The Gober Group represents ambitious and high-profile CHANGEMAKERS operating in the political ecosystem.
Law firms typically describe what they do by listing their practice areas, but sometimes it’s more instructive to focus on the types of clients we serve: And that’s COMPANIES, CAUSES, AND INFLUENCERS who are innovative, ambitious, and even disruptive. While their legal challenges are diverse—as is our attorneys’ experience and capabilities—what really binds them is their shared need for our unique expertise navigating the intersection of business, law, politics and, of course, relationships.
Our clients include:
…and those who dare to do things differently.
We are indispensable to emerging high-growth businesses and their investors in every stage of the business life cycle: formation; financing, outsourced General Counsel solutions, and mergers and acquisitions.
Whether it’s achieving a strategic public policy objective, navigating a “bet the company” issue, or competing at the ballot box, our high-profile clients trust us when their reputations are on the line.
We are indispensable to a diverse group of clients seeking to effectively engage in the political and public policy arenas at the federal, state, and local levels of government. Whether it’s achieving a strategic public policy objective, navigating a “bet the company” issue, or competing at the ballot box.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Candidates and ballot initiatives can’t win on Election Day if they’re not on the ballot. The Gober Group has the expertise necessary to interpret the arcane legal requirements required to get on the ballot, the experience necessary to formulate the strategy and a straightforward plan to meet those requirements, and the business relationships necessary to hire the subcontractors who will execute the petition gathering process on the ground.
Brand identity is an important asset of every business because it encompasses business and product names, product lines, slogans, advertising campaigns, logos, product packaging, and more. The Gober Group counsels all levels of business and creators—from start-ups and entrepreneurs, to established firms, celebrities, and taste-makers—on managing and strengthening their brand and brand identity throughout all stages of growth. A business’s brand consists not only of its logo or slogan, but also of its goodwill and reputation. We’ll help you protect what you’ve worked so hard to grow.
Elections are governed by myriad laws and regulations that go well-beyond the more obvious campaign-finances rules dictating who may contribute, how much may be contributed, how the money may be spent, and what must be disclosed. In addition to our expert campaign-finance attorneys, The Gober Group has a diverse roster of attorneys who have the broad experience to provide expert counsel on operational and media issues involving Internal Revenue Service and Federal Communications Commission regulations, trademark and copyright laws, federal and state telemarketing and consumer protections laws, state statutes governing libel and slander, and the general business law issues that implicate any multimillion-dollar enterprise.
The Gober Group’s litigation practice touches upon virtually every aspect of the political process, including a victorious First Amendment lawsuit that permanently struck down a state’s “Super PAC” ban, the hotly contested Texas redistricting litigation, a recount where we discovered and provided substantiated evidence that nearly 1% of the votes were cast illegally by ineligible felons, and the successful defense of a conservative political commentator in a high-profile defamation suit brought by the father of the former Irving, Texas student known as “Clock Boy.”
Business—like politics—is a competition between the various players vying to establish the dominant market-position through superior information, strategy, communications, and execution. The Gober Group provides the campaign-style intelligence and opposition research necessary to arm boardrooms with the information company’s need to formulate an informed strategy, articulate effective communications, and ultimately execute a well-conceived plan to win in the marketplace. And because we always perform our services with the company’s reputation in mind, we achieve our results quietly, ethically, and with sound judgment.
The laws surrounding corporate political engagement are rapidly evolving in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizen United ruling and increased attention from the investors and the public on political activity. And while new opportunities are available to corporations seeking to influence the political process, those opportunities are accompanied by new risks. For example, among the new minefields are “pay-to-play” laws at the state and federal levels of government, which can prohibit political giving by companies and employees, impose restrictions on conducting business with the state, and trigger disclosure for certain trade association and corporate political activities. As attorneys experienced in political law, The Gober Group has the front-line insight essential to identifying and responding to the rapid changes in the legal landscape, as well as the experience necessary to provide strategic advice tailored to a company’s objectives and culture so the client can focus on exceeding expectations and increasing the bottom line.
Theoretically, crisis communication has been described by one communications scholar as the collection, processing, and dissemination of information to address the perception of an unpredictable events that threatens important expectancies of stakeholders and can seriously impact an organization’s performance and generate negative outcomes. We describe it as follows: Putting out fires. Our team, which is used to operating in a political fishbowl where problems are played out on the front page of The New York Times, traditionally works behind-the-scenes to prevent a crisis, anticipate a crisis, and ultimately protect high-profile clients when their reputations are under siege.
