Best Best & Krieger News Feedhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=39&format=xml&directive=0&stylesheet=rss&records=20&OL=66Best Best and Krieger is a Full Service Law Firmen-us18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssLitigation Secretary - Walnut Creek Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33166&format=xml<span style="font-family: Times New Roman"><strong><span style="font-size: small">Skilled Legal Secretary with strong litigation experience.</span></strong><span style="font-size: small"><br /> <br /> Qualified candidate must have 5+ years recent California litigation experience, thorough knowledge of Superior and District court rules and procedures, transcription and calendaring. Must be comfortable in fast paced environment, detail oriented, work with little supervision, motivated, professional, reliable, with excellent verbal and written communications skills. Expert with Word, Outlook, iManage. Superior salary/benefits package and excellent work environment. <br /> <br /> </span></span> <p><span style="font-family: Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: small">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=%3a%40%3bA">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a></span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: small">Please address your cover letter to:</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: small"><strong>Debbie Prior<br /> </strong><em>Director of Human Resources<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1700<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <span style="font-family: Times New Roman"><span style="font-size: small"> <p><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> </span></span>Job Openings at BB&K12 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33166&format=xmlBB&K Attorneys Recognized as 2014 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Starshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31489&format=xml<p><b>For Immediate Release</b>: July 4, 2014 <br /> <b>Media Contact</b>: Denise Nix &bull; 213-787-2552 &bull; <span><span><a href="mailto:denise.nix@bbklaw.com"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">denise.nix@bbklaw.com</span></u></a></span></span></p> <p><b>SACRAMENTO, Calif</b> _ Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP congratulates its seven attorneys included in the 2014 Northern California <i>Super Lawyers </i>and <i>Super Lawyers Rising Stars</i> lists. No more than 5 percent of California&rsquo;s attorneys are included in the <i>Super Lawyers</i> lists each year, which is compiled from peer nominations and a research team. To be one of the 2.5 percent of attorneys included on the <i>Rising Stars</i> list, an attorney must either be 40 or younger or in practice for 10 years or less.</p> <p>The BB&amp;K attorneys named to this year&rsquo;s list are:</p> <ul> <li>Sarah Owsowitz, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Land Use/Zoning, Walnut Creek</li> <li>Sue Schoenig, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Employment &amp; Labor Law, Sacramento</li> <li>Stacey Sheston, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Employment &amp; Labor Law, Sacramento</li> <li>Harriet Steiner, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, State, Local &amp; Municipal Law, Sacramento</li> <li>Gene Tanaka, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Environmental Litigation, Walnut Creek</li> <li>Kara Ueda, <i>Rising Stars</i>, State, Local &amp; Municipal Law, Sacramento</li> <li>Sigrid Asmundson, <i>Rising Stars</i>, State, Local &amp; Municipal Law, Sacramento</li> </ul> <p><i>Super Lawyers</i> is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. For more information, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.superlawyers.com/index.html"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">SuperLawyers.com</span></u></a>.</p> <p><b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b><i> is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With nearly 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington D.C. For more information, visit </i><span style="color: #0000ff"><i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</span></u></a></i></span><i> or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases04 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31489&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 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=xmlState Trying to Use Defeat to Stymie High-Speed Rail Foeshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=25090&format=xml<p>California's high-speed rail authority is hoping a state appellate court will give it something many project developers would give their right arm for - an exemption from the state's powerful environmental review law.