In the News

P&A attorneys have been featured, quoted or cited in hundreds of local, state and national newspaper articles, court decisions and legal publications, including pre-eminent law journals such as the Harvard Law Review.

Enumerated below is a representative sampling of articles in which P&A or members of the firm have been quoted or featured:

2018.03-04 MLJ What cities and towns can do to regulate adult use marijuana

What Cities Can do to Regulate Adult Use Marijuana

Christopher J. Petrini was appointed by Mayor Yvonne Spicer to serve as the City of Framingham’s first City Solicitor.  Mr. Petrini served as Town Counsel to Framingham from 2001-2017.  Framingham converted to a city form of government on January 1, 2018, after 317 years as a town.

Chris Petrini receiving President’s Award from MMLA President Angela Atchue at Kennedy Museum in Hyannis.


Christopher J. Petrini was awarded the 2017 President’s Award by the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association.  The President’s Award is the MMLA’s highest award and is given “in recognition of and appreciation for leadership, unwavering commitments to the advancement of municipal law and outstanding service to local government.”


On April 13, 2017, Christopher Petrini and P&A  hosted the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association 7th Annual Public Construction Update at the CBS Scene, Gillette Stadium.  This is the seventh consecutive year Mr. Petrini has moderated this conference.  This year’s conference focused on various facets of public construction and claims resolution from the perspective of the public owner, the contractor, a mediator and a judge.  The photo below shows (L-R) the seminar panelists with Henry Luthin, President of MMLA, Chris Brown of P&A, Angela Atchue of the City of Boston, Chris Petrini of P&A, Judge Nancy Holtz (Ret.) of JAMS Dispute Resolution, and Joel Lewin, contractor counsel, of Hinckley Allen & Snyder of Boston.

2016 Super-Lawyers-Press-Release

Christopher J. Petrini was named as a New England Super Lawyer for 2016.  This is the fifth time that Mr. Petrini has received this honor, having previously been recognized with this distinction in 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2015.  Mr. Petrini also was recognized in 2016 as a “Top 100 New England Super Lawyer,” which places Mr. Petrini in the top 100 of New England Super Lawyers as determined by nominations, research and the blue ribbon review and selection process utilized by Thomson Reuters, the publisher.

Super Lawyers Press Release

2015.09.08 P&A Client Advisory 2015:6

October 23, 2014:  Chris Petrini was quoted in a front page article in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly entitled Bar split over need for Dover Amendment fix MLW

Super Lawyers Press Release

June, 2014 – Chris Petrini successfully summited Mt. Rainier (14,411 ft) via the Disappointment Cleaver Route with Rainier Mountaineering International guide service. Mt. Rainier is the 5th highest mountain in the continental United States and requires technical mountaineering skills to summit and descend. This is the 4th major climb by Chris in the last four years, preceded by Thorong La (17,769 ft) on the Annapurna Circuit, Nepal in 2011, Longs Peak (14,259 ft) in Colorado in 2012, and Mt. Whitney (14,505 ft) via the Mountaineers Route in California in 2013. Chris’ future mountaineering plans include Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina.IMG_0129 (compressed)

On April 10, 2014, Barbara Saint Andre was one of the keynote speakers at the 16th Annual Real Estate Law Conference sponsored by MCLE. Attorney Saint Andre spoke on the state’s medical marijuana law and how cities and towns can enact local by-laws to further regulate registered marijuana dispensaries.

On March 15, 2014 Barbara J. Saint André will present two seminars at the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative annual meeting at Holy Cross College, “Inclusionary Zoning (not 101)” and “Zoning Exemptions. This is the eighth straight year that attorney Saint Andre has participated as a speaker at the annual event, which draws hundreds of municipal land use officials each year from across the state.

2014.02.07 P&A Client Advisory – Koss v. Palmer Water Dept (2700-07)

P&A successfully represented the Town of Framingham recently in obtaining a preliminary injunction in a zoning enforcement case entitled Town of Framingham v. Ekard Equipment Company, Inc., Middlesex Superior Court, C.A. No. 2014-00313. The Court’s ruling requires Ekard to undertake various compliance measures at its site as requested by the Town, including by removing a salt shed structure and road salt from the property, limiting the use of the property to Ekard and an affiliate entity called Russo Bros., Inc. and restoring the property to the approximate condition that it was in as of October, 2008.

