About The Author

Richard D. Vetstein, Founding Partner

Tel: 508.620.5352. Email: [email protected]   Download VCard

“What gets me out of bed each morning is the variety and spice of life experiences which comes with the practice of law. Every day there is a new set of problems to solve, new personalities, and it’s never boring!”

Richard Vetstein is a nationally recognized real estate attorney, having a diverse practice in real estate litigation, title/closing work, rental housing, and zoning. A fierce advocate for property owner rights, Attorney Vetstein was lead counsel in the state and federal legal challenge to the Mass. COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium, the success of which resulted in Gov. Baker letting the controversial law expire. For this effort, Mr. Vetstein received the “Good Neighbor Award” from the largest statewide trade association, MassLandlords. Mr. Vetstein has also testified before the state legislature in support of rental housing providers’ rights and defective title legislation. Mr. Vetstein is well known in the legal community for his popular Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog  the recipient of several awards including the coveted American Bar Association’s Top Legal “Blawg.” Mr. Vetstein’s law firm was also recently named one of Boston Magazine’s Top Lawyers, and a Best Law Firm by the Metrowest Daily News. Mr. Vetstein is the former Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Title & Conveyancing Committee, and recently lead the legislative effort to implement Remote Notarizations for the COVID-19 crisis. A dedicated and client-focused attorney, Mr. Vetstein’s clients often become as close as family. Hear what clients have to say about Rich’s work here

Rich’s litigation docket runs the gamut from adverse possession, evictions, boundary disputes, zoning appeals, condominium disputes, breach of contract, title to landlord-tenant cases. Rich has litigated cases in every Trial Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (District, Land Court, Housing Court, Probate Court and Superior Court). He also has notable appellate experience in the Massachusetts Appeals Court, Supreme Judicial Court, and First Circuit. Rich is also well-versed in alternative dispute resolution, where he has secured millions of dollars in settlement funds to his clients.

Rich is also Of Counsel at CannerLaw & Associates, which performs full service closing settlement agent work for national, regional and local lenders, as well as individual borrowers and sellers. Rich is a CLE instructor, teaching other real estate attorneys and Realtors best practices in residential real estate conveyancing.

Most recently, Mr. Vetstein has been lead counsel on behalf of three victims of a sophisticated forgery scheme which has involved an Attorney General and FBI investigation. The cases were the subject of a recent Fox 25 Spotlight Series. Thanks to Attorney Vetstein’s efforts, the perpetrator was indicted on 22 felony charges, and claims have been filed with several title insurance companies to restore ownership to the victims.


Suffolk University Law School, J.D., 1997

• Top 5% of Class, Cum Laude
• Law Review, Note Editor and Staff Member
• Judicial Law Clerk, Hon. William G. Young, United State District Court – Massachusetts

Miami (Ohio) University in Oxford, OH, B.S. in Mass Communication/Media Management with a minor in Marketing, 1994


Rich is active in his community, local philanthropies and bar associations, which provides him with the opportunity to give back, volunteer and connect with his colleagues and peers.

Press/Speaking Engagements 

Judge Once Again Tosses Boston Eviction Moratorium, Universal Hub, Dec. 23, 2021

Judge Strikes Down Boston’s Eviction Moratorium, Boston Globe, Nov. 29, 2021

Property Owners Weigh Challenge to Boston Eviction Moratorium, NBC News, Sept. 21, 2021

As Federal Eviction Moratorium Ends, Can Cities Alone Stop the Wave?, Boston Globe, Sept. 1, 2021

Federal Judge Strikes Down US Eviction Ban, What Will That Mean in Mass.? Boston Globe, May 5, 2021

Gov. Baker Indicates Eviction Moratorium Will Not Be Extended Again, WCVB Channel 5 News, Sept. 25, 2020

Eviction Protection Bill Clears Housing Committee, Commonwealth Magazine, Oct. 1, 2020

CDC Eviction Moratorium Takes Effect, Boston 25 News, Sept. 4, 2020

Landlords File Legal Challenge to Eviction Moratorium, Boston.com, July 23, 2020

4 Arguments And Rebuttals In The Case Challenging Mass.’ Evictions Moratorium, WBUR News, July 30, 2020

Landlords Challenging Eviction Moratorium Ask State’s High Court To Overturn It, Boston Globe, June 1, 2020

Lawsuit Challenges Statewide Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium, Boston Agent Magazine, May 28, 2020

