May 20

In “Opportunities” today – Town Counsel Services Town of Sudbury

(Note: “Opportunities” is a new option on this website’s home page menu bar. It will from time to time feature employment and other professional opportunities for MMLA members.)

Apr 26

MCLE 2017 Municipal Law Conference, scheduled for Wednesday, March 15th, postponed due the untimely intervention of Mother Nature, has been re-scheduled for Wednesday, May 3rd.

Click here for UPDATED Program Agenda.

Apr 17

The Association will hold its next monthly meeting on THURSDAY, May 18, 2017, at the Aegean Restaurant in Framingham.  The program was originally planned for February, but had to be postponed due to a winter storm. The program starts at 4:00 p.m., with dinner break at 6:00 p.m., followed by completion of program, ending by 9:30 p.m..   Presenters will include Kathleen Connolly, Esq. of Louison, Costello, Condon, and Pfaff, and James B. Lampke, Esq., Hull Town Counsel.  Learn effective ways to impose and collect fines!  Share your experiences too.  Special questions?- send them to MMLA before meeting.  For program details click here. Visit Upcoming Events for registration and cost information.

Apr 06


Employment Opportunity – The office of the Bar Counsel has an opening for an attorney to be director of the Attorney and Consumer Assistance Program.  Click here for details.

Apr 05

Under the direction of Program Chair Chris Petrini, an outstanding panel has been selected to make an informative presentation on From All Sides: A Multi-Dimensional Perspective on Current Issues in Public Construction at this year’s 7th Annual Public Construction Seminar.  We will also hold our annual business meeting and election of officers for the July 1, 2017-June 30, 2018 year.  This is a great program to bring others from your community who are involved in any construction projects. 

Please register via phone, email or fax in your reservation to Jim Lampke at  You should also be receiving via email a notice to register for this meeting from Constant Contact.  If you are not receiving notices from Constant Contact please let us know and we will put you on their email list for MMLA/Constant Contact notices. A delicious dinner buffet will be served. Thus, there is no meal selection. 

  For program details, go to Upcoming Events.

Mar 31

On March 10, MMLA presented a program at Clark University in Worcester, entitled “The New Marijuana Law—How Municipalities Can (and Should) Respond”.  The program, which was co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Municipal Association, attracted over 150 attendees, making it one of MMLA’s largest events.  Participants included municipal counsel, town administrators and managers, municipal and regional planners, and members of planning boards, ZBAs, and Boards of Health.

The MMLA program panelists included Attorney Brandon Moss; Assistant Attorney General Margaret Hurley, Director of the Municipal Law Unit; Sarah Kim and Shawn Collins, the General Counsel and Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, respectively, in the Office of the State Treasurer; and Jeffrey Bagg, Principal Planner for the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission.  The panel was moderated by MMLA Executive Board member John Goldrosen.  The panelists provided a legal overview of the statute, information on the Attorney General’s and State Treasurer’s roles, and the panelists’ perspectives on the issues to be addressed at the municipal level.  The program concluded with an extended question-and-answer period. Continue reading »

Feb 23

The Appeals Court, in Alexis D. Coren-Hall v. MBTA  (16-P-300)  decided today, ruled that the Superior Court should have granted the MBTA summary judgment due to the defective presentment of the claim.  Claim needed to be presented to MBTA “executive officer” but wasn’t.  Superior Court denied motion, finding that the executive officer had notice even though presentment was defective. For the full slip opinion, click on:  Alexis D. Coren-Hall v. MBTA.


Feb 14

The Office of the State Auditor has determined that portions of the state’s Early Voting Law imposes an unfunded mandate on local governments.  In its February 14th press release, the Auditor’s Office reported:   “Auditor Suzanne M. Bump today released a determination that certain early voting costs incurred by local clerks should be paid for by the Commonwealth. Bump’s Division of Local Mandates (DLM) conducted the review and made the determination in response to petitions from the City of Woburn and the Town of Oxford.  The early voting law certainly is to be regarded a success. It did, however, mandate new procedures for clerks. Some of these should be paid for by the state, not municipalities according to the Local Mandate Law.”  Click here for the full text of the Auditor’s announcement.

Feb 08

The dinner meeting and program – Imposing & Collecting Fines – which had been scheduled for Thursday, February 9th, at the Aegean Restaurant in Framingham was cancelled due to the winter storm.  No decision has been made yet on when it will be re-scheduled. See attached cancelation Notice for details.

