Carolyn M. Murray

Carolyn M. MurrayShareholder and Management Committee Member

Phone: 617.654.1726
Practice Areas: General Municipal, Employment & Labor, Litigation

Attorney Carolyn Murray’s practice focuses on municipal finance, labor/employment, land use, contracts, procurement, scope of municipal authority, conduct of town meeting, and compliance with state law.  She serves as liaison between local officials and state officials and agencies, including Office of the Attorney General, the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, the Department of Revenue, the State Ethics Commission, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Inspector General, and the State Election Division.  Attorney Murray is also a frequent presenter on topics for the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative.

Representative Matters

  • Represent municipalities in land use issues before Zoning Boards of Appeal, Planning Boards, Land Court, Superior Court and Housing Appeals Committee.
  • Advise Zoning Boards of Appeals and Planning Boards on all aspects of variances, findings, nonconforming uses, the Subdivision Control Law, special permits, and comprehensive permits, including preparation of decisions.
  • Draft and review zoning amendments. Attend Planning Board hearings on proposed amendments.
  • Provide guidance to Building Inspectors, Zoning Administrators and Zoning Enforcement Officers on interpretation and application of zoning bylaws and ordinances.
  • Advise towns in all aspects of Town Meeting, including preparation of warrants, motions, by-law amendments, and acts of special legislation.
  • Advise city councils with respect to appropriation orders, bond authorizations, ordinances and parliamentary procedure.
  • Provide guidance to Charter Commissions, Government Study Committees and Transition Committees on changes to forms of government.
  • Served as counsel to town transitioning to city form of government.
  • Defend municipalities in labor issues before the Civil Service Commission, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, American Arbitration Association, Board of Conciliation and Arbitration, and Department of Labor Relations.
  • Negotiate collective bargaining agreements with various unions.
  • Represent municipalities in grievance, arbitration and unfair labor practice hearings.
  • Conduct workplace investigations of sexual harassment, violence in the workplace, and ethics violations.
  • Provide guidance to municipalities with respect to various federal laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act.
  • Prosecute and act as hearing officer in employee disciplinary matters.
  • Counsel licensing boards regarding standards and procedures for approving, denying or revoking various municipal licenses.
  • Provide guidance relative to public procurement procedures and drafting contracts.
  • Represent awarding authorities in bid protest hearings.
  • Conduct trainings on sexual harassment, Open Meeting Law and Public Records.

Prior Experience

Town of Braintree, Braintree, MA
Town Solicitor (2008-2014)
Appointed by Mayor to serve as first in-house counsel to Town transitioning to city form of government.  Responsible for interpreting Town Charter, converting by-laws to ordinances, and advising Town Council on legislative procedures. Provided general advice to all Town departments on topics ranging from ordinance interpretation to procurement requirements and municipal finance issues.  Drafted special legislation for Town to obtain additional liquor licenses and to design/build/operate a pool/rink facility. Acted as liaison between developers and various Town boards to navigate permitting processes and to achieve projects that balance needs of developer with best interests of community. Represented Town in all litigation, including land use issues pending with Superior Court and the Land Court, and labor issues before the Civil Service Commission, Department of Labor Relations, Board of Conciliation and Arbitration, and American Arbitration Association. Drafted all contracts to which the Town was a party.

Negotiated collective bargaining agreements with eleven unions and defended the Town in all grievance, arbitration or disciplinary hearings.  Attended all meetings of and advised Zoning Board of Appeals and Board of Licensing Commissioners, prepared decisions of said boards, and defended said boards in appeals.

Kopelman and Paige, P.C., Boston, MA
Associate (2002-2003, 2004-2008)
Represented various municipalities and public entities is all aspects of municipal government, with emphasis on labor and land use issues

Massachusetts State Lottery, Braintree, MA
Executive Administrator (2003-2004)
Advised Executive Director with respect to personnel policies and issues, contract drafting and interpretation, procurement requirements, compliance with state law, budgeting, local aid, new developments in lottery business, and reports to General Court, Governor, and State Treasurer.

Representative Joseph C. Sullivan, Chairman of Transportation Committee, State House, Boston, MA
Legislative Aide/Research Assistant (2001-2002)
Researched, drafted and analyzed impacts of legislation.  Served as liaison to address constituent concerns.

Town of Braintree, Braintree, MA
Paralegal (1994-2001)
Acting Executive Secretary (2000)

Recent Decisions

  • United States v. Clean Harbors:  Represented Town and successfully intervened in environmental enforcement action to negotiate settlement that included procurement of platform ladder truck for Fire Department.
  • United States v. Town of Braintree:  Defended Town in municipal wastewater enforcement action and negotiated settlement allowing for construction of rain garden at municipal golf course in lieu of penalty.
  • Erali v. Town of Orange:  Federal Court defense verdict in case alleging female supervisor sexually harassed male subordinate.
  • Lambert v. Town of Montague:  Franklin Superior Court defense verdict in wrongful termination case.
  • DeMeo v. Braintree Building Inspector:  Norfolk Superior Court granted motion to dismiss complaint seeking enforcement action.
  • In re: Wine Nation (Wine Nation v. Braintree Board of Licensing Commissioners):  Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission upheld Town’s denial of all-alcoholic liquor license under Ballarin factors.
  • Skrycki v. Braintree Board of Selectmen:  Civil Service Commission upheld termination of police sergeant, in part based on lack of truthfulness.
  • Venuto v. Town of Braintree:  Civil Service Commission upheld termination of police officer for violation of several department policies.
  • AFSCME v. Town of Braintree:  Board of Conciliation and Arbitration affirmed termination of employee for violating Violence in the Workplace Policy.
  • AFSCME v. Town of Braintree:  Board of Conciliation and Arbitration affirmed Town’s by-pass of union employee to appoint non-union employee to vacant position.
  • Police Patrol Officers Association v. Town of Braintree:  American Arbitration Association upheld discipline of police officer for pattern of sick leave abuse.
  • McIntyre v. Braintree ZBA:  Defended Town in denial of untimely appeal of building permit with special emphasis on estoppel as applied to municipal officers.
  • Aiello v. Braintree Planning Board:  Defended issuance of special permit modification for commercial use subject to grandfathering protection.  Also involved defense of claims against municipal officials for alleged violation of the Declaration of Rights under MA Constitution and Chapter 268A.
  • Berkshire ZBA and 383 Washington Street, LLC:  Represent Town in assertion of safe harbor under G.L. c. 40B with respect to 1.5% general land area minimum.
  • Lever Development (Sajda Gardens) and West Boylston ZBA:  Represented ZBA through modifications to and appeals of Comprehensive permit.
  • Village at Sawmill Woods v. Plymouth ZBA:  Represent Town in mediation of post-decision appeal to Housing Appeals Committee of issues related to Comprehensive permit.
  • LCM Realty Trust, et al. v. Sterling Earth Removal Board:  Defend Town’s cease and desist order relative to earth removal operations and negotiate settlement and renewal to Earth Removal Board.
  • Concerned Citizens of West Boylston v. West Boylston ZBA:  Defend Town’s denial of zoning enforcement request relative to use of property as gun range and negotiate settlement of same.
  • Residences of Oxbow Field v. Wayland Planning Board:  Defend Town’s site plan approval for use of land for soccer field and negotiate resolution with residential abutters.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Massachusetts Bar
  • U.S. District Court (Mass.)

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Massachusetts Bar Association Public Law Section Committee (2010-2013)


New England School of Law
Juris Doctorate, cum laude, 2002
Full merit scholarship recipient

Smith College
Bachelor of Arts, 1990