Best Best & Krieger News Feedhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=39&format=xml&directive=0&stylesheet=rss&records=20&OL=63Best Best and Krieger is a Full Service Law Firmen-us21 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss2015 First Year Law Student Diversity Fellowship/Scholarship Programhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34640&format=xml<p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="background-color: #ffff00"><span style="font-size: larger"><strong>NOTE: APPLICATIONS WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTED FROM 12/1/14 TO 1/30/15.</strong></span></span></p> <p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is committed to recruiting, hiring, developing, promoting and retaining attorneys and staff of diverse backgrounds. The value of diversity for our clients comes from the melding of differing experiences, cultures, talents, viewpoints and styles to drive creative and innovative solutions. Our diversity allows us to leverage different perspectives to approach complex legal issues in a way that provides the best outcome for our clients.</p> <p>With these goals in mind, BB&amp;K is pleased to offer our First Year Law Student Diversity Fellowship/Scholarship Program. This Program will provide the recipient with a paid summer associate position in one of our participating offices: Ontario, Riverside, Sacramento or San Diego. To qualify for the $7,500 scholarship, the recipient student must be invited and must return to BB&amp;K the following summer. The $7,500 scholarship will be paid following completion of the student&rsquo;s second summer with the firm.</p> <p>Description. The BB&amp;K First Year Law Student Diversity Fellowship/Scholarship Program is open to all first year law students enrolled and in good standing at an ABA accredited law school. Students with diverse backgrounds who demonstrate the potential to become an outstanding attorney at BB&amp;K are invited to apply. The successful candidate will be selected based on academic, personal and professional achievement.</p> <p>Please <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG">Click here</a> to learn more about the program and to apply.</p> <p><strong>NOTE: APPLICATIONS WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTED FROM 12/1/14 TO 1/30/15.</strong></p>Job Openings at BB&K07 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34640&format=xmlCEQA Associate - Riverside, Irvine or LAhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=7930&format=xml<p>Our Environmental &amp; Natural Resources Group has an immediate opening for an associate with a minimum of 4 years of CEQA experience (both transactional and litigation), as well as land use experience. A planning background is ideal.&nbsp; The attorney can be based in our Riverside, Irvine or Los Angeles office; however, he/she must be willing to work out of our Riverside office regularly and as needed.<br /> <br /> 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.<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></p> <p>Please address your cover letter to:<br /> <br /> <strong><span>Jill N. Willis<br /> </span></strong><span><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> </span><em><span><br /> </span><strong><span><em><strong>No phone calls please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></span></strong></em></p>Job Openings at BB&K07 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=7930&format=xmlBB&K Attorneys Win $43 Million in Transportation Fee Dispute on Behalf of WRCOGhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30995&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger attorneys Jeffrey V. Dunn and Thomas J. Eastmond won a $43 million trial award&nbsp;on behalf of the Western Riverside Council of Governments in a transportation fee dispute with the City of Beaumont.</p> <p>An Orange County Superior Court judge found that Beaumont failed to comply with its municipal ordinance requiring Beaumont to collect and remit transportation impact fees to WRCOG. The impact fees are part of the Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee (TUMF) Program administered by WRCOG. Under the TUMF Program impact fees collected from new development in western Riverside County are remitted to WRCOG and allocated to build new transportation infrastructure to mitigate the impact of development on the regional transportation system.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</p> <p>During the four-week trial, BB&amp;K provided evidence that Beaumont failed to comply with its TUMF obligations and, instead, created both tax and traffic burdens on Beaumont&rsquo;s own residents. The court found that&ldquo; the evidence shows poor local transportation planning and execution.&rdquo; The court went on to conclude that &ldquo;[t]he evidence and testimony reveals that city management and staff engaged in a pattern and practice of deception that transcends the typical give-and-take of dispute negotiation. Had this been a typical civil trial I would have found fraud by clear and convincing evidence as against the city.&rdquo;</p> In addition to the $43 million, WRCOG will be awarded pre-judgment interest of at least $20 million. BB&amp;K attorney Steven DeBaun, who is general counsel to WRCOG, also assisted with the case.Client Successes10 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30995&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=xmlThe Daily Journal Honors BB&K Attorney With Top 20 Defense Result in Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=28374&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong> Feb. 12, 2014<br /> <strong><span>Media Contact</span></strong><span>:&nbsp;Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; </span><a href="mailto:jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com"><font color="#0000ff">jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com</font></a><br /> <br /> <strong>RIVERSIDE,&nbsp;Calif.