Public Law

Updates on Public Law in Massachusetts from Anderson & Kreiger LLP

Archive for 2015

Posted In: Public Records, Public Records Requests

Massachusetts House Passes Compromise Public Records Legislation. Now on to the Senate

In its last formal session in 2015, the Massachusetts House unanimously passed a new public records bill that has been subject to great debate since last spring between public interest…

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Posted In: Employment, Municipal Law

Civil Service: A Town Can Get Away With a Flawed Process, But Not Bias

A municipality may be able to bypass a higher-ranked civil service applicant even with a flawed process, but not if there is any suggestion of bias. That’s the main takeaway…

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Posted In: Public Records

Balancing Act: Public Schools Must Protect Student Privacy – While Making Their Records Public on Request

October 23, 2015 – In a case that highlights the difficulties facing custodians of public records, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has ruled that public schools must turn over…

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Posted In: Progressive Policies

Towns Lead, State Follows: No More E-Cigarette Sales to Teens in Massachusetts

New Attorney General regulations in effect as of September 25, 2015 will help reverse the “renormalization of smoking,” according to the Executive Director of Tobacco Free Massachusetts, who announced the…

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Posted In: Uncategorized

Serious Local Health Issues Trump the Affordable Housing Zoning Act

Chapter 40B – sometimes known as the Anti-Snob Zoning Act – tackles “exclusionary zoning” that can prevent badly needed subsidized housing from being built. Under the Act, local zoning boards…

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Posted In: Contracts

Public Agencies May be Liable for Design Defects in “Construction Management at Risk” Contracts

September 2, 2015 – In a traditional “design-bid-build” public construction project, Massachusetts law holds that, by handing completed designs to a construction company, public agencies impliedly warrant that those plans…

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Posted In: First Amendment

Is Your Panhandling Ordinance Unconstitutional, Too?

After a Supreme Court decision calling into question the constitutionality of many municipal sign bylaws on free speech grounds, cities and towns may find their panhandling ordinances have also become…

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Posted In: Home Rule Amendment

Locally Regulating Where Sex Offenders Live Is Dangerous and Illegal

August 28, 2015 – Massachusetts municipalities may not regulate where sex offenders live, according the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). The decision could invalidate local laws in almost 50 Massachusetts municipalities…

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Posted In: Municipal Law

SJC Flags the Town of Hudson for Poor Sportsmanship

August 3, 2015 – Municipalities owe the same reasonable duty of care to visiting student-athletes as to their own public school students, according to the Supreme Judicial Court.  In particular,…

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Posted In: Public Records

Legislature to Vote on an Onerous New Public Records Act

After the summer recess, the Massachusetts House of Representatives is expected to vote on Bill H.3665, “An Act to improve public records,” which would impose time-consuming and expensive compliance obligations…

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