Practice/Industry Group Overview
In conjunction with our government relations efforts, we provide our clients with advice concerning compliance with federal and state laws regulating election and campaign political activity, fund-raising, and contributions. We review city, state and federal legislation and combine broad legal knowledge with effective advocacy techniques to help clients understand government policy, critical to survival in a regulated environment.
Our lawyers represent clients before legislative and executive bodies in both formal and informal proceedings relating to ethics, energy, solid waste, real estate, privatization, taxation, technology, the environment and health care. We also represent clients during contract negotiations and at hearings and help draft legislative testimony.
We also develop and implement strategies for clients who need to obtain public funding or who need assistance with an administrative or regulatory matter in the local, state or federal milieu. Throughout the process, you stay informed of changes that could affect your business interests or decisions.
We know that political, legislative and governmental issues can often arise as obstacles in achieving your goals, and our attorneys have sophisticated practices that can handle these pitfalls and help you negotiate the legal and regulatory maze. Many attorneys in our Firm have served in governmental positions and many have represented numerous municipalities in complex litigation matters. As a result of our long-term involvement in this field of practice, we have developed in-depth knowledge in governmental regulation that enhances the representation of government entities and the representation of non-government clients concerning regulatory matters.
Our group is part of the Schnader tradition of regional and national experience in serving our clients effectively, competitively, competently and proactively, protecting our clients' interests and advancing their goals.
Many of our lawyers have firsthand experience making and influencing policy. They have held office, received senior government appointments, and served in a range of local, state and federal government positions. A partial list of the municipal and governmental experience of our lawyers demonstrates the Firm's accomplishments in the government relations area:
- Experience in municipal board service, municipal and government services, real estate finance and development, and in counseling enterprises about the interface between governmental and economic development agencies and about financing strategies utilizing both private and public partnerships.
- Service on the board of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, as solicitor of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, as planning commissioner for the City of Pittsburgh and as a board member of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority.
- Extensive work with government contracts, with emphasis on complex public, private and institutional projects such as real estate sales, project financing (including loans secured by real property) and commercial leasing.
- Drafting of legislation on the state and local levels, and work with federal, state and local government grant and loan programs.
- Significant practice devoted to large development projects that combine public and private for-profit and nonprofit elements.
- More than ten years of service in the Law Department of the City of Philadelphia, focusing on public-sector business and real estate matters and supervision of the city’s legal work on many major projects.
- Service as Philadelphia city solicitor—the city's chief legal counsel on many of the city's commercial ventures with developers and mixed public-private funding.
- More than 25 years of trial and appellate litigation experience in federal and state courts and administrative agencies and in governmental affairs counseling.
- Experience in advising candidates for federal, state and local office on state election law and federal and state campaign finance law.
- Service on the City of Philadelphia's Election Reform Task Force, which produced a widely publicized report.
- Service on transition teams for the newly-elected mayor of Philadelphia and for the controller-elect of Philadelphia.
- Service as an assistant district attorney in San Francisco.
- Service as a White House Fellow, serving as director of the Office of Global Affairs for the National Security Council, focusing on international crime, narcotics, terrorism and war crimes.
- Assistance in drafting the federal International Crime Control Act of 1996.
- Service as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice, advising South Africa's government on police reform.
- Chairmanship of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the commonwealth's leading criminal justice policy agency, directing the commission's resources for the first time to fight domestic and international terrorism.
- Candidacies for Pennsylvania attorney general in 2000 and 2004.
- Service on Pennsylvania Gov. Rendell's Family and Children's Cabinet, as the governor's chief criminal justice policy advisor during the 2002 campaign, and on the governor's transition team and as counsel to the Inaugural Committee.
- Service as chief counsel to the Police Advisory Commission of Philadelphia and to Mayor John Street's Special Commission on Police Discipline.
- Part of the agency review team for the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Service as a Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulating Pennsylvania casinos.
- Leadership role for the Philadelphia School District's School Reform Commission.
- Extensive work for the City of Philadelphia's finances for PICA.
Several attorneys in our Government and Regulatory Affairs Practice Group were affiliated with the U.S. Department of Justice, involved in many special legal, cultural and political challenges on behalf of public and private entities. In addition, one of our attorneys serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute, lecturing on environmental values, energy choices, and urban policy and sprawl.
Schnader attorneys outside the group, themselves rich in experience in a wide array of public service backgrounds, can be called upon by the group when needed.