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2023: Waterfront Law Team Year in Review


In 2023 the attorneys on our Waterfront Law Team assisted a variety of commercial and residential clients on rivers, lakes, bays and the shores of the sea, located throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  We helped our clients clear away problems that interfered with their ability to use and enjoy their waterfront amenities, privileges for which they paid dearly because, as the Virginia Supreme Court has written, the “riparian nature” of waterfront property “is often a substantial, if not the greatest, element of its value.”   

Serving Our Clients in 2023

2023 was a year where we helped clients solve problems with dams, piers, bulkheads, living shorelines, riparian areas, oyster leases, wetlands laws and the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.  A decision is pending on a Circuit Court case we tried involving protection of a living shoreline for a client living on the Piankatank River in Hallieford, Virginia.  We are assisting a client in Lovettsville, Virginia who wants to force a developer to avoid a route that will harm wetlands when building the access road into a proposed residential subdivision.  We filed suit to protect our client’s ownership of bottomland on the Rose River, in Syria, Virginia, and we filed another suit to protect a different client’s right to shoreline on Pretty Lake, in Norfolk, Virginia.  We represented a number of clients, from across the Commonwealth, in proceedings before the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, and are handling the appellate litigation for a client who owns property on the East River, near Mobjack Bay, as a against a neighbor who is trying to block our client from building a pier. 

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Teaching Waterfront Law in 2023

Attorneys on our Waterfront Law team receive frequent invitations to teach seminars on environmental law topics and on riparian property rights.  In 2023, our attorneys taught classes on riparian property rights for Half Moon Education, taught a class on wetlands law for attorneys in Hampton Roads at the request of the Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association, led a training seminar on the Virginia Dam Safety Act for the Virginia Lakes and Watersheds Association, taught a class on the Clean Water Act for the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance, taught wetlands law in a podcast for Infrastructure Junkies podcast and again for The Eminent Domain Podcast,  and lectured on how riparian property rights affect appraised property value for the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Appraisal Institute.

We are grateful to continue to foster these relationships amongst our community partners and be a trusted source of information for all things riparian rights.

Keep reading to see where our team was featured throughout the year.

Webinars Hosted in 2023

Throughout the year, Jim Lang from the Waterfront Law produces webinars dealing with timely industry topics and often featuring industry partners.

Please visit the links below to see what you might have missed this year.

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Volunteer Community Work in 2023

The Waterfront Law Team finds great value in supporting our community partners, whether that be through waterway cleanups or sponsoring events as planned by our industry partners. Read on to learn more about the cleanups we participated in with the Elizabeth River Project and Lynnhaven River NOW, resulting in our recognition as a River Star Business Volunteer of the Year Award. Similarly, our team once again participated in the CBES Between the Waters Bike Tour and the annual Lynnhaven River NOW Oyster Roast.

We are proud to partner with and support our local industry peers.

Looking Ahead to 2024

The Waterfront Law Team of Pender & Coward would like to thank you for another successful and rewarding year. Whether you partnered with us for a community cleanup, joined us for our webinars or engaged with our team for legal assistance, we are grateful for your support. 

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and happy new year.

See you in 2024!  

About The Author

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Jim uses waterfront (riparian) property rights law, maritime & admiralty law, and environmental law to protect Virginians who live, work and play on the water. Contact Jim at (757) 502-7326 or jlang@pendercoward.com.