Best Best & Krieger News Feed Best and Krieger is a Full Service Law Firmen-us24 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800firmwise Water Laws to Increasing Demand and a Challenging Climate<p>BB&amp;K Managing Partner Eric Garner will be a speaker at the IRWA&rsquo;s World Water Congress XV, which will be held May 25-29, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Eric will present &ldquo;Adapting Water Laws to Increasing Demand and a Challenging Climate,&rdquo; where he will share how his water law work &mdash; both in the U.S. and abroad &mdash; have created solutions to increasing water demand. Based on more than 25 years of water law practice, Eric believes that aquifer governance institutions, &ldquo;physical solutions,&rdquo; that have developed in California are well-suited to managing groundwater, transboundary rivers and aquifers around the world in a time of shifting hydrology due to climate change. Eric will offer practical perspective on what works, what doesn&rsquo;t and why.</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p> <p>Follow along on Twitter: <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">@BBKEricGarner</span></a> and <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">@WaterCongressXV</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements25 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800's Water: Drought, Finding Water, The Water Bond and Interpreting New Groundwater Regulation<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner is the program chair and a speaker, along with BB&amp;K attorneys Joseph Byrne, Glen Price and Kelly Salt, at The Seminar Group&rsquo;s &ldquo;California&rsquo;s Water: Drought, Finding Water, The Water Bond and Interpreting New Groundwater Regulation.&rdquo;</p> <p>This program will discuss important new water-related legislation, what the public and private sectors are doing to deal with the existing drought, and what our water future holds. This is a critical time in water law. How we address some of the pressing issues that face us will impact the future of California in many ways, including how the State continues to develop and grow. The program is designed for business persons who want to know how water issues may affect them going forward, as well as water professionals wanting the latest information.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b><br /> <br /> Eric Garner<br /> 9 a.m. &nbsp;Introduction and Overview<br /> 3 p.m. &ldquo;Where Do You Stand? Complying with New Groundwater Regulations and Preparing for More Legislation&rdquo;</p> <p>Kelly Salt<br /> 11:15 a.m. &ldquo;Water Conservation: Best Practices and Dealing with the Financial Impacts of Successful Conservation&rdquo;</p> <p>Glen Price<br /> 1:45 p.m. &ldquo;Making Sure Your New Development Has Water and/or Rights&rdquo;</p> <p>Joseph Byrne (also chair of the California Water Commission)<br /> 4 p.m. &ldquo;How to Find Money and Finance Water Projects as Regulatory Requirements Increase&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Friday, May 15, 2015<br /> 9 a.m. &ndash; 4:30 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> DoubleTree by Hilton L.A. Downtown<br /> 120 S. Los Angeles Street<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90012</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">The Seminar Group&rsquo;s website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements15 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800 City Attorneys' Spring Conference<p>Join BB&amp;K&nbsp;at the League of California Cities&rsquo; City Attorneys&rsquo; Spring Conference in Monterey, Calif.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'"><font face="Arial">BB&amp;K Speakers</font></span></strong><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'"><font face="Arial"><br /> <br /> Harriet Steiner</font>: &ldquo;FCC Wireless Facility Rules Implementing Section 6409(a)&rdquo;<b><o:p></o:p></b></span><br /> <span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'"><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'">Wednesday, May 6<br /> </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'">1-3 p.m<br /> <br /> Alison Alpert (co-facilitator): &ldquo;Demystifying How The ADA Applies To Public Facilities And Services&rdquo; (Panel Presentation And Interactive Breakout Groups) session<br /> Thursday, May 7<br /> 2:15-4:15 p.m<br /> </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'"> <p>Jeff Dunn (moderator): &ldquo;Medical Marijuana&rdquo; Concurrent Group Discussion<br /> Thursday, May 7<br /> 4:30-5:30 p.m</p> </span> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> May 6-8, 2015</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Monterey, Calif.</p> <p>For more information, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements06 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800 of the Colorado River: Meeting Demand During Unprecedented Drought<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Of Counsel Roderick Walston will discuss <i>Agua Caliente vs. Coachella Valley Water District and Desert Water Agency</i> during the &ldquo;Addressing Tribal Concerns&rdquo; panel of the two-day conference &ldquo;Law of the Colorado River: Meeting Demand During Unprecedented Drought.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Friday, May 1, 2015<br /> 8:45 a.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Planet Hollywood Las Vegas</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href=";src=Featured&amp;page=Law_of_the_Colorado_River"><span style="color: #0000ff">event page at CLE</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements01 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Monitoring for Multi-Funded Affordable Housing Projects<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Elizabeth Hull is moderating &ldquo;Compliance Monitoring for Multi-Funded Affordable Housing Projects&rdquo; at Housing California&rsquo;s Annual Conference. The purpose of the workshop is to provide a comprehensive overview of</p> <p>the continuing compliance monitoring of affordable multifamily, which were funded from multiple public financing sources, including, but not limited to, tax credit equity, redevelopment low and moderate income set-aside funds, tax exempt financing, and local density bonus and/or inclusionary impact fees. The workshop will provide attendees with knowledge and skills necessary for performing or directing annual compliance monitoring activities, including tenant income certifications/re-certifications and affordable rent verifications, as well as residual receipts loan payment audit reviews.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> April 27-29, 2015</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Sacramento Convention Center<br /> 1400 J Street<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">Housing California&rsquo;s event page</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements27 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0800's 2015 Mid-Year Seminar<p>Join BB&amp;K at IMLA&rsquo;s four-day mid-year seminar in Washington D.C.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b></p> <p>Andre Monette: &ldquo;Land Use Sustainability Code and Stormwater&rdquo;<br /> Friday, April 24<br /> 2:50-3:50 p.m.</p> <p>Joseph Van Eaton and Gerard Lederer: Telecomm: An On Overview of FCC Regulations&rdquo;<br /> Sunday, April 26<br /> 9 &ndash; 10:30 a.m.</p> <p>Visit Gerard Lederer and John Freshman, BB&amp;K&rsquo;s senior director of Governmental Affairs, at the WONK Breakfast on Monday, April 27 from 7:30 to 9 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong>: <br /> April 24 &ndash; 27, 2015</p> <p><strong>Where</strong>:<br /> Omni Shoreham, Washington, D.C.</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">IMLA website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0800 26, Proposition 218 and Rate Setting<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Kelly Salt will discuss &ldquo;Proposition 26, Proposition 218 and Rate Setting&rdquo; at a California Special Districts Association Workshop on April 22 in Sacramento. This workshop will provide an update on recent court cases and legislation interpreting and clarifying Proposition 218, an overview of the provisions of Proposition 26, and the impacts that they may have on local governments and their ability to raise revenues.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Wednesday, April 22, 2015<br /> 8:30 a.m. &ndash; 4 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> CSDA Training Center<br /> 1112 I St., Suite 250<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements22 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Measures - Accountability and Transparency Certifications Through CSDA and Others<p>BB&amp;K Partner Kara Ueda will present &ldquo;Performance Measures &ndash; Accountability and Transparency Certifications Through CSDA and Others&rdquo; at the 2015 CALAFCO Annual Staff Workshop.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, April 16, 2015<br /> 1:45 &ndash; 3 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Holiday Inn Express<br /> Grass Valley, CA</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements16 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0800 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Webinar (April 2, 2015)<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.<br /> <br /> Joseph Ortiz will present the training via a live webinar. The&nbsp;webinar is interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions.<br /> <br /> <p><strong>The webinar will&nbsp;cover:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>What constitutes sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace</li> <li>How to recognize and avoid it</li> <li>What procedures to follow if you witness harassment or are harassed yourself</li> <li>The potential consequences - including personal liability - of sexual harassment</li> </ul> <p><strong><br /> Who should attend:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Supervisors</li> <li>Human Resources Professionals</li> <li>Public Officials</li> <li>Managers &amp; Private Business Professionals with 50 or More Employees</li> </ul> <p><br /> <strong>When: <br /> <br /> </strong>April 2, 2015<br /> 10 a.m.&nbsp;-&nbsp;Noon PT</p> <p><br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Presenter:<br /> <br /> </strong>Joseph Ortiz, Partner, Labor &amp; Employment Practice Group in Riverside office<br /> <strong><br /> <br /> Cost:</strong><br /> <br /> $75 per person<br /> <br /> Please provide payment before the training. Otherwise, you will not be able to join the webinar or receive a certificate of completion. Colleagues must register separately.