Education

George Washington University Law School, J.D., 1999, cum laude

Princeton University, B.A., 1995, cum laude

  • Degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology with a certificate in Environmental Studies

Bar & Court Admissions

  • California, 2000
  • Maryland, 2005
  • Supreme Court of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
Photo of Benjamin S. Wechsler

Benjamin S. Wechsler

Partner
ph: 443.949.3128
Annapolis
One Park Place
Suite 585
Annapolis, MD 21401
Overview
News & Publications
Affiliations/Community

Benjamin S. Wechsler is a Partner focusing in land use and environmental law, as well as litigation. Prior to joining the firm, he worked as a commercial and real estate litigator with the San Francisco and Palo Alto offices of Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich now part of DLA Piper. His practice focuses on the management of land and water resources, and including the Maryland Forest Conservation Act, the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Critical Area Program, and various federal, state, and county programs regulating land use, water quality, and wetlands protection.

Significant Projects

Anne Arundel County

  • Successful defense before Office of Administrative Hearings of issuance of nontidal wetlands permit by Maryland Department of Environment.
  • Successful representation of numerous property owners on tidal and nontidal wetland issues and Critical Area variances.
  • Representation of Smithsonian Institution in acquisition of 579-acre waterfront farm, including negotiation of complex conservation easement with Maryland Environmental Trust and Scenic Rivers Land Trust.
  • Representation of national non-profit organization with regard to land use, environmental, conservation easement, title, and estate issues relating to acquisition of 300 acre waterfront farm.
  • Representation of developer in 400 room hotel in Arundel Mills area relating to land use, storm water, and forest conservation act issues.
  • Representation of national retail chain in various land use, special exception, and variance matters.
  • Representation of residential, commercial and industrial property owners on wide variety of riparian rights, pier, and Critical Area issues.
  • Eastern Shore
  • Representation of owners of 100+ acre Kent County waterfront farm regarding critical area, floodplain, zoning, construction, and environmental issues.
  • Representation of developer of 2,000 unit PUD on transactional, HOA, administrative, regulatory, and environmental issues.
  • Representation of Caroline County property owner in land-use and estate dispute regarding subdivision of 45 acre farm.
  • Representation of property owner before Board of Public Works on private versus state wetlands issues.

Litigation

  • Successful defense of marine contractors relating to dredging project and issues relating to dredge spoil disposal.
  • Represented developers in federal Fair Housing Act suit against Queen Anne's County Commissioners.
  • Representation of municipal client in Federal Court litigation regarding environmental liabilities associated with landfill contamination.
  • Representation of regulated public utility in Federal Court land use dispute.
  • Representation of several clients in complex construction disputes.
  • Representation of clients in defense of "Foreclosure Rescue Scheme" litigation pending in various Federal and Maryland circuit courts.

Insurance

  • Representation of numerous insured clients regarding environmental coverage issues relating to petroleum contamination, drycleaning solvents, and mold.
  • Extensive policyholder representation under Commercial General Liability (CGL) , Errors and Omission (E&O), Directors and Officers (D&O), Title, and Environmental insurance products.
  • Representation of title insurance carriers in capacity of coverage counsel.

Honors & Distinctions

  • Selected as a Maryland Rising Star for 2013 by Super Lawyers
  • Selected as a Maryland Rising Star for 2012 by Super Lawyers

Professional Background

  • Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich (now merged into DLA Piper), 2000-2004
  • LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, 1999-2000

Affiliations & Community Involvement

Chesapeake Bay Trust, Trustee 2012-Present, Treasurer and Member of Executive Committee, 2015

Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce, Chairperson, Environmental Committee, 2014-Present

Maryland State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section Council, 2011-Present, Secretary/Treasurer, 2015-Present

Leadership Anne Arundel, Flagship Class of 2015

Scenic Rivers Land Trust, Board Member, 2006-2008

Assateague Coastal Trust, Board Member, 2005-2006

Geraldine Dodge Foundation, Project 55 Fellow, 1995-1996