BB&K attorneys can provide context and insight on a wide range of topics. The firm's stable of well-known attorneys includes Grover Trask, former Riverside County district attorney who co-chairs the firm’s public policy and ethics group and whose practice focuses on government accountability, ethics, conflicts of interest and election law matters.
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Some of the hot topics that BB&K attorneys are working on:
Despite the official end of the California drought, water agencies are still struggling with environmental issues and water restrictions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the state’s largest source of water for cities and farms. BB&K attorneys are also involved in the multi-agency agreement known as the Quantification Settlement Agreement, hammered out to help the state wean itself from taking more than its share of the Colorado River.
Two BB&K attorneys, Arthur Littleworth and Eric Garner, co-authored “California Water,” one of the leading texts on the historical, legal and policy issues surrounding the state’s most precious natural resource. In addition, Garner is the chair of the International Bar Association’s Water Law Committee.
See recent coverage
Cities in California and across the country have been grappling with how to manage medical marijuana dispensaries. BB&K attorney Jeffrey Dunn recently won a ruling by a state appellate court that found that state law – the Compassionate Use Act and the Medical Marijuana Program – does not pre-empt local zoning laws, thus allowing cities to decide whether to allow dispensaries within their borders. That case, which involves the city of Riverside, went to the state Supreme Court for oral aguments in early 2013. Dunn represented Riverside before the justices.
See recent coverage about about the appellate ruling.
With California’s goal to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change, the race is on to wean cities and residents off of coal-burning power plants and to build cleaner, renewable energy projects. BB&K attorneys are providing financing and environmental expertise to these projects. Sophie Akins has become well-known for her work on solar projects that power school campuses and water district facilities. Other attorneys are working on climate change plans for cities and universities, while some are working on various legal aspects of building large-scale solar projects in the California desert.
See recent coverage
As California cities continue to grapple with the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling that upheld the elimination of redevelopment agencies, BB&K attorneys are keeping up to date with the proposed laws trying to save some pieces of traditional redevelopment funding while exploring alternative ways that cities can continue to develop their local economies.
Click here to read an article by BB&K partner Seth Merewitz that explores alternative funding and public-private partnerships. Click here to read to read an article by BB&K attorney Mona Nemat that looks specifically at issues surrounding redevelopment properties bought through eminent domain.
With the rush to improve access to high-speed Internet access across the country, telecommunication companies are pushing for Congress and at the Federal Communications Commission to allow them to install their cell towers and other infrastructure along public right-of-ways without regard to local zoning authority. Congress, for instance, recently passed legislation that preempts some local authority to control the installation of multiple antennas on a single tower. Cities and counties argue that towers and antennas are like all other building projects and should conform to general public safety and local land-use decisions.
A group of BB&K attorneys, mainly in the firm’s Washington D.C. office, specialize in telecommunications law and can comment on this ongoing hot topic as well as wide variety of other telecom issues. Key attorneys include Nicholas Miller, who once served as the U.S. Senate communications counsel and as special consultant to the White House on telephone deregulation issues, and Joseph Van Eaton, who is known for his appellate court successes and work with cities in drafting wireless communications ordinances.
Click here to see recent coverage of an FCC measure and here to read about why cities challenge what they believe are false allegations by the telecom industry.