<br /> <br /> <strong><br /> Registration:<br /> <br /> </strong>To register for this webinar, please click <a target="_blank" href=""><strong><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></strong></a>. <br /> <br /> <br type="_moz" /> <strong>Payment:<br /> </strong><br /> <form method="post" action=""> <font size="+1"><b>AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Webinar</b><br /> <input type="hidden" name="item" value="AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Webinar" /> Qty: <input size="3" name="Qty" value="1" type="text" /> <b>Price: $75</b> <input type="hidden" name="Price" value="75" /> <br /> <br /> <input type="submit" value="Add to Shopping Cart" /> </font> </form> <strong><br /> <br /> QUESTIONS:<br /> <br /> </strong>Contact&nbsp;<a href=""><span style="color: #0000ff"></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=""><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)">subscription page</span></a>.<br /> &nbsp;</p> </div>Seminars and Webinars02 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Circuit Draws Clear Distinction Between California's Meeting Disruption Statutes<p>A Los Angeles Skid Row advocacy group faced off against those participating in a &ldquo;walk&rdquo; through the Skid Row area sponsored by two business improvement districts. The walk was for public officials, law enforcement, members of the judiciary, students, academics, business owners, social service providers and the media and was designed to provide firsthand insight into the challenges posed by conditions in the area. The advocacy group&rsquo;s position was that such walks actually promote victimization of Skid Row&nbsp;residents. After police warned the advocacy group protestors that disrupting the walk could lead to their arrest pursuant to California Penal Code section 403 (disturbing a public meeting), one of the advocacy group leaders yelled loudly less than a foot away from one of the walk attendees and was arrested. Although the arrestee was never charged, the advocacy group sued in federal court, claiming that section 403 is unconstitutional on its face as applied under the First and Fourteenth amendments.</p> <p>After the district court dismissed the complaint, the advocacy group appealed to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and renewed its arguments. While the court rejected the group&rsquo;s constitutional challenges, it did find that the protester was improperly arrested for a violation of section 403 because, the court held, that section did not apply to the conduct here. The court&rsquo;s conclusion is important because California law enforcement commonly invoke the provisions of section 403 in instances of disruption of public meetings. According to the Ninth Circuit, section 403 does not apply to such meetings.</p> <p>Penal Code section 403 makes it a misdemeanor offense to willfully disturb or break up any assembly or meeting that is not unlawful in its character. However, the statute excepts from its coverage a meeting as defined in section 18340 of the California Elections Code. Section 18340 states that &ldquo;[e]very person who, by threats, intimidations, or unlawful violence, willfully hinders or prevents electors from assembling in public meetings for the consideration of public questions is guilty of a misdemeanor.&rdquo; (An &ldquo;elector&rdquo; is&nbsp;a resident citizen over the age of 18, i.e., an eligible voter.)</p> <p>Thus, the issue was, what kind of meeting or assembly was the &ldquo;walk&rdquo; here? The distinction is important because the Elections Code section sets a different and higher standard of (mis)conduct &mdash; a more egregious standard &mdash; than the Penal Code section by referring to &ldquo;threats, intimidations, or unlawful violence&rdquo; willfully hindering or preventing electors from assembling in public meetings. After tracing the legislative history of the statutes, and applying its plain language, the court concluded that section 403 does not cover &ldquo;political meetings,&rdquo; including the walk here because of the reference to a meeting, as defined in Elections Code Section 18340. The walk involved the consideration of &ldquo;public questions,&rdquo; namely the conditions on Skid Row, and the participants were &ldquo;electors.&rdquo; Thus, the protestor was improperly arrested for a violation of Penal Code&nbsp;section 403. The appellate court did not resolve the question whether the protestor&rsquo;s conduct violated the higher standard of the Elections Code section.</p> <p>The decision is important to public entities and law enforcement agencies in California, as responses to disruption of agency meetings &mdash; which are &ldquo;political meetings&rdquo; &mdash; involving arrest or prosecution must be considered under the more stringent standards of the Elections Code, and not the Penal Code.</p> <p>If you have questions about this ruling or how it will affect your municipality or agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href=";LPA=1139&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Policy and Ethics Compliance</span></a> practice group or your <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney.</span></a></p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts23 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 IN LAW: Employers need to heed Obamacare Reporting Rules<p>BY ISABEL SAFIE</p> <p>Compliance with reporting obligations is always important for any employer, but the employer reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act pack a significant penalty that makes compliance particularly important.</p> <p>In fact, employers could be subject to penalties of up to $100 per return and $200 per employee for failing to timely file the required returns or furnish specified statements to employees.</p> <p>Thus employers, whether private or governmental, will need to ensure that they have systems in place to collect certain data pertaining to health coverage provided in 2015 and later that will need to be reported to the IRS beginning in 2016.</p> <p>The reports provide the IRS with information used to determine if employers are subject to penalties under the &ldquo;play-or-pay&rdquo; rule or whether individuals are subject to penalties under the individual mandate.</p> <p>The reporting procedures will be similar to those used in connection with the W-2 Form used to report annual wages. Consistent with the requirements, Form 1095-B or 1095-C will need to be prepared for each employee covered by the reporting obligations and filed with the IRS using a transmittal Form 1094-B or 1094-C.</p> <p>Certain small employers will need to use the &ldquo;B series&rdquo; forms to report minimum essential coverage, while the &ldquo;C series&rdquo; forms will be used by employers subject to the play-or-pay rule to provide the IRS with information to determine whether penalties are applicable.</p> <p><b>Minimum Essential Coverage (Forms 1094-B and 1095-B) </b></p> <p>Generally, &ldquo;minimum essential coverage&rdquo; includes an insured plan or coverage offered in the small or large group market or a self-insured group health plan. The good news for most small employers, generally those that are not subject to the play-or-pay rule, is that they will not be required to submit any of the returns discussed here. This is because the obligation to report data connected to minimum essential coverage falls on the insurance carrier rather than the employer, unless the coverage is provided on a self-insured basis.</p> <p>Small employers that provide minimum essential coverage on a self-insured basis will be required to use the B-series forms to report certain employee information, including names, addresses and other key information.</p> <p>In contrast, the insurance carrier is responsible for reporting insurance coverage provided by small employers on an insured basis. Thus, employers providing minimum essential coverage through an insurance carrier that assumes the risk of providing health coverage for insured events will have no filing obligation. Most small employers provide minimum essential coverage on an insured basis and, therefore, will not be subject to this filing requirement.</p> <p><b>Reporting by Applicable Large Employers (Forms 1094-C and 1095-C) </b></p> <p>All applicable large employers will be required to make an annual report to the IRS with respect to each full-time employee. The returns must contain various items of information including:</p> <ul> <li>Whether the employer offers coverage to the employee</li> <li>The employee&rsquo;s share of the cost for self-only coverage</li> <li>Number of full-time employees for each month</li> <li>Name, address and Social Security number of each full-time employee</li> </ul> <p>Applicable large employers with 50 to 99 full-time and full-time equivalent employees are required to file annual returns even if they are eligible for transition relief and exempt from the play-or-pay rule until 2016.</p> <p><b>Filing Deadlines </b></p> <p>Statements must be furnished to employees on or before Jan. 31 of the filing year. Copies of the information return filed with the IRS can be used for this purpose. The returns must be filed with the IRS on or before Feb. 28, or March 31 if filing electronically.</p> <p>The information reporting requirements are lengthy and complex. Although reporting will not occur until early 2016, it is important for employers that will be responsible for these reporting obligations to take proactive action in 2015 to facilitate the reporting obligation. Therefore, it is important for employers to do the following:</p> <ul> <li>Review and understand the reporting requirements.</li> <li>Obtain copies of the reporting forms and identify the information that will need to be gathered and reported.</li> <li>Identify the employees for whom reports will need to be submitted.</li> <li>Designate a responsible person to gather the necessary information.</li> <li>Calendar applicable deadlines to ensure that statements and returns are submitted timely.</li> </ul> <p><i>*This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">The Press-Enterprise</span></a> on March 22, 2015. Republished with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News22 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 to Sea... Strategies to Solutions<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Paeter Garcia, Charity Schiller, Michelle Ouellette and Sarah Owsowitz will be among the featured speakers at the Association of Environmental Professionals Conference March 22-25, 2015 in Santa Barbara.