Jun 13

The program for MMLA’s Annual Half-Day Seminar, scheduled for Thursday, August 7, 2014, at the Publick House in Sturbridge has been announced by program moderator Mark Cerel.  For more information on the program, see Upcoming Events calendar.

Jun 13

Your suggestions are invited!   . . . Please consider forwarding your nomination of those who you feel are worthy of consideration to receive two MMLA Awards.

The President’s Award is given annually to an individual – whether or not an attorney – in recognition of the recipient’s contributions to municipal law.

The Robert W. Ritchie Special Achievement Award is given to recognize an extraordinary achievement by the recipient in the field of municipal law during the past year.

The awards are presented at the Association’s annual half-day seminar at the Publick House in Sturbridge, scheduled for Thursday, August 7, 2014.

Please send your nominations to the Association’s Office, c/o James B. Lampke, MMLA Executive Director, at 115 North Street, Suite 3, Hingham, MA 02043, or by email to:  jimbosail51@gmail.com

Jan 13

MMLA is happy to announce the publication of its latest Municipal Law Quarterly.  This issue features articles on the limits of local government,  issues involving the attorney-client privilege and a case law update.  There is also a recap on the Rhyne award given to our very own Executive Director,  Jim Lampke, by the IMLA  The Quarterly is a must read for municipal counsel.  It can be found on this website on the ‘members page.’  If you’re interested in contributing to the newsletter, please contact Stacey Bloom at staceygene@gmail.com.

Oct 04
Jim Lampke receiving Rhyne Award from IMLA Executive Director Chuck Thompson in San Francisco on October 1, 2013

Jim Lampke receiving Rhyne Award from IMLA Executive Director Chuck Thompson in San Francisco on October 1, 2013


Jim Lampke with his wife Cindy, daughter Rachel, MMLA President Ed Pikula and MMLA members.

James B. Lampke, Executive Director of MMLA and Town Counsel of Hull, was presented with the Charles S. Rhyne Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) at its annual conference in San Francisco on October 1st.   The Rhyne Award is the highest award conferred by IMLA, and is not given regularly but only on occasion and only to an attorney whose exceptional qualities rise to the standards of the late Charles S. Rhyne, founder of IMLA.   Jim’s wife Cindy and daughter Rachel attended the award ceremony along with more than a dozen MMLA members who went to San Francisco to celebrate with Jim.  Over 600 IMLA members from across United States and Canada attended the convention and expressed their collective appreciation for all Jim has done to advance municipal in their states and provinces, and for his many services to IMLA and MMLA.

Oct 03

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) seeks a highly motivated individual to help develop curriculum and to serve as an instructor in its Massachusetts Public Purchasing Official (MCPPO) program, a statewide educational program that has trained over 13,000 participants since its creation in 1997.  Continue reading »

Aug 31

On August 27th, MMLA joined with Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance and the Zoning Reform Working Group in a letter to Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo with a detailed response the position taken by the Homebuilders Association of Massachusetts on the zoning reform bill HB 1859.  The letter describes the position of HBAM as focusing on “the dysfunctional state of land use law in the Commonwealth and its negative effects upon housing production and economic development.”   The letter to Speaker DeLeo goes on to say:  “On that we are in agreement. However, HBAM would leave the status quo intact rather than pass a bill that aims to correct many of the underlying problems, a bill supported by a diverse coalition ranging from municipal lawyers, to environmentalists, to city, town, and regional planners, to public health professionals, to affordable housing advocates.”  Read the full text of the Letter to Speaker Robert DeLeo.

Aug 27

On August 8th, the Land Court issued a decision in Curley v. Town of Billerica, (Misc 12-459001, Middlesex) discussing the applicability of Article 97 to “playgrounds.”  “Massachusetts law does not explicitly define what constitutes a playground, but it does draw distinctions between parks and playgrounds that indicate that a playground is not a park.”  Click on above link for full text of opinion.  This follows a spirited discussion about the scope of Article 97 earlier today on the MMLA ListServ.

