Practice/Industry Group Overview
We have one of the most experienced local public governmental law practices in the region. Our attorneys have provided practical guidance to municipalities in virtually every legal issue faced by public governmental bodies.
Representation of Local Public Governmental Bodies
Our firm has served as the City Attorney for the City of Bridgeton, Missouri, for over 30 years and for the City of Maplewood, Missouri, for more than 20 years. We have also served as special counsel to the City of St. Louis and many other municipalities and municipal officials in the greater St. Louis area. In addition, we represent the Saint Louis Art Museum (officially The Art Museum Subdistrict of the Metropolitan Zoological and Museum District of the City and County of St. Louis), the School District of Kansas City, Missouri, and the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners.
Through representation of public and private clients, our Municipal team has developed extensive experience in both transactions and litigation involving public governmental bodies.
- Challenged the constitutionality of the Hancock rollback legislation that prohibited only taxing districts in the St. Louis area from escalating property tax levies by the Consumer Price Index
- Challenged the constitutionality of the Boundary Commission statute
- Defended city and county ordinances forbidding the stationary operation of over-the-road trucks within a certain distance of residences
- Upheld city ordinances relating to contested zoning decisions, ranging from expansion of landfills to the establishment of adult entertainment businesses
- Implemented hundreds of economic development and infrastructure projects involving financial assistance programs, including TIF, TDD, CID, Missouri Economic Development Export and Infrastructure Board, Chapter 353, Special Business Districts, creation of specialized planning and zoning classifications, and other innovative programs designed to encourage the creation of additional economic development and the retention of existing businesses
- Counseled municipal clients on a wide array of important municipal issues, such as zoning and subdivision matters, code enforcement, public works contracts, local tax issues, and special regulatory issues involving facilities of other public governmental bodies
- Created a Municipal Housing Authority to acquire properties through eminent domain proceedings for the purpose of developing safer, affordable housing in rapidly deteriorating urban areas
Economic Development Experience
Our Municipal practice group has extensive experience in public finance general obligation and special use, tax-exempt bonds, lease/purchase financing, certificates of participation, sales tax bonds and tax anticipation financing. We have served as bond counsel, counsel to underwriters and counsel to numerous public school districts in connection with financings of schools, hospitals, sewer districts, and tax-exempt securities.
Our attorneys have played important roles in advocating and preserving state legislative support for economic development in urban cores, including preserving and winning budget commitment, advancement of arts and civic projects.
Our municipal attorneys are actively involved in urban development and real estate practice, including expertise in zoning, special use, code compliance and creative development projects involving sales and lease of municipal land and cooperation between municipal government and the private sector. We have been deeply involved with the renaissance of downtown St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City. We have had extensive dealings with the Missouri Housing Development Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including financing under almost all HUD programs.