Louisiana Government and Municipal Law and Litigation, Civil Rights and Civil Service Attorneys
Representing Local Governments in a Variety of Complex Legal MattersMany individuals or companies may try to bring legal actions against a town, city, or county government making a wide range of claims. These actions are often to seek money damages for alleged injuries, overturn existing policies, or otherwise force other action on the part of the government. Like any other party to a legal action, the government has the right to defend itself against legal allegations and unnecessary liability, and this often requires the representation by an attorney who is highly experienced in municipal law and litigation. The skilled attorneys at Hudson, Potts & Bernstein have represented the government in many ways, including providing legal counsel for policies or government projects, bringing legal actions on behalf of the government, and defending against claims. The following are some examples of matters we can successfully handle for municipal entities.
Risk management - By providing knowledgeable counsel regarding policies and other government actions, our legal team can help to proactively decrease the risk of unnecessary exposure or legal liability for a local government.
Municipal Tort Liability - There are many ways for people to get injured that can lead to a claim against the government. Common claims can involve:
- Road or highways defects
- Slip, trips, and falls
- Motor vehicle accidents with government vehicles
- Emergency-related accidents
- Injuries by police
- Injuries at public schools
Zoning and Planning - Many disputes can arise involving both commercial and residential properties making challenges to government zoning, planning, or land use policies. Our legal team will work to uphold the zoning and planning policies and regulations of the government while finding innovative solutions to keep citizens satisfied.
Constitutional Claims - Many actions against the government involve an individual claiming that a government official or agency violated their rights under the Constitution of the United States or the Louisiana Constitution. This can include many different allegations, and our firm is equipped to defend the government against any type of constitutional or civil rights claims.
Eminent Domain - The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments give the government the right to seize private property when it is needed for public use projects. Not surprisingly, many landowners do not want to give up part or all of their property rights and may demand unreasonable amounts of compensation. We can assist municipal governments in negotiations for land purchase and can represent agencies in court in condemnation actions when needed.
Government Bidding and Contracts - Government construction projects can involve competitive bids from numerous contractors and complex contracts. Our lawyers can oversee the bidding process and draft, review, and negotiate enforceable contracts. If a dispute arises as a result of a construction project, we can represent the interests of the municipality in mediation, arbitration, or litigation proceedings.Claims against the government often have significantly different procedures and requirements than claims against private parties. Hudson, Potts & Bernstein knows how to skillfully defend against legal actions based on procedural defects, substantive legal principles, or both to limit the government’s liability whenever possible. If your government agency needs special counsel for any type of legal matter, contact our firm for more information about our services today.
Defending against Civil Rights ClaimsMany disgruntled citizens may bring claims against a variety of government actors under Title 42 Section 1983 of the United States Code alleging violations of their civil rights. There are very specific requirements to mount a successful Section 1983 action, and our attorneys know how to defend against false claims. We regularly represent the following government workers and more who are facing civil rights claims:
- Elected and appointed government officials
- Law enforcement personnel
- Correctional staff
- Fire protection personnel
- Various other public employees
Civil rights claims against local governments can include many allegations and laws, including:
- Violation of rights under the First Amendment
- Violation of rights under the Equal Protection Clause
- Violation of Due Process rights
- Fourth Amendment claims including unlawful search and seizure by law enforcement
- Eighth Amendment claims including false arrest, excessive force, and other types of police misconduct
Handling Cases Related to Civil ServiceCivil servants are necessary for the government to work effectively and efficiently. However, there are also many legal issues that can arise in relation to civil service and government employees. Just like employees of private corporations, civil servants can allege many types of violations by government entities regarding employment. These claims can include the following issues, among others:
- Unlawful discrimination in hiring or other employment actions
- Sexual harassment
- Wrongful disciplinary action
- Wrongful termination
- Wage claims
- Leave disputes
- Whistleblowing claims
- Retaliation claims