Maria J. Armstrong

Maria Armstrong represents private and governmental clients in all aspects of state and local government with an emphasis on campaign finance, election law, ethics, public contracting, energy and renewable energy. Maria serves as legal counsel to corporations, ballot issue committees and trade associations in support or opposition to statewide ballot initiatives, constitutional amendments, and referendums. In addition, she assists numerous corporations and nonprofit entities with corporate compliance and governmental regulations relative to public ethics, lobbying and campaign finance laws. She also provides legal and service support to providers and contractors seeking to obtain, challenge, renew or modify state contracts or grant agreements.

Maria also works with clients on various aspects of environmental regulation, including advanced energy and energy efficiency developments, power purchase agreements and leasing arrangements. She structures projects to take full advantage of various financing opportunities and models and assists clients with negotiating their energy contracts. Maria has been heavily involved in Ohio's developing shale oil market, working with numerous landowners on environmental, leasing and title curative matters.

Maria began her legal career as an Assistant City Attorney and Prosecutor in the Columbus City Attorney’s Office where she served at various times in the civil, criminal and appellate divisions. Before joining Bricker & Eckler, Maria served in several public offices, including six years in the Office of the Ohio Governor. From 1996 through 1999, Maria served as Chief Legal Counsel to the Ohio Governor George V. Voinovich and provided counsel directly to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Cabinet on legal and ethical matters, high-level policy concerns, and legislative initiatives. In this capacity, Maria served as the Governor's liaison to the Attorney General, Supreme Court, Ethics Commission, and Inspector General.

During her career, Maria was also appointed to the Environmental Review Appeals Commission, an adjudicatory panel that decides administrative appeals from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental agencies. In that capacity, Maria handled a variety of cases and legal issues in all areas of state and federal environmental laws. As General Counsel to the Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Maria managed the legal and legislative divisions, playing a statewide policy role on administrative and procurement matters and providing legal support for construction, contracting, formal and informal bidding procedures, state procurement, personnel, collective bargaining, and equal opportunity matters.

Maria practices before the Ohio Elections Commission, Ohio Ethics Commission and all administrative agencies, as well as the state and federal Courts. Her focus is on assisting clients to understand the regulatory framework and establish practical governance policies and protocols.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Board Member, Huckleberry House
  • Board Member, Ohio Energy Project
  • Federal Magistrate Selection Committee, Southern District of Ohio
  • Former Board Member, Capitol Square Review and Advisory Committee
  • Former Member, Senator DeWine’s Federal Appointment Advisory Group

Presentations & Published Works

  • Speaker, "Dark Money in the Political Process," Bricker & Eckler LLP's Government Affairs CLE Seminar, July 11, 2017
  • Speaker, "Federal Campaign Finance 101," Bricker & Eckler LLP's Government Affairs CLE Seminar, November 5, 2015
  • Speaker, "Ethics Compliance," Bricker & Eckler LLP's Government Affairs Quick Hits CLE Seminar, July 23, 2015
  • Speaker, "Ethics" and "Campaign Finance," Bricker & Eckler LLP's Government Affairs Quick Hits CLE Seminar, July 22, 2014

Bar Admissions & Activities

  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, Columbus Bar Association (Green Initiative Committee)
  • Lawyer to Lawyer Mentor, Ohio Supreme Court
  • Member, National Council on Governmental Ethics Laws

Awards & Recognition

  • Columbus Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America (Regulatory Law; Energy Regulatory Law), 2020
  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Administrative / Regulatory Law; Energy Regulatory Law), 2015–2020
  • Listed, Ohio Super Lawyers (Government Relations; Lobbying; Energy & Natural Resources; Utilities), 2017–2019


  • The Ohio State University College of Law (J.D., 1987)
  • The Ohio State University (B.A., 1984)
Best Lawyers Award Badge
Best Lawyers Award Badge