What Municipal Attorneys Actually Do

By Ken Taylor

Cramer & Anderson’s municipal clients include the City of Danbury and the Towns of New Milford, Kent, Cornwall, Sherman and Washington, along with many municipal boards, commissions and agencies.

Just as our country is governed by elected officials whose policies and decisions please some and offend others, Connecticut’s towns and cities are led by elected and appointed officials whose actions draw both praise and criticism.

Even the small towns in our region of western Connecticut are not immune to policy and political squabbles, which sometimes can be intense.

Amid the process, and especially when a sitting administration is under scrutiny, voices of dissent will occasionally extend blame to the attorneys, or the firm, that represents the town.

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Cramer & Anderson Partner Ken Taylor.

We understand the instinct underpinning that emotional response—but it’s criticism that has no basis in how things work.

In the arena of Municipal Law, law firms do not represent an elected official, his or her administration, or any political party or partisan point of view.

Law firms like Cramer & Anderson represent the town or city.

We do not suggest policy or other initiatives. We do not make policy decisions or dictate what philosophy or path should be pursued on specific issues or areas of governance in general.

We take pride in advising our clients as to what the law allows and what it doesn’t. Then the client—typically senior elected or appointed officials representing the municipality and all of its residents—makes an informed decision.

It is not a municipal attorney’s role to sway that decision, other than counseling whether it dovetails with all existing and applicable laws, codes and standards.

The task is more complex than it may seem.

Municipal law requires expertise in legal issues that range from ordinance and contract drafting to representation of land use agencies and litigation at all levels of the Connecticut court system.

Cramer & Anderson’s municipal lawyers have decades’ worth of experience in providing the highest quality legal services to municipal clients. A number of our Municipal Law attorneys are chief legal counsel to municipalities, and have served as special counsel for specific matters and cases, including charter revisions.

Our experience includes litigating municipal property tax appeals relating to highly specialized energy-generation properties and impoundments, sometimes valued in the tens or hundreds of millions, as well as complex commercial properties and entire subdivisions.

Our lawyers have also litigated a wide spectrum of municipal cases involving injunctions, bid claims and enforcement of codes and regulations.

To learn more about Municipal Law and the firm’s wealth of experience, contact me or our attorneys who handle Municipal Law, including D. Randall DiBella, Dan Casagrande, Scott McCarthy, Kim Nolan, Perley Grimes, Dolores Schiesel, John Tower, and Abigail Miranda.

The firm has offices in New Milford, Danbury, Litchfield, Kent and Washington Depot. For more information, see the website at crameranderson.com or call the New Milford office at (860) 355-2631.