City, Township & School Representation

Representing Municipalities

Klun Law Firm routinely represents clients in the areas of municipal and school law. We represent both statutory and home rule charter cities. The Firm has served as City Attorney to Ely for over 18 years, as well as counsel to various townships and statutory cities.

We routinely council government entities in areas of:

  • Open meeting law and Council matters
  • Ordinance and code drafting
  • Land use and Construction and real estate
  • Economic development and public finance
  • Utilities and telecommunications
  • Licensing and regulations
  • Labor representation- collective bargaining
  • Personnel and benefits
  • Purchasing and contracts

Representing Schools

Klun Law Firm provides counsel in the area of school law. Our extensive knowledge and experience allows us to provide excellent counsel and day to day advice to school administration and Board members.

We routinely counsel to schools in areas of:

  • Open meeting law and School Board matters
  • District policy drafting
  • Student and special education issues
  • Employment law and discrimination
  • Labor representation- collective bargaining
  • Personnel and benefits
  • Purchasing and contracts

At Klun Law, our litigation practice involves representing clients in litigation and administrative hearings.  We can assist clients by providing legal advice regarding the litigation process, help clients to craft a litigation strategy, complete pleadings for litigation, and enter into settlement negotiations.  We represent our clients zealously throughout the entire legal process.  Our goal is to provide efficient litigation representation and to come to quick outcomes.

Additionally, we can represent clients in state trial court, federal district court and administrative hearings.  We can represent clients at the state level, including the Department of Employee Relations and the Environmental Quality Board with the state of Minnesota.  We can also represent clients at the federal government level in administrative hearings with boards such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOC) at the federal level.

At Klun Law, our Governmental Relations practice includes helping client interpret legislation, draft legislation, position papers, conduct research, monitor current legislation and assist in preparation of federal loan and grant documents.  We can represent clients in front of state agencies and boards.  We also advocate legislative process with state policy makers and draft legislation.

We are Klun Law are committed to representing clients’ interests at the local, regional, state and federal level.  Our advocacy in government relations practice extends to assisting state government relations, strategic planning and representation of client interests.  We can monitor legislative, judicial and regulatory issues in the State of Minnesota and at the federal level.

At Klun, we can assist clients with environmental issues, including environmental litigation such as defense litigation, cleanup cost recovery and white collar environmental defense.  We can also assist companies with environmental regulatory counseling, permitting and regulatory compliance with statutes regarding waste, air pollution and water pollution.

We help clients deal with federal, state and local regulations that may arise.  We can help clients respond to notices of violation with regards to wastewater permits, represent clients with zoning boards, help client deal with sewer extensions and represent clients with administrative boards.  We can also assist clients in researching and review of environmental regulations and permits.

In our Energy and Public Utilities practice we represent municipal utilities, such as electric and water companies, and public interest groups regarding energy and utility issues.  We assist companies in electricity, water, oil and gas, renewable energy, clean technology, wastewater, and manufacturing.  We can assist clients with all aspects of federal and state regulation affecting producers, distributors, energy consumers and investors, manufacturers, real estate developers and lenders.

We can also provide legal advice regarding power issues, municipal issues, and representation before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) and use of public right-of-way for utilities issues.  Energy issues can come up in real estate matters when building on property.  Issues can also arise with power companies, wind power, water, natural gas, oil and gas and electricity.  We can also provide advice regarding financing of renewable project development.

At Klun, we can assist clients regarding legislation to change conservation policies, property taxation and compliance issues.  We can also represent non-utility power producers, suppliers and unregulated affiliates of public utilities.

Annexation is a process used by cities and townships to increase their own size through the acquisition of adjacent land.  Once land is annexed, the city or township acquiring it extends service to the new citizens.  Unincorporated areas frequent seek to be annexed to enhance property values and increase the number of services made available to residents.

At Klun, we can help municipalities decide whether annexation is the right decision for them and help those being annexed decide whether annexation if the right move at this time.  We can also assist in the preparation of documents and the negotiation and can also represent clients in annexation proceedings.  Orderly annexation lets the city and township address annexation more cooperative and encourages joint planning.  We can assist in these negotiations.  We can assist with the Municipal Board and the petition process.

We’ve put together some explanations of common terms and scenarios in government representation:

What is eminent domain?

Eminent domain is the process by which the government takes private property for public use.  Since 2006, Minnesota has interpreted eminent domain to mean that eminent domain can only be used for a public use or purpose.  If a government entity, whether the state or a city or township, takes private property, the owner must be compensated with damages that are sufficient for an owner to purchase a comparable property within that community.

What is annexation?

Annexation is the process by which a city government expands the city limits.  Typically the city expands into adjacent areas that are not incorporated.  Through annexation, cities and townships are able to grow.

The process of annexation is difficult, as there are negotiations that need to be conducted with the areas the city or township wants to expand into.  Government representation attorneys typically conduct these negotiations on behalf of the cities and townships.

When do public utility issues arise?

Issues with public utilities can arise in common every day real estate transactions.  When purchasing a piece of property, buyers can run into public right-of-way utility issues.  Before purchasing property with a right-of-way for a public utility, buyers should contact an attorney to research the terms of the right-of-way which can impact the future value of the property.  Buyers who purchase property with right-of-way for public utilities may not be able to expand on their property in certain ways or build on it.

What is environment law?

Environmental issues can arise in many different types of transactions, including the sale of real estate and the sale or purchase of a business.  Additionally, sometimes businesses can receive fines or warnings from the EPA or other environmental regulatory agencies.   Environmental law can include assistance in obtaining permits, complying with statues regarding waste, air and water pollutions and dealing with zoning boards and extending sewers.

How do attorneys help cities with government relations?

Government relations law consists of attorney helping clients, such as cities and townships, interpret legislation, monitor current legislation’s, draft legislation to support the city or township and assist in preparing federal and state documents to meet state and federal requirements.

Government relations law is also sometimes referred to as government affairs. Attorneys who handle these types of issues usually handle drafting of ordinances, local regulations and city planning.

What are labor relations?

Cities and townships face complex issues with employees.  Many state and city workers are members of unions, which mean that before the employer can terminate or take another action against the employee, they must follow certain union rules that have been set out in a contract negotiated between union labor and the municipality.  These contracts between labor and the government agency typically come up for re-negotiation every couple of years.

Labor relations attorneys typically negotiate contracts on behalf of the state, city or township or they represent the labor union on behalf of labor. Both sides spend many months preparing for negotiations and addressing issues that may arise for negotiation.

What is land use?

Land use consists of assisting land developers, property owners and real estate buyers and sellers who want to develop projects.  Land use refers to how a piece of property is set up for use.  For example, land can be designated for residential housing only, or for mixed use, or can be zoned for industrial purposes. How land is zoned impacts how it can be used and built upon.

Land use attorneys help with the purchase of commercial buildings, condominium units, drafting of deeds for both residential and commercial purchase agreement and research of deeds.  Additionally, land use attorney can help resolve disputes that arise from the sale and purchase of land.

What is construction law?

Construction law consists of any dispute arising from remodeling or building projects.  Typical issues that can arise include poor constructions, issues with insurance, subcontractors walking off the job, injuries to workers or visitors to construction sites.
Construction law attorneys may assist creditors, banks, construction employees, subcontractors, building and property owners or insurance companies.  Construction law attorneys have expertise in mechanic’s liens, bonds, contracts and personal injury and deal with the complexities involved in building.

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