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Lawyers who are legislators face conflicts; Some do not report potential complications

Lawyers who are legislators face conflicts

Some do not report potential complications

Gavel and Scales
By Michael Levenson Globe Staff / July 4, 2011

One legislator served as a lawyer for construction and paving firms that had state highway contracts. At the same time, he led the committee that sets transportation policy.

Another represented workers with asbestos claims while he debated workers’ compensation legislation in the House.

The 52 lawyers who serve in the state Legislature juggle a briefcase full of potential conflicts as they represent individuals or companies with significant business before the state, ranging from liquor licenses to bridge repair contracts.

Even within the boundaries of the law, they often perform work in their law offices that closely overlaps with their work at the State House.

The recent corruption case of former House speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi cast a harsh light on the potential for abuse by legislators with law practices.


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