The Hampden County Bar Association honored City Solicitor Edward M. Pikula, Esq. with the first inaugural Richard T. Egan Public Service Award at its Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 6, 2019 at Tower Square Hotel banquet facilities in Downtown Springfield.
Atty. Pikula has a long record in public service law beginning in 1983 as an Assistant City Solicitor who principally represented the City of Springfield in trials in state and federal court. In 2001 he was appointed to the position of Chief of the Law Department’s Trial Division and in 2006, Mayor Charles V. Ryan appointed him as City Solicitor. He was has continued to serve in that position under Mayor Domenic J. Sarno.
In his remarks at the Bar Association dinner, Atty. Pikula spoke fondly of his work with former City Solicitor Richard T. Egan, for whom the award is named. Solicitor Pikula described their work together on the United States Supreme Court case of Springfield v. Kibbe in 1986, “As Solicitor, Attorney Egan could have taken over the case to have the honor of arguing in front of the Justices that included Sandra Day O’Connor, William Requist, Thurgood Marshall, William Brennan, and Antonin Scalia. Instead, he allowed me to argue the case, and together the Springfield Law Department had a hand in shaping what today remains the legal standard for municipal liability in civil rights litigation. Dick Egan continued the Law Departments long history of being on the leading edge of legal issues at the state and federal level mentoring young lawyers that I have tried to carry forward.”
Mayor Sarno stated, “Congrats to Solicitor Pikula on this well-deserved award. Always humble and genuine, the City and I are very lucky to have his counsel. Ed has the very unique combination of strong and institutional legal acumen with a tough but fair common sense ‘street smarts’ touch.”
As City Solicitor, Atty. Pikula is responsible for overseeing all legal matters on behalf of the City and is widely recognized as an expert in municipal law. He oversees attorneys in the City’s Law Department. In recent years, Atty. Pikula guided the City through the selection of an operator and the drafting and execution of the operating agreement with MGM Springfield. This was the first agreement of its kind in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The Richard T. Egan Public Service Award was established to honor those members of the Hampden County Bar Association who have devoted their practice to public service. Richard T. Egan, a former president of the Hampden County Bar Association, chose to practice public service law. At various times, he served as a member of the State Appellate Tax Board, as Springfield’s Deputy City Solicitor and City Solicitor, Assistant Attorney General, and as a public defender. Atty. Egan was also a partner in the Springfield law firm of Egan, Flanagan and Cohen, P.C. The award will be given annually and is intended to honor those judges, clerks, prosecutors, public defenders and municipal attorneys who have made a significant impact to the benefit of Hampden County through their public service.
The Committee that selected Atty. Pikula for the award was chaired by Theodore C. Brown, Esq., of Egan, Flanagan and Cohen, P.C., Ronald C. Kidd, Esq., of Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan & Blakesley, P.C., David Martel, Esq., of Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C., and the Honorable Edward J. McDonough, Jr., Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
Photos by the Hampden County Bar Association.