<br /> <br /> Over the summer, the 3rd District Court of Appeal was set to hear argument in a case in which the wealthy enclaves of Palo Alto and Atherton, several community groups and the Planning and Conservation League allege the rail authority has violated the California Environmental Quality Act. They claim the state did a flawed analysis of the $68 billion project's planned route from the Central Valley into San Jose and north to San Francisco.<br /> <br /> Such claims are common to many cases brought under the 1970 law, known as CEQA, which requires public agencies to analyze environmental impacts of projects and address any significant harms.<br /> <br /> But the case took an unexpected turn in June after the state claimed the whole suit should be thrown out because CEQA no longer applies to the project. The appellate panel has now delayed oral argument to consider briefing on the matter. <i>Town of Atherton v. Calif. High Speed Rail Authority</i>, C070877 (Cal. App. 3rd Dist., filed April 13, 2012).<br /> <br /> The state's move is like throwing an &quot;atomic bomb&quot; into the high speed rail dispute, <b>said Sarah E. Owsowitz, a CEQA attorney with Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP. </b><br /> <br /> &quot;The high-speed rail project is a really big deal and CEQA is the law that's used when you want to stall, kill or hold hostage a project,&quot; <b>Owsowitz said</b>. &quot;CEQA was always going to be the way that opponents of high-speed rail were going to go after it.&quot;<br /> <br /> It's a bold argument, and if they prevail it could avoid lengthy court battles and cut years off the construction process, <b>she said</b>.<br /> <br /> The state's legal gambit is possible due to a setback it suffered in a different legal tussle instigated by high-speed rail critics. Central Valley politicians, led by Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, and other rail opponents urged the federal Surface Transportation Board to exercise jurisdiction over the project. In response, the state argued the Surface Transportation Board, or STB, did not have a role because the rail line is completely within California. The STB ruled in June that it did have jurisdiction.<br /> <br /> The state has now turned that loss into a weapon in the CEQA case. It argues that the federal Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act of 1995, or ICCTA, gives the federal agency exclusive jurisdiction over the project and preempts any state law that could interfere with construction, including CEQA. <br /> <br /> ....<br /> <br /> Click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com">here</a> to read the entire article published on Oct. 7, 2013 in the Daily Journal. (subscription required).</p>BB&K In The News09 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=25090&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=xmlCaught Between a CEQA Rock and a General Plan Hard Placehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=23350&format=xmlBy <strong>Sarah Owsowitz<br /> </strong><br /> <p>California law imposes substantial obligations on cities and counties with regard to enforcement of general plans and compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (&ldquo;CEQA&rdquo;). These dueling obligations can come into conflict and result in a fundamental problem that often goes overlooked.&nbsp;If a city or county&rsquo;s CEQA review for a project concludes that the project will result in an environmental imp act that is significant but unavoidable and that impact reflects a conflict with a mandatory policy in the city or county&rsquo;s general plan, the city or county is, arguably, prohibited from approving the project.&nbsp;This result occurs despite the fact that CEQA permits a city or county to approve projects that have significant and unavoidable impacts.&nbsp;How did two laws focused on different goals come to be intertwined and is there any way out of this conundrum?<br /> <br /> Click <a target="_blank" href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/BBK-WC-Owsowitz-CEQA-GeneralPlans-PublicLawJournal_Summer2013.pdf">here</a> to read the entire article.<br /> <br /> * First published in the California Public Law Journal, a quarterly publication of the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California. Reprinted by permission of the State Bar of California.</p>BB&K In The News22 Aug 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=23350&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=xmlSix BB&K Attorneys Named 2013 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Starshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=21885&format=xml<p>Five Best Best &amp; Krieger attorneys were named among the Northern California lawyers most respected by their peers. In addition, one BB&amp;K lawyer is among the top up-and-coming attorneys in Northern California under 40 years of age or practicing less than 10 years.<br /> <br /> The attorneys on the 2013 Northern California Super Lawyers list are <b>Susan L. Schoenig</b> and <b>Stacey N. Sheston</b> for employment and labor law, <b>Harriet A. Steiner</b> for government and municipal law, <b>Sarah E. Owsowitz</b> for land use and zoning law, and <b>Gene Tanaka</b> for environmental litigation. Super Lawyers&rsquo; 2013 Northern California Rising Stars includes <b>Kara K. Ueda</b> for government and municipal law.