Practices | Legislative and Political Law

Headquartered in the state capital of Augusta, Bernstein Shur’s Legislative and Political Law Practice Group represents the firm’s clients before the Maine Legislature, the U.S. Congress, and the various state and federal agencies of government. Our extensive experience in Augusta and Washington, D.C. allows us to creatively influence legislative and regulatory processes to ensure that our clients’ interests are protected and that their goals are achieved. We understand that influencing the legislative process is often more cost-effective for our clients than litigating current law.

The group’s attorneys are actively engaged in lobbying the Maine Legislature and the U.S. Congress. We serve as legislative counsel for many Maine businesses, trade associations, municipalities and individuals, as well as Fortune 500 companies, multinational corporations, and national trade associations. In addition, we combine our lobbying expertise with representation of clients in rulemaking and administrative agency adjudicatory proceedings. The diversity of our practice stems from our experience representing clients before all of the joint standing committees of the legislature and most of the regulatory bodies of state government.

We strive to provide our clients with accurate and comprehensive analyses of the legal, political, regulatory, business, and public relations aspects of the issues that affect their interests. We know the decision-makers and have well-earned reputations as hard working, straight-shooting advocates who get results. As part of a multi-service law firm, we create opportunities and solve problems through a coordinated, team-based approach that draws upon the expertise of attorneys in other Bernstein Shur practice groups (including Tax, Labor and Employment, Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources, and Municipal Law) and the principals of The Bernstein Shur Group, the firm’s government consulting affiliate.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in election and campaign finance law. We have formed a number of political action committees (PACs) for various organizations and political leaders and serve as counsel to many of these PACs. We have also served as counsel to national campaign organizations, political parties, and candidates, providing guidance in every aspect of the campaign.

The Legislative and Political Law Practice Group assists clients by:

  • Drafting legislation, testimony, and other legal memoranda
  • Developing legislative strategy and forming lobbying coalitions
  • Monitoring legislative and regulatory proposals and proceedings
  • Encouraging the Governor and/or the Maine Legislature to promote new initiatives on matters of interest to clients or to oppose matters against the interest of clients
  • Persuading the Governor, the Legislature, or regulatory agencies to change existing laws or regulations that create problems for a single company, a trade association, or an entire industry
  • Counseling clients on governmental ethics laws and representing clients before the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices
  • Forming PACs
  • Ensuring compliance with all aspects of campaign finance law
  • Representing clients in agency rulemaking and adjudicatory proceedings
  • Providing due diligence counsel on the political, legislative, and regulatory implications of proposed investments and business decisions
  • Resolving issues in a swift and cost-effective fashion

Maine’s penchant for living up to its motto of “Dirigo” (“I Lead”) has produced a complicated playing field for those with interests in the state. The state’s limited referenda process, term limits, publicly financed elections, and relatively open legislative bill filing processes have made Maine a target for organizations looking to establish legislative and regulatory beachheads. Understanding the implications of these issues is critical to counseling clients and protecting their interests.

Our involvement in the legislative process and our access to policymakers enables us to keep our clients informed of legislative and regulatory developments that can affect their interests. The Legislative and Political Law Practice Group does not merely observe and report events that have already occurred, however. Ensuring that our clients’ interests are advocated requires educating elected officials and decision-makers in a timely, honest, and comprehensive manner. We maintain a daily presence in the capitol to achieve this goal.

We understand the intricacies of legislative and administrative legal processes, and where, when, and how to advocate for our clients’ interests to secure the ideal outcome. Combined with the largest municipal practice in the state, we have more experience handling local, state, and federal legislative and regulatory issues than any other law firm in Maine. Our clients have access to the full arsenal of legal tools available to assist them in achieving their goals.