The LGA Special Project Award recognizes attorneys who have contributed to an LGA project or other project of particular importance to LGA or local government generally. Its purpose is to encourage greater service to LGA and/or local government and to honor members whose projects have proven to be especially effective and successful.
For Spring 2018 LGA is pleased to present the Special Project Award to Kathleen Dooley (Chair), Jeremy Carroll, Adam Kinsman, Kelly Lackey, Brandi Law, Peter Lubeck, Mark Popovich, Brian Prater, and Michelle Robl of LGA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Public Demonstrations.
After the “Unite the Right” rally that shook Charlottesville and the country on August 12, 2017, Kathleen Dooley urged the Board of Directors to establish a committee to address legal questions the event had raised, and she volunteered to lead the new group. Building on work she had done with the Governor’s Task Force on Public Safety Preparedness and Response to Civil Unrest in 2017 and her well-received presentation at LGA’s 2017 Fall Conference, Kathleen swiftly and effectively led the committee to complete its work by the end of January 2018.
The committee produced a comprehensive document that clarifies the parameters of local governmental authority to protect public health, safety, and welfare in the event of a disruptive public demonstration, in light of relevant First Amendment and Dillon Rule considerations. Titled “Outline of Traditional Public Forum Laws, with a Special Emphasis on Demonstration Permits,” the report encompasses ordinances from major U.S. cities as well as federal regulations that govern the National Mall. It also includes a variety of other resources on the topic, including the Hunton & Williams (now, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP) and International Association of Chiefs of Police reviews of the events in Charlottesville in 2017. The report is now available on the LGA website.
While Kathleen Dooley’s leadership on this issue merits special mention, all of the members of the committee made significant contributions to the group’s body of work, elucidating the myriad legal issues local governments confront when they regulate public demonstrations to protect public safety.