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Governmental Emergency Powers and the Constitutional Implications Arising from Pandemic Orders

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: September 10, 2020
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  • Constitutional provisions implicated by Pandemic Emergency Orders
  • U.S. Supreme Court precedent
  • Practice tips for litigators
Runtime: 1 hour, 2 minutes
Recorded: September 10, 2020


In the wake of the unprecedented global pandemic, every level of government have taken steps to address the public health crisis. These steps have manifested in orders which impact businesses and individuals alike including quarantine orders, travel restrictions, occupancy limitations, and restrictions on movement. This is the not the first pandemic, nor the first national crisis, faced by the United States. There have been several lawsuits filed challenging the constitutionality of the Covid-19 orders, including challenges based on the right to travel, the right to associate, the right to free exercise of religion, and other federal and state constitutional provisions.

This program was recorded on September 10th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Ali Dehghan, Esq.

Associate Attorney
James G. Dibbini & Associates, P.C

Ali Dehghan, Esq. is an Associate Attorney at James G. Dibbini & Associates, P.C. He is admitted to practice in New York and Louisiana.

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Nicholas P. Shapiro

Phillips & Angley, P.C.

Nicholas P. Shapiro is a shareholder in Jeff Angley’s real estate litigation practice at Phillips & Angley. Nick joined the firm as an associate in May, 2011. Nick’s focus and practice areas are concentrated on zoning, land use, real estate, and telecommunications, counseling real estate developers, private land owners, neighbors and abutters, and institutional/corporate clients throughout Massachusetts. Nick appears predominantly before the Massachusetts Land Court – a trial court of specialized jurisdiction over zoning, land use and real estate disputes. However, in his time at Phillips & Angley, Nick has argued all manner of motions and appeals before every level of the Massachusetts judiciary, from the District Court to the Supreme Judicial Court. Nick has, in particular, argued eight appeals before the Massachusetts Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court during his tenure at Phillips & Angley.

Nick is presently the co-chair of the Massachusetts Real Estate Bar Association’s Land Use and Zoning Section, and sits on the Board of Directors of that organization. He is also the co-chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Land Use and Development Subcommittee, and co-editor-in-chief of the American Bar Association’s Real Estate Litigation and Condemnation Committee’s Newsletter. Nick has been quoted in the Boston Globe and Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly concerning particular cases and land use issues. From 2015 to date, Nick has been awarded the distinction of being named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in New England for Land Use and Zoning, and was the recipient of the Real Estate Bar Association’s Emerging Leader Award in 2017.

Prior to joining the firm, Nick was law clerk to the Hon. Joseph A. Trainor, Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and, prior to that clerkship, to the Hon. Harry M. Grossman, Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Land Court. Nick received a J.D., cum laude, in 2008 from Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts where he was a member of Suffolk’s Transnational Law Review.

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Anthony F. DellaPelle, CRE

McKirdy Riskin Olson DellaPelle Attorneys at Law

Present and former clients, as well as other attorneys in New Jersey and around the country, refer eminent domain, condemnation, redevelopment, and real estate tax appeal cases in New Jersey to Anthony DellaPelle for a singular reason. Because they know, first hand, that he has what it takes to deliver the results that matter most to clients.

Practicing exclusively in the area of eminent domain, condemnation, redevelopment law, and real estate tax appeals, Mr. DellaPelle’s knowledge of the legal issues and ability to quickly assess options has resulted in maximum just compensation for his clients, time and time again. He is the sole New Jersey representative for Owners’ Counsel of America, a national association of leading eminent domain lawyers across the country. He is one of only approximately 2% of all licensed attorneys in the State of New Jersey who are Board Certified Civil Trial Attorneys by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Mr. DellaPelle has also been awarded the CRE® designation by the Counselors of Real Estate®, an international group of real estate professionals recognized as leading advisors in complex real property matters with approximately 1,000 members worldwide, of which less than 10% are practicing attorneys.

The cornerstone of his law practice is carved from over thirty years of experience serving New Jersey property owners of all types, including small business owners, developers, commercial entities, and other attorneys, as well as experience in representing a variety of local government agencies as special counsel in eminent domain, condemnation, real estate tax appeal, and land use matters.

“All of my clients are important, big and small. All get superior service, attention, dedication, and results.”

In the practice of eminent domain law, defending the constitutional rights of property owners can be an uphill battle. Experience gained from being in the trenches in a variety of property rights actions can make the difference in the yield to the property owner.

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Robert H. Thomas

Director Emeritus
Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert

For more than thirty years (between 1987 and 2021, and when he retired from the firm and private practice and joined Pacific Legal Foundation – a non-profit legal foundation dedicated to protecting property rights and individual liberties), Robert was a Damon Key land use and appellate lawyer focusing on regulatory takings, eminent domain, water rights, and voting rights cases. With the firm he tried cases and appeals in Hawaii, California, and the federal courts. For a list of reported cases in which he was involved, go here.

Although he no longer practices law with the firm, we remain close friends with our emeritus colleagues such as Robert, and are proud of our history together.

An elected member of the American Law Institute, Robert received his LLM, with honors, from Columbia Law School where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and his JD from the University of Hawaii School of Law where he served as editor of the Law Review. He is the inaugural Joseph T. Waldo Visiting Chair in Property Rights Law at William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he continues to teach upper-division courses in eminent domain, land use, property rights, and property law. He also recently completed a year as the Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of State & Local Government Law, and was the long-time Chair of the Section’s Eminent Domain Law Committee. He also has served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Section’s scholarly legal journal on municipal law issues, The Urban Lawyer.

Prior to leaving private practice, Robert was the Hawaii member of Owners’ Counsel of America, a national network of the most experienced eminent domain and property rights lawyers. Membership in OCA is by invitation only, and is limited to a single attorney from each state. He is also the Co-Planning Chair of the American Law Institute-CLE’s long-standing three-day national conference on condemnation law, Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation, now in its 39th year.

While with the firm, Robert was repeatedly selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America lists in the fields of Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law, Land Use & Zoning Law, Litigation-Land Use & Zoning, and Real Estate Law. He was Best Lawyers’ Lawyer of the Year 2019 for Litigation – Land Use & Zoning, 2018 and 2014 Lawyer of the Year for Eminent Domain & Condemnation Law, and 2017 Lawyer of the Year in Land Use & Zoning Law. Robert was also listed in Super Lawyers for many years in in Appellate Law, Land Use/Zoning, and Government/Cities/Municipalities. Robert also taught law at the University of Santa Clara School of Law, and was an exam grader and screener for the California Committee of Bar Examiners.

He was (and continues to be) a frequent speaker on land use and eminent domain issues in Hawaii and nationwide. Robert regularly publishes scholarly and practical articles in his area of practice. For a partial list, go here. His blog on land use, property, and takings law,, is one of the most widely-read blogs on those subjects.

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