Stephen F. Madaus

Stephen provides advice and counsel to clients in various areas of municipal law, including public bidding and procurement, the designer selection law, public construction, contracts, zoning, subdivision control law, eminent domain, the creation or discontinuance of public ways and the state's conflict of interest law. He represents owners, both public and private, in preparing, reviewing and amending agreements for architect's services, engineering services and contracts for construction of medium-size and large-scale projects. He also appears regularly on behalf of clients before local planning boards, zoning boards of appeals and conservation commissions. He represents companies in applying for and obtaining Tax Increment Financing Agreements. Stephen serves as co-chair of the Worcester County Bar Association's Municipal Law Section.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • Suffolk University Law School JD, cum laude
  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute BS
  • Serves as town counsel, special town counsel or deputy town counsel for four towns, two water districts and two school departments
  • Reviewed and revised contracts for design and architectural services and for construction on behalf of owners and developers
  • Represented two Massachusetts public charter schools relative to significant school construction projects
  • Represents a national bank in negotiating, preparing and reviewing agreements for design services and contracts for construction for various branches throughout the northeast
  • Represented a local college in obtaining zoning approvals and permits for the construction of a new residence hall and parking garage

Publications/Presentations

  • Lecture on public construction law and the recent reforms thereto at the 2006 annual meeting of the Fire Chiefs' Association of Massachusetts
  • Panelist, "How to Avoid Litigation," 2005 conference of the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative, a training collaborative for local planning boards supported by the UMass Extension School and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development

Professional / Community Affiliations

  • Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Worcester County Bar Association, Executive Committee
  • Lt. James "Jay" Lyons Memorial Scholarship Committee
  • Worcester State University, Board of Trustees
  • Bay State Savings Bank, Corporator

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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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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