LEGAL Q&A: Legal Services Department: 2018 Year-in-Review

The information contained in this article is not intended as legal advice and may no longer be accurate due to changes in the law. Consult NHMA's legal services or your municipal attorney.

NHMA staff includes two attorney who are available to answer legal inquires and provide general legal assistance by email and telephone to elected and appointed officials from member municipalities. Although these attorneys prepare articles, handbooks, seminars, and other educa­tional programs and publications, they spend a lot of time answering your specific legal inquires, either by phone or by email. NHMA strives to have a lawyer on telephone duty at 1-800- 852-3358 each business day between 8:30 and 4:30.

As seen in the chart here, NHMA's Legal Services Department saw a slight uptick in legal inquiry call volune in 2018 over 2019 call volumes. This averages out to over eight legal inquiries a day, 365 days a year!

Legal Inquiry Call/Email Statistics - 2018

Selectmen’s Authority/Procedures continues to be the most pressing legal issue facing members in 2018, as it was in 2017 (Refer to chart below). It is important to note that since referring employment inquiries directly to Drummond Woodsum’s Employment Law Hotline, the Legal Services Department has seen this issue drop from the top 10 list compiled in 2017.

Top Ten Legal Inquiry Subjects - 2018

On Demand Presentations: Legal Services staff presented 24 On-Demand programs to member municipalities during 2018 that were attended by 450 local officials. 22 of these were paid programs, and 2 were programs provided without charge to those municipalities with dues greater than $15,000.

Workshops: Legal Services presented 17 workshops to member municipalities during 2018 that were attended by over 1,000 members. Here’s a breakdown of 2018 workshops:

Moderators: 120 attendees, 2 dates

Local Officials: 172 attendees, 6 dates

Welfare: 52 attendees

Budget & Finance: 194 attendees, 2 dates

Hard Road to Travel: 77 attendees

Code Enforcement: 56 attendees

Regional Right to Know: 74 attendees, 3 dates

Municipal Law Lectures: 196 attendees

1st Amendment, Signs, etc.: 40 attendees

Governmental Meetings: 42 attendees

TOTAL ATTENDEES 1,023 attendees

Webinars: Legal Services attorneys presented 9 webinar programs, with 402 municipal officials attending these webinars during 2018.

For more information about our legal advisory services, NHMA staff can be reached at 800.852.3358 or by email at