Practice Areas: General Municipal, Litigation
Attorney Lauren Goldberg has over 25 years of public law experience advising clients on general municipal law issues, and particularly with respect to municipal governance, municipal finance and administrative law, including the Public Records Law, Conflict of Interest Law, and Open Meeting Law. Attorney Goldberg assists numerous client towns in connection with all aspects of Town Meeting, including assisting with preparation of warrant articles, attending pre-meetings with Town officials, advising as to parliamentary procedure, and representing Towns at Town Meetings. She has extensive experience reviewing, drafting, and revising municipal charters, ordinances and bylaws, and assisting municipal clients in interpreting and implementing the same. Attorney Goldberg also advises municipalities concerning the Home Rule Procedures Act and the Home Rule Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution, drafts special legislation, and assists clients in the legislative process, including testifying on behalf of clients before joint committees of the General Court. Her practice includes regularly drafting by-laws and ordinances and advocating on behalf of clients before the Attorney General with regard to approval of by-laws. Attorney Goldberg was named by Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekly as one of 2018’s 50 Top Women in Law.
Attorney Goldberg, a founding member of the firm’s Government Information and Access Group, has worked with the firm’s clients to implement the revised Open Meeting Law, and, most recently, the new Public Records Law. Attorney Goldberg regularly lectures on these topics to the Massachusetts City and Town Clerks Associations, Massachusetts Treasurer Collectors Association, the Massachusetts Municipal Association, Massachusetts Select Board Association, and Massachusetts City Council Association.
Attorney Goldberg acts as the firm’s point person for all election-related matters, including serving as special counsel for many non-clients in high stakes recounts and litigating election-related challenges. Attorney Goldberg regularly provides advice to city and town clerks and boards of registrars and election commissioners concerning the application of state and federal election laws to municipalities, assists with implementation of changes to the election laws, particularly early voting by mail and early voting in person, provides guidance and support for voter registration challenges, and more.
Attorney Goldberg joined the firm after serving as Legal Counsel to the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Elections Division. In this capacity, she drafted amendments to the state election laws and regulations and assisted city and town clerks in implementing state election laws.
- Represented the client Towns of Hamilton, Georgetown and Topsfield, and served as special counsel for the Town of Ipswich, in the close results of a recount for the November 2022 Essex County State Representative race.
- Represented the City of Framingham as Special Counsel in the November 2021 City Council recount.
- Represented the Fall River City Council as Special Counsel seeking a declaration confirming the validity of the Council’s September 2019 emergency order determining that Mayor Correia was unable to carry out his official duties due to pending indictments directly related to the exercise of his official duties. The matter Fall River City Council v. Jasiel F. Correia, II, Bristol Superiour Court, Civil Action No. 1973CV00885 was litigated and later jointly dismissed.
- Represented City of Boston as Special Counsel in recount for Councillor-at-Large with nearly 70,000 ballots in Fall of 2019.
- Represented City of Newton as Special Counsel in City-wide recount for District Councillor in Fall 2019.
- Represented City of Salem as Special Counsel in District Councillor recount and in the prolonged litigation that followed. The matter of Jerry L. Ryan v. City of Salem, et al., Essex Superior Court, Civil Action No. 1977CV01675 was decided from the bench after nine days of trial with the judge finding in favor of the City on all Counts, which decision was later upheld by the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
- Represented City of Lowell as Special Counsel in Fall of 2018 Congressional district-wide recount.
- Represented City of Lawrence as Special Counsel in Fall of 2018 Congressional district-wide recount.
- Represented City of Leominster as Special Counsel in complicated Mayoral Recount in 2017.
- Represented City of Beverly as Special Counsel in Fall of 2017 recount for Council President.
- Represented City of Framingham with respect to 2017 Ballot Question recount concerning the change of form of government from town to city.
- Represented Town of Hull as Special Counsel in 2016 recount for office of Selectmen.
- Represented City of Revere as special counsel in controversial recount for office of Mayor in 2015.
- Represented the Towns of Amesbury, Salisbury and Newburyport in a district-wide recount of the historically close result in the November, 2014 State Election for the office of State Representative.
