New Government Lawyer Bootcamp


The New Government Lawyer Bootcamp is designed to help attorneys new to the practice of local government law as well as seasoned attorneys who need a “refresher” in various general topics of local government law.  The Bootcamp provides an introductory level crash course in various topics that are relevant to the practice of local government law.  Each webinar is downloadable for IMLA members and can help supplement your in-house training for new attorneys.  The topics available are listed below, along with descriptions of each webinar. The Bootcamp webinars are not for CLE credits. Check back frequently for updates to the Bootcamp.

Bootcamp Webinars are now available in the online store!

February 27, 2018

This presentation will provide an overview of the important ethical issues routinely faced by local government attorneys. Particular emphasis will be placed on ABA Model Rule 1.6 and 1.7 (client confidentiality and conflicts of interest respectively). In addition to an overview of each rule, the presenter will also walk participants through several hypothetical scenarios to demonstrate how each rule is applied in practice.

Speaker: Charles W. Thompson, Jr.

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June 20, 2017

This presentation will introduce legal issues in local government finance, including those that confront counsel when raising revenues, making expenditures, and borrowing money. The webinar describes the different characteristics of taxes, fees, and bonds, and includes important practice information such as constitutional and statutory limitations.

Speaker: Eric Shytle

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June 22, 2017

You’ll learn about:

  • Legal issues in drafting regulations that are often overlooked, and how to recognize them: vagueness and over breadth, delegation of authority, constitutional issues.
  • Identifying unclear language, and thinking ordinances through to avoid unintended consequences; How to better organize regulations.
  • Writing in plain English; avoiding legalese and plannerese. Remember your audience.

On a daily basis, planners at all levels and in all jobs are called upon to draft, use, and interpret many types of documents. All of these documents and actions have legal implications that can land an issue before a Board of Adjustment, another internal appeals or hearing board, or a judge.

Little time in a planner’s education is often spent on the nuances of good writing, and the importance of clarity. In the day-to-day rush of getting work done, writing may end up rushed as well. The presenters will cover important issues in language usage, legislative drafting, and discuss specific legal issues that come up in the regulatory context, like delegation of authority, and vagueness, definitions, and the importance of findings and legislative history.

The presenters will use examples from their practices to discuss how planners and lawyers approach ordinance drafting differently, and how to achieve clear, enforceable, and defensible regulations.

Attendees will leave with practice tips on how to identify the legal issues, how to evaluate their documents for clarity and logical organization, and how to avoid the most common pitfalls in the drafting process.

Speakers: Kimberly Mickelson, David Silverman & Daniel R. Mandelker

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April 6, 2015

Please make sure your seatbacks and tray tables are in their fully upright and locked positions and your seatbelt is tightened low and about your waist … because … for one fast-paced hour you will be catapulted through a lifetime of land use law by a lawyer who has practiced it for a lifetime (and our speaker is REALLY old so it’s a LONG lifetime). Veterans and newbies alike will benefit from this program– the veterans periodically exclaiming “Hey, I done that!” and fall back asleep and the youngsters will come away knowing that tattoo parlors actually implicate First Amendment free speech.  Don’t miss it.  It will be entertaining and educational.

Speaker: Dwight Merriam

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May 18, 2015

It often has been said that one of the largest components of a local government budget is for personnel and labor costs.  While there are many similarities between guiding employers between the public and private sectors, public employers have some additional concerns not faced by their private employment counterparts.

This webinar provides some road maps and guide posts to help navigate through the maze of federal and state statutory employment requirements along with discussion of some common law doctrines particularly focused on the public sector.

Among topics to be addressed are the following:

  • The Employment Framework – Employee, Volunteer or Independent Contractor; At-Will Status
  • Overview of Selected Federal and State Labor Laws
  • Constitutional Protections for Public Employees, Including Employee Speech
  • The Life Cycle of Employment from Hiring to Discipline to Termination
  • The Municipal Attorney’s  Role

Speaker: Dan Crean

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August 23, 2016

This course will discuss the development of Dillon’s Rule and how it may apply to local governments around the country.  The course will also discuss the Home Rule movement, the different forms of Home Rule and the intersection of Home Rule with Dillon’s Rule – where they align, where they conflict and where they work tangentially or in tandem.  Examples of how Dillon’s Rule applies and how Home Rule applies tend to be state specific, but in discussing state specific examples the course will use those examples to explain how these principles may apply across jurisdictional and jurisprudential boundaries.

Speaker: Charles W. Thompson, Jr.

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February 2, 2016

Officer involved shootings and the potential for police liability in those shootings have become a focal point in the American consciousness.  Considering this, it is important to understand what is needed to successfully defend officers involved in these shootings.  “Anatomy of a Shooting Trial” will provide an introductory look at the trial tactics, strategies, and logistics of the civil defense of an officer and assist you in your next officer involved shooting trial.

Speaker: John Wilkerson

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If you have any feedback or suggestions on future topics that should be included, please contact us.

The Bootcamp presentations are provided for informational and educational purposes. The Bootcamp presentations are being distributed by the International Municipal Lawyers Association and may not be redistributed without express written consent of IMLA.