January 24, 2014:  Petrini & Associates, P.C. held its 10th Anniversary Celebration at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, during the Massachusetts Municipal Association Annual Conference. Photos of the event were featured in the February 24, 2014 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in “People in the Law”

September, 2013:  Chris Petrini was elected Regional Vice President for the International Municipal Lawyers Association representing the First Circuit at the IMLA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

September, 2013:   Chris Petrini’s April 27, 2013 summit photo on Mt. Whitney with Team Heat Seekers was featured on page 12 of September, 2013 issue of Backpacker Magazine.

On August 8, 2013, attorney Barbara J. Saint André spoke at the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association (MMLA) on the topic of “Trends in Board of Health Regulations”, which included discussion of hot topics in tobacco regulations, food trucks, agricultural uses, and other areas of board of health jurisdiction.

Attorney Saint Andre chaired a panel that presented a seminar on the new Medical Marijuana Law at the MMLA annual meeting on October 18, 2013. Ms. Saint Andre reviewed the authority of cities and towns to enact zoning and other local regulations governing the use of medical marijuana and reviewed relevant rulings from the Attorney General’s office.

Barbara J. Saint André reviewed the Subdivision Control Law at the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District at its office in Taunton on October 23, 2013. The seminar was sponsored by the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative and covered the many facets of subdivision control, including procedures, ANR plans, subdivision surety, and case law.

On November 18, 2013, attorney Barbara J. Saint André presented the topic “Less than fifty shades of gray, what constitutes substantial reliance on an unrecorded variance”, Grady v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Peabody, 465 Mass. 725 (2013)” to the Abstract Club in Boston. The Abstract Club is a voluntary association of experienced real estate attorneys that has been in existence for 129 years and is limited to 100 members.

June 16, 2013:  Chris Petrini’s recent charity climb of Mt. Whitney was featured in a story published in the Boston Globe on June 16, 2013.

April, 2013:  Christopher J. Petrini completed a successful summit climb of Mt. Whitney via the Mountaineers Route to raise money for Big City Mountaineers, as part of a climbing team selected by Backpacker Magazine.

On March 16th, Barbara J. Saint André presented a seminar at the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative annual meeting at Holy Cross College on zoning exemptions under the state Zoning Act. This is the seventh straight year that attorney Saint Andre has participated as a speaker at the annual event, which draws hundreds of municipal land use officials each year. This year’s topic resulted in a lively discussion on the nuances of the Dover Amendment and agricultural uses, among other items.

October, 2012 Barbara J. Saint André was elected to The Abstract Club. The Abstract Club is a voluntary association of experienced lawyers who practice in the area of real estate law that has been in existence for 129 years. It is limited to 100 members who can only join by invitation.

P&A Client Advisory (2012-10)

On September 30th, Barbara J. Saint André will present a Zoning and Land Use Update to the City Solicitor and Town Counsel Association’s (CSTCA) Annual Meeting. The CSTCA is the state-wide bar association for attorneys in public and private practice that represent cities and towns, as well as other public entities.

P&A Client Advisory (2012:08)

P&A Client Advisory (2012:06)

P&A Client Advisory (2012:04)

P&A Client Advisory (2012:02)

P&A Client Advisory (2012:01)

April, 2012 Attorney Barbara J. Saint André presented a seminar at Dudley Town Hall on “Vested Rights and Nonconforming Uses and Structures”.  The seminar was arranged through the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative at the request of local officials.  Over 25 local board members, building officials, and town planners from area towns, including Dudley, Oxford, Auburn, Douglas, Webster, and Southbridge attended this advanced seminar on the complex issues related to nonconforming lots, uses and structures under the state zoning act.

March, 2012 Barbara J. Saint André will be presenting two land use training sessions at the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative’s (CPTC) Eleventh Annual Conference, “Advanced Tools and Techniques for Planning and Zoning”, on March 17th at the Hogan Conference Center in Worcester. The two sessions, entitled , “Soup to Nuts: How to Draft and Enact a Zoning Amendment”, and “Writing Reasonable and Defensible Decisions”, will provide valuable training to local land use officials. This will be the sixth straight year that attorney Saint Andre has been selected to make presentations at the CPTC’s annual conference. The CPTC is a cooperative program of UMass Extension, DHCD, and regional planning agencies.

January, 2012 Peter L. Mello presented at the Open Luncheon Meeting of the Environmental Committee of REBA, the Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts.  In his presentation Mr. Mello discussed the Massachusetts Appeals Court’s decision in Carney v. Town of Framingham, 79 Mass. App. Ct. 1129 (2011), rvw denied, 460 Mass. 1111 (2011), an environmental enforcement case Mr. Mello handled that drew attention across the state, particularly for its potential impact on how courts construe the commencement of appeal periods in certiorari cases under G.L. c. 249, Sec. 4.

