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-us24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssDealing in Drought: Development, Legislation and Litigationhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31529&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Managing Partner <b>Eric Garner</b>, who is the program chair of the event, and Partners <b>Paeter Garcia</b> and <b>Kelly Salt</b> will be participating in some of the panel discussions during this day-long seminar. This year is being touted as California&rsquo;s single driest year on record and severe drought conditions have brought the state to a crossroads. Is drought now going to be the new normal in California? This program will help attendees understand the impacts of drought on the competing needs of urban, agricultural and environmental water users. A diverse group of water leaders from state and local government, water associations, the legislature and engineers and attorneys will provide their insight on the legal and policy issues facing the state&rsquo;s surface water, groundwater and alternative water supplies. Come and discover how California&rsquo;s drought is creating challenges and prompting new solutions for water resource management.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers:</b><br /> <br /> Eric Garner will deliver the event&rsquo;s opening introduction at overview at 9 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., he will moderate the discussion &ldquo;The Groundwater Conundrum,&rdquo; which will explore the following topics:</p> <ul> <li>Groundwater Use in an Arid State (Availability, Rights, Uses, Reserves and Overdraft)</li> <li>Whiskey is for Drinking (Adjudications Past, Present and Future)</li> <li>Common Ground (Groundwater Management Plans; Special Legislation; State Oversight)</li> </ul> <p>Paeter Garcia will appear as a panelist at 3 p.m. for a discussion titled, &ldquo;The Perfect Non-Storm: Permitting Development in Drought Conditions.&rdquo; Topics to be discussed include:</p> <ul> <li>California Growth and Related Development</li> <li>Tall Task for Water Supply Planning (Urban Water Management Plans; General Plans)</li> <li>Preparing Defensible Water Supply Analyses (Water Supply Assessments; Written Verifications; CEQA Analysis)</li> </ul> <p>Kelly Salt is participating on a panel at 4 p.m. called, &ldquo;Pricing the Way through a Water Shortage.&rdquo; Issues to be covered include:</p> <ul> <li>Declaring Water Shortage and Emergency Conditions (Ordinances, Conservation, Rationing)</li> <li>Pricing Structures and Challenges</li> <li>Public Issue with Private Implications</li> </ul> <p><b>Credits: </b><br /> <br /> CA CLE: 6.25 General CLE credits<br /> CDPH: 6.0 contact hours</p> <p><b>Topics Covered: </b></p> <ul> <li>Drought Response</li> <li>Environmental</li> <li>Groundwater Use and Management</li> <li>Stormwater and Greywater</li> <li>Water Purchases and Transfers</li> <li>Water Shortage and Emergency Conditions</li> </ul> <p><b>Who Should Attend:</b></p> <ul> <li>Attorneys/Legal Staff</li> <li>State and Municipal Officials</li> <li>Water Operators</li> <li>Developers/Land Owners</li> <li>Farmers/Ranchers</li> <li>Environmentalists</li> <li>Utility Managers</li> <li>Planners</li> </ul> <p><b>Where: </b><br /> <br /> DoubleTree by Hilton LA Downtown<br /> 120 S. Los Angeles St.<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90012</p> <p>For more information or to register, please click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theseminargroup.net/seminar.lasso?seminar=14.DROUCA"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31529&format=xmlA Summary of California Water Rights Systems and a Primer for Public Water Agency Directorshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31201&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K attorneys Eric Garner and Jeff Ferre will be presenting at the Water Education Foundation&rsquo;s 2014 Water 101 Workshop. This course offers the opportunity to learn the California water basics and water district board member governance. It is open to anyone interested in learning more about the history of, and the management structure of, water in California, and about the key water issues facing the State &ndash; including the drought, groundwater management and the potential for a 2014 water bond.</p> <p>BB&amp;K Managing Partner Eric Garner will present &ldquo;Summary of California Water Rights Systems&rdquo; on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 10:30 a.m. Eric will discuss:</p> <ul> <li>Riparian Rights</li> <li>Appropriative Rights</li> <li>Groundwater Law and Cases</li> <li>Reasonable and Beneficial Use</li> <li>Public Trust Law and Cases</li> </ul> <p>BB&amp;K Partner Jeff Ferre will present &ldquo;Governance Primer for Water District Directors&rdquo; on Friday, Oct. 3 at 9 a.m. He will speak about:</p> <ul> <li>The Role and Responsibilities of a Water District Director</li> <li>Building an Effective Board</li> <li>The Brown Act &ndash; Basic Requirements</li> <li>The Fair Political Practices Act &ndash; Basic Requirements</li> <li>Conflict of Interest Code</li> <li>Requirements for Ethics Training</li> <li>Avoiding Common Legal and Political Pitfalls for Directors</li> </ul> <p><strong>Audience:<br /> </strong>The course will be especially beneficial to water resource industry staff, engineering and environmental firm personnel, legislators, legislative staff, press, advocates, stakeholders, environmentalists, public interest organizations and water district directors.</p> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Thursday, Oct. 2 &ndash; Friday, Oct. 3, 2014</p> <p>Where:<br /> The Cucamonga Valley Water District&rsquo;s Frontier Project in Rancho Cucamonga</p> <p>For more information or to register, please click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.watereducation.org/doc.asp?id=3093"><span style="background-color: #ffffff"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements02 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31201&format=xmlCEQA: California Environmental Quality Acthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31522&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K attorneys Michelle Ouellette and Fernando Avila are among the faculty at this day-long seminar on CEQA. As the cornerstone of the state's environmental protection laws, CEQA tends to be a focus for lawsuits challenging the land-use decisions of public agencies. Developing strategies for surviving potential litigation is an important aspect of preparing sound CEQA documents.</p> <p>Attend this seminar and get the tools you need to develop effective CEQA compliance strategies. The essentials of preparing legally defensible CEQA documents and examination of solutions to real projects will be discussed.</p> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Friday, Sept. 19, 2014<br /> 9 a.m. &ndash; 4:30 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where:</strong><br /> Hampton Inn &amp; Suites Riverside/Corona East<br /> 4250 Riverwalk Parkway<br /> Riverside, CA 92505</p> <p>For more information or to register, click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lorman.com/training/ceqa-california-environmental-quality-act-393990"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31522&format=xmlCurrent Legal Issues Affecting the Telecommunications Industryhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31488&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K attorney Gail Karish will speak at a program summarizing the legal issues affecting the telecommunications industry. Attendees will learn about siting, zoning, federal preemption of local control, co-location, cell site leasing, lots of opportunities and constraints for public and private entity control and/or participation.</p> <p><b>When:</b><br /> Friday, Sept. 12, 2014<br /> 11:15 AM - 12:15 PM</p> <p><b>Where:</b><br /> Grand Hyatt San Diego</p> <br /> For more information or to register, please <a target="_blank" href="http://www.calbar.ca.gov/AboutUs/AnnualMeeting.aspx"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></u></a>.<br />Conferences & Speaking Engagements12 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31488&format=xmlBB&K Attorneys to Appear on Panels Covering Telecommunications, the Environment, Hot Federal Issues and Morehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31515&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger is pleased to sponsor and participate in the International Municipal Lawyers Association&rsquo;s 2014 Annual Conference.</p> <p>TELECOMMUNICATION CHALLENGES FACING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS<br /> Sept. 20, 2014<br /> 1 &ndash; 2 p.m.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px">&quot;How Converging Technologies and Mega-Mergers May Affect Your Community &ndash; A View From Municipal Perspectives&quot;<br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker</strong>: Joseph Van Eaton, Partner<br /> Changes in technology present enormous opportunities for community development and delivering government services more efficiently &ndash; but also pose challenges. This presentation will discuss how localities can use existing laws and pending FCC proceedings to protect their interests.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px">&quot;An Industry Perspective &ndash; What Do Changes In Technology Mean to Your Community?&quot;<br /> Speaker: Michael Ruger, Executive Director, Government Affairs, Comcast Cable Communications, LLC<br /> <br /> &quot;Wireless Siting &ndash; How Local Control is Faring at the FCC and in the Courts&quot;<br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker</strong>: Matt Schettenhelm, Associate<br /> The FCC is in the midst of a major rulemaking that may redefine local authority over cell tower placement and modification. This presentation will provide an update on the status of the FCC rulemaking, and recent court rulings, and what steps localities can take locally and nationally to protect their interests.</p> <p>STORMWATER: NEW REQUIREMENTS FOR DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AND EPA&rsquo;S PROPOSED RULE RE-DEFINING &ldquo;WATERS OF THE U.S.&rdquo; WILL HAVE MAJOR COST AND OPERATIONAL IMPACTS FOR MUNICIPALITIES<br /> Sept. 10, 2014<br /> 2 &ndash; 3 p.m.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px"><strong>BB&amp;K Speakers</strong>: Andre Monette, Associate &amp; John Freshman, Senior Director of Governmental Affairs<br /> Other Presenters: Ryan Baron, Senior Deputy County Counsel, Orange County, California; Marc E. Gori, Assistant County Attorney, Fairfax County, Virginia<br /> Comments on the EPA&rsquo;s Proposed Rule broadly defining &ldquo;Waters of the U.S.&rdquo; under the Clean Water Act are due in October. The controversial proposed changes are important to local government and public agencies because, if adopted, they will greatly expand the jurisdictional reach of the CWA and change how municipal stormwater systems are categorized.</p> <p>STORMWATER MANAGEMENT/MS4 PERMITTING<br /> Sept. 11, 2014<br /> 9:15 &ndash; 10:15 a.m.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px"><strong>BB&amp;K Speaker</strong>: Gene Tanaka, Partner<br /> Other Presenters: Steve Roy, Larry Coffman and Lee Epstein</p> <p>HOT FEDERAL ISSUES: TAXES, TRANSPORT AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT<br /> Sept. 11, 2014<br /> Noon &ndash; 1 p.m.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px">A review of critical federal issues that may affect your community&rsquo;s bottom line and economic development plans &ndash;and the opportunities and risks they present to municipalities.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px"><em>&quot;</em>Update on Congressional Actions Affecting Your Community and Your Budget&quot;<br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker</strong>: Gerard Lederer, Partner<br /> Congress is considering a number of measures &ndash; including some that could block taxation of Internet access, allow taxation of e-commerce and could affect the funds available for transportation projects &mdash; that could significantly affect communities throughout the country. This presentation will provide an update on Congressional actions, including those affecting he Highway Trust Fund, and what those actions mean for communities.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px">&quot;Rail Transport and Public Safety -&nbsp; Is There a Solution?&quot;<br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker</strong>: Harriet Steiner, Partner<br /> Cities have raised significant concerns regarding the safety of rail freight transiting through their communities. This presentation will focus on the status of federal rules regarding train safety &ndash; and their effectiveness.<br /> <br /> &quot;Speeding Development By Planning for the Endangered Species Act&quot;<br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker</strong>: Michelle Ouellette, Partner<br /> The Endangered Species Act can block development projects or it can be used to help clear the way for future development. This presentation will discuss how communities are working with the ESA to speed development.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong>:<strong><br /> </strong>Baltimore, Maryland</p> <p>To learn more about IMLA&rsquo;s 2014 Annual Conference or to register, please click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/events/conferences"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements10 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31515&format=xmlAB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training (August 12)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31358&format=xml<div><br /> California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, pursuant to AB 1825, requires that employers with fifty or more employees in California provide at least two hours of Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training every two years to any employee that has a supervisory role in operations. This presentation is designed to satisfy those requirements.</div> <p>Joseph Ortiz will present the training from the Riverside office. All other BB&amp;K offices participating in the training via state-of-the-art video conferencing. The video conference is interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions and participate in other ways.<br /> <br /> <a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e9je1pdw3c0bf5b2"><span style="color: #0000ff"><strong>Click Here</strong></span></a>&nbsp;to Register</p> <p><strong>What will be&nbsp;covered:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>What constitutes sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace</li> <li>How to recognize and avoid it</li> <li>What procedures to follow if you witness harassment or are harassed yourself</li> <li>The potential consequences - including personal liability - of sexual harassment</li> </ul> <strong><br /> Audience:</strong><br /> <br /> <ul type="disc"> <li>Supervisors</li> <li>Human Resources Professionals</li> <li>Public Officials</li> <li>Managers &amp; Private Business Professionals with 50 or More Employees</li> </ul> <p><strong>When: <br /> </strong><br /> Tuesday, August 12<br /> 9 - 11 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Registration:<br /> </strong><br /> The training will be held via video conference at the following BB&amp;K offices throughout California. <a href="http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=apf8yceab&amp;oeidk=a07e9je1pdw3c0bf5b2"><span style="color: #0000ff"><strong>Click here</strong></span></a> to register to attend the training.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=60&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Indian wells </span></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=61&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Irvine </span></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=62&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Los Angeles </span></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=59&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Ontario </span></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=63&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Riverside</span></a> &ndash; Joseph Ortiz presented from the Riverside office</li> <li><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=64&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Sacramento </span></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=65&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">San Diego </span></a></li> <li><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=66&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Walnut Creek </span></a></li> </ul> <p><strong>BB&amp;K Presenter:<br /> <br /> </strong>Joseph Ortiz, Partner, Labor &amp; Employment Practice Group in Riverside office<br /> <br /> <strong>QUESTIONS:<br /> <br /> </strong>Contact <a href="mailto:katey.lamke@bbklaw.com?subject=BB%26K%20Training"><span style="color: #0000ff">Katey Lamke</span></a> if you have any questions about this event and/or about BB&amp;K upcoming seminars/events.<br /> <br /> If you are not currently receiving our Legal Alerts and would like to be added to our email distribution list, please visit our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2121"><span style="color: #0000ff">subscription page</span></a>.</p>Seminars and Webinars12 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31358&format=xmlKey Public Policy Issues: Our Perspectiveshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31316&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K attorney <b>Gerard Lederer</b> will be a panelist at the ACM &amp; NAMAC&rsquo;s National Conference State &amp; Main: Intersecting Networks, Communities, Generations. He will be on a panel titled, &ldquo;Key Public Policy Issues: Our Perspectives,&rdquo; which will provide an in-depth focus on the federal agenda for community media centers, including captioning standards, AT&amp;T U-verse, electronic program guides, funding streams, federal PEG priorities, HD conversion standards, franchising, the Telecom Act and the Community Access Preservation Act.</p> <p><b>When:</b><br /> Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014<br /> 2 &ndash; 3:30 p.m.</p> <p><b>Location:</b><br /> The Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel<br /> Room: Independence A &amp; B (Ballroom Level)<br /> <span itemprop="address">201 North 17th Street<br /> Philadelphia, PA 19103</span></p> <p>For more details about the conference or to register, visit <a href="http://stateandmain2014.com/"><font color="#0000ff">http://stateandmain2014.com</font></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements07 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31316&format=xmlAttorney - Municipal Law - Ontario or Irvine Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=29737&format=xml<p>Our Municipal Law Practice Group&nbsp;has an immediate opening for an attorney with a minimum of 4 years' transactional municipal law&nbsp;experience. Planning degree and/or extensive experience with planning, zoning and land use issues required (experience attending legislative body meetings a plus).