Education

Cornell Law School, J.D.

Harvard College, A.B., cum laude

Experience

  • Represented Vermont resort client before Environmental Dvision and Vermont Supreme Court, prevailing on question of whether Act 250 jurisdiction over the resort extends to private homes enrolled in voluntary rental program with resort.
  • Assisted regional hospital through permitting efforts relating to substantial expansion and renovation project faced with aggressive opposition by neighbor.
  • On appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court, Chris successfully gained reversal of a grant of summary judgment in a significant deed dispute involving a major Vermont resort. This reversal allowed the client to avoid substantial redesign and reconstruction costs. On remand, the trial court found in the client’s favor on the deed interpretation issue. On appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court for a second time, the trial court’s decision in favor of the client was affirmed.
  • Represented national retailers in significant permit disputes involving Act 250, local zoning, and stormwater regulation. In coordination with lawyers in the firm’s real estate group, Chris has helped the clients work through federal, state and local processes in order to develop new store locations.
  • Worked with quarrying and extraction clients as they navigated the maze of permits necessary to expand their operations. He also pursued a significant property tax appeal on behalf of a large quarry operation. A favorable settlement in the tax appeal was reached during trial.
  • Represented a large local employer in a prolonged landlord-tenant dispute involving a large commercial and industrial facility. After contentious litigation with multiple parties, a negotiated resolution was reached in the wake of mediation.
  • Chris successfully gained summary judgment for a client defending nuisance and trespass claims involving his cultivation of orchard trees. On appeal, Chris was able to secure an affirmance of summary judgment in favor of the client. The longstanding cultivation efforts of the client, a retired gentleman, depended on this outcome.
  • Represented two different public utilities on appeals involving the competing jurisdictions between the Public Utility Commission and Act 250. In both instances, the appellate court ruled in favor of exclusive Public Utility Commission jurisdiction, as urged by the clients.

Admissions

U.S. District Court, District of Vermont, 1990

U. S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1991

U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 2005

Memberships & Activities

American and Vermont Bar Associations,1990

Accolades & Awards

Listed in Best Lawyers in America © 2018-2021

Recognized by New England Super Lawyers in the areas of business litigation, land use/zoning and real estate

Recognized as a “local litigation star” by Benchmark Appellate Litigation

Rated Distinguished® for Legal Ability and Ethical Standards by Martindale-Hubbell

Community Involvement

USA Hockey Game Official. All previously: Chair, Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission; Member, Williston Selectboard; Member; Circ Alternatives Task Force; Youth sports coach, Green Mountain Glades Youth Hockey, CSB Youth Hockey, CSSU Buccaneers Football, Williston Little League; Former candidate, Vermont Secretary of State; Treasurer, Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission; Member, Vermont Environmental Board; Member, Vermont Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; Board member, Family Connection Center of Vermont, Inc.; Board member, Williston Elder Housing, Inc.; Member, Burlington Planning Commission.

Reported Cases

In re Wright & Boester CU Application, 2021 VT 80 (reversal of Environmental Division decision regarding lakeshore development and right of remand)

In re Mountain Top Inn & Resort, 2020 VT 57, 238 A.3d 637 (lack of Act 250 jurisdiction over private homes enrolling in resort’s rental program)

Snelgrove v. LeBlanc, No. 2018-104, 2018 WL 6167392 (Vt. Nov. 21, 2018) (partition action)

In re Hinesburg Hannaford Act 250 Permit, 2017 VT 106, 206 Vt. 118, 179 A.3d 727 (numerous Act 250 and site plan review issues)

LeBlanc v. Snelgrove, 2015 VT 112, 200 Vt. 570, 133 A.3d 361 (boundary dispute and civil trespass)

In Re Request for Juris. Op. re: Changes in Physical Structures and Use at Burlington Int’l Airport for F-35A, 2015 VT 41, 198 Vt. 510, 117 A.3d 457 (lack of Act 250 jurisdiction over basing of F-35A jets at Burlington International Airport)

Foti Fuels, Inc. v. Kurrle Corp., 2013 VT 111, 195 Vt. 524, 90 A.3d 885 (application of consumer fraud law to purchase of business)

Sprayregen v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 2:11-cv-00115, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101910, 2012 BL 183942 (D. Vt. July 23, 2012) (preemption of state law claims by federal Fair Credit Reporting Act)

In re Petition of Guité, 2011 VT 58, 190 Vt. 90, 24 A.3d 1192 (title status of 19th century family burial ground)

Smalley v. Stowe Mountain Club, LLC, 2011 VT 51, 190 Vt. 53, 25 A.3d 539 (validity and enforceability of restrictive deed language)

In re CVPS/Verizon Act 250 Land Use Permit Nos. 7C1252 and 7C0677-2, 2009 VT 71, 186 Vt. 289, 980 A.2d 256 (Act 250 jurisdiction over utility distribution lines)

Wells v. Rouleau, 2008 VT 57, 184 Vt. 536, 955 A.2d 518 (prescriptive easement)

John Larkin, Inc. v. Marceau, 2008 VT 61, 184 Vt. 207, 959 A.2d 551 (trespass action involving right-to-farm law)

Mollica v. Department of Property Valuation and Review, 2008 VT 60, 184 Vt. 83, 955 A.2d 1171 (2008) (current use tax appeal)

Sweezey v. Neel, 2006 VT 38, 179 Vt. 507, 904 A.2d 1050 (easement dispute)

Feldberg v. Quechee Lakes Corp., 463 F.3d 195 (2d Cir. 2006) (dismissal of federal suit seeking modification of easement rights)

Needham v. Coordinated Apparel Group, Inc., 174 Vt. 263, 811 A.2d 124 (2002) (product liability)

Tarrant v. Department of Taxes, 169 Vt. 189, 733 A.2d 733 (1999) (Subchapter S corporate income tax appeal)

In re Bill, 168 Vt. 439, 724 A.2d 444 (1998) (highway discontinuance)

Estate of Handy v. R.L. Vallee, Inc., 993 F. Supp. 236 (D. Vt. 1998) (franchise dispute)

All Cycle, Inc. v. Chittenden Solid Waste Dist., 164 Vt. 428, 670 A.2d 800 (1995) (Commerce Clause challenge)

Publications

“A Need To Modernize: Transparency and Regulatory Reform Through Adoption of the 2010 Model State Administrative Procedure Act”, 37 Vermont Bar Journal 36 (Spring 2011).

Presentations

Presented on matters of land use and real property in continuing legal education seminars

Presented on land use permitting matters to the Vermont Development Conference.