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Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partner Elected as Fellow of the American Bar Foundation

 

Peter L. Mello, a Partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, has been elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation (ABF). The ABF is an independent nonprofit organization that has been dedicated to expanding knowledge and advancing justice. For nearly 70 years, the Foundation has achieved their goal through innovative, interdisciplinary, and rigorous empirical research on law, legal processes, and legal institutions. The ABF is devoted to producing the highest quality research to inform and guide the legal profession, the academy, and society in the United States and internationally. The Fellows, which were established in 1955, are comprised of an honorary society of exemplary attorneys, judges, law faculty and legal scholars from all over the world. Membership in the Fellows is limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction. Candidates are recommended by their peers, then reviewed by the Board of the American Bar Foundation, who will then determine whether or not to elect the candidate.

 

Mr. Mello focuses his practice in municipal law and general civil litigation, including in the areas of construction, land use and zoning, wetlands and school law, among others. He has advised private clients and governmental entities alike regarding myriad and diverse issues, including employment, energy-related issues, licensing, procurement, public records, meeting procedures, conflict of interest, and many others. He practices routinely before state and federal courts and state agencies in Massachusetts and has written and presented extensively on wetlands, construction and labor issues for organizations such as REBA, the Massachusetts School Building Authority, the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association and the Massachusetts Bar Association. Mr. Mello was recognized as a Rising Star by New England Super Lawyers magazine in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

 

Mr. Mello earned his B.A. in Politics, with a Certificate in Legal Studies from Brandeis University and is a graduate of Boston University School of Law. While at Boston University School of Law, he served as a staff editor of the American Journal of Law and Medicine. He is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

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MARIJUANA REFORM BILL BECOMES LAW

On August 12, 2022, Governor Charlie Baker signed S. 3096, “An act relative to equity in the cannabis industry,” (“Act”) into law. The Act reforms Massachusetts’s existing marijuana laws, particularly with respect to host community agreements (“HCAs”), community impact fees (“CIFs”), and social consumption sites (e.g. marijuana cafes). The Act empowers the Cannabis Control Commission (“Commission”), the state regulatory agency, to exert greater control over HCAs and their CIFs. Municipalities levy CIFs on cannabis businesses to account for the costs they impose on the municipality as a result of their operations. Additionally, the Act allows municipalities to permit on-premises social consumption of marijuana at designated sites. Other notable provisions of the Act include the new Social Equity Trust Fund (“Trust Fund”), changes to the tax law regarding cannabis businesses, and various provisions concerning those persons and communities most impacted by the prior illegality of marijuana usage and sale. Governor Baker vetoed only one section of the final bill: the provision calling on the state to conduct a study of medical marijuana usage in schools.

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