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Government Law


FMG's Government Law Section represents governmental entities, both directly and through their insurers. Hundreds of local governments, including cities, counties, sheriffs, school districts, housing authorities, hospitals, water authorities and development authorities have turned to our attorneys to resolve issues involving virtually every aspect of government liability.

Government Law Professionals

Local Government Representation

FMG's local government practice team serves as general counsel and special litigation counsel for an array of local governments and their officials. Our experience ranges from serving as the primary attorney, such as city or county attorney, to serving as litigation counsel in all types of state and federal court cases.

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Civil Rights and Liability Defense

FMG lawyers are nationally recognized for their aggressive, successful defense of governmental entities and officials. We have handled cases involving virtually every aspect of governmental liability and public safety, including land use, zoning, jail conditions, search and seizure, high speed pursuits, sign ordinances and first amendment claims. We have represented clients in a number of significant decisions, including the landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Scott v. Harris (click to view video).

Our representation encompasses literally hundreds of local governments, including cities, counties, housing authorities, development authorities, and school districts. Our lead partner of this practice group is considered by many to be among the foremost governmental liability defense lawyers in the nation.

As the traditional shield of sovereign immunity has eroded, governments and their employees have been presented with a multitude of serious claims. Our lawyers are nationally recognized for their successful and aggressive defense of governmental entities and officials.

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Education Law

FMG's Education Law practice team has represented a number of the region's largest universities, private schools and local school districts. Our lawyers have handled all types of claims involving fair dismissal, special education, student discipline, privacy challenges, tenure denials and security issues. Our experience includes defending Georgia's three largest private universities and several of the state's largest school districts in all aspects of local, state and federal education matters.

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Governmental Relations and Strategic Advice

The FMG government team represents both private companies and local governments in their relationships with State and Federal authorities. The group also assists clients in strategic planning and regulatory strategy, with a focus on corrections, energy, insurance and financial services, taxation, telecommunications, technology and transportation issues.

FMG's government team includes Allan Hayes, former Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Insurance, Fire Safety and Industrial Loan Department; and Dan Lee, former county Solicitor-General and Georgia State Senator.

Governmental Relations and Strategic Advice Professionals

Dan Lee
Allan Hayes

Mr. Hayes has experience handling complex regulatory, legislative and public policy, and public affairs matters both in service to Georgia government agencies and on behalf of corporate and association clients.

Senator Lee brings his decades of public service and government law experience to bear on issues ranging from taxes, zoning and aviation to government procurement, environment and law enforcement.

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Personnel and Constitutional Law

FMG has one of the region's largest public sector employment practices. Our attorneys routinely handle matters ranging from personnel board, fair dismissal and civil service hearings to federal court litigation involving constitutional claims for violation of federal discrimination laws, deprivation of due process, denial of equal protection and violation of freedom of speech.

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Public Safety

Virtually every aspect of public safety subjects law enforcement officers and local governments to potential liability under federal and state law. Our depth of experience is broad. FMG routinely defends law enforcement officers and local governments in claims involving excessive use of force, high-speed pursuits, false arrest, illegal searches and seizures, malicious prosecution, conditions of confinement, and prisoner rights.

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Zoning and Land Use

FMG's Zoning and Land Use practice group represents local governments and private clients, including developers and property owners in all aspects of property regulation and litigation matters.

Our regulatory practice includes drafting zoning, historic preservation, sexually oriented businesses, subdivision, sign and billboards ordinances and regulations. Our practice also includes code compliance and enforcement matters. We also serve as hearing officers for local land use boards.

Our litigation experience involves representing governments and private businesses in state and federal courts for matters involving challenges to rezonings, variances, and business permits. We also assist litigate title to property through condemnation proceedings.

In addition to the more traditional rezoning disputes, our lawyers have excelled in specialized areas of Civil Rights, Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), Telecommunications Act (cell towers), Fair Housing Act (i.e., drug diversion houses), and First Amendment (i.e., sexually oriented business and billboards). We have successfully represented our clients at both the administrative, state and federal trial court level and before the state appellate courts and the Eleventh Circuit.

Relying on our many years of experience with businesses, governments and political bodies, our attorneys are well positioned to advise our clients on all matters of land development and regulation.

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