Confidentiality and Impartiality
The Office of the Legislative Counsel provides drafting and related assistance to the Members of the House, the House committees, and the conference committees between the House and the Senate. All communications with our Office are confidential and are subject to the attorney-client relationship. Unless otherwise indicated by the Member or staff, no information concerning a request for assistance (including the fact that the request was made) will be disclosed to any person outside our Office.
Our Office has a long history of successfully working with opposing sides on legislative policy issues while maintaining confidentiality with respect to communications with each Member and committee. For example, it is routine for an attorney who has drafted a bill for a committee to then draft floor amendments for individual Members on all sides of issues raised by the bill. Some controversial policy issues lead to an attorney drafting separate bills for the majority staff and minority staff of a committee, as well as bills on the same topic for individual Members, without ever revealing the existence of multiple drafts on the same topic.
Our goal in preparing a draft for a Member or committee is for the draft to accurately reflect the legislative policy of the Member or committee and to be legally sufficient to carry out that policy. We try to meet this goal in a form and style consistent with good legislative drafting and strive for clarity of expression while addressing all necessary aspects of what are often highly complex policy matters.
In rendering this drafting and other legal assistance, we maintain an impartial attitude with respect to the policies which are to be incorporated in a legislative proposal and do not advocate the adoption or rejection of any proposal or policy. We may ask questions and may assist committees, Members, and their staffs in analyzing the potential effects of various proposals, but we are concerned with policy only for the purpose of making sure that the language of the bill, resolution, or amendment accurately reflects the policy of the Member or committee for whom it is being drafted.