MMA Legal Services

MMA Legal Services

The Association employs six attorneys and an administrative assistant to provide a direct legal assistance program to our membership that is unique among state municipal leagues. Our staff has decades of combined experience in municipal law. The Legal Services program provides written and telephone advisory opinions to member municipalities. We regularly receive over 5,000 inquiries per year. Our attorneys also develop educational materials such as legal manuals, information packets, “Legal Notes” in MMA’s monthly Maine Town & City magazine, guidance documents on current legal matters, and presentations at various MMA and affiliate trainings and workshops. Most Legal Services resources are available to members on MMA’s website. Legal Services attorneys also occasionally assist in the representation of municipal interests in the courts. Through “friend of the court” briefs, Legal Services attorneys argue municipal interests before the Maine Supreme Court in cases of statewide significance.

  • Contacting Legal Services
  • Using Legal Services
  • Limitations for Legal Services
  • Response Times

The Legal Services Program is available to municipal members of MMA only

MMA members can contact the Legal Services Department a number of ways:

  • by phone toll-free at 1-800-452-8786 or locally at (207) 623-8428;
  • by fax at (207) 624-0187; or
  • by completing the form on the “Contact MMA Legal Services” page, or by emailing us directly at

Using MMA Legal Services

Whether your inquiry is by telephone, fax, or e-mail, following the guidelines below will help us give you the most prompt, accurate response.

  • Call or write as soon as possible after identifying the problem. Early contact will help us meet your deadline. If you are under a deadline, let us know what it is. We will try our best to meet it. 
  • Most written correspondence will be subject to public access under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act. If your inquiry involves a sensitive matter, please call us instead. 
  •  Choose a single point of contact for each matter (e.g. the chair of the board or the town manager) to help avoid problems associated with different individuals providing different facts. 
  • If no one is available to take your call, please use our voicemail system and leave a brief message. We check voicemail frequently.
  • Provide as many facts as possible. When you call, our administrative assistant may ask you a number of questions to assist the attorney responding to your call.
  • ·If the inquiry involves interpretation of an ordinance or contract, please forward that material or tell us how to access it online so that we may review it before rendering an opinion.
  • If your inquiry is a follow-up on an issue that you have been discussing with one of our attorneys, please let us know so that we may direct your call to that attorney. 
  • Let us know the best time to reach you.

Municipal officials are welcome to discuss matters in person at our Augusta office. Please call in advance so that an attorney will be available to meet with you. If your inquiry involves review of documents, we may request that they be forwarded in advance of the meeting, thus providing the attorney time to prepare meaningful comments.

Limitations for Legal Services

Excluded from our advisory services are matters such as:

  • drafting and comprehensive review of individualized legal documents such as ordinances, contracts, or charters;
  • comprehensive review of specific applications before local administrative bodies;
  • on-site training and advice for an individual municipality;
  • routine litigation; and
  • direct representation or negotiation on a municipality’s behalf with third parties.

Professional ethics may limit our involvement in certain matters, for example:
  • We cannot respond directly to inquiries from private citizens.
  • We cannot provide personal legal advice to municipal officials.
  • We cannot advise one municipality against another.
  • We cannot respond to questions on subjects outside an official’s area of responsibility. A high potential for conflict arises when one official inquires about another’s job responsibilities.
  • Associate and Individual members and Affiliate Group organizations are not eligible for our services.
  • We cannot respond to inquiries regarding the Association’s insurance programs. MMA insurance programs have their own legal counsel and any questions regarding coverage or other MMA insurance matters should be directed to the appropriate program.

Response Times

Although we will try our best to meet your deadline, you should expect the following response times:

Telephone Calls: Normally returned the same day or the following day (some opinions may take longer, depending on the difficulty of the issue and the number of other inquiries we have received).

Written Correspondence within 3 - 7 working days

Fax Inquiries: Treated the same as a phone or written inquiry depending on the type of response requested.

Exceptions: During town meeting time (March & June), demands on our service increase significantly. Please try to notify us well in advance of the date when a response is needed. More time-consuming projects may have to be deferred to a later date. The legal staff may notify the community affected of the expected delay.

Advisory services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. When it appears that a member municipality is using the service excessively in relation to other communities, inquiries from that community may have to be given a lower priority. When that is the case, the municipality in question will be notified.

Quick Links & Member Resources

Contact MMA Legal Services or browse resources below:

Contact Legal Services

Email MMA Legal Services
(MMA Members Only)

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Legal Manuals

Browse MMA's Legal Manual  Collection (MMA Members Only)

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Legal Notes

Browse MMA Legal Notes
(MMA Members Only)

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Information Packets

Browse Information Packets
(MMA Members Only)

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News & Updates

Legal Services News & Updates

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Current Issues

Legal Updates for Members
(MMA Members Only)

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Ordinances & Policies

Downloadable Samples
(MMA Members Only)

Learn More