Entertainment law is about advising artists, creators, and entertainment businesses on how best to protect and monetize their creative achievements: All with an eye towards ensuring that they can worry less and create more. The Gober Group advises creatives (artists, musicians, actors, writers, dancers, producers, and more…) and creative industry professionals (record labels, studios, production companies, venues, film and music festivals, management companies, and agencies) across all endeavors. Not only do we understand the unique challenges of the entertainment industry, but we also have the experience, vision, and compassion to make certain you can continue to do what you love.
Increased government regulation means increased government enforcement, which may come in the form of third-party complaints, routine agency audits, and high-stakes investigations. The Gober Group helps a wide range of clients, including private individuals, elected officials, companies, and even municipalities, respond to a wide range of government enforcement processes at the federal, state, and local levels of government.
With the advent of super PACs, the proliferation of 501(c)(4) organizations, and the constantly evolving regulatory environment, the stakes have never been higher for high net-worth individuals and activists who want to engage in the political process. The Gober Group provides these clients with particularized advice in the various aspects of political law and government-interaction compliance so they can accomplish their objectives with confidence in the face of civil and criminal penalties. Our detailed understanding of the law and political process, along with our successful experiences working with these unique clients, help us provide maximum impact in a rapidly changing legal landscape.
Welcome to the 21st Century connection economy, a description coined by best-selling author Seth Godin, whereby our connections have an unyielding influence on the books we read, where we eat, and what we buy. Connections also have a powerful influence on elected officials and public policy outcomes. The Gober Group works with companies and advocacy groups to focus on key leaders and influencers (i.e., people who are hard to ignore) to drive a message to the larger market (i.e. turn them into evangelist) to achieve victories and build sustainable success.
All businesses share the same need to protect and maintain the hard-earned goodwill that is associated with their brand. Intellectual property laws protect one’s rights to their creations, slogans, designs, inventions, and art. The Gober Group is ready to help you create, develop, monitor, and enforce your trademarks. We also negotiate licenses for creators and businesses, facilitate copyright purchases, assignments, and registration, and counsel our clients on fair use practices. Keep your creative work safe with experienced assistance from the Gober Group.
When allegations arise—whether from an enforcement agency, a competitor, the media, or a whistleblower—an independent investigation is essential. Unlike most political law firms, The Gober Group offers the experience of a former prosecutor, city attorney, state bar investigator, and corporate officers, yielding a unique insight into organizational ethics and the applicable standards of conduct so we can aid entities—whether public or private—in conducting efficient yet thorough investigations with credibility.
Lobbying requires navigating a complex web of rules governing those activities, with each jurisdiction imposing unique rules on the people, organizations, and corporations that want to influence government-decision-making of all forms. From the Federal Lobbying Disclosure Act to the rules in small municipalities, more and more jurisdictions are increasing their oversight of lobbying activity. These rules not only apply to the traditional model of direct lobbying, but they are increasingly applied to the more non-traditional activities such as grassroots lobbying, procurement decisions, and even the small-dollar contributions of investment advisors. The Gober Group develops compliance programs for clients, advises on the rules that govern interactions with public officials and employees, and effectively advocates for our clients before lobbying regulators nationwide.
The nonprofit sector employs over ten percent of the nation’s workforce and is increasingly intertwined with the political process. The Gober Group’s experienced attorneys have established hundreds of nonprofits and advise them on a daily basis about the rules that govern their organization, governance, and operations. In addition to the legal challenges faced by all types of enterprises, nonprofits are also subject to a complex web of rules and regulations governed by the Internal Revenue Service, state tax authorities, and state attorneys general. We pride ourselves on our ability to help clients develop strategies to manage the risks and challenges inherent in operating nonprofits of all types.
Politics and advocacy is a billion-dollar-industry. Yet most political consultants do not run their companies like sophisticated business enterprises and are in need of a thorough review of business practices, including firewall policies, corporate governance, contractual terms and agreements, insurance exposure, human resources compliance, and A/R and collection strategies. Check out Gober Docs at gobergroup.com/goberdocs to view our free library of legal documents and that will help you get your “business of politics” in order.
As many have learned the hard way, drawing political boundaries requires more than a rudimentary understanding of political objectives; it requires a deep understanding of the Voting Rights Act and the tortured history of the redistricting battles that have played out in courtrooms for decades. Following the 2010 census, a federal court struck down the Congressional map adopted by the Texas legislature. Our firm intervened in the litigation on behalf of a former Congressman, and we submitted and argued on behalf of the Congressional map that was largely adopted by the three-judge panel as the interim map for the 2012, 2014, and 2016 elections.