</strong>&nbsp;_ The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com">Daily Journal</a> today selected a court victory in a San Bernardino County case that was handled by Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney Kendall MacVey as a top 20 defense result in California for 2013.<br /> <br /> The state&rsquo;s chief legal daily newspaper recognized MacVey for his role in a lawsuit filed by the county that sought to compel his client &ndash; San Bernardino Associated Governments known as SANBAG &ndash; as well as Upland and the California Department of Transportation to reimburse the county for a corrupt $102 million settlement that its supervisors had paid to a developer.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I&rsquo;m honored and humbled by the Daily Journal&rsquo;s recognition. The ruling and ensuing settlement in this case is helping to promote a path of reconciliation between San Bernardino County and its 25 cities and towns, which make up SANBAG,&rdquo; said MacVey, a Riverside-based attorney.<br /> <br /> MacVey noted that a group of attorneys at BB&amp;K and the lawyers representing the other defendants worked as a team in bringing the case to a successful conclusion.<br /> <br /> The case was recognized by The Daily Journal Corp., publisher of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals, in its annual list of the top 20 defense results, top 10 plaintiff&rsquo;s verdicts by dollar, tops 10 plaintiff&rsquo;s verdicts by impact and top 5 appellate reversals in a special supplement to today&rsquo;s editions.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;This recognition is gratifying and a testament to the complex challenges created by the case, which brought together public policy and public corruption issues, land acquisition disputes, millions of pages of discovery and high-stakes litigation. The successful conclusion of the case shows the good work BB&amp;K litigators do on behalf of our clients,&rdquo; said Steve DeBaun, a Riverside-based attorney who serves as special counsel to SANBAG.<br /> <br /> In the case, San Diego Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Prager on Feb. 5 granted a motion for summary adjudication sought by MacVey that tossed out the vast majority of lawsuit, in large part because of corruption involved. The parties later agreed to dismiss the lawsuit with no payment of money.<br /> <br /> The ruling was part of a decade-long saga involving several civil lawsuits, millions of dollars of taxpayer funds and criminal charges against four former San Bernardino County officials and a Rancho Cucamonga developer.<br /> <br /> The $102 million settlement at the heart of the case occurred in November 2006 when county supervisors paid that money to Colonies Partners of Rancho Cucamonga after four years of litigation over a dispute involving flood control easements on the developer's 434-acre Upland housing and commercial project. The county sued the other agencies, claiming they bore responsibility for the damages claimed by Colonies.</p>Press Releases12 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=28374&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=xmlPublic Finance Attorney Returns to Best Best & Kriegerhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=27442&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong> Dec. 31, 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>. _ Mrunal Mehta Shah recently returned to Bes<span>t Best &amp; Krieger LLP as an of counsel attorney in the public finance practice group.<br /> <span><br /> Based in the law firm&rsquo;s Riverside office, Shah represents cities, counties, school districts and special districts in bond transactions to finance public infrastructure such as schools, streets and water treatment plants.<br /> <br /> In addition, she is working with other BB&amp;K attorneys on the Western Riverside Council of Governments&rsquo; HERO Program, a public-private partnership between cities, counties and the private sector that helps property owners finance renewable energy and energy-efficient improvments to their homes and businesses. It is the nation&rsquo;s largest Property Assessed Clean Energy financing program, known as PACE.<br /> <br /> The WRCOG program has expanded to 13 counties across California, and recently received the prestigious California <font color="#0000ff"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wrcog.cog.ca.us/uploads/media_items/ca-governor-awards-hero-program.original.pdf">Governor&rsquo;s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award</a></font>. BB&amp;K attorneys serve as bond counsel to the WRCOG program as well as the San Bernardino Associated Governments HERO program, which was recently launched throughout San Bernardino County.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We&rsquo;re happy that Mrunal decided to come back to the firm; she&rsquo;s an excellent lawyer and the firm and our clients will benefit greatly from her experience and expertise,&rdquo; said John Rottschaefer, leader of the firm&rsquo;s public finance practice group.<br /> <br /> Shah first joined BB&amp;K in 1998 as a law clerk and returned in 2002 as an attorney after receiving her law degree from Tulane University in New Orleans. She left BB&amp;K in 2010 when her husband received an out-of-state fellowship.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;One of the main reasons I returned to BB&amp;K is the great work environment,&rdquo; Shah said. &ldquo;All of the attorneys and staff work together congenially to make sure our clients&rsquo; needs are met promptly.