Non-profits and other organizations are the same. From social services to funding, government action plays a major role. Lastly, causes and movements seek to shape our society through laws and government action. We all interact with government.
We lobby on behalf of causes, organizations, and businesses. We combine our knowledge of public policy, the legislative process, and the political landscape to produce viable and durable legislative solutions. Our attorneys have developed and managed bills in the General Assembly and before local legislative bodies. Our attorneys work together on lobbying efforts to leverage their experience. Our attorneys include a former member of the General Assembly, former Assistant Attorney General, and experienced practitioners who have a deep familiarity with Maryland law.
We are available to lobby for particular legislation, regulations, and executive action. We can assist with each step in the development of new law. We can draft legislative proposals, testimony, and analyses. We can help create roadmaps to steer legislation, regulations, or executive action to success. We can help develop coalitions, public outreach, and grassroots support. We are available to monitor, on behalf of organizations and businesses, legislative activities that may bear on them.
MPIA / FOIA / Open Meetings Act
We assist individuals, causes, organizations, and businesses to get the information they need from government. Maryland’s Public Information Act (“MPIA”) gives the public the right to access government records without unnecessary cost and delay. The law applies to all three branches of Maryland state government as well as local government entities. The MPIA is similar to the federal Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) which applies to federal executive branch agencies and independent federal regulatory agencies. The MPIA grants individuals the right to review the available records that are disclosable and to obtain copies of those records. It does not require an agency to answer informational questions or to create a record. The FOIA provides that all federal agency records are accessible to a requesting individual unless there exists a specific exemption from the requirement.
We are available to indentify information and records, craft appropriate requests under the MPIA or the FOIA, and to follow the request through satisfaction. We can litigate if the government entity either challenges the request based upon a recognized exception in the law or fails to send the documents in a timely fashion or at all. Our attorneys have made thousands of requests in a variety of settings and for myriad purposes.
Maryland’s Open Meetings Act (“OMA”) was enacted in 1977. Under the law, if a public body is meeting and the subject matter is covered by the OMA, the body must meet in open session. While the OMA sets out exceptions to this general rule, the exceptions themselves are to be “strictly construed in favor of open meetings of public bodies.” We are available to help organizations and businesses ensure the OMA is honored by government entities through compliance actions and litigation.
Referenda & Election Law
We work on behalf of causes and organizations advocating for and against the referendum of laws and charter amendments, and other electoral matters. We assist from inception to election day. We advise on the formation of entities and compliance with election and advocacy laws. We also help clients develop a comprehensive strategy to accomplish their goals.
We represent clients before the Maryland State and local Boards of Election. When necessary, we litigate election related disputes before Maryland’s courts.
Regulations & Administrative Law
We challenge government overreach and press for sensible regulations. State regulations and agency rules affect businesses, organizations, and causes in profound and important ways. Regulations that overreach are illegal. Regulations that accomplish their goal can be invaluable. Agencies wield significant power beyond making regulations and rules. An agency determination, action, or investigation can have a profound impact.
We advocate for consistent and fair treatment by government.
We know public finance. We help businesses and organizations understand government spending. From pension systems to procurements, our attorneys know how to examine, understand, and, if necessary, challenge financial decisions of government.