TRUSTED LEGAL COUNSEL SINCE 1925

Experienced Attorneys and Specialized Services


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Brown & Brown provides the comprehensive legal service and personal, life-long attention of a general practitioner while at the same time ensuring that our clients receive the experienced, specialized attention required in today’s truncated legal environment.

About Us

In 1925, when John F. Brown founded the firm that has grown into Brown & Brown PC, most lawyers were general practitioners who did “a little bit of everything”. In those days, the typical family lawyer would assist his client with his will, draft the deed for the family’s home, negotiate business contracts, work out disputes with neighbors over the fence line, litigate serious matters, and probate a client’s estate when he passed away.

As the years have passed and the law has become much more complicated, the general practitioner has been gradually replaced by specialists who concentrate their practices in “niche” areas of the law. Nowadays, you are likely to have one lawyer who helps you to sell your home, another lawyer who assists you when you merge your business with a competitor, and yet another lawyer who drafts your estate planning documents. This trend towards specialization is not, theoretically, a bad thing for clients, but, unfortunately, what often gets lost is the longstanding relationship between the general lawyer and client – the sense that the client has an advocate and trusted counselor on his or her side who knows the client’s individual needs and will support the client over the course of many ups and downs.

Brown & Brown offers the best of both worlds. Our firm is made up of experienced, committed attorneys who practice in specialized areas. This allows Brown & Brown to provide the comprehensive legal service and personal, life-long attention of a general practitioner while at the same time ensuring that our clients receive the experienced, specialized attention required in today’s truncated legal environment. Whether you need to buy your first home, establish a guardianship for a loved one, obtain a zoning variance, answer a lawsuit, or anything in between, Brown & Brown can help.

Our Attorneys

Nathaniel K. Brown

ESTATE PLANNING, PROBATE, BUSINESS FORMATION

B.A., University of Massachusetts (1954)

J.D., Boston University School of Law (1960)

Mr. Brown concentrates his practice in estate planning, probate, business and corporate law. He has decades of experience protecting families’ assets as well as guiding corporate and business needs. Mr. Brown is a member of the New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bar Associations and he is admitted to practice in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire as well as in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the U.S. Supreme Court.

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James M. Donovan

GENERAL LITIGATION, BANKRUPTCY, CRIMINAL LAW

B.S., Roger Williams College (1989)

J.D., Massachusetts School of Law (1992)

Mr. Donovan represents clients in the areas of bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate litigation, personal injury, commercial disputes, general liability matters and criminal actions. Mr. Donovan is admitted to practice in the Massachusetts courts and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts where he has handled many trials, mediations and arbitrations. Mr. Donovan is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, is an active leader in his children’s youth sports programs in his hometown of Stoneham and teaches constitutional law and criminal procedure at the police academy.

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Eric R. Prichard

ESTATE PLANNING, ELDER LAW/MEDICAID PLANNING, PROBATE, SPECIAL NEEDS PLANNING

B.A., Claremont McKenna College (2001)

J.D., Boston College Law School (2006)

Mr. Prichard concentrates his practice in estate planning, probate, elder law and special needs planning. He is the author of numerous articles on elder law and special needs planning and has developed content for several nationally recognized elder law and special needs planning websites. Mr. Prichard is admitted to practice in the Massachusetts courts and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and is an active member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and the Massachusetts Bar Association. Mr. Prichard also serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Waltham ARC.

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Pamela J. Brown

LAND PLANNING/ZONING, DEVELOPMENT PERMITTING, COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE, BUSINESS FORMATION

B.A., Environmental Studies, Middlebury College (1985)

M.R.P., University of Massachusetts (1987)

J.D., Massachusetts School of Law (1999)

Ms. Brown concentrates her practice in zoning, real estate development and business formation. Ms. Brown is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and member of the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Bar Associations and the Real Estate Bar Association. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She serves on several corporate boards, is a Director of the Bedford Chamber of Commerce and is a coporator for Emerson Hospital. Ms. Brown is also an Honorary Commander at Hanscom Air Force Base and a Cub Scout den leader.

