For Municipalities

Why MZS? Experience.

At MZS, we have significant experience representing municipalities throughout the State of Connecticut in a broad range of legal matters. We take great pride in the comprehensive, sophisticated services we provide to our public sector clients. Each of our municipal attorneys brings a wealth of knowledge and skill in nearly every area impacting municipalities, including land use and zoning, labor relations, litigation, and appellate practice, allowing us to counsel our clients in multiple areas. At the same time, the size and make-up of our firm allows us to serve our clients with responsiveness and agility. We offer the best of both worlds: large firm capabilities with small firm flexibility, efficiency and attention.

It is our firm’s mission to develop meaningful working relationships with our clients, becoming trusted advisors to municipal decision makers as they navigate their way through the myriad issues they face, from the routine to the complex. Now more than ever local governments need sound, reliable, practical legal advice as they deal with the challenges of the new normal we are living in since the COVID-19 outbreak. Indeed, we launched our new firm in the midst of the global pandemic and we have already assisted our municipal clients in navigating this unchartered territory. Our clients value the personalized attention and focus we bring to every matter we handle and rely on us to provide superior legal counsel. From advice on day-to-day matters, to oversight of zoning and development, negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, representation at administrative hearings, and complex court litigation, we are there for our clients.

Our municipal law team has represented numerous towns and cities across the State of Connecticut. Two of our lawyers authored, LexisNexis® Practice Guide: Connecticut Administrative Law and Practice Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of LexisNexis®, 2017. This book is a guide used by lawyers statewide in representing municipalities. Beyond the years of experience our lawyers bring in representing municipalities, several of our lawyers have extensive experience in state and local government, giving them valuable practical knowledge and insight into the inner workings of municipalities.

In addition to being experienced and well-respected in our individual areas of focus, we are a collaborative group of innovative, curious, entrepreneurial professionals who are excited to offer our unique, synergistic, personalized approach to our municipal clients. With so many varied resources available within the firm, we are well-equipped to provide across the board practical advice and dynamic legal solutions to our clients with confidence and efficiency.

Municipal Legal Services

Our services for municipalities include:

Land Use and Zoning

We represent municipalities throughout Connecticut before planning and zoning commissions, inland wetlands commissions, zoning boards of appeals, and other administrative agencies. The firm’s award-winning attorneys have handled numerous administrative appeals and zoning and wetlands enforcement proceedings and are well-known and respected in the communities we serve. Learn more about our land use and environmental law practice.

Labor and Employment

We assist our clients with a broad range of employment relations matters, including contract administration, collective bargaining, grievance arbitrations, and prohibited practice proceedings. MZS attorneys have negotiated employment agreements for multiple town government positions. We also provide pragmatic advice on day-to-day workplace issues and our clients value our responsiveness and communicativeness as we help them navigate today’s challenges while preparing for tomorrow. Learn more about our work in labor and employment law.

Civil Litigation

MZS attorneys are experienced litigators who represent municipalities in a wide range of disputes. We appear regularly in Connecticut federal and state courts, as well as before administrative tribunals and in arbitration proceedings. Skilled negotiators and problem solvers, we assist our clients in obtaining the best possible outcome, avoiding litigation where appropriate, and taking a focused, efficient, cost-effective approach to trying cases, bringing our firm’s considerable breadth and depth of experience to bear as we enter the courtroom. Learn more about our litigation practice.

Appellate Law

Our award-winning appellate attorneys have argued well over 100 appeals before the Connecticut appellate courts, including the state’s highest court, the Connecticut Supreme Court. We also represent municipalities in administrative appeals before zoning and land use boards. Our experienced appellate practitioners are skilled writers who are able to bring a mastery of the facts and substantive law, as well as oral advocacy expertise, to every appeal we handle.

Real Estate

We represent municipalities in a wide variety of real estate transactions, including but not limited to tax collection foreclosures, tax sales and even the purchase and sale of municipal property. MZS attorneys have also assisted municipalities with high-profile development projects and overseen economic development campaigns. Our work representing developers gives us unique insight when we are negotiating on behalf of our public sector clients. Learn more about our real estate practice.

Emergency Management and Civil Preparedness

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, MZS lawyers have assisted our municipal clients in understanding, interpreting, and implementing executive orders and new legislation. We stay up-to-date on the constantly-changing regulatory landscape and keep our clients informed of any and all potential impacts of the state mandates and guidelines on local government. We have significant experience advising municipalities and local first responders on laws and regulations that relate to emergency management and civil preparedness.

WPCA and Intermunicipal Agreements

Our lawyers have handled complex litigation related to a 52-million-dollar sewer expansion project in Fairfield County that resulted in a successful mediation and arbitration. Our lawyers have extensive experience reviewing bids for WPCA related projects and have advised local purchasing authorities in appropriate bid review. Our lawyers also have negotiated a regional sewer agreement with the City of Bridgeport and drafted proposed regional sewer agreements involving the City of Bridgeport, Town of Stratford, and Town of Monroe. Our understanding of intermunicipal agreements and regional cooperation is further augmented by the fact that our lawyers have counseled regional planning agencies in the State of Connecticut.

For More Information

For more information on our legal services for Connecticut municipalities, we welcome you to contact MZS.

Attorney Spotlight

Timothy M. Herbst's Profile Image
Tim Herbst practices in the areas of municipal law, land use and zoning law, as well as civil litigation. Tim brings to his municipal practice 19 years of service in government that augment his representation of municipal clients throughout the State…