Best Best & Krieger News Feedhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=39&format=xml&directive=0&stylesheet=rss&records=20&OL=59Best Best and Krieger is a Full Service Law Firmen-us31 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssAttorney - Municipal Law - Ontario or Irvine Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=29737&format=xml<p>Our Municipal Law Practice Group&nbsp;has an immediate opening for an attorney with a minimum of 4 years' transactional municipal law&nbsp;experience. Planning degree and/or extensive experience with planning, zoning and land use issues required (experience attending legislative body meetings a plus).</p> <p>Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.</p> <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a><br /> <br /> <p>Please address your cover letter to:</p> <p><strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <br /> <em><strong>No phone calls please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></p>Job Openings at BB&K23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=29737&format=xmlParalegal Managerhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31458&format=xml<p>Our&nbsp;office has an&nbsp;opening for Paralegal Manager who can work in either our Riverside, Ontario, Los Angeles or Irvine office&nbsp;requiring a B.A. or B.S. degree and a paralegal certificate with&nbsp;experience as a paralegal supervisor/manager.&nbsp; Prior experience as a litigation paralegal is strongly preferred.</p> <p>Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, and Safari for Macintosh.<br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a><br /> <br /> <strong>Debbie Prior<br /> </strong>Director of Human Resources<br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 500 Capitol Mall, Suite 1700<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814</p> <p><strong><em>No phone calls please<br /> <br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</em></strong></p>Job Openings at BB&K16 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31458&format=xmlAB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training (April 28)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=29354&format=xml<p>California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, pursuant to AB 1825, requires that employers with fifty or more employees in California provide at least two hours of Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training every two years to any employee that has a supervisory role in operations. This presentation is designed to satisfy those requirements.</p> <p>Joseph Ortiz presented the training from the Riverside office. All other BB&amp;K offices participated in the training via state-of-the-art video conferencing. The video conference is interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions and participate in other ways.</p> <p><strong>What&nbsp;was covered:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>What constitutes sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace</li> <li>How to recognize and avoid it</li> <li>What procedures to follow if you witness harassment or are harassed yourself</li> <li>The potential consequences - including personal liability - of sexual harassment</li> </ul> <strong><br /> Audience:</strong><br /> <br /> <ul type="disc"> <li>Supervisors</li> <li>Human Resources Professionals</li> <li>Public Officials</li> <li>Managers &amp; Private Business Professionals with 50 or More Employees</li> </ul> <p><strong>When: <br /> </strong><br /> Monday, April 28<br /> 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Registration:<br /> </strong><br /> The training&nbsp;was also&nbsp;held via video conference at the following BB&amp;K offices throughout California.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e92ilu4x8e4f1769 ">Indian wells </a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e92ikck04a9b0260 ">Irvine</a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e92ik142c14495e7 ">Los Angeles </a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e92iiuzb32e32c77 ">Ontario</a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e92im5gq20a742bf ">Riverside</a> &ndash; Joseph Ortiz presented from the Riverside office</li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e92ijc124031fe4e ">Sacramento </a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e92in74a921a8f79 ">San Diego</a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e92ihe1q893ecf8b ">Walnut Creek</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>BB&amp;K Presenter:<br /> <br /> </strong>Joseph Ortiz, Partner, Labor &amp; Employment Practice Group in Riverside office<br /> <br /> <strong>QUESTIONS:<br /> <br /> </strong>Contact <a href="mailto:katey.lamke@bbklaw.com">Katey Lamke</a> if you have any questions about this event and/or about BB&amp;K upcoming seminars/events.<br /> <br /> If you are not currently receiving our Legal Alerts and would like to be added to our email distribution list, please visit our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2121">subscription page</a>.</p>Seminars and Webinars28 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=29354&format=xmlAB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training (January 13)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=27263&format=xml<p>California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, pursuant to AB 1825, requires that employers with fifty or more employees in California provide at least two hours of Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training every two years to any employee that has a supervisory role in operations. This presentation was designed to satisfy those requirements.</p> <p>Joseph Ortiz presented the training from the Riverside office. All other BB&amp;K offices participated in the training via state-of-the-art video conferencing. The video conference was interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions and participate in other ways.</p> <p><strong>What was covered:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>What constitutes sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace</li> <li>How to recognize and avoid it</li> <li>What procedures to follow if you witness harassment or are harassed yourself</li> <li>The potential consequences - including personal liability - of sexual harassment</li> </ul> <p><br /> <strong>Audience:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Supervisors</li> <li>Human Resources Professionals</li> <li>Public Officials</li> <li>Managers &amp; Private Business Professionals with 50 or More Employees</li> </ul> <p><br /> The training&nbsp;was also held via video conference at the following BB&amp;K offices throughout California:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e8npr0v85e244cf7">Indian wells</a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e8nps63a6249655c">Irvine</a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e8nptx6b7dbc5f11">Los Angeles</a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e8npxtd32768a3e7">Ontario</a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e8ke47kt9505c0f8">Riverside</a> &ndash; Joseph Ortiz presented from the Riverside office</li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e8npx5rf1183de45">Sacramento</a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e8jqowqm53d0b300">San Diego</a></li> <li><a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e8npygjc9ccfbc90">Walnut Creek</a></li> </ul> <p><strong><br /> BB&amp;K Presenter:<br /> <br /> </strong>Joseph Ortiz, Partner, Labor &amp; Employment Practice Group in Riverside office<br /> <br /> <strong><br /> QUESTIONS:<br /> <br /> </strong>Contact <a href="mailto:katey.lamke@bbklaw.com">Katey Lamke</a> if you have any questions about this event and/or about BB&amp;K upcoming seminars/events.<br /> <br /> If you are not currently receiving our Legal Alerts and would like to be added to our email distribution list, please visit our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2121">subscription page</a>.</p>Seminars and Webinars13 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=27263&format=xmlBB&K Hires Former Prosecutor to Join Public Safety Practicehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=26875&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong> Nov. 21, 2013<br /> <strong>Media Contact:</strong> Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com</p> <p><strong>IRVINE, Calif. </strong>_ Tamara Bogosian, a former deputy city attorney and county prosecutor, recently joined Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP where she will defend cities and public safety officers in liability cases as part of the law firm&rsquo;s public safety group. She also will oversee complex code enforcement cases across Southern California.<br /> <br /> Prior to joining BB&amp;K, Bogosian supervised the litigation unit at the Fresno City Attorney&rsquo;s Office where she handled various public safety liability issues ranging from false arrest and excessive force to Fourth Amendment violations claims. In addition, she was a member of the critical incident response team, responding to officer-involved shootings and other critical incidents.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Tamara has a depth of experience with public safety issues that make her a tremendous addition to our team,&rdquo; said G. Ross Trindle, III, an Ontario-based attorney who heads the public safety group, part of BB&amp;K&rsquo;s municipal law practice.<br /> <br /> An of counsel attorney at BB&amp;K, Bogosian is based in the firm&rsquo;s Irvine and Ontario offices. In addition to police liability and code enforcement, she will represent public agencies in cases involving the Public Records Act, premises liability and other public safety issues.