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Helping Clients Deftly Navigate the Political Landscape
The past decade’s widely covered and heavily contested national and state elections, as well as an increase in investigations into political and electoral processes, have turned politics into a closely watched activity. As election laws and procedures become more complex, the potential for missteps—and their ensuing consequences—is greater without the guidance of experienced counsel.
Manatt’s nationwide Election Law team has the know-how required to ensure that you adhere to the rules and compliance requirements not only of elections but a range of other political activities. The practice combines in-depth regulatory knowledge with an “insider” understanding of the political process, a product of having on our team former elected officials, political staffers and senior members within government agencies.
We counsel elected officials, candidates, political committees, financial institutions, lobbying firms, business entities, trade associations and individual contributors on the issues surrounding the conduct of elections, including:
We also advise clients on voter registration matters, ballot pamphlet issues, candidate qualification and nomination processes for elections, initiatives and referenda, ballot security, election recounts and contests and recall efforts. In addition, we assist clients with the formation and maintenance of political action committees (PACs) and independent expenditure committees, and the filing of federal, state and locally required campaign contribution reports.
We have represented federal, state and local candidates, and other individuals and entities, in connection with investigations by the Federal Election Commission and the California Fair Political Practices Commission and in enforcement proceedings before those agencies and in federal and state courts.
Ensuring Election Law Compliance
Our attorneys have advised presidential candidates, congressional candidates, and candidates for state and local office regarding compliance with the complex array of federal, state and local laws regulating campaign operations and contributions. We have also helped state and federal political committees, business entities, trade associations and individuals to comply with the laws regulating campaign contributions and related activities, such as lobbying, political ethics, conflicts of interest and foreign agent registration.
Taking Political Fights to the Courtroom
Manatt’s Litigation and Election Law practices converge when we represent candidates, committees and others accused of violating election and campaign law. We have represented clients in litigation over the legality of contributions, ballot access and designation, and reapportionment, among other issues.
Some hotly contested political campaigns end up being decided in the courtroom, not the ballot box. We have represented clients in both state and nationwide recounts and other election contests.
Tackling Initiatives and Ballot Measures
In the area of grassroots politics, Manatt has advised committees formed to support—and oppose—ballot initiatives and measures. Our attorneys have drafted many such proposals, analyzed the propriety of initiatives proposed by others, advised committees on contribution and reporting rules, and helped prepare voter information materials in support of their positions. We have also brought and defended challenges to local and statewide initiatives.
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