<br /> <b><br /> Schoenig</b> advises a diverse group of public and private employers in all types of employment and labor matters. She handles wrongful termination and unlawful harassment matters from the filing of the initial complaint through investigation, subsequent litigation and trial. She has served as the California Public Employees Retirement System&rsquo;s litigation supervisor.<br /> <br /> <b>Sheston</b> is a member of the firm&rsquo;s executive committee. Her practice includes providing day-to-day employment advice to both public and private employers. Sheston also represents employers in employment-related mediations, arbitrations, administrative hearings and court proceedings.<br /> <br /> <b>Steiner</b>, who is city attorney of Davis, also represents special districts and joint powers agencies as general counsel and special counsel. She focuses on land use, environmental law, telecommunications law and cable television franchising, wastewater and municipal water, and public financing.<br /> <br /> <b>Owsowitz&rsquo;s</b> practice focuses on advice and litigation regarding the California Environmental Quality Act, with a concentration on urban decay, climate change, water supply and cultural resource issues. She has substantial experience obtaining entitlements and preparing and defending environmental impact reports for large-scale development projects, hospital retrofits and renewable energy projects.<br /> <br /> <b>Tanaka</b> is a public agency litigator. He has litigated many land use cases, including the successful Los Angeles Superior Court challenge to the Ward Valley Low-Level Radioactive Waste Facility. Tanaka also represents clients in toxics cases for cleanup or damages. He has worked on the Stringfellow cleanup litigation in U.S. District Court.<br /> <br /> <b>Ueda</b> specializes in municipal law, conflicts of interest, elections, land use, and the California Environmental Quality Act. She also assists public agencies on general plan updates, LAFCO matters, Proposition 218, and Brown Act and Public Records Act compliance. In addition, Ueda routinely litigates CEQA, land use and elections cases in state and federal courts.</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.</p>BB&K In The News08 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=21885&format=xmlThe Courts Drag Parking Back into the California Environmental Quality Acthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=20389&format=xml<p>By <strong>Sarah E. Owsowitz</strong> and <strong>Stephanie R. Straka<br /> </strong><br /> It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a Californian in possession of a car must be in want of a parking space. And, of course, this space should be free, just steps from your intended destination and available 24 hours a day. But the harsh reality is that, in just about every densely populated area of California, the hunt for the perfect parking space (or any parking space!) is a frustrating and often highly expensive daily activity. As a result, when cities, counties and other public agencies consider proposals for new development in an urbanized area, they are commonly besieged with panicked cries of &ldquo;But where will these new residents/customers/workers park? Where will I, my customers, or my employees park? Parking!!!&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Parking is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a new issue in California. But, in 2002, public agencies won a small victory that allowed them, if they choose, to keep parking battles mostly separate from one of the other stickiest widgets in California land use &ndash; the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA as it is widely known. In <i>San Franciscans Upholding the Downtown Plan v. City and County of San Francisco</i>, a state appellate court considered a challenge to an environmental impact report&rsquo;s discussion of the parking impacts of a massive redevelopment project in downtown San Francisco. The project proposed to restore the historic Emporium Building for use as a Bloomingdale&rsquo;s department store as well as other retail and restaurant uses. There was no question that the project would greatly increase the demand for parking in the area, but the project did not include any new parking. The project&rsquo;s opponents challenged the city&rsquo;s decision not to identify the project&rsquo;s parking deficit as an environmental impact. The First District Court of Appeal sided with the city, finding that its <i>environmental </i>analysis was adequate as the &ldquo;social inconvenience of having to hunt for scarce parking spaces is not an environmental impact; the secondary effect of scarce parking on traffic and air quality is.&rdquo; Thus, the court held that the lack of parking does not, on its own, need to be treated as a significant impact to the environment.