Sherin and Lodgen mentioned in UU World Magazine article

June 11, 2019

Sherin and Lodgen was recently mentioned in a UU World article, “On religious grounds,” which details the First Parish in Bedford and its more than two-year quest to install solar panels on its historic Meetinghouse. The Sherin and Lodgen legal team, led by Sander A. Rikleen and David A. Michel, attorneys in the firm’s Real Estate Litigation Practice, successfully represented the Unitarian Universalist congregation pro bono in the matter.

Read more on the case from Sherin and Lodgen here.

From the article:

Attorney Sander Rikleen, a partner at Sherin and Lodgen, ultimately became First Parish’s lead attorney. Rikleen argued that HDC members had provided scant justification for their decision and that not approving First Parish’s solar panels impinged on the congregation’s religious freedom. For the latter, he cited the U.S. Constitution, the Massachusetts Constitution, and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), a federal law. “This is probably the first case in which I cited RLUIPA,” Rikleen says, noting that Massachusetts has “pretty robust statutes” protecting religious land use.

At the outset, Rikleen wanted to know his clients’ goal: Did they want to make a point, or did they want to get solar panels on their roof? Congregants were clear: they wanted solar panels on their roof so they could generate up to 75 percent of their own energy. “If the goal was to make a point, you would focus on the religious freedom arguments, and if the goal was to get solar panels on your roof, you would be willing to pursue other arguments,” Rikleen explains.