Best Best & Krieger News Feedhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=39&format=xml&directive=0&stylesheet=rss&records=50Best Best and Krieger is a Full Service Law Firmen-us20 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssSpecial Education Seminarhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42855&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger is hosting a seminar focusing on the most important&nbsp;special education topics.</p> <p><b>What will be covered:</b></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Eligibility, Disability and Educational Benefit</li> <li>Charting Education Progress</li> <li>The Interaction of the IDEA, the ADA and Section 504</li> <li>Hot Topics</li> <li>Legal Panel</li> </ul> <p><b>When:</b><br /> Friday, Oct. 30<br /> 7:45 a.m. - 3&nbsp;p.m.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Where:</b><br /> DoubleTree Ontario<br /> 222 N Vineyard Ave<br /> Ontario, CA 91764<br /> <a target="_blank" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001GnKI0pVfpiT8lSlJGjqJFoLcokYCZ52lNqGtdkFxe2N5p22hrJWn8AX-w8tjNFDWvmSc3ly4JBByMS036RHoupDrBz-YZ7Z5dil1QXG8txCLJrGhOHFb8DNS4sCpaxIzI8VQLvqsvRrELqXnGsjni1l2zuFJmU1MtKuhFAWMOZnFgEtzAh6Ro556MQfWfNqTr0g-Q4QLhLHMXrrwuOVzTITyIcmQmxEtm1Btcaiw0MMNxElHnI8GRZqcJbss0nAbMzfTgw6dwyeLEXVWrGXInKkDAoXHIXZP41OKRxKok_lDNxygDsl_aQ=="><span style="color: #0000ff">Directions</span></a></p> <p><b>Cost:&nbsp;</b><br /> $75 per person<br /> Breakfast and Lunch will be served</p> <p><strong>To pay by credit card, please&nbsp;fill out the form below:&nbsp;</strong><br /> &nbsp;</p> <form method="post" action="https://www.cart32.com/cgi-bin/cart32.exe/BBK-AddItem"> <font size="+1"><b>Special Education Seminar - October 30, 2015</b><br /> <input type="hidden" name="item" value="Special Education Seminar - October 30, 2015" /> Qty: <input size="3" name="Qty" value="1" type="text" /> <b>Price: $75</b> <input type="hidden" name="Price" value="75" /> <br /> <br /> <input type="submit" value="Add to Shopping Cart" /> </font> </form> <p><br /> <strong>To pay by check: Please make check payable to:<br /> </strong>Best Best &amp; Krieger - Attention Velna Christopher<br /> 3750 University Ave #125<br /> Riverside, CA 92501</p>Seminars and Webinars30 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42855&format=xmlUpdate on the California Water Commissionhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42008&format=xmlBest Best and Krieger LLP Of Counsel Joseph Byrne will provide an update on the California Water Commission during the Three Valleys Municipal Water District Leadership Breakfast. As chair of the California Water Commission, Joe will touch on issues related to California&nbsp;water and how they impact both public and private entities.<br /> <br /> When:<br /> Thursday, Oct. 29<br /> 7:30 - 9 a.m.<br /> <br /> Where:<br /> Sheraton Fairplex Suites<br /> 601 W. McKinley Ave.<br /> Pomona, CA 91768<br /> <br /> For more information call 909-621-5568 or email <a href="mailto:cdechaine@tvmwd.com?subject=Oct.%2029%20Leadership%20Breakfast"><span style="color: #0000ff">cdechaine@tvmwd.com </span></a>Conferences & Speaking Engagements29 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42008&format=xmlCALPELRA Adventure: In Search Of Labor Relations Knowledgehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42103&format=xml<p>Join BB&amp;K at the 2015&nbsp;California Public Employers Labor Relations Association Annual Conference.<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speakers</strong><br /> <br /> Alison Alpert and Joseph Sanchez: &ldquo;You Can&rsquo;t Say That! Free Speech Issues In Public Employment&rdquo;<br /> Wednesday, Oct. 21<br /> 10:20 -11:50 a.m.<br /> <br /> Isabel Safie: &ldquo;Navigating A CALPERS Audit: The Triggers, Insights and Resolutions&quot;<br /> Wednesday, Oct. 21<br /> 1:15&nbsp;-&nbsp;2:45 p.m</p> <p>Alison Alpert: &ldquo;The Who, What, Where, When, And Why Of Workplace Investigations&quot;<br /> Thursday, Oct. 22<br /> 3:05 -&nbsp;4:35 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>When:</strong><br /> Saturday Oct.&nbsp;19 - Friday, Oct. 23, 2015<br /> <br /> <strong>Where:</strong><br /> Portola Hotel &amp; Spa<br /> 2 Portola Plaza<br /> Monterey, CA 93940<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.calpelra.org/contentdisplay.aspx?id=1000&amp;level=12&amp;sublevel=196"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42103&format=xmlStormwater - Are We Making a Difference?http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44039&format=xml<p>Best Best Best &amp; Krieger Partners Shawn Hagerty and Andre Monette will serve as panelist for the panel discussion &ldquo;Legal Update Training Workshop&rdquo; during California Stromwater Quality Association Annual Conference. The workshop and panel discussion will provide attendees with new cases and guidance TMDLs and their implementation in MS4 permits, EPA&rsquo;s Waters of the United States rulemaking, and new cases and developments on Receiving Waters Limitations.</p> <p><b>When:</b><br /> Monday, Oct. 19<br /> 8:30 &ndash; 11:45 a.m.</p> <p><b>Where:</b><br /> Hyatt Regency Monterey<br /> 1 Old Golf Course Rd<br /> Monterey, CA 93940</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.casqa.org/events/annual-conference"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44039&format=xmlVeterans Leadership Academy and Elected Officials Training Academy 2.0http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39717&format=xml<br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Ruben Duran will provide training on &quot;Everyday Ethics for Local Officials: AB 1234 Compliance&quot; during the California Latino Leadership Institute's&nbsp;Veterans Leadership Academy&nbsp;and Elected Officals Training Academy 2.0. The session&nbsp;will provide attendees tactical solutions for&nbsp;everyday ethical issues&nbsp;local officals encounter and&nbsp;an opportunity to recieve their certification for completing AB 1234 training.<br /> <br /> <strong>When<br /> </strong>Friday, Oct. 9, 2015<br /> 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Embassy Suites Los Angeles - Downey<br /> 8425 Firestone Blvd.<br /> Downey, CA 90241<br /> <br /> For more information, <a target="_blank" href="http://socalatinos.org/events/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>&nbsp;(coming soon).Conferences & Speaking Engagements09 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39717&format=xmlCalifornia Water Law: The Drought, the Delta and the Futurehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42165&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Of Counsel Roderick Walston will co-chair CLE International's &quot;California Water Law: The Drought, the Delta and the Future<font size="2">&quot; and Partner Shawn Hagerty will serve on a panel discussion during the event.<br /> <br /> <u>BB&amp;K Speakers:<br /> <br /> </u>Roderick Walston, Program Co-Chair, Welcome and Introduction<br /> Thursday, Oct. 8, 8:15 a.m.<br /> Friday, Oct. 9, 8:15 a.m.<br /> <br /> Shawn Hagerty, panelist, &quot;The EPA and the Corps' Definition of 'Waters of the United States' Under the Clean Water Act&quot;<br /> Friday, Oct. 9<br /> 9:05 - 10:15 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where:</strong><br /> BASF Conference Center<br /> <font size="2">301 Battery Street</font><br /> <font size="2">San Francisco, CA 94111</font></font></p> <p><br /> &nbsp;</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements08 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42165&format=xml2015 IMLA Annual Conferencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41608&format=xml<p>Join BB&amp;K at the 2015 International Municipal Lawyers Association Annual Conference.<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speakers</strong><br /> <br /> Shawn Hagerty and Paeter Garcia: &ldquo;Today's Water Wars - Water Rights and Water Quality: From East to West Coast&rdquo;<br /> <span>Sunday, Oct. 4<br /> 9:15 -10:15 a.m.<br /> </span><br /> Jordan Ferguson&nbsp;(panelist): &ldquo;The Sharing Economy: Uber and Airbnb - Can They Exist in a Regulated World? Will They Save or Destroy Your Community?&quot;<br /> Monday,&nbsp;Oct. 5<br /> 8:45 - 10:15 a.m</p> <p>Steve Anderson: &ldquo;Implementation of the Federal Endangered Species Act: Practical Strategies for Moving Forward with Public Projects&quot;<br /> Monday, Oct. 5<br /> 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.<br /> <br /> Joe Van Eaton and Gail Karish: &ldquo;Telecom - Shot Clocks, Municipal Broadband and How the FCC Controls Your World&quot;<br /> Tuesday, Oct. 6<br /> 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>When:</strong><br /> Saturday Oct. 3 - Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015<br /> <br /> <strong>Where:</strong><br /> Rio Hotel<br /> 3700 W. Flamingo Road<br /> Las Vegas, NV 89103<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://imlalasvegas2015.org/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements04 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41608&format=xml2015 Annual Conferencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42581&format=xml<p><a href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/Special-Education.pdf">Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP </a>partners Fernando Avila, Richard Crawford, Michelle Ouellette and&nbsp;associate Thomas Rice are among the speakers at the California Special District Association's 2015 Annual Conference.<br /> <br /> <u>BB&amp;K Speakers:</u><br /> <br /> <strong>Fernando Avila</strong>&nbsp;and <strong>Michelle Ouellette</strong>, &quot;CEQA: What Special Districts Need to Know in 2015 and Beyond&quot;<br /> This panel will address the recent changes to CEQA from legislation and cases decided in 2015. Panelists will discuss how endangered species laws integrate with CEQA requirements for biological resources, how to effectively use CEQA exemptions following recent California Supreme Court rulings and how to analyze the impacts of climate and greenhouse gases as part of public projects.<br /> Tuesday, Sept. 21<br /> 2 - 3:15 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Richard Crawford </strong>and<strong> Thomas Rice,</strong> &quot;Negotiating with Employee Organizations - How to Avoid Disasters&quot;<br /> A summary of legislative changes related to public sector labor relations over the past year and a review of recent decisions from the Public Employment Relations Board affecting how special districts must interact with employee organizations.<br /> Tuesday, Sept. 21<br /> 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> September&nbsp;21-24, 2015<br /> <br /> <strong>Where</strong><br /> Monterey Marriott Hotel<strong><br /> </strong>350 Calle Principal<br /> Monterey,CA 93940<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://conference.csda.net"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements21 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42581&format=xmlThe Science and Law of Water in Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42577&format=xmlBB&amp;K Managing Partner Eric Garner<b> </b>and Partner Steve Anderson will participate in panel discussions during the Law Seminar International's&nbsp;day-long workshop, &quot;The Science and Law of Water in California.&quot;&nbsp;This informative seminar will explain the basics of hydrology and how it interacts with the law in California for the benefit of practitioners in both fields. In particular, leading experts in both fields will examine the relationship between hydrology and the law as it relates to water quality, endangered species, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and proposed groundwater legislation, as well as how hydrology comes into play during litigation.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speakers<br /> <br /> </strong><u>Eric Garner</u>, program co-chair, Workshop Introduction and Overview and &quot;Preparing to Participate in the Groundwater Sustainability Planning and Adjudication Processes&quot;<br /> <br /> <u>Steve Anderson</u>, panelist, &quot;Surface Water: Identifying and Maintaining Adequate Stream Flows for Fish and Wetland Habitat for Birds&quot;<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, Sept. 17<br /> 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Doubletree Suites by Hilton Hotel Santa Monica<br /> 1707 4th St<br /> Santa Monica, CA 90401<br /> <br /> For more information, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=15HYCA#agenda"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></u></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements17 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42577&format=xmlStimULI Breakfast- Changing Lanes: Autonomous Vehicles and the Transportation Infrastructure of Tomorrowhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44071&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger&rsquo;s Jamey Wyman will moderate a discussion during the Urban Land Institute Los Angeles&rsquo;s StimULI Breakfast. The panel will address what will happen when driverless cars start to change our world. Our transportation infrastructure, and much of our economy, is constructed around vehicles and our use of them. The coming of driverless cars may reshape our landscape with the same intensity as the arrival of the Interstate Highway System did.</p> <p>Sept. 16<br /> 7:30 - 9 a.m.</p> <p><b>Where:</b><br /> 500 South Figueroa St.