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Government and Regulatory Affairs

Providing legal counsel to government entities, their public officials, employees, and administrators, has been a consistent part of HMBR’s civil litigation, municipal, and employment practices.  The members of our firm have served as solicitors and counsel to the State of Illinois, counties, cities, townships, park and library districts, municipal authorities, educational institutions and other governmental bodies and agencies.

The following represents a sample of the types of legal matters that HMBR has handled for our public entity clients:

Conduct of Municipal Officials

We have represented municipal and township officials in matters arising out of municipal governance, policies and procedures, and reorganization. We have also handled public misconduct investigations and proceedings on behalf of public officials in disputes involving alleged fraud, corruption, misfeasance and malfeasance, and breach of trust.

First Amendment

We regularly advise municipal entities as to the First Amendment issues related to ordinances, regulations, licenses, and permits.  We have also represented Illinois state officials in constitutional challenges to legislation prohibiting the sale and/or distribution of violent and sexually explicit video games to minors.

Governance and Fiduciary Duties

We have extensive experience with boards of private and public institutions, and have counseled and represented clients with respect to conflicts of interest, board roles and responsibilities, policy and decision making, grievance and complaint procedures, political activities and election disputes, and hearing and appeals.

Labor and Employment

We regularly provide legal counsel on labor and employment matters ranging from collective bargaining disputes to unfair labor practice charges, employee grievances, civil service hearings, and administrative review proceedings.  We also advise public entities on general personnel policies and procedures, including hiring, retention, discipline and/or termination matters and disputes, and we have litigated and settled workplace disputes involving alleged violations of Title VII and other regulations related to the ADA, ADEA, FMLA, and FLSA.

Election Law

We have assisted candidates in the preparation of nomination papers and the filing and defending of election challenges.  We also have advised clients on issues related to various campaign finance issues. A member of our firm has served as a hearing officer for the State Board of Elections, the City of Chicago Electoral Board and the election boards of several municipalities.

Conduct of Municipal Officials

We have represented municipal and township officials in matters arising out of municipal governance, policies and procedures, and reorganization. We have also handled public misconduct investigations and proceedings on behalf of public officials in disputes involving alleged fraud, corruption, misfeasance and malfeasance, and breach of trust.

Construction

We have negotiated and drafted construction and professional services contracts with architects, contractors, engineers and other vendors in construction projects.  We have advised our clients on issues related to public contracting, procurement, and related surety matters.  Recently, we participated in complex litigation and arbitration to resolve various matters regarding municipal construction projects, local government improvement and public works project.

Annexation, Zoning and Land Use Planning

We have assisted our governmental clients with various issues related to annexation, zoning, condemnation, historic preservation, land use, and we routinely advise public entities on the acquisition, sale and lease of real property.

Taxes and Utilities

We have defended our clients in disputes involving municipal infrastructure practices, and have enforced collection of outstanding amounts owed for taxes and utilities by residents, including corporate entities, in Bankruptcy Court.  We also routinely handle tax rate objection cases brought against our local governmental entity clients.

Public Access and Ethics

We have counseled our clients on the ethical and political obligations, prohibitions, and penalties imposed on local municipalities and their officials by Illinois statutes, including the recently introduced ethics reform measures and procurement law amendments.  We also routinely assist clients on matters concerning access to public records (Freedom of Information Act) and meetings (Open Meetings Act).

Litigation/Administrative Hearings

Our firm has extensive experience in various matters brought by or against public entities and officials in Federal and State trial courts, appellate courts, arbitration and mediation panels, and administrative review judges.  Some of the adversarial proceedings in which we have represented clients have involved constitutional rights challenges, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation and conversation, police officer misconduct, civil rights, civil RICO litigation, employment discrimination and wrongful termination, quo warranto, contract and business disputes, and tort defense.

Fidelity Bond/Directors and Officers Liability Claims

The firm has extensive experience conducting internal investigations for fraud, embezzlement or other misconduct by officers or employees and has pursued claims on behalf of labor  organizations and businesses who uncover dishonest acts or breaches of fiduciary duty.