Our experienced and innovative local government lawyers represent localities in disputes and complex matters.
Our local government attorneys have the experience with and understanding of local government issues that allows them to efficiently and effectively solve local government litigation and other problems.
Gentry Locke’s local government group combines rich local government, litigation, and transaction expertise in representing our local government clients. We understand the necessity of working closely with local government attorneys and managers, accurately analyzing the legal challenges facing local governments, and implementing the best solution.
Our attorneys make it a priority to be accessible and responsive to our local government clients.
Always accessible and responsive, our local government attorneys focus on solving our clients’ problems through creativity, specific experience, and quality legal work. We have successfully represented Virginia local governments in litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and complex transactions. Our areas of specific experience include:
- Land use
- Boundary adjustments
- Economic development incentives
- Condemnation matters
Counsel to Boards, Councils & Commissions
Gentry Locke’s local government attorneys have served as counsel to many different local government entities, including city and town councils, boards of supervisors, school boards, planning commissions, zoning appeals boards, economic and industrial authorities, housing authorities, and public service authorities. Counsel is provided for specialized issues such as construction, environmental, employment and finance, as well as general governmental issues, such as powers, procedures and duties, Freedom of Information Act, conflicts, public procurement, utilities, zoning and land use, and economic development transactions.
Law Enforcement Agencies
Gentry Locke’s experienced local government attorneys understand the unique environment in which public safety organizations operate, and we are prepared to promptly and efficiently address issues relating to policies and procedures, employment and labor relations, Procedural Guaranties Act, excessive force claims, and federal actions under 42 USC § 1983.
Local Government Finance
From many years of experience, Gentry Locke’s local government attorneys have acquired a thorough understanding of the unique rules relating to the financing of our local governments, including the Public Finance Act, the Credit Clause and other constitutional issues, the Dillon Rule, and local taxation. In addition to providing counsel regarding public finance issues, our attorneys serve as counsel with respect to general obligation and revenue bond transactions.
Powers & Procedures
Gentry Locke’s experienced local government attorneys are prepared to promptly address questions related to the powers and procedures applicable to local governing bodies, planning commissions, zoning appeals boards, school boards, and special purpose entities such as public service authorities, economic development authorities and industrial development authorities.
We provide assistance to clients with the following:
- Freedom of Information Act
- Conflicts of interest
- Public procurement
- Risk management
- Intergovernmental relations
- Preparation and review of agreements
- Dillon Rule issues
Through many years of experience, Gentry Locke’s local government attorneys are able to bring innovative and effective risk management strategies to the table to address the risks inherent in local government operations. Our attorneys possess a thorough understanding of risk transfer mechanisms and insurance, as well as the unique risks arising from construction, law enforcement, recreation, and public facilities. Our focus is always on the best interests of our client. We recognize that the practice of preventive law can result in the avoidance of costly and time-consuming litigation.
In addition to possessing a thorough understanding of the general rules applicable to all public entities, such as Freedom of Information Act, Conflict of Interests Act, Public Procurement Act, and Dillon Rule, Gentry Locke attorneys have vast experience with the specialized issues faced by school boards and school administrators. These specialized issues include:
- Powers and duties of school boards
- Student discipline
- First Amendment
- Disabled students
- Contracting with and discipline of teachers
- Financing and constructing school facilities