The Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game works to preserve the state's natural resources and people's right to conservation of those resources, as protected by Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution. To carry out this mission, the Department exercises responsibility over the Commonwealth's marine and freshwater fisheries, wildlife species, plants, and natural communities, as well as the habitats that support them.
The Department of Fish and Game, Office of General Counsel, is accepting resumes and applications for the Assistant General Counsel position.
A cover letter and resume must be submitted as part of the application process and attached “as relevant” to the requisition.
General Statement Of Duties And Responsibilities:
Represent and advance the Department of Fish and Game’s position, mission, and statutory obligations in legal matters involving land acquisition, conservation easement and conservation restriction acquisitions; conservation easement and conservation restriction encroachments and violations; protection of land or resources owned or managed by the Department; litigation; and other related legal matters.
Detailed Statement Of Duties And Responsibilities:
- Participate as member of the DFG/MassWildlife Lands Committee in the evaluation and selection of land acquisition focus areas and land acquisition projects; the review and analysis of environmental and habitat data associated with Departmental land acquisition projects; the development of program policies; and addressing overall program needs.
- Work with DFG Land Agents, project partners, counsel representing sellers, lenders, abutters, and other agency staff to develop needed data and documentation for each acquisition project including the option to purchase, memorandum of agreement, due diligence fact sheets for title examinations, appraisals, surveys, and hazardous waste investigation reports for all acquisition projects approved by the Lands Committee.
- Work with title examination, appraisal, survey and hazardous waste vendors to obtain necessary title examinations, appraisals and other due diligence for agency acquisitions.
- In coordination and consultation with Land Agents, review, analyze, and approve all title examinations and abstracts, appraisals, surveys, related transaction and conveyance documents, scientific reports, studies and data on hazardous waste contamination and other environmental impacts associated with potential and existing departmental land acquisition and restoration projects; work with Land Agents, vendors, and landowners to resolve any issues of concern that could prevent acquisition of property; work with landowners and their attorneys to address all acquisition issues and get approval of acquisition documents in preparation for closing.
- Prepare and review all necessary land acquisition documentation, including deeds and Consensual Orders of Taking, Conservation Easement and Conservation Restrictions, Acceptance of Full Settlement, title curing documents, boundary agreements, statutory notices, and related transaction and conveyance documents.
- Prepare and review all needed actions and materials for closing of acquisitions including working with DFG Commissioner’s office staff, EEA staff, and Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance [DCAMM] to get acquisition documents processed, and completing follow-up administrative tasks for each acquisition following closing.
- Participate in meetings and conferences with agency staff, contractors, representatives from EEA, other EEA agencies, the Attorney General's Office, non-profit land trusts, municipal and regional entities, federal agencies, and other interested parties regarding the Department's land acquisition program and other land protection matters.
- Draft and review legislation and regulations affecting the Department's land acquisition program and other environmental matters.
- Advise department staff on matters by interpreting laws, rules, regulations, judicial decisions and opinions related to agency operations. This includes educating staff on the laws, rules, and policies governing agency operations; providing advice to agency staff when resolving problems and determining appropriate actions; monitoring actions of agency staff to identify legal issues or problems; and reviewing contracts to ensure that all agency activities comply with applicable laws.
- Provide advice on land encroachment and violation issues on land and resources owned or managed by the Department; develop and advise staff on encroachment and violation policy; assist in the development of agency policy in related matters.
- Review and draft land legislation, bills, amendments, regulations, and opinions in connection with acquisition and management issues.
- Research and try to resolve any real property issues such as boundary issues, encroachments, etc. that may arise regarding lands already owned by DFG and coordinate with the Office of the Attorney General and/or outside counsel on litigation matters, and make recommendations for courses of action, including whether case should be resolved through settlement, mediation or negotiation.
- Complete such other tasks as requested by General Counsel and departmental management.
- Provide assistance as requested by General Counsel and department staff.
Applicants must have at least three years, with at least six years preferred, of full-time, or equivalent part-time, technical or professional experience in the field of real estate law; experience in conservation matters, environmental law, and land use strongly preferred.
First consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.
Minimum Entrance Requirements: Applicants must have a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, admission to the Massachusetts Bar and (A) at least three years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, professional experience in the practice of law.
Incumbents may be required to have a current and valid Motor Vehicle Drivers License at a Class level specific to assignment.