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;BB&amp;K has a great reputation for municipal law and a solid record of helping their clients with public safety issues, which I felt was a great fit for me given my background in providing legal advice to law enforcement officials,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Bogosian has been practicing public law in California for 14 years, beginning in 1999 when she became a deputy district attorney with the Ventura County District Attorney&rsquo;s Office.</p> <p>In 2005, Bogosian joined the Fresno County District Attorney&rsquo;s Office, where she was assigned a grant position prosecuting driving-under-the-influence offenses, including vehicular manslaughter, through a grant provided by the California Department of Transportation&rsquo;s Office of Traffic Safety.<br /> <br /> In 2006, Bogosian joined the Fresno City Attorney&rsquo;s Office where she was assigned to the civil litigation unit. There, she represented the city and its employees in both federal and state courts involving such matters as the Public Records Act, civil rights, police liability, Pitchess motions, code enforcement, dangerous condition of public property, and other law enforcement related constitutional claims. In 2013, she was promoted to supervising deputy city attorney in the litigation unit and worked directly with the mayor, city council, city manager and their staff on various high-level legal matters.<br /> <br /> Bogosian received her law degree in 1998 from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton. She is fluent in Armenian.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></p>Press Releases21 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=26875&format=xmlBB&K Seminar: Statements of Economic Interests - Legal Requirements of Filing Officers & Officialshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=25124&format=xml<p>This program addressed the statutory duties of public agency filing officers and officials regarding Form 700 Statements of Economic Interests (SEIs).</p> <p><b>What&nbsp;was covered:</b></p> <ul> <li>Legislative &amp; Regulatory Changes</li> <li>General Rules &ndash; What&rsquo;s Your Role? <ul> <li>Types of Public Officials &ndash; PRA vs. CIC</li> <li>Disclosure Requirements &ndash; Full vs. Limited</li> </ul> </li> <li>Guidelines &ndash; Notices, Fines &amp; Waivers</li> <li>SEI Reviews &ndash; Facial vs. Full <ul> <li>What to Look For &ndash; Common Errors</li> </ul> </li> <li>SEI Records &amp; Retention</li> <li>Public Access &ndash; Two Days</li> <li>Enforcement &ndash; Reporting Apparent Violations</li> <li>What February 1 Deadline?</li> </ul> <p><br /> <b>Audience:</b><br /> City Clerks and Deputy City Clerks, Filing Officers and Filing Officials designated in agency conflict of interest codes; and assistant or backup personnel<br /> <br /> <b>Cost Per Person:</b><br /> $75 for clients who participate in the Public Policy &amp; Ethics program<br /> $125 for non-participants in the Public Policy &amp; Ethics program<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Presenter:</strong><br /> Dianna Valdez, Senior Paralegal, Conflicts of Interest &amp; Ethics Coordinator, Public Policy &amp; Ethics Group<br /> <br /> <strong>QUESTIONS:</strong><br /> Contact <a href="mailto:katey.lamke@bbklaw.com">Katey Lamke</a> if you have any questions about this event and/or about BB&amp;K upcoming seminars/events.<br /> <br /> If you are not currently receiving our Legal Alerts and would like to be added to our email distribution list, please visit our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2121">subscription page</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>Seminars and Webinars13 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=25124&format=xmlAB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training (August 27)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=21647&format=xml<p>California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, pursuant to AB 1825, requires that employers with fifty or more employees in California provide at least two hours of Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training every two years to any employee that has a supervisory role in operations. This presentation was designed to satisfy those requirements.</p> <p>Joseph Ortiz presented the training from the Riverside office. All other BB&amp;K offices participated in the training via state-of-the-art video conferencing. The video conference was interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions and participate in other ways.</p> <p><strong>What&nbsp;was covered:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>What constitutes sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace</li> <li>How to recognize and avoid it</li> <li>What procedures to follow if you witness harassment or are harassed yourself</li> <li>The potential consequences - including personal liability - of sexual harassment</li> </ul> <p><br /> <strong>Audience:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Supervisors</li> <li>Human Resources Professionals</li> <li>Public Officials</li> <li>Managers &amp; Private Business Professionals with 50 or More Employees</li> </ul> <p><br /> The training&nbsp;was also held via video conference at the following BB&amp;K offices throughout California:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjuCA1qNAEkWIcJYDDABmBYJgTnN2DFulA">Indian Wells</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjMLztAo64eleSoRqGvq0iGTt-tLZ-zKdN">Irvine</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjDjLI_yN_kF4Kiu33FXEZqFAy9TArBzPU">Los Angeles</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjH9cMPMoiOttUFpET4nW4FS-pThMyjR-R">Ontario</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWj0_YC4ZVa-4wQ9MS-doi-GAwiEnguhJuo">Riverside </a>&ndash; Joseph Ortiz presented from the Riverside office</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWj94Thvo50jxSsiyYZGDkwTXBcPABVrBba">Sacramento</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjsTOqrWEuLBAMftM8IySeKp88xWtk9p8B">San Diego</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjhCGLTWyd2kgz8QNAaf8wax2f6wIIObBI">Walnut Creek</a></li> </ul> <p><strong><br /> BB&amp;K Presenter:<br /> <br /> </strong>Joseph Ortiz, Partner, Labor &amp; Employment Practice Group in Riverside office<br /> <br /> <br /> <strong>QUESTIONS:<br /> <br /> </strong>Contact <a href="mailto:katey.lamke@bbklaw.com">Katey Lamke</a> if you have any questions about this event and/or about BB&amp;K upcoming seminars/events.<br /> <br /> If you are not currently receiving our Legal Alerts and would like to be added to our email distribution list, please visit our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2121">subscription page</a>.</p>Seminars and Webinars27 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=21647&format=xmlFourteen Best Best & Krieger Attorneys Selected as Best Lawyers in America for 2014http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=23205&format=xml<p>Fourteen attorneys from Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP offices throughout California were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in <i>The Best Lawyers in America</i>&copy; 2014 (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). In addition, two attorneys were also named <i>Best Lawyers'</i> 2014 &ldquo;Lawyers of the Year&rdquo; for specific practices and geographic areas.</p> <p>Best Lawyers, first published in 1983, is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which almost 50,000 attorneys cast nearly 5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed.</p> <p><b>Southern California</b></p> <p><b>Michelle Ouellette</b>, an environmental attorney in the firm&rsquo;s Riverside office, has been named the <i>Best Lawyers&rsquo; </i>2014 Riverside Litigation &ndash; Environmental &ldquo;Lawyer of the Year&rdquo; in addition to being selected by her peers for inclusion in <i>The Best Lawyers in America</i> 2014 in the fields of energy, environmental, environmental litigation, and natural resources law.</p> <p>Other BB&amp;K attorneys based in Riverside who were selected include <b>Eric L. Garner</b>, a water rights attorney and managing partner of the nine-office law firm, for environmental litigation and water law; <b>Gregory K. Wilkinson</b> and <b>Arthur L. Littleworth</b> for energy, environmental litigation, natural resources and water law; and <b>George M. Reyes</b> for corporate law.</p> <p>In the firm&rsquo;s Ontario office, <b>Stephen P. Deitsch</b>, who serves as city attorney to Indian Wells, Arcadia, Big Bear Lake and Shafter, was named for municipal, land use and zoning law. Also named in the municipal law category was <b>John E. Brown</b>, who serves as city attorney to Ontario and as town attorney for Apple Valley.</p> <p>In San Diego, <b>Robert J. Hanna</b>, a real estate attorney, was named for commercial litigation.</p> <p><b>Northern California</b></p> <p><b>Harriet A. Steiner</b>, a municipal attorney in the firm&rsquo;s Sacramento office and city attorney of Davis, has been named the <i>Best Lawyers&rsquo; </i>2014 Sacramento Municipal Law &ldquo;Lawyer of the Year&rdquo; in addition to being selected by her peers for inclusion in <i>The Best Lawyers in America</i> 2014 in the fields of municipal law and municipal litigation.</p> <p>Other BB&amp;K attorneys based in Sacramento who were selected were <b>Edward J. Quinn, Jr.</b> and <b>Joseph E. Coomes, Jr.</b> for municipal, land use and zoning law; <b>T. Brent Hawkins</b> for municipal law; and <b>Iris P. Yang</b>, city attorney of Paso Robles, for municipal, land use and zoning law, and municipal litigation.</p> <p>In Walnut Creek, environmental attorney and former member of the California Attorney General&rsquo;s office, <b>Roderick E. Walston</b>, was named for natural resources and water law.</p>BB&K In The News15 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=23205&format=xmlCourt Ruling Gives Employers Additional Armor To Protect Against Class-Action Lawsuitshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=22931&format=xml<p>By <strong>D. Brian Reider<br /> <br /> </strong>As an employer, you may sometimes feel as though a large &ldquo;Sue Me&rdquo; target has been painted on your chest. It is no illusion &mdash; plaintiff employment lawyers have pinned it there so they can aim their wage-and-hour class-action lawsuits directly at you.