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Shah </span>is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers. She speaks Spanish and Gujarati, a language native to parts of India.</span></p>Press Releases31 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=27442&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=xmlFour BB&K Attorneys Named by the Daily Journal Among Top 20 Municipal Lawyers In Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=25824&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release: </strong>Nov. 6, 2013<br /> <strong>Media Contact</strong>: Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com<br /> <br /> <strong>LOS ANGELES</strong> _ The Daily Journal today named four attorneys at Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP among California&rsquo;s Top 20 municipal lawyers in 2013 for cases involving medical marijuana, water rights, redevelopment and corruption.<br /> <br /> The state&rsquo;s top legal newspaper recognized <b>Jeffrey Dunn</b> in <b>Irvine</b> for, among other things,&nbsp;successfully arguing before the California Supreme Court in a case involving Riverside that state law does not prevent cities and counties from regulating medical marijuana dispensaries; <b>Eric Garner</b>, BB&amp;K managing partner based in <b>Los Angeles</b> and <strong>Riverside</strong>, for an appellate court victory involving Santa Maria and a large portion of California&rsquo;s Central Coast that strengthened the right of cities and public agencies to use groundwater for people;&nbsp;<strong>T. Brent Hawkins</strong> in <b>Sacramento</b> for handling lawsuits for cities and counties challenging the state&rsquo;s handling of post-redevelopment issues, including a case that resulted in a judge agreeing that Riverside should get nearly $19 million in loans originally taken out by the city&rsquo;s redevelopment agency,&nbsp;and <b>Kendall MacVey</b> in <b>Riverside</b> for his role in a case that saved the San Bernardino Associated Governments from having to reimburse San Bernardino County for a $102 million settlement that is the target of a corruption probe.<br /> <br /> Lawyers at BB&amp;K, with nine offices in California and Washington, D.C., serve as city attorney to more than 30 cities across California and provide special counsel work to dozens more.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;The recognition by The Daily Journal of four BB&amp;K attorneys is incredibly gratifying and an enormous honor for them and the firm. We are very proud of these attorneys for doing such great work for our clients,&rdquo; said Jeff Ballinger, an Ontario-based attorney who leads the firm&rsquo;s municipal law practice group.<br /> <br /> The Daily Journal Corp., publisher of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals, issued its annual list of the state&rsquo;s Top 20 municipal lawyers in a special supplement to today&rsquo;s editions. According to The State Bar of California, there are more than 244,000 attorneys statewide.</p>Press Releases06 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=25824&format=xmlBB&K Boosts Eminent Domain Practice with Three New Attorneyshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=25206&format=xml<p><b>For Immediate Release</b>: Oct. 17, 2013 <br /> <b>Media Contact</b>: Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; <span><span><a href="mailto:jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com"><font color="#0000ff">jennifer.bowles@BBKlaw.com</font></a></span></span></p> <p><strong>RIVERSIDE, Calif.</strong>_ Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP recently hired three attorneys to join the eminent domain practice in offices across Southern California.<br /> <br /> The eminent domain practice group focuses on helping cities, counties, special districts and school districts acquire property so they can build roads, water supply pipelines and other needed infrastructure.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;We are thrilled to be welcoming three new attorneys who bring a wealth of diverse experience into our practice,&rdquo; said Mark Easter, who heads the practice from the Riverside office.<br /> <br /> The new attorneys are:<br /> <br /> &nbsp;_ <b>Artin N. Shaverdian</b>, who is based in the <b>Los Angeles </b>office. An of counsel attorney at BB&amp;K, Shaverdian comes to the firm with nearly a decade of experience in eminent domain law. He has represented key public agencies in Southern California, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, various cities, redevelopment agencies and special districts in eminent domain/inverse condemnation cases.<br /> <br /> Primarily a litigator, he represents public agencies, individuals and business owners.&nbsp;Shaverdian has been lead counsel on the acquisition of hundreds of parcels of real property for various projects, including mixed-use commercial and residential redevelopment projects, schools, grade separation and other public infrastructure projects. He has also represented multiple property and business owners in eminent domain and inverse condemnation matters across the California, recovering millions of dollars on their behalf.<br /> <br /> Prior to joining BB&amp;K, Shaverdian was a partner at a boutique eminent domain practice in Glendale, Calif. He received his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles in 2002.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> _ <b>Gregory G Snarr</b>, who is an associate in the<b> Riverside</b> office. He represents public agencies and private-sector clients in pre-litigation, real-property acquisitions as well as all stages of complex, commercial litigation in state and federal courts.