October, 2011 Christopher Petrini fulfilled a lifelong dream to hike in the Nepal Himalayas, the “Rooftop of the World.” His journey was even more challenging and amazing than he had anticipated! A 40-minute video has been created, “Trekking in Nepal: A 50 Year Spiritual Journey,” by Chris and Boston College student Michael Lamy, describes the highlights of Chris’ travel adventure to Nepal from a spiritual perspective. For more information on this video please contact the office.

Framingham’s Chris Petrini Takes a Spiritual Journey

November, 2011 – Attorney Barbara J. Saint André will be presenting the topic “Vested Rights and Nonconforming Uses and Structures” at the Central Mass Regional Planning Commission in Worcester on November 2, 2011. The presentation is part of the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative’s (CPTC) fall course schedule. Attorney Saint André recently completed an update of five of the CPTC’s training modules, including “Vested Rights and Nonconforming Uses and Structures”, for use in CPTC’s fall’s courses.

October, 2011 – Attorney Barbara J. Saint André will speak on the topic “Securing and Assuring Fair and Balanced Mitigation”, which will explore the state of the law on how far cities and towns can go in requesting or requiring mitigation for development projects, as well as practical tips on how to administer a mitigation program.

August, 2011 – Christopher J. Petrini is quoted in a page 1 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article entitled “‘Insurer’s Malpractice Suit vs. Town Counsel Allowed.”

August, 2011 – Christopher J. Petrini and Heather C. White co-authored an article entitled “What’s Up With the Attorney-Client Privilege? — Recent Developments in the Wake of Suffolk Construction v. DCAM” that was published in the August 2011 edition of the Massachusetts Lawyers Journal.

August, 2011 – Attorney Barbara J. Saint André participated as a speaker in the City Solicitor and Town Counsel Association’s program on evidentiary proofs in municipal trials. She spoke on evidentiary and trial issues unique to appeals under General Laws chapter 40B, the comprehensive permit statute.

June, 2011 – As Chairman of the Massachusetts Bar Association Public Law Section Council, attorney Barbara J. Saint André moderated two panels at the Fifth Annual Public Law Conference. This annual conference presents topics of interest to lawyers in the public sector, including municipal, state, and federal attorneys. Ms. Saint Andre moderated two panels, one of which provided updates on the Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law, and state procurement advances, and one of which presented “What’s New at DEP”.

June, 2011 – Attorney Barbara J.Saint Andre provided the annual legal update of land use decisions at the Massachusetts Association of Planning Directors (MAPD) annual meeting in New Bedford. This is the fourth year that she has participated in the presentation of the legal update at the MAPD annual meeting. Ms. Saint Andre also reprised her role, along with Judith Barrett and new cast members, in an encore presentation of the one-act play “Everything You Should Have Told Town Counsel in the First Place”

March, 2011 – Attorney Barbara J. Saint André was a speaker at the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative’s Tenth Annual Conference at Holy Cross College in Worcester. This was the fifth straight year that she has been chosen as a speaker for the Conference, which is sponsored by UMass Extension, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, and several planning organizations. The Conference attracted over three hundred participants, including planning and zoning board members, planners, building inspectors and other local officials. She presented one of the advanced zoning topics, “Zoning Exemptions”. In addition, attorney Saint Andre played one of the lead roles, along with planning consultant Judith Barrett, in the one-act play “Everything You Should Have Told Town Counsel in the First Place”. The play presents a humorous, but insightful, look at ways to improve the working relationship between town counsel and a local zoning board of appeals.

November, 2010 Christopher J. Petrini selected as co-chair of the new MBA Civil Litigation Section Construction Law Sub-Committee

November, 2010 Two P&A Attorneys Named as New England Super Lawyers for 2010

September, 2010 – Christopher J. Petrini published an article (with Peter Mello’s assistance) entitled “May Comp time be Provided for Gap Hours in Over-40-Hour Workweeks?” in the September 2010 edition of the Fair Labor Standards Handbook, a national periodical published by Thompson Publishing Group, Inc.

August, 2010 – Christopher J. Petrini is quoted in a page 1 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article entitled “Law extending permits receives mixed reaction”

July, 2010 – Christopher Petrini was quoted in a July 10, 2010 story in the Boston Globe regarding the SJC decision in Fordyce v. Hanover, which affirmed the right of municipal officials to select the lowest eligible and responsible bidder in a case where a bidder included misstatements or omissions in its bid qualification submission, so long as the municipality did not detrimentally rely on the contractor’s misstatement or omission.

