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Municipal Law and School Law

Counties, cities, villages and towns, along with their municipal insurers, have for decades asked the municipal team at Crivello, Nichols & Hall, S.C. to serve as their general and special counsel, as we combine legal insight and public-policy experience to advise on all aspects of law impacting municipalities. Several of our municipal law attorneys serve as village attorneys, which enables them to draw on that experience in counseling municipalities across Wisconsin. Our municipal clients are statewide.

From drafting and revising local codes and ordinances, reviewing contracts, assisting in public records and open meetings law compliance, drafting or prosecuting zoning and land use regulations, and providing legal and risk management services on all other aspects of municipal law ranging from code enforcement, fair housing, real estate, taxation, condemnation and eminent domain, employment, litigation, and legislative concerns, our attorneys are skilled at handling municipal and civil rights cases from inception through trial, and are well versed in current case law and court rulings.

Our experience in these areas of practice and in representing municipal clients allows the municipal team to provide efficient and reliable representation at the highest level to its municipal clients. We can assist municipalities in assessing claims and, if in the best interest of the municipality, negotiate settlements or pursue litigation.

Representative client work includes the following:

  • Defended municipalities and their boards and officials in cases involving tax assessments and exemptions.
  • Assisting with public meetings laws, open records laws and ethical obligations under State law.
  • Developing local ordinances and policies compliant with the First Amendment on subjects ranging from leafleting and panhandling to sexually oriented business to use of public buildings for assembly, speech and meetings.
  • Defending Board of Appeals’ decisions involving zoning and land use matters ranging from check cashing businesses to sexually oriented businesses.
  • Working with local officials during investigation of police or fire departments.
  • Counseling and defending law enforcement and jail and prison officials and agencies on policies and procedures, and varied state law and federal civil rights issues including, for example, high speed chases, search and seizure, use of force incidents, and jail conditions and confinement.
  • Developing ordinances to regulate group homes, community-based treatment facilities and similar entities in order to avoid noncompliance with complex State and Federal laws, including the Fair Housing Laws.
  • Provided legal reviews and recommendations about the legal ramifications of accepting offers to donate land which may be held open for recreational purposes.
  • Contract negotiations on matters ranging from cellular facilities to independent municipal contractors like assessors and building inspectors.
  • Successfully tried and defended city’s liquor licensing decisions that denied renewal of a Class B liquor license to an establishment that was noncompliant with state and local regulations of its business.
  • Successfully tried and prosecuted all aspects of city and village ordinance traffic citations including OWI’s.
  • Bond issues and FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant land purchases related to flood damaged properties.
  • Consulting or defending on property damage claims related to water and sewer utilities.

Our firm has advised and represented a wide range of educational institutions, from small parochial elementary schools to entire public school districts serving tens of thousands of students. We understand that the issues facing schools are unique. Laws and regulations applicable to schools and educators are complex, and we know that the privacy of students must remain paramount. We have successfully handled cases ranging from playground injuries to allegations of student-on-student misconduct. We also advise our clients about a variety of issues, including things like risk management and employment concerns, that often involve considerations that are exclusive to the field of education. Our sensitive yet practical approach to school-related legal issues has created an excellent relationship between Crivello, Nichols & Hall, S.C. and school administrators and educational professionals. Should you have a need in this area or simply have questions about the law or process, please feel free to call us.

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