Landlords Sue Over Eviction Moratoriums, Multi-Housing News, June 1, 2020

Two Landlords Sue Over Eviction Moratorium, Commonwealth Magazine, June 2, 2020

Coronavirus: Attorneys could notarize powers of attorney, deeds remotely under Beacon Hill bill during state of emergency, MassLive, March 30, 2020

Court Denied Concord ZBA’s Motion to Dismiss Cell Tower Lawsuit, Concord Journal, Feb. 28, 2020

No Good Deed, Mass. Lawyers Weekly, Feb. 3, 2020

As Rents Soar In Boston, Low Income Tenants Try to Stave Off Eviction, Boston Globe, Feb. 19, 2019

What Is Title Insurance and Why Do You Need It? Boston Sunday Globe, Sept. 26, 2019

Oxford Man Faces More Fraud Charges; Son Charged With Money Laundering, Worcester Telegram (March 25, 2019)

Oxford man accused of real estate scam facing new 22-count indictment, Fox News 25

Oxford Couple Charged in Mortgage Fraud Scheme, Worcester Business Journal (Dec. 5, 2018)

A Felon, A Newton Police Lieutenant and A Big Money Real Estate Scam, Fox News 25 (Aug. 2018)

Ten Things You Should Do Before Signing a Lease, Boston.com (June 30, 2018)

Who Can Use The Beach? In Mass., It’s Complicated, Wicked Local Truro (Summer 2018)

Landlord Tenant Attorneys Spar Over Mandatory Escrow, Mass. Lawyers Weekly, April 2018

Homes Near Ocean Risk Losing Value Even In Hot Market, Boston Globe, Apr. 23, 2018

Appeal Filed In Concord Cell Tower Decision, Wicked Local, Oct. 17, 2017

Not The Deal She Thought She Signed, Bay State Banner, June 8, 2016

Someday, There Will Be An App For That, Attorneys Welcome Fully Electronic Closings; Lenders More Reluctant, Banker & Tradesman, May 15, 2016

Agents Text Messages Sealed Real Estate Deal, Mass. Lawyers Weekly (May 12, 2016)

Housing Court Expansion Plan Gains Momentum, Mass. Lawyers Weekly (March 30, 2016)

Tenant Rights Group Propose Just Cause Eviction Law, Banker & Tradesman (Dec. 15, 2015)

Lawyers respond to ruling that litigation privilege shields firm in foreclosure case, Mass. Lawyers Weekly (12/20/15)

Real estate bar lauds new title-clearing law, but others wary, Mass. Lawyers Weekly (12/10/16)

Title Insurers Wont’ Insure Foreclosure Titles Without Judicial Decree, Banker and Tradesman (Sept. 6, 2015)

Disclosure Rules Expected to Delay Mortgage Process, Boston Globe (Aug. 20, 2015)

Home Equity Lines See a Jump In Delinquencies, Wall Street Journal (June 8, 2015)

A Home Buyer’s Guide to a Seller’s Market, Wall Street Journal (May 22, 2015)

Bills To End “Free Rent Trick”, Cape Cod Today (May 13, 2015)

Testimony on Rent Escrow and Title Clearance Legislation, Mass. Joint Committee on Judiciary (May 12, 2015)

Land Court shoots down helipad on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. Lawyers Weekly (4/24/15)

Think It’s Tough to Rent? Try Being a Landlord? Boston Globe Sunday Magazine (March 29, 2015)

Speaker, Metrowest Property Owners Association and Waltham Landlord’s Association (March 2015)

City Will Inspect Off Campus Housing, And It’s Legal, Boston.com/Boston Globe (Jan. 8, 2015)

Foreclosures, Forestalled, Wall Street Journal (March 7, 2014)

New Buyers Seminar, South Middlesex Opportunity Council (November 15, 2014)

Fannie, Freddie Don’t Need To Comply With Foreclosure Law, Mass. Lawyers Weekly (Nov. 3, 2014)

Massachusetts Court Rules Against Holyoke Man In Mortgage Case, Boston Business Journal (Aug. 24, 2014)

Bill Aims to Help Sellers of Foreclosure Homes, Boston Globe (July 30, 2014)

Multiple Interests At Stake In Mass. Title Clearing Bill Talks, Worcester Telegram (July 29, 2014)

Instructor, Residential Real Estate Basics Continuing Legal Education Course, Boston Bar Association (March 2014)

Testimony before Mass. Joint Housing Committee on House Bill 1131 (Rent Escrow), February 25, 2014

