Home Contact

191 Somervelle Street, # 405
Alexandria, VA 22304
Business: 703-628-4673
Email: hebert@voterlaw.com

Services

Develop Redistricting Plans

I provide legal advice and counseling to local governments in developing redistricting plans. This includes assisting local officials in the actual computerized map-drawing, drafting of redistricting criteria, conducting public hearings on redistricting criteria and alternative redistricting plans, and preparing all documentation supporting the redistricting plan for submission to the Department of Justice for Voting Rights Act approval. The two most recent jurisdictions where I performed these services are the City of Richmond, Virginia, and the City of Pasadena, Texas. In both locales, redistricting plans received the required federal approval.

 

Voting/Election Litigation

Occasionally, it is necessary to protect a client’s interests by pursuing timely litigation aggressively and with cost-effective advocacy. In 2001-2004, I served as legal counsel to members of Congress in major redistricting battles in Florida and Texas . These cases involved numerous parties and were litigated in both state court and federal court. In addition, I have represented local governments that have had voting rights suits filed against them (e.g., Austin, Texas), as well as local governments that have brought suits on their own behalf against the Department of Justice seeking preclearance under the Voting Rights Act (e.g., Andrews, Texas). Since 1994, when I decided to leave the Department of Justice after more than twenty years to open my own law practice, I have served as legal counsel in over 40 voting rights or redistricting lawsuits.

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Voting Rights Act Preclearance

I have represented many local governments that have sought Voting Rights Act approval from the United States Department of Justice (known as “preclearance”). My services included preparing the actual preclearance submission itself, as well as making a presentation to Department of Justice officials in support of preclearance and/or in support of expedited treatment of the submission. Clients for whom I have performed these services within the last few years include New York City’s Charter Revision Commission, City of Richmond (Virginia), City of Winchester (Virginia), City of Pasadena (Texas), City of Andrews (Texas), Shelby (NC), Cleveland County(NC), the Bexar County (TX) Democratic Party, and the Arizona Democratic Party, and a number of school districts in South Carolina, among others.

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Bailout Actions

State and local governments subject to the special provisions of the Voting Rights Act (including the preclearance provisions) can terminate coverage under these special provisions by seeking an exemption (known as a “bailout”). Since Congress amended the Voting Rights Act in 1982 to permit local governments to seek a bailout, a number of local governments (all in Virginia ) have done so. I have served as legal counsel to all nine local governments that have obtained bailouts ( cities of Fairfax, Winchester and Harrisonburg, and the counties of Frederick, Shenandoah, Rockingham, Roanoke Warren and Greene ).

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Bilingual Election Assistance

Many state and local governments across the United States are required under federal law to provide all of their election materials in languages other than English “to enable members of applicable language minority groups to participate effectively in the electoral process.” J. Gerald Hebert, P.C., develops bilingual election programs for state and local governments subject to these requirements so that members of applicable language minority groups are effectively informed of, and have the opportunity to participate effectively in, all voting-connected activities.

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Training of Poll Officials/Poll Watchers

During my twenty years at the Department of Justice, I frequently oversaw the conduct of elections where federal observers (poll watchers) were assigned under Section 8 of the Voting Rights Act. This required working with local election officials, as well as state and local law enforcement authorities, to ensure that the election process ran smoothly and in accordance with all applicable laws. In private practice, I hold training sessions for poll workers and poll watchers where I provide detailed instructions on the “do’s and don’ts” of conducting an election.

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