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DTCSC Request for Proposals

DTCSC Request for Proposals

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Published by William F. Zachmann
The Town of Duxbury request for proposals for the services as Town Counsel issued on behalf of the Duxbury Town Counsel Search Committee (DTCSC)
The Town of Duxbury request for proposals for the services as Town Counsel issued on behalf of the Duxbury Town Counsel Search Committee (DTCSC)

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Published by: William F. Zachmann on Dec 07, 2012
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12/07/2012

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Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS:
TOWN COUNSEL SERVICES
1. Objective
The Town of Duxbury, Massachusetts, acting through its Board of Selectmen is seeking proposals fromhighly qualified attorneys or law firms to provide professional legal services. Each proposer shalldesignate an individual to serve as Town Counsel. The appointment of Town Counsel shall not confer anyemployment rights or benefits. All proposers should meet or exceed the qualifications stated herein and,in general, should be readily accessible to authorized public officials, exceptionally experienced inmunicipal law, scrupulous in adhering to required standards of professional conduct and ethics, andcommitted to rendering sound legal advice with suitable objectivity and professional detachment.While the Town seeks to encourage competition and evaluate proposers on a uniform basis, thissolicitation is not governed by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 30B. As a result, the Town retainscomplete discretion in the manner in which the proposals shall be evaluated and services awarded
2. Municipality
The Town of Duxbury is located approximately 33 miles southeast of Boston, has a population of about14,541 residents and a total land area of 37 plus square miles including 14 square miles of water. DuxburyBeach features a 6 mile stretch of coastline. The Town is predominantly residential with few small,vibrant commercial areas. The Town approved a budget of $57.8 million for fiscal 2012 and maintains aAAA Standard and Poor credit rating. At present there are several large public construction projects in theworks including a new co-located high school and middle school, a new police station and an addition tothe fire station. Town government functions under a Board of Selectmen and Town Manager with an openTown Meeting. The Town Clerk, Board of Assessors and Planning Boards are elected positions while theZoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission and Finance Committee are appointed. Municipalservices are managed through a group of professionally trained managers and rendered by dedicatedemployees. The Town’s decision making process is highly participatory and consensus driven. The Towntakes great advantage of the willingness of citizens with advanced knowledge and experience in manyprofessional and technical fields to contribute to their community on volunteer boards, committees andtask forces. Proposers are encouraged to learn more about the Town of Duxbury through its municipalwebsite and local publications.
 
 
3. Minimum QualificationsA. Bar Admissions
 The proposer and all those who serve as back-up to the proposer (see below) must be a member ingood standing of the Massachusetts Bar and of the Federal Bar for the District of Massachusetts.Town Counsel must have Professional Liability Insurance in the amount of at least $1,000,000.
B. Experience
The proposer must represent or have represented as general town counsel a Massachusettsmunicipality for not less than five (5) years, or possess equivalent experience. References for allmunicipalities currently represented or represented in the past ten years by the proposer must befurnished. The proposer should have substantial experience in most areas of municipal law,including but not limited to zoning and planning, conflict of interest, public construction, publiccontracts, environmental law, municipal finance, labor relations, litigation and open townmeeting.
C. Accessibility/Accountability
The proposer must commit to responding to all communications from the Board of Selectmen andTown Manager either himself/herself or through a qualified back up within 24 hours of thecommunication. The proposer must also commit, as a general rule, to responding to requests forwritten opinions within one week unless the circumstances of the opinion warrant a shorter orlonger time frame for a response. And, the proposer must commit to preparing a monthly writtensummary of all open issues at no cost to the Town.
D. Back-up
The proposer must have within his or her firm or through an established “of counsel” relationshipat least one other qualified attorney available to render advice and otherwise represent theinterests of the Town of Duxbury when the proposer is unavailable. In this context, “qualifiedattorney” shall mean another lawyer who substantially meets the minimum qualifications set forthherein for the proposer.
E. Billing
The proposer must commit to providing statements for services rendered on a monthly basis.Each statement, if based on an hourly rate for services, must disclose, at a minimum, the date of the service, the identity of the lawyer or staff person performing the service, the subject matterreference for the service, a description of the service performed, the time it took to perform thatfunction, and the hourly rate for the individual performing the function. Expense items if any,must also be itemized.The Board of Selectmen would be pleased to consider alternatives to the traditional hourly ratefee arrangement with counsel. As but one example, responding attorneys may propose a fixedretainer for a specified scope of services, with an hourly rate for work outside the establishedscope of services. Proposers should feel free to be creative in this regard so long as the proposalis workable and reasonable. Whether or not an alternative fee arrangement is proposed, theattached fees and expenses response sheet must be completely filled out.
 
 
4. Selection Process and Schedule
 The Town Counsel Search Committee is responsible for issuing this RFP and identifying finalists for theBoard of Selectmen’s consideration. During this process it is likely that an interview process will bedeveloped for proposers to meet with the search committee, the Town Manager and other key staff.During the Selectmen’s consideration, the proposers identified as finalists will interview with theSelectmen during an open meeting. It is expected this process will conclude on or around December 3,2012. As stated above, in seeking Town Counsel, the Board of Selectmen is not bound by M.G.L. c. 30Bor by any other constraints apart from the sound judgment of its members. This process is being used tocommunicate the desired qualifications of Town Counsel and to solicit information in an orderly fashionfor rough comparative purposes. Ultimately, though, the Board of Selectmen will select the candidatethat they deem to be in the best interests of the Town, in its sole discretion. Consequently, the Board of Selectmen and the Town of Duxbury reserve the right to waive any irregularities in the RFP process andto accept or reject any or all proposals.Below are the projected dated for this process. The Town reserves the right to modify this schedule as itdetermines convenient.September 12, 2012 RFP issuedOctober 17, 2012 Proposals due by 3:00 PMLate October to early November Search Committee evaluation processMid November Board of Selectmen interviews of finalistsDecember 3, 2102 Board of Selectmen’s decision
5. Application
 Qualified attorneys or law firms interested in responding to this RFP should fill out the attached formscompletely, attach copies of all documents requested therein, and return the same in an envelope labeled“Town Counsel RFP” to:Duxbury Board of Selectmenc/o Richard R. MacDonald, Town Manager878 Tremont StreetDuxbury, MA 02332Please provide 8 hard copies of the RFP response and all associated documentation on 8 ½ x 11 paperalong with one digital copy.All responses to this RFP must be received at the above address no later than 3:00 PM October17, 2012

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