Boston University School of Law, J.D.
Harvard University, B.A., cum laude
- Coordinated the administration of a multi-million dollar estate and trust administration that included the successful negotiation of the transfer and dedication of over a mile of undeveloped lakefront property spanning the border between the United States and Canada to the U.S. government and the Province of Quebec to be available to the public and maintained in its undeveloped state for recreational purposes. The estate administration also included the appraisal and sale of a unique collection of Canadian artwork and a very substantial distribution to a world-renowned museum. At the successful completion of this project, the client proclaimed it would not have been possible without Jake’s leadership and his DRM team.
- Negotiated the transfer by his client of a conservation easement on over 70,000 acres of timberland in upstate New York, proximate to the Adirondack Park, to the state of New York making the land available for public and recreational use. In doing so, Jake drew on the expertise and support of The Nature Conservancy.
- Managed a $40,000,000 Recovery Bond financing and New Markets Tax Credit project for a multi-national company enabling it to upgrade its industrial facility with state-of-the-art equipment to enhance its global competitive advantage and maintain its presence in Vermont. Jake led a DRM team consisting of tax, real estate, corporate finance, and legislative affairs professionals to complete the project under very tight deadlines. The successful completion also required negotiation with the state of Vermont and the legislature to implement tax credit legislation that would help Vermont businesses compete nationally and internationally while remaining in the state.
- Handled several ski area acquisitions, one of which required the issuance of a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service for land in a national forest. Another involved lease negotiations with the state of Vermont for land in a state forest that is included in the ski area. The project also included legislative action to extend the term of the existing lease.
- Approached by a company with substantial timber holdings in Northern New England that had decided to divest itself of hundreds of recreational and seasonal lakefront camp lots because they no longer fit within the company’s strategic business plan, Jake assembled and managed a team of attorneys, paralegals, and support staff to negotiate the individual sales agreements, ensure the transfers complied with state and local development, subdivision, and tax laws, and closed the sales, all in a very compressed time frame.
- Assisted a couple updating their estate plan which, in addition to including substantial lifetime gifts to family members, included advising them with respect to the transfer of their ownership of an entity that owned a recreational facility to a charitable foundation that could create a supporting organization to manage and operate the facility to promote community recreational opportunities. In so doing, Jake worked with the firm’s tax partner, Roger Prescott, one of the firm’s real estate partners, Scott Jaunich, and the financial and philanthropic advisers and staff of the foundation.
U.S. District Court, District of Vermont, 1979
U.S. Tax Court, 1987
Memberships & Activities
American Bar Association, 1975
American College of Real Estate Lawyers
Caledonia County Bar Association
Vermont Bar Association
Accolades & Awards
Jake was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®, Corporate Law, Real Estate Law, Trusts and Estates, 1991-2023
Received Martindale-Hubbell’s AV® Preeminent™ Peer Rating, the highest rating attainable
Member of the Boards of Directors of Community Bancorp, and Community National Bank
Member of the Board of Managers of Community Financial Services Group LLC
Corporator of the St. Johnsbury Development Fund
Past Chair and Board Member of the Vermont Community Foundation
A founding Trustee and former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Riverside Day School
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium Fellow and past Board Member and Board Chair
Member of the Museum’s Nominating Committee for the Franklin Fairbanks Award
Past Board Member and Board Chair of Burke Mountain Academy
Former Trustee of the Vermont Land Trust and of the St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce
Past board member of the LSC Foundation
Founding Director and current Board Member of Kingdom Trail Association Inc.
Served as a member of the Town of Burke Zoning Board of Adjustment
Previous Director of the Northeast Kingdom Region of the Bill Koch Youth Ski League
Past board member of the Vermont chapter of the American Cancer Society
Budde v. Pierce and Budde (1977) 135 Vt. 152, 375 A.2d 984
Jake has lectured and participated in panel discussions for the Vermont Bar Association, Vermont Bankers Association, and private groups on a wide range of topics, including estate planning, estate tax law, real estate and corporate financing transactions as well as conservation easements, zoning, and land use issues.
Most recently, he moderated a conference on New Markets Tax Credits sponsored by the firm and attended by members of the Vermont and New Hampshire business communities.