Brian W. Riley


Phone: 617.556.0007
Practice Areas: General Municipal, Land Use, Litigation

Attorney Brian Riley, a Member in the firm, has over 25 years of experience in municipal law. He is an experienced litigator representing municipalities in all levels of the state and federal courts and administrative agencies. His practice involves a broad range of municipal law subjects, including land use, charters and by-laws, elections, all areas of licensing, municipal finance, bankruptcy, regional school districts and the conflict of interest, public records and open meeting laws.

Representative Matters

  • Provides town counsel services for numerous communities in Massachusetts.
  • Advises in the areas of municipal finance, Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law, Town Meeting, and City and Town Council meetings, drafting special legislation, and analyzing and interpreting by-laws, ordinance, and charters.
  • Assists with town meeting matters, including drafting warrant articles and motions, reviewing annual and special town meeting warrants, meeting with moderators and other key town officials and representing towns at town meeting.
  • Tedeschi Food Shops, Inc. v. Abington Board of Selectmen, PLCV2011-01383 (2013).       Successfully defended a Board of Selectmen’s denial of an underground storage tank license for a proposed service station, based on public health and safety concerns.
  • Town of Holden v. Wachusett Regional School District Committee, et al., 445 Mass. 656 (2005). Defended a small town from an amendment to a regional school agreement that would have overcharged the town for its share of the budget, in violation of the Education Reform Act.
  • Sullivan v. State Police and Chief of Police of Pembroke, et al., 57 Mass. App. Ct. 10 (2003). Defended Chief’s interpretation of state law prohibiting the sale of firearms from a residential structure, notwithstanding the structure’s separate entrance for business area.
  • North and South Rivers Watershed Assoc. v. Town of Scituate, 949 F.2d 552 (1991). Successfully defended town from a suit pursuant to the Federal Clean Water Act.
  • Has represented numerous municipal clients before District and Superior Courts as well as state agencies on a variety of licensing issues, including alcoholic beverages, firearms, taxi and limousine regulations, motor vehicle sales and entertainment licensing.

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Massachusetts Bar Association

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts Bar
  • U.S. District Court (Mass.)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit


Suffolk University Law School
Juris Doctor, 1989
Technical Editor (1988-1989), Staff Member (1987-1988), Suffolk University Law Review

University of Pennsylvania
Bachelor of Arts, 1981


  • Author, “Municipal Election Administration And Campaign Finance,” Chapter 22 of Massachusetts Municipal Law (MCLE), 2002

Speaking Engagements

  • Brian frequently presents seminars throughout the state for municipalities and other groups under the umbrella of the MMA, on the recent changes to Open Meeting Law.
  • Attorney Riley has lectured on municipal law to a variety of organizations, including the Massachusetts Municipal Councilors Association, Small Town Administrators of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Town Clerk’s Association and the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards.  Topics include the conflict of interest and public records laws, election recounts, by-law enforcement and parliamentary procedure.