This year’s 2015 Annual Week-end Meeting & Convention, September 17-19 (Thursday-Saturday) at the Red Jacket Beach Resort in South Yarmouth promises to be one of the best ones- all are great and we keep improving each year! Don’t miss the opportunity to learn the latest you need to know for your municipal law practice, spend a relaxing few days with colleagues, sightsee, network and much more!!! Continue reading »
The Attorney General’s Office announces the second in a series of regional seminars on zoning and siting issues for substance abuse treatment centers. This one will be at the Worcester Registry of Deeds on September 23, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. All are welcome, but please RSVP to Margaret Hurley by email to ensure sufficient space can be provided. Continue reading »
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.
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 »
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.