Relationships. Commitment. Results.

icon Careers

Public Law

Leading the law of government relationships since 1932.

Walter Haverfield has led the area of public law throughout Ohio’s government bodies since our founding in 1932. Our skilled, dedicated attorneys have been proud to deliver the full spectrum of top-line general and special legal counsel relied on by federal, state, local, municipal, and other government bodies. Today, our Public Law Group continues to offer a wide range of services to municipalities, townships, school boards, special taxing districts, and regional agencies throughout Ohio.

Practice Group Leader

William R. Hanna, Partner

Bill focuses his practice on labor and  employment law and litigation. His local government practice involves a broad range of legal issues that regularly confront local government bodies, including public records, open meetings, public employment matters, zoning, economic development, and public entity contracting to public right of way (PROW) management issues.

216.928.2940
Send a message
img

Our Public Law Difference

We provide experienced counsel on a broad range of legal issues that regularly confront local government bodies, including:

  • Public records
  • Open meetings
  • Public employment matters
  • Zoning
  • Economic development
  • Public entity contracting
  • Public rights-of-way (PROW) management issues

Many of our attorneys also serve as law directors or assistant law directors for northern Ohio communities. We have successfully argued precedent-setting cases at all levels of the state and federal court systems, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Areas of representation include:

  • Administrative law and procedures
  • Awarding of contracts
  • Charters and amendments
  • Defense of civil rights actions
  • Defense of public officials
  • Eminent domain
  • Environmental law
  • Equal employment practices
  • Legislation, regulations
  • Public funding, tax abatements, and economic development
  • Public improvement projects
  • Real estate and construction law
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Zoning and land use

Recognition

U.S. NEWS – BEST LAWYERS® 2022 “BEST LAW FIRMS” RANKINGS
  • National Tier 2: Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Education Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Environmental Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Litigation – Land Use & Zoning
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Litigation – Real Estate
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Real Estate Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Construction Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Litigation – Environmental
  • Metropolitan Tier 3: Litigation – Construction
  • Metropolitan Tier 3: Litigation – Insurance
U.S. NEWS – BEST LAWYERS® 2021 “BEST LAW FIRMS” RANKINGS
  • National Tier 2: Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Education Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Environmental Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Land Use & Zoning Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Litigation – Land Use & Zoning
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Litigation – Real Estate
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Real Estate Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Construction Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Litigation – Environmental
  • Metropolitan Tier 3: Litigation – Construction
  • Metropolitan Tier 3: Litigation – Insurance
img

Experience

  • Representing municipalities in litigation to establish the authority of a municipality, as a part of a council of governments, to lobby the state legislature on matters related to local self-government
  • Counseling elected officials and developing municipal procedures designed to achieve the objectives of elected officials, without incurring litigation costs
  • Representing a municipality in federal court to establish the legality of a minimum age to be a candidate for mayor
  • Representing a municipality in a taxpayer’s action seeking to prevent the municipality from erecting a communications tower on municipally-owned property
  • Representing school districts on matters where municipalities were seeking to regulate the districts’ development activities
  • Representing a municipality in litigation related to a municipally-owned golf course and development of municipally owned property adjacent to the golf course
  • Counseling public sector clients on the application of Ohio’s Sunshine Laws (the Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act)
  • Negotiating easements with numerous private and public property owners to acquire rights to construct a $1 million public hike and bike trail in a local village under a federal grant, administered via the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT)
  • Advising local village on the process to construct a new $4 million police station as a design-build project and preparing all necessary agreements, proposals, and ordinances
  • Negotiating purchase agreement and land reconfiguration with a large corporate landowner for a donation of land to the Cuyahoga County Public Library for the construction of a new library in the local village
  • Conducting multiple eminent domain proceedings in Cuyahoga and Summit County Probate Courts to acquire right-of-way for roadway projects, facilitate economic development, and secure recreational green space
  • Counseling public entities on ethics, elections, and campaign finance
  • Assisting municipalities with the development and administration of comprehensive Public Right-of-Way (PROW) management ordinances
  • Advising local government entities on the formation of a joint recreation district to preserve a 300+ acre property from development
  • Representing public entities in zoning/land use litigation, including the defense of R.C. Chapter 2506 appeals taken from decisions of local Boards of Zoning Appeals
  • Representing public entities in tort litigation involving the assertion of immunities and defenses under R.C. Chapter 2744
  • Amending codified ordinances for municipal clients to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Ohio EPA stormwater management requirements
  • Representing municipal clients in R.C. 2506 administrative appeals regarding land use and planning decisions rendered by planning commissions, boards of zoning appeals, and councils at all levels – trial court, the court of appeals, and the Ohio Supreme Court
  • Defending mayor, council president, and council members at trial before the Ohio Elections Commission on a campaign violation issue
  • Advising the Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) on creation and expansion issues
  • Drafting Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Development Agreements with developers for the construction of public infrastructure
READ MORE img