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b></p> <p>Paeter Garcia and Charity Schiller, &ldquo;CEQA and the Big Drought&rdquo;</p> <p>California&rsquo;s ongoing drought poses numerous challenges, with consequences for both the state&rsquo;s physical and regulatory environments. This panel will address how CEQA is being applied, or in some cases waived, for projects intended to provide drought relief, and it will also discuss challenges related to completing legally defensible CEQA documents for projects that will be built under drought conditions. Paeter will discuss the complexities of water supply planning and preparing Water Supply Assessments when almost any water source may be subject to unknown levels of future curtailment as the drought drags on. Charity will provide an overview of the exemptions to CEQA contained in Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s two emergency drought declarations and how these apply, or don&rsquo;t, to many of the water supply projects that are being developed by local governments and water districts.&nbsp; She will also discuss legal defensibility as it relates to water supply conclusions contained in CEQA documents.</p> <p>Michelle Ouellette, &ldquo;Whiskey is for Drinking; Water is for Fighting Over: The Saga of the Cadiz Litigation 2.0&rdquo;</p> <p>In August 2014, an Orange County Superior Court judge issued rulings in six related lawsuits concerning the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project. The Cadiz project has been contentious, with several lawsuits filed by labor unions, environmental groups and a private salt mining company.&nbsp; &nbsp;As described by proponents, the Cadiz project is a public-private partnership between the Santa Margarita Water District and Cadiz, Inc. designed to manage a groundwater basin in San Bernardino County, capturing groundwater that would ultimately flow to hyper-saline lakes and evaporate. As described by opponents, they argue the Project is a water mining and privatization scheme that will harm a fragile desert ecosystem and fuel unsustainable growth. &nbsp;Given the years of controversy, a wide variety of CEQA, water and other issues were considered by Judge Gail Andler, who ultimately upheld the agencies&rsquo; decisions in all of the lawsuits.</p> <p>Sarah Owsowitz, &ldquo;Tribal Cultural Resources in CEQA, AB 52 Explained&rdquo;</p> <p>This dynamic panel will detail features and requirements of the new CEQA law on avoidance, preservation or mitigation of Tribal Cultural Resources, AB 52, and discuss strategies&nbsp; for preparing, entering into, and concluding consultation with Tribal Governments. If you are an environmental consultant, public agency representative, developer, or legal counsel who may have tribal cultural resources in your CEQA documents, then this presentation is for you. This panel will answer the following questions: What is AB 52, and how does it work? When does the law go into effect? What is the impact on my current environmental document? How do I consult with Tribal Governments? What is the role of the Lead Agency, the Project Proponent, and the California Native American Tribe in the consultation process?</p> <p><b>When<br /> </b>March 22-25, 2015</p> <p><b>Where</b><br /> Fess Parker Resort, Santa Barbara</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements22 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800's Decision to Reject Controversial Ad Did Not Violate the First Amendment<p>Rejecting a First Amendment challenge, a county can choose to not run an advertisement on its own bus system if it might cause vandalism and violence, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held this week. The court determined that the county created only a &ldquo;limited public forum&rdquo; with bus advertisements, and that its decision to reject a controversial ad was both reasonable and viewpoint neutral. The decision indicates that local agencies have some flexibility in controlling a limited &ldquo;public forum,&rdquo; and emphasizes that the First Amendment permits reasonable regulation when justified by a strong government interest in preserving public safety.</p> <p>In <i>Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign v. King County</i>, the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign submitted an advertisement to run on King County Metro buses in the Seattle metropolitan area decrying America&rsquo;s support of Israel. After initially accepting the ad, the County revoked its approval amid threats of violence and vandalism it feared would disrupt the bus system. The County has a policy restricting advertising content, which prohibited things like ads for alcohol and tobacco or those promoting illegal activities or containing obscene, deceptive, misleading or defamatory material. The policy also contained two &ldquo;civility clauses,&rdquo; which together prohibited material that would foreseeably result in disruption of the transportation system or incite a response that threatened public safety. Though it initially approved of the ad, the County withdrew approval after a wave of protests, threats of violence and expressions of fear from its customers and transit employees. At the same time, the County rejected two pro-Israel ads submitted in response.</p> <p>The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court&rsquo;s summary judgment in favor of King County by determining that the County created only a &ldquo;limited public forum.&rdquo; The case hinged on a question of which type of &ldquo;public forum&rdquo; the County had created in its bus advertising program. The United States Supreme Court has classified forums into three categories:</p> <ul> <li>traditional public forums (such as streets, sidewalks or public parks);</li> <li>designated public forums (created when the government intends to make property that has not traditionally been open to assembly and debate &ldquo;generally available&rdquo; for &ldquo;expressive use by the general public or by a particular class of speakers, but which the government may close whenever it chooses) and</li> <li>limited public forums (where the government intends to grant only &ldquo;selective access&rdquo; by imposing either speaker-based or subject-matter restrictions).</li> </ul> <p>Because the restriction here was reasonable in light of the forum&rsquo;s purpose as a mode of public transportation and was viewpoint neutral (the County chose to reject ads that were both anti-Israel and anti-Palestine), the court held the County&rsquo;s decision did not violate the First Amendment. Local agencies with similar advertising programs in place should pay heed to the court&rsquo;s reasoning here, and ensure their policies create only a &ldquo;limited public forum&rdquo; if they intend to restrict certain forms of expression. Local agencies should also carefully document the existence of facts indicating a threat to public safety and order as a basis for rejecting expression of certain viewpoints.</p> <p>For more information on the opinion and its implications, please contact the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href=";LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href=""><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 Alerts20 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 854 Presentation<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Attorney Michael Maurer will give a presentation on SB 854, which significantly changes how the Department of Industrial Relations monitors compliance with the Prevailing Wage Law. It will impose new burdens on public agencies and many private business that contract with them. All contractors must now register with the DIR prior to bidding on or working on any public works projects.</p> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Thursday, March 19, 2015<br /> 11:30 a.m.</p> <p><strong>Where:</strong><br /> Dave &amp; Buster&rsquo;s<br /> 4821 Mills Circle Drive<br /> Ontario, CA 91764</p> <p>For more information, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">visit the CSMFO web page</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Groundwater Management: What the Hell Just Happened?<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner is one of the panelists speaking on, &ldquo;Sustainable Groundwater Management: What the Hell Just Happened?&rdquo; at the California Water Policy Conference.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, March 19<br /> 10:45 a.m.</p> <p><strong>Where<br /> </strong>The Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800's the (Public) Money? Securing Public Incentives and Project Gap Funding in a Post-RDA World<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Seth Merewitz will be speaking on &quot;Where&rsquo;s the (Public) Money? Securing Public Incentives and Project Gap Funding in a Post-RDA World&quot; for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Real Property Section, Land Use Subsection in a presentation that will also be webcast live. The role of public agencies in facilitating projects has been in flux since the dissolution of Redevelopment Agencies in 2012. However, examples are starting to emerge of redevelopment taking place even without the traditional tools. This session will focus on incentive programs and local government participation in filling a project's &quot;financing gap&quot; without tax increment. The panel will present case studies of approved projects that have been constructed.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Wednesday, March 18, 2015<br /> Noon - 1:30 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Los Angeles County Bar Association<br /> 1055 West 7th Street, 27th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90017</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href=";CalendarEventID=4842"><span style="color: #0000ff">LACBA event page here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements18 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Options for Water Providers in Times of Drought<p>As the State Water Resources Control Board considers adopting a stronger regulation for urban water conservation, water agencies and localities are going to need all the tools in the toolbox to deal with customer demand. So what are the legal options available?</p> <p>Attorney Kelly Salt, a partner with the law firm Best Best &amp; Krieger, is experienced in assisting cities and water districts with utility rates and fees, including reviewing utility rate and fee studies, preparation of notices of public hearings, and establishing new and increased taxes, assessments, fees and charges.&nbsp; At the 2015 NWRI Drought Response Workshop, Ms. Salt gave a presentation on the legal tools available in the state constitution and water code that are of concern to water agencies and localities as they consider rate changes, water conservation programs, and fines and penalties.</p> <p>&ldquo;The preeminent law that governs us all when it comes to water use is Article 10, Section 2, simply stated, says that the constitution requires that the water resources of the state shall be protected, and unreasonable water use prevented,&rdquo; Kelly Salt began.&nbsp; That amendment was adopted in 1928, but there are other provisions that govern water use, she said.