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 ]

Building on Lands Formerly Used as Railroad Right-of-Ways- An Amendment That May Simplify the Permitting Process

For the last forty-five (45) years, obtaining a permit to build any type of structure on any former railroad right-of-way in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been far from seamless. Massachusetts General Law c.40 §54A, enacted by the legislature in …

[ load webpage to read more ]

MassDEP Working on a Drinking Water MCL for PFAS

Several weeks ago, I posted that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed a new groundwater standard for PFAS contamination under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan regulations (310 CMR 40.0000).  Public comment on the proposed regulations remains open through July …

[ load webpage to read more ]

Appearance of Bias Not Enough to Invalidate Appraisal – Unless the Contract Says Otherwise

When parties enter a contract involving an appraised value of real estate, they need eventual finality with respect to that appraised value, but they also want fairness in the appraisal process. In Buffalo-Water 1, LLC v. Fidelity Real Estate Company, …

[ load webpage to read more ]

BREAKING: MassDEP Announces Proposed Revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, Including a Reportable Concentration for PFAS at 20 ppt

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced proposed revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 40.0000).  This begins a 3-month public comment period that will end July 19, 2019, and will include four public hearings. According to MassDEP, …

[ load webpage to read more ]

EPA Issues Interpretive Statement: Groundwater Discharges are Not Subject to the Clean Water Act

In a not-so-stunning development, the EPA on Monday issued an Interpretive Statement putting to rest speculation on EPA’s position as to whether groundwater discharges are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The answer:  “No.”  EPA’s 57-page …

[ load webpage to read more ]

Third Party Beneficiary Rights in Construction Contracts

Last week the United States District Court in Massachusetts issued an important decision concerning third party beneficiary rights in construction contracts.  In Arco Ingenieros, S.A. de C.V. v. CDM International Inc., Civil Action No. 18-12348-PBS, a design-builder incurred damages due …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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. …

[ load webpage to read more ]

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 …

[ load webpage to read more ]
 

Our Practices