</p> <p>Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.</p> <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a><br /> <br /> <p>Please address your cover letter to:</p> <p><strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <br /> <em><strong>No phone calls please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></p>Job Openings at BB&K23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=29737&format=xmlBB&K Police Bulletin: Police Order To Stay Put While Conducting Background Check Is A Seizure Under Fourth Amendmenthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31512&format=xml<p><b>Overview: </b>The Ninth Circuit recently held that, when a police officer orders a suspect to &ldquo;stay put,&rdquo; that command constitutes a seizure under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and can implicate municipal liability under <i>Monell</i>.</p> <p><b>Training Points: </b>When officers conduct a &ldquo;consensual encounter&rdquo; with a person, unless they have reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot, they are not permitted to detain the person for any longer than to confirm if a crime has occurred [or is occurring]. Commands not to leave, absent probable cause to prolong the detention, will be considered a &ldquo;seizure&rdquo; under the Fourth Amendment. On appeal in <i>Benson v. City of San Jose</i>, the City argued that the officer approached Benson for a loitering offense. However, the court noted that the officer never stated why he approached Benson. Since the argument was made after the fact, and not at the time of the stop, the court rejected the argument that the officer had reasonable suspicion at the time of the stop. In light of this decision, officers should be mindful of two things: 1.) Always ensure that the person being contacted is informed of the purpose of the stop and 2.) Properly document the points of probable cause in the police report, including the admonition about the reason for the stop, along with other elements of probable cause for the contact.</p> <p><b>Summary Analysis: </b>In <i>Benson v. City of San Jose</i>, a police officer approached Benson for loitering and requested his identification. As he was running a background check, he told Benson to &ldquo;stay put.&rdquo; Benson sued the officer and the City claiming his Fourth Amendment rights were violated. The court reasoned that, while the initial encounter with Benson may have been consensual, the officer lacked reasonable suspicion for the seizure and, therefore, his command to Benson to &ldquo;stay put&rdquo; transformed the stop into a seizure under the Fourth Amendment. &nbsp;Further, the court held that the officer was not entitled to qualified immunity because, as of the date of the encounter, it was clearly established that when an officer retains a person&rsquo;s identification and commands a person not to leave, that constitutes a seizure. Finally, the court found the officer&rsquo;s actions could implicate municipal liability since the police chief testified the officer acted reasonably and within department policy and procedure. This, the court found, constituted official approval and ratification of the officer&rsquo;s decision and the basis for it.</p> <p><b>Follow-Up Contact: </b>For questions regarding this case or its implications for your agency and public safety department, please contact one of the authors of this bulletin listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=2532&amp;format=xml"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Safety</span></u></a> group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></u></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 Alerts21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31512&format=xmlState Water Resources Control Board Adopts Emergency Water Conservation Regulation in Response to Droughthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31473&format=xml<p>The State Water Resources Control Board has adopted an emergency regulation requiring local agencies to restrict potable water use by their customers and prohibiting certain uses of potable water. The regulation is expected to go into effect on August 1 and last for 270 days, unless extended by the SWRCB. The regulation does not apply to water wholesalers or the wholesale operations of combined water retailers/wholesalers.</p> <p>The regulation requires urban water suppliers (suppliers providing water to over 3,000 municipal customers or providing over 3,000 acre-feet per year to municipal customers) to activate their previously adopted, Water Code-compliant Water Shortage Contingency Plans at the stage that imposes mandatory restrictions on outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscapes or turf.</p> <p>As an option, urban water suppliers may develop an alternate plan that does not include mandatory restrictions on outdoor irrigation if allocation-based water rate structures, combined with other measures, achieve a level of conservation that would be greater than the amount of conservation that would be achieved by limiting outdoor irrigation to two days per week. An urban water supplier&rsquo;s alternate plan would be subject to approval by the executive director of SWRCB who would evaluate whether the plan meets the requirements above.&nbsp;</p> <p>All other distributors of public water (whether publically or privately owned and including mutual water companies), along with urban water suppliers that do not have a Water Shortage Contingency Plan or that have been notified by the Department of Water Resources that their plan is not compliant with the Water Code, must limit outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscapes to two days per week or impose other mandatory conservation measures designed to achieve comparable reductions in water use. These agencies have 30 days from the effective date of the regulations (expected to be August 1) to implement their conservation measures.</p> <p>Additionally, urban water suppliers must submit a report to the SWRCB by the 15th of each month comparing the amount of potable water produced in the preceding month to that month in 2013.The initial report must also state the number of people served by the urban water supplier. Beginning October 15, the report must provide an estimate of gallons of water used per person per day by residential customers.</p> <p>The regulation also prohibits individuals from using potable water to wash driveways and sidewalks; water outdoor landscapes that cause excess runoff; wash a car with a hose without a shut-off nozzle; or operate a fountain or other decorative water feature. Excess runoff includes situations where water flows onto adjacent property, non-irrigated areas, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures. Violations are punishable by an infraction and up to a $500 fine for each day a violation occurs. Local agencies or the SWRCB may issue infractions and fines at their discretion. It is anticipated that such fines will likely be imposed through the authority and procedures in an urban water supplier&rsquo;s Water Shortage Contingency Plan.</p> <p>The SWRCB regulation can be viewed by clicking <a target="_blank" href="http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/board_decisions/adopted_orders/resolutions/2014/rs2014_0038_regs.pdf"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a>.</p> <p>For more information about the emergency drought regulation and how it may affect your agency, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right, an attorney in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></u></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></u></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 Alerts17 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31473&format=xmlParalegal Managerhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31458&format=xml<p>Our&nbsp;office has an&nbsp;opening for Paralegal Manager who can work in either our Riverside, Ontario, Los Angeles or Irvine office&nbsp;requiring a B.A. or B.S. degree and a paralegal certificate with&nbsp;experience as a paralegal supervisor/manager.&nbsp; Prior experience as a litigation paralegal is strongly preferred.</p> <p>Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, and Safari for Macintosh.<br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a><br /> <br /> <strong>Debbie Prior<br /> </strong>Director of Human Resources<br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 500 Capitol Mall, Suite 1700<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814</p> <p><strong><em>No phone calls please<br /> <br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</em></strong></p>Job Openings at BB&K16 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31458&format=xmlBB&K Attorney Joseph P. Byrne Re-Appointed to California Water Commissionhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31443&format=xml<p><strong>For Immediate Release:</strong> July 15, 2014<br /> <span><strong>Media Contact:</strong>&nbsp;Denise Nix&nbsp;&bull; 213.787.2552 &bull; <a href="mailto:denise.nix@bbklaw.com"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">denise.nix@bbklaw.com</span></u></a></span><br /> <br /> <strong>LOS ANGELES</strong> _ Gov. Jerry Brown has announced the re-appointment of Joseph P. Byrne, who is of counsel in Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP&rsquo;s Los Angeles office, to the California Water Commission. He has served on the Commission since 2010, and as its chair since January 2013.</p> <p>The Commission consists of nine members who are charged with a number of statewide responsibilities related to water. Currently, one of the Commission&rsquo;s most important tasks is preparing for the passage of a state water bond that is expected to contain funding for water storage projects.</p> <p>&ldquo;I am honored that the Governor has selected me to continue to serve on the Commission and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on statewide water issues, especially at such a critical time for the State during the current drought,&rdquo; Byrne said.</p> <p>Byrne is a member of BB&amp;K&rsquo;s Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources, Municipal Law, Special Districts and Business Services practice groups. He provides general counsel services to both public and private clients and advises clients on a wide variety of water-related issues, including water rights and water-related agreements.&nbsp;</p> <p>The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate.</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 </i><i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><font color="#0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</font></a> or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases15 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31443&format=xmlComments Due August 25 on Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Charter Merger/Spin Off Transactionshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31444&format=xml<p>Last week the FCC made two important announcements concerning its review of the applications filed for approval of the Comcast &ndash; Time Warner Cable &ndash; Charter cable merger and spin off transactions, and at the same time the agency formally started the time clock running on its review. The FCC announced the formation of teams to review the transactions, and established the filing dates and rules for formal participation. The depth and breadth of the review teams suggests the FCC will engage in a serious examination of oppositions and comments seeking that conditions be imposed on the approvals &ndash; provided that the comments/objections are well supported and made in a timely fashion. <b><i>This review provides a unique opportunity for local governments to object to the merger (even if the merger is not subject to review at the local level) and provides an opportunity to raise concerns about the merger&rsquo;s effects on localities, as well as to seek conditions that could protect local communities, should the FCC decide to approve the merger. This could include, for example, conditions that protect PEG, and that ensure Comcast does not abuse its control over the &ldquo;last mile&rdquo; broadband connection to the home. But as we explain below, the window for local governments to effectively make their concerns known is small &ndash; and could close late next month.</i></b></p> <p><b>Transaction Review Teams:</b> A steering committee composed of top members of major bureaus and offices &mdash; legal, media, wireline, wireless and international &mdash; will oversee review of the Comcast transactions and the AT&amp;T-DirecTV merger. The review teams also include an attorney formerly with the Department of Justice&rsquo;s Antitrust Division and two Northwestern University professors with economics and business expertise.</p> <p><b>Rules for Public Participation and Filing Dates:</b> The pleading cycle has three stages and anticipates two different types of responses to the applications &mdash; <i>comments on the applications</i> and <i>petitions to deny the applications</i>. The difference between the two types of filings is material. Filing a petition to deny will preserve your rights to take further action if you are unhappy with the FCC&rsquo;s decision on the applications. Simply filing comments generally does not allow you to seek reconsideration of the FCC&rsquo;s decision or appeal a final decision to the courts.</p> <p>The due dates for filings are as follows:</p> <p>Comments on Applications / Petitions to Deny Applications: Aug. 25</p> <p>Responses to Comments / Oppositions to Petitions to Deny Applications: Sept. 23</p> <p>Replies to Responses to Comments / Replies to Oppositions to Petitions to Deny: Oct. 8</p> <p>Although <i>ex parte</i> communications (outside the above dates) will be permitted in limited circumstances, the FCC&rsquo;s public notice warns participants that only timely participation can ensure that your issues will be fully considered. Specifically, the notice states &ldquo;petitioners and commenters should raise all issues in their initial filings. New issues may not be raised in responses or replies.&nbsp;A party or interested person seeking to raise a new issue after the pleading cycle has closed must show good cause why it was not possible for it to have raised the issue previously. Submissions after the pleading cycle has closed that seek to raise new issues based on new facts or newly discovered facts should be filed within 15 days after such facts are discovered. Absent such a showing of good cause, any issues not timely raised may be disregarded by the Commission.&rdquo;</p> <p><b><i>That makes August 25 the key filing date to have your voice heard. Now is a great time for interested communities to create a coalition so that critical issues can be timely raised.</i></b></p> <p>For more information about the merger, please click here: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.fcc.gov/transaction/comcast-twc"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.fcc.gov/transaction/comcast-twc</span></u></a></p> <p>For more information on the merger and it&rsquo;s potential impact on your organization or community, please contact the authors of this e-alert listed at right, an attorney in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=456&amp;format=xml"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Telecommunications</span></u></a> practice group or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></u></a>.<br /> <br /> <em>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</em></p>Legal Alerts15 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31444&format=xmlMatthew Bender Practice Guide: California Civil Appeals and Writshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31402&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Kira L. Klatchko is the co-editorial consultant of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lexisnexis.com/store/catalog/booktemplate/productdetail.jsp?pageName=relatedProducts&amp;prodId=prod20620328"><span style="color: #0000ff">Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Civil Appeals and Writs</span></a>, along with Benjamin G. Shatz of Manatt, Phelps &amp; Phillips, LLP. The publication helps litigators take their case one step further to success with practical advice on how to either security a victory, or a judgment reversal, in the appellate court.