<br /> <br /> Primarily a litigator, Snarr&rsquo;s eminent domain experience includes acquisitions of rights of way for major public improvement projects as well as valuation issues, water adjudications, and land use and zoning restrictions. Fluent in Spanish, Snarr received his law degree from Brigham Young University in Utah in 2009.<br /> <br /> _<b>Holly E. Cheong</b>, an associate who joined the <b>San Diego</b> office and represents public agencies in eminent domain matters. Prior to joining BB&amp;K, Cheong worked for Snell &amp; Wilmer LLP in Las Vegas as a litigator handing commercial, civil and employment cases.<br /> <br /> Cheong received her law degree from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2010. After law school, she served as a law clerk to Justice Kristina Pickering of the Nevada Supreme Court. Before turning to a legal career, Cheong received a master&rsquo;s degree in city planning from San Diego State University in 2003, and worked as an environmental planner for the Southern Nevada Water Authority and as a biologist for the City of San Diego Planning Department.<br /> <br /> Cheong volunteers as the social media administrator with the San Diego affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. She began volunteering for the network after a friend died from the disease and she discovered that the survival rates with people suffering from pancreatic cancer are extremely low.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></p>Press Releases17 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=25206&format=xmlPublic Agencies In California Bear the Cost Of Electricity Rate Increaseshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=23418&format=xml<p>By <strong>Jason Ackerman</strong><br /> <br /> California electric rates are among the highest in the country and it is likely that the lion&rsquo;s share of future rate increases will be borne by commercial and industrial customers, such as public agencies. Why? Because California has embarked upon a significant number of policies that necessarily impact the state&rsquo;s electricity supply and delivery system. As a result, electric rates continue to rise and ratepayers, including public agencies, are searching for ways to respond to the spiraling costs of this necessary service. Understanding the process, policies and factors behind rate increases provides the first step in planning long-term energy strategies and cost-effective advocacy.</p> <p>If public agencies do not understand and participate in the process and proceedings, they may be in jeopardy of carrying a disproportionate share of the financial burden because their interests are not represented. As one of my California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) expert witnesses told me in a recent general rate case (GRC), &ldquo;Agencies must have a seat at the table&hellip; or they risk being placed on the menu by the parties who do.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>The Ratemaking Process</b></p> <p>The CPUC has jurisdiction over private and investor-owned electric utilities. The big-three regulated utilities in California are Pacific Gas &amp; Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas &amp; Electric. Most public agencies are located within the service area of one of these utilities.</p> <p>Every three years, these utilities are required to file GRC applications that are divided into two phases. Phase 1 applications address issues related to revenue requirements for utilities. In short, the question presented in the proceeding is, &ldquo;How much money is needed from ratepayers to maintain a reasonable level of service through the next three-year rate cycle?&rdquo;</p> <p>A utility may request increased revenue to cover the cost of delivering energy safely, maintaining system reliability and providing adequate customer service. Utilities may also request revenue for capital investment to replace aging infrastructure or to recover the cost of depreciation associated with system investments. During Phase 1 proceedings, an administrative law judge is tasked with determining whether the needs and costs are just and reasonable, such that they should be included in customer rates. The judge prepares a proposed decision for the full Commission&rsquo;s review and consideration.</p> <p>Phase 2 applications must be filed within 90 days of the filing of Phase 1 applications. Phase 2 proceedings address electric marginal costs, revenue allocation and rate design, and here the question presented is &ldquo;How should the revenue requirement approved in the Phase 1 proceeding be divided amongst the different classes of ratepayers?&rdquo; Put another way, &ldquo;How should the pie be sliced?&rdquo;</p> <p>During Phase 2 proceedings, the administrative law judge attempts to balance fair and equitable distribution of costs, stable and predictable rate structures and stable revenue collection. At the same time, the balance includes consideration to providing affordable universal services and incentives to conserve energy. As with the Phase 1 proceeding, the judge for the Phase 2 proceeding prepares a proposed decision for the full Commission&rsquo;s review and consideration.