Watkins & Watkins, L.L.P

Watkins & Watkins, L.L.P

Our practice is limited to Real Property Assessment Challenges and Condemnation Cases

Firm Overview

The law firm of Watkins & Watkins, L.L.P. was established in 2006 as the successor to the firm of John E. Watkins, Jr., which was established in 1976.

Watkins & Watkins, L.L.P. has over 60 years of collective experience in real property assessment challenges (tax certiorari) and condemnation cases. From our White Plains office, we serve clients throughout Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland and Orange Counties. If you are a property owner and want to challenge your tax assessment, or if the government is seizing your property under eminent domain and you want to be fairly compensated, Watkins & Watkins, L.L.P. has the unique skills and experience needed to represent you.

Working for more than 30 years in the Hudson Valley, attorney John E. Watkins, Jr. has built an outstanding reputation among clients and peers. He has earned an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell for his high ethical standards and professional ability. You can expect the following from an engagement with us:
-Focused knowledge Our practice is focused on tax certiorari and condemnation. We draw on a deep file of case histories in Article 7 proceedings and eminent domain to identify winning strategies for current clients.
-Commitment to results At Watkins & Watkins, L.L.P., we treat each case with the highest priority, determined to get the best outcomes for our clients. We are proud of our successful track record of results.
-Superior service Clients receive personal attention throughout their case. We are accessible and responsive, returning calls and answering emails promptly. We offer a free initial consultation.
Main Office
Main Office
150 Grand St., Ste 520
White Plains  NY  10601
Phone
  • 914-428-1292
Websites
Tax
New York Commercial and Residential Property Tax Law Firm Handles Grievances in Hudson Valley
White Plains attorneys deliver results with more than 60 combined years of experience and superior service
Property tax rates in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland and Orange Counties are among the highest in the nation. However, you have the legal right to file a grievance and challenge your property tax assessment through the process known as tax certiorari. To successfully reduce your property tax, you need experienced legal representation from a law firm concentrating in property tax grievances. At Watkins & Watkins, L.L.P., we can help you file a property tax grievance and appeal an unfavorable property tax assessment or other decision or action by an assessor. We have successfully represented both owners of residential and commercial properties (such as shopping centers, retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, apartment buildings, condominiums, cooperatives, warehouses, industrial facilities, and vacant land).

Why you need an attorney to help you fight your property tax assessment and reduce your property tax bill
When you work with our law firm, an experienced real property tax attorney guides you through each legal step that may be necessary to review and correct your assessment, including:
Filing a grievance with the local Board of Assessment Review (BAR): The Tax Certiorari process begins with filing a complaint (also known as a grievance) with the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) on or before the respective municipality's Grievance Day. The BAR may request additional information and may require an appearance at a hearing. Following a determination by the BAR, a property owner has 30 days to commence either an Article 7 proceeding or a small claims assessment review (SCAR). Some property owners may have to go through separate filings with a Town and a Village.
Compliance with deadlines is critical: The Tax Certiorari process requires compliance with strict deadlines and procedures, which can differ from Town to Village and from Westchester County to other counties such as Putnam, Orange, Rockland and Dutchess. The legal team at Watkins and Watkins, L.L.P. is familiar with the process and deadlines involved in each of these areas. You must exhaust your administrative remedies by first filing a grievance with the BAR. These grievances are often unsuccessful, thus requiring further action in the form of judicial review of the assessment.
Commencing an Article 7 tax certiorari or Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR) proceeding and filing a state lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court: If you are denied a reduction by the BAR, you must appeal that denial by commencing a certiorari proceeding in New York State Supreme Court.
How our White Plains property tax grievance attorneys help you get relief
We move quickly to correct your property assessment so it properly reflects market values. We thoroughly review the assessment of your property by reviewing public records that include deeds, county tax maps and assessor property record cards, reviewing all pertinent financial data including but not limited to leases and income and expenses (for leased properties), market rental and sales data, as well as the review of existing appraisals, site plans and surveys.

At Watkins & Watkins, we have an extensive background in property tax grievance cases and property tax-related matters and a solid and productive working relationship with the various town assessors. When we successfully obtain your property tax reduction, we make application to the appropriate municipal authorities to obtain refunds of the overpaid taxes and corrected property tax bills.

John E. Watkins, Jr.

John E. Watkins, Jr. represents property owners in tax certiorari proceedings primarily located in the Ninth Judicial District, comprised of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Rockland counties. He litigates valuation and exemption issues as well as selective reassessment in tax certiorari proceedings.

Mr. Watkins also represents property owners and municipalities in condemnation proceedings. He has litigated complex issues concerning title, access, highest and best use and just compensation in condemnation proceedings.

Throughout his career, Mr. Watkins has appeared before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, New York Supreme Court, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court and the New York Court of Claims.

Mr. Watkins was raised in Queens and now resides in the Town of Somers in Westchester County.

Education
-Syracuse University College of Law
-Juris Doctorate, Magna Cum Laude, 1968
-Order of the Coif; Justinian Honorary Law Society

Queens College CUNY
-Bachelor of Arts, 1965

Bar Admission
-New York 1969

Court Admission
-U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1991

Memberships
-New York State Bar Association
-Yorktown Bar Association
Education
  • Syracuse University College of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1968

Liane V. Watkins

Liane V. Watkins represents property owners in tax certiorari proceedings primarily located in the Ninth Judicial District, comprised of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Rockland counties. She litigates valuation and exemption issues as well as selective reassessment in tax certiorari proceedings.

Also representing property owners and municipalities in condemnation proceedings, Ms. Watkins has litigated complex issues concerning title, access, highest and best use and just compensation in condemnation proceedings.

Ms. Watkins has appeared before the New York Supreme Court, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court and the New York Court of Claims.

Ms. Watkins was raised in the Town of Somers in Westchester County and now resides in the Town of Patterson in Putnam County.

Education
-Syracuse University College of Law
-Juris Doctorate, Magna Cum Laude, 1998
-Order of the Coif; Justinian Honorary Law Society

-State University of New York Binghamton
-Bachelor of Arts, 1995

Bar Admission
-New York 1999

Memberships
-New York State Bar Association
-Westchester County Bar Association
Education
  • Syracuse University College of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1998

Matthew S. Clifford

Matthew S. Clifford represents property owners in tax certiorari proceedings primarily located in the Ninth Judicial District, comprised of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Rockland counties. Mr. Clifford litigates valuation and exemption issues as well as selective reassessment in tax certiorari proceedings.

Mr. Clifford also represents property owners and municipalities in condemnation proceedings. He litigates complex issues concerning title, access, highest and best use and just compensation in condemnation proceedings.

Previously, Mr. Clifford served as a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, where he represented the United States in direct condemnation proceedings in U.S. District Court and in inverse condemnation proceedings in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Mr. Clifford has appeared before the New York Supreme Court, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, the New York Court of Claims, United States District Courts and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

Mr. Clifford has lectured on issues arising under federal and state condemnations.

Mr. Clifford was raised in Bergen County, New Jersey and now resides with his wife in Riverdale (Bronx), New York.

Education
-Pace University School of Law
-Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, 1998

Muhlenberg College
-Bachelor of Science, 1995

Bar Admissions
-New York 1999
-New Jersey 1999

Court Admissions
-United States Supreme Court
-United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Federal Circuits
-United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York
-United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
-United States Court of Federal Claims

Memberships
-New York State Bar Association
-Westchester County Bar Association
Education
  • Pace University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1998
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