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Government Law

For decades, we have helped private and public clients navigate the myriad laws and regulations governing the operation of government and the conduct of government officials.  Our lawyers have worked inside and outside government, representing clients with matters large and small, including some of the most consequential public policy matters in modern Oregon history.  Our experience includes the following:

  • Public Entity Litigation – We routinely represent private and public entities in a variety of litigation matters involving state and local government, including those relating to employment, procurement, contract, government ethics, tort claims, civil rights claims, and employment claims and lawsuits.
  • Constitutional Law – We are often called upon to give our opinion on the correct interpretation of the Oregon and United States Constitutions to local governments and the Oregon legislature, and we have successfully litigated state and federal constitutional issues in state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.
  • Government Power & Authority – We work with private and public clients to understand the often byzantine web of legal authorities that determine what government can and cannot do. Our government law attorneys are particularly skilled at understanding the intersection of constitutions, statutes, charters, and codes that govern government officials’ activities.  With that knowledge, we help clients develop strategies to address their needs – either through action within the bounds of governing law or by pursuing appropriate changes to those laws.
  • Government Ethics – We provide counsel, advice, and representation in matters involving government ethics, such as:
    • Defense of matters before the Oregon Government Ethics Commission
    • Training programs on prohibited activities and reporting requirements
    • Disclosure of economic interests, gift regulations, and lobbying regulations
    • Conflict of interest matters
    • Special issues arising in the government contractor arena
    • Representation of government clients in investigations and enforcement proceedings by ethics regulators
    • Design and implementation of programs and procedures to restore public confidence in governmental entities accused of unethical behavior
  • Open Meetings and Public Records – The intersection of open meetings and public records law balances the public’s right to know about matters concerning their government and the public interests served by appropriate exceptions to such law. We regularly advise private and public clients on how to operate within those laws.
  • Public Contracting – We routinely advise and represent clients on all aspects of the public contracting process, including:
    • Public-private partnerships
    • Bid and notice requirements
    • Bid protests
    • Performance matters and other disputes
  • Public Employee Retirement System – Our attorneys possess a depth of understanding of the legal, political and economic issues surrounding PERS that no other law firm can match. That expertise has led public employers and PERS members alike to rely on us to help navigate their rights and responsibilities.  We have helped public employers manage their obligations under the law and avoid unnecessary liabilities, and we have helped employees and retirees understand and successfully pursue their rights to the retirement benefits they worked for.