<br /> <br /> Since then, San Francisco and other cities in California have been following the court&rsquo;s lead, finding in their CEQA documents that &ldquo;the social inconvenience of parking deficits, such as having to hunt for scarce parking spaces, is not an environmental impact.&rdquo; Thus, their consideration of parking issues has been limited to questions about whether there might be secondary environmental impacts from a lack of parking, such as increased traffic congestion at intersections and air quality impacts caused by that congestion. In 2010, there was another step in the right direction: The Governor&rsquo;s Office of Planning and Research, the entity charged with drafting guidelines to help agencies implement CEQA, deleted questions about whether proposed projects would result in inadequate parking capacity from the CEQA Guidelines.<br /> <br /> But apparently nothing good in CEQA lasts forever. Another city haunted by parking problems, San Diego, is the subject of a new court case that drags the issue of parking back into the CEQA arena. In <i>Taxpayers for Accountable School Bond Spending v San Diego Unified School District</i>, a state appellate court considered the environmental review conducted by a school district for the installation of stadium lighting at a high school athletic field, lights which would allow for the playing of night football games. Neighbors complained that the high school&rsquo;s parking was inadequate and that attendees to night games might park in their neighborhood, thus keeping residents from finding parking when they came home from work. On this basis, the neighbors argued, the school district should have prepared a lengthy environmental impact report, rather than the shorter, faster environmental review document known as a &ldquo;negative declaration.&rdquo; The Fourth District Court of Appeal, in its ruling issued this past March, sided with the neighbors, finding that the potential lack of available parking spaces during night games, by itself, could be a significant impact on the environment. It rejected the reasoning in <i>San Franciscans Upholding the Downtown Plan</i> and held that CEQA requires environmental review not just of the potential secondary effects associated with searching for parking, such as increased exhaust emissions from idling cars, but also of the &ldquo;direct effects&rdquo; of being unable to find a space in a parking lot, namely, parking somewhere else. The court stated: &ldquo;cars and other vehicles are physical objects that occupy space when driven and when parked&rdquo; and thus &ldquo;naturally must have some impact on the physical environment,&rdquo; even if the impact is only &ldquo;temporary (e.g. only so long as the vehicle remains parked).&rdquo; The court did not suggest what this temporary direct impact to the environment might be, but concluded that the neighbors&rsquo; concerns about finding a parking space when they came home from work constituted evidence that &ldquo;the Project may have a significant impact on parking and thus the environment.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> Where does this new ruling leave cities, counties and other public agencies? The conservative approach will be to go back to the days when every CEQA document considered whether there were sufficient parking spaces to serve a proposed project. (Although what does sufficient parking even mean in dense areas where the existing zoning may not call for new developments to provide parking at all?) Arguably public agencies will be forced to call a lack of sufficient parking a significant impact to the environment. This impact, it would seem, can only be addressed (&ldquo;mitigated&rdquo; to use CEQA lingo) by providing more parking or making the project in question smaller. Does this mean that adding parking is now some sort of benefit to the environment? What about so-called &ldquo;infill projects,&rdquo; those projects most likely to be located on small parcels of land in dense urban areas where parking is already hard to find? Will they have to reduce the square footage of retail or office spaces or the number of housing units they propose in order to add parking spaces? And, if they cannot provide sufficient parking, will public agencies be forced to prepare otherwise unnecessary environmental impact reports (the only type of environmental review document that can be prepared for projects with unmitigated impacts)?<br /> <br /> Attorneys for the San Diego Unified School District have petitioned the California Supreme Court to review this case, and we should know the results of their request by the end of the summer. But the Supreme Court grants review to only a tiny percentage of the cases and even if the court accepts this one, it could be a while before a hearing is scheduled and a ruling is issued. So, at the end of the day, it looks likely that parking will be crashing the CEQA party once again.