1st Amendment/Local Government

Governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, institutions, and units often face situations in which the need for regulations and law enforcement intersects with conduct and speech that implicates rights protected by the 1st Amendment. These situations require the advice and participation of counsel with experience and knowledge in the handling of these situations. Fee & Jeffries provides assistance to local governments and state institutions facing these complex issues.

Ordinance Preparation and Enactment

Effective and enforceable ordinances are essential to the legitimate regulation of signs and sexually oriented businesses (“SOBs”). Such a process involves substantiating the legitimate governmental interests sought to be protected and advanced by the proposed regulations and preparing an ordinance that reflects the very latest legal developments in this rapidly changing environment. Because such ordinances potentially impact first amendment protected rights and are prone to vigorous legal challenges, great care must be

taken to properly craft and enact such ordinances. The attorneys at Fee & Jeffries have assisted a variety of local governments in crafting and enacting both sign and SOBs ordinances, none of which have been struck down or otherwise invalidated.


Without enforcement, even the best-crafted and enacted ordinance is rendered meaningless. Often, parties adversely affected by an ordinance will initiate legal proceedings to have it declared invalid. Other times, such parties simply ignore the ordinance and local governments need to seek enforcement through legal proceedings. It is a rare case where enforcement of an ordinance is not met with a counterclaim to have the ordinance declared invalid or unenforceable. Whether a local government is defending a challenge to its ordinance or seeking enforcement, experienced and knowledgeable litigation counsel is a necessity, not a luxury. Our attorneys, led by Rick Fee, have represented local governments in literally dozens of such cases, in both state and federal courts. Moreover, Rick Fee has served as lead appellate counsel on numerous occasions, preparing the briefs and presenting oral argument in our state and federal appellate courts.