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Now That They are in Office: Compliance for Lobbying and Political Activity After Inauguration Day

(405 reviews)

Produced on January 20, 2017

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$ 99 Election, Campaign, & Political In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 32m
Difficulty Advanced
Topics covered in this course: Election, Campaign, & Political

Course Description

After what seems like a never-ending election season, state legislatures, governors, the U.S. Congress, and finally the new President will all be in office by the end of the day on January 20. That means it is time to get down to the business of governing-and time for the private sector to engage with elected officials at the federal, state, and local level.

When does that engagement require registering to lobby? Can you buy someone a cup of coffee at a meeting? What about grassroots lobbying? This course, led by Venable’s Ron Jacobs, will help you to understand all of the legal issues that apply when interacting with government officials.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Determine when interacting with federal officials requires registration as a lobbyist
  2. Understand how the federal gift rules apply to dinners, receptions, site tours, and other common interactions
  3. Identify when interacting with state officials requires registration and reporting as a lobbyist and how to implement a multi-state compliance program
  4. Recognize the different state gift rules how to avoid getting into ethical trouble
  5. Explore the different laws that apply to grassroots lobbying
  6. Conduct fundraising events for candidates
  7. Create and/or grow a political action committee

Credit Information

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Ronald Jacobs

Venable LLP

Ronald Jacobs, a partner in Venable’s Washington D.C. office serves as chair of Venable’s Political Law Group. 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. Along with Lawrence Norton, he co-edits the firm’s Political Law Briefing blog.

Mr. Jacobs understands the often-contradictory rules imposed by the different laws that apply to political activities. He offers practical advice that considers not only the legal requirements, but also the reputational risk, of political activity to a broad range of clients, including large and small companies, trade associations, charities, campaigns, Super PACs, ideological groups, individuals, and political vendors. He has developed political compliance programs for Fortune 500 companies and other clients that lobby and make political contributions nationwide.

In addition to counseling clients on political law matters, Mr. Jacobs has extensive experience in the administrative rulemaking process and in litigating challenges to agency decisions in federal court. He has represented clients in administrative matters before the Federal Election Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Federal Trade Commission, the United States Congress, and in federal court.



Some of Mr. Jacobs’s significant matters have included:

  • Obtaining an advisory opinion from the Federal Election Commission to allow an association to launch a novel new online fundraising platform to support candidates.
  • Serving as general counsel to a successful 2014 candidate for the United States Senate.
  • Representing a Super PAC that supported a candidate in the 2012 presidential primary, creating one of the first Super PACs active in a Los Angeles mayor's race and one of the first Super PACs active in a local Maryland election, as well as representing Super PACs active in Congressional elections.
  • Creating a 501(c)(4) that engaged in issue advocacy and candidate activities connection with the 2012 presidential general election.
  • Obtaining approval from Senate Ethics Committee for major nationally-televised charitable event held during the Holiday Season in Washington.
  • Developing pay-to-play compliance policy and procedures for a large hedge fund that actively solicits state contributions and for a hospitality company that serves state and local governments.
  • Successfully defending a large, nationally-known trade association during a Congressional investigation into allegations of fraudulent grassroots lobbying activity.
  • Assisting a large social welfare organization with multiple Congressional investigations and several class action lawsuits.
  • Serving as outside pro bono counsel to Warrior Canine Connection, a charity that assists soldiers suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder to train service dogs for physically wounded soldiers.


Tyler H.

happy to see political content on here for us lobbying folks

Earl H.

very well organized

Sean Paul O.

Much useful data & practice points!

angela v.

Thanks for examples of local lobbying laws

Julie S.

This was an excellent overview of federal and state reporting laws/regulations. The written material is thorough and the presentation was engaging.

Melissa F.

Wonderful content, great slides, well organized.

Jamey B.

Great presentation.


This course is important to take if you do any lobbying or have lobbying clients to stay up to date with recent developments and trends or issues.

Kristin C.

Very useful and practical explanation of the dos and dont's

John H.

Very well done; thoroughly prepared and presented

Herschel S.

Some light in a dark part of the law

Steve M.

Very comprehensive

Chalin S.

Great overview with just the right amount of necessary detail.

Eugene A C.

Fully packed presentation from speaker reviewing course slides and including detailed supplemental written material.


Timely, well-presented, detailed without getting bogged down in intricacies.

Julie A. B.

A timely, well-crafted, and intelligent program that was helpful in advancing my understanding of the topic.

Trevor B.

Excellent presentation.

Quietta B.


Clarence S.

Excellent presentation of complex topic.

Walter T.


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