Shawn McCormack

Shawn M. McCormack

phone: 617-589-3895
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Shawn McCormack is fundamentally a land lawyer. The majority of his practice involves litigating zoning appeals. In addition, Shawn litigates disputes involving easements, boundary lines, adverse possession and registered land. Shawn also represents clients before local permitting authorities, in real estate transactions, and in the nascent cannabis industry. Prior to joining Davis Malm, Shawn served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Gordon H. Piper of the Massachusetts Land Court.

  • Represented developer of 87-unit development challenging permitting denials. Successfully obtained permits from zoning board on remand from the Land Court. Ongoing representation in subsequent abutter challenge to developer’s special permit.
  • Authored brief to Appeals Court that resulted in judgment in favor of client being affirmed.
  • Won directed verdict in Land Court trial, successfully defending client’s building against challenge from abutter. This case presented an application of the rule in Connors v. Annino, 460 Mass. 790 (2011), foreclosing the right to seek enforcement by persons who had notice of a building permit, but who failed to challenge the permit in a timely manner.
  • Ongoing representation of real estate development ventures, including permitting work, sale of properties to end users, regulatory compliance, and general small business legal matters.
  • Defeated special motion to dismiss and won motion for endorsement of lis pendens in dispute between commercial property owners concerning development restrictions.
  • Obtained preliminary injunction against town enforcement efforts, allowing client and family to reside in their home during litigation.
  • Obtained special permit for seller of nonconforming property, enabling owner to close real estate transaction.
  • Burdo v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Chelmsford, 94 Mass. App. Ct. 1109 (2018)


  • Best Lawyers in America© “Ones to Watch”, 2021
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2018


  • Massachusetts


  • Boston Bar Association
  • Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts
  • International Lawyers Network

Shawn is a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club and is hiking his way up all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot summits. He serves as the Davis Malm team captain for Greater Boston Legal Services’ annual associates fundraising drive, and chairs Davis Malm’s monthly Real Estate luncheons. Prior to (and during) law school, Shawn worked as a finish carpenter and spends much of his free time today on home improvement projects. Other hobbies include the science of barbecue, traditional tattoos and boxing. Shawn grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, which he blames for his eccentric fascination with land use regulations.

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