Our government administration lawyers represent counties, cities, school districts and housing authorities as well as private entity clients who do business with governmental entities across Mississippi. We represent public and private entities in the financing and development of public projects, public sector disputes, litigation, and as general counsel. Essentially, our team works all aspects of government law, from legislation to land use to labor law and related litigation.
Although we often talk about the need for legal representation for private businesses, local governments and municipal corporations often require experienced counsel to deal with many of the same legal issues. Government attorneys deal with a multitude of issues each day. In fact, their duties range from issues dealing with the powers of government to the regulation of alcohol licenses to bidding and contracting. Moreover, pretty much everyone has to interact with government officials at some point in their lives.
Litigation involving the government presents a unique set of challenges – often with stakes that reach far beyond the case at hand. The attorneys at Brown Bass & Jeter have experience representing government agencies at virtually all levels, as well as private clients litigating against the government, in complex negotiations, investigations, mediations, administrative proceedings, and federal and state litigation.
What Type of Legal Problems Do Local Governments Need Help With?
As with private employers, local governments frequently require assistance complying with a multitude of employment-related civil rights laws, including the anti-discrimination provisions of Title VII, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. We also represent municipalities in defending against lawsuits brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation claims.
In addition, we provide full-service representation for a variety of elected and appointed local governing bodies, including:
- City Councils/Boards of Aldermen
- Code Enforcement Boards
- Community Development Districts
- Housing Authorities
- Personnel Review Boards
- Personnel Review Boards
- School Districts
Our background in government law, litigation, and business law provides us with unique strengths when it comes to representing municipal governments. For example, we know how to negotiate and enforce a contract, such as a collective bargaining agreement or a bid for services. We also know how to deal with complex regulatory matters like drafting a zoning ordinance and ensuring municipal boards comply with open meeting laws as well as drafting and assisting in implementation of interlocal agreements. Then, we also have the ability, knowledge and expertise to fully litigate employment law matters, workers’ compensation matters, and all matters of personal injury or general negligence.
Government representation involves a complex mix of legal, legislative and regulatory considerations, the attorneys of Brown Bass & Jeter work collaboratively to ensure value and expertise are the highest caliber while remaining cost-sensitive. With attorneys who have significant government service and longstanding relationships with many of our elected officials, the firm provides a full range of legal services, from general counsel to consulting and legislative monitoring to litigation. We bring together experienced, senior attorneys and litigators who skillfully manage the interplay of laws, policies, regulations and competing interests to promote and protect our clients’ position. Our model enables clients to rely on one collaborative team to devise creative solutions and move their issues to successful resolutions.
Our attorneys work closely with local and state governmental agencies, as well as the Legislature. They regularly monitor legislative activity and stay abreast of state and local political interests in order to provide our clients with the best possible representation. We assist in the drafting of local laws and regulatory issues related to land use and zoning, labor and employment issues, and advocate our clients’ interests before governing bodies and in court. Our tenured experience connects us to trends and legal developments and provides foresight to assist strategizing with clients to resolve matters before legal problems ensue.
We provide rapid response, substantive and accurate guidance, and outcomes that respect the law as well as our clients’ goals. When litigation proves necessary, our lawyers vigorously represent clients at the state and federal levels, including in appellate courts.
The lawyers at Brown Bass & Jeter have vast experience in representing local governments, including cities, counties, officials, and sheriffs throughout the State of Mississippi. This experience includes defending civil rights actions against law enforcement officers, defending challenges to business license denials or revocations, defending bills of exception, proactively drafting ordinances, and defending claims for personal injuries and property damage arising from governmental actions. This experience is a valuable asset to both local government entities and local government attorneys facing an issue for the first time. Municipalities and all forms of local government can trust that with our services, they can protect their interests and efficiently resolve legal matters so that they can move onto other concerns. We understand that management and governing is complex and time-consuming. It is our job to help local governments resolve matters quickly so that they can continue to shape policy objectives and focus on positive change instead of litigation or legal technicalities.
Public finance transactions often arise from community and economic development projects. Our attorneys have broad experience working with municipalities, developers, lenders and other community development participants in a wide range of transactions that utilize public finance structures as well as development incentives, including state and federal tax credits. State and local units of government, including cities, townships, counties, public authorities, universities, and school districts, and nonprofit organizations in higher education, health care and other sectors rely on public finance attorneys for bond counsel services.
