Don Pinto has over 25 years of experience as a civil litigator, with a focus on complex real estate and land use disputes. He handles cases at the trial and appellate levels in the state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. Outside the courtroom Don has successfully resolved many disputes through negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

Before joining Pierce Atwood, Don was a director in the Litigation Department of the Boston firm Rackemann Sawyer & Brewster, P.C.

Notable Experience

Don has extensive litigation experience representing clients ranging from individuals to Fortune 500 companies that own, buy, sell, and develop real estate, in matters such as:

  • Defense of zoning and other land use permits granted for commercial development
  • Appeals of permit denials including zoning, wetlands, and subdivision control law
  • Disputes over the validity of zoning and other land use regulations 
  • Matters involving tidelands and filled tidelands regulated under M.G.L. c.91
  • Real estate title disputes
  • Disputes concerning easements and access rights
  • Adverse possession and prescriptive easement claims
  • Disputes over the development of affordable housing under M.G.L. c.40B
  • Disputes involving offers to purchase, purchase and sale agreements, options, and restrictive covenants
  • Representation of owners, buyers, and sellers of contaminated property
  • Disputes arising out of commercial leases
  • Damages claims based on trespass, nuisance and other property-related torts

Don’s real estate litigation practice includes particular experience in Massachusetts Land Court, where he has handled hundreds of cases.

Published Appellate Decisions

Navy Yard Four Associates, LLC v. Department of Environmental Protection, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 213 (2015) (challenge to denial of amendment of waterways license; validity of DEP regulations)

American Venture 594 Corp. v. A. Russo & Sons, Inc., 79 Mass. App. Ct. 770 (2011) (interpretation and enforcement of land-use restriction in settlement agreement)

Spillane v. Adams, 76 Mass. App. Ct. 378 (2010) (proof of title to oceanfront property; location of mean low water mark)

Duddy v. Mankewich, 75 Mass. App. Ct. 62 (2009) (enforcement of implied easement over registered land)

Carabetta v. Board of Appeals of Truro, 73 Mass. App. Ct. 266 (2008) (defense of claim that lots merged for zoning purposes)

Wall Street Dev. Corp. v. Planning Bd. of Westwood, 72 Mass. App. Ct. 844 (2008) (challenge to denial of subdivision approval; validity of zoning bylaws)

Boothroyd v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Amherst, 449 Mass. 333 (2007) (defense of comprehensive permit to build affordable housing under M.G.L. c. 40B)

Boothroyd v. Bogartz, 68 Mass. App. Ct. 40 (2007) (defense of claim for prescriptive easement)

Duddy v. Mankewich, 66 Mass. App. Ct. 789 (2006) (defense of “Approval Not Required” endorsement)

Germagian v. Berrini, 60 Mass. App. Ct. 456 (2004) (enforcement of form Offer to Purchase)

Rubenstein v. Royal Ins. Co. of America, 429 Mass. 355 (1999) (recovery of attorneys’ fees for insurer’s breach of its duty to defend)

Rubenstein v. Royal Ins. Co. of America, 44 Mass. App. Ct. 842 (1998) (insurance coverage for claims arising from environmental contamination)

McCarthy v. Oak Bluffs, 330 Mass. App. Ct. 530 (1991) (claim involving title to registered land, dockage rights)

V.S.H. Realty, Inc. v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Plymouth, 30 Mass. App. Ct. 530 (1991) (appeal of denial of special permit to construct shopping center)

Honors & Distinctions

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Land Use and Zoning Law (2017)
  • Included in Massachusetts Super Lawyers (2010-2016)
  • Rated Superb by Avvo.com
  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell

Professional Activities

  • Member, Board of Directors of REBA, Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts, 2009-2012
  • Co-chair, REBA Litigation Committee, 2009-2012
  • Member, Boston Bar Association

Publications

  • Author, "SJC Holds That ‘Modern Rule’ on Easements Applies to Registered Land," 58 Boston Bar Journal (Spring 2014)
  • Author, "Modernizing Commercial Lease Law: The Case for an Implied Warranty of Fitness," Suffolk University Law Review (Vol. XIX, p. 929), a Note that has been cited as authority in several appellate court decisions.