Litigation against the government is becoming increasingly important in business strategy. Clients look to us for help navigating complex statutory and regulatory regimes and fighting back against governmental overreach and unconstitutional laws. 

We also defend state and local governments and officials when sued. Whether challenging or defending government action, the attorneys on our multi-disciplinary team have the knowledge and experience to handle the unique constitutional and procedural issues that arise in government litigation.

Find an attorney

Our government and constitutional litigation practice

Womble Bond Dickinson’s government and constitutional litigation group stands at the intersection of law and policy. In addition to our extensive regulatory practice, our litigation team has a proven track record of success in government and constitutional litigation. Many team members previously served in government positions or are former law clerks. Our typical clients include:

  • Large and middle market companies in a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, technology, gaming, telecommunications, banking and financial services, pharmaceutical and healthcare
  • State and local government agencies and officials
  • Trade associations and public interest groups

The impact of government litigation is often much broader than the particular facts and litigants of one case. Lawsuits against the government can collaterally impact future executive, administrative, and legislative actions. Our attorneys understand this impact and know how to approach these matters strategically and efficiently, by cooperating with allies, working with government officials, navigating administrative proceedings and appeals, and asserting constitutional arguments. 

Government and Constitutional Litigation – Typical Matters

  • Constitutional litigation involving the First Amendment, Due Process Clause, Commerce Clause, Dormant Commerce Clause, and Contracts Clause
  • Civil Rights and Equal Protection cases
  • Litigation involving state constitutional provisions, which may be different or more onerous than the federal constitution
  • Declaratory judgment actions involving constitutional and statutory questions
  • State and federal administrative proceedings and appeals
  • Formal and informal discussions with regulators to accomplish client’s goals
  • Amicus brief drafting and filing 
  • Interventions in constitutional cases in which client’s interests are at stake
  • Litigation between private parties where the constitutionality of statutes is implicated
  • Working with the client’s lobbyists to address constitutional issues as part of the legislative process
  • Seeking advisory opinions from government officials regarding the legality of certain products or business practices
Need legal advice and guidance in government and constitutional litigation?
Our team is able to help provide solutions to you and your organization. Browse through our lawyers and professional staff to find the right attorney near you.
Classic Greco-Roman architecture with Corinthian columns in overcast British weather.

Our Representative Experience

  • Obtained a temporary injunction against the enforcement of a state law banning the client’s products based on a violation of Free Speech and Due Process clauses in state constitution.
  • Successful challenge, under the Contracts Clause, to a statute awarding a horseracing franchise to a competing gaming company.
  • Defend local governments and public officials in difficult and high-profile constitutional cases in state and federal court in North Carolina.
  • Serve as amicus counsel for the South Carolina Equality Coalition in its challenge to the constitutionality of South Carolina’s criminal domestic violence statutes.
  • Represented state attorney general in federal suit to enjoin on First Amendment grounds a state criminal prosecution for allegedly false campaign speech. Obtained reversal on appeal of district court order denying injunction.
  • Serve as amicus counsel for a group of technology companies defending the constitutionality of the North Carolina Abusive Patent Assertions Act 
  • Successfully defended the constitutionality of economic incentives benefiting technology and manufacturing clients. 
  • Granted petition for judicial review challenging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's application of its Patriot Act regulations to deprive petitioner of an occupational license. The D.C. Circuit held that the agency acted arbitrarily and capriciously.
  • Defended finance company in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigation presenting unresolved questions of constitutional law. Won a favorable ruling from the Ninth Circuit.
  • Successful challenge to federal agency ruling assessing the amount of a regulatory fees owed by the client, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars of future savings.
  • Represented state supreme court justice in First Amendment suit against state judicial standards commission
  • Assisted in challenging a statewide venue statute that divested the trial court of jurisdiction over certain constitutional cases. The state supreme court granted a special supervisory writ, finding that the venue statute was an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers.
  • Successful challenge to the constitutionality of a state tax on intangible property.
  • Successful litigation against the U.S. Department of the Interior for mismanagement of trust assets.