Local Government Law
Our local government attorneys make a difference for our public entity clients and for our community through our expertise in local government law and our commitment to public service. We view local government practice as an opportunity to serve each of our communities, by advising government officials and helping them achieve the goals desired for their communities.
Our approach to government practice is proactive, and we believe strongly that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Our track record in protecting local government clients and limiting litigation expenditures speaks for itself, but our attorneys have been very successful in defending local governments when called upon to do so.
Blalock Walters has Florida Bar Board Certified Local Government attorneys, as well as the support of highly skilled and experienced attorneys in governmental support practices, such as real estate, labor and employment law, tax law, and litigation. Our attorneys have experience representing cities, counties, school districts, constitutional officers, special districts, fire districts, recreation districts, community development districts (CDD), community redevelopment agencies, and inter-local governments. We have vast experience in code and agreement drafting. We have also been involved in various complex public/private partnerships (P3), including an American Planning Association and Florida Planning and Zoning Association award winning project for an educational complex to house an elementary school, youth oriented not-for-profit organizations and recreational amenities. Additionally, our attorneys have served as mediators, special magistrates and hearing officers in a wide variety of matters, including land use, procurement and public records law. The breadth of experience in representing different types of governmental entities is rare, and gives our local government group a unique perspective and skill set to assist with the day-to-day issues that face local governments.
- Are New Homestead Property Tax Exemptions Coming?by Marisa Powers on May 24, 2022 at 1:38 pm
Electors may vote whether to approve exemptions for teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, child welfare professionals and active-duty members of the United States Armed Forces and members of the Florida National Guard. During the 2022 Florida Legislative Session, Legislatures passed both House Bill (HB) 1563 and House Joint Resolution (HJR) 1 relating to
- Land Use Attorneys Can Counsel You in all Aspects of the Permitting and Development Approvalby Taylor Falkner on December 1, 2021 at 1:33 pm
Attorneys in the Blalock Walters’ land use department represent private clients in all aspects of the permitting and development approval process. We counsel developers and private land owners on matters that require land use and local government expertise, from preliminary application to representation during the public hearing process, in order to obtain the land use
Examples of how our local government lawyers have made a difference include:
- School boards, conflict of interest laws, construction litigation, redistricting, referendum and elections
- Eminent domain, zoning and subdivision laws, environmental law, conservation easements and economic development planning and promotion
- General reassessment and assessment issues, employment law, workers’ compensation hearings & litigation
- Successfully defended a special taxing district against multi-million dollar claims for violations of the Government in the Sunshine law and Public Records Act.
- Participated in the drafting of an award-winning county comprehensive plan.
- Served as special counsel to local governments for review of Developments of Regional Impact and large project matters.
- The Accord, an intergovernmental agreement on growth and development, between six cities, a county and a school district.
- The Inter-local Agreement between the City of Bradenton, the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority, and Manatee County regarding the purchase, construction, and financing of the Manatee County Administration Complex.
- Successfully defended Bert Harris Act claims against government action.
- The Master School Board and County Joint Use Inter-local Agreement for the use of schools and parks, and several individual school joint use agreements.
- Inter-local Agreement between Sarasota County and Manatee County for the development of a major bi-county thoroughfare – University Parkway.
- The development of the Palmetto Elementary School, the Boys and Girls Club, and Just for Girls Club on a shared campus with public and private entities and numerous land owners, including the National Guard. This project received statewide recognition from both the American Planning Association and the Florida Planning and Zoning Association.
- Represented the School District on construction contracts for a variety of education facility projects, including several multi-million dollar school facilities.
- We have served as hearing officers, special magistrates and/or mediators in a variety of governmental issues, including disputes related to land use, contracts, personnel matters and Bert Harris Act claims.
Blalock Walters is uniquely qualified to serve the education industry. Our attorneys have extensive experience in representing governmental entities, including school boards. Our firm has over 20 attorneys with experience in areas of law that would be regularly utilized by the by educational institutions including a wide variety of local government issues such as budgeting, contracts, zoning and development, labor and employment, all phases of litigation, student discipline, student activity, Civil Rights, sunshine law, ethics law, special permits, and public records. Attorneys have assisted in school boards in areas related to land use, real estate and contracts. Blalock Walters also has experienced attorneys who can assist with real estate, environmental, and taxation issues.