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Real Estate & Construction Mediation

MWI provides real estate and construction mediation services for private and court-referred cases from the Massachusetts Land Court. MWI has the distinction of being an approved provider by the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Land Court Department to provide ADR services.


Select Mediators (click on photo for bio)

  • Joseph Vrabel
    Joseph Vrabel
  • Joel Reck
    Joel Reck
  • Joseph Berman
    Joseph Berman
  • John Wofford
    John Wofford
Joseph Vrabel

Arbitrating & Mediating Land Use and Construction Cases
617-895-4028 | Case Manager: Josh Hoch

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Dispute Resolution Experience

Joseph Vrabel joined MWI’s Real Estate and Construction Mediation & Arbitration Panel in 2014. His mediation and arbitration experience includes land use, business, real property, municipal and commercial disputes.  Mr. Vrabel currently serves as General Counsel to BlaisCo, LLC. He is also a Trustee of Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Inc. (MCLE), where he served as its recent President, as well as the President of its Board of Overseers.

Mr. Vrabel is the author of numerous publications and a requested speaker before a variety of legal and non-legal groups. Additionally, Mr. Vrabel is a frequent speaker on Business Law, Commercial Finance, Land Use Planning, Development and Zoning, and Municipal Law topics. Mr. Vrabel currently teaches Public Law at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in the School of Government Master of Public Administration Program. As an adjunct faculty member, Mr. Vrabel also teaches the business law course at Babson College and has also taught the Business Law course in the Babson College MBA program.


Representative Matters

  • Land Use, Development and Zoning.
  • Commercial finance and commercial real estate, corporate governance, the formation of business entities and general corporate law.
  • Extensive experience in all varieties of commercial bank loans, bonds financings, health care financings, private placements, workout situations, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and all types of business transactions.
  • Other areas of practice include general corporate representation, particularly situations including investment strategies, and business planning.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Member, American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators
  • Member, American Arbitration Panel of Mediators
  • Past President, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2002 – 2003
  • Trustee and Life Member, Massachusetts Bar Foundation, 2009 – 2012
  • Secretary, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.
  • Member, American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Education
  • Past President, Massachusetts City Solicitors and Town Counsel Association, 1989 – 1990
  • Board of Directors, Dispute Resolution Committee, Co-Chair, Massachusetts Conveyancers Association

Lectures and Publications

  • Municipal Law Manual” for MCLE: 2000 – 2002
  • Author, monthly “Legal Affairs” column for American Planning Association
  • Newsletter, Massachusetts and Rhode Island chapters; 1996 – 2006
  • Editor, Crocker’s Notes on Common Forms: Chapter on Foreclosure
  • Author, “Regulatory Takings: The case of Daddario v. Cape Cod Commission”, New
    England Real Estate Journal; October 1997
  • Author, “Zoning Freezes: Heritage Park v. Town of Southbridge”, Massachusetts
  • Conveyancers Association Publication, The Conveyancer; Fall 1997, Vol. 16, No. 4.
  • “Municipal Law Update” – MCLE; Yearly Programs from 1990 – 2000 – Chairman;
    Speaker on Land Use and Zoning Update
  • “Land Use & Zoning Update” – Annual Meeting of City Solicitors and Town Counsel
    Association, Yearly Programs from 1985 – 2000
  • “Land Use and Zoning Case Law Update” – Annual meeting of Massachusetts
  • Association of Planning Directors, Yearly Programs from 1990 – 2000
  • LLP’s and LLC’s: Practical Advice – MCLE; November 26, 1995 – Chairman

Background and Education

  • B.A., Lake Forest College, 1970
  • J.D., Boston College Law School, 1973
  • Mediator Certification, Harvard Law School, 1997
  • Adjunct Professor of Business Law, Babson College, Graduate – MBA Program, Wellesley, MA, 1987 – Present
  • Professor, University of North Carolina, School of Government Master of Public Administration Program, Chapel Hill, NC

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Joel Reck

Arbitrating and Mediating Land Use, Real Estate, and Construction Cases
617-895-4028 | Case Manager: Josh Hoch

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Dispute Resolution Experience

Joel M. Reck is an arbitrator and mediator with MWI and is a retired partner from Brown Rudnick LLP and is the former Chair of its Real Estate Department. His practice consisted of structuring, managing and closing sophisticated commercial real estate transactions throughout the United States. Currently, Mr. Reck conducts a varied mediation and arbitration practice, principally involving real estate and commercial disputes, but also involving personal injury and professional malpractice matters. He also serves as an expert witness in cases involving transactional practice standards and real estate legal issues.