</p> <p><b><i>Sarah E. Owsowitz</i></b><i> is of counsel in Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP&rsquo;s Environmental Law and Natural Resources practice group. Her practice focuses on California Environmental Quality Act advice and litigation for public agency and private clients. She also advises on state and local planning and zoning laws. She can be reached at <a href="mailto:sarah.owsowitz@bbklaw.com">sarah.owsowitz@bbklaw.com</a>.<br /> <br /> </i><i><b>Stephanie R. Straka</b> is an associate in BB&amp;K&rsquo;s Environmental Law and Natural Resources practice group in the firm&rsquo;s Walnut Creek office. She advises public agency and private clients on the California Environmental Quality Act. She can be reached at stephanie.straka@bbklaw.com.<br /> <br /> * This article was originally published in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.publicceo.com/2013/06/dude-wheres-my-parking-spot-the-courts-drag-parking-back-into-the-ceqa-arena/">PublicCEO.com</a>, on June 18, 2013. Republished with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News18 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=20389&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=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=xmlSix BB&K Attorneys Named 2012 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Starshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=13321&format=xml<p>Four Best Best &amp; Krieger attorneys were named among the Northern California lawyers most respected by their peers. In addition, two BB&amp;K lawyers are among the top up-and-coming attorneys in Northern California under 40 years of age or practicing less than 10 years.</p> <p>The attorneys on the 2012 Northern California Super Lawyers list are <b>Susan L. Schoenig</b> for employment and labor law, <b>Stacey N. Sheston</b> for employment and labor law, <b>Harriet A. Steiner</b> for government and municipal law, and <b>Gene Tanaka</b> for environmental litigation. Super Lawyers&rsquo; 2012 Northern California Rising Stars are <b>Sarah E. Owsowitz</b> for land use and zoning law, and <b>Kara K. Ueda</b> for government and municipal law.</p> <p><b>Schoenig</b> advises a diverse group of public and private employers in all types of employment and labor matters. She handles wrongful termination and unlawful harassment matters from the filing of the initial complaint through investigation, subsequent litigation and trial. She has served as the California Public Employees Retirement System&rsquo;s litigation supervisor.</p> <p><b>Sheston</b> is co-leader of the firm&rsquo;s labor and employment practice group. Her practice includes providing day-to-day employment advice to both public and private employers. Sheston also represents employers in employment-related mediations, arbitrations, administrative hearings and court proceedings.</p> <p><b>Steiner</b>, who is city attorney of Davis, also represents special districts and joint powers agencies as general counsel and special counsel. Her areas of specialty include land use, environmental law, telecommunications law and cable television franchising, wastewater and municipal water, and public financing.</p> <p><b>Tanaka</b> is a public agency litigator. He has litigated many land use cases, including the successful Los Angeles Superior Court challenge to the Ward Valley Low Level Radioactive Waste Facility. Tanaka also represents clients in toxics cases for cleanup or damages. He has worked on the Stringfellow cleanup litigation in U.S. District Court.</p> <p><b>Owsowitz&rsquo;s</b> practice focuses on advice and litigation regarding the California Environmental Quality Act, with a concentration on urban decay, climate change, water supply and cultural resource issues. She has substantial experience obtaining entitlements and preparing and defending environmental impact reports for large-scale development projects, hospital retrofits and renewable energy projects.</p> <p><b>Ueda</b> specializes in municipal law, conflicts of interest, elections, land use, and the California Environmental Quality Act. She also assists public agencies on general plan updates, LAFCO matters, Proposition 218, and Brown Act and Public Records Act compliance. In addition, Ueda routinely litigates CEQA, land use and elections cases in state and federal courts.</p>BB&K In The News10 Jul 2012 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=13321&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=xmlEnvironmental Rules for Development Loosening as Builders Look to Expedite CEQA Reviewshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=11504&format=xml<p>Last fall, in a push to build a propose football stadium in downtown Los Angeles and help other big projects turn dirt, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a pair of bills aimed at cutting lengthy reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act.</p> <p>Now, new discussions about environmental review fast-tracking for developments are beginning to sprout, including recent talks about streamlining the process for a massive bullet train system. The state&rsquo;s high unemployment rate and sluggish construction are helping fuel the rule loosing, as lawmakers are more receptive to speeding up projects that can help jumpstart the battered economy.