Email Communications Result In Hard Lessons for Attorneys, Clients, Banker and Tradesman (Jan. 9, 2014)

Ruling Might Mean Longer Foreclosure Process, Banker & Tradesman (Dec. 22, 2013)

Speaker, Real Estate Grey Areas, Presented to Black Diamond Investor Group (Summer 2013)

Cases Could Make Foreclosure Challenges Easier, Assignments’ Validity Could Be Questioned, Banker and Tradesman (March 3, 2013)

Errors Made By Lender Invalidate Foreclosure, Mass. Lawyers Weekly (Jan. 31, 2013)

SJC Rules Bank Had No Right To Take Home, Boston Globe (Jan. 14, 2013)

State’s Highest Court Rules for Lender in Foreclosure Affidavit Case, Boston Globe (Oct. 26, 2012)

Unsigned P&S Enforceable In Wake of Emails, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (July 5, 2012) (subscription only)

Lenders Must Have Proper Paperwork to Foreclose, SJC Says, Boston Globe, June 22, 2012

Landlord Liable for Tenant’s Drunken Tumble, American Apartments Owner’s Association (March 15, 2012)

Seizures Threatened In Massachusetts With Naked Loans Challenge: Mortgages, Bloomberg News (Feb. 21, 2012)

New Trends Emerging In Short Sale Legal Transactions, Special to Banker & Tradesman (Feb. 6, 2012)

Homeowner Can Sue Lender Under HAMP, Mass. Lawyers Weekly (Dec. 29, 2011)

Realtor Held Liable For Incorrect Information In MLS, AG Beat (Nov. 23, 2011)

Can You Get A House For Free? MSN Real Estate, (Nov. 22, 2011)

Mass. Bankruptcy Judge Voids Foreclosure of MERS Mortgage, Wall Street Journal Online, Aug. 24, 2011

Speaker, Social E Conference, Newport, RI, June 24, 2011

Report Says Area Foreclosures Still Slowing, Metrowest Daily News (May 17, 2011)

State Court Rules Attorneys Must Participate In Home Closings, Boston Globe, April 26, 2011

Presenter, Technology for the Real Estate Attorney, Mass. Continuing Education Seminar, April 3, 2011

New Rules Make Condos Harder To Sell, Inman News(March 18, 2011)

Apocalypse Now? Will The Ibanez Decision Reveal Widespread Irregularities In the Securitized Mortgage Industry?, The Big Picture, Jan. 10. 2011

Court Ruling Could Create Foreclosure Crisis, Metrowest (MA) Daily News, Jan. 8, 2011

US Foreclosure Decision To Reverberate, Financial Times, Jan. 7, 2011

Foreclosures May Be Undone By State Ruling On Mortgage Transfer, Bloomberg News, Jan. 6, 2011

Homestead Act Updated For 2011, Banker & Tradesman, Dec. 27, 2010

Property Owners Advised To Clear Snow After Storm, Metrowest Daily News, Dec.. 28, 2010

Featured Speaker, Social Not Working? Tips for Social Marketing In Real Estate, 200+ Realtors, Newton Marriott, Dec. 7, 2010

Speaker, Technology For The Conveyancing Attorney, Real Estate Bar Conference Annual Meeting, Nov. 8, 2010

How To Navigate The Foreclosure Freeze, Wall St. Journal Smartermoney.com, Oct. 13, 2010

Borrowers: Beware The Second Credit Report, Wall St. Journal Smartermoney.com, June 7, 2010

Banker & Tradesman, Local Agents Raise Questions Over New Fannie Rules, June 6, 2010.

Federal Aid & Tax Extension Available For Massachusetts Flood Victims, Boston.com, April 14, 2010

The HO-6 Condo Insurance Policy: A Lot More Than You Think, Boston.com, April 7, 2010

Legal Analysis Of Mezuzah Condo Case, Boston.com, March 31, 2010

Social Media and Blogging For Realtors 101, Realtor Seminar Series

Impending SJC Ibanez Title Ruling May Invalidate Thousands Of Foreclosures, Banker & Tradesman, March 29, 2010

How A Salamander Raised A Rights Issue, Boston Globe, March 24, 2009

House Call: To Buy Or Not To Buy, SmarterMoney.com (Wall Street Journal Online) March 22, 2010

Blogging and Social Media 101 For Realtors, Realtor Seminar Series (ongoing)

New Rules Help Borrowers At Closing, SmarterMoney.com (Wall Street Journal), Jan. 11, 2010

Facebook: Friend or Client? Lawyers Weekly USA, Dec. 21, 2009

Condo Rules Could Shut Out Buyers, Hit Builders, New York Times, Dec. 8, 2009

Federal Housing Administration’s Condo Financing Rules Already Scuttling Projects, Los Angeles Times/Associated Press, Dec. 7, 2009

Creating A Memorable Blog For Your Law Practice (Webinar), Presenter, Nov. 20, 2009.