<br /> <br /> Earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court gave employers some additional armor to protect against such class-action lawsuits when it decided the case of <em>American Express v. Italian Colors Restaurant</em>. In its June 20 decision, the nation&rsquo;s highest court held that where parties have agreed in advance to decide disputes only by individual arbitrations, and have waived the right to bring claims by a class action, such agreements are enforceable even though it may not be economical for one party to bring such an individual claim. While it was not itself a wage-and-hour case, American Express should be very helpful to California employers.<br /> <br /> As many employers have discovered, even small errors in the calculation of wages or deciding how to administer rest and meal breaks have set the stage for huge damage claims by groups of employees who sue on a class-action basis to recover wages, interest, penalties and attorneys fees.<br /> <br /> In California, such lawsuits are brought as a &ldquo;class action&rdquo; where a few &ldquo;representatives&rdquo; bring the claim for all other employees. To combat such actions, employers have tried various approaches, notably requiring employees to agree to mandatory, binding arbitration of claims and, in some cases, to agree to waive the right to bring class-action claims.<br /> <br /> When such provisions have been challenged, the California courts have almost always sided with employees, often on the basis that California public policy is against such arbitration and waiver provisions. The courts have disfavored such provisions because the employee has no bargaining power regarding the arbitration and waiver language (which is often buried in the middle of an employee handbook) and particularly because it would not be economical to make each employee separately arbitrate his or her wage-and-hour claims.<br /> <br /> Recently, however, the U.S. Supreme Court has ridden to the rescue of beleaguered employers in several key decisions that involve a little known federal law called the Federal Arbitration Act, or FAA. Originally enacted in 1925, the FAA was intended to establish a strong federal policy that when parties enter into an arbitration agreement, they can and should be later forced to arbitrate their disputes rather than go to court.<br /> <br /> The question that recently has been considered by the Supreme Court involves a concept called &ldquo;pre-emption&rdquo; &mdash; a rule that says in certain cases where a state&rsquo;s legal decisions conflict with a federal law, the state&rsquo;s decisions are &ldquo;pre-empted,&rdquo; or superseded, by the federal law. In short, in a battle between a federal law and state decisions, federal law wins.<br /> <br /> Opening the door to the use of waivers, in 2011 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in <em>AT&amp;T Mobility v. Concepcion</em> that class-action waivers are valid in consumer contracts (overruling, in effect, a California Supreme Court case that said such waivers are invalid under California law). Coupled with the recent American Express decision, it now appears that a well-written arbitration and class action waiver provision is likely to be enforceable.<br /> <br /> This is not to say that the issue is entirely resolved in California. The FAA does not apply in every circumstance, and plaintiff&rsquo;s counsel will surely seek to contest arbitration and class-action waiver provisions whenever they can. However, recent decisions in California suggest that the pendulum may be swinging back at least a bit. In one recent case, <em>Serpa v. California Surety Investigations</em>, a California appellate court held that an arbitration provision in an employee handbook was enforceable, even though the employer reserved the right to change the handbook later.<br /> <br /> Every employer should review their employee handbooks and agreements now to see whether any changes are needed to take maximum advantage of these recent favorable decisions.</p> <p><em>* This column first appeared in <em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.pe.com/business/business-columns/best-in-law-headlines/20130810-best-in-law-court-ruling-aids-employers.ece">The Press-Enterprise</a></em><em>&nbsp;on Aug. 11, 2013. Republished with permission.</em></em></p>BB&K In The News12 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=22931&format=xmlVeteran Business Attorney Returns to Best Best & Kriegerhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=21876&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong> July 8, 2013 <br /> <strong><span>Media Contact</span></strong><span>: Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; <span><a href="mailto:jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com">jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com</a></span></span></p> <p><strong>ONTARIO, Calif</strong>. _ D. Brian Reider, a business attorney in the Inland region for more than 25 years, recently returned to Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP where his practice will focus on helping private-sector clients with general business transactions and human resource needs.<br /> <br /> <span>Based in the law firm&rsquo;s Ontario office, Reider was named a partner in the business services practice group.</span><br /> <br /> <span>&ldquo;Brian is well known in the Inland region and has a stellar reputation as a solid attorney. We&rsquo;re happy to welcome him back,&rdquo; said <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1602&amp;format=xml">Howard Golds</a>, head of the firm&rsquo;s business services practice group.</span><br /> <br /> <span>Reider was with BB&amp;K for 10 years before departing in early 2010 to serve as in-house counsel for Lexxiom, Inc., a privately held company in Rancho Cucamonga.</span><br /> <br /> &ldquo;I had an extraordinary experience at BB&amp;K and felt it was time to return to an environment where my expertise can assist a broader spectrum of clients in <span>taking their business to the next level,&rdquo; Reider said.</span><br /> <br /> Reider works with companies that focus on financial services, commercial real estate and manufacturing. He has extensive experience negotiating financing, leasing, real estate sales and intellectual property agreements. In addition, Reider has advised clients on personnel issues, including the drafting of employment policies, compliance with federal and state laws, and responding to personnel claims.<br /> <br /> <span>Prior to joining</span> BB&amp;K for the first time in 1999, Reider was an attorney at a San Bernardino law firm and served as the executive vice-president, chief operating officer and general counsel for Redlands Federal Bank, a billion-dollar financial institution. In addition, he was instrumental in the formation and capitalization of the bank&rsquo;s holding company.<br /> <br /> Reider is past president of the Rotary Club of Redlands where he was named a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his contributions to humanitarian causes. In addition, he served for 15 years on the advisory board for California State University, San Bernardino, where he was named a distinguished alumni in 2002.<br /> <br /> Reider received his law degree in 1976 from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific in Sacramento.</p>Press Releases08 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=21876&format=xmlEight BB&K Attorneys Named 2013 Southern California Rising Starshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=20284&format=xml<p>Eight Best Best &amp; Krieger lawyers practicing throughout Southern California have been named among the top up-and-coming attorneys, 40-years-old or younger or practicing law for 10 years or less, in Super Lawyers&rsquo; 2013 Southern California Rising Stars. Super Lawyers lists attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and personal achievement. Only 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are named to Super Lawyers Rising Stars lists.<br /> <br /> In the firm&rsquo;s Irvine office, <strong>Matthew &ldquo;Mal&rdquo; Richardson</strong> was listed for government law, <strong>Christopher D. Whyte</strong> for general litigation and <strong>Alisha M. Winterswyk</strong> for environmental law. Richardson assists clients in transactional and litigation issues relating to municipal government, land use and environmental law. Whyte represents public entities and private clients in a variety of litigation matters in federal and state courts. Winterswyk advises clients on state and federal environmental laws, with a specific expertise in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).<br /> <br /> Three attorneys named to the list from the Riverside office were <strong>Scott W. Ditfurth</strong> and <strong>Lowell M. Zeta</strong> for business litigation, and <strong>Charity B. Schiller </strong>for environmental law. Ditfurth's practice focuses on civil litigation, with an emphasis on providing construction, contract and real property related litigation services to clients. Zeta practices labor and employment law and business litigation. Schiller helps clients navigate the maze of environmental laws that apply to development projects, including CEQA, NEPA and related environmental laws.<br /> <br /> <strong>Laura L. Crane</strong>, based in the firm&rsquo;s Ontario office, was named in the government law category. Crane is a trial lawyer who has been the lead trial attorney in more than twenty trials in both state and federal courts. She also has significant experience in aggressively negotiating the resolution of disputes before trial and even before a case is ever filed.