As bond counsel our services include consultation with representatives of the various public entities we represent, including finance and accounting staff, consulting engineers, and others, with respect to the timing, terms and legal structure of each proposed financing. We will prepare loan, security and other authorizing documents. We will also attend meetings of the governing bodies of the governmental entities we represent. As bond counsel we can play the role of transaction coordinator for the working group in connection with the closing of financings. Our strong relationships with other players in this industry and the legal professionals who assist them allow us to manage these projects efficiently while still handling each project according to its unique business and legal needs.
Our clients rely on our legal advice and long-standing proven ability to resolve complex and unique public finance legal issues in creative and innovative ways for the development, financing and implementation of their most significant projects. We represent every client with the express goal of providing the highest quality, cost-effective and responsive legal services possible.
Our team has the knowledge and experience to serve as bond counsel within all facets of financing municipal projects and programs for states, cities, townships, counties, building and housing authorities, school districts, colleges and universities, public power agencies and other public entities. We have significant experience representing government entities and authorities in complex bond financings. The lawyers of Brown Bass & Jeter have the ability to find creative, soundly based legal structures for the ever-changing financing techniques that drive the world of public finance.
Administrative & Regulatory Law
Government regulation has a profound impact on every private and public entity and is therefore a crucial factor in strategic planning. Regulatory and enforcement actions by federal, state, and local agencies can impose significant costs, foreclose opportunities, and at times threaten an entity’s viability. Administrative law covers a wide and varied area of practice, encompassing many different types of governmental legal procedures and regulations, and is not easily defined. Much of government and its public programs operate largely through various agencies on different levels: federal, state, county, and city. These agencies are also known as boards, commissions, departments, and divisions. They generally have their own specific rules and regulations with stringent procedures individuals must follow to obtain assistance from the agency and to file claims, grievances and appeals.
The public’s need for a professional in the administrative law practice area generally exists when dealing with governmental agencies that provide some type of specific public benefit or aid to individuals, and particularly when the benefit might be or has been terminated, limited or outright denied. Examples of these administrative bodies include some of the following: Social Security Administrations; Employment/Labor Boards; Unemployment Insurance Agencies; Workers’ Compensation Boards; Licensing Agencies; Equal Opportunity Commissions (EEOC); and Zoning Boards.
Issues of licensing, certification, permits and authorizations must be successfully resolved in order to conduct business or a professional practice. Our lawyers know how to handle all of these issues. We also have expertise in dealing with election law violations and investigations.
Helping clients reach their potential and work through necessary government and regulatory processes on the local, state and federal level is a cornerstone of our firm. Our mission is to partner with you in developing the proper strategy to overcome government barriers and help you reach a successful resolution of your government or administrative law issue.
When an individual wants to appeal an administrative law decision or determination, he must exhaust all of the options provided by the agency first before he may proceed to a non-administrative court. The correct response to troubling government regulatory actions will vary. Sometimes the best approach involves further proceedings before the relevant agency, or seeking assistance from the executive branch or legislative bodies. Other times litigation is necessary. In either case, a thorough understanding of the principles governing agency conduct is essential. Our team is well-versed in these principles, with an exceptional capacity to represent clients in this area. Whether you are a professional under investigation by a board or licensing authority, a business facing harsh penalties from an administrative agency, or an individual seeking to create a new business in compliance with government regulations, we are here to help.
Anytime a professional faces denial, loss, or limitation upon his or her professional license or registration, an attorney with relevant licensing law experience should be sought. The state licensing entities wield substantial power over licensees; therefore, having a lawyer who understands the regulations is critical to avoiding unnecessary or exceedingly harsh deprivations.
The lawyers at Brown Bass & Jeter have extensive experience dealing with licensing law and can therefore provide professionals with the tools they need to navigate the system. We recognize that dealing with government agencies can be an incredibly stressful experience and we can ameliorate this stress by providing a complete explanation of the process. We will also evaluate each professional’s situation and assure that the agency is complying with all administrative requirements. We will provide aggressive representation at each stage of the administrative process including initial licensure denials, contested administrative hearings, settlement conferences and administrative appeals.
Anytime your license or professional registration is threatened, you face a threat to your livelihood. Our office can work with you to find the best solution for your situation by providing an individualized defense.
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