Practice/Industry Group Overview
Our Governmental Affairs practice group is headed by attorneys with decades of experience and a valuable knowledge-base acquired by appearing before and working with public entities, to achieve the best result possible for our diverse base of clients.
Throughout the firm’s history, attorneys at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A. have represented various State and local government entities. Our attorneys also have considerable experience representing corporations and individuals before local, county and State governmental entities. Each of our clients benefits from our longstanding reputation as one of the finest and most successful law firms in New Jersey.
We continue to maintain strong relationships with key decision makers in State and local government and regularly appear before a wide-range of municipalities, regulatory authorities and agencies. In the course of such representation, we provide advice on the substantive impact of law and regulation on individual and business interests. In particular, we provide clients with practical advice on a wide-range of issues relating to compliance with State and Local government laws relating to areas such as election and political contribution law, State and local procurement issues, public record issues, Open Public Meeting Act issues, bidding issues, local government ethics, utility franchising and the use of public rights of way. We also serve as special litigation counsel on behalf of local governments in connection with these and similar matters.
- Election Law, Political Contributions and Pay to Play
- Open Government Laws
- Procurement (Public Bidding)
- Lobbying & Governmental Affairs Agents
- Government Ethics Law
- Counsel to Public Entities
Election Law, Political Contribution Law and Pay to Play
Our practitioners are well-acquainted with the government’s intricate laws and regulations imposed upon candidates, political action committees and persons and businesses that make political contributions. Our lawyers provide guidance and advice to corporations, trade groups, political action committees, campaign officials, contributors, and public question committees concerning compliance with State and federal election laws. We also represent political candidates regarding compliance with the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act and its implementing regulations. Our attorneys also appear before the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission and the Federal Election Commission.
Our governmental affairs lawyers have particular experience in the laws and regulations governing campaign finance, including those imposed by New Jersey’s complex "pay-to-play" reforms that specifically affect entities that do business with State and local governmental entities. We understand that many of our clients would like to participate in the political process, but may feel constrained by the State and local contribution restrictions and the impact that those restrictions have on their business interests. Our attorneys assist our clients in devising solutions that are designed to enable our clients to meet business goals, while continuing to participate in the political process.
Open Government Laws
We provide advice to businesses and municipalities on issues associated with the compliance with the New Jersey Open Public Meetings (Sunshine Law), the New Open Public Records Act ("OPRA"), common law Right to Know laws, and the Freedom Of Information Act ("FOIA"). We represent corporations and individuals seeking to obtain access to government records and we have successfully represented corporations seeking to maintain the confidentiality of certain information included in public records. We also are familiar with the methods and procedures relied upon by the Government Public Records Council to determine whether requests for access to certain public records should be granted.
Procurement (Public Bidding)
Our attorneys provide advice to governmental entities regarding the purchase of goods and services. We also assist clients wishing to do business with governmental entities in navigating procurement laws governing the sales of goods and services to public entities, such as the Local Public Contracts Law, the State Contracts law, Public School Contracts Law, and the County College Contracts law. We also represent bidders and government entitles in connection with disputes regarding the award of public contracts.
Lobbying & Governmental Affairs Agents
Under the New Jersey Legislative and Governmental Process Activities Disclosure Act ("Lobbying Law"), entities that deal with government officials and state agencies must be familiar with unique laws that apply to communications with public officials. As a result, we provide advice to clients regarding compliance with the Lobbying Law and the registration and reporting requirements associated with lobbying by Governmental Affairs Agents.
Government Ethics Law
Our attorneys provide advice to municipalities, school boards, governmental officials, and parties doing business with government entities on ethics issues and compliance associated with the New Jersey Conflicts of Interest Law, Local Government Ethics Law and School Ethics Act. On behalf of clients we have obtained favorable advisory opinions in this regard and we often assist in the filing of annual reporting and disclosure statements.
Counsel to Public Entities
Our firm has represented numerous elected bodies and appointed government entities as general, bond, redevelopment, labor and special counsel. We regularly provide advice to municipalities regarding public right of way issues. We currently represent the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, county colleges, school boards, municipal utility authorities, municipalities, redevelopment agencies, planning boards, improvement and facilities authorities.