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RFP for legal counsel

The County Commissioners of the County of Dukes County (hereinafter called the “County”) seek to appoint a highly qualified attorney/law firm as County Counsel.  The successful appointee should meet or exceed the qualifications stated herein and, in general, should be readily accessible to authorized public officials, exceptionally experienced in municipal law, labor negotiations, grievance arbitration and labor relations cases, scrupulous in adhering to required standards of professional conduct and ethics, and committed to rendering sound legal advice with suitable objectivity and professional detachment.

Minimum Qualifications

Bar Admissions
The appointee and all those who serve as back-up to the appointee (see below) must be a member in good standing of the Massachusetts Bar and of the Federal Bar for the District of Massachusetts.

The appointee must represent or have represented as general counsel (or functional equivalent) a minimum of two Massachusetts municipalities for no less than three years each, or possess equivalent experience.  References for all municipalities currently represented or represented in the past ten years by the appointee must be furnished.  The appointee also must have substantial experience in the areas of municipal law, labor relations cases and collective bargaining.

The appointee must commit to returning all calls from authorized officials either himself/herself or through a qualified back up within 24 hours of the call.  The appointee must also commit, as a general rule, to responding to requests for written opinions within one week unless the circumstances of the opinion warrant a shorter or longer time frame for a response.

The appointee must have within his or her firm or through an established “of counsel” relationship at least one other qualified attorney available to render advice and otherwise represent the interests of the County when the appointee is unavailable.  In this context, “qualified attorney” shall mean another lawyer who substantially meets the minimum qualifications set forth herein for the appointee.

The appointee 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 matter reference for the service, a description of the service performed, the time it took to perform that function, and the hourly rate for the individual performing the function.  Expense items must also be itemized.

Fees and Expenses
The County’s budget for legal expenses for FY2010 is $3,000. This budget includes fees and expenses for County Counsel and special counsel as necessary. The County Manager strongly desires to stay within this budgeted amount. Other budgets may contain amounts to be expended on legal services.

Towards this end, the County Commissioners would be pleased to consider alternatives to the traditional hourly rate fee arrangement with counsel.  As but one example, responding attorneys may propose a fixed retainer for a specified scope of services, with an hourly rate for work outside the established scope of services.  Responding attorneys should feel free to be creative in this regard so long as the proposal is workable and reasonable.

Whether or not an alternative fee arrangement is proposed by the responding attorney, the attached fees and expenses response sheet must be completely filled out.  

In seeking County Counsel, the County Commissioners are not bound by M.G.L. c.30B or by any other constraints apart from the sound judgment of its members. This process is being used to communicate the desired qualifications of County Counsel and to solicit information in an orderly fashion for rough comparative purposes. Ultimately, though, the County Commissioners will select the candidate that they deem to be in the best interests of the County, in their sole discretion.  Consequently, the County Commissioners and the County reserve the right to waive any irregularities in the decision process and to accept or reject any or all proposals.

There is no expressed or implied obligation for the County to reimburse attorneys and law firms for any expenses incurred in preparing proposals in response to this request.

Qualified attorneys interested in responding to this Request for Proposal (RFP) should fill out the attached forms completely, attach copies of all documents requested therein, and return the same in an envelope labeled “Counsel RFP” to:
Russell H. Smith, County Manager
P.O. Box 190
Edgartown, MA 02539

All responses must be received at the above address no later than March 27, 2009 at 4 pm.

The decision on the legal counsel will be made on April 8, 2009.  All parties will be notified of the decision by April 10, 2009.


Name:__________________________________________          BBO #_____________________

Firm Name:______________________________________




Fax No.:________________________


Please respond to each of the following, using separate pages as necessary:

Please identify by name (and BBO #, address and phone number if different than above) the proposed Town Counsel and each proposed back-up counsel:

Please attach resumes or curriculum vitae for each attorney identified above.

Do each of the attorneys identified above meet the minimum bar admission requirements of the RFP?  If other than “yes”, please explain.

With respect to each attorney identified, please list each and every Massachusetts municipality represented by the attorney within the past ten years, the years of such representation, and the name, address and phone number of at least one contact person in each municipality with knowledge of the attorney’s representation.

Please describe each identified attorney’s experience in the areas of municipal law, labor negotiations, grievance arbitration and labor relations cases.

Please identify any areas of the law where you restrict your practice, or are not certified.

Please describe how you propose to satisfy the Accessibility requirements of the RFP?

Please describe how you propose to satisfy the Back-up requirements of the RFP?

Will you meet or exceed the Billing requirements of the RFP?

Please state the amount of malpractice insurance you currently have.

By my signature, I certify that the information contained in this Response to Request for
Proposals are complete and accurate, to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Signed:_____________________________________    Date:______________


Fees and Expenses Response Sheet
(To be attached to and made a part of the overall Response to Request for Proposals)

Please list the name and hourly rate for proposed County Counsel and for each attorney intended or likely to serve as back-up (research, travel time, court appearances, town meetings..):

If you propose to bill for services provided by paralegals, clerical staff, or other non-attorney personnel, please list by title and by hourly rate each position for whom you may bill:

Please provide a complete listing of all charges for expenses you intend to impose as incurred (i.e. any and all copy charges, telephone charges, fax charges, mileage charges and the like, but excluding any fees for stenographers, court fees, service fees and the like):

In what hourly increments do you intend to bill?

Do you bill out attorney time out of the office on a portal-to-portal basis or some other basis?  Please describe.

Do you intend to propose an alternative fee arrangement?   Yes____  No____    If “yes”, please attach additional sheet(s) fully describing and explaining your proposal

Tax Compliance Certification
Pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 63C, Section 49A, I certify under the penalties of perjury that I, to the best of my knowledge and belief, have filed all state tax returns and paid all state taxes required under law.

Federal Identification Number: ________________________

Signature of Individual: ____________________________

Name of Business: ________________________________

Statement of Non-Collusion

The undersigned certifies under penalties of perjury that this proposal has been made and submitted in good faith and without collusion or fraud with any other person. As used in this certification, the word “person” shall mean any natural person, business partnership, corporation, union, committee, club, or other organization, entity, or group of individuals.

Name of person authorized to sign: __________________________________

Name of business:  _________________________________________

The County of Dukes County PO Box 190, Edgartown, MA 02539
Phone: 508.696.3840    Fax: 508.696.3841
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