January 23, 2013
Municipal law can be coarsely defined as that law that deals with cities and towns. It is often a complex area of the law that require a firm understanding not only of the law, but also the rules and procedures that can be associated with governing bodies.
It is said that politics is a dirty business, and no matter how small the town, I can attest that a lot of mudslinging can go on – from million dollar decisions to how much to spend on a manhole cover! Nonetheless, as an attorney that represents municipalities, I can also say that even the smallest of towns need an attorney that is well versed in N.C.G.S. Chapter 160A, among all the other statutes that are implicated.
I can also say that I have seen municipalities innocently make mistakes and not carry out their charge under the law as they are required. The Open Meetings laws, for instance, allow a private session only in select circumstances, and the public body is required to follow those very specific circumstances or risk invalidating decisions, or worse.
Nearly everyone, appropriately, has an opinion on a political issue, but the people that represent a municipality also need to have a clear understanding of the laws that are implicated when they make their decisions and cast their votes. An attorney is a very cheap insurance policy against wrongly-cast votes that can cause even greater and unintentional headaches for council members.
Several attorneys at our firm are the attorneys for more than a handful of municipalities. Other attorneys are well-versed in the laws and fill in when required due to circumstances. If you are interested in discussing what this firm can do to assist your municipality, give us a call today.