Aug 19

CASES UPDATE:  [8/19/13] The U. S. District Court ruled today that Title VII does not preclude an action by a person who was offered and accepted a position. “Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to ‘fail’ or ‘refuse’ to hire an individual because of that individual’s sex. Plaintiff does not cite to, nor has the Court found, any case interpreting the statute that has upheld a hiring-discrimination claim in a case in which the plaintiff was offered and accepted the position. Nevertheless, the language of the statute does not definitively preclude such a claim. … Thus, construing the statute broadly in keeping with its purpose, hiring-discrimination claims should not be strictly limited to those cases where a plaintiff is never offered, or never accepts, a position. …”  REBECCA FISHER vs. TOWN OF ORANGE, et al(The full text of the decision is now available to MMLA members in MuniLaw Cases section.)

Aug 11

At the Association’s annual fall Awards Luncheon and Seminar in Sturbridge on August 8, 2013, MMLA conferred awards upon two municipal attorneys in recognition of their significant contributions to municipal law and to the Association.


Boston Corporation Counsel William F. Sinnott expressed his appreciation to MMLA for awarding him MMLA’s 2013 President’s Award at the Publick House in Sturbridge on August 8, 2013.

MMLA’s 2013 President’s Award was conferred upon City of Boston Corporation Counsel William F. Sinnott.  Bill is an active member of MMLA and IMLA who has for many years attended and presented at MMLA and IMLA meetings and conferences.  He and his staff at Corporation Counsel’s office have contributed to the collegiality of our Association.  As head of the City’s Law Department, Bill and his legal team have engaged in cases that greatly affect the rest of the state.  He has been a leader in dealing with so many unique areas of local government law.  Bill has consistently shared with us the unique legal experiences of our Capital City and his storehouse of legal wisdom that benefits the 350 other cities and towns  of the Commonwealth.  By his example and efforts, he has elevated the excellence of municipal law in Massachusetts.


MMLA President Ed Pikula congratulates Irene B. Schall, recipient of MMLA’s Robert W. Ritchie Special Achievement Award, in recognition of her contributions to the corporate re-organization of the Association.

Irene Schall, of New Bedford, was the recipient of MMLA’s Robert W. Ritchie Special Achievement Award.   Irene, a member of IMLA’s Executive Board, is former City Solicitor for the City of New Bedford.  In addition to municipal law, Irene’s professional expertise in other areas of practice has proven to be just what our Association needed in order to effect a smooth transition of the ‘City Solicitors & Town Counsel Association’ into ‘Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association,’ from an unincorporated association to Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association, a tax-exempt non-profit corporation.  Under her skillful direction and careful  attention to the time-consuming details of these major changes, MMLA successfully grafted a 21st Century structure and corporate name onto our municipal bar association’s 67 years of service to our cities and towns – a special achievement of the sort for which this award was established by MMLA.

Aug 08

MMLA President Ed Pikula congratulates Jim Lampke following announcement.

MMLA Executive Director Jim Lampke is to be awarded the Charles S. Rhyne Lifetime Achievement in Municipal Law Award by the International Municipal Lawyer Association (IMLA) when it meets in October in San Francisco.  The Rhyne Award is considered by municipal lawyers from the United States and Canada to be the municipal law equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.  IMLA is a non-profit, professional organization of municipal attorneys from the United States and Canada, an advocate and resource for local government attorneys since 1935, when the organization was founded by the late Charles S. Rhyne.


Jim Lampke says he is humbled by being chosen for the Charles S. Rhyne Award.

IMLA explains that the Rhyne Award is the highest award given by IMLA: “The award is not intended to be bestowed in a regular basis, but rather is intended to be a recognition bestowed only occasionally and then only upon a truly uncommon individual.”   IMLA Executive Director Chuck Thompson, in an IMLA press release earlier today, announced Lampke to be that truly uncommon individual, by stating that “James Lampke is a gifted attorney and colleague.  Like Charles Rhyne, James is at the top of his field. His contributions to the Town of Hull and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are of great importance, and they will leave a lasting imprint in the field of municipal law. Honoring him with this award will encourage other exceptional lawyers to pursue local government law.”

MMLA President, Ed Pikula,  City Solicitor of Springfield, announced Jim’s selection earlier today at an MMLA municipal law educational seminar in Sturbridge.

preload preload preload