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Town of Oyster Bay increases law firm's fee in Long Island Sound lawsuit

Oyster Bay Town Hall on March 26, 2012.

Oyster Bay Town Hall on March 26, 2012. Credit: Nicole Bartoline

The Oyster Bay Town Board on Tuesday approved a $75,000 increase in the fees it is paying a legal firm for litigation over where Long Island Sound begins.

Last year, town officials hired Oakland, California-based Wendel, Rosen, Black and Dean LLP to provide it with expert opinions regarding a maritime lawsuit brought in 2012 by Bryan C. Murphy, a clammer from Huntington. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled to be heard before state Supreme Court Justice Stephen A. Bucaria on Sept. 9 in Mineola.

In September, the town approved paying the firm $50,000 for services rendered to date. Two months later, the town approved paying the firm an additional $95,000.

In 2010, Nassau County police ticketed Murphy for shellfishing in what New York says is state land but Oyster Bay officials say belongs to the town.

At stake in the case is who controls hundreds of acres of shellfish beds the town leased to the private company Frank M. Flower & Sons Inc. Town officials did not respond to requests for comment on the latest increase in costs.

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