Governmental and Administrative

Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell provides clients with governmental services including:

 

  • Governmental marketing
  • Legislation and policy drafting
  • Issue monitoring and research
  • Appropriations and procurement assistance
  • Regulatory analysis and strategic planning
  • Lobbying at federal, state and local levels

In today’s political and business environment, organizations find it increasingly important to understand the intricate legislative and regulatory worlds of federal, state and local government.  We represent a wide variety of clients, including municipalities, school boards, law enforcement agencies and other governmental entities throughout Florida.  Rumberger Kirk and Caldwell’s governmental affairs team brings together experienced attorneys and governmental affairs professionals to serve our clients' governmental needs.  

RKC attorneys closely monitor proposed legislative changes and statutory amendments in many areas such as those related to labor and employment, tort reform, environmental, professional liability and insurance issues.  With a strong presence in key legislative locations — including an office in Tallahassee, Florida — the firm has acquired vast experience in this area of practice, before legislative bodies, administrative agencies and in the courtroom as well. 

Our governmental affairs team has the capabilities necessary to help our clients deal with the complexities of all levels of government to achieve results.  We have represented a number of major corporations in their dealings with the State of Florida, including companies involved in space exploration, pest control, nursing homes, as well as non-profit organizations.

On the environmental front, RKC attorneys were instrumental in the passage of several amendments to the Florida Constitution; mandating cleanup of the Florida Everglades, passage of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan in Congress, and in helping obtain several billion dollars in funding from the Federal Government and the State of Florida for Everglades restoration.

Intimately familiar with Florida's statutes governing elections, RKC also represents federal and state election candidates of both parties as well as non-profit public interest advocacy groups. Our firm has been actively involved in several initiatives and campaigns including serving on the Select Task Force on Elections (2001); Select Task Force on Election Procedures Standards and Technology (2002); the Collins Center for Public Policy; Study Committee on Public Records (2002-2003); and the Florida Energy and Climate Change Action Plan, as an Adaptation Technical Working Group Member (2008). Additionally, our firm served as Florida General Counsel for President George H.W. Bush and Senator Bob Dole in their presidential campaigns, litigation counsel and election day counsel for President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain and advised the Florida Republican Party of Florida and elected officials on redistricting matters.

Administrative Law

Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell attorneys appear on behalf of clients before the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings.   We represent private and public institutions and individuals facing administrative and regulatory proceedings before state agencies involving employment, environmental, construction, and rule challenge proceedings.  We assist professionals including lawyers, accountants, doctors, insurance agents and agencies, real estate brokers, contractors, nurses, government officials and others in administrative matters involving professional licensure and disciplinary hearings.

Our attorneys have also represented clients before several state agencies including The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, The Florida Board of Medicine, the Department of Financial Services, Florida Commission on Ethics, The Florida Bar, and the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.  We also represent clients in statutory and regulatory matters when they are facing a compliance audit and provide counsel on maintaining compliance with licensing boards and other agency regulations.  Our attorneys also handle administrative appeals including reconsiderations and obtaining administrative reversals.

Professional Responsibility

Our attorneys are well-versed in the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, the Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct , the Alabama Rules of Disciplinary Procedure , and the Rules Governing Admission to the Practice of Law in Georgia . We provide representation at every stage of the bar discipline process. Attorneys need the advice and counsel of an experienced advocate from the moment notice of a grievance or complaint is received. RKC attorneys assist clients with responding to inquiries/complaints; provide representation before grievance committees; and represent attorneys before Referees in attorney discipline matters. In addition, RKC attorneys are experienced in matters involving allegations of the Unlicensed Practice of Law. We also provide ethics opinions on proposed conduct as well as expert testimony on questions of legal ethics.

Bar Admission Representation and Defense of Bar Disciplinary Proceedings

Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell attorneys have been representing applicants in bar admission and attorney disciplinary matters for more than twenty years. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to guide clients through every stage of the bar admission process.

