Practice/Industry Group Overview
The intersection of law, business, and government is a challenging one. Private sector businesses and institutions who interact with government entities - and those government entities themselves - must work within a complex system of policy-making, legislation, regulations, processes and procedures. Working with experienced counsel - especially lawyers with direct experience in government - can help you turn these complexities into opportunities.
Our clients benefit from our extensive understanding of how federal, state and local governments work. Mintz Levin attorneys offer strategic counseling and practical advice to clients in both the public and private sectors, on matters ranging from ethics and regulatory compliance to open meeting laws and lobbying regulations.
Election Law, Lobbying, and Government Ethics
Federal laws and regulations - and a growing body of state law - have been enacted to ensure that we elect and influence government officials openly, fairly, and ethically. Our attorneys have substantial experience in advising government and corporate clients on political fundraising, campaign finance, and the rules relating to offering gifts, travel, honoraria, or employment to former government officials. We frequently advise clients on how to comply with regulations governing the registration and conduct of lobbyists, and on compliance with conflict-of-interest laws. We also provide training and conduct ethics audits to help ensure compliance.
Public Records and the Freedom of Information Act
Our federal and state governments collect and control a significant amount of information, and clients frequently turn to us to help them gain or control access to these public records. Working with private sector clients, including corporations, health care providers and others, we draft requests for information under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and state public records laws, and handle appeals when requests are denied. We also advise clients on efforts to protect intellectual property, trade secrets, or privacy, in "reverse FOIA" situations, and help them negotiate limits on the information that will be collected or released by government entities. For public officials and agencies, we draft responses to requests for information, and assist in developing FOIA and public records regulations and record compliance programs.
Drafting Legislation and Regulations
Public and private sector entities alike are best served when they can help shape the laws and regulations that govern their operations. The attorneys in our Government Law Group regularly assist clients in drafting legislation and corresponding regulations, in areas ranging from transportation to health care. Our attorneys have extensive public and private experience drafting legislation, regulations, administrative bulletins, and other regulatory documents. Our team works with clients from the initial drafting stage to public hearings and enactment.
Regulatory Compliance and Government Enforcement
In managing and growing their operations, businesses must comply with a host of government regulations, from broadly applicable rules for corporate governance to more specific regulations relating to a particular industry or to entities seeking or holding government contracts or subcontracts. Mintz Levin draws on attorneys from across the firm to counsel clients on a broad range of regulatory compliance matters, from health law and data security to securities and environmental law. We create and implement comprehensive regulatory compliance plans and programs to minimize risk, and, when necessary, we conduct confidential internal investigations, recommend and implement corrective action, and assist in making appropriate disclosures to government agencies. When clients face criminal, civil, or administrative proceedings, they look to our litigators, who offer extensive trial experience in state and federal courts and before government agencies and tribunals.
Open Meeting Law
In an effort to eliminate the secrecy surrounding government deliberations and decisions, many state and local governments have enacted open meeting laws requiring most meetings of governmental bodies to be held in public, and providing for specific circumstances under which a meeting may be held in executive, or closed, session. Our Government Law team advises government officials on complying with open meeting laws, and assists private sector clients in gaining access to meetings and the information presented at them.
In addition to complying with the laws and regulations governing their interactions with the private sector, federal, state, and local officials must often address unique or specialized requirements in conducting day-to-day operations. Our Government Law group advises public sector clients on matters ranging from procurement and truth-in-lending to special laws and exclusions affecting government employers and employees.