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p><i>To read the full article in Maven&rsquo;s Notebook, which ran March 17, 2015, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News17 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800's State Water Resources Control Board Renews and Imposes Stricter Emergency Water Conservation Regulations<p>California&rsquo;s State Water Resources Control Board approved a resolution today renewing and updating statewide emergency water conservation regulations adopted by the Board last year that were set to expire on April 25. The Office of Administrative Law still needs to approve the new regulations before they become effective.</p> <p>In many ways, the new regulations re-adopt the same or similar water conservation measures that exist under the current regulations. All retail urban water suppliers (suppliers providing water to more than 3,000 municipal customers or supplying more than 3,000 acre-feet per year) must either (1) implement all requirements and actions of their water shortage contingency plans that include mandatory restrictions on the number of days that potable water can be used for outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscapes or turf, or (2) submit an alternate plan that includes allocation-based rate structures which, in conjunction with other measures, will achieve a level of conservation superior to that achieved by limiting outdoor irrigation to no more than two days per week. For urban water suppliers that do not have a water shortage contingency plan that restricts the number of days potable water can be used for outdoor irrigation, the new regulations will require them to limit such irrigation to no more than two days per week.</p> <p>The new regulations also impose several new requirements on retail urban water suppliers, which must now:</p> <ul> <li>Promptly notify customers of potential water leaks within a customer&rsquo;s exclusive control; and</li> <li>Include in their monthly monitoring report the population served, the percentage of water produced that is used for the residential sector, statistics on water conservation compliance and enforcement efforts, and number of days outdoor irrigation is allowed.</li> </ul> <p>Smaller entities that distribute a public water supply but do not qualify as urban water suppliers must either (1) limit the use of potable water for outdoor irrigation to no more than two days per week, or (2) implement mandatory conservation measures intended to achieve a 20 percent reduction in water consumption relative to 2013 (as compared to a &ldquo;comparable&rdquo; reduction in last year&rsquo;s regulation).</p> <p>In addition, the new regulations re-adopt existing end user restrictions and impose several new requirements which:</p> <ul> <li>Prohibit landscape irrigation within 48 hours after measurable rainfall;</li> <li>Prohibit the hospitality industry from serving drinking water, unless requested by patrons; and</li> <li>Require hotels and motels to provide guests with notice of the option to not have towels and linens washed daily.</li> </ul> <p>Similar to the existing regulations, the new regulations do not apply to water wholesalers or the wholesale operations of combined retail/wholesale water suppliers. The State Board recognizes that the new regulations will likely decrease&nbsp;revenues of urban water suppliers due to reduced water sales, and increase their costs by requiring additional reporting information. To the extent that reduced water sales are expected to cause budgetary shortfalls for the water suppliers, the Board urges suppliers to &ldquo;take immediate steps to raise necessary revenues in a way that actively promotes continued conservation,&rdquo; including rate structure changes.</p> <p>The Board and staff also emphasized during today&rsquo;s hearing that they will be looking at further regulations and measures in the future to continue to aggressively address the ongoing drought and need to conserve water throughout California.</p> <p>The new regulations will remain in effect for 270 days. For more information about the emergency drought regulations and how they 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=";LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href=""><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 Alerts17 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Supreme Court to Hear PRA Case on Inadvertent or Accidental Disclosure of Privileged Records<p>The California Supreme Court has granted review of a controversial Public Records Act ruling and will decide whether the well-recognized protection for attorney-client privileged documents inadvertently disclosed during the civil litigation discovery process will extend to the PRA. Its March 12 order granting review means the lower court ruling that accidental disclosure waives privilege is no longer the law.</p> <p>The 2nd District Court of Appeal, Division 6 in Ventura held in December that even accidental or inadvertent disclosure of privileged records in response to a PRA request waives any claim of exemption under the Act. In <i>Ardon v. City of Los Angeles</i>, the City inadvertently disclosed attorney-client privileged documents during a production of records in response to a request under the PRA made by an attorney representing Ardon as part of Ardon&rsquo;s lawsuit against the City over a telephone users tax. The City demanded that the attorney return the documents and agree not to rely on them. The attorney refused, contending that the City had waived any claim of privilege by disclosing the records.</p> <p>The City had argued that inadvertent disclosure of privileged documents under the PRA does not waive the privilege. That argument was supported by case law that protects the privilege for documents inadvertently disclosed during the civil litigation discovery process. However, the appellate court disagreed and drew a clear distinction between the civil litigation discovery process and the PRA.</p> <p>If you have questions about this opinion or how it will affect your municipality or agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href=";LPA=1139&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Policy and Ethics Compliance</span></a> practice group or your <a target="_blank" href=""><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 Alerts16 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Bidders Can Sue When Winners Don't Pay Prevailing Wages<p>The second-place bidder on a government contract has a cause of action for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage against the winning bidder if the contract was awarded as a result of -wrongful conduct. In the recent case of <i>Roy Allan Slurry Seal v. American Asphalt South Inc.,</i> 2015 DJDAR 2014 (Feb. 20, 2015), the 2nd District Court of Appeal held that plaintiffs could state that cause of action if the winning bidder was able to submit a lower bid because it illegally paid its workers less than the prevailing wage.</p> <p>Most public works contracts must be awarded to the lowest responsive bidder, provided the lowest bidder meets the minimum qualifications necessary to perform the work. Unlike private developers, public agencies usually have no discretion to choose a preferred contractor or to determine the contractor who is most qualified or provides the best value. Bids must be submitted under seal, with all of the bids opened at once. After the bid opening, a public agency only has two options: award to the lowest responsive, responsible bidder or reject all of the bids. There is no opportunity for further negotiations, and details of each bid, such as the budgeted costs and anticipated profits, are not revealed.</p> <p>The purpose of this system is to create competition &mdash; to give every bidder an equal chance to perform public work, and therefore protect the public's financial interests. Of course, the system only works if everyone plays by the rules.</p> <p>In Allan, the plaintiffs alleged that another contractor &mdash; the winning bidder on 23 separate public works projects &mdash; did not play by the rules. The defendant, American Asphalt South Inc., was awarded the 23 contracts, totaling more than $14.6 million, to apply slurry seal to public roads. The second lowest bidder on all 23 contracts was either Roy Allan Slurry Seal, Inc. or Doug Martin Contracting, Inc. The plaintiffs combined their cases and sued American Asphalt in five counties &mdash; Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange and San Diego, yielding different results to various demurrers. The cases were all combined on appeal.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p><i>To read the full article in the Daily Journal, which ran March 13, 2015, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a> (subscription required).</i></p>BB&K In The News13 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Water District Renews Commitment to Highest Ethical Standards<p>&ldquo;The training provided to us by Mr. Byrne and Best Best and Krieger offers us the opportunity to refresh our knowledge base, understand any changes, and ensure we are doing everything in our power to be above reproach,&rdquo; says Szu Pei Lu-Yang, RWD Board President. &ldquo;We take ethics very seriously and know that&rsquo;s what the public expects us to do.&rdquo;</p> <p><i>To read the entire press release, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></i></p>BB&K In The News13 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Gets Into the Weeds on Marijuana and Commercial Real Estate<p>Commercial real estate property owners could get high on information Thursday, from a legal expert's take on how medical marijuana is affecting that sector.</p> <p>Seena Samimi of Best Best &amp; Krieger said the both the laws and data around medical marijuana are constantly changing, but there are some core strategies to follow.</p> <p>Chief among them, he said, is for property owners to know the local zoning, and know who's renting from them.</p> <p>&quot;It's been a very volatile industry, legally speaking,&quot; Samimi said at the Commercial Real Estate Women monthly luncheon at the Sutter Club. Since marijuana widely emerged for medical and recreational use over a century ago, he said, the meter has wavered widely between strict prohibition and grudging acceptance by governments.