State and local governments in Texas are constantly evolving. Changes in everything from funding levels because of tax code changes to shifting guidelines for employee healthcare to new building regulations have impacted how governmental entities operate across the state.
Similarly, changes in the state demographics, voting patterns, technology, and the environment add an element of uncertainty to how Texas will look and run in the future. It can be daunting to consider and plan to protect an agency or other governmental organization in both the short and long term, particularly when resources are in short supply. Having a governmental entities attorney with extensive experience representing these types of organizations in all types of legal disputes and day-to-day operations can help guide your organization as it changes and grows.
Common Legal Issues Affecting Governmental Entities
No two governmental entities are exactly alike, but many common issues are present that vary from those that impact private organizations. Attorneys across various legal practice areas can encounter matters involving government agencies and programs. Some attorneys focus their practices on working with a given government agency. Common examples of legal issues affecting governmental entities can include:
- Business partnerships
- Infrastructure use and repair
- Land use
- Public pensions for employees
- Real estate transactions
- Rules surrounding the employment lifecycle
All new projects and initiatives require extensive scrutiny and consideration. Additionally, much governmental work is actually handled by contractors and there are extensive and specific guidelines covering how, when, and what kind of work they can do. Related, partnerships with businesses have become more common for many governmental entities, but there a number of rules and issues that must be addressed before and during such partnerships. Understanding the laws in these areas, among others, and how they impact a specific governmental entity, can be challenging for administrators. Complying with all laws governing a specific governmental entity and how it operates can have important implications for both day-to-day operations and strategic planning for the future of a government organization.
Municipalities, counties, school districts, and other local government entities must comply with certain legal requirements. Failure to comply may subject an entity to liability and/or litigation. Because of this, it is very important for entities to work with an experienced governmental entities attorney.
Similarly, legal advice can be crucial when developing policies and procedures for each governmental entity. Setting down guidelines in advance for what to do if, for example, an employee needs to be terminated for wrongdoing or your organization is hit by a cyberattack, can help avoid using an untested approached, sloppy decision making, and potentially costly and time-intensive litigation. If a lawsuit is brought against a governmental entity, different avenues for alternative dispute resolution are available, and a skilled attorney can help to determine what the best path for resolution is. Also, if a government agency is subject to an investigation by an overseeing group, the Houston governmental entity attorneys of Feldman & Feldman can help navigate the whole process, provide assistance, and offer defense of the findings if need be.
The governmental entities attorneys of Feldman & Feldman are available to lend their many years of combined transactional and litigation experience to governmental entities. We can assist clients in identifying and correcting legal shortcomings. We can help out not only with compliance and daily operations, but also with specific lawsuits. Our team understands governmental entities can have limited resources. We partner with these clients to help tackle pressing problems so they can focus on doing their part to serve the community.
Why Feldman & Feldman?
Feldman & Feldman is uniquely qualified to handle cases for governmental entities. We have extensive experience serving managed utility districts, management districts and special districts, local government corporations, reinvestment zones, government nonprofits, and school districts, among others. One of our founding partners, David Feldman, served as the Houston City Attorney under Mayor Annise Parker from April 2010 to January 2015. As a result of his work, David’s practice has touched upon nearly every facet of public law. He both defended lawsuits brought against the city and brought suits to recover monies due. His duties included abating public nuisances, negotiating major transactions and union contracts, and writing ordinances and policies to improve the quality of life for Houstonians while making government more efficient. Finally, he also served as a close advisor to the Mayor and City Council on all legal matters.
How Feldman & Feldman Can Help
The governmental entity lawyers at Feldman & Feldman work with organizations to help prevent litigation by reviewing their practices and policies. Additionally, we also develop policies covering employment, procurement, privacy, record keeping, public information and Open Meeting laws, finance and operations, and conflicts of interest, among others. Overall, we want to make sure our clients are not only complying with the law, but doing also anticipating future regulations.
For entities already facing litigation, our governmental entities lawyers will work with you to resolve your legal issues, whether municipal, state, federal, or administrative. Don’t wait to get Feldman & Feldman involved with your organization. If you want to protect your entity from litigation or are currently facing legal issues, contact Feldman & Feldman today.