Helping Local Government With Legal Matters
Hudson, Potts & Bernstein has represented municipalities and local governments for nearly 150 years. This includes advising governmental entities on regulatory and legal compliance, as well as contract, civil rights, and tort litigation. Over the years HPB’s has successfully represented the cities, towns, and villages of Louisiana from state and federal trial courts to the United States Fifth Circuit and Supreme Court. When it comes to issue of municipal law, HPB’s track record is unmatched.
Federal and state laws are often well known. However, municipal laws, or “local government laws” may not be as prevalent. And yet it’s the municipal laws that govern many of the aspects of our day-to-day life that we often take for granted.
What is Municipal Law?
Municipal law is the law that is specific to a certain county, town, village, or city, known as municipalities, and the governmental bodies that are within those areas. These areas typically have a mayor, a city council, and other offices such as school board, police, and zoning board.
The city council, elected by the citizens of that municipality, makes decisions that affect the citizens, including creating ordinances, writing bylaws, and maintaining the municipal charter.
Government and municipal law focus on these ordinances and laws that help maintain order in a municipality.
Louisiana Municipal Law Issues
January 2022 saw big changes to Louisiana’s cannabis laws. As the state made dramatic changes, making medical cannabis more accessible and decriminalizing small amounts of recreational marijuana, municipalities have made adjustments to their own local laws.
Other issues that municipal law covers include:
A municipal lawyer is a key player in protecting the rights of their counties, towns, villages, cities, and constituents. Anyone who lives or works in that municipality is subject to its laws. Therefore, if they feel that the municipality has in some way overstepped its bounds, they have the right to take that complaint to a municipal attorney.
It doesn’t matter if it is a citizen, public service worker, or elected official. They all have the right to be heard.
Failure to Comply Can Cost You
While state and federal laws are often more prevalent and tend to garner the most attention, it is still important that those who live and work within a municipality comply with its laws. Failure to comply can have some costly consequences, including:
The sooner you take steps to be compliant, the less likely it is that you will have to experience any of these unpleasant consequences.
What can a Municipal Lawyer do for You?
You can talk with a municipal lawyer when you have issues that deal with the laws of that municipality. This can include:
Even the most common legal matters can quickly become difficult and stressful. The best time to speak with a municipal lawyer is before your issue reaches that point. Get the information and support you need so that you can proceed in a manner that keeps you compliant with local laws and helps you stay ahead of the game.