Published: 6/3/2021 8:59:32 PM
ORANGE — The Selectboard voted this week to draft a letter of approval for an attorney from the same firm as its labor counsel to represent another client in town.
Brian Falk got the unanimous nod on Wednesday to represent Garden Remedies LLC — a cannabis company with locations in Newton, Melrose and Marlborough — and to assist the company with its aspirations to open another site in Orange.
Falk works at the Mirick O’Connell law firm with Corey Higgins, who specializes in public and municipal law and serves as Orange’s labor counsel. Falk said he has “done occasional work to support Higgins, but I don’t generally represent the town and I don’t qualify as a municipal employee.”
Falk explained he conducted some research and learned that the law allows him to represent Garden Remedies’ interests in Orange. However, the Massachusetts rules of professional conduct for attorneys require two letters of approval — from the company and from the municipality — for such an arrangement to be made. Falk said he already had a letter from Garden Remedies.
Selectboard member Richard Sheridan expressed some reservations about this matter, fearing some type of conflict of interest in the future, but Falk explained drafting a letter of approval does not commit the town to accepting any future cannabis proposal by Garden Remedies. Falk also said he would have no involvement in Higgins’ municipal work and Higgins would not be involved in Falk’s work with the cannabis company.
“I have not laid eyes on Corey in the flesh in over a year, because we’ve been working remotely,” Falk mentioned. “We’d set up an ethical screen and, so, neither of us will see anything that the other is working on, and that’s fairly standard in these situations.”
Reach Domenic Poli at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.