Legal Services Department: 2022 Year-in-Review

Stephen Buckley, Legal Services Counsel and Jonathan Cowel, Municipal Services Counsel

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.

 Legal Services Department: 2022 Year-in-Review

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 1-603-224-7447 each business day between 8:30 and 4:30.

As seen in the chart below, NHMA’s Legal Services Department saw a slight decline in legal inquiry call volume in 2022 over 2021 call volumes. This averages out to twelve legal inquires a day based upon 260 business days in 2022.

2022 stats

Top Ten Legal Inquiry Subjects - 2022

Municipal Law Subject

# of Inquiries

Percent of Total

Right-to-Know Law



Planning Board



Select Board Authority & Procedures



Zoning Board of Adjustment






Public Meetings









Conflicts of Interest






On Demand Presentations:  Legal Services and Government Affairs staff presented 23 On-Demand programs to member municipalities during 2022 that were attended by 203 local officials.  19 of these were paid programs, and 4 were programs provided without charge to those municipalities with dues greater than $15,000.

Workshops:  Legal Services presented 16 workshops to member municipalities during 2022 that were attended by over 1,200 members.  Here’s a breakdown of 2022 workshops:

            Moderators:                             146 attendees, 2 dates

            Local Officials:                        196 attendees, 2 dates

            Welfare:                                   61 attendees

            Budget & Finance:                   206 attendees

            Hard Road to Travel:               129 attendees, 2 dates

            Code Enforcement:                 70 attendees

            Right-to-Know Law:                241attendees, 4 dates

            Trustees Training:                    90 attendees

            Land Use Law Conf.:               81 attendees                

TOTAL ATTENDEES        1,220 attendees

Webinars:  Legal Services attorneys presented 3 webinar programs during 2022.

UNH T2 :  Five workshops presented with UNH T2 on Hot Topics in Highway Regulation 

Other Presentations:  NHMA Legal Services attorneys made presentations to the following: 

  • Right-to-Know Law Overview - NH Tax Collectors Association
  • Zoning Board/Planning Board Basics - NH Office of Planning & Development
  • Local Government in NH – Primex Summit
  • Right-to-Know & Personnel Files – NH Assoc. Chiefs of Police
  • Right-to-Know Law – NE Regional Tax Collectors/Treasurers
  • Right-to-Know Law - NH Association of Conservation Commissioners

Amicus Brief Filed in 2022:

  • Bisceglia v. Secretary of State, Motion for Reconsideration filed April 11, 2022
  • Ortolano v. Nashua, Memorandum of Law filed August 15, 2022
  • Conway v. Kudrick, Amicus Brief with NH Planners Assoc. filed July 25, 2022

For more information about our legal advisory services, NHMA staff can be reached at 603-224-7447 or by email at