Lawrence J. Tabas, Esq., General Counsel
Lawrence J. Tabas is a senior partner with the law firm of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP and the Chairman of its Election Law Group. Obermayer has offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, New Jersey and Delaware.
Mr. Tabas maintains an active and extensive practice in Election Law, including election law litigation. He has almost over 30 years of experience representing federal, state and local candidates for public office; candidate committees; political party committees; political action committees, governmental bodies and lobbyists. This representation places special emphasis on campaign contribution and expense law, nomination petitions and ballot access, recounts and election contests, regulatory matters, voting machines and systems, conduct of elections, compliance with HAVA, lobbying and redistricting.
His clients include candidates for the President of United States (he served as Counsel to and Chairman of the Legal Team in Pennsylvania for McCain 2008 and Chairman of the Litigation Team in Pennsylvania for Bush-Cheney 2004), the U.S. Congress, Governor, Judges of the state and local courts, the State Legislature and Speaker of the House, Mayor of Philadelphia, city-wide and local offices, political parties, political action committees, governmental bodies and national and regional lobbyists and lobbying firms.
Mr. Tabas’ notable election law litigation successes include: Elliot v. McCain, 2:08 c.v.-00520, U.S, District Court (W.D.Pa.); In re: John McCain’s Ineligibility to be on Presidential PrimaryBallot in Pennsylvania;(Supreme Court of Pennsylvania) 11 WAP2008.The defense of In re: Nomination Petition of Mike L.Krancer for Justice of the Supreme Court, C.P. No. 127 MD 2007; Appeal of Pierce, Stepnick and Gantman, 843 A.2d 1223(Pa. S.Ct. 2004); In re: Nomination Petition of KerryBenninghoff, 852 A.2d 1182 (Pa. S. Ct. 2004); In re: Municipal Reapportionment of Haverford Township, No. 4 C.D. 2005 (Cmmwlth. Ct. 2005); and In re: Creighton, 899 A.2d 1166 (Cmmwlth- 2006), aff’d 896 A. 2d 583 (2006). In 2006 Mr. Tabas successfully defended up through the Pennsylvania Supreme Court four State Representative Nomination Petition Challenges. Mr. Tabas was Chief Counsel in 2003 to a candidate for the Superior Court during a recount challenge to her victory, and he successfully defended the recount challengein state and federal courts, which upheld the candidate’s victory state-wide by 28 votes out of 2.1 million cast.
Mr. Tabas is currently the General Counsel of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania (“RPP”) and prior to that he served as Special Counsel for Election Law Matters. He was also a publicly elected member of the RPP from 1998 to 2002.
In 2008 he was an At-Large Delegate to the Republican National Convention and a Member of the Rules Committee of the Republican National Committee. He served as counsel to the Pennsylvania Joint Senate/House Committee on Election Reform, 2001 – 2002 (appointed by the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives). Other appointments include: Special Counsel to Montgomery County Republican Committee, 2004 to present; General Counsel to the Regan/Bush Election Day Program of Philadelphia (1984); Member of the Lawyers for Dole for President Committee (1996); Member of the Mayor’s Election Task Force for the City of Philadelphia (appointed by then Mayor Rendell) (1994-1995); General Counsel to the Ernie Preate for Governor Committee (1993-94) and the John Egan for Mayor of Philadelphia Campaigns (1983, 1987); Special Counsel to the Republican City Committee of Philadelphia (1981-93). He also served as special redistricting counsel for Haverford and Upper Moreland Townships.
Mr. Tabas formerly was the Republican candidate for City Council-at-Large of Philadelphia (1991); City Controller of Philadelphia (1985); and the State House of Representatives (1980). In 1997 he was elected to a four year term as a school board director of Lower Merion School District.
Mr. Tabas is a frequent lecturer on election matters and he is the author of numerous election law publications, including “Manual for Recounts and Election Contests in Pennsylvania –Third Edition” and “Manual for Election Day Conduct and Strategies” and the co-author of “Pennsylvania Election Law,” including the chapters on “Campaign Contributions and Expenses,” “Nominations of Candidates” and “Recounts and Election Contests,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 1988, 2005 and 2007. He was also co-author of the Chapter on Recounts and Election Contests for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Election Law Course Book, 2005 and the sole author in 2007. He previously served as an election night commentator for a local radio station.
He received his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.
Mr. Tabas is a member of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and American Bar Associations. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the U.S. Court of Claims.