<br /> <br /> (Image source: LexisNexis Store)</p>Publications14 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31402&format=xmlDealing with the Dangers of Online Reviewinghttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31517&format=xmlBy <strong>James R. Harper </strong>and <strong>Jeremiah J. Lee<br /> </strong><br /> <p><span>Online review websites, such as Yelp or Angie&rsquo;s List, have become a common forum for griping. They give a voice to past customers to praise or condemn the efforts of a local business and inform future customers about which businesses in the community deserve their business, and which to avoid. </span></p> <p><span>But what happens when fake &ldquo;customers&rdquo; post negative reviews, or real customers embellish the horror of poor service? Can reviewers be held liable for their disparaging comments, and what can businesses do to protect themselves? </span></p> <p><span>The laws governing online reviews are quickly changing across the country and are pitting online reviewer anonymity and freedom to comment against businesses&nbsp;- both large and small&nbsp;- fighting to prevent false reviews and mitigate the impact of negative reviews on their online reputations. </span></p> <p><span>Two recent Virginia cases helped set some legal ground rules regarding online reviews. </span></p> <p><span>In one case, a woman was sued for $750,000 for lost business due to defamation after she wrote a scathing one-star review of a contractor, which included accusations of damage to her home, missing jewelry and an inflated invoice. </span></p> <p><span>The court found that the woman made false statements and defamed the contractor, but also found that the contractor, in its online responses, also defamed the woman. No damages were awarded, but the precedent was established that a reviewer can be found liable for shooting off an exaggerated and harmful review. </span></p> <p><span>In the second case, on more of a technical note, a Virginia court of appeal ruled that Yelp must reveal the identities of seven anonymous users who left negative reviews. Yelp has been opposed to giving information about its users, but the court found that the identities were needed to determine whether the users were actually customers of the reviewed business or if they were competitors or others writing fake reviews. </span></p> <p><span>Although expressing one&rsquo;s opinion online is a pastime of many and generally garners anonymity and free speech protection, reviews that include deliberately false statements of fact do not enjoy such protections and can lead to liability. </span></p> <p><span>Similar litigation has sprung up across the country with mixed results. A California technology company won a $1.6 million judgment against a blogger accusing it of stealing money from its business partners. </span></p> <p><span>Other cases have gone in favor of the reviewer. In 2011, a California court ordered a dentist to pay his patient&rsquo;s medical bills after he attempted to sue the patient&rsquo;s parents for posting a negative review on Yelp. The outcomes of these cases are largely due to the specific facts and events of each case, but as state laws are passed to deal with these situations, the outcome for a specific reviewer or business may depend, in part, where each party resides. </span></p> <p><span>In California, current legislation is seeking to limit a practice of some companies of including provisions in the fine print of their contracts that prevent users from leaving negative reviews online. The bill was in response to a Utah case in which a couple was charged $3,500 for posting a negative review in violation of a provision in the terms of service. </span></p> <p><span>The items reviewed cost less than $20 and, when the customers refused to pay the $3,500 fee, the company reported the unpaid amount to the credit reporting agencies. </span></p> <p><span>California Assembly Bill 2365 would make it unlawful to threaten or seek to enforce any provision in an agreement that requires a customer to waive his or her right to make statements about the consumer&rsquo;s experience with a business. The bill would impose fines against businesses that threaten to, or attempt to, enforce this sort of gag order provision, unless the provision was clearly and conspicuously identified and agreed to in the contract. Numerous articles, blog posts and consultants give good advice about how to protect oneself as a reviewer or as a business owner when interacting online. In the face of rapidly changing laws, reviewers will benefit from sticking to truthful opinions in their online reviews and businesses will benefit from creating a plan on how to best engage their customers online that includes some preparation to suffer through, or proactively address, the inevitable fake or false review. </span></p> <i>* This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&amp;Source=Page&amp;Skin=PressEnterpriseA&amp;BaseHref=PSE/2014/07/13&amp;PageLabelPrint=D3&amp;EntityId=Ar08002&amp;ViewMode=HTML"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">The Press-Enterprise</span></u></a> on July 13, 2014. Republished with permission.</i>BB&K In The News13 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31517&format=xmlAll California Contractors and Subcontractors Involved with Public Works Projects Now Required to Register With State by March 1, 2015http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31362&format=xml<p>The California Legislature has imposed a new registration requirement for contractors and subcontractors involved with public works projects. Senate Bill 854, passed late last month, created a registration program, effective July 1, 2014, to fund the Department of Industrial Relations&rsquo; monitoring and enforcement of prevailing wage laws.</p> <p>The registration period is open now, and contractors and subcontractors wishing to work on a public works project must be registered by March 1, 2015. For public agencies/awarding bodies, the new law requires that all public works projects with bids due after March 1, 2015, or awarded on or after April 1, 2015, use only registered contractors and subcontractors. The bill also requires awarding bodies to include notice of the registration requirement in their bid invitations and bid documents. In addition, public agencies must also file notice of their public works projects using DIR approved forms.</p> <p>Registration is completed through an online application and requires a non-refundable $300 fee to be paid by the contractors and subcontractors. The registration process requires contractors to:</p> <ul> <li>provide workers&rsquo; compensation coverage to its employees</li> <li>hold a valid Contractors State License Board license</li> <li>have no delinquent unpaid wage or penalty assessments</li> <li>not be subject to federal or state debarment</li> </ul> <p>Contractors must pay an annual renewal fee by July 1 of each year. The registration form is located on the DIR&rsquo;s website at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dir.ca.gov/DLSE/dlsepublicworks.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.dir.ca.gov/DLSE/dlsepublicworks.html</span></a><u>. </u></p> <p>To help awarding bodies and contractors comply with the new requirements, the DIR will post a database of registered contractors and subcontractors on its website. While non-registered contractors may not be awarded public works contracts after the effective date, inadvertently listing an unregistered subcontractor on a bid will not necessarily invalidate that bid. In addition, the registration requirement does not apply to private jobs that are determined to be public works after the contract has been awarded.</p> <p>The new registration system replaces the previous requirement that awarding bodies pay for costs to monitor and enforce compliance with prevailing wage laws for certain public works projects. Registration and renewal fees will go into the State Public Works Enforcement Fund, which provides for the administration of contractor registration, monitoring and enforcement of prevailing wage laws, and the enforcement of Labor Code violations on public works projects by the DIR.</p> <p>For more information on the new public works contractor registration requirement and its potential impact on public works projects, please contact the authors of this e-alert listed at right, an attorney in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=451&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Contracts and Construction 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> <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 Alerts10 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31362&format=xmlState Water Resources Control Board to Consider Emergency Water Conservation Regulations in Response to Droughthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31341&format=xml<p>In response to Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s State of Emergency Drought Declaration and Proclamation of a Continued State of Emergency, on July 15 the State Water Resources Control Board will consider adopting emergency water conservation regulations. The proposed regulations would enact restrictions on individuals, urban water suppliers (a supplier providing water for municipal purposes directly or indirectly to more than 3,000 customers or supplying more than 3,000 acre-feet of water annually) and distributors of public water supplies (whether publicly or privately owned and including mutual water companies). Interested parties have&nbsp;until noon on July 14 to submit comments on the proposed regulations to the California Office of Administrative Law. Due to the short timeframe to comment and the ambiguities noted below, BB&amp;K recommends the submission of joint comments by public agencies and other water suppliers.<br /> <br /> As to individuals, the proposed regulations prohibit the application of water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes visible runoff, the use of a hose to wash an automobile except where the hose is equipped with a shut-off nozzle, the application of water to hard surfaces including driveways and sidewalks, and the use of potable water in non-recirculating decorative water fountains. Violations would be punishable by a fine of up to $500 for each day in which the violation occurs. However, the proposed regulations do not address how the restrictions would be enforced and who would enforce them.</p> <p>The proposed regulations require all urban water suppliers to implement any applicable stage of their water shortage contingency plan that imposes mandatory restrictions on outdoor irrigation. For urban water suppliers without a water shortage contingency plan or with an insufficient plan, and for all distributors of public water supplies, the proposed regulations require, within 30 days, the implementation of limits on outdoor irrigation by customers to no more than two days per week or other conservation measures to achieve reduction in water consumption from 2013 levels. Although it appears that the limits on &ldquo;outdoor irrigation&rdquo; are not intended to apply to agricultural uses, the proposed regulations are ambiguous because the term &ldquo;outdoor irrigation&rdquo; is not defined.</p> <p>The proposed regulations mandate that each urban water supplier submit a monthly monitoring report by the 15th of each month to the Water Board. The monthly report must state the amount of potable water produced (including treated water) in the preceding month and an estimate of the gallons of water used per person per day. Further, the initial report must state the number of people served by the urban water supplier.</p> <p>For more information about the proposed regulations and how they may affect your agency, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a 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 href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.<br /> <br /> <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 Alerts09 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31341&format=xmlTake the High Roadhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31378&format=xml<p>Litigation offers attorneys many opportunities to choose how they will behave and what they will say. <a href="http://www.imla.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/youre-it.jpg"><img border="0" hspace="15" alt="youre it" vspace="15" align="right" width="300" height="199" size-medium="" src="http://www.imla.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/youre-it-300x199.jpg" /></a> The best course is to take the high road at every opportunity. Rudeness, profanity, throwing things, hitting people, we all know how the ugliness starts and how far it can progress. A small meanness may be reciprocated, then followed by an escalation and tit for tat. Once it starts, unprofessional behavior may be very difficult to stop or to confine to one specific case.</p> <p>All attorneys are held to a high standard by the law and the rules of professionalism and civility. E.g., <a target="_blank" href="http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=City+of+Jackson+v.+Estate+of+Stewart+ex+rel.+Womack,+939+So.2d+758,+766+(Miss.+2005)&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;case=6783148279375953339&amp;scilh=0"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>City of Jackson v. Estate of Stewart ex rel. Womack</em>, 939 So.2d 758, 766 (Miss. 2005)</span></a> (&ldquo;Attorneys should accept, without reservation, the requirement that they be held to higher standards of conduct and &lsquo;give up what normally would be considered free speech to the public at large while appearing in Court or filing documents with the Court.&rsquo;&rdquo;), quoting <a target="_blank" href="http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=Welsh+v.+Mounger+(In+Re+Kelly),+912+So.2d+823,+828+(Miss.+2005)&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;case=1871398070277528331&amp;scilh=0"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>Welsh v. Mounger (In Re Kelly)</em>, 912 So.2d 823, 828 (Miss. 2005)</span></a>; <a target="_blank" href="http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=Daigle+v.+City+of+Portsmouth,+137+N.H.+572,+630+A.2d+776+(1993&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;case=18056961150326608242&amp;scilh=0"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>Daigle v. City of Portsmouth</em>, 137 N.H. 572, 630 A.2d 776 (1993)</span></a>; <a target="_blank" href="http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=Klein+v.+Seenauth,+180+Misc.2d+213,+221,+687+&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;case=11057916991833404178&amp;scilh=0"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>Klein v. Seenauth</em>, 180 Misc.2d 213, 221, 687 N.Y.S.2d 889, 895 (1993)</span></a> (&ldquo;A lawyer is an officer of the court and, as such, has a high duty to maintain the dignity of the legal system&rdquo;); Fischer, Incivility in Lawyers&rsquo; Writing: Judicial Handling of Rambo Run Amok, 50 Washburn L.J. 365 (2011).</p> <p>Some attorneys are held to a higher standard. As explained in <a target="_blank" href="http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=People+v.+Espinoza,+3+Cal.4th+806,+820+(1992&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;case=15419124124986225003&amp;scilh=0"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>People v. Espinoza</em>, 3 Cal.4th 806, 820 (1992)</span></a>, cert. denied, 512 U.S. 1253 (1994), quoting <a target="_blank" href="http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=Berger+v.+United+States+(1935)+295+U.S.+78,+88+(1935&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;case=5318644154387676828&amp;scilh=0"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>Berger v. United States</em> (1935) 295 U.S. 78, 88 (1935)</span></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>A prosecutor is held to a standard higher than that imposed on other attorneys because of the unique function he or she performs in representing the interests, and in exercising the sovereign power, of the State. As the United States Supreme Court has explained, the prosecutor represents &ldquo;a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done.&rdquo; Prosecutors who engage in rude or intemperate behavior, even in response to provocation by opposing counsel, greatly demean the office they hold and the People in whose name they serve.</p> </blockquote> <p>Many courts and standards of conduct state this higher obligation resting on prosecutors. Given their power to bring the full force of government crashing down on an individual or business, this higher standard is fully justified.</p> <p>Numerous courts have adopted standards of professionalism and civility. A simple computer search brings up thousands of hits. The words differ modestly, sometimes greatly, but the essence of these rules is that attorneys should always take the high road. The ultimate uniformity of the rules is the testament to the importance of the high road to relations among attorneys and relations with the court.</p> <p>Photo courtesy of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/10934572@N00/3202963823/in/photolist-5T32yc-5T7J3p-5WG42E-5YGMfY-5ZKP5o-67SxVb-69mfxc-6ewHpq-6eyx7T-6geFLM-6rDRfY-6rTQvd-6xKguM-6BHTka-6BHTkB-6GbMkU-6HSWSN-6JswFZ-6RVXiy-6SSV6U-6SW2aF-6SX72d-7a7zYW-7drEUZ-7gkqDD-7gKyB6-7iFg1e-7vVC2K-ko22kU-7NvqUA-8fUXXK-i82a5t-eTrVdF-9gUkd8-dFkW1j-7S9rk2-8imU9F-99VKAw-dXyNvd-bDqdN2-dinMBB-aWnKeP-7S9qPc-eiz52j-fjzcoD-88h9cW-ee6byx-8veN4C-8veMUC-8qT"><span style="color: #0000ff">Flickr</span></a>by <a target="_blank" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/sudhamshu/"><span style="color: #0000ff">Sudhamshu Hebbar</span></a> (<a target="_blank" href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/"><span style="color: #0000ff">creative-commons license, no changes made</span></a>).<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><em>* This blog post was originally published in </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/blog/2014/07/take-the-high-road/"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>IMLA Appellate Practice Blog</em></span></a><em>, July&nbsp;8, 2014. Republished with permission. Visit </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/blog"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>www.imla.org/blog</em></span></a><span style="color: #0000ff"><em> </em></span><em>to read additional IMLA Appellate Practice Blog posts and to subscribe by email.</em></p>Blogs08 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31378&format=xmlCalifornia Powerhouse: Best Best & Kriegerhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31361&format=xml<p>By: David McAfee<br /> <br /> Law360, Los Angeles (July 07, 2014, 4:29 PM ET) -- With California facing one of the most severe water shortfalls in the state&rsquo;s history, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency earlier this year, calling on Californians to conserve water in every way possible. Amid this resource crisis,<a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/firms/best-best"><span style="color: #0000ff">Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</span></a>, a firm that has been at the forefront of the state&rsquo;s most important water rights cases, has risen to the challenge.</p> <p>With 174 attorneys across eight offices in California, BB&amp;K has become a go-to firm for public agencies on a variety of the state&rsquo;s most important issues, including those related to medical marijuana and the use, rights and quality of water, earning it a place on Law360&rsquo;s list of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/articles/552235"><span style="color: #0000ff">California Powerhouses</span></a>.</p> <p>BB&amp;K managing partner Eric Garner says the firm, which was founded in the 1890s and has worked on a number of the Golden State&rsquo;s highest-profile water rights cases since then, is busier as a result of the state&rsquo;s new drought restrictions. The firm says it has continued to build upon its longstanding water law practice in California, which has expanded to include other practice areas and opened an office in Washington, D.C.</p> <p>BB&amp;K, which almost exclusively represents public agencies and municipalities, has an intimate familiarity with the state&rsquo;s water history and is actively engaged in the future of water management in the state. Garner says the firm is involved with legislation that would authorize the issuance of more than $11 billion in bonds to overhaul California&rsquo;s water system and that it may be the most significant water legislation in the state in a century.</p> <p>&ldquo;We have clients who are very interested in the water bond, which will likely be on the November ballot and contain billions of dollars. It would pay for projects to help California be more water sustainable,&rdquo; Garner told Law360 in an interview. &ldquo;We have clients who are very concerned about making sure that their future water supplies are sustainable, and, of course, there is a legal component to that.&rdquo;</p> <p>In one recent water rights victory for a BB&amp;K client, the city of Santa Maria prevailed after a 16-year dispute when the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/agencies/u-s-supreme-court"><span style="color: #0000ff">U.S. Supreme Cour</span></a>t said last year that it <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/articles/478620/scotus-declines-to-hear-calif-water-plan-dispute"><span style="color: #0000ff">wouldn&rsquo;t review </span></a>a challenge to a groundwater basin plan for the city. A group of farmers sued Santa Maria in 1997, saying they had a prior right to the groundwater in the basin and that the city&rsquo;s ability to pump water should be cut off during shortages.