Local Government Division

Our bedrock principal is that local governments not only deserve the same high-level of professional legal services as "for profit" businesses, but that they also need a firm sensitive to their public-interest emphasis. Just like private companies, local governments are by definition multi-million dollar "municipal corporations" with employees, staffs, complex regulatory systems and demanding stakeholders, namely, the residents and businesses within the community. Most importantly, and distinct from corporations that answer to shareholders, local governments must focus upon achieving the public good to which their very existence is dedicated. Rather than be a full-service firm with dozens of unrelated practice areas, we instead have chosen to concentrate on a limited number of practice areas to gain expertise and State-wide recognition. Municipal law has been one of our core areas of practice since we opened our doors in 1991.

Our attorneys in the Local Government Division include many former city and county attorneys, and those that are Florida Bar Board Certified in this specialty. With more than 30 attorneys practicing day-to-day municipal law, our Group is one of the largest in the country. Our legal approach directly supports the twin mission of cities to provide necessary services to the public and to, govern in accordance with law. Our practice areas are structured to operate as a team and interact seamlessly with staff and elected and appointed officials as they strive to perform their public duties, and to timely respond to virtually all of the legal needs of cities .

Certainly, other law firms provide public sector clients with legal services of one kind or another. The difference between us and those others is that we don’t just dabble in municipal law. The lawyers that work here have devoted their careers to providing legal services to a municipality, and are knowledgeable in nearly every area of the law that may potentially impact local government. This means that the many local government entities that have selected us as their general counsel almost never need to hire special outside counsel. This has resulted in savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars for our clients and their constituent taxpayers or service fee payers.

As a direct result of our representation of numerous municipalities, we draft thousands of resolutions and ordinances each year, saving our clients precious taxpayer’s money. We strive to draft legislation that is both understandable to the general public and able to survive legal challenge. We maintain an extensive database of form resolutions and ordinances, and we may retrieve sample and model ordinances from around the United States.

Since the laws governing local government are very specific and ever-changing, the consequences of overlooking new legal requirements may be dramatic. That is why we keep abreast of the latest legislative and judicial developments in municipal law through a program of in-house training and continuing professional education. We also are frequently requested to publish articles and make presentations to our peers, local bar associations, and the Florida League of Cities and other prestigious organizations.

Whether we are involved in high-profile litigation or in providing day-to-day advice on local government law and policy, we are committed to maintaining the highest standards of the legal profession. we are dedicated to remaining on the cutting edge of their practice areas while faithfully serving the local governments that retain us.

The Group focuses upon providing the full range of necessary legal services at both the city hall and the courthouse. We have  experience in all aspects of Home Rule Law, municipal land use, urban planning, public records, ethics and Sunshine Law, Solid Waste, animal control, utilities law, constitutional law, red light cameras, environmental law, ethics, elections, procurement, code enforcement and lien law, affordable housing development, community redevelopment agency law, real estate transactions, public-private partnerships, telecommunications, public contracts, construction, labor and employment, environmental and solid waste management, eminent domain, contraband forfeiture, foreclosure, and governmental litigation, as well as general municipal representation and legal advice. There is virtually no legal issue affecting municipalities that we have not already handled within our range of experience.

We understand that our role is not to make policy, but to counsel and assist our clients by providing a legal framework for decision-making and getting things done. Our services enable our local government clients to meet their constitutional responsibilities and to earn and retain their constituents’ confidence and trust.