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.
Amanda Baer quoted in UNLEASH article, "Should employers cut sick pay for the unvaccinated?"[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Massachusetts COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave - Benefits Extended[ read full story ]
e-Alert: What Employers Need to Know about President Biden's "Path Out of the Pandemic" COVID-19 Action Plan[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Jonathan Sigel discusses the MA Paid Family and Medical Leave[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Remote Public Meetings Authorized Through April of 2022; New Law Extends Additional COVID-19 Emergency Rules[ read full story ]
Amanda Baer will be on Worcester County Bar Association panel "Maximizing your Remote Stenography and Videography Services now and Post-Pandemic"[ read full story ]
Amanda Baer interviewed by Spectrum News 1 "Back to the Office: What Employers and Employees Can Expect with a Return to Work"[ read full story ]
Amanda Baer quoted in Workest by Zenefits article "Can Small Businesses require COVID Vaccines in the Workplace?"[ read full story ]
e-Alert: COVID-19 and Masks: Updated Guidance from OSHA and Massachusetts[ read full story ]
Best Lawyers release the 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers in New England[ read full story ]
Kim Rozak quoted in Telegram, "Can employers mandate vaccine? Experts discuss strategies to maintain workforce health and safety in the era of COVID-19"[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Amanda Baer discusses American Rescue Plan Act and FFCRA[ read full story ]
David Surprenant was quoted in Telegram & Gazette article "Mirick O'Connell signs 10-year lease renewal with Mercantile Center in downtown Worcester"[ read full story ]
Mirick O'Connell Wins First Place for Law Firms in Worcester Business Journal Best of Business[ read full story ]
e-Alert: New Gathering and Capacity Restrictions Effective December 26; SJC Upholds Governor's Authority to Issue COVID-19 Orders[ read full story ]
28 Mirick O'Connell Attorneys Named to 2020 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List[ read full story ]
Brian Falk Named Partner[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Rich Van Nostrand discusses Non-Competition Agreements Act of Massachusetts
Rich Van Nostrand provides background of the Non-Competition Agreements Act of Massachusetts and its impact on businesses since its passing.[ read full story ]
PODCAST: John Shea discusses Mediation in Divorce Cases[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Governor Updates Restrictions on Gatherings and Restaurants[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Federal Court in New York Strikes Down Parts of the Department of Labor's Regulations Interpreting the Families First Coronavirus Response Act[ read full story ]
e-Alert: COVID-19: OSHA's Updated Guidance - Face Masks in the Workplace/ United States Supreme Court Issues Historic Decision Protecting LGBT Workers from Employment Discrimination[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Reid Wakefield discusses Fair Housing and Housing Discrimination in Massachusetts | Recorded 6.10.20[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Quorum at Town Meeting may be Reduced During State of Emergency[ read full story ]
e-Alert: New PPP Flexibility Act Extends Forgiveness Period and Maturity Date Among other Benefits[ read full story ]
We Stand in Solidarity: A message to our clients and our community.[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Brian Casaceli is joined by Stephen Graham of CEA to discuss reopening your business or building operations while minimizing the risk of becoming a COVID-19 Hot Spot | Recorded 6.2.20[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Municipalities May Allow Outdoor Dining for Restaurants During COVID-19 Re-Opening[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Update on COVID-19 Workplace Health and Safety Enforcement by OSHA and the Massachusetts Attorney General[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Bob Kilroy discusses issues employers may face upon re-entry into the workplace during the COVID-19 Pandemic | Recorded 5.15.20[ read full story ]
E-Alert: Considerations for Employers Resuming On-Site Operations During COVID-19[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Jonathan Sigel discusses re-entry into the workplace after the COVID-19 pandemic[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Rich Van Nostrand discusses Diversity & Inclusion[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Brian Falk discusses local government during the COVID-19 emergency.[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Nick Anastasopoulos discusses employer-union relations during COVID-19[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Governor Baker Signs New Municipal Relief Bill[ read full story ]
WEBINAR: Latest DOL Guidance regarding Families First Act[ read full story ]
PODCAST: Amanda Baer talks about the Emergency Sick Leave Act (3.25.20)[ read full story ]
e-Alert: Long-term Care and Estate Planning/ Coronavirus Impact on the Workplace/ Construction Industry[ read full story ]
Mirick O'Connell recognized as "Best Law Firm" for business by Worcester Business Journal[ read full story ]
Many Towns Demand Extra Payments from Pot Shops Despite Law's Restrictions[ read full story ]
Brian Falk quoted in Telegram, "Central Mass. draws interest as hub of marijuana business"[ read full story ]
Mirick O'Connell Ranked Largest Law Firm in Central MA[ read full story ]
Mirick O'Connell Voted Best Law Firm For Business[ read full story ]
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.[ read full story ]