</p> <p>&ldquo;Not surprisingly, this was not acceptable to the city. The only way to resolve the dispute was to bring everyone who pumps from the basin into a lawsuit &mdash; several thousand users,&rdquo; Garner said, noting that there is currently no statewide groundwater regulation but that such legislation is under consideration.</p> <p>&ldquo;Under California law, it&rsquo;s basically pump until a judge orders you not to,&rdquo; Garner said. &ldquo;In its published opinion, the appellate court found that people have at least an equal right to crops in a water shortage, and the court importantly recognized that Santa Maria&rsquo;s historical pumping can continue into the future and be protected during a shortage. Both the California Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review.&rdquo;</p> <p>Garner said that was the first case in which all elements of &ldquo;prescriptive&rdquo; water rights were fully tried in California.</p> <p>Even more recently, the firm and its municipal clients prevailed when the Orange County Superior Court in April rejected all six challenges to an environmental impact report certified by the Santa Margarita Water District in connection with <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/companies/cadiz-inc"><span style="color: #0000ff">Cadiz Inc.</span></a>&rsquo;s public-private partnership. The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/articles/481718/union-drops-opposition-to-mojave-water-mining-project-"><span style="color: #0000ff">project</span></a> allows Cadiz to pull an average of 50,000 acre-feet of water per year from Mojave Desert aquifers and pump it through a 43-mile pipeline to different parts of Southern California.</p> <p>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/companies/center-for-biological-diversity-inc"><span style="color: #0000ff">Center for Biological Diversity </span></a>and Delaware <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/companies/tetra-technologies-inc"><span style="color: #0000ff">Tetra Technologies Inc.</span></a> sought to overturn decisions by the SMWD and the county of San Bernardino approving a water purchase and sale agreement for the project, according to Michelle Ouellette, a partner in BB&amp;K&rsquo;s Riverside office.</p> <p>&ldquo;The court considered a variety of California Environmental Quality Act claims by the Center for Biological Diversity and Delaware Tetra Technologies, including arguments that the county should have served as lead agency for the project and that the [environmental impact report] did not fully consider and mitigate for the hydrological impacts of the project,&rdquo; Ouellette said of the case, which is being appealed. &ldquo;Ultimately, the court found that the petitioners were not entitled to any relief and, specifically, that the lead agency concerns &lsquo;did not rise to the level of a CEQA violation.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p>BB&amp;K says its environmental law and natural resources group also represents public agencies in handling tough legal issues beyond water rights and conservation. BB&amp;K attorneys provide public, charter and special school districts and offices of education with guidance and oversight in implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, the firm said.</p> <p>The firm says it has also achieved success for clients in cases involving municipal law, labor and employment and telecommunications. BB&amp;K has even helped cities in California navigate the legalities of medical marijuana shops, according to the firm.</p> <p>After California voters passed the 1996 Compassionate Use Act, there was uncertainty as to whether the states, cities and counties could regulate medical marijuana dispensaries, according to Jeffrey V. Dunn, a partner in BB&amp;K&rsquo;s Irvine office. Dunn successfully argued to the California Supreme Court that cities could ban the dispensaries through zoning ordinances.</p> <p>In a highly anticipated and politically charged decision last year, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/articles/438847/calif-cities-can-snuff-out-pot-clubs-state-high-court-rules"><span style="color: #0000ff">state high court found </span></a>that the city of Riverside had the right to enact a ban despite two California laws legalizing the use of medical marijuana within the state.</p> <p>&ldquo;On behalf of the city of Riverside, I argued that there is no state law preemption or limitation on municipal authority to regulate marijuana dispensaries,&rdquo; Dunn said, noting that the California Supreme Court agreed and opened the doors for cities and counties to regulate dispensaries and collectives.</p> <p>&ldquo;What was at stake was the ability of local municipalities to act in the best interest of their communities to limit or ban businesses that may cause public safety issues,&rdquo; Dunn added. &ldquo;The ruling is likely to have far-reaching benefits for California cities and counties, leaving significant leeway to enact local safety and zoning ordinances in a broad range of areas.&rdquo;</p> <p>BB&amp;K was founded in 1891 by Raymond Best in Riverside, an area then known for its citrus groves, according to Garner. Raymond Best&rsquo;s son Eugene Best joined the firm in 1918 and was made partner in 1925.</p> <p>In 1938, John G. Gabbert joined the firm, which became Best Best &amp; Gabbert a few years later. James Krieger joined the group in 1946, and when a third judgeship was created in the Riverside County Superior Court and was offered to Gabbert, the firm became Best Best &amp; Krieger.</p> <p>&ldquo;Krieger continued to build the water law practice started by Gabbert, and the firm earned statewide accolades for its work, which was carried on in later years by Arthur Littleworth and now myself, among others,&rdquo; Garner said. &ldquo;The firm has expanded to include a variety of practice areas that benefit public agency clients, as well as those in the private sector.&rdquo;</p> <p>Garner said BB&amp;K&rsquo;s telecommunications practice and water quality work have already expanded nationwide, and its environmental practice and aspects of its governmental practice are likely to follow suit. But the firm will continue to maintain a focus on California&rsquo;s laws, which Garner called &ldquo;among the most complex in the U.S.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Whether that&rsquo;s because the state government has a predilection toward regulation or because of its large population is anyone&rsquo;s guess, but there is no question that the legal issues are very challenging and interesting to work on,&rdquo; Garner said.</p> <p>While many of the matters the firm handles are governed by California law, especially in the areas of energy and natural resources and telecommunications, BBK also works on a number of cases governed by federal law, according to Garner.</p> <p>&ldquo;Even on matters involving California law, because California is frequently at the forefront of legal issues, many of the matters we work on will likely soon be coming to other states,&rdquo; Garner said.</p> <p>Along with BB&amp;K&rsquo;s growth nationwide comes new private clients, but the firm has continued to primarily represent government entities, according to Garner.</p> <p>&ldquo;The majority of BB&amp;K&rsquo;s clients are public agencies, but we also handle a substantial number of matters on behalf of private clients, which includes medium-sized businesses and specialty services for large, private clients,&rdquo; Garner said. &ldquo;The primary difference is that, when you represent a public agency, you are serving the public interest; whereas, often with private clients, the primary goal is monetary. Also, because the work is on behalf of the public, the legal work we do is more open and transparent than work for private clients.&rdquo;</p> <p>Garner added that the great thing about heading BB&amp;K is that its mix of municipal representations and minor private matters makes the firm &ldquo;unique.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;The large public agency practice means that many of our attorneys get to work in the public interest and on many of the most challenging issues that our society faces today,&rdquo; Garner said. &ldquo;At the same time, because of the resources we have, we are able to affordably give small and medium-sized businesses a range of services that very few law firms can.&rdquo;<br /> <br /> To download a PDF of this article, please click <a href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/California Powerhouse Best Best Krieger.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.</p> <p><em>This article first appeared on </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/"><em><span style="color: #0000ff">www.law360.com </span></em></a><em>on July 7, 2014. Reprinted with permission.</em></p> <p style="text-align: center">-30-</p>BB&K In The News07 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31361&format=xmlRuling That Curtails Public Agencies' Abilities to Get Order Protecting Project Planning Inspections is Decertifiedhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31309&format=xml<p>An appellate court ruling that essentially curtailed the ability of public agencies to obtain a court order to conduct project planning inspections was decertified by a grant of review by the California Supreme Court. In <i>Property Reserve. Inc. v. Superior Court of San Joaquin County, </i>the State of California petitioned for an order for entry to conduct two general categories of pre-condemnation activities: geological and environmental inspections. The Third District Court of Appeal&rsquo;s March 2014 ruling found that the pre-condemnation entry statutes (Code of Civil Procedure section 1245.010 et seq.) violate the taking provisions of article 1, section 19 of the California Constitution.</p> <p>The Court&rsquo;s decision last week to grant review immediately decertifies the appellate court&rsquo;s ruling. Public agencies are free to again seek court orders for project planning inspections. Although the arguments relied on by the property owners remain available and the fact that the constitutionality of the statutes are under review can be pointed out, the appellate court&rsquo;s ruling is no longer legal precedence for denying an order under the entry statutes.</p> <p>The Court&rsquo;s review will focus on three issues:</p> <ol> <li>Do geological inspections constitute a taking?</li> <li>Do environmental inspections constitute a taking?</li> <li>If so, do the precondemnation entry statutes provide a constitutionally valid eminent domain proceeding for the taking?</li> </ol> <p>The answer to these three questions will provide public agencies and property owners with either a clear path forward for project planning inspections, or turn project planning upside down until the Legislature fashions a resolution.</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 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31309&format=xmlBB&K Attorneys Recognized as 2014 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Starshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31489&format=xml<p><b>For Immediate Release</b>: July 4, 2014 <br /> <b>Media Contact</b>: Denise Nix &bull; 213-787-2552 &bull; <span><span><a href="mailto:denise.nix@bbklaw.com"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">denise.nix@bbklaw.com</span></u></a></span></span></p> <p><b>SACRAMENTO, Calif</b> _ Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP congratulates its seven attorneys included in the 2014 Northern California <i>Super Lawyers </i>and <i>Super Lawyers Rising Stars</i> lists. No more than 5 percent of California&rsquo;s attorneys are included in the <i>Super Lawyers</i> lists each year, which is compiled from peer nominations and a research team. To be one of the 2.5 percent of attorneys included on the <i>Rising Stars</i> list, an attorney must either be 40 or younger or in practice for 10 years or less.</p> <p>The BB&amp;K attorneys named to this year&rsquo;s list are:</p> <ul> <li>Sarah Owsowitz, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Land Use/Zoning, Walnut Creek</li> <li>Sue Schoenig, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Employment &amp; Labor Law, Sacramento</li> <li>Stacey Sheston, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Employment &amp; Labor Law, Sacramento</li> <li>Harriet Steiner, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, State, Local &amp; Municipal Law, Sacramento</li> <li>Gene Tanaka, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Environmental Litigation, Walnut Creek</li> <li>Kara Ueda, <i>Rising Stars</i>, State, Local &amp; Municipal Law, Sacramento</li> <li>Sigrid Asmundson, <i>Rising Stars</i>, State, Local &amp; Municipal Law, Sacramento</li> </ul> <p><i>Super Lawyers</i> is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. For more information, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.superlawyers.com/index.html"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">SuperLawyers.com</span></u></a>.</p> <p><b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b><i> is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With nearly 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington D.C. For more information, visit </i><span style="color: #0000ff"><i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</span></u></a></i></span><i> or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases04 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31489&format=xmlJuly 4: Use caution, keep safehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31315&format=xml<p>By:<strong> Beth Roessner</strong><br /> <br /> During the early hours of the Fourth of July 15 years ago, Andy Maiorano's life changed.</p> <p>While staying with his mother at her home in Pomona, a fire started on the first floor. The cause was later linked to faulty electrical wiring.</p> <p>The events of the evening were a blur of smoke, adrenaline and flames, and Maiorano pieced together much of what happened through talking to his mother. He had burns covering 13 percent of his body &mdash; he even burned his ear on the telephone trying to call 911. He jumped out his second-story bedroom window to safety. He was in a medical-induced coma for nearly two weeks and received multiple skin graphs.</p> <p><i>Click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.desertsun.com/story/life/wellness/2014/07/02/fourth-july-fireworks-safety/12120469/"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a> to read the entire article published online on July 2, 2014 in The Desert Sun.</i></p>BB&K In The News02 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31315&format=xmlSupreme Court To Hear Sign-Ordinance Casehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31377&format=xml<p>This morning, the Supreme Court <a target="_blank" href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/13-502.htm"><span style="color: #0000ff">granted cert</span></a> in <span style="color: #0000ff"><em><a target="_blank" href="http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2013/02/08/11-15588.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Reed v. Town of Gilbert</span></a></em></span><em>, </em>a case in which the Ninth Circuit <a target="_blank" href="http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=reed+town+of+gilbert&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;as_ylo=2013&amp;case=14050428154666774528&amp;scilh=0"><span style="color: #0000ff">upheld</span></a> the Town of Gilbert&rsquo;s sign ordinance against a First-Amendment challenge.<a href="http://www.imla.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SupremeCourt2.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-176" border="0" hspace="15" alt="SupremeCourt2" vspace="15" align="right" width="300" height="199" src="http://www.imla.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SupremeCourt2-300x199.jpg" /></a> The case could directly impact local governments nationwide, particularly those that have adopted sign ordinances with exemptions.</p> <p>The Court could use this case to clarify when a local ordinance is &ldquo;content-based&rdquo; or &ldquo;content-neutral,&rdquo; a key inquiry under the First-Amendment analysis. A number of law professors filed an <a target="_blank" href="http://www.adfmedia.org/files/ReedAmicusProfessors.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">amicus brief</span></a> authored by Professor Eugene Volokh arguing that the Ninth Circuit erred by treating the Town&rsquo;s ordinance as content-neutral. In their view, the ordinance is content-based because it expressly distinguishes the following classes of signs:</p> <ol> <li>&ldquo;temporary sign[s] which support[] candidates for office or urge[s] action on any other matter on the ballot,&rdquo; which can be up to 32 square feet in size,</li> <li>&ldquo;sign[s] communicating a message or ideas for noncommercial purposes&rdquo; that are not related to a &ldquo;qualifying event,&rdquo; which can be up to 20 square feet in size, and</li> <li>noncommercial signs that do relate to a &ldquo;qualifying event,&rdquo; which can only be up to 6 square feet in size.</li> </ol> <p>In the professors&rsquo; view, the Ninth Circuit improperly asked whether the ordinance regulates based on viewpoint, which is a different inquiry:</p> <blockquote> <p>The panel majority&rsquo;s reasoning apparently rested on the conclusions that the Town was not motivated by a desire &ldquo;to suppress certain ideas,&rdquo; by &ldquo;disagreement with the message [the speech] conveys,&rdquo; or by any other &ldquo;illicit motive,&rdquo; and that the law was viewpoint-neutral. Yet this Court has repeatedly made clear that laws distinguishing speech based on content&mdash;specifically including laws distinguishing campaign-related speech from other speech&mdash;are content-based even if they are viewpoint-neutral and not prompted by any motive to suppress particular ideas.</p> </blockquote> <p>If the Court were to adopt the professors&rsquo; approach, it could make many sign ordinances subject to strict scrutiny &mdash; a very difficult standard to satisfy. Just last year, the Fourth Circuit refused to take that approach in <a target="_blank" href="http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=cary+sign+ordinance&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;as_ylo=2013&amp;case=11677972447805314035&amp;scilh=0"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>Brown v. Town of Cary</em></span></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>[W]e reject any absolutist reading of content neutrality, and instead orient our inquiry toward why &mdash; not whether &mdash; the Town has distinguished content in its regulation. Viewed in that light, we are satisfied that the Sign Ordinance is content neutral. Applying the intermediate scrutiny required for content neutral restrictions on speech, we hold that the Sign Ordinance does not violate the First Amendment.