Government And Municipal Law
Benavidez Law Group, P.C., has a great deal of experience with government and municipal law. In the early 1990s, when the firm was Daniel J. Hochuli & Associates, we began our representation of municipal governments with our first municipal client, the Town of Marana. Today, we represent several governmental entities, including the Town of Sahuarita, the Regional Transportation Authority, Drexel Heights Fire District and Northwest Fire District. We also are called upon to act as special counsel for other jurisdictions in the region, such as the City of Nogales and the Town of Florence.
The firm’s representation of the aforementioned municipalities and districts includes, but is not limited to: fire/special taxing district issues; rights and responsibilities of public employees and officers; disputes regarding the meet and confer process; municipal budget issues; election disputes; real estate matters; all forms of contract and personal injury litigation; intergovernmental agreements; administration disputes regarding municipal open meeting law requirements; disputes over municipal procurement processes; and attendance at all meetings.
The Municipal Attorney Division at Benavidez Law Group, P.C., is the division that deals with civil municipal issues, and serves as town attorney, fire district attorney and special counsel. This division is headed by Thomas A. Benavidez .
Over the years, our firm has become fully experienced in the municipal field, with extensive knowledge of open meeting laws, public records laws, elections, municipal condemnation, annexation, incorporation, land use and zoning, government immunity and liability, and other matters affecting local governments. Our attorneys are well aware of the particular issues surrounding the political process, and our years of experience help us deal with legal issues in a political environment.
Our many years representing cities, towns and special taxing districts gives us the unique ability to see legal issues before they become legal problems. Our attorneys regularly attend seminars and conferences on municipal issues. Benavidez Law Group, P.C., is one of the most qualified and experienced law firms providing these services in Southern Arizona, and this experience repeatedly shows itself.
The firm has been involved in numerous annexations, including annexations that have been litigated. One such annexation led to litigation titled Tucson v. Marana, which was successfully litigated at the trial level, and successfully settled while on appeal. We also appeared on behalf of Drexel Heights Fire District and successfully litigated Drexel Heights Fire District v. City of Tucson in the Court of Appeals. We have drafted development agreements, contracts, franchises, leases, and other documents for hundreds of issues and projects, ranging from small-scale memoranda of understanding to large-scale contracts for millions of dollars. We have successfully negotiated a large number of intergovernmental agreements with federal agencies, Pima County, Tucson, and other jurisdictions, and our knowledge of the people and practices of these important jurisdictions has aided our ability to successfully negotiate with these entities. When Daniel J. Hochuli & Associates, P.C., the firm created legal precedent by winning the case Alliance Marana v. Groseclose at the Court of Appeals, creating an appellate case which will guide municipalities in the area of referendum and initiative.
Benavidez Law Group, P.C., has been involved in the formation of various taxing districts, particularly Community Facilities Districts. While we are not “bond attorneys” and do not practice in the area of financial bonding, we regularly research and advise our municipal clients regarding fiduciary issues such as public officials’ handling of tax payer dollars and the clients’ investment of public funds.
Benavidez Law Group, P.C., is qualified to advise and provide representation on municipal employment and personnel matters. We have drafted numerous contracts for client executives, represented clients at grievance hearings and in litigation, and drafted countless policies and procedures regarding issues including: grievances, progressive disciplinary measures, appeal procedures, and anti-discrimination policies.
Our experience in election matters is significant, having been involved in regular elections, recall elections, candidate nominations, campaign finance reporting and referendum and initiative petitions. We have not only given advice in these areas, but we have litigated these issues a number of times. Few firms can claim this same level of experience with elections law. Our real estate experience includes the negotiation and implementation of many planned developments in the area, covering issues such as infrastructure, municipal reimbursement of fees and taxes to cover the costs of infrastructure improvements, development timing and other issues. We have drafted development and pre-annexation agreements covering developments as large as 5,000 acres.
We have extensive experience in municipal construction contracts, intergovernmental agreements and performance assurance agreements. We have advised on public utility location and handled bidding on public works such as road construction. We have conducted extensive research and acquired extensive knowledge in the areas of right-of-way acquisition and eminent domain. We also have significant training and experience with municipal administration, including issues involving open meeting and public records laws. In fact, we literally advise clients on a daily basis with respect to public records and open meeting laws.
If your town, city or special taxing district is looking for general counsel or representation on a specific matter, our firm would be happy to meet with you to discuss your needs. We would also be willing to meet with you if you are considering the formation of a town or a special taxing district. Our experience can help you reach your goal.