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Mark S. Raffa

REAL ESTATE, PURCHASE AND CLOSINGS, REFINANCE

B.A., Bates College (1974)

J.D., University of Pittsburgh (1977)

Mr. Raffa practices real estate law. Real estate brokers, buyers, sellers and lenders return time after time for Mr. Raffa’s title and transactional expertise. Mr. Raffa is admitted to practice in the Massachusetts courts and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and the Real Estate Bar Association.

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Our Staff

Dawn Sullivan

Dawn assists Attorneys Nathaniel Brown and Eric Prichard and she plays a major role coordinating clients’ estate planning and probate needs. After work hours, Dawn enjoys reading, spending time with her husband and kids, and cheering for the Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins.

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Dawn Libby

“Libby” is likely the first face you meet or voice you hear in her role as Brown & Brown’s receptionist. In her free time, Libby enjoys spending time with her family and friends and sits on the Council for the Greater Lowell Indian Cultural Association, which holds 2 annual powwows in Bedford.

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Laura Miller

Laura attends to Brown & Brown’s bookkeeping and prepares financial reports for Brown & Brown’s directors. In her free time Laura enjoys being newly married and spending time with her husband and children.

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Kathy Schnitger

Kathy assists Attorney Mark Raffa and has many years of experience with real estate closings and transactions. Kathy enjoys traveling and has visited 15 countries – so far.

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Carol Salvo

Carol assists Attorney Pamela Brown and as such participates in permit applications, corporate formation, real estate transactions and town hall relations of all kinds. In her free time, Carol enjoys spending time with her family, is very involved in her church as Secretary of the Parish Council and Choir member, and loves a night out dancing.

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Laura-Jean Costa

Laura-Jean assists Attorney James Donovan and also steps in to assist our other staff members and attorneys. Laura Jean enjoys spending her time off with her husband and son.

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Practice Areas

Brown & Brown PC offers a variety of services in many practice areas. We’ve provided a brief description of our practice areas below; please click on each link for much more comprehensive information.

Estate Planning

A comprehensive estate plan is more than just a series of documents – it’s a guarantee that your wishes will be respected, both when you are unable to make decisions for yourself due to incapacity and after you are gone. A well drafted estate plan provides your family and loved ones with guidance regarding your health care wishes, financial well-being, and the management and transfer of your wealth at death. Careful planning and drafting can also maximize the value of your estate by minimizing unnecessary taxes and expenses, and can also help your family avoid the time and expense of probate.

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Elder Law

With the cost of medical care skyrocketing and viable options for the care of seniors dwindling, careful planning becomes imperative both to ensure quality care for you or a loved one and to protect valuable assets so that they can be used wisely in the future. The attorneys at Brown & Brown help seniors protect their assets from the costs of care and we assist families who need guidance through the Medicaid and Social Security maze.

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Land Use, Permitting and Zoning

We specialize is local zoning and permitting issues. From simple single family home projects to major rezoning and drafting of bylaws for large or mixed use development, Brown & Brown can get you through the process. We also have experience in wetland permitting and mitigation. Our clients range from homeowners, to restaurants to municipalities and large developers.

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Business and Corporate Law

Many of our clients are small business owners – the backbone of their communities. Brown & Brown attorneys helps business owners establish new business entities, manage existing businesses, and we are also experienced counselors when it comes time to close or sell a business. In addition, we have successfully formed, and received IRS non profit status for, a number of organizations.

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Probate and Estate Settlement

After losing a loved one, relatives must eventually begin to wind up their family member’s affairs and distribute his or her property and possessions. Brown & Brown takes pride in helping families navigate this difficult experience by providing assistance with probate and trust administration from the beginning through a final accounting and beyond.

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Special Needs Planning

If you or a member of your family has special needs, our attorneys can help you to plan for both the immediate and long-term future. Brown & Brown attorneys work with families to develop plans that preserve access to government benefits, when possible, while at the same time guaranteeing that funds are available for a person with special needs when he or she needs them.

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Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Whether you are buying or selling property, having the right attorney can make the experience much smoother. Our experienced attorneys assist buyers, sellers, and lenders with all aspects of real estate transactions, from the initial offer and purchase and sale agreement through closing. Brown & Brown also reviews lease agreements to ensure equitable arrangements for our clients.