</p> </blockquote> <p>(Photo courtesy of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/fischerfotos/7526267232/"><span style="color: #0000ff">Flickr</span></a> by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/fischerfotos/"><span style="color: #0000ff">Mark Fischer</span></a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en"><span style="color: #0000ff">creative-commons license</span></a>, no changes made).</p> <p>[Update: I clarified after posting that Professor Volokh authored the amicus brief.]<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><em>* This blog post was originally published in </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/blog/2014/07/supreme-court-to-hear-sign-ordinance-case/"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>IMLA Appellate Practice Blog</em></span></a><em>, July 1, 2014. Republished with permission. Visit </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/blog"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>www.imla.org/blog</em></span></a><span style="color: #0000ff"><em> </em></span><em>to read additional IMLA Appellate Practice Blog posts and to subscribe by email.</em></p>Blogs01 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31377&format=xmlProfile: Attorney Kira L. Klatchkohttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31193&format=xml<p>Palm Springs native Kira Klatchko, a Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP partner in the Appellate Practice Litigation group in the firm&rsquo;s Indian Wells office, was profiled in the inaugural issue of <i>ValleyWoman</i> magazine. In the June-July issue, Kira&rsquo;s work for both the law firm and the nonprofit Angel View was highlighted. Learn more about Kira&rsquo;s accomplishments and history by clicking <a href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/06VW14_KyraKlatchko.pdf"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a> to read the entire article (.pdf). *</p> <p><i>*Reprint is provided with permission by ValleyWoman magazine.</i></p>BB&K In The News30 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31193&format=xmlThe Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zone Lawhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31178&format=xml<br /> <!-- .entry-meta --><!-- <div class="comments-link"> <a href="http://www.imla.org/blog/2014/06/the-supreme-court-strikes-down-buffer-zone-law/#respond" title="Comment on The Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zone Law"><span class="leave-reply">Reply</span></a> </div> --><!-- .entry-header --> <div class="entry-content"> <p style="text-align: left">A local government can create a 35-foot buffer zone to restrict speech on a public street only if it has first made a serious effort to address the issue in other ways.</p> <p><img style="width: 203px; height: 184px" border="0" hspace="15" alt="Barricade" vspace="15" align="right" width="203" height="184" size-medium="" src="http://www.imla.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Barricade-300x300.jpg" /></p> <p>That&rsquo;s the lesson of <a href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-1168_6k47.pdf"><u><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>McCullen v. Coakley</em></span></u></a>, the Supreme-Court decision today that strikes down a Massachusetts statute that makes it a crime to knowingly stand on a public way or sidewalk within 35 feet of a location where abortions are performed.</p> <p>Although the Court found that the law is content-neutral&mdash;and therefore not subject to strict scrutiny&mdash;the Court ruled that the Commonwealth had &ldquo;too readily foregone options&rdquo; that would not substantially burden speech.</p> <p>What are those options?</p> <p>The Court said that the following measures &ldquo;could in principle&rdquo; pass muster:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Prohibit obstruction of the clinic. </strong>Another provision of the Massachusetts law subjects to criminal punishment &ldquo;[a]ny person who knowlingly obstructs, detains, hinders, impedes or blocks another person&rsquo;s entry to or exit from a reproductive health care facility.&rdquo;</li> <li><strong>Prevent interference and harassment.</strong> The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994 and other state and local provisions bar interfering with or harassing persons that leave clinics.</li> <li><strong>Bar other obstructions in the streets</strong>. A Worcester ordinance prevents a person from placing any obstruction in a street that obstructs passage, and a Boston ordinance prohibits soliciting in streets.</li> <li><strong>Rely on other criminal statutes. </strong>Governments can continue to rely on &ldquo;generic criminal statutes forbidding assault, breach of the peace, trespass, vandalism, and the like.&rdquo;</li> </ol> <p>The Court stressed that a superior approach is for the government to obtain an injunction that &ldquo;focuses on the precise individuals and the precise conduct causing a particular problem.&rdquo; Because the law here &ldquo;categorically excludes&rdquo; persons from the buffer zones, in the Court&rsquo;s view, it &ldquo;unnecessarily sweep[s] in innocent individuals and their speech.&rdquo;</p> <p>As <a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/2014/06/what-is-left-of-hill-v-colorado/#more-214191"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Kevin Russell notes</span></u></a>, the Court did not indicate that simply making the buffer zone smaller would be sufficient.</p> <p>[Update: I cleaned up some language in this post.]</p> <p>Image courtesy of <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/8945186756/"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Flickr</span></u></a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Seth Anderson </span></u></a>(<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">creative commons license</span></u></a>, no changes made).</p> <p><em>* This blog post was originally published in </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/blog/2014/06/the-supreme-court-strikes-down-buffer-zone-law/"><u><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>IMLA Appellate Practice Blog</em></span></u></a><em>, June 26, 2014. Republished with permission. Visit </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/blog"><u><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>www.imla.org/blog</em></span></u></a><em> to read additional IMLA Appellate Practice Blog posts and to subscribe by email.</em></p> </div>Blogs26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31178&format=xmlFirst Amendment Protects Public Employees for Sworn Testimony Given Outside Scope of Regular Job Duties on Matters of Public Concernhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31134&format=xml<p>The First Amendment protects a public employee from adverse employment action taken in retaliation for providing truthful sworn testimony, compelled by subpoena, outside the course of the employee&rsquo;s ordinary job responsibilities, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/lane-v-franks/"><span style="color: #0000ff"><u>the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision.</u></span></a></p> <p>The case arose from a corruption scandal involving Community Intensive Training for Youth, a program for underprivileged youth operated by Central Alabama Community College. Edward Lane was CITY&rsquo;s director. While conducting an audit of CITY&rsquo;s expenses, Lane discovered that Suzanne Schmitz, an Alabama state representative on CITY&rsquo;s payroll, had not been reporting for work. Lane terminated Schmitz&rsquo; employment.</p> <p>Federal authorities later indicted Schmitz on charges of mail fraud and theft. Lane testified under subpoena regarding the events that led to his terminating Schmitz. Schmitz was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison. CACC&rsquo;s president, Steve Franks, then terminated Lane in a claimed effort to address financial difficulties within the CITY program.</p> <p>Lane sued Franks in his individual and official capacities under 42 USC section 1983, alleging that Franks violated the First Amendment by firing him in retaliation for testifying against Schmitz. The Eleventh Circuit held that Lane&rsquo;s testimony was not entitled to First Amendment protection, and affirmed the trial court&rsquo;s summary judgment for Franks. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve what it perceived as discord among the Courts of Appeal.</p> <p>The Court applied the balancing framework articulated in <i>Pickering v. Board of Education </i>to weigh the interests of the employee, as a citizen, in commenting upon matters of public concern against those of the State, as an employer, in promoting the efficiency of its public services. The Court noted that its previous holding in <i>Garcetti v. Ceballos</i> distinguished between &ldquo;employee speech&rdquo; and &ldquo;citizen speech&rdquo; in public employment. <i>Garcetti</i> held that the First Amendment does not insulate public employees from employer discipline for statements made pursuant to their official duties.</p> <p>Lane&rsquo;s situation, the Court reasoned, was different. The giving of truthful testimony under oath was protected &ldquo;citizen speech&rdquo; because it was outside the scope of his normal job duties &mdash; even though the testimony related to his public employment and information he derived from that employment. The Court further opined that Lane&rsquo;s testimony involved a matter of significant public concern: corruption in a public program and misuse of state funds.</p> <p>The Court found that CACC had not come close to filling the employer&rsquo;s side of the <i>Pickering</i> scale. CACC presented no evidence that Lane&rsquo;s testimony was false, disclosed sensitive information, or otherwise justified treating Lane differently than any other member of the public. Thus, the Court held that Lane&rsquo;s &ldquo;citizen speech&rdquo; was entitled to First Amendment protection.</p> <p>The Court went on to decide that the claims against Franks in his individual capacity should be dismissed based on qualified immunity. The Court concluded that conflicting legal precedents among the Courts of Appeal did not preclude Franks from holding a reasonable belief that CACC could fire Lane for testifying in the criminal proceeding against Schmitz. The Court ruled, however, that Lane had a viable section 1983 claim against Franks and his successor in their official capacities and remanded the case to the lower court for further proceedings.<br /> <br /> If you have any questions about this case or how it might impact your agency, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=491&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Labor &amp; Employment</span></a> or <a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=450&amp;format=xml"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Municpal Labor and Employment</span></u></a> practice groups, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><u><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)">BB&amp;K attorney</span></u></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 Alerts26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31134&format=xmlState Supreme Court Rules Class Action Waivers Enforceablehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31135&format=xml<p>Class action arbitration waivers are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act, the California Supreme Court recently ruled in its long-awaited decision in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S204032.PDF"><u><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC</i>.</span></u></a> The ruling overturned the Court&rsquo;s earlier ruling in <i>Gentry v. Superior Court</i>, and is a major victory for California employers, who will now have the ability to force employees to arbitrate wage and hour claims only on their own behalf.</p> <p>The Court also held that the National Labor Relations Act&rsquo;s protection of &ldquo;concerted activity&rdquo; does not prohibit class action waivers. However, the ruling was not a complete victory for employers, as the Court also held that employers could not, through pre-dispute arbitration agreements, require employees to waive their ability to bring &ldquo;representative actions&rdquo; brought under California&rsquo;s Private Attorney General Act.</p> <p>This ruling does give California employers added protection against wage-and-hour class actions. Employers who have properly drafted arbitration agreements can turn what would otherwise be a class action lawsuit into an individual arbitration with the class plaintiff only. For that reason, employers who already have arbitration agreements in place should review them to make sure they contain proper class arbitration waivers. For employers who have yet to adopt arbitration agreements at all, the <i>Iskanian</i> decision just might provide the right incentive to do so.<br /> <br /> If you have any questions about this case or how it might impact your organization, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=491&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Labor &amp; Employment</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><u><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)">BB&amp;K attorney</span></u></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 Alerts26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31135&format=xmlCalifornia Department of Water Resources Releases Draft 2014 Water-Energy Grant Program Guidelineshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31137&format=xmlThe California Department of Water Resources has released a draft of its 2014 Water-Energy Grant Program Guidelines and Proposal Solicitation Package. The Water-Energy Grant Program funds residential, commercial and institutional water-efficiency projects that reduce water and energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Local agencies, including cities, counties, special districts and school districts, joint powers authorities and nonprofit organizations that undertake such water-efficiency projects are eligible to apply for funding. <p>A copy of the draft Guidelines is available <a href="http://www.water.ca.gov/waterenergygrant/index.cfm"><font color="#0000ff">by clicking here</font></a>.</p> <p>The maximum Water-Energy Grant Program award is $2.5 million per proposal, and DWR intends to award up to $19 million in grants. DWR plans to award 50 percent or more of the funding to projects that benefit disadvantaged communities. Disadvantaged communities include, but are not limited to, areas with concentrations of low-income individuals and areas that are disproportionately affected by environmental pollution.</p> <p>DWR will hold public meetings to solicit comments on the draft Guidelines in Chino, Fresno and Sacramento. Each meeting will begin at 1 p.m. at the following locations:</p> <ul> <li>The Chino meeting will take place on Aug. 19 at the Inland Empire Utilities Agency at 6075 Kimball Ave.&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> <li>The Fresno meeting is scheduled for Aug. 21 at the State Building, Assembly Room 1036 at 2550 Mariposa Mall.</li> <li>The Sacramento meeting will be held on Aug. 25 at the California Environmental Protection Agency Building in the Sierra Hearing Room at 1001 I Street. This meeting will be web broadcast at the following link: <a href="http://www.calepa.ca.gov/broadcast/"><font color="#0000ff">http://www.calepa.ca.gov/broadcast/</font></a>.</li> </ul> <p>Public comments on the draft Guidelines are due to DWR by Sept. 5.</p> <p>DWR plans to release its final Guidelines in October, and, in November, it will conduct informational workshops throughout the state to provide assistance to applicants. Applicants must submit their project proposals online using DWR&rsquo;s GRanTS program. DWR has not set the due date for proposals, but expects the date to be in December. DWR plans to award the grants in April or May 2015.</p> <p>For more details or questions about DWR&rsquo;s Water-Energy Grant Program, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=479&amp;format=xml"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Renewable Energy</span></u> </a>group, or your <a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></u></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 Alerts26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31137&format=xmlReducing Costs and Outsourcing Innovation Riskhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30510&format=xml<br /> BB&amp;K&nbsp;partner Sophie Akins&nbsp;spoke on a panel titled &quot;Reducing Costs and Outsourcing Innovation Risk&quot; at the MuniGrid Conference. This panel session was focused on tools municipalities can use to offset risk and&nbsp;financial burden. By partnering with the private sector and/or utility partners, cities can be a leader in innovation without going at&nbsp;it alone. Attendees&nbsp;were given real world examples of projects done in collaboration with public and private&nbsp;interests to&nbsp;illustrate that&nbsp;partnership can be the key to a successful project. Sophie discussed legal issues around the contracts and how cities can protect themselves, plus the issues raised by state law changes affecting energy projects at cities.<br /> <br /> MuniGrid is a half-day seminar targeting senior staff and elected leaders for discussion, inspiration, and collaboration on innovative municipal solutions with a one to three year implementation horizon. Topics covered include energy efficient infrastructure, low-energy LED technology, smart grid systems, broadband network connectivity, utility infrastructure buyback rationale, and the pragmatic approaches local entities are already using to enhance residents&rsquo; quality of life and city services, and promote fiscal sustainability. <br /> <br /> <strong>When:<br /> </strong>Thursday, June 26, 2014<br /> 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Location:<br /> </strong>California Science Center<br /> 700 Exposition Park Drive <br /> Los Angeles, CA 90037<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker:<br /> </strong>Sophie Akins, Partner<br /> <br /> For more details, visit: <a target="_parent" href="http://munigrid.org/"><span style="color: #0000ff"><u>http://munigrid.org/</u></span></a>. Friends of BB&amp;K get a $20 discount off registration using discount code: BBKDISCOUNTConferences & Speaking Engagements26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30510&format=xmlAdvanced City Solutions - The Future is Nowhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30511&format=xml<br /> BB&amp;K attorney Gail Karish&nbsp;spoke on a panel titled &quot;Advanced City Solutions - The Future is Now&quot; at the MuniGrid Conference. <span style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 10pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA">What is the &quot;next big thing&quot; in technology that communities should be looking to put into place now? Gail discussed how municipal needs and economic development can be supported through communications networks, fiber projects and other opportunities that leverage investments in communications infrastructure and networks.