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The International Municipal Lawyers Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the interests and education of local government lawyers.

IMLA champions the development of fair and realistic legal solutions, and assists members on the vast and cutting edge legal issues facing local government lawyers today.

Our successful CLE Events, expansive network of legal professionals, and our local government specific information channels make IMLA the essential organization for any advancing local government attorney.

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IMLA Today


IMLA files Amicus Brief in Lane v. Frank

IMLA files its brief in Lane v. Franks, the first First Amendment public employment case since Garcetti v. Ceballos. This case is a difficult one, as it presents a politically sensitive issue that on its face seems hard to argue against. Specifically, the case asks whether a government employee can assert a constitutional claim under the First Amendment when the employee alleges that his or her employer retaliated against the employee for testimony made pursuant to a subpoena related to the performance of the employee's job duties. IMLA's brief makes it clear that while it condemns retaliatory dismissal of a government employee for providing truthful testimony, the Court should not create a constitutional tort available only to public employees under those circumstances. Instead, IMLA explains that other remedies are available for any such retaliatory discharge such as existing whistleblower laws, which protect both private and public employees and if any further protection is needed, that protection should be provided by the legislature and not through the Constitution. To read IMLA's amicus brief in this case, CLICK HERE

IMLA files Amicus Brief to support Los Angeles County

The link below will lead you to the Amicus Curiae brief of the International Municipal Lawyers Association (“IMLA”) in support of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District’s petition for certiorari in the case of Los Angeles County Flood Control District et al., v. Natural Resources Defense Council et al. Docket No 13-901.  IMLA’s brief is being filed with the Supreme Court today.  Hard copies are being served to your attention via U.S. mail. Thank you for your attention to this matter.   If you have any questions on service or IMLA’s position as set forth in the attached please feel free to contact J.G. Andre Monette at Best Best & Krieger (

Click here

Resources to Prepare for a Pandemic

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, there was a story about a risk to humans from a new bird flu strain. The H10N8 strain has been found in humans. So far, it has only killed one of the two people infected. This strain and another new strain, the H7N9 - which has already killed 25 people - renew concern about a pandemic. Both of these new strains appear to have mutated from avian illness to human illness. However, neither appears, so far, to be transmitted person to person. Person to person transmission is the key to a pandemic, when a new flu strain develops. Without the human to human characteristic, the flu may be deadly, but not likely to become pandemic. Evidence of new strains of flu that have mutated to human illness, nevertheless should concern all of us, especially those of us responsible for emergency preparedness. You should review your emergency protocols for a pandemic. Each state likely has laws that affect quarantine and how it may be implemented. Consider how you will implement a quarantine, how you will enforce a quarantine and ensure adequate response by emergency personnel. Should the flu strain be as deadly as that in 1918, you will also need to be prepared for mass burials. Any flu can be deadly, but a new strain for which we have little or no immunity raises the stakes for all of us. I wrote a paper almost ten years ago on the subject. Click through the links below to read. We have also included a checklist published by Georgetown and the Johns Hopkins University to help you prepare. Though dated, the paper should give you an idea of some of the issues you will need to address.

Chuck Thompson
Executive Director, IMLA Flu checklist1.pdf


New Webinar Series!

IMLA has transitioned from teleconferences to a webinar platform. Participants will be able to attend the webinars online or over the phone as they have in years past.  However, we recommend that participants use the online platform for the meetings, as the new web conferencing platform has a number of added benefits. To learn more about this new and exciting approach to learning and sharing, click this link:


IMLA Files Supreme Court Amicus Brief

In November 2013, IMLA filed a Supreme Court amicus brief, written in full by IMLA’s legal team. The case is captioned Maryland State Comptroller of the Treasury v. Brian Wynne, et ux. (No. 13-485).  On January 13, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a “CVSG” order, calling for the view of the United States Solicitor General as to whether the Court should grant certiorari.  This is a rare request by the Court and IMLA is hopeful that the Solicitor General will request that the Court hear Comptroller v. Wynne.
Our brief supports the Maryland State Comptroller’s petition for certiorari.  The taxpayer’s case challenges the Maryland income tax structure and pits the sovereign power of a state against the amorphous, ambiguous and inexact dormant Commerce Clause.
We believe the decision below, in which the Maryland Court of Appeals upholds the taxpayer’s challenge, violates basic principles of federalism and is inconsistent with the State’s sovereign powers to tax its residents. We argue that the dormant Commerce Clause does not mandate (or authorize) the courts to rewrite Maryland’s state and county income tax statutes. Our brief was joined by the United States Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Counties, the International City/County Management Association and the Maryland Association of Counties.
This is the first time in a significant period that IMLA has had the internal legal staff to take on such a task. We are pleased to have been of service and look forward to other opportunities to assist our members as an amicus.

Click here to read the brief.


Legal Advocacy

MLA recently filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in the matter of McBurney v. Young (No.12-17).   

The issue before the court is whether a state statute violates the U.S. Constitution's Privileges and Immunities Clause and the dormant Commerce Clause when it requires that only citizens have access to public records. 

Read the entire brief...




2014: Mid-Year Seminar; Anchorage, AK; May 17-20, 2014


IMLA in Canada Meeting

2014: IMLA in Canada; Toronto, Ontario; May 29, 2014



IMLA’s 79th Annual Conference; Baltimore, Maryland; September 10-14, 2014


2015 IMLA’s 80th Annual Conference ♦ Las Vegas, Nevada ♦ October 4-7, 2015

Information forthcoming


IMLA has established an online store! Now you can now quickly and easily purchase IMLA conference recordings - which include the mp3's and speaker materials! Simply click the link below and you will be taken to our virtual store.




Shopping Cart by E-junkie

Member News

 Sheryl King Benford recognized by YWCA

IMLA President Sheryl King Benford, who is also the Chief Legal Officer for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA), has been named a recipient of the 2014 YWCA Women of Professional Excellence Award, the YWCA of Greater Cleveland has announced.
Benford will be honored at a luncheon on May 12, at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. The award is given to women in the community who have demonstrated a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the well-being of the community, state or nation, and has a record of accomplishment, leadership and positive role modeling as a volunteer and/or in a career.
A long-time member of IMLA, Benford earned a Bachelor of Science in Education at Wilberforce University and a Master of Science in Education at Akron University. She later earned a Juris Doctorate at Cleveland State University.
She volunteers at the Cleveland Sight Center, the Diocese of Cleveland and numerous legal and professional organizations.
Congratulations Sheryl for a well deserved honor!


 Hampton, VA names new city attorney

The Hampton City Council unanimously appointed Vanessa Valldejuli as city attorney.Valldejuli was a Hampton senior deputy attorney and worked closely with the Planning Commission until taking a job last September with the city of Chesapeake.

“Her legal expertise in economic development is among the best in the region,” said Mayor George Wallace, in a new release. She begins work with Hampton on Feb. 18.


Tracy Reeve named new city attorney of Portland, OR

Tracy was named to the position after the city launched a national recruitment to fill the position. She joined the city attorney's office in 1991 but left for about five years for a private practice. For the past two years she's been one of five chief deputy attorneys. For more about Tracy’s new appointment, click here to read more:

Roxann Pais Cotroneo appointed as New City Attorney of Corpus Christi, TX

Roxann has more than 18 years of experience in city government law. She once served as Executive Assistant City Attorney in Dallas. Click here for more information about Roxann’s new appointment:

Jeffrey Sachs named interim city attorney for Hampton, VA

Jeff is a senior deputy attorney within the city. The City Council will ultimately decide whom to appoint to on a full-time basis. Congratulations Jeff!

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