[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting 5-8-1988 ATM, Art. 98, as Secs. 90.1 through 90.6 of the General Bylaws. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Administrator shall each year after the Annual Spring Town Meeting, and whenever a vacancy shall exist, choose some competent lawyer, to act as Town Counsel. He shall be paid such compensation as the Town shall determine. His term of office to take effect after the Annual Spring Town Meeting and shall continue for one year or until the appointment and acceptance of his successor.
The Town Counsel shall, when requested by Town Officers, Boards and Committees, and approved by either the Board of Selectmen or Town Administrator, furnish a written opinion on any legal question that may be submitted to him in regard to any matter which concerns the Town or them as Town Officers, and he shall at all times furnish legal advice to any office of the Town who may require his opinion upon any subject with reference to the duties incumbent upon such officer by virtue of his office.
The Town Counsel shall, unless otherwise directed by the Selectmen, prosecute all suits ordered to be brought by the Town, or defend suits brought against the Town or its officers in their official capacity. He shall, when requested by the Selectmen, appear before any tribunal, whether in law, referee, commissioners, committee, arbitrators or other tribunal on matters in which the Town may be a party, or in which the Town may be interested. For such service he shall receive suitable compensation as determined by the Board of Selectmen.
[Added 6-15-1992 ATM, Art. 36]
The purpose of this bylaw is to allow the Town from time to time to retain counsel who may also represent Citizens For A Clean Environment ("C-FACE") and/or its members in matters in which the Town of Webster is also a party without violating MGL c. 268A, §§ 17(a) and 17(c). Such dual representation allows the Town to pool resources for a common purpose and preserve scarce Town funds.
[Amended 5-11-2009 ATM, Art. 26]
Pursuant to this bylaw, the official duties of Special Town Counsel include representing Citizens For A Clean Environment ("C-FACE") and/or its Members in administrative and judicial proceedings in which the Town is also a party, provided the interests of the Town would be advanced by such dual representation and provided that such dual representation would not cause a violation of rules governing attorney conduct. Special Town Counsel shall discharge such duties only when requested to do so as in writing by the Board of Selectmen. Prior to making such a request, the Board of Selectmen shall consult with Town Counsel who shall advise the Board as to whether the interests of the Town would be advanced by such dual representation.
[Amended 5-11-2009 ATM, Art. 26]
Town Counsel shall also supervise Special Town Counsel in such instances and from time to time shall render advice to the Town as to whether this dual representation advances the interests of the Town and conforms to law.
The Town Counsel shall prosecute on behalf of the Town, in the local district court, all cases for the violation of the statutes, the Charter or these bylaws, on behalf of any board or officer of the Town, when requested in writing by the Town Administrator or the Board of Selectmen. Access to the Town Counsel shall only be granted by the Board of Selectmen or by the Town Administrator, should the Board vote to delegate this authority to the Town Administrator. The Town Administrator shall have full authority to use the services of the Town Counsel. For such services the Town Counsel shall receive suitable compensation as determined by the Board of Selectmen subject to Town Meeting appropriations.
The Town Counsel or an appointed special Town Counsel shall draw up all bonds, deeds, leases, obligations, conveyances and other legal instruments or approve the same.
Pursuant to the requirements of the General Law, all correspondence received which relates to legal action or lawsuits against the Town shall be immediately given to the Town Clerk. All documents, correspondence, etc. shall be stamped with the current date, shall be properly recorded and copies sent to the Board of Selectmen, Town Administrator and to designated Town attorneys. Such designation shall be made by the Board of Selectmen.