</span><br /> <br /> This panel&nbsp;was led by Mark Bernstein, Ph.D. A Political Science Professor and Managing Director of USC&rsquo;s Energy Institute, Mark has helped guide cities in their pursuit of technological advancements, energy efficiency and smart water use.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> The panelists for this session represent a variety of technology innovation fields. Panelists included Nancy Clanton, whose firm is a leader in sustainable lighting design. A representative of Tesla Motor Companies discussed battery efficiency and impacts on grid demand. Gianni Manetti of Paradox Engineering discussed technology currently in use in many local jurisdictions that allows streaming of information using WiFi devices on right of way poles. <p>MuniGrid is a half-day seminar targeting senior staff and elected leaders for discussion, inspiration, and collaboration on innovative municipal solutions with a one to three year implementation horizon. Topics covered include energy efficient infrastructure, low-energy LED technology, smart grid systems, broadband network connectivity, utility infrastructure buyback rationale, and the pragmatic approaches local entities are already using to enhance residents&rsquo; quality of life and city services, and promote fiscal sustainability. <br /> <br /> <strong>When:<br /> </strong>Thursday, June 26, 2014<br /> 1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Location:<br /> </strong>California Science Center<br /> 700 Exposition Park Drive <br /> Los Angeles, CA 90037<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker:<br /> </strong>Gail Karish, Of Counsel<br /> <br /> For more details, visit: <a target="_parent" href="http://munigrid.org/"><span style="color: #0000ff"><u>http://munigrid.org/</u></span></a>. Friends of BB&amp;K get a $20 discount off registration using discount code: BBKDISCOUNT</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30511&format=xmlEnvironmental Due Diligence: How to Protect Your Clients from Liability When Buying Potentially Contaminated Propertyhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30864&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Danielle Sakai presented a session at this webinar titled &quot;Environmental Due Diligence: How to Protect Your Clients from Liability When Buying Potentially Contaminated Property.&quot; <br /> <br /> <strong>Description:</strong><br /> <br /> Consider this all-too-familiar scenario: A client buys a piece of property. Initial research seems to indicate that everything is okay with the land, so the client does the deal. Until you discover that it used to be a gas station, a dry cleaners, has a wetlands area, or is home to a rare or protected species.</p> <p>Your client faces delays and huge costs and fees associated with remediation&mdash;if remediation is even still an option.</p> <p><em>Want to avoid this nightmare?</em></p> <p>You have only one opportunity to identify pre-purchase environmental &quot;pitfalls&quot; that could put your clients at serious risk of litigation with the deep pockets of the federal or state government. So how can you avoid potential malpractice claims when that simple land acquisition/development project turns out to be more difficult than you thought and you fail to recommend that your client undertake environmental due diligence?</p> <p>Arm yourself with the latest EDD strategies that can help you identify and address pre-escrow environmental concerns before they become a serious problem.</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Do you know what a Phase I or Phase II Environmental Assessment entails and what must be included in the reports?</li> <li>Do you know what an &quot;all appropriate inquiry&quot; is, how it should be satisfied, and why it's so important to your client's defense?</li> <li>Do you know all the business types that could raise red flags with any environmental consultant? And how to deal with every one of them?</li> <li>Do you know why your client's proposed property is so cheap?</li> </ul> <p><span>Here's just some of the information the session covered:</span></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>What environmental due diligence is and why doing it right could mean the difference between a smooth acquisition and one that ties you up in litigation for years.</li> <li>The phases of EDD and what's important about each one.</li> <li>How an all appropriate inquiry can protect property buyers from liability even when contamination isn't found during due diligence or is discovered later.</li> <li>The available options when contamination is found on the property.</li> <li>What reports to expect when the process has been completed and what you should do with the results you get.</li> <li>What to look for in an environmental consultant, and why using a good one is key to the process.</li> <li>What EPA changed in its standards of due diligence and how these will impact your practice going forward.</li> </ul> <p>Don't go in unprepared! Environment due diligence is your <u>best</u> defense against additional costs, increased delays, and even possible malpractice claims.<br /> <br /> <strong>When:<br /> </strong>Thursday, June 26, 2014<br /> 2PM EDT, 1PM CDT, 12PM MDT, 11AM PDT<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker:<br /> </strong>Danielle Sakai, Partner<br /> <br /> Click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.magnetmail1.net/link.cfm?r=1180293509&amp;sid=42294129&amp;m=4791250&amp;u=ARGENT&amp;j=19306414&amp;s=http://eventcallregistration.com/reg/index.jsp?cid=46708t11#rs"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">HERE</span></u></a> for details.</p>Seminars and Webinars26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30864&format=xmlSB 871 Bumps Back Repeal of Solar Energy Exclusion by Eight Yearshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31119&format=xml<p>A new law extending the exclusion of solar energy systems from affecting the full cash value of real property for taxation purposes was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last week. The bill (SB 871) is effectively immediately as a tax levy. Wind and geothermal energy producers, who do not benefit from similar property tax exemptions, have criticized the legislation as providing an unfair cost advantage to solar energy. While the exclusion of solar energy systems is not entirely new, SB 871 is noteworthy because it guarantees exclusion for another eight years, pushing the repeal date from Jan. 1, 2017 to Jan. 1, 2025. Further, SB 871 envisions local programs to administer reimbursements to local agencies and school districts and carves out an exception to section 2229 of the Revenue and Taxation Code that will disallow reimbursement claims related to solar energy systems.</p> <p>This extension means that solar energy systems will continue to be excepted from consideration as part of a property&rsquo;s full cash value. That is, installing a solar energy system will not impact the value of property for tax purposes.</p> <p>The California Constitution limits <i>ad valorem</i> taxes (taxes based on the value of real property) to 1 percent of full cash value of the property. Full cash value, in turn, is defined as the appraisal value of property when it is purchased, newly constructed or when there is a change in ownership. Usually, newly constructed structures alter the value of property, <i>e</i>.<i>g</i>., adding a swimming pool to your backyard. But California excludes the addition of solar energy systems from raising the value of property for tax purposes. Whereas merely adding a solar energy system to property will not trigger revaluation, selling or changing ownership of the property will.</p> <p>Section 2229 generally requires that local agencies and school districts be reimbursed for lost property tax revenues related to any exemption or classification of property for purposes of <i>ad valorem </i>property taxation. However, SB 871 disallows local agencies and school districts from recovering lost property tax revenues because of the exclusion of solar energy systems.</p> <p>For more information about SB 871 or to learn how it may affect the value of your real property or expected reimbursements, please contact one of the authors of this legal alert listed at the right in the&nbsp;<u><span style="color: #0000ff"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=479&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Renewable</span></a></span></u><span style="color: #0000ff"><u>&nbsp;</u></span><span style="color: #0000ff"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=479&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff"><u>Energy</u></span></a>&nbsp;</span>practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.<br /> &nbsp;</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 Alerts25 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31119&format=xmlBB&K Police Bulletin: Officers Must Obtain Warrant to Access Data on Arrestee's Mobile Phone Devicehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31128&format=xml<p><b>Overview: </b>Today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that police officers may not search digital information on a mobile phone device seized from a person who has been arrested without a warrant. In <i>Riley v. California </i>and <i>U.S. v. Wurie</i>, the Court declined to extend the warrantless search of a person incident to an arrest to the search of digital data stored on arrestees&rsquo; mobile phone devices.</p> <p><b>Training Points: </b>While this ruling adds the additional step of applying for a search warrant prior to searching a mobile phone device, the Court was clear that these rulings do not make mobile phone devices immune to searches. Rather, prior to conducting such a search even incident to an arrest, an officer must obtain a search warrant. The Court acknowledged that officers may examine the physical aspects of the phone for officer safety purposes. For example, to ensure a razor blade is not hidden between the phone and the case. However, this is limited to the exterior of the phone. If officers are concerned the phone may be remotely wiped, they can turn the phone off, remove its battery or leave the phone on and place it in an enclosure (known as a &ldquo;Farady bag&rdquo;) that isolates the phone from radio waves. Finally, if officers are truly confronted with an exigent circumstance regarding their concern the phone may be remotely wiped, they may rely on exigent circumstances to search the phone immediately. However, this is only if true exigent circumstances exist based upon specific articulable facts. As always, probable cause is essential to a claim of exigency. Exigency may include kidnapping and/or human trafficking or locating a dangerous felon who poses an immediate and severe threat to public safety. Future challenges to this ruling will likely identify factual circumstances where exigency justified a warrantless search of an arrestees mobile phone device data. Every jurisdiction should consult with their local prosecutorial agency to determine the scope of discretion for exigent circumstances.</p> <p>Officers should continue to follow their department&rsquo;s policies and procedures in applying for a warrant and should specifically articulate the items on the mobile phone device they intend to search (i.e., photos, videos, text messages, e-mails, etc.). It is also recommended that systems be put into place to streamline the issuance of digital device search warrants when applicable.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Summary Analysis: </b>In <i>Riley v. California</i>, Riley was stopped for a traffic violation that led to his arrest on weapons charges. The arresting officer searched Riley incident to the arrest and located a mobile phone device in Riley&rsquo;s pocket. The officer accessed and searched the phone, and found references to what he believed to be a street gang. Two hours after the arrest, while at the police station, a gang detective looked through Riley&rsquo;s phone and found photographs and videos that tied him to a shooting that had occurred a few weeks earlier. After Riley was charged with the shooting, he moved to suppress the evidence the police obtained from his mobile phone device. The motion was denied and Riley was convicted.</p> <p>In <i>U.S. v. Wurie, </i>officers observed Wurie selling drugs. Wurie was arrested and taken to the police station. At the police station, officers seized two of Wurie&rsquo;s mobile phone devices and noticed that Wurie had received numerous calls from a number tied to a contact named &ldquo;my house.&rdquo; An officer opened the phone and accessed its call log. From there, they obtained the telephone number tied to the contact. They traced the number to Wurie&rsquo;s residence where they served a search warrant and found drugs, guns, ammunition, and cash. After Wurie was charged with drug and firearm offenses, he moved to suppress the evidence found at his house. The motion was denied and Wurie was convicted.</p> <p>Taking these two cases together, the Court analyzed a slew of cases that dealt with the reasonableness of warrantless searches incident to a lawful arrest. The Court analyzed and weighed the governmental interests of officer safety, evidence destruction and the potential for escape against the privacy interests and found that officer safety and evidence destruction are not valid bases to conduct a warrantless search of an arrestee&rsquo;s mobile phone device. The Court declined to extend the rule that permits officers to conduct warrantless searches of items found on an arrestee to searches of data on mobile phone devices because the privacy interests supersede the government interests. The Court reasoned that digital data stored on a mobile phone device cannot be used as a weapon or effectuate the arrestee&rsquo;s escape. Moreover, the data stored on the phone can be preserved.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Follow-Up Contact: </b>For questions regarding this case or its implications for your agency and public safety department, please contact one of the authors of this bulletin listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=2532&amp;format=xml"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Safety practice</span></u></a>, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></u></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 Alerts25 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31128&format=xmlLegal Secretary - Eminent Domainhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=29952&format=xml<p>Seeking a skilled legal secretary for Eminent Domain Practice Group with strong litigation experience for BBK's Riverside office. Ideal candidate will have 5+ years&rsquo; experience with e-filings and State and Federal Court rules and procedures.&nbsp; Excellent verbal and written communication skills.&nbsp; Expert with Word, iManage, Outlook, Excel.&nbsp; Must be able to work independently as well as in a team environment and work diligently under pressure and meet deadlines.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.<br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=%3a%40%3bA">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a><br /> <br /> Please address cover letters to:</p> <p>Debbie A. Prior<br /> Director of Human Resources<br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 500 Capitol Mall, Suite 1700<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814</p> <p><em><strong>No phone calls please</strong></em></p> <p><strong>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer</strong>.</p>Job Openings at BB&K24 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=29952&format=xmlCrisis Mode: Practical Advice for Handling Board Disputeshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30791&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K&nbsp;Partner&nbsp;John Brown&nbsp;presented a session titled &quot;Crisis Mode: Practical Advice for Handling Board Disputes&quot; at the CSDA General Manager Leadership Summit. <br /> <br /> CSDA has created the General Manager Leadership Summit as a way for you to come together with other special district leaders from throughout the state to network and learn more about your specific job responsibilities. Return to your district after two days of specialized training and education ready to take your board relationship, staff and district to the next level.<br /> <br /> <strong>Audience:<br /> </strong>General Managers and Management Staff in Special Districts<br /> <br /> <strong>When:<br /> </strong>Monday, June 23, 2014<br /> 1:30 p.m. -&nbsp;3 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Location:<br /> </strong>Resort of Squaw Creek<br /> 400 Squaw Creek Road&nbsp;<br /> Olympic Valley, CA 96146<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker:<br /> </strong>John Brown, Partner<br /> <br /> Click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/88E17A/assets/files/documents/Crisis%20Mode%20-%20Practical%20Advice%20for%20Handling%20Board%20Disputes.pdf"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">HERE</span></u></a> to view the presentation&nbsp;handout.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements23 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30791&format=xmlSan Jacinto Defeats Constitutional Challenge by Subsequent Property Ownerhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31081&format=xml<p>In <i>Mechammil v. City of San Jacinto</i>, BB&amp;K attorneys Rich Egger and Matt Schettenhelm obtained a dismissal without leave to amend in a case against the City claiming violations of the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiff amended his complaint three times, and during the proceedings the U.S. District Court judge revisited one of his prior rulings to ultimately dismiss the case after the City&rsquo;s fourth motion to dismiss.</p> <p>The lawsuit involved a challenge by a plaintiff who bought commercial real property in the City.&nbsp;The seller had rented the property to an illegal marijuana dispensary. When more than $600,000 of the City's administrative fines issued to the prior owner/seller went unpaid, the City confirmed a special assessment against the property, pursuant to the City's administrative fine ordinance.&nbsp;The new property owner challenged the City&rsquo;s ability to levy and collect the fines under the U.S. Constitution and California law.