When Counseling Municipalities Doherty, Wallace Recognizes There's Nothing Like Having A Court Say That You Gave A Town The Right Advice.

Municipal

Doherty, Wallace provides full-service representation to its municipal clients, including consultation with selectmen and other appointed and elected officials; commencing and defending litigation; and enforcement of local zoning and other ordinances. In addition to acting as town counsel for the towns of Longmeadow, Ludlow, Russell and Hampden and general counsel for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, the firm has acted as special counsel to a number of municipalities in Western Massachusetts, including Springfield.

Doherty, Wallace regularly consults with boards of selectmen and other municipal boards on compliance with the Massachusetts open meeting law, public records law, and conflicts-of-interest law and frequently provides written opinions on all of these matters.

The firm consults with building inspectors, planning boards, and zoning boards of appeal on zoning compliance matters and regularly brings enforcement actions when violations have occurred. The firm also ssists municipalities in procuring goods and services and provides advice on compliance with public contract and public bidding statutes.

Doherty, Wallace works closely with school officials in responding to parents who seek special education programs for their children and in defending special education complaints before the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals. The school consultation aspect of the firm's practice also includes advising school administrators on appropriate procedures in student disciplinary matters.

Local boards of assessors seek guidance from the firm on handling taxpayers' petitions for reduction of real estate tax valuations, or change in tax status, and the firm defends these cases when property owners take appeals to the Massachusetts Appellate Tax Board. The firm also frequently represents taxpayers in claims before the Appellate Tax Board involving property in communities that are not represented by the firm.

Doherty, Wallace was chosen to represent the Department of Housing and Community Development in connection with its loans to towns through the Massachusetts Community Capital Fund.