</p> <p><b>Electric Rate Increases</b></p> <p>Although GRC applications tend to seek single-digit revenue and rate increases, it is not uncommon for some classes of ratepayers to routinely see significant, double-digit bill impacts. The driving forces behind these rate increases are the result of many factors, including the following policies adopted by the State of California that are now being implemented:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px">&bull; <b>Once-Through Cooling Requirements</b>. In March 2010, the State Water Resources Control Board issued its Policy on the Use of Coastal and Estuarine Waters for Power Plant Cooling. The policy requires certain power plants to be retrofitted to closed-cycle wet-cooling facilities, with the open cycle facilities phased out by 2024. The 19 effected plants in California represent about 30 percent of total in-state power generation installed capacity. The estimated cost of retrofitting or decommissioning the facilities ranges from $4 to $11 billion.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px">&bull; <b>Renewable Portfolio Standard</b>. California&rsquo;s Renewable Portfolio Standard was established in 2002 and is one of the most ambitious renewable energy standards in the country. The RPS program requires investor-owned utilities, electric service providers and community choice aggregators to increase procurement from eligible renewable energy resources to 33 percent of total procurement by 2020. The program has had a profound effect on renewable energy project development and it continues to deliver numerous economic benefits. However, there are costs associated with implementing the renewable energy procurement program and constructing new transmission projects to access renewable energy to load centers. It has been estimated that potential annual program costs total $4.5 to $5 billion.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px">&nbsp;&bull; <b>San Onofre Closure</b>. In 2010 and 2011, Southern California Edison installed replacement steam generators at its San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). The generators, installed at a cost of $690 million, were expected to extend the useful life of the 40 year-old SONGS by 20 years. However, the generators proved to be defective and the generating station was shut down in January 2012.&nbsp;Since then, it is estimated that SCE spent more than $117 million on replacement power. In June 2013, SCE advised the CPUC that the SONGS would be decommissioned and that, while some costs related to the defective generators may be recovered through insurance claims and litigation, a significant amount of those costs may have to be recovered from SCE ratepayers. The CPUC will hold hearings in October to decide how to apportion the costs between ratepayers and SCE shareholders, but it is anticipated that ratepayers will be required to pick up a significant portion of the costs.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px">&nbsp;&bull; <b>California Cap and Trade.</b> The California Legislature enacted AB 32 in 2006, calling for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. To achieve these goals the California Air Resources Board worked closely with the CPUC and the California Energy Commission to develop California&rsquo;s cap-and-trade program.&nbsp;Starting in January 2013 and going through 2020, carbon emissions caps will be reduced 2-3 percent per year. As the caps go down, emissions-intensive and trade-exposed emitters such as electric utilities operating power plants will have to decide how to comply with the cap and trade requirements. Their choices are to operate more efficiently, burn less fossil fuel or obtain enough allowances from other companies to maintain compliance. Each of these options will come at significant costs that will be passed on to ratepayers.</p> <p><b>Public Agencies Should Respond to Rising Rates</b></p> <p>Public agencies can protect themselves by monitoring developments at the CPUC. One cost-effective way to monitor CPUC proceedings is through the Commission&rsquo;s subscription monitoring system. This is a free service that provides email updates on issues subscribers select. The subscription system provides the ability to monitor specific proceedings or issues, or to monitor all activity related to the electric industry.</p> <p>If agencies become aware of issues of interest, they may protect themselves by forming advocacy coalitions to participate in Commission proceedings. Coalitions provide benefits to members because they coordinate the message of a large group, while defraying the cost of delivering the common message. Notably, the Commission openly welcomes the participation of parties, including coalitions, in its proceedings and it goes to great lengths to accommodate participation. This is likely because the Commission understands the significant interests that are at stake. Indeed, if agencies do not participate in proceedings on their behalf, they may end up shouldering a disparate portion of the financial burden in the Commission&rsquo;s final decision.</p> <p>As public agencies gain a thorough understanding of what is at stake throughout the process and begin to recognize that they can affect final CPUC decisions, it is likely that more agencies will become involved.</p> <p><b><i>Jason Ackerman</i></b><i> is a partner in the Environmental and Natural Resources practice group of Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP in the firm&rsquo;s Riverside, Calif., office. His practice focuses on assisting clients in complying with state and federal environmental laws and providing general governance advice to public agencies. Mr. Ackerman can be reached at Jason.Ackerman@bbklaw.com.<br /> <br /> * This article was first published&nbsp;by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.publicceo.com/2013/08/electricity-rate-increases-affect-public-agencies/">PublicCEO.com</a> on Aug. 28. Republished with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News03 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=23418&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=xmlBest Best & Krieger Adds Attorney to Environmental Law Practicehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=22334&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong> July 23, 2013 <br /> <strong>Media Contact: </strong>Jennifer Bowles &bull; 951.826.8480 &bull; <span><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 a former Caltrans lawyer who worked on a major road project near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to join its environmental law practice.