Areas of Law Covered:

Featured Topic: Federal Law

The law of government covers a broad area in the legal field. Was that too general?

U.S. Federal Government Law for example, ddresses government interactions on a national scale and is largely composed of administrative law and constitutional law.

State and Local Government Law (state and municipal government law) on the other hand, deals largely with regards to how government operates on the state and local level, with state and city governments and agencies, as well as interactions with businesses and private citizens.

Moreover, the U.S. Federal Government is composed of three main branches:

1. the legislative
2. judicial
3. executive branch
all of which are established by the U.S. Constitution.

1. The Federal Government

shares control of the United Sates with individual U.S. State governments. State governments are made up of their own legislative, judicial and executive branches and are given a fair share of autonomy to create laws for their individual states, although federal law holds precedence. State law also establishes and regulates local government for cities, towns, counties, and other communities.

2. Local Government Law

addresses a variety of issues, topics and legal areas.
These include: Sunshine laws for public access to
- government records and processes;
- municipal planning for land use and zoning law;
- licensing and regulatory law; labor rights, which includes discrimination, wage laws and Fair Labor and Standards Act and
- (continued) Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act

Which in regard to employment, will go on to include:
- personnel law for government workers and employers;
- utilities and telecommunication law for government entities such as gas, water & electric companies,
- cell phone towers and easements;
- property taxes, assessments, user fees and other taxation law for city revenues;
- eminent domain law;
- environmental law as it applies to government regulations;
- other housing agencies for development, redevelopment and affordable housing issues;
- tax abatements and other forms of public finance; and (drumroll)
- government contracts.

3. Administrative law

, as part of the laws defining governments’ role is defined as the procedures created by administrative agencies (governmental bodies of the city, county, state or Federal government) involving rules, regulations, applications, licenses, permits, available information, hearings, appeals and decision-making.

Federal agency procedure is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act, and many states have adopted similar procedural formats either by law or regulation.

It is important to consider two vital factors in dealing with administrative agencies:

1) the rules and regulations are often special for each agency and are not usually found in the statutes but in those regulations;

2) a member of the public must "exhaust his/her administrative remedies" (take every step, including appeals) with the agency and its system before he/she can challenge the administrative ruling with a lawsuit in court.

There are exceptions (such as emergency or obvious futility) to exhausting one's remedies, but those are rare.

Attorneys may provide representation regarding professional licenses and agency rule making procedures and proceedings. Nonetheless, litigation may occur when individuals or businesses run into infractions or compliance issues with state and federal regulatory agencies. The practice of administrative law encompasses the legal representation of individuals, businesses and institutions before such regulatory agencies.

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