conditions that led to the periodic flooding. We then met with local officials who raised the high cost of fixing the issues and then equivocated on taking any action.
Given their lack of empathy, I engaged a friend who is a civil engineer. He analyzed the situation and offered his written analysis. I then researched the law involved and confirmed the Town was in violation in several respects.
When I presented a powerful and persuasive case in writing to the Town, a meeting was promptly scheduled. From the meeting, the Town agreed with my findings. They finally performed the necessary excavations and made in ground improvements to permanently fix the drainage problems.