<br /> <br /> James &ldquo;Jamey&rdquo; M. Wyman became an associate attorney in the firm&rsquo;s Los Angeles and Riverside offices where his practice focuses on the California Environmental Quality Act, the California Coastal Act and historic resources.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;Jamey&rsquo;s extensive experience in environmental compliance and impressive work on major infrastructure projects fits in nicely with the services we offer our clients,&rdquo; said Jeff Ferre, head of BB&amp;K&rsquo;s environmental law and natural resources practice group.<br /> <br /> For nearly five years, Wyman served as a deputy attorney for the California Department of Transportation in San Francisco where he provided general counsel advice and litigation services to the state agency. He worked on a $1 billion project known as the Presidio Parkway, a series of roadways and tunnels now under construction to replace older roadways that lead to the Golden Gate Bridge.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Among other things, Wyman negotiated and drafted contracts for a $1 million public storage unit relocation, a user agreement with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy for the use of Crissy Field Center as a Caltrans engineering headquarters during construction and an agreement with several state and federal agencies stemming from Caltrans&rsquo; commitment to remove a previously believed extinct plant, the Franciscan manzanita, from the project area so it could be moved to a protected area.<br /> <br /> In addition, Wyman litigated eminent domain, inverse condemnation, unlawful detainers and general civil litigation matters for Caltrans.<br /> <br /> Wyman received his law degree in 2007 from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans where he had to study for a semester at UCLA School of Law while repairs were made to Tulane University in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.</p>Press Releases23 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=22334&format=xmlDealing with Estate Planning When You Own a Businesshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=22110&format=xml<strong>By Craig M. Marshall</strong><br /> <p>Creating a will or living trust can raise complicated and thorny family issues when figuring out how to divvy up assets at death. Toss a family-owned business into the mix, and it ramps up those and other planning issues to another level.<br /> <br /> Does a son or daughter have the interest as well as the right experience and skill level to carry on the family business? If so, how do you equalize the rest of the estate among the other children? If not, will your family have enough liquid assets to hire someone to run the business?<br /> <br /> What happens when you have a blended family and step-children are involved? What if your business partner is not a relative and you want to make certain that your family is treated fairly while still protecting that loyal partner?<br /> <br /> Should you just plan to have the business sold after you are gone and divide the proceeds among your beneficiaries? It may seem akin to deciding what to do with the family home. Do you sell the home and divide the cash among the children, or do you let one child who wants to live in the home buy out the others?<br /> <br /> With a business, however, the planning can be significantly more complex.<br /> <br /> A family business owners certainly not alone in this predicament. Some 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled, according to statistics reported by the University of Southern Maine&rsquo;s Institute for Family-Owned Business.<br /> <br /> Wal-Mart, News Corp and Ford Motor are just a few of the big names. And it&rsquo;s not always easy for them.<br /> <br /> In California, the matriarch of the In-N-Out Burger chain had already experienced the death of her two sons. So Esther Snyder decided to leave the Irvine-based company to her only living blood heir, her granddaughter who was 23 when the matriarch died at 86. Passing the torch did not come easily nor without various back-and-forth legal challenges by a company executive and co-trustee of the Snyder family trusts. Despite all of that, the granddaughter now controls the restaurant chain through a trust that gave her half ownership when she turned 30 in 2012, and will give her full control when she turns 35.<br /> <br /> While there are complex legal and estate tax issues to consider when a family business is part of an estate plan, it&rsquo;s important for a business owner to be comfortable with the practical implications of a proposed succession strategy and communicate the same to the family. A conversation with family members can help avoid future surprises or conflicts in many instances by airing issues early on and helping you appreciate where everyone stands in terms of carrying on the business. Also, family members may gain a better understanding of your desires and expectations.<br /> <br /> Here are a few additional thoughts to consider:<br /> <br /> Besides death, a business owner should consider other potential events that may impact the business, such as disability, incapacity, retirement or bankruptcy. An effective way to handle these issues is with a well-prepared, buy-sell agreement among the owners.