</p>Client Successes23 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31081&format=xmlRideshares get insurance 'do over'http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31082&format=xml<p>The California Public Utilities Commission issued draft regulations earlier this month for rideshare companies that connect drivers and passengers via their mobile devices. This will be the CPUC's second try at regulating an industry that includes successful start-ups Uber and Lyft: In September 2013, the CPUC established rules that have since been criticized for being either too lenient or too unclear in terms of how, and when, liability insurance is required.</p> Rideshare companies that connect parties and process payments through smartphone apps, referred to as &quot;transportation network companies&quot; by the CPUC, have exploded in popularity in recent years - in particular in California's urban areas where residents and visitors alike frequently rely on public transportation and traditional taxicabs to get around. TNCs allow prospective passengers to request rides through their mobile device and select from nearby, available drivers. Once a passenger selects its desired ride, GPS location information is then sent to the driver who picks up the passenger in a personal, noncommercial vehicle. Payment is managed through the app when the ride is complete. Traditional taxicab services critirire TNCs for stealing customers and skirting the insurance and pricing regulations that control cab drivers. TNC customers claim that the new, technology-driven alternatives are easier to use, more reliable, cheaper and provide faster service than traditional cabs. <br /> <br /> <em>Click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/public/pubmain.cfm?shNewsType=login"><span style="color: #0000ff"><u>here</u></span></a> to read the entire article published on June 23, 2014 in the Dail Journal (subscription required).</em><br /> <br /> <p>&nbsp;</p>BB&K In The News23 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31082&format=xmlNinth Circuit: Ordinance Criminalizing Living in Car Is Unconstitutionally Vaguehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31177&format=xmlIf you eat, talk on the phone, and escape the rain in your car, are you using the car &ldquo;as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise?&rdquo; <p style="text-align: left">What if you load up the car with personal belongings for a camping trip? Or drive an RV to go on vacation?<a href="http://www.imla.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Homelesscar.jpg"><img style="width: 243px; height: 131px" border="0" hspace="15" alt="Homelesscar" vspace="15" align="right" width="243" height="131" size-medium="" src="http://www.imla.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Homelesscar-300x199.jpg" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left">In the Ninth Circuit&rsquo;s view, a City of Los Angeles code provision designed to outlaw sleeping in a vehicle on City streets and parking lots may or may not criminalize all these activities and could lead to other selective enforcement&mdash;particularly against the homeless and poor. The court therefore ruled that the provision is unconstitutionally vague. The decision is <a href="http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2014/06/19/11-56957.pdf"><u><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>Desertrain v. City of Los Angeles</em>, No. 11-56957 (June 19, 2014)</span></u></a>.</p> <p>Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 85.02 outlaws using a vehicle upon a City street or parking lot &ldquo;as living quarters&rdquo;:</p> <blockquote> <p align="left">USE OF STREETS AND PUBLIC PARKING LOTS FOR HABITATION.</p> <p align="left">No person shall use a vehicle parked or standing upon any City street, or upon any parking lot owned by the City of Los Angeles and under the control of the City of Los Angeles or under control of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise.</p> </blockquote> <p>Applying <a href="http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=527+U.S.+41+&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;case=640007019052173504&amp;scilh=0"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>City of Chicago v. Morales</em>, 527 U.S. 41 (1999)</span></a><span style="color: #0000ff">, </span>the Ninth Circuit explained that a criminal statute may be unconstitutionally vague for either of two independent reasons:</p> <ol> <li>It may &ldquo;fail to provide the kind of notice that will enable ordinary people to understand what conduct it prohibits&rdquo;; and</li> <li>It may &ldquo;authorize and even encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.&rdquo;</li> </ol> <p>The Ninth Circuit ruled that the City&rsquo;s ordinance fell short on both measures.</p> <p>On the first, &ldquo;there is no way to know what <em>is </em>required to violation Section 85.02&Prime;:</p> <blockquote> <p align="left">Plaintiffs are left guessing as to what behavior would subject them to citation and arrest by an officer. Is it impermissible to eat food in a vehicle? Is it illegal to keep a sleeping bag? Canned food? Books? What about speaking on a cell phone? Or staying in the car to get out of the rain? These are all actions Plaintiffs were taking when arrested for violation of the ordinance, all of which are otherwise perfectly legal. And despite Plaintiffs&rsquo; repeated attempts to comply with Section 85.02, there appears to be nothing they can do to avoid violating the statute short of discarding all of their possessions or their vehicles, or leaving Los Angeles entirely. All in all, this broad and cryptic statute criminalizes innocent behavior, making it impossible for citizens to know how to keep their conduct within the pale.</p> </blockquote> <p>And, according to the court, Section 85.02 encourages arbitrary enforcement: it is &ldquo;broad enough to cover any driver in Los Angeles who eats food or transports belongings in his or her vehicle . . . . [y]et it appears to be applied only to the homeless.&rdquo; The court noted that officers had inconsistent views about how and when the statute should be applied. The lack of clarity has &ldquo;paved the way for law enforcement to target the homeless.&rdquo;</p> <p>Although the court acknowledged that the ordinance may have been motivated by legitimate health and safety concerns, it ruled that these concerns do not excuse the fact that the ordinance fails to speak clearly. The court also refused to apply a limiting construction based on the City&rsquo;s enforcement because the City had not followed any consistent practice.</p> <p>The court concluded by emphasizing that the City should address homelessness in other ways:</p> <blockquote> <p align="left">For many homeless persons, their automobile may be their last major possession &mdash; the means by which they can look for work and seek social services. The City of Los Angeles has many options at its disposal to alleviate the plight and suffering of its homeless citizens. Selectively preventing the homeless and the poor from using their vehicles for activities many other citizens also conduct in their cars should not be one of those options.<br /> &nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>Image courtesy of <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/23905174@N00/409496188/"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Flickr</span></u></a> by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/23905174@N00/"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Don Hankins</span></u></a> <u><span style="color: #0000ff">(</span></u><a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">creative-commons license, no changes made</span></u></a><u><span style="color: #0000ff">).</span></u><em> <br /> <br /> *This blog post was originally published in </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/blog/2014/06/ninth-circuit-ordinance-criminalizing-living-in-car-is-unconstitutionally-vague/"><u><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>IMLA Appellate Practice Blog</em></span></u></a><em>, June 20, 2014. Republished with permission. Visit </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/blog"><u><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)"><em>www.imla.org/blog</em></span></u></a><em> to read additional IMLA Appellate Practice Blog posts and to subscribe by email.<br /> </em></p>Blogs20 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31177&format=xmlMid-Level Litigation Associate - Los Angeles Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31065&format=xml<p>Our Los Angeles office has an immediate opening for an associate with 3 - 4 years of municipal and public agency civil litigation experience. Experience with toxics, land use and water law cases a plus. <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, and Safari for Macintosh.<br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a><br /> <br /> <strong>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 /> <strong><em>No phone calls please<br /> <br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</em></strong></p>Job Openings at BB&K20 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31065&format=xmlNinth Circuit Overturns Los Angeles' Prohibition on the Use of Vehicles as "Living Quarters"http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31067&format=xml<p>A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a section of the Los Angeles Municipal Code prohibiting the use of a vehicle &ldquo;as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise&rdquo; is unconstitutionally vague under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The court determined that the language used provides insufficient notice of the conduct it penalizes and, therefore, promotes arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. Should this decision become final, all ordinances prohibiting sleeping or living in cars are not prohibited. Only those ordinances with language that fails to sufficiently identify prohibited behavior are unconstitutionally vague. Thus, a well drafted ordinance might survive judicial scrutiny.</p> <p>In its decision in <i>Desertrain v. City of Los Angeles</i>, the Ninth Circuit panel specifically held section 85.02 to be unconstitutionally vague. In particular, the panel found fault with the fact that no definition of &ldquo;living quarters&rdquo; was included and there were no clear time limitations because of the use of the word &ldquo;otherwise.&rdquo; In addition, the court held that section 85.02 encourages arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. In this case, the court noted that the provisions appeared designed to allow selective enforcement against the homeless.</p> <p>The case arose from a number of arrests in late 2010 by the Venice Homeless Task Force, a group of officers established by the Los Angeles Police Department to combat the problems associated with homelessness. Four homeless individuals sued the City alleging numerous constitutional and statutory violations, though they did not specifically allege vagueness. Subsequently, the homeless plaintiffs raised vagueness in a motion for summary judgment. That motion was denied by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in 2011, and the plaintiffs appealed.</p> <p>The Ninth Circuit panel&rsquo;s ruling may not be final. The decision may be appealed for an en banc hearing by the full Ninth Circuit and may possibly be appealed to the Supreme Court.</p> <p><b>Follow-Up Contact:</b> For questions regarding this case or its implications for your city and public safety department, please contact one of the authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <u><span style="color: #0000ff"><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a></span></u><span style="color: #0000ff"> </span>and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=2532&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff"><u>Public Safety</u></span></a>&nbsp;groups, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></u></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 Alerts20 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31067&format=xmlCalif. Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter to Retirehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31083&format=xml<p>The longest-serving justice on California's highest state court, who is also considered to be its conservative heavyweight, said Wednesday that he will retire after serving 24 years, giving Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown the chance to appoint a liberal judge to the seven-member court.</p> <p>Justice Marvin R. Baxter, 74, said in a statement that he will not seek re-election as an associate justice of the California Supreme Court and thus will end his tenure on Jan. 4.</p> <p>The conservative-leaning court already had another vacancy following the retirement this year of Justice Joyce Kennard, who had been its longest-serving justice. The vacancies could allow Brown to significantly alter the makeup of the state's high court.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>Kira L. Klatchko, a partner at <a href="http://www.law360.com/firms/best-best"><span>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</span></a> based in Indian Wells, Calif., told Law360 on Thursday that Brown &quot;will have had a significant opportunity to change the makeup of the court&rdquo; with the retirements of Justices Baxter and Kennard and the appointment of Justice Liu. &ldquo;The court is viewed is a fairly centrist court, on most issues, and that could begin to shift depending on who the governor selects to fill the open seats,&quot; she said.</p> <p><i>To read the full article in Law360, click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/articles/549705/calif-supreme-court-justice-marvin-baxter-to-retire"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a><span> (subscription required).<br /> <br /> </span><span style="font-size: xx-small">Photo courtesy of Administrative Office of the Courts.</span></i></p>BB&K In The News19 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31083&format=xmlUnderstanding Commercial Contractshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30974&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K attorney Patrick Monroe presented a session titled &quot;Understanding Commercial Contracts&quot; at the National Contract Management Association event titled &quot;Contracting in the Commercial Environment.&quot; <br /> <br /> <strong>Description:</strong><br /> Commercial contracting covers a broad spectrum of topics and issues that may not be routinely experienced by contracting professionals of primarily Federal, State and Municipal contracts. This seminar provided an opportunity to &quot;brush up&quot; on the current field of topics within commercial contracts ranging from contract provisions, business entities, UCC, warranties as well as indemnification and dispute resolution. In addition; we discussed commercial best practices and compare Federal Acquisition Regulation and commercial law similarities and differences.<br /> <br /> <strong>When:<br /> </strong>Wednesday, June 18, 2014<br /> 8:00 a.m. -&nbsp;12 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Location:<br /> </strong>Four Points Sheraton<br /> 8110&nbsp;Aero Drive&nbsp;<br /> San Diego, CA 92123<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker:<br /> </strong>Patrick Monroe, Of Counsel</p> <p>Click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ncmasd.org/images/Flyer_Sem_20140618_Commercial__Revised.pdf"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">HERE</span></u></a> for more details.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements18 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30974&format=xmlHow Legislative/Regulatory Developments in Communications Law Will Affect Your Communityhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30195&format=xml<br /> BB&amp;K&nbsp;Partner&nbsp;Joseph Van Eaton&nbsp;spoke on&nbsp;a panel session titled &quot;How Legislative/Regulatory Developments in Communications Law Will Affect Your Community&quot;&nbsp;at the States of California &amp; Nevada Chapter (SCAN) of National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) 18th Annual Spring Conference and STAR Awards.<br /> <strong><br /> When:<br /> </strong>Wednesday, June 18, 2014<br /> 10:30 a.m. - Noon<br /> <br /> <strong>Location:<br /> </strong>Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel<br /> 1700 Ocean Avenue<br /> Santa Monica, CA 90401<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker:<br /> </strong>Joseph Van Eaton, Partner<br /> <br /> For more information about the event, please visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.scannatoa.org/calendar.html#annualconference"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">SCAN NATOA</span></u></a> website.Conferences & Speaking Engagements18 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30195&format=xmlLegislative and Regulatory Panelhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30196&format=xml<div style="text-align: left"><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; font-size: 9pt"><br /> BB&amp;K&nbsp;attorney Gail Karish&nbsp;spoke on&nbsp;the Legislative and Regulatory&nbsp;Panel at the States of California &amp; Nevada Chapter (SCAN) of National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) 18th Annual Spring Conference and STAR Awards. This panel session discussed current communications issues and litigation.<br /> <br /> </span><strong>When:<br /> </strong>Wednesday, June 18, 2014<br /> 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Location:<br /> </strong>Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel<br /> 1700 Ocean Avenue<br /> Santa Monica, CA 90401<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speaker:<br /> </strong>Gail Karish, Of Counsel<br /> <br /> For more information about the event, please visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.scannatoa.org/calendar.html#annualconference"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">SCAN NATOA</span></u></a> website.</div>Conferences & Speaking Engagements18 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30196&format=xmlIs the State Water Board the Catalyst for Private Investment in Water Infrastructure Development?http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30342&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K attorney Seth Merewitz moderated the panel &ldquo;Is the State Water Board the Catalyst for Private Investment in Water Infrastructure Development?&rdquo; at the Golden State Water Summit. The panel discussed how public and private capital can work together to drive water infrastructure development in the state.</p> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Wednesday, June 18, 2014<br /> 2:30 &ndash; 3:15 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Location:<br /> </strong>Hilton Sacramento Arden West<br /> 2200 Harvard St.<br /> Sacramento, CA 95815</p> <p><strong>BB&amp;K Speaker: <br /> </strong>Seth Merewitz</p> <p>For more information or to register, please visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.informationforecastnet.com/events/ca-water/?utm_source=BodyLink&amp;utm_medium=GoldenApr8&amp;utm_campaign=2014Conferences"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Golden State Water Summit</span></u></a> website.