Sheehan Phinney Attorneys Prevail in Adverse Possession Case

(March 9, 2015, Manchester, NH) – Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA attorneys Michael C. Harvell and Megan C. Carrier recently prevailed in a ‘prescriptive easement’ case, before both the New Hampshire Superior Court and the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

The firm’s clients, Carl and Penny Keough, own property on Lake Skatutakee, in Harrisville, NH. For a number of years, community members would pass over a path crossing the Keoughs’ property for recreational purposes. The Keoughs were approached to make the path part of the Rails-to-Trails project, but declined in fear that use of the path would increase. Community members initiated a lawsuit claiming the public had ‘prescriptive easement’ rights to the Keoughs’ property; under New Hampshire Law, if a person makes use of another’s property openly, continuously, and without permission for twenty years, that person can obtain rights to use of the property. Harvell and Carrier argued that, based on two determining factors, the period of time the path was in use did not satisfy the period needed for a prescriptive easement. The New Hampshire Superior Court agreed and the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed.

Harvell has built a substantial litigation practice since joining Sheehan Phinney in 1975. His work includes extensive trial experience, with special emphasis on stockholder and partnership disputes. His practice focus also concentrates on state tax litigation, probate litigation and intellectual property. Harvell has been repeatedly recognized by Best Lawyers in America, New England Super Lawyers and Chambers USA, all for his work in Business Litigation. He is a fellow for the American College of Trial Lawyers and is admitted to practice in New Hampshire and before the United States Supreme Court. Harvell received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D., cum laude, from Boston University.

Carrier’s practice focuses on business litigation. Prior to joining the firm in 2011 she was a UNH Public Interest Coalition Fellow, working with the New Hampshire Public Defender’s Office. Carrier also interned with the Honorable Carol Ann Conboy, Associate Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. She has been continuously selected as a Rising Star by New England Super Lawyers® in the area of Business Litigation and is admitted to practice in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Carrier received her B.A., summa cum laude, from Wheaton College and her J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire School of Law.