Bids & Proposals

RFP for Legal Services Town of West Bath

Start Date: May 10, 2024
End Date: May 29, 2024
Type: Requests for Proposals (RFP)
Phone: 2074434342
Email: townadministrator@westbathmaine.gov
More Information: Click Here

Request for Proposals
Legal Services
for the
Town of West Bath, Maine

The Town of West Bath, Maine hereby solicits proposals from attorneys or legal firms to represent the Town as its legal counsel beginning July 1, 2024.

Proposal Submittal: Proposals will be received by the Town Administrator, Town of West Bath, 219 Fosters Point Road, West Bath, Maine 04530, until 2:00 pm on Thursday May 30, 2024, at which time they will be publicly opened. Proposals must be sealed and clearly marked, “Proposal for Legal Services”. Respondents must submit an original proposal and four (4) copies.

Miscellaneous Requirements: The Town shall not be responsible for any expenses incurred by an attorney or firm in preparing, submitting, or presenting a proposal. All proposals shall provide a straightforward, concise delineation of the attorney’s or firm’s capabilities to satisfy the requirements of the request. Any attorney or firm who submits a proposal in response to this RFP may be required to make an oral presentation of their proposal upon request.

Questions: All questions should be directed to the Town Administrator at 207-386-6935 or by email townadministrator@westbathmaine.gov.

Selection: The West Bath Select Board’s selection will be based on its evaluation of the written proposal, the attorney’s or the firm’s qualifications and experience, client references, and overall fee structure. The Select Board reserves the right to reject any or all proposals or to select the attorney or legal firm deemed to have submitted the most qualified proposal (fee and other factors considered), when in the judgment of the Select Board such an award is in the best interest of the public. The Select Board further reserves the right to negotiate separately in any manner necessary to serve the best interests of the Town. Attorneys or firms whose proposals are not accepted will be notified by mail or email.

Background: The Town of West Bath has a Town Meeting / Select Board / Administrator form of government. The population of the Town is approximately 1,910 with a land area of 15 square miles and an annual budget of approximately $7,535,000.

Like most towns, West Bath is involved in a variety of activities which require a diversity of legal services. Land use planning and zoning matters, policy and ordinance review, and human resources are the most common activities that require legal counsel. Over the last three years, the Town Attorney has billed the Town for an average of 60 hours per year.

Qualifications of Legal Counsel: The Town Attorney shall be an attorney and counselor at law of the courts of the State of Maine. The legal firm shall incorporate within their proposal an outline of the size and experience of the law firm to include resumes of legal staff with whom the Town will be working, as well as a listing of municipal clients and other references (with addresses and phone numbers). The proposal should make note of the firm’s interest in advising the Town on matters involving land use, Municipal law, or both. Attorneys or firms who focus their practice in a specific area of Municipal law are encouraged to make that specialty known.

The proposal must indicate the key lawyer to be appointed Town Attorney and include an estimate of the percentage of time they spend on municipal legal affairs. In addition, it should include an explanation of how the firm envisions the legal transfer of authority and responsibility in the absence or inability to act of the appointed attorney.

Scope of Services and illustrative examples of the anticipated services include:

1. Advise the Select Board, Town Administrator, Department Heads, and Town Committees on legal matters arising in the conduct of Town business.
2. Prepare, review, or revise ordinances and policies when requested by the Town Administrator.
3. As requested, attend meetings of the Select Board, Planning Board, Appeals Board, Board of Assessment Review, and other meetings, hearings, or workshops.
4. Prepare contracts and other instruments to which the Town is involved when requested by the Town Administrator.
5. Prepare deeds, easements, and contracts pertaining to real estate and render title opinions on property being acquired by the Town.
6. Immediately report to the Town Administrator and Select Board the filing of any litigation against the Town, as well as the outcome of any such claims.
7. When authorized by the Select Board, prepare all complaints and charges against, and appear in the appropriate court in the prosecution of, any person charged with a violation of a Town ordinance. Under the direction of the Select Board, defend Town officials in any action or claim against them in their official capacity. In those claims where the Town’s insurance company has appointed legal counsel, the Town attorney shall provide only those services requested by the Town Administrator.
8. Keep a complete record of all suits in which the Town had or has an interest, giving the names of the parties, the court where brought, the nature of the action, the disposition of the case, or its condition, if pending, and the briefs of counsel. Keep a complete record of all written opinions furnished and of all certificates or abstracts of titles furnished to the Town, or any department or official thereof.
9. Deliver all records, documents, and property of every description in their possession, belonging to their office or to the Town, to their successor, who shall give them duplicate receipts therefore, one of which they shall file with the Town Administrator.
10. It is understood that there will also be informal activities expected of the Town Attorney, including counseling department heads and elected officials, and instructing employees in the elements of public law and examination of intergovernmental activities.
11. It is specifically noted that answering inquiries from the public and the press is outside the purview of the Town Attorney and that all such requests should be referred to the Town Administrator.
12. Since individual Select Board members have no legal authority to incur expenses on behalf of the Town, the Town Attorney is not authorized to provide legal counsel to them individually, unless approved by a majority of the Select Board and communicated to the Town Attorney through the Town Administrator. Communication between the Town Attorney and Department Heads and/or Town Committees requires the approval of the Town Administrator.