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements18 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30342&format=xmlBB&K Ranked 13 of Top 25 Best Law Firms for Female Partnershttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31314&format=xml<p><b>For Immediate Release</b>: June 17, 2014 <br /> <b>Media Contact</b>: Denise Nix &bull; 213-787-2552 &bull; <span><span><a href="mailto:denise.nix@bbklaw.com"><font color="#0000ff">denise.nix@bbklaw.com</font></a></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: left"><b>Riverside, Calif.</b> _&nbsp;Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is pleased to be recognized as one of the Top 25 best law firms for female partners. <i>Law360</i> recently released its list of &quot;Ceiling Smashers&quot; &mdash; the 25 U.S.-based law firms, out of nearly 400 surveyed, that have the highest percentage of female partners.</p> <p style="text-align: left">BB&amp;K was ranked 13th on the list with women accounting for nearly a third of its partners. The statistic is in contrast to a <i>Law360</i> report, which found that women comprise 21 percent of female partnerships at U.S. firms.</p> <p style="text-align: left">&ldquo;At BB&amp;K, we value diversity and have always supported women by promoting them to key management positions within the firm,&rdquo; said Partner Danielle G. Sakai, who oversees recruiting.</p> <p style="text-align: left">This is the first list of its kind from <i>Law360</i>. Of the 25, most firms are smaller than traditional national and global firms, with only six having more than 400 attorneys in the U.S. BB&amp;K had 189 attorneys at the time of research.</p> <p style="text-align: left">In late 2013, <a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=24363&amp;format=xml"><font color="#0000ff">BB&amp;K was ranked 2nd in <i>California Lawyer</i> magazine</font></a> among the state&rsquo;s largest law firms for having the highest percentage of female partners.</p> <p style="text-align: left">To read more about Law360&rsquo;s survey, <a href="http://www.law360.com/articles/529420/the-25-best-law-firms-for-female-partners"><font color="#0000ff">click here</font></a>.</p> <p style="text-align: center">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; ###</p> <p style="text-align: left"><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 </i><i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><font color="#0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</font></a> or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases17 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31314&format=xmlJudge Strikes Down California Teacher Tenure Laws as Unconstitutionalhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30945&format=xml<p>California teacher tenure, firing and layoff laws violate the state constitution, a judge has ruled in a closely watched case that may have significant ramifications for school districts, education departments and lawmakers. While the California Constitution guarantees that all students are afforded equal educational opportunity, the teacher tenure laws disproportionately impact low-income and minority students who attend schools with a high number of ineffective teachers &mdash; making the laws effectively unequal, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu found June 10 in <i>Vergara v. California</i>.</p> <p>Nine California public school students brought the lawsuit against the state. Although the ruling in the students&rsquo; favor may limit teacher job security, it could also make it easier for schools to fire ineffective teachers and retain effective teachers. It could likewise encourage students in other states to bring similar suits.</p> <p>The judge first found that California&rsquo;s permanent employment statute, which gives administrators less than two years to decide if they will grant new teachers permanent employment, is unconstitutional because it does not give administrators nearly enough time to make an informed tenure decision. California is one of only five states with a two-year or less probationary assessment period, making it an outlier among the states. The judge noted that a three to five-year period would be more appropriate.</p> <p>The judge also ruled that three teacher dismissal statutes are unconstitutional, finding that it is practically impossible to dismiss an inept tenured teacher. The judge noted that 2,750 to 8,250 &mdash; or 1 to 3 percent &mdash; of California teachers are grossly ineffective. However, it takes anywhere from two to 10 years, and costs between $50,000 and $450,000, to fire a tenured teacher, making the process so complex, time consuming and expensive that only .0008 percent of all state teachers are dismissed each year.</p> <p>Finally, the judge struck down the &ldquo;last-in, first-out&rdquo; statute that requires the administration to fire the newest teacher first during layoffs, regardless of the teacher&rsquo;s effectiveness. California is one of only 10 states that requires school administration to consider seniority in making layoff decisions. The judge noted that it is illogical that schools are forced to retain ineffective tenured teachers at the expense of highly effective newer teachers. These ineffective teachers have a detrimental impact on the quality of education students receive and their future earnings.</p> <p>The judge ordered the state to stop enforcing the laws; however, the order was stayed pending appeal by the state, the California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers. Depending on the outcome of the appeal, the decision may also impact legislators who must rewrite the challenged laws.</p> If you have any questions about this decision or its ramifications, please contact the attorney author listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=488&amp;format=xml"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Education Law</span></u></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></u></a>.<br /> <br /> <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 Alerts16 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30945&format=xmlBusinesses Looking to Buy, Sell Must Prepare for Due Diligencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30942&format=xml<p>Your business survived the economic downturn, economists are projecting growth and recovery and you are thinking of selling your business, or perhaps making a strategic acquisition. Are you ready?</p> <p>We conduct diligence to assess the merit of the transaction or any challenges or impediments to it, and to allocate risk among the parties.</p> <p>However, we must also remember that the results of our diligence investigation will be used following the closing in the successful integration of the two companies. Integration of corporate cultures, information technology, machinery, equipment, supply chains, and sales and distribution networks begins when a target is identified is honed throughout the diligence process.</p> <p>In the past, diligence might have been more of a perfunctory inquiry because markets were ever increasing, and it seemed one could not make a bad acquisition.</p> <p>As the market turned, strategic acquisitions were made quickly before valuable assets were lost, and often with cursory diligence. Next came the acquisitions through bankruptcy in an effort to cleanse assets from successor liability.</p> <p>Finally, a new buyer has begun to emerge. This new buyer has carefully protected its cash reserves over several years and is poised to make strategic acquisitions &ndash; but this buyer is very risk-averse and cautious. The new buyer has a renewed focus on due diligence to identify and eliminate risk; is no longer willing to accept &ldquo;baggage&rdquo; to acquire specific assets or accounts &ndash; or wants a substantial discount for any flaws; and is also more keenly focused on &ldquo;life after the closing.&rdquo;</p> <p>At a minimum, due diligence focuses on a review and audit of financial statements, financing or debt; accounting adjustments, policies and procedures; historical results and accuracy or reliability of forecasts, quality of assets, sufficiency of working capital, anticipated capital expenditures, taxes, key customer, supplier and employee contracts; and actual or potential litigation.</p> <p>A buyer should also examine any employee or other liabilities that may be assumed through the acquisition, vulnerability to losses of key accounts or key employees, adequacy of insurance coverage and allocation of risk.</p> <p>Few transactions focus on &ldquo;just the assets.&rdquo; Buyers want good corporate policies and consistent implementation, committed and well-qualified key personnel, good banking and supplier relationships, long-term customer relationships, strong earnings and fantastic projections.</p> <p>Buyers are also increasingly concerned with intellectual property issues &ndash; from adequate licenses for software to copyright and trademark protections and, now, to network security.</p> <p>&ldquo;Network security&rdquo; has become a household phrase due to recent retailer hacks that have focused attention on the substantial potential liability for improper disclosure of consumer financial information, system vulnerability and loss of data. Information technology is assuming a prominent role in due diligence both for assessment of the transaction and the successful integration of systems and cultures post-closing.</p> <p>Buyers want well-qualified chief information officers, consistent staffing, and adequate policies in place to address physical theft/loss as well as data theft/loss. Buyers will audit and review the target&rsquo;s audits of its own policies and procedures much in the same way they expect financial statements to have been audited and tested.</p> <p>They will go beyond a review of firewalls, encryption technology, off-site data storage and policies concerning Internet and network access. They want to know if the target has run any penetration tests or have such tests been run by independent third parties? If so, what were the results and what did the target change following such tests? How is data secured and backed up? What is the disaster recovery plan &ndash; and has it been tested? What are the retention and protection procedures? And so on.</p> <p>Clearly, this can be a daunting process for both buyer and seller. However, a knowledgeable team of accountants and attorneys can help you either prepare your company to be reviewed or review and properly structure any potential acquisition.<br /> <i><br /> * This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pe.com/articles/diligence-696252-buyer-policies.html"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">The Press-Enterprise</span></u></a> on June 13, 2014. Republished with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News13 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30942&format=xmlBB&K Webinar: Coalition Responding to EPA's Proposed CWA Rule and Waters of the U.S. Definition Changeshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30535&format=xml<p><span style="color: #0000ff"><strong><span style="color: #0000ff"><u><br /> </u><a target="_blank" href="https://bbklaw.webex.com/bbklaw/lsr.php?RCID=e92f9f06e8159438107c6c6f3adb3d75"><span style="color: #0000ff">CLICK HERE TO VIEW</span></a></span><a target="_blank" href="https://bbklaw.webex.com/bbklaw/lsr.php?RCID=e92f9f06e8159438107c6c6f3adb3d75"><span style="color: #0000ff">&nbsp;THE RECORDING</span></a></strong></span><br /> <br /> <br /> <strong><span>BB&amp;K's Water Quality and Wastewater practice group members</span></strong> presented a webinar on June 12 about a new coalition being formed to address the Environmental Protection Agency's recently announced proposed rule related to the Clean Water Act and the definition of Waters of the United States. The controversial proposed changes are important to local government and public agencies because, if adopted, they will greatly expand the jurisdictional reach of the CWA and change how municipal stormwater systems are categorized. These changes could ultimately stop, delay or increase the cost of public projects and make managing public infrastructure more difficult. The environmental impacts of stormwater runoff are significant; however it is in the public interest, both environmentally and economically, to manage and regulate these issues as new infrastructure is planned and constructed - not through retroactive regulations and mandates from the federal government.</p> <p>BB&amp;K invited public agencies and local governments to join&nbsp;the webinar to learn more about the proposed changes, discuss the issues and consider joining a coalition to provide a unified voice for public entities in the comment process. The webinar also covered possible legislative activity in response to the proposed rule.</p> <p><span style="color: #003399"><strong>When:</strong></span></p> <p>Thursday, June 12<br /> 1 - 2 p.m. ET<br /> 10 - 11 a.m. PT<br /> <span style="color: #003399"><strong><br /> Audience:</strong></span></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>City&nbsp;Engineers/Public Works Directors&nbsp;</li> <li>Stormwater Personnel&nbsp;</li> <li>City Attorneys</li> <li>City&nbsp;Managers</li> <li>Elected Officials</li> </ul> <p><span style="color: #003399"><strong>Additional Information:</strong></span></p> <ul type="disc"> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www2.epa.gov/uswaters"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Proposed Rule</span></u> </a></li> <li><a shape="rect" target="_blank" track="on" linktype="1" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001W576bqLHCX-J7z1LAzUoc0LNN-c0HmuwLQluU8cuZZ44mlit4x9PoBStAhdV4U-h8wf2e7_FxsDk6SJEu7C79IaCbQCWeJlLeEZ8PWTKmWiL0-5PBInWvdDkBtEg1jWkeHNceJx5yQW-YXbHYPad3AyZMtFyaE3E3jNsagfxoVCSWDiS-L8JAQ=="><u><span style="color: #0000ff">About the Coalition</span></u></a></li> <li><a shape="rect" target="_blank" track="on" linktype="1" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001W576bqLHCX-J7z1LAzUoc0LNN-c0HmuwLQluU8cuZZ44mlit4x9PoBStAhdV4U-h8wf2e7_FxsDk6SJEu7C79IaCbQCWeJlLE12QOwy39htTSLdxVaG1xT3tY09gSPCjciI51XZ_3C_vAVN_ou3uHJdBmd4JNiJM"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K Attorney Testifies to Congressional Subcommittee on Proposed EPA Clean Water Act Rule</span></u></a></li> <li><a shape="rect" target="_blank" track="on" linktype="1" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001W576bqLHCX-J7z1LAzUoc0LNN-c0HmuwLQluU8cuZZ44mlit4x9PoBStAhdV4U-h8wf2e7_FxsDk6SJEu7C79IaCbQCWeJlLE12QOwy39htTSLdxVaG1xT7p5LR8SVK25IteCknHZGzWkwtHOzs5cVDxCAPbOeeD"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">EPA Issues Proposed Rule Interpreting Jurisdictional Reach of Clean Water Act</span></u></a></li> <li><a shape="rect" target="_blank" track="on" linktype="1" href="http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001W576bqLHCX-J7z1LAzUoc0LNN-c0HmuwLQluU8cuZZ44mlit4x9PoBStAhdV4U-h8wf2e7_FxsDk6SJEu7C79IaCbQCWeJlLE12QOwy39htTSLdxVaG1xQEMUEIdACbx6djZ84kEN9jsjlYsxHMmNONgCJ-_8Tal"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Waters of the US: EPA Seeks Input to Clarify Scope of Clean Water Act</span></u></a>&nbsp; <span style="color: #0000ff"><strong><br /> </strong></span></li> </ul> <p><span style="color: #003399"><strong>Materials:</strong></span></p> <p><u><span style="color: #000000"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/88E17A/assets/files/documents/BBK%20Waters%20of%20the%20U.S.%20Coalition%206.12.14.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Click HERE to view the slides</span></a></span></u></p> <p><u><span style="color: #000000"><a href="http://origin.library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1103899760096-428/Q%26ASession_WatersofCoalition.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Click HERE to view the&nbsp;Q&amp;A from the webinar</span></a></span></u><br /> &nbsp;</p>Seminars and Webinars12 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30535&format=xmlProspective Hires: This year law grads are more likely to land jobshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30859&format=xml<p>Ryan M. Norman is the son of a pharmacist, raised in Vacaville with dreams of being an FBI special agent. When that path proved unlikely, he became an attorney instead. But by the time he enrolled in the UC Davis School of Law in 2009, the legal market was drying up. As a law student, he secured a few interviews and interned his first summer at the U.S. Attorney&rsquo;s Office, expecting that to lead to a job offer come graduation. When nothing panned out, it seemed another unachievable dream.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s hard to describe,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It was just kind of a shock. For a lot of my class, I think we went in with a lot of expectations that were unsupported in the new market.&rdquo;</p> <p>Just two years prior, the legal market was booming. But in 2008, when the economy came crashing down, the legal industry followed suit. Across the country, firms cut back on hiring programs. Fewer recruiters visited schools. As a result, a large portion of law school students who graduated between 2009 and 2013 have failed to land jobs inside firms or in their legal field of interest. Only the best of the best were hired at big firms, while the rest &mdash; with debts eclipsing $100,000 &mdash; were fielding nickel-and-dime offers, doing contract work or applying to the nearest coffee shop.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>At Best Best &amp; Krieger, the summer associate program remains in full effect, holding steady with five associates coming on this summer.</p> <p>&ldquo;During the economic downturn, there was a lot of concern about hiring and the need to either start people later or defer people,&rdquo; says Danielle Sakai, BB&amp;K&rsquo;s recruiting chair and hiring partner. &ldquo;That certainly has changed. We&rsquo;re bringing people in sooner after the bar [exam] than we had.&rdquo;</p> <p>She has not seen many applications from graduates two to three years out of school, which means they already have jobs or left the field. The standouts among the new crop, she says, spent their law school years doing internships, clerkships with federal judges, gaining experience with political officials and getting multiple degrees.</p> <p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re not taking anything for granted,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re seeing that the entry-level attorneys we have are eager and want to hit the ground running.&rdquo;</p> <p><i>Click <a target="_blank" href="https://comstocksmag.com/prospective-hires"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a> to read the entire article published in the June 2014 edition of Comstock&rsquo;s Magazine.</i></p>BB&K In The News11 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=30859&format=xml