• Nearly 150 public officials, planners, and attorneys heard presentations on the new marijuana law by Attorney George Hall, Assistant Attorney General Margaret Hurley, and Jeff Bagg of the Central Mass Regional Planning Commission. The half day conference took place at the Hogan Center at Holy Cross College in Worcester.
Municipal Law News

Appeals Court: Malden Police Patrolman’s Association v. City of Malden

 Keywords:   Practice, Civil, Motion to dismiss, Summary judgment. Superior Court. Rules of the Superior Court. Administrative Law, Primary jurisdiction, Exhaustion of remedies. Unjust Enrichment. Contract, Collective bargaining contract, Unjust enrichment, Promissory estoppel. Public Employment, Collective bargaining. Police, Collective bargaining. Massachusetts Wage Act. Civil Service, Collective bargaining, Municipal finance. Municipal Corporations, Collective bargaining, Municipal finance.

Read more

Program Finalized for MMLA Annual Conference in Hyannis – Sept. 14-16

MMLA is pleased to announce that its 2017 Annual Conference program has been finalized. It is scheduled to take place at the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis from Thursday, September 14th through Saturday, September 16th. We are delighted to report that the Keynote address this year will be delivered at the Friday luncheon by Lon Povich, Chief Legal Counsel for Governor Baker.


Over the three days of the conference attendees will have the opportunity to participate interactively with legal experts in many areas of municipal law, including:

Environmental Law – (Greg McGregor, Luke Legere, and Olympia Bowker)
Marijuana Regulation – (Margaret Hurley, John Goldrosen, Jeff Bagg)
Public Records – (Lauren Goldberg)
Employment Discrimination – (John Davis, Regina Gilgun Ryan)
Land Use and Zoning – (Barbara Saint Andre, Paul Haverty)
Constitutional Law – (Professor Bob Smith)
Appellate Practice – (Retired Justices Cowin and Fecteau)
Land Court Litigation – (Land Court Chief Justice Judith Cutler)
Amicus Brief Writing – (Tom Urbelis, Chris Petrini)

On Friday evening, attendees will enjoy a private tour of the JFK Museum, followed by a reception at the Museum.

For all the detailed information you will need to join us for this outstanding conference, including conference hotel registration information, conference registration, costs and fees, and a link to the full program details, click on the link in Upcoming Events!  Or click on the following links:

Program Summary.

Registration for MMLA 2017 Annual Conference.

Marijuana Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

It is expected that the Governor will shortly sign the compromise marijuana bill.  The conference report (H. 3818) has been enacted by both the House and Senate and sent to the Governor for consideration today. The Governor has 10 days to sign the bill, allow the bill to become law without his signature, send the bill back with amendments or veto the measure. As such, the bill could become law as late as July 30, a day before the first major deadline set forth in the compromise proposal. August 1 is the deadline to appoint the 25-member Cannibis Advisory Board.

Here are links to the text of H.3818, and a brief overview prepared by David Lakeman (Mass Municipal Association):

Text of Bill:  H3818

Bill Overview: Overview of H.3818

Appeals Court: Graham Gund v. Planning Board of Cambridge

Keywords: Courthouse. Zoning, Nonconforming use or structure, Governmental use. Governmental Immunity. County, Municipal zoning by-laws. Municipal Corporations, Governmental immunity, By-laws and ordinances.

The Appeals Court today issued its decision in Graham-Gund-v.-Planning-Board-of-Cambridge.  The court ruled that even though the structure would not have conformed to the zoning if it had not been a government building (and therefore, not subject to the zoning), the fact that it “conformed” because it was not in violation, being a government building, means that it was conforming prior to the change in zoning. which provided. “The sole issue on appeal is whether the court house, when it loses its governmental immunity by transfer to the developer, will constitute a preexisting nonconforming structure under G. L. c. 40A, § 6, and § 8.22.2(a) of the relevant zoning ordinance such that redevelopment may be approved by special permit.[3] A judge of the Land Court concluded on summary judgment in a well-reasoned decision that c. 40A, § 6, and § 8.22.2(a) of the zoning ordinance govern the developer’s efforts to redevelop the property, and we affirm”

For the full text of the case click on: Graham-Gund-v.-Planning-Board-of-Cambridge

SJC: Cristina Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC

 Keywords: Courthouse. Zoning, Nonconforming use or structure, Governmental use. Governmental Immunity. County, Municipal zoning by-laws. Municipal Corporations, Governmental immunity, By-laws and ordinances. 

In an important employment case dealing with medical marijuana, the SJC issued on July 17th its decision in Barbuto v Advantage Sales in which it stated “The issue on appeal is whether a qualifying patient who has been terminated from her employment because she tested positive for marijuana as a result of her lawful medical use of marijuana has a civil remedy against her employer.  We conclude that the plaintiff may seek a remedy through claims of handicap discrimination in violation of G. L. c. 151B, and therefore reverse the dismissal of the plaintiff’s discrimination claims.  We also conclude that there is no implied statutory private cause of action under the medical marijuana act and that the plaintiff has failed to state a claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy, and therefore affirm the dismissal of those claims.”  For the full text of the decision, click on: Cristina-Barbuto-v-Advantage-Sales-and-Marketing-LLC

Appeals Court: Cave Corp. v. Conservation Commission of Attleboro

Keywords: Municipal Corporations, Conservation commission, Bylaws and ordinances. Wetlands Protection Act.

In Cave Corp. v. Conservation Commission of Attleboro the Appeals Court on July 14 found ” no error of law in the conclusion by the judge that the imposition by the commission of condition number twenty-nine, prohibiting disturbance of land within the wetlands protection zone, was supported by substantial evidence and was not arbitrary or capricious.” See also for discussion of effect of Commission failing to hold hearing timely.  For the full text of the decision, click on: Cave-Corporation-v-Conservation-Commission-of-Attleboro

U S Supreme Court – Summary of State and Local Cases

 Lisa Soronen, Executive Director of the State & Local Legal Center, with whom IMLA and MMLA often partner in municipal law advocacy, has authored a very informative series of articles on Supreme Court cases relevant to local governments from the term ending last week.  SLLC has graciously invited us to share this useful summary.   Click here access the full text of this series of articles.

Lisa Soronen
Executive Director
State & Local Legal Center
444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Phone: (202) 434-4845
Fax: (202) 737-1069
Email: lsoronen@sso.org
Website: http://www.statelocallc.org/