<br /> Los Angeles,CA 90071 <br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://la.uli.org/event/stimuli-breakfast-driverless-cars/?utm_source=Members%2C+Prospects%2C+and+Lapsed+-+Updated+7.15.15&amp;utm_campaign=407906e208-stimULI_Breakfast_Add_Art_Add_Value&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_6d3d752fb2-407906e208-87542525"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements16 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44071&format=xmlIdentifying and Dissecting Aggresive Appraisals of Real Propertyhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44233&format=xml<div styleclass=" style_MainText" _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 10pt; color: #000000;"><br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger <a shape="rect" _mce_style="color: #000000;" _mce_shape="rect">attorney</a><a shape="rect" _mce_style="color: #000000;" _mce_shape="rect">s</a> will&nbsp;present &quot;Identifying and Dissecting Aggresive Appraisals of Real Property&quot; during three separate events. The presentation will provide attendees with an overview of&nbsp;&nbsp;the real appraisal process and the points in the process that involve judgment and discretion by the appraiser, and all too often, opportunities for mischief and aggressive assessments of value.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div styleclass=" style_ArticleTitle" _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 12pt; color: #00467f;" align="left">What will be discussed:</div> <ul styleclass=" style_MainText" _mce_style="font-size: 10pt; color: #000000;"> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">The three primary appraisal methodologies</li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Applying these methodologies to both full and partial acquisition</li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">The points in the appraisal process that require appraiser judgement and discretion and often wide disparities of opinion</li> </ul> <br type="_moz" /> <div styleclass=" style_ArticleTitle" _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 12pt; color: #00467f;"><strong>Los Angeles:<br /> <br /> </strong><u>When:</u></div> <div _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Thursday, September 17</div> <div _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">11:30 a.m.&nbsp;- 1:30 p.m. <br /> <br /> <div _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 12pt; color: #00467f;"><u>Where</u>:</div> Best Best &amp; Krieger<br /> 300 South Grand Ave.<br /> 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles,&nbsp;CA 90071<br /> <br /> <div styleclass=" style_ArticleTitle" _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 12pt; color: #00467f;"><strong>Sacramento:<br /> <br /> </strong><u>When:</u></div> <div _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Thursday, September 17</div> <div _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">11:30 a.m.&nbsp;- 1:30 p.m. <br /> <br /> <div _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 12pt; color: #00467f;"><u>Where</u>:</div> Best Best &amp; Krieger<br /> 500 Capitol Mall<br /> Suite 1700<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814<br /> <br /> <div styleclass=" style_ArticleTitle" _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 12pt; color: #00467f;"><strong>Irvine:<br /> <br /> </strong><u>When:</u></div> <div _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Thursday, September 17</div> <div _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">11:30 a.m.&nbsp;- 1:30 p.m. <br /> <br /> <div _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; font-size: 12pt; color: #00467f;"><u>Where</u>:</div> Best Best &amp; Krieger<br /> 18101 Von Karman Avenue<br /> Suite 1000<br /> Irvine, CA 92612<br /> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> <strong>Please RSVP to <a shape="rect" target="_blank" _mce_style="color: #0000ff; text-decoration: underline;" _mce_shape="rect" _mce_href="mailto:events@BBKlaw.com?subject=BB%26K%20Sept.%2017%20Workshop" linktype="2" href="mailto:events@BBKlaw.com?subject=BB%26K%20Sept.%2017%20Workshop"><span style="color: #0000ff">events@BBKlaw.com</span></a> by Friday, Sept. 11</strong>Seminars and Webinars15 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44233&format=xmlACWA CLE 2015http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44066&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Partner Mary Beth Coburn and associate Rebecca Chaparro will speak on &ldquo;Now Trending: Hot Topics in Public Infrastructure&rdquo; during the Association of California Water Agencies&rsquo; &ldquo;ACWA CLE &lsquo;15.&rdquo; The session will focus on the latest trends surrounding the stages of public infrastructure from the bidding process, to construction and on to project completion.</p> <p><b>When:</b><br /> Friday, Sept. 11<br /> 8-9 a.m.</p> <p><b>Where:</b><br /> Waterfront Hotel<br /> 10 Washington Street<br /> Oakland, CA 94607</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.acwa.com/events/acwa-2015-continuing-legal-education-cle-workshop"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements11 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44066&format=xml2015 NATOA Annual Conferencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40327&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partners Joseph Van Eaton and Gail Karish will&nbsp;serve as&nbsp;panelists&nbsp;in breakout sessions during the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA)'s 35th Annual Local Government Conference. <br /> <br /> <strong>Joseph Van Eaton</strong>, panelist, &quot;The Future of Cable Franchising&quot; <br /> The panel will&nbsp;cover&nbsp;how current video service&nbsp;trends may impact the future of cable franchising and what these trends mean for local governments.&nbsp;<br /> Wednesday, Sept. 9<br /> 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Gail Karish</strong>,&nbsp;panelist, &quot;Communications Grab Bag: 60 Answers in 60 Minutes&quot;<br /> The panel will answer questions from audience members and questions submitted online covering a variety of telecommunication and cable franchising topics.<br /> Thursday, Sept. 10<br /> 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.<br /> <br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Hard Rock Hotel<br /> 207 5th Avenue <br /> San Diego, CA 92101<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.natoa.org/events/annual-conference/2015/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements09 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40327&format=xmlNew EPA Definition of Waters of the U.S.http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42735&format=xml<p>In this webinar by Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP, clients will have the opportunity to hear about the impacts of the EPA's revised definition of the term &quot;Waters of the United States.&quot; The term defines which waters are subject to permitting and and TMDLs under the federal Clean Water Act. The final definition was issued in May and it will become law on Aug. 28, 2015. The revised definition will extend jurisdiction to some new waters, and explicitly exempt others.</p> <p>In this complimentary one-hour webinar, we will discuss the operational and new project impacts of the final rule, and more, plus answer your questions.</p> <p><b>Speakers</b></p> <p>Andre Monette will give a brief overview of the new rule and will discuss:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>What has changed from the prior regulatory definition</li> <li>Exemptions for specific waters and projects</li> <li>Changes in the rule that will be most controversial</li> </ul> <p>Mike Rolband will provide discussion on:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>On-the-ground impacts, wetlands and mitigation</li> </ul> <p>Abby Schneider will discuss:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Remaining concerns for water supply entities in California and the West</li> <li>Legislative efforts to revise the final rule</li> </ul> <p>John Freshman will discuss:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Legislative efforts to revise the final rule</li> <li>The need for guidance from EPA</li> </ul> <br /> To register for this webinar <a target="_blank" href="https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2358394535794604289"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.<br type="_moz" /> <br /> If you have any questions please contact <a href="mailto:amanda.fine@bbklaw.com?subject=New%20EPA%20Definition%20of%20Waters%20of%20the%20U.S."><span style="color: #0000ff">Amanda Fine</span></a>.Seminars and Webinars26 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42735&format=xmlFederal Appeals Court Questions State Senator's Order to Remove a Dissident from the Senate Buildinghttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44225&format=xml<p>Salvador Reza, a member of a community group focused on protecting migrant workers, attended an Arizona Senate session during a legislative hearing on a controversial immigration-related bill. Reza and some of his supporters were seated in an overflow room, and both supporters and opponents of the measure applauded and booed during the hearing. Near the end of the hearing, Sen. Russell Pearce, the Senate president, claimed the noise from the overflow room was interfering with the hearing. An officer was sent to silence the audience, but Reza refused. When the officer threatened to arrest the disrupters, they clapped louder. This was repeated when the sergeant-at-arms entered the overflow room. When the hearing concluded, Pearce asked an officer to identify the noisy protestors and ordered that they be denied future access to the building.</p> <p>Two days later Reza tried to enter the building and, when he was asked to depart, he refused and was arrested. Reza sued Pearce for violating his First Amendment rights by barring him from the building. Reza also brought Fourth Amendment claims against the officers who arrested him. When the district court dismissed his lawsuit, Reza appealed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.</p> <p>In a&nbsp;case issued this week, the federal appellate court reversed the district court and sent the case back to further develop the facts surrounding Reza&rsquo;s First Amendment claim.</p> <p>The court determined that the Senate building was a &ldquo;limited public forum&rdquo; that is public property &ldquo;limited to use by certain groups or dedicated solely to the discussion of certain topics.&rdquo; The court analogized the Senate building to a city council meeting room, where the public has the opportunity to address public officers. A &ldquo;limited public forum&rdquo; has its own set of rules under the First Amendment. The court noted that those rules apply equally to persons who are either participating in the proceedings, such as making a statement or testifying, or simply observing them, like Reza in this case.</p> <p>The court acknowledged that, in a limited public forum, the government may restrict speech, not only as to time, place and manner, but also to preserve the forum for its intended purpose &mdash; namely, the conduct of a governmental entity&rsquo;s business, so long as the regulation does not suppress expression based on viewpoint. Further, any regulation or restriction must be reasonable in light of the purpose served by the forum, such as restrictions to maintain decorum and order to allow the public business to be conducted.</p> <p>Here, the court found that there were questions of fact whether Reza had in fact disrupted the Senate proceedings and whether there were legitimate concerns that his future presence in the building would interrupt legislative debate. The court also doubted that the order barring Reza from the building in the future, which also prevented him from visiting his elected representative, was reasonable under the limited facts and circumstances presented from the district court. Viewing the facts and allegations in the light most favorable to Reza, the court concluded that Pearce&rsquo;s order could have constituted a violation of Reza&rsquo;s First Amendment rights and sent the case to the district court to further develop those facts.</p> <p>This case serves as a reminder that government officials must be extremely careful in restricting access to public buildings, particularly legislative chambers and offices. The cause for the restriction must be clearly established and documented, and the restriction, itself, must be reasonable and limited to preserving the forum for the purpose for which it is intended.</p> <p>For more information about this&nbsp;case and how it may relate to your public agency, contact the attorney author of this Legal Alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>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;.</i></p>Legal Alerts19 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44225&format=xml19 BB&K Attorneys Included on the 2016 Best Lawyers in America Listhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44040&format=xml<p><b>RIVERSIDE, Calif.</b> &ndash; Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP congratulates the 19 attorneys who were selected by their peers for inclusion on <i>The Best Lawyers in America</i>&copy; 2016 list. In addition, Partner Iris Yang and Of Counsel Joseph Coomes are being recognized as Lawyers of the Year for their contributions to the legal industry, and their professional achievements.</p> <p>Since it was first published in 1983, <i>Best Lawyers</i><i>&reg;</i> has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. <i>Best Lawyers</i> lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. More than 79,000 leading attorneys globally are eligible to vote. For the 2016 Edition of <i>The Best Lawyers in America</i>, 6.7 million votes were analyzed, which resulted in more than 55,000 leading lawyers being included in the new edition. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in <i>Best Lawyers</i> is considered a singular honor. To learn more about <i>Best Lawyers</i>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.bestlawyers.