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Litigation, Personal Injury and Criminal Law

When unforeseen legal difficulties arise, it pays to have an experienced litigator on your side. We represent both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of civil and criminal matters, including contract disputes, insurance matters, landlord tenant issues, construction arbitrations, and a range of other serious complaints. In addition to these litigation services, if you have suffered a personal injury through no fault of your own, our attorneys can help you to obtain compensation for your injuries.

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Bankruptcy

Unfortunately in this day and age, more and more people are forced into bankruptcy through no fault of their own. This orderly, court supervised process can actually provide an incredible relief to families and business owners who face a daily struggle under mounting debts. Our firm assists clients through this complicated and emotionally draining process so that they can focus on their jobs and families and not on the constant calls of creditors.

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Estate Planning

Everyone needs an estate plan, even if they don’t have a lot of money, because an estate plan allows you to choose your own Personal Representative, Healthcare Agent, Attorney-in-Fact, Trustee and Guardian and decide where your assets will go. If you have minor children, an estate plan also lets you choose a Guardian for your children who will ensure that they are raised according to your family’s values. For folks who do have significant resources, estate planning helps avoid taxation and speeds up the management of complex estates. 

At Brown & Brown, we work closely with our clients to develop custom estate plans that meet your needs and wishes. Because we know that every client is unique, we take the time to get to know our clients and their families, and we tailor every estate plan to match each individual client.

Probate and Estate Settlement

The last thing that anyone grieving for a relative needs is the additional confusion of a drawn out legal process. As anyone who has gone through the loss of a loved one knows, the court­ supervised probate process can be lengthy, complex and frustrating. Many steps are required to manage the probate estate and ensure the safekeeping of the decedent’s property. If the decedent passed away with a trust, a Successor Trustee steps in to take over management of the Trust.

At Brown & Brown, we work to guide you through the entire probate and trust administration process, from start to finish, in a professional and cost­-effective manner. Our Attorneys often represent Personal Representatives before the Probate Court and Original and Successor Trustees in the performance of Trust duties. We frequently help clients consolidate assets, restructure a Trust to take advantage of estate tax savings, sell real estate, work with financial advisors in the investment and management of Estate and Trust assets and distribute Estate and Trust funds. Our experienced attorneys understand that our job is not only to file paperwork and appear in court, but to stand by your family through a tough time, with a helping hand and wise counsel.

Elder Law

As our country ages, more and more seniors and their families face incredibly difficult decisions involving long­term care. But long­term care is only a small part of the specialized planning that Brown & Brown provides for older clients and their families. From basic estate planning to real estate management to advocacy and planning for the possibility of long­term care, Brown & Brown provides comprehensive elder law services to help families maximize their hard earned savings, access the benefits that they deserve, and establish security and peace of mind for their future.

For seniors who are worried about Medicaid coverage for long­term care, Brown & Brown can help prepare clients so that they will be financially eligible and able to set aside some of their assets for others so that the cost of long­term care will not destroy a lifetime of savings. For instance, some seniors may want to establish a trust for their children and grandchildren while avoiding Medicaid liens. In some other cases, the purchase of a specialized annuity may provide a spouse living in the community with the funds he or she needs to live comfortably while still allowing his or her spouse to qualify for Medicaid benefits. Because Medicaid is so confusing, and because the repercussions from bad planning decisions can be so severe, it is imperative that people who are worried about the cost of long­term care speak with Brown & Brown well before they need Medicaid, if possible.

Special Needs Planning

Special needs planning can take many forms depending on the circumstances, but, in most cases our clients are looking for assistance with managing or maximizing current government benefits while ensuring that a loved one will be financially and emotionally protected in the future.

There are usually two separate but interrelated components of special needs planning. First, we review a person with special needs’ current or potential benefits to make sure that he or she is receiving everything that he or she is entitled to. Then we help families establish customized estate plans that supplement whatever benefits their family member may receive. This often involves drafting one or more so­called “special needs trusts” which can be used not only to supplement a family member’s government benefits but to provide them with peace of mind.

