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City of Greenbelt Request for Qualifications for Legal Services

  • Department:Site Administrator
  • Start Date:12/04/2019 10:58 AM
  • Close Date:12/15/2019 4:30 PM


City of Greenbelt Request for Qualifications for Legal Services:

The City of Greenbelt, Maryland solicits qualifications of individual attorneys and law firms who seek consideration as the legal advisor to City on matters related to proposals for a Superconducting Magnetic Levitating Train (SCMaglev or Maglev) and the widening of Interstate-495 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. The City has expressed opposition to the Maglev and highway widening projects given concern regarding impacts on both public and private property.

Greenbelt is a chartered municipal government located within the Baltimore-Washington region in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Greenbelt is nationally recognized as one of the historic planned communities of President Roosevelt’s New Deal era.  In 2017, Greenbelt celebrated the 80th anniversary of the community’s incorporation and community spirit of cooperation and inclusion. An active citizenry of over 21,000 residents is served by the Council-Manager form of government. Seven Councilmembers appoint a city manager who oversees over 200 city employees who provide a variety of services including city police; social services; recreation including two community centers, an aquatic and fitness center, an arts program, as well as numerous parks, trails, a forest preserve, and Greenbelt Lake; street, sidewalk, and fleet maintenance; horticulture; trash and recycling; leaf and snow removal; planning; code enforcement, animal control; and an affordable housing apartment building. Greenbelt has earned Sustainable Maryland designation and has dedicated staff to environmental stewardship. The City coordinates with Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPC) as the City does not have zoning authority. The firm of Alexander & Cleaver serves as the City Solicitor.  For more information about the City, including the Charter and City Code, please visit greenbeltmd.gov. 

The City anticipates formal establishment of a coalition of governments to address the Maglev. Private homeowners associations may seek to participate in that coalition.  The selected firm would also provide support to the coalition. The City of Greenbelt will serve as lead agency, as well as manage the legal agreement with and payment to selected legal counsel from this RFQ. Greenbelt will select the legal counsel in advance and independent of the coalition. Time is of the essence.

Selected legal counsel will report to the City Manager and consult with City Solicitor and City staff, subject experts, and others in: advising the City staff and City Council, reviewing and monitoring the regulatory process, conducting advocacy, and representing the City and the anticipated coalition.

Interested candidates should be (a) familiar with federal and state laws and regulations applicable to transportation and transportation projects, (b) be knowledgeable about federal and state laws applicable to rail roads, highways, environmental protection, environmental justice, historic and cultural preservation, and (c) have significant prior experience representing clients in a wide range of matters before courts and regulatory agencies in areas such as transportation law, environmental law, civil litigation, and legislative drafting and interpretation at Federal, State, and Local levels.   

Lawyers interested in consideration for service to Greenbelt should submit by 4:30 pm on December 15, 2019: their professional vitae, and responses to the Proposal Requirements to: Nicole Ard, City Manager, City of Greenbelt, Maryland, 25 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, MD  20770, ATTN: Legal Counsel RFQ.  Questions should be directed to Mr. Todd Pounds, City Solicitor, Alexander & Cleaver, at 301-292-3300 or ac@alexander-cleaver.com.

PLEASE NOTE: The selection of an attorney or firm to provide the described scope of services will not be made on cost alone, but may be made based on the consideration of qualifications and factors contained in this Request for Qualifications.


Proposal Requirements

 The Statement of Qualifications must address the following criteria:

  1. Name of firm, owner, address and telephone number.
  2. Personnel Qualifications. Identify the key attorney who will serve in the role of legal counsel; provide their resume and summarize their experience.
  3. Provide the same for other attorneys (if any) in the firm who may assist with the provision of services.
  4. Specialized Legal Services Competence. Provide information about the attorney and firm’s experience in providing legal services in the transportation law, environmental law, environmental justice, civil litigation, regulatory review and monitoring, and legislative drafting and interpretation at the Federal, State, and Local levels. Indicate any applicable rail road experience.
  5. Provide at least three references from these organizations including names, contact persons and phone numbers.
  6. Capability. Provide information about the attorney and firm’s capability to perform on short notice and in a timely manner. If the appointed legal counsel is not available are there other means of responding to requests?
  7. Expert Advisors:  Demonstrate experience and/or capacity to generate technical experts related to specialized legal services.
  8. Client List. Provide a list of current clients.
  9. Approach To Communicating With The City. Describe the attorney and firm’s approach to communicating with the City in regard to progress reports, status reports, recommendations, status of opinions, etc.
  10. Understanding of Services to Be Provided. Describe the attorney’s/firm’s understanding of the scope of work.
  11. Work Schedule and Approach to Project Management. Provide a plan for service delivery, and an explanation of how tasks and projects are managed within the firm to ensure timely response and completion.
  12. Conflict of Interest. List any clients you currently represent that could cause a conflict of interest with your responsibilities as legal counsel for Greenbelt and describe how you would be willing to resolve these or any future conflicts of interest.
  13. Fees. Please provide rates for providing the services described above.  Note that the City of Greenbelt is requesting fees to be submitted with two options:
    Option A: Monthly retainer plus hourly fees (Indicate specific items to be covered by the retainer)
    Option B: Hourly fees for all work without a retainer. For hourly fees, please identify hourly rate of each attorney and support personnel, and indicate minimum increment of time billed for services. Also state rates for other cost items proposed to be itemized and billed.
  14. Statement: The attorney or firm, by submitting a proposal, certifies that to the best of its knowledge or belief, no elected or appointed official of the City is financially interested, directly or indirectly, in their firm or in the purchase of services as described in this RFQ. They also certify that the information contained in the Statement of Qualifications is correct and complete to the best of their knowledge.


Evaluation Criteria:

The City reserves the right to accept or reject any and all submissions in the best interest of the City. In connection with the evaluation, the City may invite one or more applicants to make an oral presentation to the City at a time and location to be announced and may require the submission of supplemental material intended to substantiate or clarify information previously submitted.

The following information will be taken into consideration during the evaluation process:

  • Meets qualifications identified in the Request for Qualifications
  • Proposal includes complete and clear responses to items.
  • Familiarity with laws and regulations governing the legal services sought.
  •  Expertise in rail road law and environmental law.
  •  Available support staff and range of services offered.
  • Demonstration of workload and a level of experience commensurate with the level of service required by the City.
  • The professional reputation for providing high-quality services, ability to work cooperatively with City Council, City Manager, and City staff and demonstrates sound judgment, integrity, and reliability as determined by the references provided.
  • Cost of providing basic and hourly services as per the submitted hourly rate.

Contract Award

The Contract will be awarded for a one year period and automatically renewed for additional one year periods unless terminated by either party.  All costs, directly or indirectly, related to the preparation of a response to this RFQ or any oral presentation required to supplement and/or clarify the RFQ which may be required shall be the sole responsibility of, and shall be borne by the applicant.

The individual or law firm that represents the City is not an employee of the City; does not receive any City benefits, nor maintain an office provided by the City. The attorneys are independent contractors responsible for their own benefits, office expenses, malpractice insurance and staff.

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