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></p> <p>Below are the BB&amp;K attorneys included on <i>The Best Lawyers</i> list, by office, along with the practice areas they were recognized for:</p> <p>IRVINE</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1563&amp;format=xml&amp;/Sonia%20R%20Carvalho"><span style="color: #0000ff">Sonia Carvalho</span></a>, Municipal Law</li> </ul> <p>LOS ANGELES</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1598&amp;format=xml&amp;/Eric%20L%20Garner"><span style="color: #0000ff">Eric Garner</span></a>, Litigation &ndash; Environmental and Water Law</li> </ul> <p>ONTARIO</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1558&amp;format=xml&amp;/John%20E%20Brown"><span style="color: #0000ff">John Brown</span></a>, Municipal Law</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1577&amp;format=xml&amp;/Stephen%20P%20Deitsch"><span style="color: #0000ff">Stephen Deitsch</span></a>, Land Use &amp; Zoning Law and Municipal Law</li> </ul> <p>RIVERSIDE</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1633&amp;format=xml&amp;/Arthur%20L%20Littleworth"><span style="color: #0000ff">Arthur Littleworth</span></a>, Energy Law, Environmental Law, Litigation &ndash; Environmental, Natural Resources Law, Water Law</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1650&amp;format=xml&amp;/Michelle%20Ouellette"><span style="color: #0000ff">Michelle Ouellette</span></a>, Energy Law, Environmental Law, Litigation &ndash; Environmental, Natural Resources Law</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1666&amp;format=xml&amp;/George%20M%20Reyes"><span style="color: #0000ff">George Reyes</span></a>, Corporate Law</li> </ul> <p>SACRAMENTO</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2432&amp;format=xml&amp;/Joseph%20E%20Coomes%20Jr"><span style="color: #0000ff">Joseph Coomes</span></a>, Land Use &amp; Zoning Law, Municipal Law</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2399&amp;format=xml&amp;/T%20Brent%20Hawkins"><span style="color: #0000ff">Brent Hawkins</span></a>, Municipal Law</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2433&amp;format=xml&amp;/Gary%20F%20Loveridge"><span style="color: #0000ff">Gary Loveridge</span></a>, Health Care Law</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2426&amp;format=xml&amp;/Edward%20J%20Quinn%20Jr"><span style="color: #0000ff">Edward Quinn</span></a>, Land Use &amp; Zoning Law, Municipal Law</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2425&amp;format=xml&amp;/Ann Taylor Schwing"><span style="color: #0000ff">Ann Schwing</span></a>, Appellate Practice</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2404&amp;format=xml&amp;/Harriet%20Steiner"><span style="color: #0000ff">Harriet Steiner</span></a>, Litigation &ndash; Municipal, Municipal Law</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2423&amp;format=xml&amp;/Iris%20P%20Yang"><span style="color: #0000ff">Iris Yang</span></a>, Land Use &amp; Zoning Law, Litigation &ndash; Municipal, Municipal Law</li> </ul> <p>SAN DIEGO</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1606&amp;format=xml&amp;/Shawn%20D%20Hagerty"><span style="color: #0000ff">Shawn Hagerty</span></a>, Land Use &amp; Zoning Law</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1610&amp;format=xml&amp;/Robert%20J%20Hanna"><span style="color: #0000ff">Robert Hanna</span></a>, Commercial Litigation</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1657&amp;format=xml&amp;/Arlene%20Prater"><span style="color: #0000ff">Arlene Prater</span></a>, Employment Law &ndash; Management</li> </ul> <p>WALNUT CREEK</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1692&amp;format=xml&amp;/Gene%20Tanaka"><span style="color: #0000ff">Gene Tanaka</span></a>, Litigation &ndash; Environmental</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1704&amp;format=xml&amp;/Roderick%20E%20Walston"><span style="color: #0000ff">Roderick Walston</span></a><span style="color: #0000ff">,</span> Natural Resources Law and Water Law</li> </ul> <div style="text-align: center">###</div>Press Releases17 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44040&format=xmlNew Waters of the United States' Up Aheadhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44005&format=xml<p>For four decades, since the adoption of the Clean Water Act by Congress, courts, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers have struggled with the definition of &ldquo;waters of the United States.&rdquo; The EPA is now poised to adopt its own regulatory definition, based on recent U.S. Supreme Court cases.</p> <p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Partner Andre Monette discusses the history behind the new definition, and what&rsquo;s included, in the Aug. 17, 2015 edition of the Daily Journal.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/index.cfm#section=DJStoryContent.cfm%3Fseloption%3DNEWS%26pubdate%3D08-17-2015%26shNewsType%3DNews%26NewsId%3D942399%26sdivId%3DmainContent1"><span style="color: #0000ff">Click here to see the article</span></a> (subscription required).</p> <p>You are invited to join Andre, Senior Director of Governmental Affairs John Freshman, ACWA Senior Federal Relations Representative Abby Schneider and Mike Rolband of Wetland Solutions on a <b>free webinar</b> Aug. 26 at 10:30 a.m. PST as they discuss the new definition. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=42735&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Click here for more information and to register.</span></a></p>BB&K In The News17 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44005&format=xmlBB&K Partner Gail Karish Named a Woman Worth Watchinghttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44032&format=xml<p><b>LOS ANGELES</b>&nbsp;- Gail Karish, a Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP partner, is one of the 100 <i>Women Worth Watching</i>&reg; selected annually by <i>Profiles in Diversity Journal</i>. Karish, who practices telecommunications law as part of the Municipal Law practice group, was nominated by the firm and selected by the editors for her passion, achievements and positive influence both inside and outside of the workplace.</p> <p>&ldquo;This is our 14th year of producing our annual <i>Women Worth Watching</i> issue,&rdquo; <i>Profiles in Diversity Journal</i> CEO and Publisher James R. Rector said. &ldquo;Each year, we are extremely encouraged by the number of organizations in every sector that support the career advancement of the women in their workplaces. We have also been proud to provide an award with such meaningful impact on the movement for gender equity in workforce leadership.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the September 2015 edition and online, Karish discusses her career path, as well as issues related to being a professional woman and leader. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.diversityjournal.com/15673-gail-a-karish-best-best-krieger-llp/"><span style="color: #0000ff">(Click here to see the full article.)</span></a> &ldquo;Be your best career advocate &ndash; do good work but don&rsquo;t expect your good work will simply speak for Itself,&rdquo; Karish wrote.</p> <p>BB&amp;K values diversity and works to support women and all minorities. BB&amp;K was recognized in 2015 by <i>Law360</i> on its &ldquo;Ceiling Smashers&rdquo; report for being No. 14 on the list of the top 25 U.S. law firms &mdash; out of 300 surveyed &mdash; for having the highest percentage of female partners. <i>Law360 </i>also noted BB&amp;K in 2015 among its list of the 100 Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys &mdash; ranking it No. 8 for female representation. In June 2015, <i>The American Lawyer</i> ranked BB&amp;K No. 15 in attorney racial diversity and No. 1 for minority partners out of more than 200 of the largest and highest-grossing law firms nationwide on their annual &quot;Diversity Scorecard.&quot; Learn more about BB&amp;K&rsquo;s commitment to diversity by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=1940"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p>Press Releases17 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44032&format=xmlFree Backpacks on the First Day at Vista Del Montehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42938&format=xml<p><b>By Kristen Hwang</b></p> <p>Jacob Campbell, 7, ran to the front of the multipurpose room Thursday at Vista Del Monte Elementary School. Like his classmates, he was eagerly searching for the perfect backpack to start the year.</p> <p>Campbell, who said he wants &ldquo;to work on tanks&rdquo; in the military when he grows up, was seeking out a camouflage patterned backpack, but he settled for a royal blue one that matched his shirt. Around him, Campbell&rsquo;s classmates searched through heaps of backpacks with excitement.</p> <p>Every student at Vista Del Monte received a new backpack stuffed with pencils, crayons, glue, a notebook and other supplies for the first day of school. The Palm Springs SunUp Rotary and Best Best &amp; Krieger, LLP donated more than 400 backpacks to the school.</p> <p>Kira Klatchko, an attorney with Best Best &amp; Krieger, said the volunteers were just as excited as the students to see each kid start the year on even footing.</p> <p>&ldquo;In many schools where there are donations, there is a selection process to choose who the items go to, but frankly all of these students are working really hard, and it&rsquo;s an opportunity for them to get excited about school,&rdquo; Klatchko said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a nice thing when people in our community are getting together to interact with the students, and it feels good to give back.&rdquo;</p> <p><i>To see the full text of the article, posted Aug. 13, 2015 on The Desert Sun, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.desertsun.com/story/news/education/2015/08/13/every-student-vista-del-monte-got-backpack-first-day-school/31678207/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></i></p>BB&K In The News14 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42938&format=xmlPreliminary Discussion Draft of CEQA Guidelines Amendments Releasedhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42899&format=xml<p>The California Office of Planning and Research has issued a <a target="_blank" href="http://opr.ca.gov/docs/Preliminary_Discussion_Draft_Package_of_Amendments_to_the_CEQA_Guidelines_Aug_11_2015.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">preliminary discussion draft</span></a> of revisions to nearly 30 different sections of the CEQA Guidelines. This marks the first time since the late 1990s that such a comprehensive update to the Guidelines has occurred.</p> <p>The proposal package would revise the Appendix G environmental checklist to remove redundant questions and, in compliance with recent legislation, identify new questions related to tribal cultural resources, transportation and wildfire. There are also proposed revisions relating to tiering of environmental documents, the transit-oriented development exemption, and the so-called &ldquo;existing facilities&rdquo; exemption.</p> <p>Of particular note, the proposed revisions would also provide that:</p> <ul> <li>Environmental impact reports must include energy impact analysis addressing building design, transportation, equipment use, and location.</li> <li>A lead agency may not apply significance thresholds in a way that precludes consideration as to whether, despite compliance with the threshold, there may still be a significant environmental effect.</li> <li>Where a lead agency demonstrates, with substantial evidence, that use of an existing conditions baseline for measuring a project&rsquo;s impacts would be either misleading or without informative value, an agency may use a different baseline.</li> <li>A lead agency must show that it has met four requirements before deferring specific mitigation details, namely that it has: 1.) fully evaluated the significance of the impact and explained why it is not feasible to formulate mitigation presently; 2.) commits to mitigation; 3.) lists mitigation options; and 4.) adopts specific performance standards.</li> <li>A lead agency may provide a general response to an EIR comment when the comment does not contain or specifically refer to readily available information, or does not explain the relevance of evidence submitted with the comment.</li> </ul> <p>The proposal package does not address transportation analysis regarding vehicle miles traveled &ndash; instead, OPR is finalizing a separate proposal for these changes in compliance with SB 743. The package also does not propose changes related to the analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, or changes clarifying whether CEQA requires analysis of impacts of the environment on a project. OPR notes that cases touching on these issues are currently pending before the California Supreme Court.</p> <p>OPR is accepting public comments on the proposed revisions to the Guidelines through Oct.12 at 5 p.m. Comments may be submitted electronically to <a href="mailto:CEQA.Guidelines@resources.ca.gov"><span style="color: #0000ff">CEQA.Guidelines@resources.ca.gov</span></a>.</p> <p>For more information about how the proposed amendment package could affect your agency, or for assistance in drafting a comment letter on the proposed amendments, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>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;.</i>Legal Alerts13 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42899&format=xmlA Backpack for Every Childhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44055&format=xml<p><b>PALM SPRINGS, Calif.</b>&nbsp;- No child should start the school year without the tools he or she needs to succeed. Having the best start in education leads to great outcomes in life. This is why Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP and the Sun Up Rotary Club in Palm Springs brought backpacks filled with school supplies to every child at Vista Del Monte Elementary School in Palm Springs on the first day of school &mdash; Thursday, Aug. 13.</p> <p>Most of the nearly 450 students at the school are from low-income families. This is why BB&amp;K, the Rotary, their employees, Walmart and additional sponsors together raised nearly $7,000 for backpacks, notebooks, pencils, Crayons, glue sticks and other supplies for the 1st through 5th grade students of Vista Del Monte.