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Building Metropolitan DC & Beyond

From the Beginning: Land Use Law

There are few development projects or deals in the Maryland-Washington, D.C. region that do not have a Linowes and Blocher LLP stamp on them. From White Flint to Silver Spring, King Farm to the Kentlands, Avenel to Annapolis Mall, and St. Charles Communities to Frederick Brick Works, our attorneys have helped shape these communities.

As a business and real estate law firm, we have expanded our initial base from a Montgomery County real estate firm, to a sophisticated, multi-regional and multi-practice powerhouse able to handle not only land use and real estate matters but bankruptcy, tax, corporate, environmental and estate matters. Our experience in the greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area and surrounding Maryland jurisdictions provides us with a broad base of experience and talent that allows us to be more creative and yet practical in our approach to helping clients through their legal challenges.

A Full-Service Business Law Firm

Land use law is by no means the firm's only area of concentration. Over the years Linowes and Blocher LLP has developed very active practice areas in real estate transactions, community associations law, environmental law, business law, taxation, litigation and bankruptcy. This affords many of our clients the opportunity to work with one law firm on a variety of legal matters.

In the transactional area, the firm handles all manner of real estate and business matters. Acquisitions and sales, leasing, financing, entity formation, and tax and business planning are some of the areas in which the firm's lawyers are regularly involved. The firm has played a significant role in many of the major real estate transactions that have taken place in the region over the past 60 years. In recent times, the firm has become particularly involved in public/private enterprises where developers have ventured with governmental entities in projects designed to build public infrastructure, promote economic development, or redevelop older urban areas.

The firm's other practice groups have evolved and expanded as well. The firm's Condo/HOA group has created hundreds of master planned communities, residential and mixed-use condominiums, specialty condominiums such as marina, shelf, land and conversion condominiums, business park associations, neo-traditional developments, and senior housing communities.

The firm's environmental group has participated in a number of major court actions and addresses issues such as mold, lead paint and other hazardous materials. In the litigation area, the firm handles complex matters before federal and state courts throughout Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. The bankruptcy group represents debtors and creditors in a variety of bankruptcy proceedings and workouts.

History of a Great Firm

R. Robert Linowes (1922-2007), the firm's founder, entered private law practice in 1956 when he opened a modest law office in downtown Silver Spring. Linowes, a graduate of Columbia University Law School, had previously spent three years as an Assistant County Attorney for Montgomery County. Mr. Linowes went on to have a distinguished career in law, business, and community service. In addition to being known as a creative land use lawyer who often thought "outside of the box," he co-authored several books about land use law and served as chairman of numerous community organizations, including the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Greater Washington Research Center, and the Folger Shakespeare Theatre.

Joseph P. Blocher (1924-2013), a University of Maryland Law School graduate, also served in the County Attorney's office for Montgomery County. He arrived there at about the same time that Bob Linowes was departing for private practice. It was not long before Bob Linowes, the private attorney, and Joe Blocher, the County's legal representative, locked horns in several contentious legal cases. Finally, as Bob Linowes told the story, "I became tired of Joe winning all of those cases, so I invited him to join me in private practice." Thus Bob Linowes and Joe Blocher joined forces in 1962 - and the rest is history.