<br /> <br /> From the Indian Wells office, <strong>Kira L. Klatchko</strong> was recognized in the appellate law category for the fifth straight year. Klatchko is the only certified appellate law specialist in Riverside County. She handles both state and federal appeals arising from all areas of civil practice. In 2009, Klatchko was appointed to the State Bar of California&rsquo;s Standing Committee on Appellate Courts, and is currently its acting chair.</p> <p><b>About Super Lawyers</b><br /> Super Lawyers rates outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. In the United States, Super Lawyers Magazine is published in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., reaching more than 13 million readers. Super Lawyers is published by Thomson Reuters.&nbsp;</p>BB&K In The News13 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=20284&format=xmlAB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training (May 16)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=18566&format=xml<p>California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, pursuant to AB 1825, requires that employers with fifty or more employees in California provide at least two hours of Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training every two years to any employee that has a supervisory role in operations. This presentation was designed to satisfy those requirements.</p> <p>Joseph Ortiz presented the training from the Riverside office. All other BB&amp;K offices participated in the training via state-of-the-art video conferencing. The video conference was interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions and participate in other ways.</p> <p><strong>What&nbsp;was covered:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>What constitutes sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace</li> <li>How to recognize and avoid it</li> <li>What procedures to follow if you witness harassment or are harassed yourself</li> <li>The potential consequences - including personal liability - of sexual harassment</li> </ul> <p><br /> <strong>Audience:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Supervisors</li> <li>Human Resources Professionals</li> <li>Public Officials</li> <li>Managers &amp; Private Business Professionals with 50 or More Employees</li> </ul> <p><br /> The training&nbsp;was also held via video conference at the following BB&amp;K Offices throughout CA:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjuCA1qNAEkWIcJYDDABmBYJgTnN2DFulA">Indian Wells</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjMLztAo64eleSoRqGvq0iGTt-tLZ-zKdN">Irvine</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjDjLI_yN_kF4Kiu33FXEZqFAy9TArBzPU">Los Angeles</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjH9cMPMoiOttUFpET4nW4FS-pThMyjR-R">Ontario</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWj0_YC4ZVa-4wQ9MS-doi-GAwiEnguhJuo">Riverside </a>&ndash; Joseph Ortiz presented from the Riverside office</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWj94Thvo50jxSsiyYZGDkwTXBcPABVrBba">Sacramento</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjsTOqrWEuLBAMftM8IySeKp88xWtk9p8B">San Diego</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001TI2moHHojn-M3zDMj80x6LdRPtq9ns0q09aD5gy3U3irU_7mDi3jQqFXIejIYLeav5XhjbrWaUgzeE5jC2B1PQ4If5fSivx-V7Zrpseux5thWwt7tsPo5y-3x9Y2JsWjhCGLTWyd2kgz8QNAaf8wax2f6wIIObBI">Walnut Creek</a></li> </ul> <p><strong><br /> BB&amp;K Presenter:<br /> <br /> </strong>Joseph Ortiz, Partner, Labor &amp; Employment Practice Group in Riverside office<br /> <br /> <strong><br /> QUESTIONS:<br /> <br /> </strong>Contact <a href="mailto:katey.lamke@bbklaw.com">Katey Lamke</a> if you have any questions about this event and/or about BB&amp;K upcoming seminars/events.<br /> <br /> If you are not currently receiving our Legal Alerts and would like to be added to our email distribution list, please visit our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2121">subscription page</a>.</p>Seminars and Webinars16 May 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=18566&format=xmlBest Best & Krieger Hires Five Attorneys Across Southern Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=18064&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release</strong>: March 5, 2013 <br /> <strong>Media Contact:</strong> Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; <a href="mailto:jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com">jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com</a></p> <p><strong>RIVERSIDE, Calif</strong>. _&nbsp;Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP recently hired five entry-level attorneys across Southern California who were summer interns at the firm during law school.<br /> <br /> <span>The new associates graduated from law school last year, and were interns at BB&amp;K in the summer of 2011. </span><br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are glad to bring aboard such well-rounded associates. For several of the new attorneys, law is a second career, allowing us to offer that added depth of experience to our clients,&rdquo; said <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1674&amp;format=xml">Danielle Sakai</a>, a Riverside-based partner at BB&amp;K who specializes in environmental law and chairs the firm&rsquo;s recruiting committee.<br /> <br /> <span>The new associates in the <b>Riverside</b> office are:<br /> <br /> <b>Jennifer J. Kunz</b>, </span>who focuses on environmental, natural resources and land use law as a member of the firm&rsquo;s environmental law and natural resources practice group. Prior to law school, she worked for several years as a land use and environmental planning consultant, serving both public and private sector clients throughout California.&nbsp;Kunz is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a LEED-accredited professional. She holds a master&rsquo;s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of California at Irvine. Kunz received her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.<br /> <br /> <span><b>Jeremiah J. Lee</b>, a member of the firm&rsquo;s business services practice group who concentrates on </span>mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, non-profit law and business litigation. Lee graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law where he was the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship &amp; the Law.&nbsp;While in law school, he served as an extern to U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II in Los Angeles and interned in London under the local general counsel for an international investment management firm. Prior to beginning his legal career, Lee worked&nbsp;with a global management consulting firm and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley&rsquo;s Haas School of Business. Lee is a third-generation native of Riverside where he continues to live.<br /> <br /> <span>The new associate in <b>Ontario</b> is:</span><br /> <br /> <b>Thomas A. Rice</b>, a member of the firm&rsquo;s municipal law practice group who provides transactional advice for cities, counties, water districts and joint powers authorities on a wide range of issues. Prior to joining BB&amp;K, Rice worked as a finance office and special projects specialist at Groundwork Manchester, a charity in England that is engaged in the sustainable redevelopment of communities through joint environmental action. He is a LEED-accredited professional. Rice was recently appointed to a three-year term on the board of the Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County, a non-profit that works with communities to empower low-income residents to achieve self-sufficiency. During law school, Rice interned for the County of Riverside Office of Legal Counsel, where he worked on a variety of matters including numerous code enforcement cases. Rice received his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, Ill.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <span>The new attorneys in <b>San Diego</b> are:<br /> <br /> <b>Richard L. Hyde</b>, whose practice focuses on </span>real property litigation, title insurance litigation, commercial litigation, municipal and public entity representation, and civil code enforcement and litigation. He is a member of the firm&rsquo;s municipal law practice group. He received his law degree from Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School. Prior to joining BB&amp;K, Hyde interned with the California Attorney General's correctional law section. He also externed with U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul M. Warner in Utah.<br /> <br /> <b>Marco A. Verdugo</b>, who joined the special districts practice and is working&nbsp;on water quality issues, eminent domain and election law for various public agency clients. Licensed in California as a general engineering contractor, Verdugo helped oil companies, cities and utilities comply with air quality and water quality regulations relating to underground and aboveground storage tanks before he turned to a legal career. During law school, Verdugo interned at the Chula Vista City Attorney's Office where he assisted on various municipal law and California Environmental Quality Act issues. He also&nbsp;volunteered at the University of San Diego Legal Clinic where he assisted low-income individuals with landlord/tenant and contract issues. Verdugo received his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>Press Releases05 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=18064&format=xmlBB&K Welcomes Ten Attorneys Across Southern California Into the Partnershiphttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=17466&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong> Jan. 30, 2013 <br /> <strong><span>Media Contact:</span></strong><span> Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; <a href="mailto:jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com">jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com</a></span></p> <p><strong>RIVERSIDE, Calif</strong>. _&nbsp;&nbsp;Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP promoted ten attorneys based in Southern California to partner for 2013, the law firm announced.