<br /> <br /> A business owner can transfer ownership of almost the entire business to the next generation before death while still maintaining control over business decisions. The earlier a business owner transfers a business, the lower the estate and gift tax risks.<br /> <br /> Often times, a comprehensive estate and business succession plan for a business owner will involve a team of professionals such as an estate planning attorney, accountant, an insurance agent and a financial adviser.<br /> <br /> As proud as you are about the business you&rsquo;ve built, it&rsquo;s unlikely it will stay in the family for very long without proper planning. Only 40 percent of family-owned businesses survive to the second generation, 12 percent to the third and 3 percent to the fourth. But preparing for the transition is the best strategy to ensure your wishes are carried out.<br /> <br /> * This column first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pe.com/business/business-columns/best-in-law-headlines/20130713-best-in-law-family-businesses-and-estate-planning.ece"><em>The Press-Enterprise</em></a><em> on July 14, 2013. Republished&nbsp;with permission.</em></p>BB&K In The News15 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=22110&format=xmlRequired Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training for Supervisorshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=1815&format=xml<div> <p>BB&amp;K provides&nbsp;the State-mandated Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Program requirements at our offices through California on a quarterly basis.</p> <p>Upcoming Event: <a target="_top" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=33486&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training (November 18, 2014)</span></a></p> <p>Contact Person:<br /> Jessy Asfahan, Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> <a href="mailto:Jessy.Asfahan@BBKlaw.com?subject=Required%20Sexual%20Harassment%20Avoidance%20Training%20for%20Supervisors"><span style="color: #0000ff">Jessy.Asfahan@BBKlaw.com</span></a> or (951) 826-8212</p> <p><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h4>Custom&nbsp;Training Programs at Your Facility</h4> <p>Our attorneys can prepare and present a customized program at your place of employment. These programs can be tailored to reflect the policies and needs of your organization. <br /> <br /> Contact your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=491&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K Labor &amp; Employment Law attorney</span></a> to schedule on-site training, or call <a href="mailto:Sally.Bondy@bbklaw.com?subject=Required%20Sexual%20Harassment%20Avoidance%20Training%20for%20Supervisors"><span style="color: #0000ff">Sally.Bondy@bbklaw.com</span></a> or (951) 826-8356<br /> <br /> All participants in BB&amp;K Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Programs will receive a certificate of completion to acknowledge that they and your organization have satisfied this State requirement.**<br /> &nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-size: smaller">* Travel over 30 miles from the nearest BB&amp;K office may be subject to an additional charge.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: smaller">* Assembly Bill 1825 requires&nbsp;that by January 1, 2006, any private employer with 50 or more employees and all public agencies must provide at least two hours of classroom or other effective interactive training and education on sexual harassment to all supervisory employees who are employed as of July 1, 2005, and to all new supervisory employees within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position. Furthermore, this training must be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.</span></p> </div>Seminars & Training01 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=1815&format=xmlPrivate-Sector Employers: Updating Your Social Media Policieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=20363&format=xml<div> <div viziwyg-field-1057878-body="" viziwyg-editable=""> <div> <p><strong>By Joseph T. Ortiz<br /> </strong><br /> Most companies focus their social media policies almost entirely on listing the things the employer finds unacceptable to post and share:<br /> <br /> - Avoid defamation, obscenities or other inappropriate content.<br /> - Never discuss internal or sensitive company information.<br /> - Always respect third-party copyright and trademark rights.<br /> <br /> Unfortunately, because the tech-savvy youth tend to &ldquo;check in&rdquo; everywhere and &ldquo;post&rdquo; everything, these kinds of blanket prohibitions have led to a significant number of employee terminations. In May 2011, <em>Business Insider</em> published &ldquo;17 People Who Were Fired For Using Facebook.&rdquo; Many of those terminations stemmed from employee posts critical of their employers. That trend continues today, according to an Internet search for the phrase &ldquo;Facebook Firing.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> The first sign that these kinds of social media policies were overbroad came in October 2010, when the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against American Medical Response of Connecticut.<br /> <br /> In that case, the employee was fired for posting Facebook comments describing her boss as &ldquo;a scumbag&rdquo; among other more colorful things. Co-workers posted supportive remarks. The labor board stated that the posts constituted a protest of supervisory actions and were, therefore, a &ldquo;concerted activity&rdquo; protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Unfortunately, because the act is known primarily for governing employer relations with unions, many companies ignored this case.