Office of the City Clerk Office of the City Clerk
Advisory Opinions

ADVISORY OPINION 1987-2
FACTS

An attorney has been retained by a trade association headquartered in New York City, to monitor legislation introduced in the City Council which is of interest to the trade association. The attorney is to provide analysis of proposed legislation and its impact on the trade association. If public hearings are held on the proposed legislation, the attorney is to assist the trade association in preparing comments and testimony.

ISSUE
Are the activities of the attorney described above deemed to be lobbying by virtue of Section 3-211(c)(2)(i) of Local Law 14 of 1986, Regulation of Lobbying?

OPINION
Section 3-211(c)(2)(i) of Local Law 14 of 1986 states that the following persons shall be deemed not to be engaged in lobbying activities;

(i) persons engaged in drafting legislation, rules, regulations, or rates, advising clients and rendering opinions on proposed legislation, resolutions, rules, regulations or rates, where such professional services are not otherwise connected with legislative or executive action on such legislation, board of estimate action on such resolutions, administrative action on such rules, regulations or rates or determinations of a board or commission.

Accordingly, simply monitoring or remaining aware of legislative activity of the City Council, providing analysis of proposed legislation and assisting in preparing comment and testimony on proposed legislation without using any information thereby to attempt to influence the outcome of any legislative action on the proposed legislation, is not considered lobbying activity under this law.

However, if the person or organization otherwise attempts to influence the outcome of those governmental decisions as listed in Section 3-211(2)(i) of Local Law 14, such activity would be considered lobbying under Section 3-211(c)(1).

CONCLUSION
It is the opinion of the City Clerk that those persons or organizations, as described in Section 3-211(a) of Local Law 14, who engage in monitoring activities, provide analysis of legislation, and assist in preparing comments and testimony on proposed legislation, without otherwise attempting to influence the outcome of any legislative action on the proposed legislation (and or otherwise attempt to influence those governmental decisions as listed in Section 3-211(2)(i) of Local Law 14, are not deemed to be engaged in lobbying or lobbying activity as defined by Local Law 14.

CARLOS CUEVAS City Clerk of the City of New York
KATHERINE E. TIMON Counsel
TIMOTHY McFARLAND Assistant Counsel

Resources
> Online Forms
> Office Hours and Locations
> Legal Holidays
> NYCityMap
> NYC.gov
> City Council
> NYS Joint Commission on Public Ethics
> NYC CityStore