In Florida and Georgia bar admission matters, we assist clients in providing the detailed answers and explanations expected by the Board of Bar Examiners. Having the assistance of an experienced attorney at this stage will often allow clients to avoid the mistakes and omissions which may lead to further proceedings before the board. If a Notice to Appear for Investigative Hearing before the Board of Bar Examiners is received, the need for experienced counsel is even greater. Our attorneys prepare clients for the often grueling and nerve-wracking experience of appearing before a panel of the board.

We will thoroughly review the bar application and other documents being considered by the Board to ensure the accuracy and completeness of representations made to the Board. Our attorneys work closely with clients to prepare them for every possible question which may be directed at them during the hearing. One of the most important facets of this preparation is assisting clients in developing concise, accurate, and truthful answers to the BoardÂ’s concerns.

Some applicants for admission to The Bar are called to appear for a Formal Hearing before the Board of Bar Examiners. After conducting an investigative hearing, the Board may elect to file Specifications, which are formal charges alleging that the applicant may not be qualified for admission to The Bar. The filing of Specifications and proceeding to Formal Hearing can add months to the admissions process. If specifications have been filed, the need for representation is even greater. RKC attorneys can navigate clients through these formal proceedings.

Education Law

School boards and superintendents as well as universities and colleges face a wide array of complex federal, state and local laws and regulations when it comes to delivering high quality education and providing an excellent work environment where teachers and support staff can thrive. Whether facing administrative hearings, litigation, or union bargaining, Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell’s team of experienced and skilled attorneys are prepared to resolve these and many other legal matters affecting the education profession. We provide legal counsel and support to school boards, superintendents, charter schools and private and higher educational institutions throughout Florida and have successfully resolved a variety of cases and legal matters including:

  • Student expulsion hearings
  • ESE and IDEA matters
  • Administrative hearings including matters before the Division of Administrative Hearings and the Public Employee Relations Commission
  • Contractual matters
  • Real estate issues and transactions
  • Bid process and disputes
  • Construction
  • Tort litigation
  • Public records
  • Sunshine Laws
  • Handbook and policy review and drafting
  • EEO investigations
  • Employment litigation
  • Union-related matters including teacher terminations, collective bargaining, unfair labor practices and impasse hearings
  • Defense of Cyber bullying claims
  • First Amendment matters including litigation and general advice
Our attorneys have experience working for school boards and superintendents and bring unique insight into the ongoing complexities of day-to-day operations and issues affecting school districts, as well as the complex relationships between teachers, administration, support staff, and leadership. This experience also includes the understanding of the interplay between student rights and teacher/employee rights. We are well versed in the Code of Conduct for teachers which was adopted by the Florida Department of Education. Our attorneys have an in depth understanding of educational institutions’ processes for conducting investigations and their policies and procedures including their IT document retention systems.

We are very involved with all aspects of Education Law. Below is a list of representative work.

  • Worked with numerous school boards in Florida to resolve collective bargaining issues pertaining to wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment.
  • Provided third party counsel when a school board and union have reached impasse during bargaining. Successfully resolved impasses through bargaining and final hearings.
  • Handled teacher suspension appeals at DOAH and before arbitrators.
  • Successfully resolved claims alleging race discrimination for nuisance value pre-trial.
  • Obtained defense verdict after a week-long jury trial of negligent supervision by elementary school staff and teachers involving alleged molestation of female students.
  • Represented school board and three teachers on various claims arising out of an alleged assault and battery on an ESE student. Reached favorable settlement for school board and teachers pending summary judgment motion.
  • Successfully resolved a significant pre-suit matter for school board involving a senior manager in a failure to promote claim.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a Florida school board in a large and contentious Americans with Disabilities Act claim.
  • Won Summary Judgment in a highly publicized First Amendment case.
  • Represented a teacher in an alleged battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress claim by an ESE student. Reached favorable settlement for teacher at mediation early in case.
  • Obtained an early dismissal on legal grounds in case by students seeking declaratory relief and damages for various tort claims including negligence and false imprisonment.

Association Representation and Presentations

We provide a unique and deep understanding of education law as well as state and federal laws that affect school districts and their schools. In addition to working directly with school boards, RKC attorneys represent the Florida School Board Association and present regularly to the entire membership on a variety of legal issues affecting school boards. In addition, RKC is often asked to present at meetings and training sessions for the Florida Educational Negotiators.

 

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