Contract for Services: It is anticipated that the Town and the legal firm will agree to a one-year contract for services after appropriate negotiations. The contents of the RFP and the representations made in the proposal will become part of any contract award. In addition, the Town anticipates that the following provisions will become a part of that contract.

Compensation: The Town anticipates payment on an hourly basis. Requests for payment must be submitted to the Town Administrator monthly and shall, if on an hourly basis, itemize the invoice by staff member, hourly rate, number of hours, subject matter, and the nature of the service. The proposal should specifically address how the Town will be billed for consultations between two attorneys who are both members of the legal firm. The Town typically pays bills within 30 days of receipt of invoice.

Billable Expenses: It is understood that the proposed attorney or legal firm will supply at no cost secretarial services, telephone, stationery, postage, supplies, library, and equipment required to provide a satisfactory level of service. Any exceptions should be noted in the proposal. The Town agrees to reimburse court costs, and other similar expenses. Requests for payment must be submitted monthly by invoice to the Town Administrator itemized by subject matter.

Supervision and Control: The Town Attorney shall be under the general direction of the Town Administrator, although as previously specified, the Town Attorney is expected to work cooperatively with and answer questions from the Select Board, Department Heads, and Town committees with prior authorization from the Town Administrator.

Termination: The contract may be terminated by either party upon two weeks’ written notice to the other party; however, if any services are in progress, but not completed as of the date of termination, then the contract may be extended upon written approval of the Select Board until said services are completed and accepted by the Town.

Assignment: The selected attorney or firm shall be prohibited from assigning, transferring, conveying, subletting, or otherwise disposing of this agreement or its rights, title, or interest therein, or its power to execute such agreement to any other person, company, or corporation without the prior written consent and approval of the Select Board.

Hold Harmless Clause: The legal firm shall indemnify the Town from all suits, actions or claims of any kind brought on account of any injuries or damages sustained by any person in consequence of any negligence in performing contract work, or on account of any act or omission by the attorney or the firm or its employees, or from any claims or amounts arising or uncovered under any law, bylaw, ordinance, regulation, or decree, violated by such attorney or firm.

Insurance: The legal firm shall be required to carry Professional Liability Insurance. Proposals must specify the carrier and coverage limits. The Select Board may award the position to a firm on the condition that the firm’s existing coverage limit be increased to a limit deemed adequate by the Select Board, which in any event shall be no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence. A certificate of insurance shall be provided to the Town, providing that coverage shall not be canceled without thirty (30) days’ notice.

Unavailability: The attorney or firm must also provide advance notification to the Town Administrator of times when counsel will be unavailable, and the name(s) of the attorney(s) who will provide Town legal counsel in their absence.

Specialized Counsel: The Town shall not be restricted from appointing specialized counsel when, in the judgment of the Select Board, the need arises.










Proposal Form

To facilitate a comparison of competing proposals, the Town of West Bath respectfully requests answers to the following questions. Please feel free to attach additional sheets where the information requested is more extensive than the space provided.

Name of firm: __________________________________________________________________

Mailing Address: _______________________________________________________________

Physical Address: ______________________________________________________________

Phone: _______________________________________________________________________

Email: ________________________________________________________________________

Name of lawyer proposed as Town Attorney: _________________________________________

Estimated percentage of time they spend on legal affairs: ______________________________%

Professional Liability Insurance

Insurance Carrier: _______________________________________________________________

Limits: _______________________________________________________________________

Financial Considerations

Proposed fee per hour:

Town Attorney: ___________________ Associate Attorney: ___________________

Paralegal: _______________________ Other staff: __________________________

Travel

How will the firm bill for travel time? _______________________________________________



Areas of Focus

Attorneys or legal firms may submit proposals for one or more areas of expertise or focus. Please check all that apply:

___ Land Use and Zoning ___ Ordinance and Policy Review

___ Property Tax and Valuation ___ Environmental Law

___ Labor and Employment Law ___ Public Finance

___ Contract Law ___ Dispute Resolution

___ Other (please specify) ________________________________________________________

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Please include any additional information you feel is relevant to the proposal.

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