Upcoming programs: – The Association has two excellent programs scheduled for March and May. On March 10th there will be a half-day conference at the Hogan Center at Holy Cross College (Worcester) focusing on the impacts of the new marijuana laws (Don’t Get Caught in the Weeds);  and in April we return to Patriot Place for the annual Public Construction Law program.  Visit our Upcoming Events Calendar for the details of these two excellent programs.

Your Association is also co-sponsoring the MCLE 2017 Municipal Law Conference.  See Upcoming Events for details.

Dec 31

Happy Holidays!  The MMLA Municipal Law Quarterly, Winter 2016, is now available on this website.  This edition has  a variety of articles on the latest topics in municipal law, a summary of MMLA’s legislative priorities for 2017-2018, and a forecast of upcoming legal seminars and programs.  

Thank you for reading, contributing and advertising in the Quarterly. We look forward to partnering with more MMLA members in 2017, and find the best opportunities occur at our monthly programs, half-day seminars and annual conference. Each year MMLA members are writing quality articles, memoranda and updates on municipal law. The Quarterly is a forum in which your work is welcomed and a vehicle through which important information can be shared with colleagues and clients. Therefore, please consider contacting MMLA’s Editorial Board and letting us know of your ideas and interests for future articles and case law updates. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you, and expand legal coverage on the ever-changing, dynamic field of municipal law. 

Warm wishes for a healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year! 

Angela Atchue
Managing Editor
MMLA Editorial Board

Dec 19

On December 16th, the Secretary of State released its final version of regulations intended to implement the major changes in the state Public Records Law enacted by the Legislature during its last session. Chapter 121 of the Acts of 2016 made major changes to the public records statutes which until then had remained substantially unchanged for many years, rendering them very much out of sync with contemporary electronic means of records creation, transmission, use, retention, access, and disposal. Click here to view the full text of the new regulations, which go into effect on January 1st.

Substantively, the new statutory and regulatory provisions govern the process by which state agencies and municipalities respond to and process public records requests, including detailed specifications of the charges that may be imposed on the requester. MMLA and MMA will be co-sponsoring a workshop at MMA’s Annual Meeting & Trade Show on Jan. 21 on the requirements of the law and regulations, as well as best practices that cities and towns can implement to facilitate compliance with the new rules. MMLA is in the process of fashioning informational guidelines for city and town officials including best practice in complying with the revised public records statutes and regulations.

Dec 05

Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association (MMLA) has issued an appeal to Governor Baker and other State House leaders to promptly clarify through legislative action certain features of the recently enacted marijuana law that relate to actions municipalities are authorized to take.  The urgency is particularly telling given that many towns are already started – or about to start – preparing their warrants for the spring annual town meetings.  To view, click on the following link to the Letter to Governor Baker.

Also, MMLA issued two informational advisories on the new law.  Click on the following links for the Advisory for Municipal Counsels and for the Advisory for Municipal Officials. Feel free to share these with your local officials. 

These documents are the product of a working committee created by the MMLA Executive Board last month.  The committee will continue to work on these issues and will be issuing supplements to its advisories. Please contact MMLA with any particular issues or concerns you have with this new law. Also be advised that a program on the new law is being planned for early next year.

Nov 22

SJC issued today a decision in SEIU v. Department of Mental Health, holding that the union could challenge a determination by the DMH that it did not have to comply with the Pacheco Law concerning privatization of services.  The SJC had previously rejected DMH  claim that the union lacked standing and found in this case that “Because unreviewable agency decision-making on such a matter would thwart legislative intent, we concluded that in these circumstances “declaratory judgment is an appropriate vehicle for relief to ensure that agencies may not evade the requirements of the Pacheco Law with impunity.”  The SJC vacated the judgment of dismissal and remanded the case for joinder of necessary parties.  Click here to view the full decision. 

Nov 15

In a decision released today – James R. DeGiacomo, trustee v. City of Quincy the SJC affirmed summary judgment granted to the City of Quincy in a major trust case, finding that the successor trustee could not challenge a long term lease, so finding on, among other reasons,  grounds of res judicata and collateral estoppel, etc.  There had been a 1972 case in which a court ruled that the lease was properly entered into.  The trust/beneficiary of the trust bringing the present case was not a party to those proceedings. Congratulations to MMLA Executive Board member and Quincy City Solicitor James Timmins on this decision. Click HERE for the full text of the decision.

Nov 08






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