Brian R. Falk

Legal Administrative Assistant Kim E. Keating


Brian is a partner in the Firm's Public and Municipal Law Group and Real Estate and Environmental Law Group.  Brian also leads Mirick O’Connell’s Cannabis Industry Group.

In his municipal practice, Brian counsels towns, cities, and districts in all areas of municipal law, including home rule, zoning, real estate, elections, finance, taxation, procurement, public construction, and general governance.  Brian advises local officials on compliance with the Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law, and Conflict of Interest Law, and has extensive experience drafting town meeting warrants, bylaws, ordinances, and special legislation.

Brian represents private clients in land use permitting matters.  He regularly appears before municipal boards seeking special permits, variances, licenses, zoning amendments, and other local approvals for large projects and challenging sites.

In 2014, 2015, and 2016, Brian was named a Massachusetts "Rising Star" by Boston magazine and Law & Politics.  Brian previously served on the Milford Zoning Board of Appeals.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Boston College Law School JD
  • State University of New York at Geneseo BS, cum laude
  • Provides Town Counsel services to eleven Massachusetts communities and provides special counsel and land use counsel services to several towns, cities, and districts.
  • Represents applicants on large projects and complicated sites in Marlborough, Worcester, and communities throughout Massachusetts.
  • Represented a national developer on land use permits for a 276-unit mixed residential/commercial building on a redevelopment site with rail trail access and affordable units.
  • Represented a regional developer to create an overlay zoning district and obtain land use permits for a 950-unit high-end apartment community with 50% open space, nature trails, and affordable units.
  • Represented a regional developer to obtain an overlay zoning amendment and land use permits for a large hospitality, entertainment, and retail center.
  • Represented a hospital to obtain land use permits for a state-of-the-art women's imaging center.
  • Represented boutique developers on land use permits for mixed residential/commercial downtown buildings on redevelopment sites.
  • Represented a large cannabis operator to secure a special permit for a community’s first cannabis retail store.


Professional / Community Affiliations

  • Milford Area Chamber of Commerce, former Board member
  • Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association
  • Worcester County Bar Association, Government Relations Committee, Municipal Law Section
  • Massachusetts Bar Association

A Classic Distinction Between Legal Remedies and Equitable Remedies:  1st Circuit Overturns Decades-Old Precedent On Citizen Enforcement of Clean Water Act

The First Circuit recently overturned a thirty-one year old decision on citizen enforcement of the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The now-overruled decision is North and South Rivers Watershed Ass’n v. Town of Scituate, 949 F.2d 552 (1st Cir. 1991), in …

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Municipal Law:  Supreme Court Lightens Up On Standard of Review for Certain Sign Bylaws

Recently, the Supreme Court addressed a challenge from two private entities related to the constitutionality of a sign bylaw (“Bylaw”) instituted by the City of Austin (“City”).  In City of Austin v. Reagan National Advertising of Austin, LLC, et. al., …

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“A Trap for the Unwary:”  Bankruptcy Court Declares Debtor’s Homestead Deficient

In In re Luu, Danny Luu (the “Debtor”) argued that he had a homestead exemption in the amount of $324,960.00.  He argued that because he filed a homestead declaration on March 18, 2021—just two days prior to filing his Chapter …

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State’s Highest Court to Determine Scope of Dover Amendment Solar Protection in M.G.L. c. 40A

Last week, the SJC heard oral arguments for a case that is anticipated to potentially impact municipal zoning, specifically in the realm of solar energy projects.  The outcome of this case will either aid or inhibit a municipality’s ability to …

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Remote Public Meetings Authorized Through April of 2022; New Law Extends Additional COVID-19 Emergency Rules

Public bodies may continue to hold remote meetings through April of 2022 under new legislation enacted this week. The statute, Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021, authorizes a quorum of a board or committee to meet remotely and require remote …

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Municipal Permitting Timelines Resume on December 1

Effective December 1, municipal boards must follow the usual permitting deadlines following a COVID-19 statute enacted last week. Towns and cities had been operating under Section 17 of Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020, which tolled the deadlines for commencing …

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Important Update – The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry

Since our post on March 18, a lot has happened from both a health and regulatory standpoint as far as the impact from the outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) on local and state construction practice.  Here is an update, as of …

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The Impact of Coronavirus on the Construction Industry

The outbreak of COVID-19 (“coronavirus”) has impacted all industries, including construction.  First and foremost, we are in the midst of a public health crisis, and the safety and well-being of all project participants should be top of mind.  We are …

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Executive Order Loosens Open Meeting Law Requirements During Coronavirus Emergency

Governor Baker signed an Executive Order relieving government boards and committees from compliance with certain Open Meeting Law requirements during the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. The Order gives public bodies greater leeway to hold closed-door and remote meetings, so that government agencies …

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SJC Reverses Appeals Court on Standing Requirements Under the Zoning Act – With Record Speed

All zoning conformities are alike, to rephrase Tolstoy’s famous opening line, but each zoning-related injury is injurious in its own way. Such has been the time-honored tenant of Massachusetts law for abutter standing under the Zoning Act.  To successfully challenge …

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PFAS Concerns Mounting for Cities and Towns as MassDEP Proposes Maximum Contaminant Level in Drinking Water

Many of our readers will be aware that on December 27, 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFAS in drinking water of 20 parts per trillion (0.02 ug/L or ppt) for six PFAS …

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Building the Boroughs: A Year in Review

In 2019, Mirick O’Connell’s permitting attorneys were proud to help our clients, large and small, with local approvals in Marlborough for 6 great projects. Thank you to our clients and the City of Marlborough for a wonderful year! Click here …

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