May, 2010 – Christopher J. Petrini is quoted in a page 1 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article entitled “‘Captive’ corp. must pay taxes.”

March, 2010 – Christopher J. Petrini was quoted in articles in the MetroWest Daily News, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Law 360 and Fair Labor Standards Handbook for the ground breaking Fair Labor Standards Act decision issued by the First Circuit in Calvao v. Town of Framingham, a case handled by P&A for the Town of Framingham, wherein the First Circuit held that it was not necessary to prove notice to establish a qualifying work period under 29 U.S.C. 207(k).

January, 2010 – P&A was named as Town Counsel to the Town of Sherborn.  With the addition of Sherborn, P&A is now full Town Counsel to four communities (Framingham, Medway, West Brookfield and Sherborn).

January, 2010 – Christopher J. Petrini moderated the Municipal Law Update Workshop at the Massachusetts Municipal Association Annual Meeting in Boston.  Mr. Petrini served as one of three panelists at a MMA Annual Meeting Workshop entitled “Letting the Sunshine in:  The New Open Meeting Law.”

January, 2010 – Christopher J. Petrini is quoted in a page 1 Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly article entitled “Town Board Can Hire Its Own Lawyers.”

December, 2009 – P&A named as Town Counsel to the Town of West Brookfield, Massachusetts.  Barbara J. Saint André is lead counsel.  With the addition of West Brookfield, P&A is now full Town Counsel to three communities (Framingham, Medway and West Brookfield).

November, 2009 – Christopher J. Petrini’s Selection to 2009 New England Super Lawyers

June, 2009 – Christopher J. Petrini was recently recognized by Martindale-Hubbell for attaining an AV Rating from its Peer Review Rating System for the tenth consecutive year.  The AV Rating is the highest possible professional rating available under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. 

“CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properites Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.  Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process.  Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary.  Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categorites – legal ability and general ethical standards.”

Board wants hospital review, Metrowest Daily News, May 13, 2009.

Christopher J. Petrini Elected President of the Massachusetts City Solicitors and Town Counsel Association, April 2009

CSTCA Annual awards meeting in Taunton, MBA Lawyers Journal, April, 2009.

Local Dems help Obama to victory, Metrowest Daily News, November 7, 2008.

Police OT can be cut, Lawyers Weekly, September 1, 2008.

Judge backs town in overtime suit, Metrowest Daily News, August 7, 2008.

Civil rights and an uncivil debate, Metrowest Daily News, November 11, 2007.

Town, Agency Reach Settlement, Metrowest Daily News, May 8, 2007.

The Big Lye Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, May 7, 2007.

Selectmen Approve Extending Contracts, April 20, 2007, Metrowest Daily News.

TM Approves Spending for Legal Fees, Roof, Metrowest Daily News, February 15, 2007.

Reflections on a Mentor and Friend, February 4, 2007, Metrowest Daily News.

Reverend Recalled as a Hero, Metrowest Daily News, January 30, 2007.

Longtime Sewer Dispute Put to Rest, Metrowest Daily News, January 18, 2007.

Lawyer for Town of Hopkinton Simplifies Complex Subdivision Case so that Jury Can Follow, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, December 18, 2006.

Judge Settles Sewer Dispute, Metrowest Daily News, June 16, 2006.

TM backs a 20-year Sewer Deal, Metrowest Daily News, June 9, 2006.

State OKs Site Plan Review Bylaw, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, November 17, 2005.

Framingham Settles Over Mall Expansion, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, April 11, 2005.

Boston University Law Review, 85 B.U. L. Rev. 155, Batson’s Blind-Spot: Unconscious Stereotyping and the Peremptory Challenge, Antony Page, February, 2005.

Framingham, Macy’s Appeal Mall Expansion Proposal, Boston Globe, August 12, 2004.

Towns Must Split Costs for Sewage Expenses, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, March 1, 2004.

Town not Required to Supply Public Services to Developer, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, July 21, 2003.

Bylaw Permitting Smoking Trumped by Board of Health, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, May 26, 2003.

Harvard Law Review, 103 Harv. L. Rev. 591 Harvard Law Review, Search and Seizure – Suspicionless Drug Testing – Seventh Circuit Upholds Drug Testing of Student Athletes in the Public Schools – Schaill v. Tippecanoe County School Corp., 864 F.2d 1309 (7th Cir. 1988)” December, 1989.

Harvard Law Review, 103 Harv. L. Rev. 269, The Supreme Court, 1988 Term Employee Drug Testing, November, 1989.

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