724-841-5565 neva@nstotlerlaw.com

Municipalities May Hire Lawyers To Help Carry the Heavy Legal Load


When people think of counties and cities, they often think that there are large numbers of staff to handle day-to-day activities. The reality is that many municipalities throughout Pennsylvania are relatively small and have a bare-bones staff. Often, municipalities hire outside counsel to assist them with drafting contracts or helping with ordinances, addressing employment issues, or running a public hearing Here, we want to discuss why that may be the case and how an additional hand or perspective can benefit the local government.

Some smaller municipalities do not have specific expertise

Municipal employees and elected officials often find themselves involved in subjects outside their experience This is not a criticism, but the reality of  operating a municipality, which is similar to running a number of small businesses (i.e., customer service, utilities, construction, maintenance, regulation, and enforcement) Below are typical subjects that may require contracts or ordinances, that can be outside typical areas of  expertise :

  • Human resources
  • Training employees
  • Investigating third party complaints
  • Policy development
  • Pay and compensation issues
  • Zoning and land use
  • Intergovernmental cooperation agreements
  • Administrative law
  • Employment law

One attorney may not be enough

Most municipalities have a solicitor. However, attorneys at small to mid-sized municipalities may have a broader, more general experience that is less focused on specific niches, or they run into conflicts working in their private practice.   It is typical and appropriate to look for outside legal assistance in areas where more specific focus is required.

A COVID-19 world

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the way of life for both employers and employees throughout Pennsylvania. As a municipality, you need to ensure that you are keeping up with current federal and Commonwealth-level legislation involving COVID-19. This can include:

  • Paid or unpaid sick leave requirements
  • Workers’ compensation issues
  • Unemployment claims
  • Working remotely

At N. Stotler Law, our municipal attorney is here to help if you are evaluating how this health crisis will affect your employees and municipal policies. Even with vaccines, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to consume much of our time in 2021.

Contact a municipal lawyer for help today

If you operate a municipality in Pennsylvania and need assistance from outside counsel, turn to N. Stotler Law for help today. Attorney Neva Stotler has extensive experience helping small to mid-sized municipalities handle everything from occasional assistance with contracts to their everyday operations. You can contact us for a consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 724-841-5565.

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