Representative Matters

Joel has several years of varied arbitration and mediation experience including:

  • Real estate and commercial disputes
  • Condominium disputes between condominium associations and original developers and between condominium associations and developers of adjacent properties
  • Control and ownership disputes among several owners of contiguous parcels comprising an integrated shopping center
  • Disputes among family members regarding financial and control issues with family owned property
  • Workout and foreclosure disputes
  • Abutter disputes regarding property lines, easements and use.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the specialties of Alternative Dispute Resolution and Real Estate Law
  • Listed as one of the “Nation’s Top 10 Real Estate Lawyers” published by the United States Lawyer Rankings guide
  • Named as a leading individual in real estate law in Massachusetts by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Served as Chair of the Real Estate Section and as President of the Boston Bar Association and of the Boston Bar Foundation
  • Served on the governing boards of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Real Estate Bar Association, the American Bar Association and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education
  • Member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and its Leasing Committee
  • Served as Chair of the Boston Harbor Island Alliance and former chair and board member of many other non-profit organizations
  • Recipient of the Richard B. Johnson Award, the Real Estate Bar Association’s highest award
  • Appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to the Massachusetts Foreclosure Impacts Task Force

Lectures and ADR Trainings Conducted

  • Adjunct Professor at Boston College Law School
  • Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education faculty member for real estate and mediation

Background and Education

  • J.D., Harvard University Law School
  • B.A., Bowdoin College

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Joseph Berman

Mediating Land Use, Real Estate, and Construction Cases
617-895-4028 | Case Manager: Josh Hoch

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Dispute Resolution Experience

Joseph Berman is a mediator with MWI specializing in real estate cases as well as general litigation matters. Mr. Berman brings extensive experience handling matters in commercial litigation, including real estate/construction matters, contract actions, corporate disputes, and trade secrets. He is currently of counsel at Looney & Grossman LLP. He was also one of the founding partners of the firm Berman & Dowell, a commercial litigation boutique. In addition to being an experienced trial and appellate litigator, Joseph is an effective and talented mediator.


Representative Matters

  • Has experience in legal malpractice, insurance coverage, employment and commercial litigations
  • Has worked with attorneys facing disciplinary proceedings before the Mass. Board of Bar Overseers and has consulted on ethical matters including conflict of interest, client funds and attorney-client privilege.
  • Has argued a number of cases in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and Appeals Court, as well in as the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Admitted to the Massachusetts bar
  • Admitted to the Colorado bar
  • Member of the New England Chapter  of the Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers
  • Member of the Regional Board and the Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League, and has been a National Commissioner of the ADL since 2006
  • Member of the American, Massachusetts, and Boston Bar Associations, where he formerly chaired the Insurance Law Committee
  • Serves on the mediation panel of Massachusetts Dispute Resolution Services
  • Received the David A. Rose Award for his work on civil rights litigation
  • Received the President’s Award from the Boston Bar Association for his pro bono work

Background and Education

  • Dartmouth College (B.A. cum laude 1986)
  • University of Michigan Law School (J.D. cum laude 1990)

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John Wofford

Mediating & Arbitrating Franchise, Land Use, Real Estate, and Construction Cases
617-895-4028 | Case Manager: Josh Hoch

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Dispute Resolution Experience

Jack Wofford, a long-time member of MWI’s mediation and arbitration panels, has broad experience in arbitration, mediation, facilitation, consensus-building and other forms of dispute resolution in a wide range of areas, including commercial, employment, environment, family-owned and other closely held business, insurance, organizations, personal injury, public policy, and complex development, real estate, construction and transportation projects. In 1999, President Clinton appointed Jack to a seat on the Federal Service Impasses Panel, which resolves disputes in negotiations between the Federal Government and its unionized employees.

His experience as a mediator in construction and real estate matters includes disputes among landlords and tenants, co-tenants, owners, developers, lenders, partners, contractors, architects and engineers, subcontractors, condominium associations, government agencies and insurance carriers, including professional, title and liability insurers and bonding companies. Issues have included renovations and new construction, from single-family homes (condominiums and detached) to subdivisions, shopping centers, multi-family, office, university and major public infrastructure construction projects.

A lawyer, Jack has done solely neutral work since 1987. In the 1970’s, Jack served in both state and federal government in transportation positions, including director of long-range transportation planning for the Boston area, Associate Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public works, and Deputy General Counsel of the US Department of Transportation. As an attorney in the real estate area (until 1986), Jack represented a variety of perspectives, including developers, builders, owners, partners, landlords, tenants, architects, lenders, and public funding sources. He has drafted and negotiated the full range of documents, including development agreements, loan documents, leases, ground leases, eminent domain findings, construction and management contracts. Projects included: renovation of Commonwealth Pier into Boston’s World Trade Center (for Massachusetts Port Authority); redevelopment of the East Cambridge riverfront (for City of Cambridge); development of research and office space on 24-acre site (for MIT); affordable housing project at Copley Square, Boston (for neighborhood corporation); redevelopment of historic mill in Vermont into market rate residential and commercial space (for private developer).