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <i>To read the full article, published March 12, 2015 in the Sacramento Business Journal, <a target="_blank" href=";s=article_search"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i>BB&K In The News12 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Marijuana in Commercial Real Estate<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Attorney Seena Samimi will present &ldquo;Medical Marijuana in Commercial Real Estate&rdquo; at the monthly CREW Sacramento program. Topics to be covered include:</p> <ul> <li>Historical framework of marijuana (and medical marijuana) in California</li> <li>Current legal framework of marijuana in California, and the interplay between federal, state, and local laws</li> <li>Landlord risks, and generally, leasing issues relating to marijuana-industry tenants</li> <li>What we know about the impact of marijuana on real estate values</li> <li>What medical marijuana users need to be aware of (in the workplace, and elsewhere)</li> <li>Trends, looking to the future, and marijuana&rsquo;s changing effect on various industries and fields</li> </ul> <p><b>When</b><br /> Thursday, March 12, 2015<br /> 11:30 a.m. &ndash; 1:30 p.m.</p> <p><b>Where</b><br /> The Sutter Club<br /> 1220 9th St.<br /> Sacramento, CA</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href=";code=BBD52ED2-2F40-4675-9CC9-7B3EEA02E0CF"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements12 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Issues: 2015 Edition<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Managing Partner Eric Garner is among the panelists discussing &ldquo;Water Issues: 2015 Edition&rdquo; at the USC Gould School of Law 2015 Real Estate Law and Business Forum. Get updated on the drought, how Southern California is dealing with it and how it will impact development now and in the future. Learn about the drought&rsquo;s potential impact on the ability of development to meet CEQA requirements and comply with Water Supply Assessment requirements, and pending cases that could impact real estate water availability. Eric will be joined on the panel by Building Industry Association of Southern California Environmental Affairs Director Mark Grey and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger.</p> <p><b>Real Estate Law and Business Forum</b></p> <p>For more than 10 years, the USC Gould School of Law Real Estate Law and Business Forum has been the most highly attended law and business conference in the area. Programming is designed to appeal to both professionals and business people across the real estate field. Speakers include nationally-known business and legal leaders. The focus is on opportunities - for you and for your clients - and how to maximize potential in the current real estate market.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, March 12<br /> 1:45 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Jonathan Club<br /> 545 S. Figueroa St.<br /> Los Angeles, CA</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">USC Gould School of Law website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements12 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Boards Should Look over Both Shoulders<p>In California and throughout the nation, there are government boards that regulate specific businesses and professions. Typically, these boards' decision-makers include members of the very business or profession the board is supposed to regulate. In California, there are state boards for attorneys (the State Bar of California), engineers, doctors, dentists, funeral directors and more. At the federal level, there are boards that regulate the production and sale of agricultural commodities by committees of industry-nominated representatives appointed by the secretary of agriculture.</p> <p>The U. S. Supreme Court has taken up two cases that target industry-run government boards - one board at the state level, the other at the federal level. One shoe has already dropped. In North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, the court last month found that a state board with oversight over dentistry was not entitled to federal antitrust immunity when a controlling number of the board's decision-makers were dentists, and therefore, active participants in the market the board regulates.</p> <p>The other shoe remains to drop. In January, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review to Horne v. U. S. Department of Agriculture. This case challenges agriculture marketing orders issued by the federal government that control the amount of raisins producers can sell in the open market. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a California producer's claim that diversion of a portion of the producer's raisins for market disposition by an administrative committee of industry representatives constituted a taking under the Fifth Amendment. The Supreme Court will review that question.</p> <p>By two different routes, antitrust and takings laws, the Supreme Court is closely scrutinizing the legality of actions taken by industry-run government boards. Each route has different ideological appeal to the &quot;right&quot; and &quot;left&quot; of the judicial spectrum, but represent in either case potentially heavy body blows to such boards.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p><i>To read the full article in the Daily Journal, which ran March 11, 2015, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a> (subscription required).</i></p>BB&K In The News11 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Land Use Law & Policy<p>BB&amp;K Partner Michelle Ouellette co-chairs and BB&amp;K co-sponsors this two-day conference, which also features several BB&amp;K speakers. The economy has improved much throughout 2014 and is expected to continue to improve into 2015. Private development and municipal redevelopment is back. Private counsel, federal, state and municipal counsel, and land use consultants need to be ready to address the pent-up demand.</p> <p>Will you be ready? What are the new hurdles to private, federal, state and community development projects? Certainly climate change requirements, CEQA and related environmental requirements are in flux. And what about the newest high hurdle to clear&mdash;water supply? Even with recent heavy precipitation, the drought is far from over and water supply will likely remain a dominant hurdle to development in California.</p> <p>Other issues that need to be on your land use radar screen includes large-scale habitat and conservation planning projects; species and wetlands protection; coastal development challenges; medical marijuana sales and cultivation; and the controversial practice of &ldquo;ballot box&rdquo; end runs around traditional land use regulation and compliance.</p> <p>MCLE credit is available.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b><br /> Shawn Hagerty: &ldquo;Stormwater Management and MS4 Permits &mdash; Get It Done Right the First Time&rdquo;<br /> Monday, March 9<br /> a.m.</p> <p>Charity Schiller: &ldquo;Life in the Country &mdash; Not Letting Climate Change Law Compliance Serve as a Barrier to Growth&rdquo;<br /> Monday, March 9<br /> 3:15 p.m.</p> <p>Jeffrey V. Dunn: &ldquo;Siting Medical Marijuana Dispensaries&rdquo;<br /> Monday, March 9<br /> 4:15 p.m.</p> <p><b>When</b><br /> Monday, March 9 &ndash; Tuesday, March 10, 2015</p> <p><b>Location</b><br /> Westin Hotel, Sacramento</p> <p>For see the entire program, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>. To register, <a target="_blank" href=";mmurlid=63143569"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements09 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Hospital Organizations and the Affordable Care Act<p>The IRS has issued final regulations providing guidance on certain complex requirements imposed on charitable hospital organizations added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Specifically, the Regulations clarify the types of entities subject to the requirements, the consequences for failing to satisfy the requirements and certain reporting obligations. Importantly, charitable hospital organizations must satisfy these requirements to retain tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code .</p> <p>Among other items, the Act provides that charitable hospital organizations are required to:</p> <ol> <li>Conduct a community health needs assessment, and adopt an implementation strategy to satisfy the community health needs identified in the CHNA at least once every three years;</li> <li>Establish a written financial assistance policy and a written policy related to care for emergency medical conditions; and</li> <li>Make reasonable efforts to determine whether an individual is eligible for assistance under a FAP before engaging in extraordinary collection actions.</li> </ol> <p>An entity is subject to the requirements to the extent it is treated as a &ldquo;hospital organization.&rdquo; The Regulations define a &ldquo;hospital organization&rdquo; as an organization recognized (or seeking to be recognized) as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) operating one or more facilities that are required to be licensed, registered or similarly recognized as a hospital.</p> <p>The Regulations clarify that, subject to certain exceptions, a charitable hospital organization that fails to comply with the CHNA requirements for a taxable year will be subject to a $50,000 excise tax. However, the tax may not apply if the error is minor, and either inadvertent or due to reasonable cause, and is corrected. Lastly, the Regulations provide that the IRS will consider all of the relevant facts and circumstances in determining whether to revoke a charitable hospital organization&rsquo;s tax-exempt status.</p> <p>The Regulations generally apply to tax years beginning after Dec. 29, 2015. For tax years beginning on or before then, organizations may generally rely on a reasonable, good faith interpretation of the requirements. The full text of the Regulations may be accessed <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.</p> <p>The requirements described in this legal alert are detailed and complex. Please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href=";LPA=410&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Tax</span></a> group, or your <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>, for additional information and analysis regarding the requirements applicable to charitable hospital organizations.</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 Alerts06 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Things Every Newly Promoted Police Leader Should Know<p>Training officers often tell new recruits, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m going to teach you all of the things that you need to know that they did not teach you in the Academy.&rdquo;</p> <p>Hopefully this well-intended training officer will provide accurate and ethical wisdom &mdash; the type of on-the job-training that will truly benefit the eager trainee. Eventually, the new recruit will become a seasoned officer and will perhaps pass on similar wisdom to a new trainee.