Philly bar association argues against lobbying law

The Philadelphia Bar Association is expected to make its case against part of the city’s new lobbying law Friday before a judge. Last week the group filed a lawsuit arguing against parts of the ordinance.

Rudy Garcia, chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association, said the new law is too broad.

“This ordinance … covers things that nobody would really consider lobbying: standing in line at the Municipal Services Building to get a zoning permit or a building permit,” said Garcia. “If somebody gets a tax notice and they ask their lawyer to call the law department at the city to try to straighten it out, that could be lobbying.”

Garcia said that could stifle real estate development in the city, as well as chasing businesses out of the city. He said the ordinance is unconstitutional because it regulates the practice of law in the state, which only the Pennsylvania Supreme Court can do.

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