Firm Profile

Marc Deshaies has been practicing law in Southeastern Massachusetts for over 30 years. Mr. Deshaies practices in the areas of real estate and business law, estate planning and probate and trust administration and litigation if required.

His primary focus is on all aspects of real estate law, including residential and commercial real estate transactions, commercial leasing, land development, land use and, zoning law and land conservation matters.

Mr. Deshaies has represented both private and commercial clients before planning boards and zoning boards of appeal on permitting matters and conservation commissions on wetlands and coastal zone issues.

Real Estate Law

In the area of real estate law, Marc Deshaies been title and closing counsel for the Buzzards Bay Coalition for over twenty years. He has worked with the staff of the Buzzards Bay Coalition and their private, state, local and federally funding land conservation projects, including the recent s Nasketucket Bay Land Conservation Project which forever preserved 416 acres of open space. This project is said to be the largest land preservation project in Southeastern Massachusetts in over 25 years.

Mr. Deshaies argued successfully before the Massachusetts Appeals Court on the interpretation of 1870 deeds in the boundary line dispute representing a single plaintiff against three defendants in six years of litigation. He has represented a local congregation in the sale of their synagogue for the adaptive reuse of property by a local not for profit corporation. Marc Deshaies has represented private landowners against a corporate developer and successfully argued to a local planning board and ordinance committee to defeat the corporate developers petition to re-zone the land for commercial uses.

Mr. Deshaies represented the Kennedy-Donovan Center, Inc. on title and zoning matters and its commercial lending facility for construction of its new 10,000 square foot administrative and program services office in Foxborough, Massachusetts. He also acted as zoning counsel to the Dartmouth Housing Authority to permit the conversion of the former state police barracks into the Dartmouth Housing Authorities “O’Connor-Sisson House” to provide eight units of affordable Veteran’s housing. He was recently engaged by a group of homeowners as successor counsel to brief their zoning argument on an appeal to the Massachusetts Appeals Court on the issue of the expansion of prior nonconforming use of property.

Other examples of his work include:

  • Redevelopment projects in New Bedford, representing a Boston area developer in securing zoning and planning board approvals for the adaptive rehabilitation and reuse of the Wamsutta, Manomet, and Cliftex Mill buildings into residential housing.
  • Land conservation transactions over the past 20 years for the Buzzards Bay Coalition, as well as the Trustees of Reservation, the Fairhaven-Acushnet Land Preservation Trust, and the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust as title and closing counsel.
  • Represented the Massachusetts Land Conservation Trust in the acquisition of the property of world-renowned horticulturist Allen Haskell in New Bedford.
  • Acts as Counsel to the Wareham Fire District for municipal matters as well as in its land acquisitions and aquifer protection projects.
  • Acted as zoning and title counsel for the YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts in its expansion of the historic Levi Standish House into new program service offices, administrative offices and congregate housing.

Estate Planning & Business Law

Mr. Deshaies has assisted a regional multi-generational family business with business succession planning and the ultimate sale of its interstate trucking business. He has prepared hundreds of estate plans for individuals, husbands and wives, and has prepared estate plans for a same-sex couples. He lauds the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for leading the way in its landmark opinion in Goodrich v. Department of Public Health, 440 Mass. 309 (2003) in favor of the right of same sex couples to marry which paved the way for the United States Supreme Court to rule in United States v. Winsor, 570 U.S. (2014) that married same sex couple had equal rights under the tax code for estate tax purposes, which ultimately lead to the United States Supreme Court ruling in Obergelfell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. (2015) that religion is personal and the right to marry is universal. He also prepared estate plans that include everything from simple wills to complex revocable and irrevocable trusts, health care directives and durable powers of attorney.

Bio and Education

Marc Deshaies is a South Coast native who was born in Acushnet, Massachusetts and raised in New Bedford.

Mr. Deshaies is a graduate of the former Holy Family High School in New Bedford he received his Bachelor of Science degree magna cum laude from Bryant College, his Master of Public Affairs from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and a Juris Doctorate from the New England School of Law in Boston.

He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Massachusetts School of Law in Dartmouth speaking on the areas of betterment and eminent domain law.

Marc Deshaies married the former Katherine Shanahan of Fairhaven, Massachusetts in 1982 and that marriage endures to this date. They have two children, Matthew and Megan Deshaies, a daughter-in law Cara Deshaies who are graduates of the University of Massachusetts, The University of Tennessee and Clemson University respectively. Marc and Kate have two dogs Tom and Huck and recently welcomed their son and daughter-in-law’s rescue dog Chuck, a Virginia native, into the family. Marc enjoys his family, his dogs and a round of golf to relax.

Marc Deshaies, Law Office of Marc R. Deshaies, P.C., Attorney at Law