</p> <p>But what about the transition from line-level officer to supervisory and leadership positions? Who provides wisdom to the newly promoted supervisor, middle manager, or police executive? Often times, the transition is &ldquo;trial by error&rdquo; or &ldquo;baptism by fire&rdquo; by individuals who have the confidence to adapt, adjust, and overcome the hurdles they encounter &mdash; even those created by their own lack of experience or the absence of adequate guidance. Confidence is a good trait when properly managed, but can be detrimental when overconfidence leads to error.</p> <p>...</p> <p><i>To read the full article on <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff"></span></a>, which ran March 5, 2015, click here.</i></p>BB&K In The News05 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Supreme Court Rules Residency Restrictions are Nonpunitive<p>A judge can require sex offender registration for a convicted criminal defendant &mdash; even if the jury did not find that the crimes were sexual in nature, the California Supreme Court held this week. Interestingly, the Court handed down this ruling on the same day as another, unrelated sex offender residency restriction opinion. Viewed together, the opinions include statements that could potentially create some confusion.</p> <p>In <i>People v. Mosley</i>, the Court decided whether judicial discretion to require registration in cases that do not automatically require it as a matter of statutory law violates the Sixth Amendment right to a jury determination, beyond a reasonable doubt, of any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond the prescribed statutory minimum. California law has long required persons convicted of specified sex crimes to register as sex offenders as long as they live or work in the State. However, if the conviction is for an offense other than those automatically requiring registration, the court may nonetheless exercise its discretion to impose a registration requirement if it finds the offense was sexually motivated or compelled, and that registration is justified by the defendant&rsquo;s risk of re-offense.</p> <p>The Court of Appeal found that the residency restrictions in Jessica&rsquo;s Law are punitive, that the initiative measure made those restrictions an integral part of all registrations, and that the lack of jury findings to support registration violated the constitutional rights of those convicted and subject to these restrictions. The Supreme Court disagreed, however .</p> <p>The decision was released on Monday &mdash; the same day as <a target="_blank" href=";an=38121&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>In re Taylor</i></span></a>, in which the justices overturned residency restrictions in San Diego County. In that case, the Court found that the residency restrictions, as enforced in San Diego County, did not bear a rational relationship to advancing the stated goal of the protecting children from sexual predators. The <i>Taylor</i> court held that the residency restrictions actually frustrated their stated purpose, making it harder to monitor, supervise and rehabilitate offenders. Yet in <i>Mosley</i>, the Court emphasized the &ldquo;legitimate regulatory goal&rdquo; of the restrictions &mdash;reducing the opportunity for persons convicted of sexually related crimes to reoffend in the future. The <i>Mosley</i> court determined that residency restrictions are not so clearly punitive in effect as to override their regulatory aim.</p> <p>As a result of <i>Taylor</i> and <i>Mosley</i>, the law surrounding sex offender residency restrictions is now murkier than before. While residency restrictions are not per se unconstitutional, as <i>Mosley</i> reaffirms, they are now open to case-by-case challenges where defendants can argue residency restrictions as-applied to them violate the Constitution. These two cases indicate slow, faltering movement on the part of the Supreme Court in terms of how it views Jessica&rsquo;s Law and the burden residency restrictions can place on parolees as they try to reintegrate into society. The current system remains in place, for the moment; yet <i>Taylor</i> indicates it may be wise for local governments to look closely at their current residency restrictions and reevaluate the practical effects they may have on sex offenders in these communities.</p> <p>For more information on the opinion and its statewide implications, please contact the&nbsp;authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href=";LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts05 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Five Things to Know About Letters of Intent<p>BB&amp;K Partner Stephen Stwora-Hail will discuss letters of intent during the Sacramento Association of Realtors Commercial Division&rsquo;s Brown Bag Legal Lunch. Topics include:</p> <ul> <li>Find out what wide variety of factors can make a LOI binding</li> <li>Good drafting is key</li> <li>How important is the intent of the parties?</li> <li>Be sure to include a safety net &ndash; get this take away provision to add into every LOI</li> <li>Is an attorney really needed or are the standard forms sufficient? Where can I get myself in trouble with DIY?</li> </ul> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Thursday, March 5<br /> 11:30 a.m. &ndash; 1 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where:</strong><br /> SAR Mack Powell Event Center<br /> 2003 Howe Ave.<br /> Sacramento, CA 95825</p> <p>For more information or to register, call (916) 437-1208.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements05 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Kids on the Block: Regulatory Concerns in Online Vacation Rental Marketplaces<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys William J. &ldquo;Jim&rdquo; Priest and Jordan Ferguson will present &ldquo;New Kids on the Block: Regulatory Concerns in Online Vacation Rental Marketplaces.&rdquo; The webinar will provide a substantive discussion of online vacation rental marketplaces, from the basics of what these marketplaces are and how they function to the complex array of legal challenges they present for local governments. Whether the problems are related to code enforcement, tax collection or land use regulations, online vacation rental marketplaces are shifting the landscape and cities must adjust in order to face these issues head on.</p> <p><strong>When<br /> </strong>Wednesday, March 4, 2015<br /> 10 a.m. PST</p> <p>View the PowerPoint presentation by clicking <a href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements04 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Adjudicate or Not to Adjudicate? That is the Question!<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner is among the panelists on &ldquo;To Adjudicate or Not to Adjudicate? That is the Question!&rdquo; at the Association of California Water Agencies&rsquo; 2015 Legislative Symposium on March 4 in Sacramento.</p> <p>Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s signing message for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act indicated a desire to enact legislation that would streamline the adjudication process during this legislative session. Within the Legislature, Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) promised to explore streamlined adjudication and has held one legislative hearing already to learn from stakeholders about the pros and cons of expediting adjudications. This panel will explore the issues and challenges of adjudicating groundwater basins in the context of the Act and why anyone might, or might not, want to go the adjudication route.</p> <p><b>When</b><br /> Wednesday, March 4, 2015<br /> 9:45 &ndash; 10:45 a.m.</p> <p><b>Where</b><br /> Sacramento Convention Center<br /> 1400 J St., Room 307<br /> Sacramento, CA</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements04 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 BB&K Attorneys Named Top Lawyers in San Diego<p><b>SAN DIEGO, Calif. &ndash; </b>Six Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys were included on <i>San Diego Magazine&rsquo;s </i>2015 Top Lawyers list. The list was compiled in partnership with Martindale Hubbell&reg;, which has long set the standard for peer review ratings. The attorneys selected for the list have reached the highest levels of ethical standards and professional excellence, according to the magazine.</p> <p>The BB&amp;K attorneys and the practice area for which they were recognized on the Top Lawyers list are:</p> <ul> <li>Bruce W. Beach &mdash; Eminent Domain</li> <li>James B. Gilpin &mdash; Zoning, Planning and Land Use</li> <li>Robert Hanna &mdash; Real Estate</li> <li>Arlene Prater &mdash; Labor &amp; Employment</li> <li>Kelly Salt &mdash; Public Finance</li> <li>Gary Schons &mdash; General Practice</li> </ul> <p>To see the full list, visit <span style="color: #0000ff"><i><a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">San Diego Magazine&rsquo;s</span></a></i></span> website.</p> <p style="text-align: center">###</p> <p><b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b><i> is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With 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=""><span style="color: #0000ff"></span></a></i></span><i> or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases04 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Legislative Symposium Focuses on Groundwater Adjudication, Prop. 218 Changes<p>ACWA&rsquo;s 2015 Legislative Symposium held in Sacramento today focused on key water issues being addressed this legislative session, including the streamlining of groundwater basin adjudications and possible changes to Proposition 218.</p> <p>The day-long conference, held at the Sacramento Convention Center, offered more than 140 attendees an opportunity to hear differing perspectives on water issues facing lawmakers this term. ACWA Vice President Kathy Tiegs opened the conference with welcoming remarks.</p> <p>The first panel &ndash; &ldquo;To Adjudicate or Not to Adjudicate? That is the Question&rdquo; &ndash; explored proposals to streamline the groundwater adjudication process. The streamlining was addressed in the context of how it might intersect with the newly passed Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Eric Garner, an attorney with Best Best and Krieger, moderated the panel.</p> <p><i>To read the full article in ACWA Water News, which ran March 4, 2015, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News04 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Strikes Down Surcharge on Utility Users Imposed Under a Franchise Agreement<p>A surcharge on electric utility bills collected by a power company pursuant to a franchise agreement and remitted to the city for general revenue purposes is a tax, a California Appellate Court has found. Because the city did not receive voter approval for the surcharge, it is an illegal tax, the court found.</p> <p>The opinion in <i>Jacks v. The City of Santa Barbara</i> analyzes the validity of a 1 percent surcharge on customer bills collected by Southern California Edison and used by the City of Santa Barbara for general revenue use.