FHA Eases Condominium Lending Guidelines, Boston.com, Nov. 11, 2009

When Are Condo Owners Liable?, Boston.com, Oct. 28, 2009

The Long and Short Of It: A Short Sale Primer, Boston.com, Oct. 21, 2009

Ibanez Decision: Round 2, Boston.com, Oct. 15, 2009

New FHA Condominium Guidelines, A Chill In The Air, Boston.com, Oct. 13, 2009

Landlord-Tenant Hell: Drinking Guests and Faulty Railings, Boston.com, Oct. 7, 2009

Offer to Purchase Is A Binding Contract, Boston.com, Sept. 30, 2009

Thousands of Foreclosures Invalid, Ibanez Decision, Boston.com, Sept. 2, 2009

Marketing With Social Media, What’s Your Plan? Lawyers Weekly USA, Sept. 5, 2009

How A Solo Gained More Than 600 Facebook Fans, American Bar Association Journal, Sept. 9, 2009

A Legal Refresher Course For Landlords, Boston.com Real Estate Now, July 29, 2009

An Attorney Thinks About Construction, Boston.com Real Estate Now, July 23, 2009

New Fannie Mae Condo Regulations Could Stifle Condo Demand, NuWire Investor, July 27, 2009

Holland Land Case Back Before A Judge, Sturbridge Villager, (Jan. 23, 2009).

Twitter, Facebook As Marketing Tools?, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (May 9, 2009)

Banker Gets $1M Verdict For National Origin Bias, Employment Case Nets $600,000 In Punitives,Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (June 5, 2006).

SJC Ruling Hurts Affordable Housing Foes, Boston Globe, June 20, 2006.

Trust Wins Battle Over Waterfront, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (April 2, 2001).

Speaker, Legal Professionals Panel, Suffolk Law School.

LinkedIn Seminar Series, 2008-09.

Reported Cases

Baptiste v. Kennealy, __ F. Supp. 3d. ___, 2020 WL 5751572, (D. Mass. 2020, Wolf, D.J.) (challenge to Massachusetts Covid-19 Eviction Moratorium).

Winiker v. Bell, 85 Mass. App. Ct. 1116 (2014) (successful defeated neighbor’s claim of adverse possession after week long bench trial, affirmed on appeal).

North American Expositions Co. v. Corcoran, 452 Mass. 852 (2009) and 70 Mass. App. Ct. 411 (2007) (leading case on the anti-SLAPP Act in the business and political lobbying context; upholding dismissal of claims and $80,000 award of attorneys fee in client’s favor).

Khakian v. Fleet Bank, Norfolk Superior Court (2006) (obtained $1Million jury verdict in national origin employment discrimination case)

Hadfield v. McDonough, 407 F.3d 11 (1st Cir. 2005), cert. denied by U.S. Supreme Court (employment termination and violation of procedural due process for political affiliation of deputy sheriff)

Portland Natural Gas Transmission System v. 19.2 Acres of Land, 318 F.3d 279 (1st Cir. 2003)(eminent domain taking involving natural gas pipeline)

Private Lending & Purchasing Inc. v. First American Title Ins. Co., 54 Mass. App. Ct. 532 (2002)(leading Mass. case on title insurance policies).

South Boston Betterment Trust Corp. v. Boston Redev. Auth., 438 Mass. 57 (2002)(landmark case on the validity of community benefits negotiated by South Boston elected officials for mitigation of Seaport District development

• Iffland v. City of Cambridge, 49 Mass. App. Ct. 1108 (2000) (issues of legal standing to challenge permits for commercial development)

Ben v. Shultz, 47 Mass. App. Ct. 808 (1999)(civil procedure)

• Fields v. Revolution Trust Corp., 49 Mass. App. Ct. 1116 (1999)(defeating challenge to corporate deed alleged to have been forgery).


Rich is a life-long Metrowest, Massachusetts resident and now resides in Marlborough. When not practicing law, Rich enjoys hanging out with his kids, boxing, pick-up basketball, and rooting “wicked hard” for all Boston sports teams.