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are pleased to welcome into the partnership a group of attorneys with diverse legal experience, which will continue to provide a strong foundation of legal knowledge for our clients,&rdquo; said <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1598&amp;format=xml">Eric Garner</a>, BB&amp;K&rsquo;s managing partner.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The new partners are based in Riverside, Los Angeles, San Diego, Ontario and Indian Wells, and focus on a wide range of legal fields including environmental, labor, municipal and business law.<br /> <br /> In all, BB&amp;K has nearly 200 attorneys based at nine offices in California and Washington, D.C., who work with public agencies and private clients.<br /> <br /> In the <b>Riverside</b> office, the new partners are:<br /> <br /> <b>Charity B. Schiller, </b>whose environmental law practice focuses on helping public and private clients navigate through the maze of state and federal environmental laws that apply to transportation, infrastructure and other development projects as they undergo the proposal and approval processes. With&nbsp;a focus on the California Environmental Quality Act, Schiller is a member of the firm&rsquo;s environmental and natural resources practice group. She is currently the chair of the Riverside Downtown Partnership, a not-for-profit organization that partners with the city&rsquo;s businesses and others to sponsor or organize summer concerts, festivals, book signings and outdoor movies designed to attract visitors to downtown Riverside. Schiller joined BB&amp;K in 2004 after receiving her law degree from Pepperdine University.<br /> <br /> <b>Mona M. Nemat</b>, an eminent domain attorney who advises public entity clients on project planning and right-of-way acquisition through the various stages of complex, high-stakes litigation. Although her practice largely involves the public sector, she also represents individuals and businesses as a member of BB&amp;K&rsquo;s eminent domain and business services practice groups. Nemat is a founding member of Project Graduate, a pilot program comprised of members of the Riverside County legal community that helps foster kids in local high schools to graduate. She received her law degree from the University of California, Davis, in 2004, and has been with BB&amp;K since 2007.<br /> <br /> <b>Joseph T. Ortiz</b>, who provides advice to private and public agency employers on such issues as wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment, and related claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract. As part of the firm&rsquo;s labor and employment practice, Ortiz also litigates employment matters before state and federal courts, administrative agencies and arbitration tribunals. Ortiz is chair of the Downtown Business Council, which is part of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce in Riverside; president of the Greater Riverside Dollars for Scholars; and a commissioner on the Riverside Community Police Review Commission. Ortiz received his law degree from the University of Minnesota in 2001, and joined BB&amp;K in 2008.<br /> <br /> In <b>Los Angeles</b>, the new partners are:<br /> <br /> <b>Scott H. Campbell</b>, who serves as city attorney to Avalon on Catalina Island and as general counsel to the Lake Arrowhead Community Services District in the San Bernardino mountains. A member of the firm&rsquo;s municipal law and litigation practice groups, Campbell&rsquo;s work concentrates on municipal and public entity representation, construction management and litigation, and business and commercial litigation. Campbell is the former president of the City Attorneys Association of Los Angeles County and currently sits on the board of directors for St. Anne&rsquo;s Maternity Home, which provides a home for pregnant or parenting teen-agers in Los Angeles County. Campbell received his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1987, and joined BB&amp;K in 2005.<br /> <br /> <b>John H. Holloway</b>, a litigator and transactional attorney who represents public agencies and businesses in real estate, eminent domain, environmental and land use matters. His experience includes acquisition of property for several public projects, including the right of way property for construction of the Los Angeles to Pasadena Gold Line, and representation of clients in environmental matters, including Los Angeles County in negotiations with regulators and potentially responsible parties in the investigation and clean-up of the former BKK Main Landfill in Carson. Holloway also is currently working with the Los Angeles Community College District on a number of projects, including development of a new satellite college campus and a major telecommunications initiative aimed at connecting the district&rsquo;s nine campuses and its headquarters through a fiber optic ring and wireless transmission network to improve the district's data security and communication abilities. Holloway received his law degree in 1995 from Tulane University in New Orleans, and joined BB&amp;K in 2005.<br /> <br /> In <b>San Diego</b>, the new partners are:<br /> <b><br /> Shannon M. Erickson, </b>who represents a variety of clients in business and general civil litigation matters, with a focus on real property and title insurance issues. Her clients include title insurance and escrow companies, banks, religious organizations, public and private entities, and individuals. Erickson provides pro bono legal services as a volunteer for the Casa Cornelia Law Center, a San Diego-based nonprofit that assists victims of human and civil rights violations. Last year, she and another BB&amp;K attorney won a significant victory when they helped secure political asylum for a young African woman seeking protection from religious persecution in her native country of Eritrea. Erickson received her law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2004 and joined BB&amp;K in 2006.<br /> <br /> <b>Lindsay D. Puckett,</b> whose practice focuses on environmental and land use law. She represents public and private clients in transactional and litigation matters involving the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, state and federal endangered species laws, coastal development, alternative energy, water issues and American Indian law issues.&nbsp;She served for four years on the board of the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation, a nonprofit in Encinitas that provides educational outreach on recycling, composting, pollution prevention, sustainable living, conservation and habitat protection to businesses, schools and others in San Diego County. Puckett received her law degree in 2004 from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. She joined BB&amp;K in 2006.<br /> <br /> In <b>Ontario</b>, the new partner is:<br /> <br /> <b>G. Ross Trindle, III</b>, who works on police-related legal issues and assists cities in developing consolidated, shared services and regionalization agreements for public safety services. His public safety litigation experience involves <i>Pitchess</i> motion defense, sex offender registration issues, and state and federal civil rights defense. As part of the firm&rsquo;s municipal law practice and as leader of its police services team, Trindle serves as deputy city attorney for Arcadia, Azusa, Claremont, Covina, Colton and Shafter for public safety and public liability issues. In addition, his practice focuses on municipal defense litigation. Trindle volunteers with California high school mock trial, including as an attorney coach for Claremont High School in Los Angeles County, and previously with Upland High School in San Bernardino County. He earned his law degree in 2003 from Santa Clara University School of Law and joined BB&amp;K in 2007.<br /> <br /> In <b>Indian Wells</b>, the new partners are:<br /> <br /> <b>Kira L. Klatchko</b>, who chairs the firm&rsquo;s appellate practice and handles civil appeals in state and federal courts for cities, businesses and families. Klatchko is the only appellate law specialist in Riverside County certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.&nbsp;Among other notable cases, Klatchko is handling a high-profile case before the California Supreme Court on behalf of a city client involving the use of red-light cameras at traffic intersections. Klatchko is acting chair of the State Bar of California&rsquo;s Standing Committee on Appellate Courts, and she sits on the Riverside County Bar Association&rsquo;s executive board.&nbsp; She is a board member of Angel View, a nonprofit based in the Coachella Valley that is dedicated to serving disabled children and adults throughout the Inland region. Klatchko received her law degree from the University of California, Davis in 2004, and joined BB&amp;K the following year.&nbsp;She also holds an executive master's degree in business administration from the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.<br /> <br /> <b>Carlos L. Campos,</b> who serves as city attorney for Coachella and represents Palm Desert and Indian Wells in various capacities.&nbsp;He is also general counsel to the Desert Healthcare District and the Coachella Valley Enterprise Zone.&nbsp;A member of the firm&rsquo;s municipal and special district practice groups, Campos' practice focuses on open meeting laws, conflicts of interest, land use and planning, and the Public Records Act. Campos serves as a trustee of the Desert Bar Association and sits on the board of directors of the Dr. Carreon Foundation, which seeks to increase educational opportunities for Mexican-American youth in the Coachella Valley.&nbsp;Fluent in Spanish, Campos earned his law degree in 2002 from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. He joined the firm in 2002.