</p> <p>&ldquo;BB&amp;K staff and attorneys were thrilled to participate in this event, and it was so gratifying to know the difference we were able to make in the academic lives of each of the students at Vista Del Monte,&rdquo; said Managing Partner Eric Garner.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s very exciting for the students,&rdquo; said Vista Del Monte Academic Coach Matthew Hammond just after half the students cheerfully picked their own backpacks. &ldquo;It gives them an opportunity to have many school supplies that their families can&rsquo;t afford, and it&rsquo;s something new they can take to be their own.&rdquo;</p> <p>This is the 6th year that BB&amp;K has participated in a backpack giveaway. Each year, the firm identifies a community in need of school supplies to donate backpacks to. The attorneys&rsquo; and staff&rsquo;s children help assemble the backpacks on Take Your Child to Work Day, giving them an opportunity to give back to other children in the community. All the money raised by BB&amp;K for supplies is from attorney and staff donations, along with those from our professional partners, including: Staples, Alpha Numeric, First Legal, U.S. Legal Support, Iron Mountain, Intex, Sound Depo, DTI and Aramark.</p> <p>Palm Springs Sun-Up Rotary is part of Rotary International, an international service club whose&nbsp;</p> <p>stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. To learn more about Rotary you can visit their website <a target="_blank" href="http://www.palmspringssunuprotary.org/"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.palmspringssunuprotary.org/</span></a>.</p> <p>&quot;We work with our adopted school throughout the year in different projects and it is amazing to see the gratitude on the faces of the students and parents&quot; says Kristin Bloomer from the Rotary.</p> <p align="center">###</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 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Indian Wells, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.bbklaw.com or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases13 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=44055&format=xmlBroadband and Wireless - Connecting All the Dotshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42580&format=xmlBest Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Gerry Lederer will serve as a panelist discussing &quot;Broadband and Wireless &ndash; Connecting All the Dots&quot; during the Maryland Association of Counties 2015 Summer Conference. <br /> <br /> As technology improves, businesses and citizens need the capability to communicate and locate information at faster speeds. Yet, there are still many areas that do not have access to broadband or wireless networks. The resulting lack of connectivity limits economic and educational opportunities. This session will discuss the government&rsquo;s role in providing access, broadband and wireless approaches to achieve it, and why it&rsquo;s worth the investment. <br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, Aug.13<br /> 2 - 3 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where</strong><br /> Roland Powell Convention Center<br /> 4001 Coastal Hwy<br /> Ocean City, MD 21842<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mdcounties.org/index.aspx?nid=229"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements13 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42580&format=xmlReDiscover Community Mediahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41607&format=xml<br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP&nbsp;Partners Joe Van Eaton, Gerard Lederer and Gail Karish are panelists during the Alliance for Community Media's 2015 Annual Conference.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <u>BB&amp;K Speakers</u><strong><br /> </strong><br /> <strong>Gerard Lederer</strong>, &quot;Lobbying and Advocacy Boot&nbsp;Camp&quot;&nbsp;<br /> Wednesday, Aug. 12<br /> 9 - 10:30 a.m. <br /> <br /> <strong>Gail Karish<br /> <br /> </strong>&quot;The Art of Negotiating&quot; <br /> Thursday, Aug. 13<br /> 9 - 10:30 a.m. <br /> <br /> &quot;Franchising and Franchise Renewal Update&quot;&nbsp;<br /> Friday, &nbsp;Aug. 14<br /> 9 - 10:30 a.m. <br /> <br /> <strong>Joseph Van Eaton<br /> <br /> </strong>&quot;FCC Regulation of Internet Video: Implications for Local Government and Community Media&quot; <br /> Thursday, Aug. 13<br /> 1: 45 - 3:15 p.m.<br /> <br /> View Joe's presentation <a target="_blank" href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/FCC Regulation of Internet Video.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Friday, August 14, 2015<br /> 9 -10:30 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where</strong><br /> Hilton Pasadena<br /> <span itemprop="streetAddress">168 South Los Robles Ave.<br /> </span><span itemprop="addressLocality">Pasadena, </span><span itemprop="addressRegion">CA </span><span itemprop="postalCode">91101</span><br /> &nbsp;<br /> For more information, <a href="http://allcommunitymedia.sched.org/list/descriptions/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a><br />Conferences & Speaking Engagements12 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41607&format=xmlImmediate Action Required by Cities to Begin Collecting Utility Users Taxhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42866&format=xml<p>Prepaid wireless phone service is a booming business and, to date, cities have not been receiving their full measure of Utility Users Tax from these sales. While telecommunication providers generally have been collecting and forwarding UUT to cities on prepaid wireless phones they sell directly to customers, third-party vendors that aren&rsquo;t in the telecom business (e.g.: Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.) have not done so because they didn&rsquo;t know how to do it legally. Needless to say, this has resulted in cities losing out on thousands, if not millions, of dollars in potential tax revenue.</p> <p>In response, the California Legislature passed AB 1717 late last year (Rev &amp; Tax Code 42100 et. seq.), which puts the legal structure in place for third-party vendors to collect and remit to cities UUT on prepaid wireless phones. In a nutshell, as a result of this measure, the California Board of Equalization will collect prepaid wireless UUT from the vendor and forward it to taxing cities on a quarterly basis &mdash; just as it does with local sales and use taxes. Once this starts, cities can expect an increase of approximately 15-20 percent in telecom UUT revenue.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>AB 1717 goes effective Jan. 1, but calls for&nbsp;immediate local action to get things started. AB 1717 requires each city to adopt certain resolutions, certificates and tax collection agreements with the BOE by Sept. 1 so that UUT collection can start promptly on Jan. 1. &nbsp;Because many city councils are dark in August, BOE has given assurances that they will accept these documents by Sept. 30, as long as it is notified by Sept. 1 that the city intends to take action once its council is back in session.&nbsp;Cities may still take action any time after Sept. 30, but it means BOE will not start UUT collection until April 1, and potential revenue for the first three months of the year will be lost.</p> <p><b>IMPORTANT NOTE: </b>AB 1717 will only apply to cities that have a <u>modern</u> telecom UUT ordinance that includes prepaid wireless telephone service within the taxing base. Before taking any action with regard to the BOE, cities are urged to first review their ordinances to confirm if this is the case. If a city has a modern ordinance, it should take immediate action with the BOE to ensure collection starts on Jan. 1. If not, a city will have to first amend its telecom UUT ordinance, which will likely require voter approval under Proposition 218.</p> <p>For more information about this new law and how it may impact your city, contact the attorney author of this Legal Alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>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;.</i>Legal Alerts12 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42866&format=xmlBest in Law: IRS Moves Mean It's Time to Shift Family Entity Wealthhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42829&format=xml<p>The IRS may take action very soon to eliminate or reduce a widely used and valuable family business entity wealth transfer strategy. The window of opportunity to take advantage of this strategy may close within the next month or so.</p> <p>Family business owners who have considered, or are already using, a Family Limited Partnership or Family Limited Liability Company should promptly contact a knowledgeable business succession and estate planning attorney.</p> <p>FLP and FLLC are used by many family business owners for estate planning, wealth preservation and tax minimization. Often, senior family business owners create FLPs or FLLCs to own family businesses or properties, and then gift or sell minority, noncontrolling interests in the entities to their children or others. The value of these equity interests have traditionally been discounted for valuation and tax purposes, since the interests are not generally marketable and do not have any rights to control the family business entity.</p> <p>These valuation discounts have to be obtained from qualified valuation experts each time a new transfer is made. The discounts frequently can be in the substantial range of 20 percent to 50 percent.</p> <p>Discounts have been used and allowed more generously for family business entities with underlying business operations. Valuation discounting also has been successful in some instances for family entities that simply hold significant net worth in securities, instead of an operating business in the more traditional sense.</p> <p>In effect, the discounts leverage the transfer of wealth to the future generation of family business owners, while using the senior owners&rsquo; annual gift tax exclusions and potentially decreasing future transfer taxes.</p> <p>In addition to shifting value out of the senior business owners&rsquo; estate, use of discounted equity interest transfers in FLPs or FLLCs can also can shift a portion of business income out of the senior owner&rsquo;s higher income tax bracket to the presumably lower income tax bracket of the children.</p> <p>IRS representatives recently signaled their intent to release new regulations under IRC Section 2704(b)(4) that would drastically reduce or eliminate the use of valuation discounts in these entities. The new regulations may be released as early as mid-September.</p> <p>Commentators speculate that existing family entities may not be &ldquo;grandfathered&rdquo; under the new regulations. If so, only transfers that are completed prior to the effective date of the proposed regulations would be able to use valuation discounts.</p> <p>Family businesses that want to take advantage of FLPs or FLLCs and valuation discounting may be facing a rapidly closing window of opportunity to shift significant value out of their estate into the hands of their children or others. It takes time to complete the necessary planning, valuations and transfers. With the regulations possibly coming out by mid-September, the time to act is now.</p> <p><i>* This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pe.com/articles/business-775098-family-owners.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">The Press-Enterprise</span></a> on Aug. 9, 2015. Republished with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News10 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42829&format=xmlUncertainty of Legislative Earmarks Not Enough to Deem Mitigation Infeasiblehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42797&format=xml<p>State agencies cannot declare mitigation infeasible for construction projects on the grounds that the California Legislature has not &mdash; and may not in the future &mdash; earmark funds specifically for fair-share off-site mitigation costs, the California Supreme Court has held.</p> <p>Earlier this week, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in <span style="color: #0000ff"><i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S199557.PDF"><span style="color: #0000ff">City of San Diego v. Board of Trustees of the California State University</span></a></i></span>. The case stems from the California State University Board of Trustees&rsquo; campus master plan for San Diego State University. To accommodate proposed growth of more than 11,000 new students and more than 1,200 new faculty and staff members, the master plan proposes a suite of major campus expansion construction projects.&nbsp;</p> <p>The environmental impact report for the project identified myriad near- and long-term traffic impacts at off-campus locations within the City of San Diego. For each affected location, the Board identified the improvements that would mitigate the impacts and estimated the project&rsquo;s fair-share contribution of the mitigation costs. However, relying on dicta in the Supreme Court&rsquo;s 2006 opinion in <i>City of Marina v. Board of Trustees</i>, the Board concluded that committing to paying those funds was infeasible. Specifically, the Board concluded that the availability of such funds was necessarily conditioned upon requesting and obtaining funds from the California Legislature. Because the decision to earmark such funding was out of the Board&rsquo;s hands, the Board concluded that mitigation was infeasible and the traffic impacts were significant and unavoidable.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Court rejected the Board&rsquo;s position and stressed that &ldquo;mitigation is the rule,&rdquo; regardless of whether the Legislature appropriated funds for the mitigation specifically, and regardless of whether the relevant impacts are on- or off-site.