Government Operations

Phillips Lytle has a long history of expertise in all aspects of law relating to the powers, procedures and operations of state and local governments, public authorities, and governing bodies and boards. Our practice has included the defense of determinations made by public corporations and agencies, as well as challenges on behalf of individuals and private-sector businesses to enactments and agency decisions.  Our Government Operations Practice is multi-disciplinary, with expertise in municipal, land use, environmental and tax law.

Our areas of experience include:

  • Drafting and reviewing of statutes, ordinances and resolutions for municipal clients.
  • Advising and assisting planning boards, zoning boards, water boards and other public entities.
  • Challenging the constitutionality of federal, state and local laws on behalf of individuals and private-sector entities.
  • Representing state and local governments and governing boards in all aspects of litigation, in federal and New York State judicial forums.
  • Advising government boards concerning issues pertaining to their governance and fiduciary responsibilities.

Phillips Lytle has counseled and represented an extensive list of clients in a variety of government operations matters, including:

  • Campaign finance
  • Cellular tower issues
  • Collective bargaining agreements
  • Compliance
  • Condemnation
  • Election law
  • Eminent domain
  • Environmental
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
  • Government ethics
  • Government personnel matters
  • Government procurement issues
  • Internal investigations
  • Land acquisition and development
  • Land use regulation
  • Licensing issues
  • Municipal bond transactions and public finance
  • Police professional liability
  • Public bidding and contracts
  • State public records law
  • Telecommunications
  • Tort and breach-of-contract defense

Our attorneys routinely assist with:

  • Representing property owners in real property tax certiorari proceedings.
  • Representing large and small telecommunications companies in obtaining state and local authorizations for fiber and wireless deployments in multiple jurisdictions.

Representative government operations matters in which Phillips Lytle has been involved:

  • Represented Commissioners of the State Board of Elections in a constitutional challenge regarding campaign spending and election law requirements.
  • Challenged a municipality’s actions in collecting gross receipt sales tax.
  • Served as lead counsel in an action against a municipality concerning the State Real Property Tax.
  • Represented a public utility in challenging the determinations of a foreign State Utility Commission.
  • Represented the Catholic Health System against the New York State Department of Health in challenging the recommendations of the New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century.
  • Counseled a municipality concerning proposed changes to its structure of governance.
  • Represented candidates and objectants in special proceedings pursuant to the New York Election Law.
  • Contested the enforceability of subpoenas issued by a local government to a public authority created by New York law.
  • Challenged the constitutionality of taxes imposed upon a not-for-profit corporation, solely because it is organized under the laws of a state other than New York.
  • Counseled private businesses concerning compliance with New York’s ethical rules regulating interactions with public officials.
  • Represented individuals in the defense of claims for breach of contract, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty by a state government agency.
  • Advised former members of defaulted group self-insurance trusts (GSITs) concerning their obligations in response to defaulted GSITs’ takeover and administration by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.
  • Represented a public corporation in a dispute with a public authority that had breached a ten-year term contract.
  • On behalf of a diversified energy company, challenged certain excessive permit fees charged by a city as an unconstitutional tax and in violation of a franchise agreement.
  • Represented multiple companies who sustained cyber-attacks, overseeing confidential internal security audits, and handled the various reporting and notification requirements imposed by several states where on-line customers resided to minimize future litigation risks.
  • Advised a closely-held company on the legal, human resources, and public relations risks associated with a management level employee charged with possession of child pornography on his computers.
  • Favorably resolved an investigation by the New York State Attorney General’s Office regarding alleged consumer fraud and false advertising charges with respect to content on a company’s website.
Government Operations