Regulatory and Federal Litigation

  • Holland & Knight's Regulatory and Federal Litigation Team has extensive experience handling complex litigation brought by and against the federal government.
  • Matters handled by the team involve defending against regulatory and statutory enforcement actions, and challenging agency actions under the Administrative Procedure Act and other federal laws as well as the constitutionality of legislative and regulatory schemes.
  • Our multidisciplinary team of lawyers includes seasoned litigators and regulatory counselors who focus on a wide spectrum of topics. Members of our team include former government attorneys and professionals.
  • Visit our Regulatory Litigation Blog.

Holland & Knight's Regulatory and Federal Litigation Team has extensive experience handling complex civil litigation brought by and against the federal government. In this era of heavy regulation and constant governmental change, regulated industries need clarity about litigation options as a means to resolve their disputes with the federal government. Our multidisciplinary team of lawyers litigates matters across the country in federal trial and appellate courts and before administrative law judges on behalf of regulated entities involving the complex regulatory schemes under which they operate. These matters involve defending against regulatory and statutory enforcement actions, challenging the propriety of agency actions under the Administrative Procedure Act and other federal laws, and testing the constitutionality of legislative and regulatory schemes. Depending on their situation, we also advise our clients on how to avoid litigation with the government or prepare for litigation against the government. Our multidisciplinary approach brings together the firm's wealth of experience in dealing with federal agencies and regulatory regimes combined with the substantive trial knowledge and savvy of Holland & Knight’s litigators.

Litigating Against the Government

Litigating effectively against the government involves a number of legal issues that are often not present in litigation between private parties. For example, the questions of where, when and how to file suit can implicate issues regarding jurisdiction and sovereign immunity, venue, the ripeness and finality of agency action, exhaustion of administrative remedies, and whether the proper parties can be brought before the court. Litigation strategy also requires assessing agency priorities and decision-making considerations, which are often very different from those of private parties. Our team is keenly attuned to these differences and frames each case accordingly in order to best fulfill each client's goals. We can obtain guidance from attorneys and other professionals in the firm who are alumni of various federal agencies or who deal with the agencies regularly in the course of their work.

To resolve matters in the most effective and efficient means possible for our clients, we assemble a team of lawyers and professionals that combines our subject matter knowledge and experience with our litigation know-how that is best suited for each particular matter. These attorneys and professionals then work closely with members of the firm's well-established teams practicing in a broad range of areas, including healthcare, life sciences, technology, telecommunications, media, environmental, homeland security, immigration, Native American Law, False Claims Act defense, maritime, local governments, energy, transportation, aviation, and fair housing and disability access.

Our Regulatory and Federal Litigation Team represents clients on a wide range of matters including the following:

  • filing mandamus actions to compel administrative agencies to take particular steps
  • defending national clients against alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act based on the government's assertion that optional guidelines have the effect of federal law
  • challenging a federal agency's enactment of regulations that exceeded the scope of its authority 
  • challenging the government's application and interpretation of its oil and gas regulations
  • advising clients regarding potential litigation options relating to the Fair Credit Report Act and Privacy Act
  • defending design and construction claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act brought by the U.S. Department of Justice 
  • challenging the constitutionality of the District of Columbia's First Source Law
  • advising clients with respect to Freedom of Information Act and reverse Freedom of Information Act actions
  • pursuing and defending matters under the Lanham Act
  • advising clients regarding the application of federal laws to social media and Internet websites
  • rendering opinions and performing due diligence in anticipation of immigration and customs enforcement
  • filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation for improperly seeking to revoke a carrier's operating authority
  • defending clients before administrative law judges and the FCC in license revocation proceedings and defending clients in FCC complaint, notice of violation, show cause, notice of inquiry and notice of apparent liability proceedings
  • representing clients in proceedings challenging FCC decisions, including petitions for reconsideration, applications for review and appeals or petitions for review to the federal circuit courts of appeal
  • defending environmental permits issued by agencies such as EPA and the Corps against attacks by NGOs 
  • challenging rulemakings and policy guidance documents by agencies such as EPA, the Corps and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under a range of environmental laws such as the Clean Air and Water Acts, the Endangered Species Act and NEPA

Experience and Know-How

If you are facing a situation that may require consideration of litigation brought by and against the federal government, depending on a team of lawyers with comprehensive experience in this area is imperative. Every situation is unique and Holland & Knight's Regulatory and Federal Litigation Team is well-prepared to assess all the options and help determine the best approach to meet your short- and long-term goals.