&nbsp;Any holding otherwise, the Court reasoned, would result in off-site mitigation being found infeasible for many, if not all, state projects.&nbsp;Ultimately, the Court directed the Board to prepare a new EIR citing the tenet that &ldquo;CEQA does not authorize an agency to proceed with a project that will have significant, unmitigated effects on the environment &hellip; unless the measures necessary to mitigate those effects are truly infeasible.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>In support of the City of San Diego, Best Best &amp; Krieger attorneys filed an amicus brief in this case. BB&amp;K is also counsel to a public agency client in a similar matter against the Board, which is now pending review in the California Supreme Court.&nbsp;</p> <p>For more information on how this decision may impact your public agency, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>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;.</i></p>Legal Alerts07 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42797&format=xmlOpposing Counsel: Dorothy McLaughlinhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42778&format=xml<p>Dorothy McLaughlin, who is of counsel at Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP, tells <em>Riverside Lawyer&nbsp;Magazine</em> that she didn&rsquo;t think parents&rsquo; jobs as lawyers looked like much fun. But, she said in the interview, practicing law gave her the opportunity to put her passions for teaching, writing and advocacy together.</p> <i>Read the entire profile, published in the June 2015 edition of Riverside Lawyer Magazine, by <a href="http://www.riversidecountybar.com/Documents/Magazine-2015/Riverside-Lawyer-Magazine-volume-65-6-June-2015.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">clicking here</font></a> (beginning on page 30).</i>BB&K In The News06 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42778&format=xmlAttorney-Privileged Documents Mistakenly Released Under PRA Still Exempthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42723&format=xml<p>A public agency that inadvertently released attorney-client privileged documents to the public did not waive its right for those documents to be exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act, a California Appellate Court has ruled. In a decision that is at odds with a previous California Appellate Court decision, the First District Court of Appeal found that the attorney privilege takes precedence over the constitutional right of the people to have access to public records as effectuated by the PRA.</p> <p>Embedded in the PRA, Government Code section 6254.5 is the principle that, once a government agency releases records to the public under the Act &mdash; even if those records qualify for an exemption from release &mdash; that exemption is forever waived. In other words, the law does not allow a public agency to pick and choose to whom to release documents by waiving the exemption in one case, and asserting it in another.</p> <p>In 2014, a PRA request was made seeking documents from the Newark Unified School District related to the resignation of the former superintendent. Under pressure and threat of litigation, the documents were released two days later. Later that day, the District realized it had released some documents covered by the attorney-client privilege and immediately contacted the requesting parties seeking the return of those documents. The parties refused, and the District went to court to seek a restraining order to force the return of the claimed privileged documents. The trial court found the District had waived the exemption by the inadvertent release and denied the request. The District appealed.</p> <p>Last week, the court issued a published decision siding with the District. (<a target="_blank" href="http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A142963.PDF"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>Newark Unified School District v. Superior Court of Alameda County</i></span></a><i>) </i>The court held that the Legislature did not intend that the &ldquo;use it or lose it&rdquo; principle should apply to an inadvertent release. While the court found that the Public Records Act waiver provision was ambiguous and could cut either way, the court was swayed by the attorney-client privilege itself, which is contained in the Evidence Code.</p> <p>This decision is different than an <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=35237&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">earlier decision reached in December 2014</span></a> by an appellate court in Los Angeles, which held that an inadvertent release of attorney-client privileged records results in a waiver of the exemption under the Public Records Act However, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=38317&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">the state Supreme Court agreed in March to review the case</span></a>, and it is likely this decision will follow it to the state&rsquo;s high court.</p> <p>While the ultimate outcome of these cases, and resolution of the issue, must await the Supreme Court&rsquo;s decision, which is months&rsquo; away, public agencies are advised to be diligent in reviewing records requested under the Public Records Act for privileged material and other statutory exemptions the agency might wish to assert prior to release. The <i>Newark School District</i> decision placed much weight on the attorney-client privilege &mdash; a darling of the legal profession and the judiciary. Other privileges and statutory exemptions, such as the investigative records exemption, might not similarly carry the day in court. Further, certain PRA exemptions cover records that protect various individuals&rsquo; privacy interests, such as personnel and medical records. Disclosure of such records, whether inadvertent or not, could lead to a privacy right claim and litigation.</p> <p>If you have questions about this opinion or how it will affect your municipality or agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=1139&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Policy and Ethics Compliance</span></a> practice group or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney.</span></a></p> <p><i>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;.</i></p>Legal Alerts05 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42723&format=xmlNine BB&K Attorneys Appear on Sacramento Magazine's 2015 Top Lawyers Listhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42696&format=xml<p>We are pleased to announce that nine Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys in the firm&rsquo;s Sacramento office are included in <i>Sacramento Magazine&rsquo;s</i> 2015 Top Lawyers List, which is published in the August 2015 edition. The list is the result of a survey by the magazine of lawyers in the Sacramento area, who were each invited to nominate three attorneys they believed are the best within a set list of 53 legal specialties. The BB&amp;K attorneys selected by their peers are:</p> <ul> <li>Joseph Comes, Land Use/Zoning</li> <li>Jared Goldman, Health Care</li> <li>Gary Loveridge, Health Care</li> <li>Edward Quinn, Land Use/Zoning</li> <li>Susan Schoenig, Employment &amp; Labor</li> <li>Stacey Sheston, Employment &amp; Labor</li> <li>Harriet Steiner, State, Local &amp; Municipal</li> <li>Kara Ueda, State, Local &amp; Municipal</li> <li>Iris Yang, State, Local &amp; Municipal</li> </ul> <p style="text-align: center;">###</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 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);">www.bbklaw.com</span></a> or follow <a href="http://twitter.com/bbklaw" target="_blank"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);">@BBKlaw</span></a> on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases03 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42696&format=xmlSan Francisco Cannot Sue Federal Agency For Gas Explosion Under APAhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42645&format=xmlToday, the Ninth Circuit issued its <a target="_blank" href="http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/07/30/13-15855.pdf"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);">Opinion</span></a> in <em>City &amp; County of San Francisco v. US Department of Transportation</em>, holding the City may not proceed against the Secretary of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in its case arising from the 2010 San Bruno explosion that killed eight people and leveled an entire neighborhood. The City sought mandamus relief alleging the agencies unlawfully withheld deciding whether California&rsquo;s Public Utility Commission adequately enforced federal pipeline safety standards and arbitrarily and capriciously approved the PUC&rsquo;s certification and funding. This case could have broad implications for other public entities trying to force the federal government to enforce safety standards where there is no clear violation of a law or regulation, but merely &ldquo;troubling allegations&rdquo; about an agency&rsquo;s approach to its oversight role. <br /> <br /> <p><em>* This blog post was originally published in </em><a href="http://www.imla.org/blog/2015/07/san-francisco-cannot-sue-federal-agency-for-gas-explosion-under-apa/" target="_blank"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);"><em>IMLA Appellate Practice Blog</em></span></a><em>, July 30, 2015. Republished with permission. Visit </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/blog/"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);"><em>www.imla.org/blog</em></span></a> <em>to read additional IMLA Appellate Practice Blog posts and to subscribe by email.</em></p>Blogs30 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42645&format=xmlBullying...The Legal View (and cost)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40638&format=xmlBest Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partners Jack Clarke, Jr. and Cathy Holmes presented &quot;Bullying...The Legal View (and Cost)&quot; during the Safe Schools Conference. The workshop looked at several important legal theories in regards to student-to-student bullying, which will assist educators and risk managers in spotting potential trouble and taking steps to protect students and the schools they attend.<br /> <br /> To view the presentation, <a target="_blank" href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/Safe Schools Conf_ Bullying the Legal View (and cost) 2015.pdf"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);">click here</span></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements30 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40638&format=xmlCalifornia Indian Tribe Pursues Rights to Groundwaterhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42627&format=xml<p><i>Circle of Blue</i> explores in-depth a federal lawsuit by the Agua Caliente Indian tribe against two water suppliers, including Desert Water Agency, which is represented by Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorney Roderick Walston. The results of this case, along with California&rsquo;s efforts to balance groundwater demand with available supplies, is likely to have wide-ranging implications on water rights laws &mdash; especially in light of the great possibility that the case will make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, Rod told <i>Circle of Blue</i>.</p> <p><i>See the full article in Circle of Blue, which was posted July 28, 2015, by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2015/world/california-indian-tribe-pursues-rights-to-groundwater/"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News29 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42627&format=xmlStruggle to Save Endangered Santa Ana Sucker May Reach U.S. Supreme Courthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42574&format=xml<p>Two cities and 10 water agencies, represented by Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Gregory Wilkinson, are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop a plan that designates parts of the Santa Ana River as critical habitat to protect the endangered Santa Ana sucker &mdash; despite that those areas are dry and would waste water. In an interview with the <i>L.A. Times</i>, Greg said: &quot;Right now, there are no clear rules of the road when the interests of a species and habitat intersect with the interests of the human environment.&rdquo;</p> <p><i>To read the full article, which ran in the July 27, 2015, Los Angeles Times, <a href="http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-84079700/" target="_blank"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News27 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42574&format=xmlAssistant Billing Manager - Riverside or San Diego Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42541&format=xml<span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">We are searching for an experienced, full-time Assistant Billing Manager&nbsp;who is able to independently support billing operations including, time uploads, proforma generation and processing, month and year end close, system balancing, report generation, understand system inquiries and database contents.&nbsp; Work closely with billing staff and others to support internal and external client needs.