&nbsp;In 1994 SCE and the City entered into negotiations to renew SCE&rsquo;s franchise agreement to provide electric utility services within the City. The expiring agreement and subsequent extensions required SCE to pay the City a franchise fee of one percent of SCE&rsquo;s gross annual receipts for electricity sold within the City. The proposed new franchise agreement required SCE to pay a franchise fee of 2 percent. One percent of the franchise fee revenue was proposed to be deposited into two City funds: half of the 1 percent to the City&rsquo;s undergrounding utility projects fund and the remaining half to the City&rsquo;s general fund. &nbsp;</p> <p>In responding to the proposed increase in the franchise fee, SCE requested, and the City agreed, that imposition of the additional one percent would be contingent on the Public Utilities Commission authorizing it as a &ldquo;surcharge.&rdquo; The City agreed and the new franchise agreement was approved by both parties in 1999. In 2005, the PUC approved the surcharge and SCE began to collect it on customers&rsquo; electric bills. In 2009, the City reallocated the entire surcharge revenue to its general fund.</p> <p>The surcharge was never submitted to the voters of the City for approval. The plaintiff challenged the surcharge as an invalid tax. The City asserted that the surcharge is part of the franchise fee paid by SCE and, as such, is not a tax.&nbsp;</p> <p>The trial court considered whether the surcharge was a tax in accordance with Proposition 218 and Proposition 26. Proposition&nbsp;218 was approved by the voters in 1996 and amended the California Constitution to require that any general tax be approved by a majority of the qualified voters participating in the election, and any special tax be approved by a two-thirds vote of the qualified electors voting in the election. Proposition 26, passed in 2010, amended the law to &nbsp;provide a new definition of the term &ldquo;tax.&rdquo; Under this new definition, a tax means any fee or charge imposed by a local government agency unless it qualifies as one of seven exceptions. The trial court concluded that the surcharge is part of the franchise fee and is not a tax under Proposition 218. The court further found, however, that the fee was a tax under Proposition 26, but that the definition of tax under Proposition 26 was not retrospective to the 1999 franchise agreement in which surcharge was approved.</p> <p>The Court of Appeal held that the sole issue is whether the 1 percent surcharge is a tax subject to Proposition 218&rsquo;s voter approval requirement or a franchise fee that may be imposed by the City without voter consent. The court noted that its inquiry begins with a determination of what the primary purpose of the fee is. If revenue is the primary purpose, and compensation for the franchise is merely incidental, the imposition is a tax. Here, the franchise agreement treats the 1 percent surcharge differently than the 1 percent franchise fee. The 1 percent franchise fee is for the purpose of compensating the City for allowing SCE a right of way to purvey electricity. The 1 percent surcharge is, in effect, a utility user tax imposed to generate revenue for general purposes of the City. As such, it is a tax under Proposition 218 and is subject to voter approval.</p> <p>If you have any questions about this case or how it may impact your agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed to the right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href=";LPA=497&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Finance</span></a> practice group, or <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">your 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 Alerts03 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Supreme Court: Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Unconstitutional<p>Residency restrictions that prohibit sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park are unconstitutional, the California Supreme Court ruled this week. The court in <i>In re Taylor</i> held that the blanket restriction infringes on the rights of sex offenders in San Diego County by limiting their access to housing, increasing the incidence of homelessness and depriving them of access to services, such as psychological treatment and drug and alcohol counseling that are available to all parolees.</p> <p>The court affirmed an appellate court decision relying on data that indicated more than one-third of sex offenders in San Diego County are forced to register as transients in the wake of the 2006 passage of Jessica&rsquo;s Law, a referendum that instituted the residency restrictions. That data also indicated that sex offenders were effectively banned from about 97 percent of available housing in the County, with much of the remaining housing not available due to low vacancy rates, high rent, or the unwillingness of landlords to rent to sex offenders. The court restricted its decision to San Diego County since the appellants argued the law was unconstitutional as it applied to them, rather than attacking the law as unconstitutional on its face. But the ruling is likely to have statewide impact as other challenges arise to blanket residency restrictions. Despite overturning the blanket restriction, the court affirmed the authority of state corrections officers to impose residency restrictions on parolees on a case-by-case basis.</p> <p>The residency restrictions not only infringe on the liberty and privacy interests of the parolees, the court found, but they also bear no rational relationship to advancing the stated goal of the protecting children from sexual predators. The restrictions, as written, apply to all sex offenders, regardless of whether their crimes were against children or if there is any indication they would pose a threat to children, the court stated. Further, the restrictions make it more difficult to monitor, supervise and rehabilitate offenders, frustrating efforts to reintegrate them into society and creating a risk of increased recidivism rates, the court added.</p> <p>Though the scope of the decision is narrow for the moment, its effects are likely to spread statewide as further suits are filed and research is done into the results of these residency restrictions. While authority still exists to create similar restrictions on a case-by-case basis, state corrections officers should be mindful of this potential change in policy and how it may affect parolees on their caseloads.</p> <p>The case did not specifically address the authority of cities to impose residency restrictions on sex offenders; however, this decision is likely to impact city policy going forward. Though cities have the right to impose residency restrictions under a separate section of Jessica&rsquo;s Law, similar challenges exist to such restrictions. The California Court of Appeal held last year, in <i>People v. Nguyen</i>, that cities could not restrict the movement of sex offenders nor require them to obtain permission to enter certain areas of a city, like parks or recreation facilities. Any community imposing residency restrictions should consider the scope and breadth of its policies to ensure that it is not effectively banning sex offenders from the jurisdiction entirely, and to narrow policies intended to protect children so that they apply only to sex offenders whose offenses were committed against minors.</p> <p>For more information on the opinion and its statewide implications, please contact the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href=";LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i>Legal Alerts03 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Supreme Court Makes Critical CEQA Ruling Regarding Categorical Exemptions<p>In a victory for public agencies and developers, the California Supreme Court issued its heavily anticipated ruling in <i>Berkeley Hillside Preservation v. City&nbsp;of&nbsp;Berkeley</i>, reversing the Court of Appeal. At issue was the City of Berkeley&rsquo;s determination that a proposed 6,478 square-foot home with an attached 3,394 square-foot garage, on a steep slope in a heavily wooded area, was categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act pursuant to the categorical exemptions for single-family residences (CEQA Guidelines section&nbsp;15303) and in-fill development projects (CEQA Guidelines section&nbsp;15332).</p> <p>Project opponents argued the exemptions should not apply because of the presence of &ldquo;unusual circumstances&rdquo; per CEQA Guidelines section 15300.2(c) &ndash; namely, the house will be built on a steep slope. The Court of Appeal agreed, holding that evidence demonstrated a &ldquo;fair argument&rdquo; that the project might have an effect on the environment, which is <i><u>itself</u></i> an &ldquo;unusual circumstance,&rdquo; and thus the exemptions could not be used. The Supreme Court rejected this ruling and articulated a detailed test and standards of review for assessing the &ldquo;unusual circumstances&rdquo; exemption. It sent the case back to the Court of Appeal for further hearing consistent with that test and standards.</p> <p>Answering the key question posed in the litigation, the court held that the &ldquo;unusual circumstances&rdquo; exception can only be used to preclude the use of a categorical exemption if a two-prong test is satisfied. First, an agency must evaluate whether there is an &ldquo;unusual circumstance&rdquo; that differentiates the project from the general class of similarly situated projects. Second, the agency must consider whether the unusual circumstance that pertains to the project creates a &ldquo;reasonable possibility&rdquo; that the project may result in a &ldquo;significant environmental impact.&rdquo; The court expressly rejected the appellate court&rsquo;s interpretation of the &ldquo;unusual circumstances&rdquo; test, finding that &ldquo;the Court of Appeal erred by holding that a potentially significant environmental effect itself constitutes unusual circumstances.&rdquo;</p> <p>Next, in a move that will help agencies in their use of categorical exemptions, the court ruled that the &ldquo;substantial evidence&rdquo; standard of review applies to judicial review of an agency&rsquo;s decision as to whether &ldquo;unusual circumstances&rdquo; are present. The court observed that such a determination is a factual inquiry, with the agency serving as a finder of fact, and thus a court should uphold an agency&rsquo;s decision if it is supported by substantial evidence in the record. This holding is a terrific outcome for public agencies, as this standard of review is highly deferential.</p> <p>As to the second prong of the test, the court ruled that, once the presence of an &ldquo;unusual circumstance&rdquo; is established, a categorical exemption may not be used if there is a fair argument, supported by substantial evidence, that &ldquo;there is a reasonable possibility of a significant effect on the environment&rdquo; due to the &ldquo;unusual circumstance.