<br /> <br /> On May 30, 2012, however, the labor board&rsquo;s general counsel issued a 24-page memorandum outlining its general concerns with social media policies as enforced, and the labor board began to strike overbroad social media policies that prevent employees from discussing workplace concerns, whether the employees were members of a union or not. The labor board&rsquo;s analysis made unlawful many of the &ldquo;typical&rdquo; social media policy bans, including the three prohibitions listed earlier.<br /> <br /> In addition to the national labor board restrictions, California enacted AB 1844, which took effect this year and expressly bans a private-sector employer from requiring an employee to: (1) divulge a username or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media; (2) access his or her personal social media account in front of the employer; or (3) divulge &ldquo;any personal social media&rdquo; (presumably printouts of contents).<br /> <br /> While there is a carve-out allowing employers to request social media &ldquo;relevant to an investigation of employee misconduct,&rdquo; the law generally makes it illegal for the employer to discipline an employee who refuses to comply with an employer request that violates the new law.<br /> <br /> The law does not expressly state that it also applies to public-sector employers but the California Legislature is considering passage of a bill that would do so.<br /> <br /> Given the recent significant changes in the law, employers in the private and public sectors should ask themselves the following questions:<br /> <br /> Does your policy allow legitimate concerted employee activity? Recent cases have shown that the national labor board will allow social media policies that can be reasonably interpreted not to interfere with employee communications regarding wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of employment.<br /> <br /> Does your policy note employer restrictions on access? Policies often function to remind human resources professionals and management of employer restrictions. Recent state restrictions on employer access to social media should be referenced.<br /> <br /> Does your policy differentiate between advice and prohibitions? While common sense would dictate that posting certain material is ill-advised, failure to make this distinction can lead an overly aggressive manager to seek to terminate an employee for simply having poor judgment. An overly broad policy can be interpreted and enforced in ways that would violate the labor board&rsquo;s restrictions.<br /> <br /> If your social media policy has not been modified in the past five years, it&rsquo;s likely that it needs updating if for no other reason than to adequately address the changed social media landscape and new media platforms.<br /> <br /> Before instituting policy changes, employers should carefully consider how employees use social media and enlist the help of a human resources professional or attorney to assist in drafting a policy that balances employer concerns against the emerging law.</p> <p><em>Joseph T. Ortiz is a partner in the labor and employment practice group of Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP in Riverside. An experienced trial lawyer, Ortiz also advises private and public employers on a wide variety of employee matters such as social media policies. He can be reached at joseph.ortiz@bbklaw.com.<br /> <br /> * This column first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pe.com/business/business-columns/best-in-law-headlines/20130615-best-in-law-social-media-policy-considerations.ece">The Press-Enterprise</a> on June 16, 2013.&nbsp;Republished&nbsp;with permission.</em></p> </div> </div> </div>BB&K In The News17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=20363&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=xmlThe Risks of Sustainable Constructionhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=18613&format=xml<p>By <strong>Scott W. Ditfurth</strong></p> <p>Sustainability and &ldquo;green&rdquo; building are becoming commonplace in the construction industry. And why not? Aside from an obvious benefit to the environment, sustainable building provides for potential financial benefits, higher property values and preferential marketability.<br /> <br /> While the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, commonly referred to as LEED, certification guidelines are not currently required for new construction, it is not uncommon for certain LEED standards to be incorporated into local codes and state regulations such as CALGreen. Despite the prominence of green building, there remains undefined risks in constructing these kinds of structures, insuring their performance and assigning liability to the parties for any failures.<br /> <br /> While the benefits of sustainable construction are well documented, the risks associated with it remain somewhat undefined. Generally speaking, the risks include defects in green materials used on a project, the ability to attain LEED certification or comply with local building codes, and whether or not the buildings will qualify for various financial incentive programs.<br /> <br /> Thus, developers and insurance companies face potential exposure regarding how the building was constructed and how it will perform long after construction.<br /> <br /> Click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pe.com/business/business-columns/best-in-law-headlines/20130420-law-some-risks-in-sustainable-construction.ece">here</a> to read the complete article on The Press-Enterprise website.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p>BB&K In The News23 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=18613&format=xml