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume&nbsp;and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox <br /> for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh. <br /> <br /> </span></span><span style="font-size: medium"><a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=%3a%40%3bA"><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</span></span></a></span><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><br /> </span></span><span style="font-size: medium"> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Please address your cover letter to:</span></span></p> </span><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"> <p>Debbie Prior<br /> Director of Human Resources<br /> 500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1700<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814<br /> <em><strong><br /> No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></p> </span></span><span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </span>Job Openings at BB&K24 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42541&format=xmlRegulators Say First Water Case Aided by Detailed Recordshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42362&format=xml<p>As the State Water Resources Control Board begins seeking out illegal water diverters in California, many questions arise &mdash; including how to accurately calculate water supply and use. The Associated Press interviewed Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner on the issue. &quot;The data is not great,&quot; he said. &quot;It's not like you have an app that tells you how fast every car on the freeway is going. There's nothing similar for water.&quot;</p> <p><i>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.presstelegram.com/business/20150722/regulators-say-first-water-case-aided-by-detailed-records"><span style="color: #0000ff">full article</span></a> can be seen in the July 22, 2015 edition of the Long Beach Press-Telegram.</i></p>BB&K In The News23 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42362&format=xmlCalifornia Supreme Court Denies Requests to Depublish San Juan Capistrano Casehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42523&format=xml<p>The California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied requests to depublish the appellate court opinion in <i>Capistrano Taxpayers Association v. City of San Juan Capistrano, </i>regarding the cost of service analysis required to support tiered water rates under Proposition 218. The Fourth District Court of Appeal struck down the City of San Juan Capistrano&rsquo;s tiered water rate structure in an opinion issued April 20, holding that the rate structure violated Proposition 218&rsquo;s proportionality requirements under article XIII D, section 6 of the California Constitution.</p> <p>The State Attorney General, on behalf of the State Water Resources Control Board, requested that the California Supreme Court depublish the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> case so that it could not be cited as precedent in future cases. The Association of California Water Agencies, the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities also requested depublication on the grounds that the opinion could hamper conservation efforts at a time when California is in the midst of a severe drought. The California Supreme Court&rsquo;s denial of the depublication requests means the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> case is now final.</p> <p>Importantly, the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> opinion did <u>not</u> strike down all tiered water rate structures. Rather, the appellate court expressly concluded that &ldquo;tiered water rate structures and Proposition 218 are thoroughly compatible.&rdquo; The appellate court, however, went on to strike down San Juan Capistrano&rsquo;s tiered rates because the city &ldquo;failed to carry the burden imposed on it&rdquo; by Proposition 218 of showing that the inclining tiered rates corresponded to the actual cost of providing water service attributable to each parcel. For more information on the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> opinion, see Best Best&amp; Krieger&rsquo;s April 2015 Legal Alert, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=38987&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">available here</span></a>.</p> <p>BB&amp;K Partner Kelly Salt appeared as <i>amicus curiae</i> for the ACWA, the LCC and CSAC.</p> <p>If you have any questions about this case or how it may impact your agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed to the right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=497&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Finance</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>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;.</i></p>23 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42523&format=xmlCalifornia Supreme Court Denies Requests to Depublish San Juan Capistrano Casehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42524&format=xml<p>The California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied requests to depublish the appellate court opinion in <i>Capistrano Taxpayers Association v. City of San Juan Capistrano, </i>regarding the cost of service analysis required to support tiered water rates under Proposition 218. The Fourth District Court of Appeal struck down the City of San Juan Capistrano&rsquo;s tiered water rate structure in an opinion issued April 20, holding that the rate structure violated Proposition 218&rsquo;s proportionality requirements under article XIII D, section 6 of the California Constitution.</p> <p>The State Attorney General, on behalf of the State Water Resources Control Board, requested that the California Supreme Court depublish the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> case so that it could not be cited as precedent in future cases. The Association of California Water Agencies, the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities also requested depublication on the grounds that the opinion could hamper conservation efforts at a time when California is in the midst of a severe drought. The California Supreme Court&rsquo;s denial of the depublication requests means the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> case is now final.</p> <p>Importantly, the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> opinion did <u>not</u> strike down all tiered water rate structures. Rather, the appellate court expressly concluded that &ldquo;tiered water rate structures and Proposition 218 are thoroughly compatible.&rdquo; The appellate court, however, went on to strike down San Juan Capistrano&rsquo;s tiered rates because the city &ldquo;failed to carry the burden imposed on it&rdquo; by Proposition 218 of showing that the inclining tiered rates corresponded to the actual cost of providing water service attributable to each parcel. For more information on the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> opinion, see Best Best&amp; Krieger&rsquo;s April 2015 Legal Alert, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=38987&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">available here</span></a>.</p> <p>BB&amp;K Partner Kelly Salt appeared as <i>amicus curiae</i> for the ACWA, the LCC and CSAC.</p> <p>If you have any questions about this case or how it may impact your agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed to the right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=497&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Finance</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>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;.</i></p>Legal Alerts23 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42524&format=xmlCalifornia Department of Water Resources Adopts Update to the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinancehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42216&format=xml&nbsp;An updated Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance that establishes increases in water efficiency standards for new and retrofitted landscapes was approved by the California Water Commission. <a target="_blank" href="https://cwc.ca.gov/Documents/2015/07_July/July2015_Agenda_Item_8_Attach_1_Proposed_Revisions_to_MWELO_Final.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">The updated Model Ordinance</span></a>, approved last week, calls for more efficient irrigation systems, greywater usage and onsite storm water capture, as well as limits on the portion of landscapes that may be covered in turf. <p>The landscape restrictions in the updated Model Ordinance apply to any new construction project with an aggregate landscape area equal to or greater than 500 square feet and rehabilitated landscape projects with an aggregate landscape area equal to or greater than 2,500 square feet requiring a building or landscape permit, plan check or design review. In addition, all cities and counties are required to either adopt the updated the Model Ordinance or adopt a customized local water efficient landscape ordinance that is at least as effective in conserving water as the updated Model Ordinance by Dec. 1. If agencies do not take either of these actions, the Model Ordinance will automatically go into effect and apply.</p> <p>As an alternative, the Model Ordinance encourages the adoption of regional water efficient landscape ordinances by two or more local agencies to implement a consistent set of landscape provisions throughout a geographical region. Local agencies that plan to adopt regional ordinances have until Feb. 1 to do so, or the Model Ordinance will automatically go into effect.</p> <p>Cities and counties will also be required to report to the Department by Dec. 31 on the adoption of their updated ordinances. Agencies adopting a regional ordinance, however, are not required to report on the adoption of their new ordinances until March 1. All agencies would thereafter be required to comply with annual reporting requirements on the implementation and enforcement of their updated local water-efficient landscape ordinances.</p> <p>In California, about half the urban water used is for landscape irrigation. Water waste is common in landscapes that are poorly designed or not well maintained. Water waste from runoff, overspray, low head drainage, leaks and excessive amounts of applied irrigation water in landscapes is prohibited by Section 2, Article X of the California Constitution. The State Legislature adopted the Water Conservation in Landscaping Act (California Government Code section 65591 <i>et seq</i>.) in 1990 to improve state water conservation efforts by reducing the waste associated with outdoor landscaping irrigation. The Act required the Department to develop a model ordinance to govern local landscape irrigation. The Act was amended in 2008 to require an update to the original Model Ordinance.</p> <p>The current revisions to the Model Ordinance were made in response to Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s April 1 Executive Order declaring a statewide water shortage emergency. In addition to directing the State Water Resources Control Board to develop restrictions to achieve a 25 percent reduction in urban potable water use throughout California, the Executive Order called for the Department to update the Model Ordinance through expedited regulation.</p> <p>If you have any questions about the proposed update to the Model Ordinance or how it may impact your agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed to the right in the firm&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>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;.</i></p>Legal Alerts22 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42216&format=xmlDraft Basin Boundary Regulations Releasedhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42192&format=xml<p>The California Department of Water Resources has released <a target="_blank" href="http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/pdfs/SGMA_Draft_Basin_Boundary_Regulations.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">draft emergency regulations</span></a> governing how groundwater basin boundaries may be modified or redrawn under the state&rsquo;s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Public comments on the draft regulations will be accepted until Sept. 4.</p> <p>The historic SGMA legislation, adopted last year, marked the first time California has attempted to comprehensively regulate groundwater and bring groundwater basins into a sustainable pattern of pumping and recharge.</p> <p>Existing groundwater basin boundaries are defined in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/bulletin118/index.cfm"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>California&rsquo;s Groundwater</i>, Bulletin 118</span></a>. The proposed regulations lay out the process that local agencies must follow when seeking to modify established groundwater basin boundaries. Under the proposed regulations, DWR will consider granting two types of modifications:</p> <ul> <li>Those based on scientific considerations (aka Scientific Modifications), supported by geologic and /or hydrologic evidence of basin conditions.</li> <li>Those based on jurisdictional considerations (aka Jurisdictional Modifications), aimed at enabling more effective basin management by local agencies.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>The draft regulations require that a requesting agency meet a number of notification, consultation, public hearing and technical information requirements when submitting a basin boundary modification request. A critical element will be broad local support for each request because of the likelihood that such support will lead to more effective basin management.</p> <p>DWR will consider two types of scientific modification requests:</p> <ul> <li>External Boundary Modification, which modifies the boundary between the subject groundwater basin and the area outside the basin</li> <li>Hydrogeologic Barrier Modification</li> </ul> <p>Three types of jurisdictional boundary modification requests will be considered:</p> <ul> <li>Internal Boundary Revisions, which would adjust the location of a boundary between subbasins, within a basin or the shared boundary between adjacent basins.</li> <li>Basin Consolidations, which would reduce the number of subbasins within a basin, or merge two or more adjacent basins, but would change only shared boundaries. Included within the basin consolidation process is also a &ldquo;county basin consolidation&rdquo; process that would consolidate all contiguous basins or subbasins within a county into a single basin or subbasin with boundaries not extending beyond those of the subject county.