MP hires new legal firm with local presence

By on August 7, 2009

by Martha Quetsch
MAPLE PARK—The Maple Park Village Board on Tuesday selected the firm of Foster & Buick Law Group as the village’s new legal counsel, pleased with its fees and experience representing other local communities.

Foster & Buick, of Sycamore, will replace the village’s former counsel, Bond Dixon and Associates, a Wheaton firm that has represented the village for four years. The Village Board decided to put the village attorney position out to bid after Bond Dickson’s contract expired April 30.

“The new board voted unanimously to go to market and review other legal opportunities,” Curtis said.

Bond Dickson was among the 10 firms that bid for the contract in July.

Ultimately, after interviewing four of the applicants, Village President Kathy Curtis and trustees recommended that the board hire Foster & Buick. Curtis said they particularly wanted Foster & Buick because of its extensive work with many of the smaller communities in the area.

“The board felt that their experience of working with emerging towns similar to ours would be beneficial and assist us in our decision making,” Curtis said.

Among the area municipalities that Foster & Buick represents are Sycamore, Shabbona, Kingston, Malta, Waterman and Lee.

The law firm has seven attorneys, including Keith Foster, who has been a municipal lawyer for 30 years, and Kevin L. Buick, who has practiced general law with emphasis in municipal law since 1990.

One reason the village decided to seek proposals from law firms for the village attorney role was to make sure the village had the best counsel for the best price, said trustee Debra Armstrong, chairman of the Personnel and Communications Committee.

Armstrong said a benefit of employing Foster & Buick compared to the village’s previous legal counsel is that the new firm will charge for just one hour of work per village meeting, regardless of how long the meeting lasts. Because of that cost reduction, the village also will be able to employ its attorney for committee meetings, where legal counsel is valuable, she said.

“That (committee meetings) is where we really roll up our sleeves and get into details,” Armstrong said.