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Municipal & Public Entities

Hancock Estabrook represents states, cities, counties, towns, villages, public authorities and fire districts in all aspects of municipal law, including compliance with the New York State Open Meetings Law and the New York State Freedom of Information Law. For decades, we have represented municipalities across the state, assisting them with the creation of economic development initiatives, managing fiscal, operational, and societal challenges, and helping them create general prosperity and economic welfare for the communities they serve. We provide services in connection with board governance, capital construction, eminent domain proceedings, employment and firematics, environmental law, governmental relations, legislation drafting, public bidding and procurement, public finance, bankruptcy and tax certiorari matters. We serve businesses, banks, cities, land owners and developers, health care providers and not-for-profit entities by advocating their positions before governmental bodies, and by advancing their legislative and regulatory goals.

Our attorneys rely on extensive experience in government, politics and public service to offer our clients strategic advice, assist with crisis management, and monitor legislative and regulatory activities. Through our skill and experience in litigation, real estate, education, technology, health care, land use and other areas of law, we generate solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems.

Frequently, municipal law matters involve at least one, and sometimes several areas of legal practice. Accordingly, our Municipal attorneys work with members of our Zoning and Land Use, Labor & Employment, Real Estate, Public Finance and Tax, and when necessary, Litigation, groups to provide practical solutions to complex municipal issues.

We also assist municipal clients in the acquisition of property for redevelopment, including Brownfield remediation; the structuring of general obligation bonds for capital improvement projects; and the governance of airport, water, electric, and sewer authorities.

Representative Matters

  • Favorable representation of a city against a petroleum company for contamination caused by an underground storage tank leak.
  • Represented the Mohawk Valley Water Authority in an action to confirm its right to withdraw the maximum amount of water from Hinckley Reservoir as permitted under an agreement with the State of New York. The action was favorably settled giving the Authority the right to withdraw the maximum amount of water sought in the litigation, free from any compensation obligation.
  • Successful defense of various municipalities in tax base challenges.
  • Successful defense of a municipality, its mayor, corporation counsel, planning and zoning boards in a Section 1983 action alleging procedural and substantive due process as well as equal rights violations stemming from the denial of zoning and use variances.
  • Successful defense of a county against a complaint for overtime pay sought by count employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Successful conversion of various city hospitals from municipally-owned facilities into private institutions, resulting in significant financial advantages to the hospitals and cities.
  • Significant monetary settlement for a village, in an action against a contractor and a surety, for a default under construction contract.
  • Successful appeal to New York Court of Appeals of a district attorney’s removal from office on residency grounds, resulting in the restoration to office.