Public and Municipal Law

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Our Public and Municipal Law Group represents towns, cities, districts, and agencies throughout Massachusetts. We take pride in our ability to provide cost-effective, objective, and pragmatic representation to our public sector clients.

Town Counsel and Special Municipal Counsel Services

As Town Counsel and Special Municipal Counsel, our attorneys advise municipalities in all areas of municipal law, including the Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law, Conflict of Interest Law, municipal governance, home rule, town meeting procedure, elections, land use, real estate, eminent domain, municipal finance, taxation, special legislation, contracts, school building projects, procurement, and public construction.

We work closely with municipal officials to avoid litigation whenever possible or desirable. However, if litigation becomes unavoidable, we are ready to provide vigorous advocacy in any forum. Mirick O’Connell has a team of litigation attorneys with extensive experience representing municipalities, municipal officials, and boards.

Labor Counsel Services

As Labor Counsel to cities and towns, we serve as counselors, negotiators and litigators. In doing so, we routinely render advice on the full array of employment laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage and hour laws, and anti-discrimination laws. We also advise our municipal clients on laws unique to the public sector, such as the civil service and the public sector collective bargaining statutes.

In addition to our role as advisors, we represent our clients in collective bargaining. Our role in collective bargaining varies depending upon the client. Some clients prefer that we handle negotiations from beginning to end, consulting with them throughout the process. Others have us take the role of lead spokesperson among a team of town officials comprising the town’s bargaining team. Still others ask that we act in a consultative role by preparing proposals and recommending strategies.

In today’s world of labor relations, litigation is an unfortunate reality. We have an extensive track record of success in representing clients before the Civil Service Commission, Department of Labor Relations, Joint-Labor Management Committee, and Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, as well as state and federal courts. In addition, we regularly represent clients at grievance arbitrations.

Legal Updates and Training

Our attorneys vigilantly monitor legal developments and changes to the law, and provide our public sector clients with electronic updates on legal developments that may affect them. We provide in-house training programs to public officials on the Open Meeting Law, Conflict of Interest Law, and Public Records Law, and our labor attorneys provide workplace trainings on all aspects of labor and employment law, including harassment prevention training. Mirick O’Connell also provides an Annual Labor and Employment Law Update Seminar.

e-Alert: Municipalities May Allow Outdoor Dining for Restaurants During COVID-19 Re-Opening

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e-Alert: Update on COVID-19 Workplace Health and Safety Enforcement by OSHA and the Massachusetts Attorney General

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PODCAST: Bob Kilroy discusses issues employers may face upon re-entry into the workplace during the COVID-19 Pandemic | Recorded 5.15.20

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E-Alert: Considerations for Employers Resuming On-Site Operations During COVID-19

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PODCAST: Jonathan Sigel discusses re-entry into the workplace after the COVID-19 pandemic

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PODCAST: Rich Van Nostrand discusses Diversity & Inclusion

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PODCAST: Brian Falk discusses local government during the COVID-19 emergency.

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PODCAST: Nick Anastasopoulos discusses employer-union relations during COVID-19

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e-Alert: Governor Baker Signs New Municipal Relief Bill

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WEBINAR: Latest DOL Guidance regarding Families First Act

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PODCAST: Amanda Baer talks about the Emergency Sick Leave Act (3.25.20)

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e-Alert: Long-term Care and Estate Planning/ Coronavirus Impact on the Workplace/ Construction Industry

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Mirick O'Connell recognized as "Best Law Firm" for business by Worcester Business Journal

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Many Towns Demand Extra Payments from Pot Shops Despite Law's Restrictions

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Brian Falk quoted in Telegram, "Central Mass. draws interest as hub of marijuana business"

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Mirick O'Connell Ranked Largest Law Firm in Central MA

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Mirick O'Connell Voted Best Law Firm For Business

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Draft Marijuana Regulations Released

The state's Cannabis Control Commission released its draft regulations today. Once finalized, the regulations will govern the licensure of recreational marijuana establishments in Massachusetts, a process intended to start this spring.

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Mirick O'Connell Voted Best Law Firm

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Mirick O'Connell Featured in Worcester Telegram

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Worcester Chamber Salutes Mirick O'Connell on 100 Years of Excellence

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Mirick O'Connell Celebrates 100th Anniversary!

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14 Attorneys selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America

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Governor Files Bill to Help Delay Town Meeting Season During COVID-19 Emergency

03/16/2020[ read full story ]

The Coronavirus and Its Impact on the Workplace

03/11/2020[ read full story ]

SJC Upholds Wayland OML Violation and Rejects AG's Guidance on Performance Evaluations

4/5/18[ read full story ]

Final Marijuana Regulations Released

03/12/2018[ read full story ]

New Open Meeting Law Regulations Take Effect October 6th

10/3/2017[ read full story ]

Governor Signs Marijuana Law Rewrite

07/28/2017[ read full story ]

New Open Meeting Law Regs Available for Comment

06/26/207[ read full story ]

Local Planning for Recreational Marijuana

11/18/2016[ read full story ]

Supreme Judicial Court's Decision in Somerville v. Commonwealth Employment Relations Board Represents Big Win for Municipalities on Retiree Health Insurance Benefits

02/11/15[ read full story ]

Open Meeting Law: Remote Participation & Proposed Definition of "Knowing" Violations

December 20, 2011[ read full story ]

Executive Order Loosens Open Meeting Law Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency

03/13/2020[ read full story ]

POSTPONED: Employment Law Conference 2020

04/16/2020[ read full story ]

Employment Conference 2020

04/16/2020[ read full story ]

Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Seminar

04/04/2019[ read full story ]

OSHA and MA DSL Compliance and Workplace Safety Seminar

02/15/2019[ read full story ]

Mirick O'Connell Sponsors Massachusetts Municipal Association 2018 Annual Meeting

01/19/2018[ read full story ]

Our Practices


For Important Legal Updates and Resources on the Coronavirus Click Here.