Working Groups

What are IMLA Working Groups?

IMLA’s Working Groups bring local government IMLA member attorneys who share common problems together on conference calls and listservs, to share experiences and facilitate problem solving in these areas of common interest with other local government attorneys from across the country. This is a FREE SERVICE for IMLA members.  IMLA reserves any and all rights to the listserv.

I was a county attorney in Maryland for about 30 years and wished I had this tool then.
-Chuck Thompson, IMLA Executive Director
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Working Group Descriptions

Airport Law

This list is intended to act as a vehicle for discussion of legal and policy issues associated with the legal representation of airports.

Canadian Associate

Directed to Law Firms to discuss issues of Canadian law affecting municipalities, directly and indirectly.

Canadian Municipal

This group is intended to provide in-house municipal lawyers with a forum to raise issues and dialogue about issues facing in-house counsel, covering everything from law office/benchmarking, to ethical dilemmas faced, to legal issues.  Members are encouraged to raise questions and share ideas in an environment that promotes sharing amongst those who have practical similarities in their role as in-house municipal counsel.

City Attorneys

This list is designed to give City Attorneys a place to discuss issues and network.

Clean Energy

This list is designed to help advance laws, policies and legal tools that cities and municipalities can use to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions and achieve carbon reduction goals. It is intended as an opportunity for colleagues to share information, ideas and solutions on challenging legal questions associated with climate mitigation policies.

Code Enforcement

The workgroup has regular monthly calls designed for code enforcement or the development of laws and practices intended to resolve problems within a community.

Construction Law

Members are expected to come primarily from law offices where their principal area of practice involves construction law.

Counties

This group is intended for discussion of those issues unique to country governance.

Child Protective Services

This list seeks to provide a networking opportunity for attorneys who represent government agencies and workers in child dependency or protection cases and who provide defense to those workers and agencies when sued for acting or failing to act in protecting children.

Disaster Relief

This listserv is utilized to provide resources to it’s members in the wake of a disaster. We keep a comprehensive database of disaster resources from municipality all around the country. We have used the list in response to fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, COVID-19 and more.

Diversity

This listserv is intended to act as a vehicle for discussion of legal and policy issues associated with diversity.

E-Discovery - Legal Hold

This group deals with the ever-evolving legal world of evidence, litigation holds, spoliation, privacy, data protection, and more. Join this group to see how to best protect and preserve your office’s data.

Employment Law

Members are expected to come primarily from law offices where their principal area of practice is employment law.

Ethics

The Ethics Section and listserv are intended to provide members with an opportunity to share questions and issues involving the Rules of Professional Conduct or the development and application of state and local ethics laws.  Members are encouraged to share ideas for improving state and local regulations of ethical conduct and to discuss concerns about the Rules of Professional Conduct and interpretations of those Rules to governmental lawyers and their practices whether in-house or outside counsel. The Section has regularly scheduled teleconferences to discuss and share issues involving these ethical issues.

Federal

The Federal listserv provides the Litigation Section with a vehicle to share ideas about civil rights and other litigation, experts, causes of action and defenses.  The Section offers an opportunity through regular teleconferences to discuss emerging trends in litigation, new cases and ways in which to best defend the local government client and its officers.

Fire Department Advisors

This list is intended as a vehicle for attorneys who advise Local Government Fire Services to communicate and share ideas and solutions to issues that arise in representing those agencies.

Homelessness

This listserv seeks offer an opportunity for local government attorneys to discuss issues involving homelessness and solutions to the problems communities face in addressing those issues.

Legal Advocacy

This listserv is a joint project of the IMLA and the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC). This listserv will report on the activities of the SLLC and IMLA. It provides members an opportunity to comment on whether IMLA should join a case as an amicus, creates a forum for discussion of cases important to local governments and to inform IMLA and SLLC in their efforts to represent the interests of local governments. It is intended for thoughtful comment and analysis.

Land Use

This listserv seeks offer an opportunity for local government attorneys to discuss issues involving Land Use and solutions to the problems communities face in addressing those issues. The group has also drafted codes and ordinances that have been provided to IMLA members.