Representative Matters

Sample projects handled by Jack as mediator and arbitrator of disputes in the construction and real estate area include:

  • Disputes between owners and contractors over renovations (residential, commercial)
  • Lease between national drug chain and major shopping center owner
  • Disputes between general contractor and major subs – in construction of residential subdivision and in construction of New York Subway system
  • Construction of student center for public university
  • Dispute among insurers over contamination of Woburn/WR Grace Superfund site
  • Liability of surveyor’s professional liability insurance company for damages from errors in layout of major planned residential subdivision
  • Special Master of dispute between contractor and two Massachusetts towns over construction of waste-water treatment facility
  • Allocation of financial responsibility for clean-up of Superfund site from industrial contamination of town water supply involving municipality and four alleged polluters
  • Facilitation of advisory committee overseeing clean-up of Massachusetts Military Reservation Superfund site from multiple contaminated plumes affecting four towns
  • Mediation of disputes over highway plans in CT, NH, NJ, MA
  • Facilitation of 42-person advisory committee charged with recommending improvements in proposed bridge over Charles River as part of Boston’s Big Dig project, leading to widely-praised Zakim-Bunker Hill Bridge

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Member of the Bars of Massachusetts, New York, and District of Columbia (DC inactive)
  • Former Member, Federal Service Impasses Panel (1999-2002 – Presidential appointment)
  • Member, Association of Conflict Resolution (International and New England)
  • Author of numerous articles on conflict management and consensus building
  • Recipient of “Spirit of Mediation” award from community mediation program for his 16 years service on its board of directors and his 40 years of consensus-building (2010)
  • Recipient of “History Makers Award: Innovations in Historic City-Building” for civic participation in resolution of major transportation controversies (2004)
  • Roster of Facilitators of the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution
  • Former Co-Chair, Boston Bar Association Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Section of Labor & Employment Law (1997-99)

Lectures and ADR Trainings Conducted

Jack has conducted trainings in conflict management, consensus building, mediation and negotiation for the Dispute Resolution Section of the American Bar Association, US Department of Justice, Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution, New England chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution, Boston and Massachusetts Bar Associations, Family Firm Institute, and a number of corporations, universities and groups.


Background and Education

  • LLB, Harvard Law School (1962)
  • BA, MA, Oxford University (1959) (Rhodes Scholar)
  • BA cum laude, Harvard College (1957)
  • Former Member, Federal Service Impasses Panel (Presidential appointment) (1999-2002)
  • Senior Consultant and Mediator, Endispute, Inc., Boston, MA (1987-93), conducting wide range of mediations and consulting to corporations and government agencies on cost-effective legal management
  • Real Estate Department, Csaplar & Bok, Boston, MA (associate 1979-81; partner 81-86)
  • Deputy General Counsel, US Department of Transportation, Washington, DC (1977-79)
  • Director, Central Transportation Planning Staff, Boston, MA (1974-77)
  • Associate Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Works (1972-74)
  • Director, Boston Transportation Planning Review (1971-73)
  • Associate Director and Fellow, Institute of Politics, Harvard Kennedy School (1966-69)
  • Project Director and Research Associate, Harvard Law School (1966-70)
  • Staff Assistant, Community Action Program, US Office of Economic Opportunity (1964-66)
  • Law Clerk, US District Judge for the District of Columbia, Washington, DC (1962-64)

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Massachusetts Land Court Mediation

MWI’s experienced mediators are available to assist you in resolving real estate and construction cases. While many cases are referred from the Massachusetts Land Court, MWI also provides services and receives referrals from attorneys, architects, and those involved with construction projects with multiple parties and stakeholders. Additionally, MWI offers a free Screening Conference where people come to MWI to learn more about participating in real estate mediation.


Types of Disputes

MWI provides experienced and effective mediators with expertise in: Real Estate, Breach of Contract, Adverse Possession, Disruption/Impact, Equitable Adjustment, Boundaries, Constructive Acceleration, Delay, Condo Associations, Environmental Disputes, Easements, Titles, Zoning Variances, Jointly Owned Property, Design and Construction, Petition for Partitions


For More Information

Contact Josh Hoch at jhoch@mwi.org or 617-895-4028 for a no-fee consultation to learn more about MWI’s Real Estate & Construction Mediation Services.