Courthouse Plaza
199 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05402-0190
ph: 802-863-2375
dir: 802-863-2375
Overview

Commercial and real property litigator – common sense advocacy to solve real world problems.

Chris Roy draws on his legal and community experience to advocate effectively for clients in a wide range of litigation contexts and has been doing so for more than two decades. Chris works closely with clients to tailor litigation plans to reflect their needs and goals in light of the legal and practical landscape that lies ahead. As a seasoned commercial litigator, Chris represents clients across Vermont – from individuals to businesses big and small – with respect to business disputes of all kinds. Chris devotes much of his practice to permit litigation and to resolving the entire spectrum of real property-related disputes. As a former member of the Williston Selectboard and Vermont Environmental Board, and current Chair of the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, Chris is able to represent clients in a variety of land use, tax, administrative and other matters with the added perspective derived from his years of relevant public service. Besides appearing regularly before the Environmental Division and trying cases in Superior Courts across Vermont, Chris is an active appellate litigator, having represented clients in over 40 appeals before the Vermont Supreme Court and other appellate courts.

Experience
  • 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.
Education

Cornell Law School, J.D., 1989

Harvard College, A.B., cum laude, 1986

Admissions & Clerkships

Vermont, 1989

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 Bar Association, 1990

Accolades & Awards
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America © 2018
  • 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 BV Distinguished® for Ethical Standards and Legal Ability by Martindale-Hubbell
Community Involvement
  • Burlington Planning Commission, Former Member
  • Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, Chair
  • Circ Alternatives Task Force, Former Member
  • CSSU Buccaneers Youth Football and CSB Youth Hockey, Coach
  • Family Connection Center of Vermont, Inc., Former Board of Directors
  • Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Commission, Former Member
  • Vermont Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Former Member
  • Vermont Environmental Board, Former Member
  • Williston Elder Housing, Inc., Former Board of Directors
  • Williston Selectboard, Former Member
Publications & Presentations
  • Author, 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) 
Reported Cases
  • 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 41, 198 VT. 510, 117 A.3d (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)
Courthouse Plaza
199 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05402-0190
ph: 802-863-2375
dir: 802-863-2375
fax: 802-862-7512
croy@drm.com
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