Oct 19

The Association will hold its next monthly meeting on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at in Lawrence.   The presenter will be Daniel Crean, Esq., Executive Director of the New Hampshire Municipal Lawyers Association and a well know municipal lawyer.  Dan speaks around the country at the IMLA conferences on personnel issues, including social media.  He will focus on what municipal counsel need to know about social media and how it can impact municipal operations.    Tentative Program Summary:  Short Overview of Policies and Practices Media: Risks and Rewards Electronic Data & Communications:  ESI, SCA, RTK & All That Jazz Digital Management & Forensics Putting It All Together: Policies & Practices Ethics & Professional Responsibility Issues Public Records/FOIA Compliance Records Retention.  Dan Crean is a frequent and very popular speaker at programs of MMLA, as well as IMLA (International Municipal Lawyers Association).

Oct 21

On October 20th, the Appeals Court issued a decision in Brown v. Kalicki deciding that accreted beachfront property took on the status of registered land as it accreted and without recourse to court proceedings to amend the certificates of title. Interveners claimed prescriptive rights over this now accreted land. The lower court judge ruled that the accreted beachfront automatically became registered, and, therefore, was protected from the interveners’ claims that they have a prescriptive easement to use the beach area on the plaintiffs’ land.  On the lower court decision, the Appeals Court wrote: “The question for the judge was whether the accreted beachfront took on the status of registered land as it formed, or whether registered status could be obtained only through court proceedings to amend the certificates of title. The judge ruled that the accreted beachfront automatically became registered, and, therefore, was protected from the interveners’ claims that they have a prescriptive easement to use the beach area on the plaintiffs’ land. Applying well-established standards of review, we affirm.” Click here for the full text of this decision.

Oct 18

October 18, 2016 – It was announced this morning that MMLA Executive Board Member Kathleen Colleary has been awarded the 2016 Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service.  Kathleen’s day job is as Chief of the DOR Division of Local Services Bureau of Municipal Finance Law. 

Kathleen Colleary

Kathleen Colleary

We at MMLA are extremely gratified to see her recognized by the Commonwealth for the highest levels of service to our cities and towns, a recognition that we  at MMLA have long known to be much deserved.  DOR Commissioner Michael J. Heffernan, in announcing the award, wrote:

I am delighted to announce that Kathleen Colleary of the Division of Local Services has been chosen for a 2016 Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service. The Manuel Carballo Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service, named in honor of the late Secretary of Human Services, is given annually to no more than 10 employees or groups of employees who exemplify the highest standards of public service.  

For 36 years, Kathleen has personified what it means to provide exceptional public service. In her nomination citation, Kathleen was singled out for possessing a “profound understanding” of Massachusetts General Laws, statutes, and regulations, insight which is only matched by her indefatigable work ethic. 

Kathleen’s expertise was critical in our policy direction for the current municipal modernization effort, where “her attention to detail, deep subject matter knowledge and willingness to tackle a seemingly endless backlog of arcane and conflicting laws, policies and regulations led to the development and successful passing of ‘An Act to Modernize Municipal Finance and Government’, legislation hailed as the most comprehensive set of reforms in decades.”  

For those who have worked alongside Kathleen, it should come as no surprise that she is esteemed in municipal finance circles across the Commonwealth as an expert and legal mind of the highest order.  

Oct 17

Dont Miss It!!! – “Social Media and All That Jazz” – Sal’s, Lawrence, October 27

The Association will hold its next monthly meeting on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at in Lawrence.   The reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. with dinner following at about 6:30 p.m., followed by the program.  We plan to end by 9:30 p.m.  The meal will be a dinner buffet with delicious choices.  The meeting fee for members in good standing (paid up for the current year) is $45.00, which includes dinner, materials and program.  For all others the fee is $55.00.  If you have a special dietary need, please advise.  Reservations and cancellations may also be made by calling James B. Lampke, Esq., at 781-749-9922, fax 781-749-9923. Continue reading »

Oct 14

PARTIES: Kalu v. Boston Retirement Board
HEARING DATE: May 4, 2016
DECISION DATE: October 14, 2016
Contributory Retirement Appeal Board. Public Employment, Accidental disability retirement, Retirement. Retirement. Practice, Civil, Appeal. Administrative Law, Decision, Judicial review, Official notice, Substantial Evidence.

