Essentials of Political Law (On Demand Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Price: $149 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 02/28/2023


A pre-recorded streaming video replay of the January 2020 webcast, Essentials of Political Law: Ramping Up for the 2020 Elections.

Course Purpose

Learn the rules that apply to interactions you or your clients may have with the government, including lobbying disclosure, campaign finance rules, and gift and ethics rules.

  • Learn what “political law” is and why it matters to you and your clients
  • Understand campaign finance laws and how they may affect your client’s organization
  • Review the basics of lobbying disclosure laws
  • Receive an overview of gift and ethics rules, and learn how they limit interactions with public officials—stay within the rules and avoid embarrassing mistakes
  • Recognize outside interest groups and how they try to restrict political activity

With politics playing an ever greater role in business and life in general, this seminar provides a timely opportunity to learn about political law—what it is and why it matters. It is important to understand how you and your client can be involved in the political process. Ron Jacobs and Jim Tyrrell, both frequent speakers and authors on campaign finance and lobbying regulation issues, will help you understand campaign finance laws and how they affect your organization or your client’s organization. Learn the basics of lobbying disclosure laws, review gift and ethics rules and how they limit interactions with public officials, and understand how outside interest groups try to restrict political activity.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Why Political Law Matters
    • Maze of different laws
    • Important to engage
    • Legal, reputational, and public relations risks to consider
    • Usually a way to do what you want, but must take the right steps
  • Campaign Finance Law
    • Federal contribution limits to candidates
    • Setting up and using a federal political action committee (PAC)
    • State contribution rules—comparing Virginia’s “permit but disclose” system to other states
    • What is a Super PAC, who uses them, and why?
  • Lobbying Disclosure Laws
    • Who has to register as a lobbyist at the federal level?
    • What reports are required for registrants?
    • How do the state lobbying disclosure laws work?
  • Gift and Ethics Rules
    • Limits on gifts to federal officials
    • Common exemptions to allow for interactions
    • State gift laws
  • Corporate Disclosure Rules
    • Shareholder efforts to force disclosure
    • Transparency rankings by third-party groups
    • Staying ahead of the curve
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Ronald M. Jacobs, Venable LLP / Washington, DC
Ronald Jacobs serves as co-chair of Venable’s Political Law Group in the firm's Washington, DC, office. He advises clients on all aspects of state and federal political law, including campaign finance, lobbying disclosure, gift and ethics rules, pay-to-play laws, and tax implications of political activities. Mr. Jacobs assists clients with crises response to government investigations and enforcement actions, Congressional investigations, class-action law suits, and other high-profile problems that involve potentially damaging legal and public-relations matters.  He served as general counsel to a successful candidate for the United States Senate, has represented several super PACs, and represents many publicly traded companies and trade associations. Mr. Jacobs is a frequent speaker and author on campaign finance and lobbying regulation issues.

James E. Tyrrell, III, Venable LLP / Washington, DC
Jim Tyrrell is counsel in the Political Law and Nonprofit Practices in Venable’s Washington, DC, office, where he focuses on complex political law compliance and campaign finance regulation for a wide range of corporate and political clients. Prior to joining Venable, he worked at a national law firm, where he counseled and advised state and national party committees, PACs, super PACs, corporations, nonprofit organizations, and trade associations on federal and state campaign finance laws, government ethics rules, lobbying disclosure, and pay-to-play laws.

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