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New Canaan Hires New Legal Counsel

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – New Canaan has decided to switch to a larger law firm to handle its growing legal matters.

Berchem, Moses and Devlin, which worked with New Canaan on the controversial Jelliff Mill affordable housing application, will now serve as the town’s legal counsel. The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved the new firm, which will replace Chris Jarboe and his firm of Lovejoy and Rimer. The primary counsel will be Berchem attorney Ira Bloom.

Bloom was retained last summer as the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission and Inland Wetlands Commission reviewed and rejected plans to create a 16-unit townhouse complex at a former mill site at 47 Jelliff Mill Road. The developers have filed a civil suit against the town.

Berchem will work under the same terms as Lovejoy and Rimer, including a monthly retainer of $7,500. The hourly fees will be $250 for partners, $170 for associates and $90 for paralegals. Though the official start date will be Oct. 1, Chief Administrative Officer Tom Stadler said the work has already begun and it will work with Jarboe in transitioning the town’s caseload.

New Canaan required a larger firm to handle its increasing needs, First Selectman Robert Mallozzi III said. “Simply stated, the town’s legal matters have grown, and the larger firm of Berchem, Moses and Devlin can cover more service areas not offered by Lovejoy and Rimer, which will enable the town to put more of its legal services under one roof,” Mallozzi said. “We separate on good terms, and Attorney Jarboe will continue working on certain agreed upon legal matters.”

The town had retained Lovejoy and Rimer — before that Lovejoy, Hefferan, Rimer and Cuneo — for about 29 years.

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