On Demand: Staying Out of Court by Avoiding Pitfalls

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Certification Maintenance


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The road to planning is paved with legal pitfalls. Don’t let your commissioners and board members trip up! Turn to experts for advice. What constitutes a conflict of interest? How can your commissioners gather information without stepping out of bounds? Get tips on meeting management, the review process, and administrative rules that can help your community steer clear of court.

This is a commission and board training product.



About the Speakers

Dwight Merriam
Dwight H. Merriam, FAICP, of the law firm of Robinson & Cole LLP, is a Fellow and Past President and of the American Institute of Certified Planners and Past Chair of the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law. He chairs the Connecticut Bar Foundation’s Cooper Fellows. He has taught land use law at Vermont Law School and UConn Law School, and is presently a Distinguished Practitioner of Law at the Quinnipiac University School of Law. He has published over 200 articles and 13 books, including serving as co-editor of the leading treatise in the field, RATHKOPF’S ZONING AND PLANNING LAW and lead author of the casebook, PLANNING AND CONTROL OF LAND DEVELOPMENT. UMass BA (cum laude), UNC MRP, and Yale JD.

Edward Sullivan
Edward J. Sullivan has specialized in land use law for over 45 years and is a Past Chair of the State and Local Government Law Section of the American Bar Association. Mr. Sullivan has written numerous articles on planning law and has served as the city attorney for the cities of Oregon City, Island City and Rivergrove and acts as special counsel for other local governments. Before going into private practice, he served as assistant county counsel and county counsel for Washington County, Oregon, and as legal counsel to the Governor of Oregon.

Anna Stadnyk
No Bio Available

Eric Kelly
Emeritus Professor of Urban Planning at Ball State University (retired in 2017) and an independent planning consultant. A frequent litigation consultant and expert witness on cases involving the regulation of signs, billboards and/or adult businesses. Has consulted with more than 100 local governments in more than 35 states. Since 1995, Kelly has been general editor of the 10-volume Matthew Bender set Zoning and Land Use Controls. An author or co-author of seven technical reports published in the Planning Advisory Service Reports series of the American Planning Association, including Everything you always wanted to know about regulating sex businesses with Connie Cooper. Kelly is a past national president of the American Planning Association, and in 1999, he was inducted as one of the members of College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Kelly holds Master of City Planning and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in public policy from the Union Institute. He is a member of the Colorado bar. He completed Yoga Teacher Training in 2017 and now teaches Yoga -- mostly for people new to Yoga -- at several locations.