</p>Press Releases30 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=17466&format=xmlBest Best & Krieger Moves Ontario Office to New Locationhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=16722&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release</strong>: <span>Jan. 10, 2013 <br /> <strong><span>Media Contact: </span></strong><span>Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; </span></span><a href="mailto:jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com"><span>jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com</span></a></p> <p><strong>ONTARIO, Calif</strong>. _ Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP, a law firm whose attorneys represent public agencies and clients in the private sector, moved its Ontario office to a new location in the city.<br /> <br /> <span>On Monday, BB&amp;K opened its office in a fourth-floor suite at the Ontario Airport Towers, 2855 E. Guasti Rd., south of Interstate 10, said Richard Egger, a business litigator who is the managing partner of the firm&rsquo;s Ontario office.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It was really important for the firm to remain in Ontario,&rdquo; Egger said. &ldquo;The city is not only a longstanding client but it sits at a key business crossroads in Inland Southern California.&quot;<br /> <br /> </span><span>Egger said the building&rsquo;s sustainable features also played a role in the decision to relocate. The building was certified in 2009 as LEED silver for its environmentally friendly features such as&nbsp;a &ldquo;cool roof&rdquo; designed to reduce energy consumption for the building, low-flow toilets to reduce water consumption and recycled materials used in its construction,&nbsp;including the building&rsquo;s </span>steel structure.<br /> <br /> In all, 200 attorneys work at BB&amp;K in nine offices across California and in Washington, D.C. The Ontario office is the base for 16 lawyers, including those who focus on business, municipal and telecommunications law and serve as city attorney to Ontario, Fontana and Colton.<br /> <br /> The law firm signed an 11-year lease for the 12,911-square-foot office space, said Jamie Zamoff, BB&amp;K&rsquo;s chief operating officer.<br /> <br /> The firm&rsquo;s previous lease, for the last 14 years, was at One Corporate Plaza, 3500 Porsche Way, about two miles away.</p>Press Releases10 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=16722&format=xmlFourteen Best Best & Krieger Attorneys Named Best Lawyers in America for 2013http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=17423&format=xml<p>Fourteen&nbsp;attorneys from Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP offices throughout California were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in <i>The Best Lawyers in America</i>&reg; 2013. (Copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.). <br /> <br /> In addition, two attorneys were also named 2013 &ldquo;Lawyers of the Year&rdquo; for specific practices and geographic areas.<br /> <br /> Best Lawyers, established in 1983, is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 attorneys cast nearly 3.1 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed.<br /> <br /> <strong>SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA<br /> </strong><br /> BB&amp;K attorneys based in Riverside who were ranked as leaders in their fields include Eric Garner, a water rights attorney and managing partner of the nine-office law firm, for environmental litigation and water law; Michelle Ouellette for energy, environmental, environmental litigation and natural resources law; Gregory K. Wilkinson and Arthur L. Littleworth for energy, environmental litigation, natural resources and water law; and George M. Reyes for corporate law. Best Lawyers also named Littleworth a 2013 &quot;Lawyer of the Year&quot; for Riverside in environmental litigation.<br /> <br /> In the firm&rsquo;s Ontario office, Stephen P. Deitsch, who serves as city attorney to Indian Wells, Arcadia, Big Bear Lake and Shafter, was named for municipal, land use and zoning law. Also named in the municipal law category was John E. Brown, who serves as city attorney to Ontario and as town attorney for Apple Valley.<br /> <br /> In San Diego, Robert J. Hanna, a real estate attorney, was named for commercial litigation. <br /> <br /> <strong>NORTHERN CALIFORNIA<br /> </strong><br /> The attorneys honored in the Sacramento office were Edward J. Quinn Jr. and Joseph E. Coomes, Jr. for municipal, land use and zoning law; T. Brent Hawkins for municipal law; Harriet Steiner, the city attorney of Davis, for municipal law and municipal litigation; and Iris P. Yang, city attorney of Paso Robles, for municipal, land use and zoning law, and municipal litigation. Best Lawyers also named Coomes a 2013 &quot;Lawyer of the Year&quot; for Sacramento in municipal law.<br /> <br /> In Walnut Creek, environmental attorney and former member of the California Attorney General&rsquo;s office, Roderick E. Walston, was named for natural resources and water law.<br /> &nbsp;</p>BB&K In The News01 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=17423&format=xmlBB&K Attorney Valerie Escalante Elected to Board of Inland Women's Law Grouphttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=13389&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong> July 17, 2012<br /> <strong>Media Contact:</strong> Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; <a href="mailto:jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com">jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com</a><br /> <br /> <strong>ONTARIO, Calif.</strong> _ Valerie Escalante, a Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney based in Ontario whose practice focuses on civil litigation and municipal law, was recently elected to the board of the <a target="_blank" href="http://ielaw.us/?cp=1"><font color="#800080">Inland Empire Legal Association of Women</font></a>, also known as IE LAW.<br /> <br /> Escalante, who lives in Alta Loma where she grew up, will serve a one-year term on the five-member board of the association, which works to promote women lawyers and judges in the Inland region and to advocate for the concerns of all women in the community.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a great opportunity to both network with and support other professional women who are going through similar challenges and successes,&rdquo; said Escalante, who was also programming chair of the Women&rsquo;s Law Coalition while at Cornell Law School.<br /> <br /> Laura Crane, a BB&amp;K attorney who has been a board member of IE LAW since she helped found the group in 2009, said Escalante has hit the ground running, helping to plan an October event where the group will help Inland college students navigate the law school application process. In addition, a scholarship will be given to one of the attendees to cover the costs of a prep course for the Law School Admission Test, also known as the LSAT. Such courses can cost about $2,000.</p> <p>&ldquo;Valerie has definitely invigorated the group with some great ideas for our new scholarship committee,&rdquo; Crane said.</p> <p>&nbsp;In August, Crane will moderate an IE LAW panel examining juveniles in the law at BB&amp;K&rsquo;s Ontario office. Among the panelist for the Aug. 20 event beginning at 5:30 p.m. will be Barbara Buchholz, who is a San Bernardino Superior Court Judge in the juvenile dependency court, and Marcie Gardner, a Rancho Cucamonga attorney who specializes in juvenile law.</p>Press Releases17 Jul 2012 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=13389&format=xmlBest Best & Krieger Among Nation's Most Diverse Law Firmshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=13109&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong> June 18, 2012<br /> <strong>Media Contact:</strong> Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com</p> <p><strong>RIVERSIDE, Calif. </strong>_ Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP ranked 15th among the nation's most racially diverse law firms, with nearly 20 percent of its attorneys hailing from minority backgrounds, according to The American Lawyer's annual <a target="_blank" href="http://www.americanlawyer.com/PubArticleTAL.jsp?id=1202495217057&amp;Diversity_Scorecard_2012">Diversity Scorecard</a>, published in the magazine&rsquo;s June issue.<br /> <br /> <span>BB&amp;K, with 200 attorneys in nine offices in California and Washington D.C., placed in the Top 20 for the fifth year straight. In all, 233 &nbsp;of the nation&rsquo;s largest and highest-grossing firms responded to this year&rsquo;s survey, placing BB&amp;K&rsquo;s No. 15 ranking in the top 6.5 percent.</span><br /> <br /> Eric Garner, BB&amp;K&rsquo;s managing partner, said he was very pleased with the results of the Diversity Scorecard, which also placed the firm ninth overall for the highest percentage of minority partners.<br /> <br /> <span>&ldquo;We believe that our continued presence in the Top 20, and our highest ranking yet, reflects the firm&rsquo;s longstanding commitment to diversity, which we believe is essential to foster the kind of creative solutions our clients need in 2012,&rdquo; Garner said.<br /> <br /> </span>BB&amp;K clients includes cities, counties, public agencies, water and school districts, companies and individuals.<br /> <br /> The survey showed:</p> <p>- BB&amp;K&rsquo;s percentage of minority attorneys, at 18.5 percent, or 35 attorneys, is nearly five percent higher than the national average of 13.6 percent.<br /> <br /> - Of the 195 attorneys at BB&amp;K, 15 are Hispanic-American, 15 are Asian-American, four are African-American and one is of mixed race.<br /> <br /> - The percentage of BB&amp;K&rsquo;s minority attorneys who are partners, at 14.4 percent, rose more than 2 percent from the year before and was the ninth highest overall.</p> <p>One of those partners, Gene Tanaka, sits on the firm&rsquo;s executive committee and is managing partner of the Walnut Creek office. Another partner, Marco Martinez, is managing partner of the firm&rsquo;s Irvine office.</p> <p>Tanaka, who is Japanese-American, said the firm has always been welcoming to attorneys from diverse backgrounds.