Lobbying: An Overview of Florida and Other U.S. Municipal Lobbying Codes, Wesley F. Hunt, Office of Ethics, Compliance and Oversight, July 31, 2012

City Council Lobbying Information: Registration Form and List of Registered Lobbyists

Lobbying Law: Jacksonville Ethics Code Sections 602.801-804

Wikipedia definition of lobbying

Additional links regarding lobbying

Laws on Lobbying

Lobbying FAQs

1. Definitions of Lobbyist, Principal and Compensation
Relevant definitions under the Ethics Code, section 602.201 are as follows:
(v) Lobbyist means any natural person who, for compensation seeks, or sought during the preceding 12 months, to influence the governmental decision making of an officer (*see question 2 for definition of officer) or employee of the City or seeks, or sought during the preceding 12 months, to encourage the passage, defeat, or modification of any proposal or recommendation by an officer or employee of the City.

h) Compensation, as used in Sections 602.801-803 (the lobbying law), Jacksonville Ordinance Code, means any payment received or to be received by a lobbyist for the performance of lobbying activities, whether the compensation is in the form of a fee, salary, retainer, forbearance, forgiveness, or other form of valuable recompense, or any combination thereof.

(u) Lobbying principal means any person providing compensation to a lobbyist in consideration of his or her performance of lobbying activities, regardless of the technical or legal form of the relationship between the principal and the lobbyist. Principal specifically includes a person whose employee or agent lobbies on behalf of the employer or for the benefit, or in the name of the employer.

2. Who is an officer of the city?
Per the Ethics Code, section 602.201: (x) Officer means any person elected to any City office and any appointed official. An appointed official under section (d) is any person appointed to any board, commission, or authority, but excludes any advisory body official (defined in section a).

3. Are lawyers lobbyists?
A lawyer is a lobbyist if they are a 'natural person who, for compensation seeks,...to influence governmental decision making of any officer or employee'; (see questions 1 and 2 above).

If the lawyer is representing someone in a quasi judicial hearing (zoning, civil service hearing or construction trade matters) they are not a lobbyist while in the hearing. If they are also conducting activities outside of the hearing, i.e., ex parte discussions, they are lobbying. Please seek legal counsel or consult with the Office of General Counsel for specific questions on this issue. This FAQ should only be used as a general guidline on the matter; specific circumstances may be relevant to the determination of whether or not the activity is 'lobbying' under the Code.