Think you’re immune to legal action? Public entities and agencies can indeed get taken to court — and when they do, they need to know how to respond.
The nuances of government and public entity law are tricky, and the best course of action is to partner with a law firm that can guide you forward with confidence, legal acumen, and fiscal responsibility.
Many people have little knowledge of public entities and so find themselves wondering, What is a public entity?
Our clients depend on Weiner Law Group LLP to help them navigate their way through the court system.
We’ve worked hard to help cities, municipal corporations, and counties use the law to their advantage since 1988, and all of our attorneys are proud to contribute to a more functional New Jersey government in the process.
What Is a Public Entity?
In New Jersey, a public entity is an organization that operates within the public sector. Public entities can either be part of the government or under its direct influence.
These entities are distinctive in their purpose and function, serving the public interest rather than private gain. They encompass a broad spectrum, ranging from state and local government bodies to public schools, universities, and certain public corporations.
Public entities are instrumental in administering a wide array of public services and functions. This includes everything from maintaining infrastructure, providing education and public safety, to managing public transportation and healthcare services.
New Jersey’s public entities operate under specific legal frameworks, which govern their structure, responsibilities, and the scope of their powers. These frameworks ensure that the entities function transparently and follow the law, all while striving to meet the needs and interests of the public they serve.
Given their role and influence, public entities in New Jersey are subject to various laws and regulations designed to promote ethical conduct, ensure responsible use of public funds, and prevent corruption.
This legal oversight is crucial in maintaining the integrity and efficacy of public services, ensuring that they contribute positively to the welfare and development of New Jersey’s communities.
Why Public Entities Need Legal Representation
Government agencies have their plates full. No matter what your operational objectives are, your organization must devote constant focus to accomplishing them.
Public entity law involves myriad different issues that concern multiple fields of law. When all is said and done, you may not have sufficient time to deal with issues such as:
- Liability and injury lawsuits. Given public entities’ close contact with the public, people regularly file claims of alleged negligence against them. These lawsuits can range from slip-and-fall incidents on government property to injuries resulting from services run by public entities.
- Breach of contract and property damage claims. These involve disputes where an agency fields accusations of failing contractual obligations, or its actions have led to property damage. Navigating these claims requires careful examination of contractual terms and assessment of liability issues.
- Public Library Law. Public library law encompasses a range of legal issues unique to the operation of public libraries. Common examples of public library law include intellectual property rights, censorship disputes, and privacy concerns of library users.
- Labor, tax, and environmental lawsuits. Public entities also face a variety of lawsuits that involve employment law, tax obligations, and environmental regulations. Examples include disputes over collective bargaining agreements, federal or state income tax controversies, and allegations that the entity has failed to abide by environmental laws.
- Civil rights and police brutality incidents. These are particularly sensitive legal challenges involving allegations of civil rights violations or excessive force by law enforcement. Specific issues include alleged claims of Equal Employment Opportunity law, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and excessive force.
- Whistleblower actions. Whistleblower laws come into play when employees report misconduct within a government agency. Because extensive legal protections surround the whistleblower, it’s vital to act with incredible caution toward that individual.
- Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) suits that target your employees. Under the FTCA, government employees can be the target of lawsuits due to wrongful acts that they performed during their employment. Defending these suits involves not just legal representation, but also an understanding of the scope and limits of government employee liability.
In some cases, you may also face legal actions brought by other government branches or bodies, such as regulatory agencies. Each of these areas presents unique legal challenges for government agencies.
Balancing the pursuit of operational objectives while managing these legal issues requires a strategic approach. Our goal at Weiner Law Group LLP is to help you uphold your duty to the taxpaying public by minimizing the impact these matters have on your time and resources.
Our proactive team strives to represent you in the best possible light, regardless of whether we’re defending your agency or trying to leverage government law to your benefit.
Six Invaluable Services of a Public Entity Attorney
There are countless ways a public entity lawyer can assist clients. Six key services that these legal professionals provide include:
- Regulatory compliance. Public entity attorneys ensure their clients adhere to the overlapping and intricate network of federal and state regulations. They help interpret complex regulatory language and provide guidance on compliance strategies, safeguarding entities against inadvertent regulatory breaches.
- Litigation defense. These attorneys are adept at defending public entities in various legal battles, ranging from liability lawsuits to civil rights claims. They not only represent the entity in court but also strategize on the best legal defenses to protect the entity’s interests.
- Contract negotiation and review. Thanks to their skill with the precepts of contract law, public entity attorneys frequently assist in drafting, negotiating, and reviewing contracts. Their expertise is crucial in ensuring that contracts meet legal standards and serve the entity’s best interests in the long term.
- Advisory services. Public entity attorneys also offer counsel on a broad range of issues, including policy development and implementation. They provide invaluable insights that help navigate legal pitfalls and inform decision-making processes.
- Employment law guidance. Almost every public entity has a workforce, which means it has to contend with a web of interlocking areas of law. Public entity attorneys offer expertise in managing employment-related legal matters, from hiring practices to addressing workplace disputes.
- Real estate and land use. A skilled public entity attorney can furnish guidance on land acquisition, development, and zoning issues. In doing so, they help ensure that all real estate transactions and land use plans comply with legal requirements and align with the dictates of public policy.
- Public relations management. Government attorneys sometimes play a valuable role in interfacing with the press, providing statements and responses to public inquiries. This allows the entity to focus on its essential tasks.
As you can see, public entity attorneys are highly versatile legal professionals. Because of the multiple ways they can support their clients, it’s essential to choose the very best public entity law firm.
Don’t Let The Complexities of Government Law Overwhelm Your Resources
Fighting and pursuing lawsuits can drain your coffers. These activities also cause PR fallout, making it harder to maintain public support. Both resources are critical to furthering your mission.
If you’re in this situation, talk to an attorney from an outstanding New Jersey government & public entity law firm.
Weiner Law Group LLP is a growing full-service law firm with over 60 attorneys and eight offices in the Garden State.
Our focus on advocating for New Jersey public entities could be an invaluable aid in your fight to ensure that courts apply government law correctly. We have decades of experience working with numerous clients and a multitude of diverse legal problems.
We’ve empowered over 6,000 clients during our years in operation. Aside from government entity law, we provide services in corporate, business, education, labor and employment, and real estate law.
Talk to a Weiner Law Group LLP lawyer now. Call our office in Parsippany at 973-737-9209, or contact us online to learn more about how we can go above and beyond to satisfy your needs.