- Represented the City of Lawrence as special counsel in the controversial November 2013 recount of the office of Mayor.
- Represented the City of Taunton as special counsel in a controversial 2011 recount for State Representative.
- Conducted recounts in numerous client communities including Acushnet, Carver, Freetown, Hanson, Huntington, Lakeville, Millbury, Oxford, Provincetown, Rehoboth, Sandwich, Sheffield, Sturbridge, Southbridge, Southampton, Templeton, Walpole and Watertown.
- Represented the Town of Southbridge as special counsel in a hotly contested special election for State Representative, in which various voter observation groups presented a significant challenge to administration of the election.
- Represented the Essex Board of Registrars in connection with challenges to the voter registrations of over 100 voters over a two-year period.
- Drafted special legislation for various client communities on a range of matters, from, for example, the use of Community Preservation Act funds in Weston for an existing affordable housing project and the creation of corporation to hold a liquor license in connection with the Town’s possible re-use of an historic building to inclusion on the ballot in the Towns of Webster and Watertown of offices to fill untimely vacancies, creation of special funds to address unanticipated significant revenues, as well as legislation ratifying, validating and confirming the Town of Webster’s amendment of its charter, and numerous elections and town meetings in various client communities held without sufficient legal notice.
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Boston, MA
Legal Counsel, Elections Division, August 1997 to April 2000
Provided legal advice and guidance to Secretary of the Commonwealth, state and municipal officials, candidates, legislators, elections staff, and general public about all aspects of election law. Drafted and reviewed election legislation and regulations and designed and implemented statewide training program on polling place accessibility. Served as legal counsel to the State Ballot Law Commission, the state agency that decides matters relative to access to state ballot. Drafted Commission decisions.
Staff Attorney, Public Records Division, August 1996 to August 1997
Drafted administrative appeals decisions and advisory opinions regarding the application of the Public Records Law and Public Records Access Regulations to records held by government agencies. Provided legal opinions and guidance to records custodians and the general public regarding availability and disclosure of public records.
- Massachusetts Bar
- U.S. Court of Appeals
- U.S. District Court
Boston University School of Law
Juris Doctor, 1995
Boston University Law Review
G. Joseph Tauro Scholar
Trinity College (Hartford, CT)
Bachelor of Arts, with Honors, 1991
Honors: Faculty Honors List
Chinese Language Achievement Book Award
- Regularly present “Open Meeting, Public Records and Conflict of Interest Law” procedures and updates to Cities, Towns and various Massachusetts State Agencies
- “An Overview: Town Meeting and the Votes Act”, Massachusetts Town and City Clerk Association Annual Winter Conference, February 1, 2023
- “So-Called First Amendment Audits”, Massachusetts Municipal Association webinar for all members, with attendance nearing 1,000, January 10, 2023
- “First Amendment Audit Protocol”, Massachusetts Municipal Human Resources Association Winter Conference, January 10, 2023
- “First Amendment Audit: A How-To Guide” and “Public Records Law and Best Practices for Responding to Public Records Requests”, Massachusetts Auditors and Accountants Association, December 2, 2022
- Panelist “Transitioning Into Election Reform”, New England Association of City and Town Clerk, November 16, 2022
- “Top 5 Municipal Law Questions”, Mayors’ Association, April 27, 2022
- “Town Meeting: Everything You Want to Know But are Afraid to Ask”, Tri-County City and Clerk’s Association, October 14, 2022
- “Virtual, Hybrid, and In-Person Public Meetings”, Massachusetts Select Board Association, January 28, 2022
- “Municipal Strategies for Online and In-Person Engagement”, Massachusetts Municipal Association, January 25, 2022
- “First Amendment Audit Protocol”, Massachusetts Council on Aging, November 30, 2021
- “Open Meeting and Public Records Law Technology and Emerging Issues”, Massachusetts Select Board Association, July 14, 2021
- “From Associate Members to Vacancies: An Overview of Board Committees”, Massachusetts Town Clerk’s Association Summer Conference, June 10, 2021
- “Pitfalls of Municipal Government”, Massachusetts Select Board Association’s Leadership Conference, May 26, 2020