The Appeals Court issued a decision on retirement law today in Kalu v Boston Retirement Board. The Court held that while the appeal from the denial was timely, the denial by the Board and CRAB was not proper and remanded the matter for further proceedings. Of note, the Court found fault with CRAB’s considering evidence not in the record and without giving the parties notice and opportunity to present evidence. Continue reading »

Oct 13

On September 23rd’s Public Records Law Conference at Holy Cross, sponsored by Burns & Levinson, MMLA, and MMA, the following materials were distributed:

Public Records Law Update– Matthew Feher
Chedklist of Procedures for Records Access Officers– Kevin Batt
Top Ten Practical & Policy Issues– Lauren Goldberg
Best Practices for Compliance– Robert W. Ritchie

Oct 12

SJC Issues 2 Decisions of Importance to Cities and Towns

1.  10.11.16 – The SJC has issued its opinion in Brown v. Commissioner of Probation and ruled that sovereign immunity has not been waived for post judgment interest.  The Court held that “In this case, we consider whether sovereign immunity bars a plaintiff who is awarded punitive damages, costs, and attorney’s fees as part of a judgment under G. L. c. 151B, § 9, from recovering post judgment interest on those awards from a public employer.  The trial judge denied a request by the plaintiff, Helen Brown, for such interest, concluding that sovereign immunity has not been waived with respect to such interest, and judgment was entered accordingly.  A divided panel of the Appeals Court affirmed the judgment, see Brown v. Office of the Commissioner of Probation, 87 Mass. App. Ct. 729, 735 (2015), and we allowed the plaintiff’s application for further appellate review.  Because we conclude that G. L. c. 151B, § 9, does not waive sovereign immunity from liability for post judgment interest, either expressly or by necessary implication, we affirm.” 

2.  Also, the SJC affirmed a Land Court decision that applied the rule of Murphy v. Mart Realty of Brockton, Inc.., 348 Mass. 675 (1965),in finding it was improper that a path for a trail to cross over the easement in question and then continue onto the fourth parcel, given that the easement was not intended to serve that parcel.  In Taylor v. The Martha’s Vineyard Land Trust the SJC declined to find that the rule of Murphy was applied too rigidly and that a fact intensive analysis should have been applied.

Oct 11

Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association would like again to remind its members and the public  that its “Municipal Law Quarterly” is now publicly available on its website, www.massmunilaw.org.  The Quarterly contains articles about updates in municipal law in the Commonwealth, practice tips, and analyses of issues facing cities and towns and impacting municipal practice.  On the MMLA Home Page, click on the menu tab “Quarterly Journal,” to access the current and past issues of the Quarterly.  MMLA invites you to log on and enjoy the articles.  The current issue – Municipal Law Quarterly, Fall 2016 – is now available.

MMLA wishes again to acknowledge with gratitude the members of its Municipal Law Quarterly Editorial BoardStacey G. Bloom, Editor-in-Chief; Jordan L. Shapiro, Editor Emeritus; ngela D. Atchue, Managing Editor; Carol Haijar McGravey; Timothy J. Harrington; and Peter L. Mello

Oct 07

The Appeals Court issued today important decision on civil service appeals, drug testing, modification of punishment.  See Preston Thompson vs. Civil Service Commission, where the Appeals Court essentially affirmed a Superior Court decision which affirmed, with modification, a Civil Service Commission decision that had upheld in part and reversed in part action taken by the Boston Police Department based on drug testing by hair samples.  Click here for full text of the opinion.

Oct 07

On October 6th, a hearing was held at the Secretary of State’s Office on regulations proposed to implement recent major changes in the state Public Records Law.  MMLA executive board member Kevin Batt, and MMA representative John Robertson testified on behalf of both organizations, submitting a joint letter commenting on the proposed regulations. They also jointly submitted a redline version of the draft regulations showing suggested changes to the draft regulations.  Click on the following links to the relevant documents:
Chapter 121, Acts of 2016
DRAFT Regulations
MMLA-MMA Redline Version of DRAFT Regulations
MMLA-MMA Written Testimony

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