</p> <p>And lawyers say their development clients are increasingly interested in slicing through the often yearslong environmental studies to more quickly get their projects off the ground.</p> <p>&ldquo;I certainly expect arguments to be made to expand the categories of projects in California that can see streamlined review,&rdquo; said Sarah E. Owsowitz, of counsel in Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP&rsquo;s Environmental Law and Natural Resources practice group.</p> <p>Click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com">here</a> to read the full article. (Daily Journal subscription required).</p>BB&K In The News20 Apr 2012 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=11504&format=xmlBB&K Adds Environmental Attorney in Northern Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=10912&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong> Feb. 27, 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></p> <p><strong>WALNUT CREEK, Calif.</strong> _ Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP has hired Sarah E. Owsowitz, an environmental attorney and former deputy city attorney for San Francisco, to join its environmental law and natural resources practice as an of counsel attorney.<br /> <span><br /> Owsowitz&rsquo;s practice focuses on advice and litigation involving the California Environmental Quality Act, widely known as CEQA, with an emphasis on air quality, climate change, water supply, urban decay and cultural resources.<br /> <br /> </span>In particular, she has experience in obtaining entitlements and preparing and defending environmental impact reports for large-scale retail and residential development projects and hospital retrofits such as the Acute Care Tower Replacement Project for the Alameda County Medical Center (Highland Hospital) in Oakland.<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> In addition, Owsowitz has provided CEQA and permitting counsel for wind and solar energy projects across California, from Sacramento County to San Diego County.<br /> </span><br /> &ldquo;Sarah comes to us with a rich background in CEQA and she&rsquo;ll provide a strong anchor for our Northern California clients,&rdquo; said <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1650&amp;format=xml">Michelle Ouellette</a>, a BB&amp;K partner and member of the firm&rsquo;s executive committee who also specializes in CEQA.<br /> <br /> Prior to joining BB&amp;K, Owsowitz worked at Cox Castle &amp; Nicholson and Morrison &amp; Foerster. Before that, she served for seven years as a deputy city attorney for the city and county of San Francisco.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> &ldquo;I was looking to join a large, statewide land use and natural resources practice where I could work in both the public and private sectors, and I found that at BB&amp;K,&rdquo; she said.<br /> <br /> Owsowitz received her law degree and a master&rsquo;s degree in planning from the University of Minnesota in 1998.</p>Press Releases27 Feb 2012 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=10912&format=xmlCourt of Federal Claims Dismisses Water District Takings Lawsuithttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=10452&format=xml<p>Ojai California&rsquo;s Casitas Municipal Water District has &ndash; at least for the time being &ndash; failed in its quest for compensation from the United States for water lost to comply with a National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Opinion (BiOp) intended to benefit endangered west coast steelhead trout. However, the court&rsquo;s Opinion leaves open the possibility that if and when Casitas &ndash; or someone else &ndash; can demonstrate that water taken by the government has resulted in an actual reduction of the beneficial use of water &ndash; e.g., the amount of water actually delivered to customers &ndash; the government will be liable under the Fifth Amendment to actually pay for it.</p> <p>After trial on remand from the Court of Appeals in <i>Casitas Municipal Water District v. United States</i>, Case No. 1:05-cv-00168-JPW, the trial court ruled on December 5 that Casitas&rsquo; &ldquo;compensable property interest&rdquo; under California water law is not the water that it diverts into its reservoir under its state permits, but is its right to the beneficial use of that water. The court found that Casitas has not yet suffered any reduction in that aspect of its water rights.</p> <p>The court rejected both Casitas&rsquo; argument that it should be compensated for water it had a legal right to divert but did not because of the BiOp, and the United States&rsquo; argument that because of underlying California water law principles, Casitas&rsquo; legal right to divert was already limited, notwithstanding the BiOp.