Since people with special needs have access to a variety of different government benefits, and especially since each person’s needs are completely different, it is important to develop a long­term, working relationship with a special needs planner that you trust. At Brown & Brown we work with families over generations to make sure that, regardless of the circumstances, your loved one with special needs gets the care that he or she needs to thrive.

Land Use, Permitting and Zoning

Navigating the permitting process is often not something for the faint of heart, nor something to attempt alone because land use law is extremely complex and constantly changing. Determining which permits you need, and appearing before various Town Boards is a complicated, and sometimes frustrating process. In addition, there are often multiple ways to approach a project, including rezoning, permits, negotiations with neighbors, town entities, and other parties. Picking the right path, or changing paths mid-stream is often the hardest part of the process.

Brown & Brown has vast experience working with multiple towns and various boards to get your project on the ground, in the shortest time and with the least resistance and cost. We often play the role of a project manager, coordinating the entire permitting process from concept through construction. Our projects have included single family homes, multi-unit mixed use developments, wetland permitting, environmentally friendly / low impact options and rezoning. We work directly with municipalities to rewrite zoning and land use bylaws to be consistent with local goals. We are here to make the permitting process work for you.

Residential and Commercial Real Estate

Whether you are buying, selling, refinancing, leasing or just starting to think about the real estate market, Brown & Brown has the experienced professionals to help you. We know well that almost any foray into real estate is inherently stressful and time consuming. Our goal is to make your purchase, sale, refinance or lease simple, stress free and as beneficial to you as possible. Brown & Brown also represents buyers, sellers and lenders of personal and commercial transactions and we help clients evaluate development feasibility and options.

The best advice that we can offer is to get in touch with us long before your paperwork is complete. The earlier we are involved in the process, the easier it will be to negotiate the best terms for you as our client. But if you’ve already begun the process of buying, selling, refinancing or negotiating a lease, don’t worry – it’s never too late to work with our experienced real estate attorneys. Give us a call today and we can assist you with all of your real estate transaction needs.

Business and Corporate Law

Having advised first–time business owners for generations, we feel confident in saying that before your company can prosper, it needs the proper corporate foundation. Building this foundation usually involves in­depth discussions about corporate goals, business strategies, and an honest evaluation of current market conditions. On the other hand, you may be an experienced business person who is interested in restructuring your company. You may need help updating corporate records, staying current with the latest regulations from the Secretary of State’s office, or managing a difficult sale or merger.  

Whether you are a first–time business owner or a successful, experienced entrepreneur, Brown & Brown can help you establish, manage, expand or sell your business. As a long­time member of the Bedford business community, we know that local counsel offers benefits for business owners that go far beyond help with corporate formalities – our experienced attorneys are focused on the needs of the businesses in our community and the surrounding towns, and we offer advice and guidance about local matters that you may not be able to receive from other firms. Some of our attorneys are also licensed in New Hampshire, and we have experience setting up and managing New Hampshire entities as well. Brown & Brown is also experienced in both for profit and non­profit corporations.

Litigation, Personal Injury and Criminal Law

Brown & Brown handles a variety of civil and criminal matters for clients. If you are a landlord with an unruly tenant (or one who simply won’t pay the rent), we can assist you with the highly technical eviction process. We also represent tenants facing eviction notices. If your home improvement contractor has made a mess of your home, we can help you pursue him for damages. We also help slip and fall victims, people who have been in motor vehicle accidents and we assist business owners and clients in all kinds of contract disputes.

If you have been arrested, you need an experienced criminal lawyer to protect your rights. We have successfully represented clients facing a variety of charges including O.U.I., assault and battery, firearms charges and a host of juvenile offenses. Although it may seem cliché, you should always speak with an experienced attorney if you are facing criminal charges. Our wealth of experience can mean the difference between a life­changing sentence or a fresh start.

Bankruptcy

When you are facing a serious financial crisis, you need an organized, sympathetic attorney to help you get back on your feet. Brown & Brown helps debtors navigate both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, with thoughtful counsel before a Petition for Bankruptcy is ever filed through the ultimate disposition of your case. We also assist banks and creditors pursue claims against debtors in bankruptcy. Since the bankruptcy code is incredibly complicated, talking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney prior to filing a bankruptcy petition could mean the difference between ongoing legal problems and peace of mind.