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James D. Masterman is a trial lawyer with a broad range of experience in eminent domain and real estate valuation litigation, including tax proceedings and lease arbitrations, and in the litigation of land use and property rights issues. His representation of commercial, industrial and residential property owners and developers requires his appearance in U.S. District Court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and every state and administrative court of Massachusetts and throughout New England. His advice is sought by multi-property clients on a national basis on all aspects of eminent domain, and by developers seeking public assistance with land assemblage for large-scale, public- private partnership projects.  Jim served as Chair of the American Bar Association's Committee of Condemnation and Land Use Litigation and is a frequent lecturer and writer on the topic.


  • Valuation disputes
  • Eminent domain
  • Property rights 
  • Tax proceedings



  • Central Steel v. Somerville Redevelopment Authority, 447 Mass. 337 (2006) (industrial)
  • Boston Water & Sewer Commission v. Commonwealth, 64 Mass. App. Ct. 611 (2005) (public land)
  • Liberty Square Dev. Trust v. Worcester, 441 Mass. 605 (2004) (warehouse)
  • Portland Natural Gas Transmission System v. 19.2 Acres of Land, 318 F. 3d 279 (1st cir. 2003) (industrial land)
  • Tara Investment Holdings v. Massachusetts Port Authority (parking facility)
  • Henri Jacques, LLC v. Boston Redevelopment Authority (office building)
  • Extra Space Storage v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts (self-storage)
  • One Pond Street LLC (Grossman Companies) v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts (land for office)
  • Terraces Inc. v. Town of Ashland MA (residential land)
  • Beverly Commerce Park, Inc. v. Board of Assessors of the City of Beverly MA (tax proceeding)
  • State of New Hampshire v. Mobil Oil Company, Hillsborough County NH (gas station)
  • State of Connecticut v. Hartford New Park LP, Hartford County CT (office land)
  • Flood Control District of Coconino County v.  Goldenberg, Trustee, et al., Coconino County (Flagstaff) AZ (residential land)
  • State of California (CalTrans) v. Star Scrap Metal Company, et al., Los Angeles County CA (scrap metal recycling facility)
  • United States (GSA) v. SYG Venture (Duty Free Americas), San Diego County CA (retail and parking)
  • Regional Transportation District v. Leal, et al., Denver County CO (lender rights)
  • Sabail Trail Transmission v. Osceola Crossings (Tupperware), Osceola County FLA (pipeline)
  • City of Brooklyn Park v. Brooklyn Park Showroom, et al., Hennepin County MN (office building land)
  • State of Texas v. Inland Western Southlake LP, Tarrant County TX (retail land and building)
  • State of Texas v. Inland Western Grapevine LP, Tarrant County TX (retail land)
  • Interstate Supply Co. v. Orion Refining Corporation, U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Del) (industrial)
  • Assistant District Attorney, Suffolk County, Massachusetts

Recognition & Leadership

  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Real Estate - Litigation, 2017 and 2022
  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, 2007-2024
    • "Lawyer of the Year" in Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, Boston, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2023
  • Listed, Boston magazine, "Top Lawyers - Eminent Domain," 2022
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Massachusetts Super Lawyers, 2005-2021
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Elected Town Meeting Member, Town of Needham, Massachusetts
  • Founding Charter Member, Owners' Counsel of America
  • Council Member, Boston Bar Association, 2007-2010
  • Chair, American Bar Association, Zoning and Land Use Litigation, Committee on Condemnation, 1995-1998
  • Advisor, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino's Advisory Panel on Housing, 2004
  • Member, Town of Needham, Finance Committee, 1999-2002
  • Affiliate Member, The Appraisal Institute


  • J.D., Boston University School of Law, 1979
  • B.A., Cornell University, 1976
  • Hon. John J. McNaught, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Tax Court