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William DeBear

Of Counsel

D: 774-470-1238
C: 617-759-6168
wdebear@lawmtm.com
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Bill is Of Counsel to our firm. In his diverse real estate practice, Bill represents condominium and homeowner associations, and developers, lenders, buyers and sellers of real estate. He handles a wide array of matters, including purchases, sales, and financing of residential and commercial real estate, zoning, condominium and general litigation, affordable housing development, and telecommunications transactions. For over 20 years, Bill also has served as an agent for title insurance companies licensed in Massachusetts, including during that time as agent for Fidelity, WFG, and First American title insurance companies.


In his condominium and homeowner association practice, Bill drafts and secures the approval of amended and restated condominium and HOA documents, and represents condominium associations in the revival, extension and conveyance of development rights. Bill also advises condominium and homeowner association clients on a wide range of condominium and homeowner association governance issues and represents them in, among other matters, the enforcement and extension of restrictive covenants, easement negotiations, disputes with abutting property owners, and the negotiation of telecommunications leases and licenses.


In addition to handling residential and commercial real estate transactions, Bill represents clients in a variety of litigation matters, including construction defect and development rights litigation, often being brought into prepare agreements and real estate instruments for the implementation of settlements in complex real estate and condominium litigation. Bill has appeared regularly in the Massachusetts Superior and Land Courts and has argued cases before the state Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court. He also has lectured regularly on condominium, real estate and title issues for various organizations including Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) and the Real Estate Bar Association, and has authored or co-authored amicus briefs for the Attorneys’ Committee of the New England chapter of the Community Associations Institute in appeals of interest to the condominium community, as well as chapters in condominium publications for MCLE. In furtherance of his interest in affordable housing matters, Bill also has served (2010-2016) on the Board of Commissioners of the local public housing authority in his hometown, and on the board of directors of a local affordable housing non-profit organization.


Education

  • ▪ Cornell University (1976)
  • ▪ Boston College Law School (1979)

Admissions

  • ▪ Massachusetts

  • ▪ Federal District Court, District of Massachusetts

  • ▪ Federal Court of Claims

Professional Affiliations

  • ▪ Community Associations Institute-New England
    - Chair, Attorney’s Committee (1997)

  • ▪ Massachusetts Bar Association

  • ▪ Massachusetts Real Estate Bar Association

Notable

  • ▪ Authored or co-authored amicus briefs submitted on behalf of the Attorneys’ Committee of the New England chapter of the Community Associations Institute in, among other cases, the following matters of importance to condominium and community associations in Massachusetts: Viola v. Millbank II Associates, 44 Mass.App.Ct. 82 (1998), involving condominium phasing; and Osorno v. Simone, 56 Mass.App.Ct. 612, 779 N.E.2d 645 (2002), dealing with strict liability.

Bill’s successful appellate decisions include:

  • Entis v. Rent Control Board of Brookline, 399 Mass. 158 (1987)(upholding rent control decision in favor of client); Spinnaker Island and Yacht Club Holding Trust v. Bd. of Assessors of the Town of Hull, 49 Mass.App.Ct. 20 (2000) (upholding appellate tax board decision abating Town’s attempted assessment of real estate tax on development rights held by condominium association); Eisenberg v. Phoenix Association Management, Inc., 56 Mass.App.Ct. 910 (2002) (upholding dismissal of Chapter 93A claim against property manager); and One Salem Street Improvement Association v. Marchese, 84 Mass.App.Ct. 1117 (2013) (affirming judgment for homeowner association against lot owner who claimed that declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions had expired and that association could no longer enforce assessments against him).

Publications and Seminar Presentations

  • ▪ Author, Massachusetts Condominiums, Chapter 5, 2017 Supplement (Residential Condominiums-How to Handle a Condominium Unit Sale)
  • ▪ Co-author, Real Estate Title Practice in Massachusetts, Chapter 20 (Condominiums and Homeowners’ Associations, 2010)
  • ▪ Panelist, Real Estate Title Practice in Massachusetts (2005, 2006)
  • ▪ Panelist, Handling Residential Real Estate Transactions in Massachusetts (1999-2008)
  • ▪ Panelist, Nuts & Bolts of Residential Real Estate Transactions (1998)