</p> <p>With respect to one of those underlying principles, the public trust doctrine, the court cited the California Supreme Court&rsquo;s 1983 observation that &ldquo;[t]he population and economy of [California] depend upon the appropriation of vast quantities of water for uses unrelated to in-stream trust values,&rdquo; stating that &ldquo;Notably, the public trust doctrine is concerned not only with fish and other environmental values, but also with human navigation and commerce.&rdquo; The power of the government to take water for environmental uses is not absolute.</p> <p>For more information on this case and how it may affect your agency or project, please contact <a href="mailto:Robert.Sawyer@BBKLaw.com?subject=BB%26K%20Legal%20Alert%3A%20Court%20of%20Federal%20Claims%20Dismisses%20Water%20District%20Takings%20Lawsuit%20"><span>Robert Sawyer</span></a><span> or <u><a href="mailto:Roderick.Walston@BBKLaw.com?subject=BB%26K%20Legal%20Alert%3A%20Court%20of%20Federal%20Claims%20Dismisses%20Water%20District%20Takings%20Lawsuit%20">Roderick Walston</a></u> of BB&amp;K&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources practice group</a>.</span></p> <em>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K Legal Alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</em>Legal Alerts07 Dec 2011 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=10452&format=xmlTwelve Best Best & Krieger Attorneys Named Best Lawyers in America for 2012http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=9337&format=xml<p style="text-align: justify"><b>RIVERSIDE, Calif.</b> _ Twelve lawyers 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; 2012. (Copyright 2010 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, S.C.).</p> <p style="text-align: justify"><span>BB&amp;K attorneys who were ranked as leaders in their fields include Eric Garner, a water rights attorneys and managing partner of the nine-office law firm, for environmental litigation.</span></p> <p style="text-align: justify"><span><i>Best Lawyers, </i>established in 1983, is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 39,000 attorneys cast almost 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 /> Other BB&amp;K attorneys bestowed with the honor include the following from the <strong>Riverside </strong>office: 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.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> In the firm&rsquo;s <strong>Ontario</strong> 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 /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> The attorneys honored in the <strong>Sacramento</strong> office were Ed J. Quinn Jr. and Joseph E. Coomes, Jr. for municipal, land use and zoning law; Harriet Steiner, the city attorney for Davis, for municipal law and municipal litigation, and Iris P. Yang, city attorney for Paso Robles, for municipal litigation.<br /> <br /> <strong>In Walnut Creek</strong>, Roderick E. Walston was named for natural resources and water law.</span></p>BB&K In The News06 Sep 2011 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=9337&format=xmlFour BB&K Attorneys Named 2011 Northern California Super Lawyershttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=8580&format=xml<p>Four Best Best &amp; Krieger attorneys were named among the lawyers most respected by their peers in Northern California Super Lawyers&rsquo; 2011 list. Northern California Super Lawyers lists the top five percent of attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and personal achievement.<br /> <br /> The honored attorneys are Susan L. Schoenig for employment and labor law; Ann Taylor Schwing for business litigation; Harriet A. Steiner for government and municipal law, and Gene Tanaka for land use and zoning law.<br /> <br /> Schoenig advises a diverse group of public and private employers in all types of employment and labor matters. She has served as the California Public Employees Retirement System&rsquo;s litigation supervisor. Schoenig also represents clients in a wide range of real estate and commercial litigation.<br /> <br /> Schwing&rsquo;s litigation practice focuses on appeals, motions and research. She divides her time between work for the firm, writing legal treatises and volunteer work on several nonprofit boards. She serves as commissioner and secretary for the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, and as an executive committee member and Master of the Bench for The Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court.<br /> <br /> Steiner, who is city attorney of Davis, also represents special districts and joint powers agencies as general counsel and special counsel. Her areas of specialty include land use, environmental law, telecommunications law and cable television franchising, wastewater and municipal water, and public financing.<br /> <br /> Tanaka is a public agency litigator. He has litigated many land use cases, including the successful Los Angeles Superior Court challenge to the Ward Valley Low Level Radioactive Waste Facility. Tanaka also represents clients in toxics cases for cleanup or damages. He has worked on the Stringfellow cleanup litigation in U.S. District Court.</p>BB&K In The News13 Jul 2011 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=8580&format=xml