Cases and Deals

Blank Rome Secures Victory for Atlantic City Government Reform Vote

Over the past six months, a multidisciplinary Blank Rome team assisted and served as counsel for Atlantic City Residents for Good Government (“ACRGG”), in an effort to propose a change for Atlantic City regarding ongoing issues of poor government management and corruption.

With the guidance of Scott Thomas, ACRGG obtained and submitted 3,000 plus signatures to the Atlantic City clerk to place a referendum—which, if passed, would significantly change the form of Atlantic City’s government—on the ballot for a March 31, 2020, election. The proposal was hotly contested in Atlantic City. On February 11, the plaintiff, the Atlantic City Democratic Committee (“ACDC”), filed a complaint seeking an immediate injunction to stop the election. The ACDC claimed that ACRGG committed rampant fraud in obtaining the signatures, violated New Jersey election law, and that the proposed new form of government would violate the Voting Rights Act, U.S. Constitution, and New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. 

Mike Iannucci and the Blank Rome team vigorously defended against the plaintiff’s allegations in court. After a lengthy injunction hearing and briefing, the court adopted all of Blank Rome’s arguments and denied the plaintiff’s request for an injunction, holding that the plaintiff failed to meet any of the required elements to justify an injunction. This represents a significant victory for ACRGG and the residents of Atlantic City, and will allow the election to proceed.    

The Blank Rome team was a collaborative effort between Blank Rome’s Policy and Political Law group and the Litigation group, and was led by Stephen Schrier, Scott Thomas, and Mike Iannucci, with tremendous support from Huaou Yan and Blair Gerold.