State & Local Government

Bryant Miller Olive has a unique relationship with state and local government agencies. The firm has served as general counsel to counties, cities, and special districts, and firm attorneys have served in the role of full and part time county attorney, city attorney, and special district attorney in a public capacity. The firm has also served as special counsel to state agencies and counties, cities and special districts. We understand our clients’ needs and can meet them properly and cost-effectively.

Our firm-wide collaborative approach to problem-solving regularly incorporates legal skills from our Public Finance, Energy & Utility, Labor & Employment, Land Use and other practice areas. We assist our wide governmental client base in solving a broad spectrum of substantive legal problems, including:

  • Governance alternatives; charters; redistricting; special districts; interlocal entities; municipal service taxing and benefit districts; educational facilities benefit districts
  • Special assessments; alternative revenue analysis and enhancements of every kind; impact fees; tax increment initiatives (statutory and home rule)
  • Public records; Government in the Sunshine; public ethics
  • Constitutional litigation and appeals, involving home rule, unfunded mandates, preemption special laws of general application qualifications for office, First Amendment Public Records and meetings, transfers of powers and status of offices
  • Fire protection; water; wastewater; stormwater utilities; solid waste; funding and delivery of capital facilities and essential services of every kind and nature
  • Local government litigation: extraordinary writs (mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto); eminent domain; intergovernmental disputes; mediation and arbitration; validation of bonds
  • Legislation; lobbying; general law amendments; local bills and special acts and the procedures surrounding them
  • Ad valorem tax matters and the procedures surrounding them
  • Community redevelopment; findings of necessity; establishment of redevelopment agency; adoption and modification of redevelopment plans; notices to taxing authorities; establishment of redevelopment trust fund authorize uses of and leveraging tax increment proceeds; legal audits of agencies

Our familiarity with an extensive local government practice enables us to provide high quality of service, realizing our overriding mission to understand and then efficiently implement the goals of our clients. Examples of recent matters handled by Bryant Miller Olive’s State and Local Practice Group include:

  • Developing two-tiered fire assessment methodology validated by the Florida Supreme Court
  • Providing comprehensive legal services while serving as full- and part-time city attorney, full- and part-time county attorney and independent special district utility general counsel
  • Drafting a request for an Attorney General’s opinion in support of municipal home rule in a privatization initiative
  • Providing advice regarding contractual indemnification to a water management district
  • Clearing a state board member from a potential conflict of interest before the Commission on Ethics
  • Creating a stormwater utility for a city; develop and maintain stormwater assessment plans
  • Facilitating expansion of municipal water and sewer infrastructure outside city limits and funding same through special assessments
  • Facilitating expansion of central wastewater service to areas served by septic tanks and successfully defending the municipality against legal challenges to the State Supreme Court
  • Assisting a county on a bid challenge on its emergency radio system
  • Negotiations and drafting marina management agreements for two cities
  • Assisting a city, a state college and a bridge authority with Consultants Competitive Negotiations Act problems
  • Assisting a county with Bert Harris matters
  • Facilitate an intergovernmental dispute process with a county and a fire district
  • Assist a city in implementing a citizen initiation
  • Coordinating a comprehensive contracting agreement between an electric utility and a water utility
  • Facilitating creation of a regional water and wastewater utility to consolidate utility services throughout a major county and adjacent areas
  • Obtaining a successful mediated settlement for a county for faulty land fill design by engineering company
  • Defending a County against a federal court challenge to its regulation of disposal of sewage sludge resulting in a successful mediated settlement
  • Assisting a municipality in transition from strong mayor to city manager form of government and representing the municipality in reopening a twenty five year old federal court injunction to allow the new form of government with an expansion of the districts, including representing the city in the redistricting process
  • Successfully defending a state agency against a lawsuit brought under the Federal Civil Rights Act and the State Waiver of Sovereign Immunity Act
  • Successfully defending a state agency against lawsuits seeking to place privatized and lease purchased prisons on the ad valorem tax rolls
  • Facilitating and validating a consensual special assessment program to improve roadway construction needed to meet concurrency requirements and developing a potential back-up tax increment source of revenue outside of a community redevelopment regime
  • Serving as a special counsel facilitator to a group of counties, special districts and a municipality in multiple party representations related to the development of major regional water projects
  • Assisting local governments in creating non-profit organizations to support their various functions
  • Negotiating attorney and manager contracts for local governments