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William D. Kickham, Attorney at Law William D. Kickham
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EasementsOnce all the required legal papers are passed and the deal is consummated, a buyer becomes an owner, and hopefully all will remain well and peaceful for many years to come. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Another common problem real estate owners may face someday, relates to encroachments on their land by an abutter (neighbor) or accusations by an abutter that his land is being unlawfully encroached upon by you. These issues fall under the law of easements. Very briefly, an easement is simply the right of use in another's land. Easements do not confer ownership rights in another's land, but only a limited, defined type of use of that property. Easements "benefit" one adjoining landowner, and "burden" the other adjoining landowner. They typically "run with the land," meaning they remain on the deed as the property is bought and sold. Common examples of easements include the right to walk across the land of another in order to enter or leave your own property, when no other reasonable means of access exist. Another common type of easement is that benefiting utility companies, which commonly retain easements over private property for the limited purpose of maintaining telephone poles and wiring. Most easements are "of record," which means they are readily identifiable and discoverable when buyers and sellers of property conduct their title examinations at the relevant Registry of Deeds.

Sometimes, however, a neighbor will claim an easement over the property of an abutter, based upon reasons other than anything on record at the Registry of Deeds. In these cases, it's usually just the person's opinion that they have developed rights in another's property based upon many years of continued use. This is commonly known as "adverse possession," or an "easement by prescription." In such a case, you will either be the one who is asserting such a claim against a neighbor, or you will be the person defending such a claim from a neighbor. As you would expect, this is not a pleasant or pretty scene. Easement claims and land use disputes present complex legal issues. They are commonly very stressful, very complicated, very time-consuming, and, typically, very expensive. We have represented many easement and land use cases, and are very familiar with the legal arguments and strategies used to both bring and defend these types of claims. If you or someone you know is facing such a legal problem, contact us and we can provide you with the expert counsel and guidance you need.

Client Reviews
"When I fell in that supermarket and knew I had broken my leg, one of the first things that went through my mind was, "How am I ever going to take on a company this size and receive any decent compensation for what's happened to me?" Because of you, I received a sizable settlement payment for my injury. I hope more people learn about the kind of legal talent you offer." Jeanine W.
"The act of placing my father in a nursing home was probably the most painful decision I've ever had to face. You took our case on, and you and your associates fought the owners of this business, tooth and nail. You never gave up. As a result, my father's estate was paid considerable money for his pain and suffering." Joan W.
"My whole life changed on a dark day in December 1989, when I was hit and pinned against a wall by a commercial delivery truck. I was almost DOA at the hospital Emergency Room. Because of my injuries, I cannot work full-time ever again. Because of you and your colleagues' work, I received a large settlement." Jim Y.
"My mother had suffered a heart attack in the fall, and the hospital doctors completely missed this in her vital signs and EKG. My mother died the next day, and she didn't have to. But because of your diligence and talent, her estate received a very large settlement payment, along with revised ER protocols to prevent such errors in the future. For my mother and future patients, we thank you for what you did for her." Dorothy W.
"When our son was hit by a car in a crosswalk, our one and only concern was his recovery and well-being. We had no idea what we were facing: A maze of obstacles put up in our path by the insurance company for the driver who hit our son - denying responsibility for the accident. If we hadn't had you by our side, we feel we would have been eaten alive by this insurance company's lawyers. You guided us from day one, and you never rested." Bob and Mary J.
"You know what impressed me most about you (aside from your legal talent)? I know that my injuries from my car accident weren't the worst that you had in front of you - my case was far from the biggest case in your office - but you represented me like my case was worth a million dollars. I can't thank you enough." Margaret G.
"There are two things that I will never forget about my car accident: The sound of screeching tires just before my car was hit by the other driver, and, much later, the sound of you telling me that the entire ordeal was over with, and that I was going to receive just compensation for my injuries. The rest, I want to forget - but I'll never forget you and what you did for me." Karen D.
"Choosing to hire William D Kickham was one of the best decisions I could have made in recent years. He was very prompt, to the point and delivered on his promises. He is a true professional and I couldn't be happier with his results. I will continue recommended his services to anyone in need of legal guidance." Rick