School Building Projects

Our attorneys counsel and represent public and private schools and colleges on legal issues related to school policies, labor and employment law, discrimination, student rights, school construction and project financing. We provide ongoing advice to our clients regarding federal and Massachusetts laws that affect educational administration, and we assist school administrators in effectively delivering educational services in an increasingly demanding legal environment.

Public schools are both educational institutions and employers that are subject to a myriad of state and federal laws and regulation. We take a team approach to advising and representing the firm's educational clients, which allows us to counsel them in both of these roles. We counsel schools in the complexities of disciplining students, drafting student handbooks and interpreting the Education Reform Act. We advise and represent educational institutions on student rights issues, including reviewing and revising student codes of conduct, drafting policies under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, and providing advice on students' participation in athletic and other extracurricular activities.

We also represent and advise our public and private educational clients in labor and employment issues, including personnel issues, collective bargaining, grievance arbitration, unfair labor practices and the negotiation of employment agreements with school administrators.

In addition, we represent educational clients in governmental investigations and defend against charges before state and federal administrative agencies, including the Massachusetts and federal departments of education, the Massachusetts Department of Labor Relations, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as before state and federal courts.

Massachusetts legal requirements related to public school construction, innovation and repair are complex and frequently amended. Our attorneys advise public school clients on projects ranging in scope from new school design and construction to general purchasing matters.

Practice Chair

Brian R. Falk

Brian R. Falk
Of Counsel

Todd K. Helwig

Todd K. Helwig
Partner

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

December 20, 2011[ read full story ]

Title Defect? Here’s How to Keep Your Deal on Track

You are under contract to sell a commercial or residential property and your attorney tells you two weeks prior to closing that the buyer’s title search has revealed a title defect. While there is a large array of issues that …

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Short-Term Rental Law Takes Effect July 1st

Governor Baker recently signed “An Act Regulating and Insuring Short-Term Rentals”, imposing new taxes, registration and inspection requirements, and other rules governing the short-term rental of homes and residential units through Airbnb, VRBO, and similar platforms. Overview: The new law …

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Recovery of Attorney’s Fees and Costs in Construction Disputes

When construction projects become construction disputes, contractors and suppliers start thinking about how to recover their attorney’s fees and other legal costs.  Massachusetts follows the “American Rule” for recovery of legal expenses that states each party must pay their own …

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Construction Insurance: Game of Risk

Construction work is risky by nature.  Common risks include natural disasters, inclement weather, flood or fire, accidents t hat cause property damage or bodily injury, and the failure of one or more parties to perform their designated responsibilities, resulting in …

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A Landfill Is Not a “Point Source” Under the Clean Water Act, So Says the 4th Circuit and D.Mass.

Two recent rulings address the issue of whether a landfill is a “point source” under the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq. (CWA), Sierra Club v. Virginia Electric et al and Toxics Action Center et al v. …

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The New Massachusetts Clean Energy Bill: Solar Advocates Left Waiting for the Next Installment

On July 31, 2018, the final day of its formal session, the Massachusetts legislature passed H. 4857, An Act to Advance Clean Energy, which Governor Baker signed into law on August 9. The bill represents several important steps forward in …

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Zoning Appeal Plaintiff Must Prove Standing, Even if Defendant Town Does Not Contest Issue at Trial

On Tuesday, the Appeals Court issued its opinion in Talmo v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Framingham.  Massachusetts suffers no shortage of case law on standing (the right to file suit) in zoning appeals.  In this case, the issue was …

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(Reluctantly) Open for Business: Momentum Gathering for Expanded Use of Continuous Operations Clauses

Two recent court decisions may embolden commercial landlords to use a familiar lease provision in an unusual way when responding to tenants seeking to close their business operations before the end of the lease term. Continuous operations clauses are common …

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Construction Defect Claims and the Often Misunderstood Application of Express and Implied Warranties

A claim for breach of construction warranty must be filed within the time allowed by the applicable statutes of limitation or repose.  Most jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, allow parties to modify that period by agreement.  The agreement must be particular and …

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Massachusetts High Court Recognizes Employee Right of Qualified Medical Marijuana Users To Allege Handicap Discrimination For Off-Site Use of Medicinal Marijuana

Originally posted on

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New 2017 AIA Documents Released – Are You Prepared?

The construction contracts created by American Institute of Architects (“AIA”) have, for several decades, been established as the industry standard for contract forms.  There exist AIA forms for every imaginable project relationship and delivery method.  Every ten years or so, …

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Enforcing “No-Damage-for-Delay” Clauses: A Potential Landmark Construction Law Decision from the Massachusetts Appeals Court

A recent decision from the Massachusetts Appeals Court is likely to have a substantial impact on construction contract and claims practice in the Commonwealth.  The Massachusetts State College Building Authority (“MSCBA”) hired Suffolk Construction Company, Inc. (“Suffolk”) to serve as …

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