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;In my 27 years at BB&amp;K, I can honestly say that my race has never been a consideration or issue,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I frankly do not think anyone really thought about it professionally or socially.&nbsp; I cannot imagine any better treatment by a group of people.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Tanaka said shortly after he arrived at the firm, BB&amp;K&rsquo;s partners appointed him to lead an ad hoc committee to consider diversity and, as a result, the firm adopted a policy in the early 1990s to encourage diversity based on race, ethnicity and sexual orientation before many other firms.<br /> <br /> In 2008 and 2009, BB&amp;K ranked 19th in the <i>Diversity Scorecard</i>; 17th in 2010; and 19th last year.<br /> <br /> Last year, BB&amp;K launched a scholarship/fellowship program for a law student from a diverse background. The program offers the recipient a paid summer associate position for two summers during law school in addition to a $7,500 scholarship once the program is completed. The program&rsquo;s current recipient, Leo Li from Loyola Law School, will be working in the firm&rsquo;s Riverside and Ontario offices for his second summer this year. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Li is on track to graduate in 2013.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> According to <i>American Lawyer</i>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTAL.jsp?id=1202494943899&amp;pDiversity_Scorecard_p__Back_on_Track">large firms slightly reduced their percentage of minority attorneys</a> to 13.6 percent. The magazine editors said they weren&rsquo;t too worried about the slight dip from 13.9 percent from the year before because the editors tweaked the methodology for the latest survey to include full-time equivalent numbers for the entire calendar year. That meant that part-time attorneys were prorated in their statistics.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>Press Releases18 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=13109&format=xmlThe Explosion of Digital Information Needs: Is Your City Prepared?http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=13095&format=xml<p>By <strong>Gail A. Karish</strong><br /> <br /> Broadband communications are important to local communities. Local public officials do not need to be convinced. Broadband has become an essential component of modern community infrastructure, like electricity, water and roads. Yet California is not leading the nation in high speed broadband deployments. Is there anything local governments in California can or should be doing to spur broadband deployment? In a word, yes.<br /> <br /> Communities around the country are building their own broadband networks. Unlike a number of other states that place restrictions and sometimes outright bans on municipal networks, the right of local governments to provide communications is constitutionally enshrined in the California constitution, Article XI, Section 9. Surprisingly, few California local governments have taken advantage of this right. Conditions may be right for that to change.</p> <p><strong>Is It Time to Think About Establishing a Municipal Network?<br /> </strong><br /> Local governments are major consumers of all forms of communications services &ndash; telephone and Internet in government buildings, cell phones for mobile workers, public safety communications for first responders, 911 call centers, traffic management systems, libraries, schools, and the list goes on and on. A major challenge for public officials is how to meet today&rsquo;s myriad communications needs &ndash; both within governmental operations and with and by the public &ndash; in a cost-effective way.<br /> <br /> Often communications planning is dispersed among different departments and incremental in approach. Typically, a need is identified by one department&ndash; say higher capacity Internet access in a departmental building &ndash; and then the department seeks the budget to upgrade the existing service. Over a longer planning horizon, taking an incremental approach may not be the most cost-effective way to meet these needs.&nbsp; Too often, local governments have stovepipes of IT networks and telecommunications services, purchased incrementally and not integrated to take advantage of the power and efficiency of new fiber optic based digital networks and services.<br /> <br /> Leading communities are now thinking strategically about their public and private communications infrastructure: What are the government&rsquo;s communications needs as a whole? What is the highest speed, lowest cost option for the community as a whole? Can actions today address both immediate needs and provide growth capacity over the next five years or more? Does the local government have the capacity to plan and operate a network itself, or should it be contracted out?<br /> <br /> A community that is not considering self-provisioning its own local broadband network is ignoring a critical analytical and planning step.&nbsp; This is the time to engage in this analysis.&nbsp; Every local government is on the cusp of an explosion in the volume of digital information acquisition, storage and transmission.&nbsp; These needs will continue to grow by leaps and bounds, even as local budgets are being squeezed.</p> <p><strong>Institutional Networks Provided by Cable Companies Are Being Phased Out<br /> <br /> </strong>When cable television franchising was still a local matter (prior to the enactment of the Digital Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 or DIVCA), it was commonplace for local cable franchises to include a requirement for the operator of the local cable system to construct and maintain an institutional network or I-Net &ndash; connecting government buildings, police and fire stations, perhaps schools and libraries also &ndash; for local government communications use. The costs of constructing the I-Net might be borne by the local government or shared by the cable operator who typically agreed to maintain the I-Net at no charge, treating it like part of its own cable system. The I-Net might be expanded to new sites from time to time, but the basic terms were reviewed every 10-15 years, typically when the cable franchise was up for renewal.<br /> <br /> DIVCA changed all that. Now cable franchising authority has been removed to the Public Utilities Commission. There are no I-Net requirements in DIVCA, and the obligation to provide and support existing I-Nets continues only until the later of January 1, 2009, the date the local franchise expires, or the date the term of the local franchise would have expired if it had not been terminated early due to the local market entry of a competitive provider. The result is that cable operators have taken the first opportunity that comes to them to shed these I-Net obligations or to monetize them by charging the local government for continuing the services.<br /> <br /> If your community&rsquo;s local cable franchises have expired or been abrogated under DIVCA, then your community may already be dealing with this loss. Sometimes provider requests for compensation are reasonable, and sometimes they are not. But the significance of the change is the introduction of major uncertainty &ndash; as to future costs and availability of existing communications networks on which your community may depend to deliver services to residents.</p> <p><strong>T-Band Communications Systems Are Being Phased Out<br /> <br /> </strong>Another example of the pending changes in local communications networks comes courtesy of Congress. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (H.R. 3630) did not simply extend the federal payroll tax reduction. Title VI of the statute deals with public safety communications. It created a framework for a new nationwide 700 MHz public safety broadband radio system that should be built out over the coming decade.&nbsp; However, a little known provision of H.R. 3630 (Section 6103) contains a federal mandate to local governments to abandon use of the so-called &ldquo;T-Band&rdquo; (470-512 MHz) of public safety radio spectrum.<br /> <br /> Upwards of 100 California communities, including major cities such as Los Angeles, are currently using the T-Band for important public safety communications and will be impacted by this mandate. As a first step, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposed a T-Band channel bandwidth limit of 12.5 KHz effective January 1, 2013. The FCC later waived the deadline for Industrial/Business and Public Safety Radio Pool licensees in the 470-512 MHz band T-Band licensees that also operate on frequencies in the 150-174 MHz and 421-470 MHz bands must meet the narrowbanding deadline with respect to those frequencies. If your community uses the T-Band and has not invested in the new, narrower channel equipment, your community may need a waiver from the FCC to continue use beyond the end of 2012. Some major T-Band users such as the New York City Transit Authority have already applied for waivers.<br /> <br /> The FCC may take up to nine years to begin auctioning reclaimed T-Band spectrum to commercial uses, but it need not wait that long. Commercial providers are clamoring for more spectrum now &ndash; warning of a spectrum crunch due to the explosive demand for wireless data services. And the FCC is a strong advocate of wireless broadband. Thus, if your community uses T-Band spectrum, there is real urgency to consider both whether a waiver request is needed and to plan for the relocation or replacement of your existing T-Band system.</p> <p><strong>Planning for Future Communications Needs<br /> <br /> </strong>The above examples are just two of numerous state and federal regulatory mandates changing the local communications landscape. More broadly, the commercial communications industry has largely been deregulated in the last 10 years and is now dominated by a handful of large providers that have the power to engage in monopoly pricing.