Legal Assistants

A new Working Group focused on Legal Assistants. This group will work together to identify ways in which law offices can improve the use of legal assistants to increase productivity and reduce costs including providing training for the legal assistants. This Working Group will also advance the profession both for lawyers and legal assistants by using the listserv to share ideas, suggestions and to have regular calls to discuss thorny problems or even just to commiserate about issues where you’d like to vent.

Legislative Drafting

This listserv is intended to serve those who draft legislation for local governments to allow sharing of ideas and information about legislative proposals and actions primarily for those attorneys who represent a local legislative body.

Music Licensing

Headed by Erich Eiselt, IMLA Assistant General Counsel, IMLA’s Music Licensing Work Group is focused on developing reasonable terms and conditions with Performing Rights Organizations for the use of copyrighted musical works by municipalities. IMLA previously negotiated a standard form of local government PRO license agreement and, with one PRO, an IMLA member discount. As technologies have evolved and new PROs have entered the market, it is appropriate to review those agreements and relationships. Our goals is to seek appropriate license provisions and to serve as a clearing house of information and resources for IMLA members as they interact with PROs. We anticipate that the Music Licensing Group will convene for calls every two weeks.

New Lawyers

This listerv was created to allow lawyers new to Municipal Law to communicate with one another. Should you have any questions or issues you’d like to share with your fellow colleagues, posting it on the list will allow all the members of this listerv to view and respond. You must be under 40 and/or have less than 10 years of practice.

Opioid Litigation

Headed by Erich Eiselt, IMLA Assistant General Counsel, IMLA’s Opioid Litigation Work Group is a resource for localities seeking more insight about the opioid litigation underway across the country. Convening every two weeks, typically on Tuesdays at 1 PM Eastern, the Opioid Work Group discusses the growing spectrum of actions by municipalities against the opioid manufacturers, distributors and other defendants, focusing not only on the federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of Ohio, but on numerous state court actions. Calls–which are attended by upwards of 40 jurisdictions– encourage input from participants; some calls have included legal experts from academia and leading opioid plaintiffs’ counsel to take questions from attendees. Participants have discussed such issues as the merits of AG-led actions, nuances of retainer agreements, issues to consider before filing, state court versus federal court actions, and so on.

In addition to hosting bi-weekly calls, IMLA summarizes significant orders from the MDL and and state proceedings.

Police Advisors

This list is designed for those attorneys assigned to advise police departments. It is intended as an opportunity for colleagues to share information, ideas and solutions involving those important issues that affect police agencies and the performance of their duties.

Rapid Transit

This listserv is created to for Rapid Transit issues.

Relief

IMLA is aware that your local government was designated by the US Treasury as a recipient of Coronavirus Relief Funds under Title V of the CARES Act. This listserv is intended to be a resource for the local governments that are receiving Coronavirus Relief Funds, including providing information on how local governments can spend the funds in compliance with the Act. Section 5001(d) of the CARES Act sets forth the limitations on how local governments can spend Coronavirus Relief Funds. Our understanding is that the Treasury will soon issue additional guidance regarding how these funds may be spent as well. Our intention is to keep you apprised of any guidance issued by the Treasury and changes to the law regarding the Coronavirus Relief Funds, and we encourage you to share your ideas regarding use of the funds and compliance with the Act.

State League

This list seeks to serve counsel to state leagues and the attorneys who represent state associations of municipal or county attorneys.

Sanctuary Jurisdiction

This active group has biweekly calls to discuss issues related to so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions.”  The group discusses ongoing litigation and also provides members with an opportunity to discuss things like the imposition of grant conditions.

Small and Rural Communities

This working group is intended to provide municipal lawyers with a forum to identify and address issues of particular interest to smaller and/or rural communities. All municipal lawyers are invited to join in and contribute to regularly scheduled teleconferences, and to attend the group’s presentations and functions at IMLA’s conferences and seminars.

Telecom and Technology

Headed by Negheen Sanjar, IMLA Associate Counsel, this group is a resource and action group for members seeking to get involved in telecom and technology issues impacting local government. This group is currently focusing on small cell deployment and net neutrality. As other issues arise, the group will tackle those as well.

University Cities and Counties

Deals with interactions between local governments and the universities and colleges within those jurisdictions and includes discussion of issues like housing, rental properties, alcohol abuse and rowdies; as well as other problems and solutions.

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