</li> <li>Basin Subdivisions, which would increase the number of subbasins within a basin or subbasin.</li> </ul> <p>At a briefing before the California Water Commission on July 15, DWR staff explained that basin subdivisions are generally not desired and will have to meet a high bar for approval because of concerns about potential fragmentation of basins. Approved boundary changes will be published in <i>California&rsquo;s Groundwater</i>, Bulletin 118, 2017 Update.</p> <p>DWR will hold three public meetings to solicit input on the proposed regulations: Aug. 31 in Sacramento, Sept. 2 in Bakersfield and Sept. 3 in Santa Ana. The public comment period ends Sept. 4, with adoption by the California Water Commission slated for October or November.</p> <p>Under SGMA, all groundwater basins deemed high priority or medium priority must be governed by one or more &ldquo;groundwater sustainability agencies&quot; by June 30, 2017. These groundwater sustainability agencies must adopt a groundwater sustainability plan for the basin or basins they govern by Jan. 31, 2022. For basins subject to critical overdraft conditions, the plan must be adopted by Jan. 31, 2020. Sustainability plans must include long-term planning, objectives and goals to achieve basin sustainability within 20 years of implementation. The Act allows for state intervention when local agencies are unwilling or unable to manage the state&rsquo;s groundwater basins.</p> <p>More information about SGMA and the draft emergency basin boundary regulations can be found <a target="_blank" href="http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/basin_boundaries.cfm#regs"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.</p> <p>If you have any questions about the draft regulations or how they may impact your agency, please contact the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>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;.</i>Legal Alerts21 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42192&format=xmlBB&K Welcomes Director of Governmental Affairs Syrus Devershttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42190&format=xml<p><b>SACRAMENTO, Calif.</b> - Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is pleased to announce that Director of Governmental Affairs Syrus Devers has joined the firm &mdash; augmenting the firm&rsquo;s unique advocacy support service. Working from the firm&rsquo;s Sacramento office, Devers brings more than 20 years of experience in state government affairs as both legislative staff and a lobbyist.</p> <p>Prior to joining BB&amp;K, Syrus served as executive director of government affairs for Verizon and lobbied on behalf of the California Medical Association. He began his water and environmental government affairs work while he was a student at McGeorge School of Law and working for then state Sen. Sheila Kuehl. His academic and professional focus shifted then, as he worked on a broad range of issues including groundwater contamination, drinking water standards, stormwater runoff and endangered species legislation. A major achievement of his was the multiyear effort to pass what became SB 221 in 2001, which required a verifiable water supply for residential developments of 500 or more units.</p> <p>With the addition of Devers, the firm can provide both federal and state advocacy services.&nbsp; Along with Senior Director of Governmental Affairs John Freshman and Partner Gerard Lederer in Washington, D.C. and the attorneys in the firm&rsquo;s Municipal Law, Special Districts and Environmental Law and Natural Resources practice groups, Devers will work to ensure that BB&amp;K&rsquo;s clients&rsquo; voices are heard by lawmakers. Whether it be before state or federal legislative bodies or regulatory agencies, the firm&rsquo;s public agency and private company clients will be fully supported by a team of BB&amp;K attorneys and advocates.</p> <p>Syrus was raised on a Central Valley almond farm, which is still in his family, and now resides in Sacramento with his wife.</p> <p style="text-align: center">###</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 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</span></a> or follow <a target="_blank" href="http://twitter.com/bbklaw"><span style="color: #0000ff">@BBKlaw</span></a> on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases20 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42190&format=xmlDealing With the Drought: State Water Resources Control Board (WRCB) Mandatory Water Consumption Reduction Measureshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39490&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Kelly Salt will present &ldquo;Dealing With the Drought: State Water Resources Control Board (WRCB) Mandatory Water Consumption Reduction Measures&rdquo; at Law Seminars International&rsquo;s program, &ldquo;Municipal Water Utility Ratemaking in California.&rdquo; Kelly will give an update on Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s Executive Order requiring 25 percent reductions and the Water Resources Control Board&rsquo;s implementation efforts and how the rate structuring/pricing/penalty provisions for encouraging conservation mesh with Proposition 218.</p> <p>The day-long seminar will be in Sacramento, and webcast live.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Monday, July 20, 2015<br /> 2:45 p.m.</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=15MWR2CA"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements20 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39490&format=xmlEven Pre-Litigation Is Not a Contact Sporthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42161&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney Gary Schons presents a hypothetical to illustrate and clarify Rule 2-100 of the State Bar of California's Rules of Professional Conduct regarding contacting parties to possible litigation.</p> <p><i>Read the entire article, published in July 2015 by the San Diego County Bar Association's For the Record, by <a target="_blank" href="https://www.sdcba.org/index.cfm?pg=FTR-Jul-2015-4"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here.</span></a></i></p>BB&K In The News17 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42161&format=xmlPower Costs for San Diego Public Schools Under Investigationhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42138&format=xml<p>As electricity costs rise for public schools in San Diego County, a coalition of districts are fighting an application by San Diego Gas &amp; Electric to the California Public Utilities Commission to hike the rates even more. Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney Josh Nelson, representing the districts, was interviewed recently by The San Diego <i>Union-Tribune</i>:</p> <p>&ldquo;The school districts have hired Best Best &amp; Krieger, a high-powered law firm specializing in energy issues, to help make their case to the CPUC.</p> <p>&ldquo;They are urging the commission to reject or modify SDG&amp;E&rsquo;s application to further raise rates by a combined 25.93 percent over a three-year period from 2016 to 2018, according to Josh Nelson, an attorney with the firm.</p> <p>&ldquo;&rsquo;That&rsquo;s a significant rate increase,&rsquo; Nelson said. &lsquo;We want to make sure that schools are protected from rate increases and that they don&rsquo;t share a disproportionate share.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p><i>To read the entire article, originally published July 11, 2015 in the Union-Tribune, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/jul/11/power-costs-for-san-diego-public-schools-under/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News16 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42138&format=xmlBest in Law: The Far Reach of California's Taxeshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42011&format=xml<p><b>By Jeremiah Lee</b></p> <p>Although some businesses have left California for states with seemingly more friendly regulations and taxes, many remain in California because their customers are in California.</p> <p>When a company operates in California, even if not headquartered in California, it generally has to play by California&rsquo;s rules, including paying franchise taxes &ldquo;for the privilege of doing business in this state.&rdquo;</p> <p>What if a company&rsquo;s customers are not in California and it does not have active business operations in California? Would such an out-of-state company still have to pay franchise taxes in California? For example, if a Colorado company owns vacant property in California, but does not otherwise have any business operations here, does it have to pay franchise taxes as if it were a California company? The answer, surprising to some, likely is yes.</p> <p>When a company operates in California or is formed or registered in California, it must pay franchise taxes based on its net income. The minimum amount of the franchise tax is $800 even if the annual net income is zero. Unbeknownst to many businesses located outside of California, the minimum franchise tax has significant reach.</p> <p>The California Revenue and Tax Code requires a corporation or limited liability company which is &ldquo;doing business&rdquo; in California to file a tax return and pay franchise taxes. &ldquo;Doing business&rdquo; is defined to include some expected operating metrics such as 25 percent of a company&rsquo;s sales are in California, $50,000 or more is paid in compensation to workers in California or a company is organized in California.</p> <p>However, the code also contains an often overlooked definition of &ldquo;doing business&rdquo; that includes real property and tangible personal property located in California exceeding the lesser of $50,000 or 25 percent of the company&rsquo;s total real property and tangible personal property. Based on real property prices in California, it would not take owning very much land, even vacant land, in California to exceed $50,000.</p> <p>The confusion and frustration most commonly expressed by an out-of-state company discovering it may owe the minimum franchise tax stems from the different standards California uses for determining whether or not a business is operating in our state. A company is required to register with the California Secretary of State in order to &ldquo;transact intrastate business&rdquo; if it enters into repeated and successive business transactions in this state, other than interstate or foreign commerce.</p> <p>However, the Franchise Tax Board uses the broader definition discussed above and requires a company to file a tax return if it is &ldquo;doing business&rdquo; in the state. Many companies consider the more narrow definition in determining whether its business is engaged in California &ndash; whether it has repeated business transactions in the state. Even if a company has no repeated transactions and only passively holds vacant land in California, the company may still be considered to be doing business in California under the tax code if the property&rsquo;s value exceeds the threshold under the law (the lesser of $50,000 or 25 percent of the company&rsquo;s total real property and tangible personal property). The unaware company could be required to pay franchise taxes in California and, even if such a company does not have any net income for a given year, the minimum franchise tax of $800 would be due.</p> <p>Leaving California or holding California property through an out-of-state entity in an effort to escape this state&rsquo;s taxes may be a good plan in theory; however, the long reach of the state&rsquo;s tax code may still be able to touch out-of-state owners of property located in California.</p> <p><i>* This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pe.com/articles/california-772278-company-business.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">The Press-Enterprise</span></a> on July 2, 2015. Republished with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News14 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42011&format=xml2015 Summer Conferencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41626&format=xmlBest Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner,&nbsp;Eric L. Garner,&nbsp;is a panelist discussing &quot;Water Rights&nbsp;--&nbsp;Legal and Valuation Issues&quot; during&nbsp;Appraisal Institute's 2015 Summer Conference. Eric will provide an overview of&nbsp; water law and the impact of adjudications and the Sunstainable Groundwater Management Act on water markets.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Tuesday, July 14<br /> 10:15&nbsp;- 11:30 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Sheraton Cerritos<br /> 12725 Center Court Dr.<br /> Cerritos, CA<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.myappraisalinstitute.org/education/more_info.aspx?id=34998&amp;view=B&amp;state=C7&amp;sort=D"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements14 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41626&format=xmlCharter/Time Warner Tout Benefits, Seek Approval of Merger in State and Federal Filingshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41887&format=xml<p>Charter Communications, Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc. and Advance/Newhouse Partnership recently filed a public interest statement with the FCC seeking approval of the proposed merger announced in May between Charter, TWC and the associated acquisition of Bright House Networks by Charter. The merger will combine Charter, TWC and BHN into a single company, to be called New Charter, that will serve approximately 24 million customers across 41 states and make it the nation&rsquo;s second-largest broadband provider after Comcast.</p> <p>The FCC must determine whether the merger serves the public interest, convenience and necessity by weighing the potential public interest harms and benefits and whether the merger violates or interferes with the Communication Act&rsquo;s objectives. According to the public interest statement, the merger will create no risk of public interest harms, and will instead result in a range of public interest benefits, such as faster Internet at a better value, continued commitment to an open Internet and a faster rollout of advanced video technology.