Municipal Law | Energy and Environmental Law | Land Use and Zoning Law | Mediation
Litigation | Real Estate Law
The Firm offers the Commonwealth’s cities and towns expertise in all phases of general municipal law. The Firm presently serves as Town Counsel to a growing number of municipalities, namely Ashland, Bellingham, Berkley, Deerfield, Easton, Hanson, Kingston, Lunenburg, Maynard, Rehoboth and Yarmouth, and is co-Town Counsel in Marblehead and Land Use Counsel in Douglas. The Firm has also served as Special Municipal Counsel to dozens of other communities on a variety of municipal matters.
We have extensive experience in a vast array of general legal issues that a city or town may face, including municipal finance and taxation, town meeting governance, licensing, procurement and contracting, construction, ethics, the open meeting law and the promulgation of policies, rules, ordinances and bylaw. Combined with our other practice areas, we provide a holistic set of services to our municipal clients. We regularly attend meetings with town boards, commissions and committees and with staff members to assist in general municipal matters and routinely draft complex contracts. We are frequently called upon at Town Meetings to provide counsel on matters of significant importance.
The Firm advises clients on legal and practical issues surrounding the siting of renewable energy projects, negotiating and drafting power purchase agreements, tax agreements, energy management services agreements and related issues. Our experience includes drafting ordinances and bylaws related to wind turbines and large-scale solar facilities and representing permitting boards and clients engaged in renewable energy projects. The Firm is proud to be a part of siting one of the first commercial grade wind turbines in the Commonwealth and the first 5 MW solar facility. The Firm’s attorneys draw upon experience gained from work for municipalities, state agencies and private clients installing renewable energy projects.
Renewable energy projects are just one example of our environmental practice. Additionally, the Firm is well versed and experienced in drafting wetlands bylaws and regulations, advising conservation commissions and wetlands permitting, enforcement and related litigation. The Firm’s experience also includes difficult to navigate hazardous materials remediation, landfill closures and drafting land disturbance and stormwater bylaws and regulations. The Firm’s team approach provides much needed coverage in these unique practice areas.
The Firm has a strong pedigree in land use and zoning law. The Firm has represented both public and private clients in the permitting of Chapter 40B affordable housing projects; has participated in drafting Chapter 40R smart growth zoning ordinances and bylaws for mixed-use development; and has counseled municipalities and private landowners and developers on expedited permitting of priority development sites under Chapter 43D. These are the more complex projects with which we have been involved. We also routinely advise municipal boards and commissions and represent private clients in the pursuit of special permits, variances, findings and wetlands determinations and approvals for projects large and small.
Our attorneys are frequent litigators in the Superior Courts and in the Land Court, prosecuting or defending land use decisions, zoning enforcement actions, rezonings and the like.
The Firm frequently represent clients in mediation and arbitration proceedings. We have been successful in achieving negotiated results, in a variety of matters including complex construction disputes.
The Firm has broad and varied litigation experience, especially in general municipal and land use and zoning matters. We regularly appear in both federal and state courts, including the District and Superior Courts, the Land Court, the Appeals Court and the Supreme Judicial Court, as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. We also routinely appear in a multitude of administrative adjudicatory forums, including the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, the Appellate Tax Board, the Civil Service Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Housing Appeals Committee.
We guide clients through the complexities of litigation, whether it be the enforcement of local zoning bylaws or the defense of a taking by eminent domain. Whether we are drafting an initial compliant, conducting discovery, representing a client in a multi-day jury trial or making an appellate argument, we have the experience and skill to deliver desired results.
The Firm has a broad ranging and comprehensive real estate practice throughout Massachusetts. Our attorneys have expertise in all facets of real estate law, from representing individuals in residential real estate transactions to the complex issues of acquisition, permitting and litigation faced by developers. The Firm also assists municipalities in properly following the technical requirements of real property acquisition and disposition.