Judge Sands served as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Land Court from 2002-2015, and as a recall justice from 2015-2017, where he authored many decisions of first impression. While on the bench, he researched and drafted revisions to the Time Standards of the Land Court, implemented in 2004. During his time on the bench, Judge Sands was a proactive participant in the Land Court’s robust court-connected alternative dispute resolution program, always stressing the mediation option at initial case conferences. In 1977 he was a founding partner in the Boston law firm of Lynch, Brewer, Hoffman & Sands, now Lynch, Brewer, Hoffman & Fink, where he was head of the Real Estate Department, specializing in complex transactional projects in both the residential and commercial fields. He was a member of the Gloucester Planning Board from 1984-1991, where he focused on zoning, land use and subdivision law.
He has taught seminars for MCLE and the Massachusetts Bar Association in real estate law and has been a judge on moot court panels for Harvard Law School and for high school competitions with the Massachusetts Federal Courts. He is a member of the Abstract Club and the Massachusetts Judges Conference, where he was recently nominated for an award in Judicial Excellence to be presented in November 2017. He was a primary speaker for the International Land Registration Conference held in Dubai, UAE in 2016.
With 15 years on the Land Court bench, his experience on municipal boards and more than 30 years in a transactional real estate practice, Judge Sands is uniquely qualified to mediate any real estate dispute, particularly permitting and land use matters as well as affordable housing.
He has served on many civic, religious and charitable organizations, including Chairman of the Board and Artistic Director of the Annisquam Village Players, one of the oldest continually operating community theaters in the US, where he has directed an annual summer musical for the past 25 years, and on many committees of the Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester.
Judge Sands received his B.A. from Williams College and J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. He has also written two legal mystery novels and ran the Boston Marathon annually from 1991 to 2007. In 2016, he fulfilled a bucket list challenge by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.