</p> <p>To ensure these benefits are realized, New Charter says it will:</p> <ul> <li>increase competition, within four years of closing, by investing at least $2.5 billion to build-out networks in commercial areas within its footprint beyond where it currently operates, building out a million line extensions of its networks to homes in its franchise areas, and deploying more than 300,000 out-of-home WiFi access points;</li> <li>not block or throttle Internet traffic or engage in paid prioritization for three years;</li> <li>not impose data caps, engage in zero-rating or charge additional fees for use-specific third-party Internet applications for three years;</li> <li>engage in reasonable and non-discriminatory interconnection and submit any interconnection disputes to the FCC for resolution on a case-by-case basis for three years;</li> <li>transition all TWC and BHN cable systems to all-digital networks within 30 months of closing, allowing substantially all customers to take advantage of at least 60 Mbps download speeds;</li> <li>market services consistent with Charter&rsquo;s current packaging and pricing strategies to consumers in TWC and BHN areas where cable systems are all digital;</li> <li>create thousands of U.S.-based jobs for customer service call centers and field technician operations and return TWC call center jobs to the U.S.;</li> <li>embrace TWC&rsquo;s commitment to diversity and inclusion in governance, employment services, procurement and community partnerships; and</li> <li>build upon BHN&rsquo;s broadband program for low-income consumers by making broadband offering available with higher speeds and expanding eligibility at a significant discount across its footprint within three years of closing.</li> </ul> <p>Charter, TWC and Advance/Newhouse Partnership also made similar commitments in the applications they recently filed with the New York Public Service Commission and California Public Utilities Commission for approval of the transfer of control of subsidiaries and franchises located in the respective states.</p> <p>Whether these promises are made in a way that is enforceable, and whether they are sufficient or meaningful is, of course, another question.</p> <p>As&nbsp;explained in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=41723&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">a previous legal alert</span></a>, the FCC and state agency reviews of the merger provide an opportunity for local governments to voice their concerns about the merger&rsquo;s effects on localities and seek conditions that could protect local communities should the FCC and state agencies decide to approve the merger and transfer of control. It is fair to raise questions about the sufficiency and enforceability of the promises &mdash; i.e.: Is a 60 Mbps maximum download speed really adequate? Does it provide upstream capacity to allow residences and businesses to participate in the Internet economy? Given the price paid, will the combined company have the money to upgrade networks to provide more advanced services at reasonable rates?. Some of these concerns may include the following:</p> <ul> <li>The merger will have an impact on competition in the provision of cable services. For example, Charter, TWC and BHN have systems that abut one another, which means eliminating and combining the systems would remove one of the most readily available competitive entrants &mdash; the neighboring cable provider.</li> <li>The applicants do not make any commitments with respect to protecting and promoting public, education and government access programming. This is of particular concern, as Charter has shown an unwillingness in some communities to provide connections required to distribute PEG programming, unless those connections are paid for by the community.</li> <li>The commitments to providing a meaningful lifeline tier of service are minimal.</li> <li>The applicants&rsquo; commitments to Open Internet and Net Neutrality principles have a three-year expiration date. Upon expiration, New Charter could block or throttle Internet traffic, allow paid prioritization or impose data caps and engage in zero-rating, which would allow favored providers to have their content delivered without counting against the data cap. This could negatively affect small businesses that depend on robust Internet access to buy and sell goods and services, and also impact local governments that are increasingly relying on electronic communications to provide services, distribute information and streamline development.</li> <li>With TWC and Charter ranking near the bottom of customer satisfaction surveys, local governments may want to request that the FCC and state agencies condition approval of the merger on the applicants&rsquo; commitment to specific enhancements to customer service that include comprehensive reporting metrics about New Charter&rsquo;s customer service practices and performance record.</li> </ul> <p>With the review process now underway in the FCC, NYPSC and CPUC, local governments may want to begin discussing the importance of these issues with elected officials in Washington, D.C. and at state legislatures. And, they should prepare to participate in FCC and state agency proceedings to ensure that, if the merger is approved, it protects vital community interests.</p> <p>For more details, please visit <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/1U5pnfR"><span style="color: #0000ff">BBKnowledge.com </span></a>or contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right, another attorney in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=456&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Telecommunications practice </span></a>or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>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;.</i>Legal Alerts13 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41887&format=xmlPublic Safety Specialist - LA/Irvine/Riverside/Ontario Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41974&format=xml<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">We have an immediate opening for a mid-level to senior attorney with experience in public safety matters and criminal prosecution. The Public Safety Specialist will handle and supervise all code enforcement and gun confiscation cases for our municipal clients in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles, and Orange County areas.&nbsp; This is a non-partnership track position that will require travel to client offices and courts throughout those regions.&nbsp; <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. </span></span></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG"><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</span></span></a></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Please address your cover letter to:<br /> <strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <br /> <em><strong>No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> </span></span><span><span><b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></span></span></p>Job Openings at BB&K13 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41974&format=xmlGeneral Manager Leadership Summithttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39545&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Nancy Park&nbsp;is among the speakers at the California Special District Association's event, &ldquo;General Manager Leadership Summit.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> <u>BB&amp;K Speaker:</u><br /> <br /> <strong>Nancy Park</strong>, &ldquo;Behind the Scenes Negotiating Secrets&rdquo;&nbsp;<br /> An overview of the changes in legislation related to public sector labor relations in the past year and a look at decisions from the Public Employment Relations Board that deal with how agencies interact with employee organizations.<br /> 3:30 - 4:30 P.M.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Monday, July 13, 2015<br /> <br /> <strong>Where</strong><br /> Hyatt Regency Newport Beach<br /> 1107 Jamboree Road<br /> Newport Beach, CA 92660<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://gmsummit.csda.net/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements13 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39545&format=xmlAnti-Discrimination Housing Laws Tackled by U.S. Supreme Courthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41866&format=xml<p>Having taken up the question twice before only to see both cases settle, the United States Supreme Court recently concluded that claims alleging a disparate impact on minorities are proper under the Fair Housing Act. In <i>Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project</i>, a sharply divided Court agreed with nine courts of appeals that the FHA encompasses disparate-impact claims. In federal anti-discrimination law, the disparate-impact theory&nbsp;holds that employment, housing and other practices may be discriminatory and illegal if they have a disproportionate, adverse effect on minorities, and are unsupported by a legitimate rationale. This differs from disparate-treatment cases, in which discriminatory intent must be proven.</p> <p>Although <i>Inclusive Communities, </i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-1371_m64o.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">decided on June 25,</span></a>&nbsp;may spur litigation against public agencies, plaintiffs still face significant hurdles. Initially, a plaintiff must prove that the challenged practice has caused, or will cause, a discriminatory effect. Importantly, the Court imposed safeguards to limit disparate-impact liability. For instance, a plaintiff cannot prevail simply by pointing to racial imbalance, but must also identify the policy responsible for it.</p> <p>Additionally,&nbsp;public agencies need not reorder their priorities in the wake of <i>Inclusive Communities</i>. Even if a policy having a discriminatory effect is identified, a housing authority can maintain the policy by proving it necessary to achieve a valid interest. If a valid interest exists, the plaintiff must show that an available alternative would serve the agency&rsquo;s needs, but have a less discriminatory effect. Several cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, supported extension of disparate-impact liability to the FHA.</p> <p>In Texas, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs distributes low-income housing tax credits based upon a point system that gives priority to certain criteria such as tenants&rsquo; income levels. The Inclusive Communities Project alleged that HCA disproportionately allocated tax credits&mdash;granting too many for housing in mostly black urban areas and too few in mostly white suburban areas&mdash;perpetuating segregation. The ICP brought a disparate-impact claim under the FHA, which the Court found proper without reaching its merits.</p> <p>For more information regarding this case or its impact on your agency or company, please contact one of the attorney author of this Legal Alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law practice group</span></a> or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>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;.</i>Legal Alerts10 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41866&format=xmlSeven BB&K Attorneys Included on the Northern California Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Rising Stars Listhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41879&format=xml<p><b>SACRAMENTO, Calif.</b>&nbsp;- Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP congratulates its seven attorneys included in the 2015 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 type="disc"> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=4176&amp;format=xml&amp;/Sarah%20E%20Owsowitz"><span style="color: #0000ff">Sarah Owsowitz</span></a>, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Land Use/Zoning, Walnut Creek</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2424&amp;format=xml&amp;/Susan%20L%20Schoenig"><span style="color: #0000ff">Sue Schoenig</span></a>, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Employment &amp; Labor Law, Sacramento</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2403&amp;format=xml&amp;/Stacey%20N%20Sheston"><span style="color: #0000ff">Stacey Sheston</span></a>, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Employment &amp; Labor Law, Sacramento</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2404&amp;format=xml&amp;/Harriet%20Steiner"><span style="color: #0000ff">Harriet Steiner</span></a>, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, State, Local &amp; Municipal Law, Sacramento</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1692&amp;format=xml&amp;/Gene%20Tanaka"><span style="color: #0000ff">Gene Tanaka</span></a>, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Environmental Litigation, Walnut Creek</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2423&amp;format=xml&amp;/Iris%20P%20Yang"><span style="color: #0000ff">Iris Yang</span></a>, <em>Super Lawyers</em>, Environmental/State, Local &amp; Municipal, Sacramento</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1545&amp;format=xml&amp;/Sigrid%20K%20Asmundson"><span style="color: #0000ff">Sigrid Asmundson</span></a>, <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"><span style="color: #0000ff">SuperLawyers.com</span></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 <span style="color: #0000ff"><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com">www.bbklaw.com</a></span><span> or follow <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/bbklaw"><span style="color: #0000ff">@BBKlaw </span></a>on Twitter.</span></i></p>Press Releases10 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41879&format=xml