Public Law and Public Finance


Governments and special districts in Ohio, Florida and North Carolina rely on Shumaker to serve them as general counsel, bond counsel and special counsel.  We understand the concerns of both elected and administrative officials who seek to do more with less in running the business of government.  That’s why our innovative approaches to bond finance, tax levies, public-private partnerships and statutory authority emphasize comprehensive, collaborative answers that work for our clients.

What Makes Us Different

Shumaker’s counseling of governmental entities is a solid combination of experience, creativity and capabilities.  Our advice to governmental entities and special districts reflects insights gained from decades of work as outside general and special counsel, with particular focus on finance, special district formation, economic development, public-private partnerships, labor and employment, education and environmental matters.

We work with elected and administrative officials to resolve problems and find common ground for practical solutions. Central to our approach is that we collaborate with clients.  We go beyond the details of statutes and regulations to help find the best and most innovative approaches to getting a levy passed or a public-private partnership created.  Shumaker lawyers emphasize creative solutions that look for better ways to accomplish public purposes, and look at the universe of statutory, tax code and political options to get results.

Our Clients

  • Cities, villages, counties, towns and public hospitals in Ohio, Florida and North Carolina
  • Joint authorities and special districts for hospitals, port facilities, sports facilities, convention centers, cultural venues, water, infrastructure, special assessments and economic development
  • Special purpose financing districts
  • Public school districts, colleges and universities
  • State governmental agencies and authorities that require special counsel services
  • Councils of government

Why You Benefit

We add value to public entity clients because Shumaker lawyers are well versed in governmental process and procedure.  Our clients daily turn to us for guidance on such high-profile concerns as:  financings, tax levies, constitutional limitations on lending of credit, open meetings laws, contracting and competitive bidding, conflicts of interest and constitutional litigation on such issues as jail overcrowding.  We view our role not just as narrow specialists who do no more than carry out instructions.  Rather, we understand our clients’ concerns and focus our guidance on the kind of practical counsel that looks for original solutions (such as amending existing statutes) to finance and policy challenges.  That’s why many public entities have consulted with us for years, illustrating the confidence that elected and administrative officials have in our firm.

Core Services

  • Bond and note financings
  • Representation of state and local governmental entities on organizational issues, governance, compliance and business concerns
  • Structuring of and operational guidance for joint authorities and public-private partnerships
  • Assistance with crafting and offering economic development incentives
  • Advice on tax levy structuring and approval
  • Special counsel in such areas as labor and employment, litigation and environmental law

What You Can Expect From Shumaker

Above all, we understand the financial constraints with which governmental entities must contend.  When serving as bond counsel, for example, we don’t just offer an approving opinion – our lawyers can help make the transaction structure more advantageous, advising on covenant compliance and looking for innovative credit enhancements.  Similarly, we offer guidance on how tax levies can be constructed to enhance revenue raising capability while still remaining attractive for voter approval.

Our creative ability to structure public-private partnerships is another example of the unique thinking that Shumaker lawyers bring to the table.  We have pulled together the complex financing arrangements from multiple public and private sources necessary to make those projects work for creating sports facilities, convention centers and performing arts venues, and address the unique tax considerations necessary for success.  And we regularly help governmental clients maximize the revenue-enhancing potential of economic development incentives such as tax increment financing districts and special tax abatements and credits.  Such examples illustrate the practical skills and collaborative focus that make Shumaker lawyers effective partners with our governmental clients.


As bond counsel, Shumaker is capable of performing many roles in both taxable and tax-exempt bond and note financings, such as bond counsel, counsel to issuers, borrowers, underwriters, purchasers, credit enhancers and trustees.  Our extensive and varied experience allows us to suggest structures which facilitate the projects being financed.

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