&nbsp; Your community&rsquo;s actions to replace an institutional network or T-Band system can be responded to as one-off items. Why not use these changes as a catalyst for a fundamental rethinking of the local government&rsquo;s approach to evaluating and addressing the community&rsquo;s communications needs?<br /> <br /> If you are willing to engage in a major re-think, the place to start is with thorough planning.<br /> <br /> A critical component of the planning process is to inventory existing communications assets and systems. A collaborative effort among departments and agencies will identify and leverage existing communications assets &ndash; these may include transit system fiber, utility communications infrastructure, WiFi systems, public safety systems, radio licenses, Educational Broadcast Spectrum licenses and the like. Building on existing infrastructure is an important cost savings strategy.<br /> <br /> Another important component is consultation. An aspect of local cable franchising that has been lost or at least deferred in California is the community needs assessment process that accompanies cable franchise renewal. With most 10-year state-level franchises having been issued in the 2007-2009 period, renewal processes that would have been due under local franchises in many communities have been deferred at least another five years, and how renewal processes will work under DIVCA is highly uncertain.<br /> <br /> In a cable franchise renewal, the community needs assessment process serves as part evaluation and part projection of future needs. The point is to ascertain how well the community&rsquo;s cable-related needs are being met and what investments in infrastructure are needed to meet current and future needs over the next decade.&nbsp; Using community needs assessment techniques (surveys, focus groups, interviews) may be helpful as part of a broader communications planning process. It will also help build community support for the investment.<br /> <br /> Collaboration with other entities should also be strongly considered. Neighboring communities, special districts, educational institutions, healthcare institutions, private entities &ndash; everyone needs better communications infrastructure. Pooling resources &ndash; both financial and physical &ndash; can make a lot of sense. Organizational structure should be carefully considered up front. In our experience, three broad categories of issues exist, and the answers will vary depending on the legal structure of the entity involved: 1) Is the entity and/or the services being offered subject to regulation? 2) How complicated is it to get access to public rights of way and towers? 3) What contracting processes must be followed?<br /> <br /> Funding, obviously, will be a major issue in the current fiscal environment. But this is also an opportune time to explore new broadband funding sources both at the state and federal levels. Some major middle mile fiber projects were funded with federal ARRA grants. These include public-private partnerships such as California Broadband Cooperative, Inc. (awarded over $80 million to build a fiber network more than 500 miles long along Interstate 395) and Central Valley Next Generation Broadband Infrastructure Project (awarded over $45 million to build broadband networking infrastructure in 18 counties within the California Central Valley).<br /> <br /> Under SB 1040, the California Legislature extended and added funding to the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) at the end of 2010. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has already awarded grants for broadband planning to dozens of consortia throughout the state out of its &ldquo;Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Account.&rdquo; Many of these consortia include local governments. Federal and state telephone service universal service funds are also being restructured and redirected towards broadband deployments.<br /> <br /> A careful evaluation of the benefits and risks of building rather than &ldquo;buying&rdquo; communications services will be key. Benefits can include controlling your own costs, technology and build out. Building may bring the opportunity to generate revenue by selling excess capacity and/or becoming a wholesale or retail provider. Financial risks, obviously, are different than with a service contract and typically involve longer payouts. Other risks include technology change and maintaining community commitment.<br /> <br /> There will be opposition, particularly from the existing commercial communications providers.<br /> <br /> In some states where communities have decided to build their own communications networks, there has been litigation and attempts to pass legislation to ban such projects or put hurdles in front of them. Here in California, under current CPUC rules, the broadband infrastructure grants and loans authorized under the CASF will only be available to entities registered with the CPUC (holders of certificates of public convenience and necessity or wireless identification registrations). These are typically commercial entities.<br /> <br /> While at first considering self-provisioning a broadband communications network may seem daunting, none of these risks are unique.&nbsp; Local governments routinely take up complex and challenging construction projects &ndash; to build all sorts of essential infrastructure. Broadband is equally important and should be considered in the same light.</p> <p><strong>Gail A. Karish</strong> is of counsel at Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP. She is a member of the firm&rsquo;s Municipal Law Practice Group in the Ontario office. Karish advises local governments and numerous municipal utility clients on a wide range of cable and telecommunications law matters. Prior to entering private practice, she worked in-house at a long distance telecommunications carrier and at a major electric utility. Karish can be reached at <i><a href="mailto:gail.karish@bbklaw.com?subject=PublicCEO%20Article%3A%20The%20Explosion%20of%20Digital%20Information%20Needs%3A%20Is%20Your%20City%20Prepared">gail.karish@bbklaw.com</a></i><b><i>.</i></b></p>BB&K In The News14 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=13095&format=xmlBB&K Adds Three Attorneys in Southern Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=11026&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong> March 12, 2012<br /> <strong><span>Media Contact:</span></strong><span> Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; <a href="mailto:jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com">jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com</a></span></p> <p><strong>RIVERSIDE, Calif.</strong> _ Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP recently hired three former summer clerks to work as first-year associates in the municipal and business practices in the Riverside and Ontario offices.</p> <p><span>&ldquo;We welcome </span>these attorneys to the firm and we are excited to have them become part of BB&amp;K&rsquo;s future,&rdquo; <span>said Danielle Sakai, a Riverside-based partner who specializes in environmental law and serves as chair of the firm&rsquo;s recruiting committee.<br /> </span><span><br /> All three served as clerks at BB&amp;K during the summer of 2010.</span>&nbsp;<span>They are:<br /> </span><br /> _ Kevin J. Abbott, who works in Riverside as a member of the business services practice group. He focuses primarily on civil litigation, including construction cases and breach of contract matters. He also represents public entities in a variety of litigation matters, including eminent domain and tort actions.</p> <p><span>Abbott graduated <i>magna cum laude</i> from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University in 2011. As a law student, he served as an extern for Associate Chief Justice Matthew Durrant of the Utah Supreme Court, and for private and municipal law offices. Abbott also received a master&rsquo;s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University in 2011.</span></p> <p><span>_ </span>Valerie Escalante, who works in the Ontario office and practices in both the municipal and litigation practice groups. She represents cities, counties, agencies, school districts, business entities and private individuals. Her practice focuses on the Political Reform Act, the Public Records Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Escalante also litigates private and municipal matters in state and federal court. She is lead counsel in gun confiscation matters for the police departments of the cities of Ontario, Corona, Woodland and Clayton.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> She earned her law degree from Cornell Law School in 2011. During law school, Escalante clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Terry J. Hatter and the United States Attorney&rsquo;s Office, Civil Division. She speaks conversational Spanish and Portuguese and can read and write in both languages.<br /> <span><br /> _ Alison P. Gomer, who also works in Ontario as a member of the firm&rsquo;s municipal practice group. </span>Her practice focuses on land use planning and zoning issues and appropriation limits for cities and special districts, as well as the Political Reform Act, the Brown Act and electronic communication policies for local agencies.</p> <p><span>Gomer received her law degree from the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California in 2011. During law school, she was president of the Public Interest Law Foundation and served as a peer mentor for incoming law students. She also volunteered at the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Barristers Domestic Violence Project.<br /> In addition to her law degree, Gomer received a master&rsquo;s degree in planning from USC in 2008.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></p>Press Releases12 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=11026&format=xml