- “Elections: We Can Only Control What We Can Control”, Massachusetts City and Town Clerks Association, February 3, 2020
- “Governing Remotely: Challenges, Implementation & Surprises”, Massachusetts Municipal Conference Annual Meeting (Remote); January 24, 2020
- Panelist, “Open Meeting Law: Overview & Practical Considerations for Public Entities”, January 24, 2020, Massachusetts Municipal Association Annual Meeting
- Panelist, “Open Meeting Law: What is a meeting, and why does it matter anyway?”, January 19, 2019, Massachusetts Municipal Association Annual Meeting
- Panelist, “Charters: Adoption and Amendment” January 19, 2019, Massachusetts Municipal Association Annual Meeting
- “Voter Registration Challenges: A Practical Approach”, Massachusetts City and Town Clerk’s Association Annual Summer Meeting, June 13, 2019
- Panelist, “Opening the Books on the New Public Records Law,” September 23, 2016, Massachusetts Municipal Association and Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association
- MCLE Panel, “Transparency and Transition: The Public Records Law & Records Retention,” July 22, 2014
- Present classes at annual conferences of the Massachusetts City and Town Clerks Association, including, “Essential Roles of the City and Town Clerk”, “Hearings before Boards of Registrars and Election Commissioners and General Election Potpourri”, “What About Recounts?”, “How to Conduct a Recount”, “The Mysterious World of Municipal Finance”, “Community Preservation Act”, “Town Meeting, An Overview”, “Charter Adoption and Amendment”, “Parliamentary Procedure and Open Meeting Law Update”, and “Town Meeting from Soup to Nuts”
- “Public Records Law”, New Selectman Training Seminar, Massachusetts Municipal Association, 2014
- “Data Security”, Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce Municipal Breakfast, April 10, 2014
- “Major Changes to Governance Laws”, Massachusetts Municipal Association/ Massachusetts Selectmen Association’s Leadership Conference for Selectmen, May, 2012, Panel Participant
- “Massachusetts Election Administration, Campaign Finance & Lobbying Law”, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Panel, February, 2012
- “Freedom of Information and Public Records Law in Massachusetts,” Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Panel, 2011
- “Initiating and Responding to Public Records Law Requests”, Third Annual Public Law Conference, Massachusetts Bar Association, June 2009
- “Hot Topics and Trends in the Open Meeting Law,” Massachusetts Bar Association Brown Bag Lunch Series Panel, December 2006
- “Town Meeting – Legal Issues in Preparation of the Warrant, Conducting Town Meeting, and Resolving Last Minute Issues,” Massachusetts Moderators Association Conference, March 2005
- “Criminal Offender Record Information – Revised Regulations and Implementation Thereof,” Small Town Administrators of Massachusetts, September 2005
- “Driver Privacy Protection Act,” Massachusetts Treasurers and Collectors Association Conference, May 2004
- “Timeline of a Town Meeting,” Massachusetts Town Clerks’ Association Winter Conference, February 2003
- “Election Law Administration,” Massachusetts Continuing Legal Election Seminar, February 2000
- Author, “Your View: New Public Records Law Could Have Unintended Consequences,” The Standard-Times, first published in 2016
- Author, “Major Public Records Changes Coming,” Taunton Daily Gazette, first published in 2016
- Author, “Ramifications of Public Records Law,” The Berkshire Eagle, first published in 2016
- Author, “Municipal Election Administration and Campaign Finance,” Massachusetts Municipal Law, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, first published in 2002
- Author, “Insurance Coverage for Municipalities,” Massachusetts Municipal Law, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, first published in 2002
- Co-Editor, Massachusetts Election Administration, Campaign Finance and Lobbying Law, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, first published in 2000
- Author, “Voter Registration,” Massachusetts Election Administration, Campaign Finance and Lobbying Law, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, first published in 2000
- Author, “Nominations, Caucuses and Primaries,” Massachusetts Election Administration, Campaign Finance and Lobbying Law, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, first published in 2000
- Author, “Election Day Administration,” Massachusetts Election Administration, Campaign Finance and Lobbying Law, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, first published in 2000
- Author, “Related Federal Laws,” Massachusetts Election Administration, Campaign Finance and Lobbying Law, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, first published in 2000