&rdquo; While the &ldquo;fair argument&rdquo; standard of review does not grant a high level of deference to public agencies, it will be difficult for a project opponent to get to the second prong of the test because, if an agency&rsquo;s decision that there are no &ldquo;unusual circumstances&rdquo; is upheld by a court under the&rdquo; substantial evidence&rdquo; standard of review, the test is concluded.</p> <p>While the court did not provide a bright line definition for what constitutes an &ldquo;unusual circumstance,&rdquo; it did provide guidance for agencies in considering this question. It noted that &ldquo;evidence that a project <i>will</i> have a significant effect <i>does</i> tend to prove that some circumstance of the project is unusual.&rdquo; Further, it held that a party could also invoke the &ldquo;unusual circumstances&rdquo; exception by showing that a project &ldquo;has some feature that distinguishes it from others in the exempt class, such as its size or location.&rdquo; It also ruled that agencies have the discretion to consider conditions in the vicinity of a proposed project when determining whether the environmental effects of a project are unusual, holding that the Court of Appeal erred in finding that the unusual circumstances inquiry excluded consideration of the typical circumstances in a particular neighborhood.</p> <p>If you have any questions about this case or how it might impact your agency, please contact one of the attorney authors of this alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href=";LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i>Legal Alerts03 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Regulation and Management in California<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Paeter Garcia is co-chair of Law Seminars International&rsquo;s two-day conference and webcast &ldquo;Groundwater Regulation and Management in California: Updates on Legal and Policy Developments; Practical Tips and Strategies,&rdquo; which will be held March 2-3, 2015 in Sacramento. Paeter, along with BB&amp;K Managing Partner Eric Garner, will also be speaking on panels.</p> <p>California's new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is perhaps the most significant water law to be passed in the last 100 years. For the first time, California will implement broad reaching regulations over groundwater that will be phased in over the next several years. These new requirements will substantially affect future decisions in the areas of land use, the environment, agriculture and municipal water use, and many other aspects of California life.</p> <p>Join industry experts, leading attorneys and agency officials for a two-day conference regarding the mechanics and implications of the new Act. Topics include statewide perspectives in groundwater management, legal implications of the new laws, practical approaches and requirements for forming Groundwater Sustainability Agencies and developing Groundwater Sustainability Plans, the role of state agencies, funding issues, and practical examples of how real life groundwater disputes are resolved today.</p> <p>This comprehensive conference will provide local government, agricultural, environmental, attorney and consultant interests with a working knowledge of how to plan for the future under the new groundwater legislation.</p> <p><b>What You Will Learn</b></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Geohydrology science and engineering</li> <li>Existing groundwater law and what AB 3030 changes</li> <li>Development of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and Plans (GSPs)</li> <li>What to expect in terms of state assistance and involvement</li> <li>Relationship between AB 3030 planning and other planning requirements and processes</li> <li>Financing issues</li> <li>Resolving groundwater disputes: Options when informal methods, such as mediation, fail</li> <li>Contingency planning: What if a plan fails?</li> <li>Case studies of the issues in the most controversial areas</li> </ul> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b></p> <p>Paeter Garcia: &ldquo;Relationship Between Planning Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and Other Planning Requirements and Processes&rdquo;<br /> Tuesday, March 3<br /> 8:45 &ndash; 10:15 a.m.</p> <p>Eric Garner: &ldquo;Resolving Groundwater Disputes: Options When Informal Methods, such as Mediation, Fail&rdquo;<br /> Tuesday, March 3<br /> 1:15 &ndash; 2 p.m.</p> <p><i>BB&amp;K is also co-sponsoring the reception for faculty and attendees at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 2.</i></p> <p><b>Where</b><br /> Courtyard Marriott Sacramento Midtown<br /> 4422 Y Street<br /> Sacramento, CA 95817</p> For more information or to register, please visit Law Seminars International by <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here.</span></a>Conferences & Speaking Engagements02 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Juan Capistrano Case Challenges Legality of Tiered Water Rates<p>In drought-ridden California, many water bills are calculated using a basic principle: The more water a customer uses, the higher the rate. It's a strategy water districts employ to boost conservation.</p> <p>But this long-standing practice is now under attack in the courts. A group of San Juan Capistrano taxpayers sued their local water provider, arguing the tiered rate structure violates state law that prohibits agencies from charging more than water actually costs &mdash; no matter how much customers use.</p> <p>A lower court decided in their favor, and an appeals court is expected to rule soon. The outcome could change how millions of customers pay for water and eliminate a tool water agencies argue is critical to encourage conservation.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>&quot;People will definitely be looking over their shoulder,&quot; said Kelly Salt, a Proposition 218 expert based in San Diego who wrote an amicus brief defending the city of San Juan Capistrano. &quot;Attorneys will be emboldened to go do this for other clients.&quot;</p> <p><i>To read the full article in the Los Angeles Times, which ran Feb. 27, 2015, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News27 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 OC Collaborative Services Summit<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Partner Sonia Carvalho is among the &ldquo;local leaders in innovative government&rdquo; featured at the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission&rsquo;s 2015 OC Collaborative Services Summit.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, Feb. 26<br /> 8 a.m. &ndash; Noon</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Costa Mesa Country Club<br /> 1701 Golf Course Dr.<br /> Costa Mesa, CA</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">OC LAFCO website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements26 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Utility Drought Response - What Works and Plans for 2015<p>Sponsored jointly by the California Department of Water Resources, the Southern California Water Committee and NWRI, this event focused on drought planning, response, and mitigation measures. Individuals from water agencies and other public and local organizations involved in drought response and planning efforts were invited to attend. The two-day program included talks by water resources professionals and academics from organizations throughout California.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speaker</b></p> <p>Kelly Salt: &ldquo;Panel Discussion: Retail Utility Drought Response &ndash; What Works and Plans for 2015&rdquo;</p> <p>Wednesday, Feb. 25<br /> 3:30 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong>:<br /> Atrium Hotel<br /> Irvine, Calif.</p> <p>For more information, visit the <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">NWRI website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements25 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Administrative Guide to Public Law: Applying California Law to Daily Procedure<div id="_mcePaste"> <p _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span _mce_style=" color: black; font-size: 10pt;">This half-day training will address the statutory duties of public agency filing officers, officials, and support staff including&nbsp;Form 700 Statements of Economic Interests (SEIs), conflict of interests codes, public meeting agendas, Public Records Act requests and more.</span></p> <p _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span _mce_style=" color: #00467f; font-size: 12pt;"><strong><strong>This informative&nbsp;training will discuss the Brown Act, the California Public Records Act and the Political Reform Act, identifying:</strong></strong></span></p> <ul _mce_style=" color: #000000; font-size: 10pt;" styleclass=" style_MainText"> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Legislative &amp; Regulatory Changes</li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">General Rules - What's Your Role? <ul> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left"><span _mce_style=" font-size: 10pt;">How to Respond to Requests</span></li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left"><span _mce_style=" font-size: 10pt;"><span _mce_style=" font-size: 10pt;">When to Involve Legal Counsel</span> </span></li> </ul> </li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Guidelines - Notices, Fines &amp; Waivers</li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Reviews - Facial vs. Full <ul> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">What to Look For</li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Common Errors/Misconceptions</li> </ul> </li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Public Access - Violations</li> </ul> <p align="left" _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; color: #00467f; font-size: 12pt;" styleclass=" style_ArticleTitle"><strong>Who should attend:</strong></p> <ul> <li align="left">Filing officers and their assistants<span _mce_style=" color: black; font-size: 10pt;">(includes board secretaries, city clerks, deputy city cerks, executive assistants, administration and anyone else handling these matters on a daily basis)</span> for: <ul> <li align="left">Cities</li> <li align="left">Counties</li> <li align="left">School Districts</li> <li align="left">Special Districts&nbsp;</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p align="left" _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; color: #00467f; font-size: 12pt;" styleclass=" style_ArticleTitle"><strong>When:<br /> </strong>Wednesday, Feb. 25<br /> 8:30 a.m. - Check-in and pastries<br /> 9 -&nbsp;Noon - Training<br /> <br /> <strong>Where:</strong><br /> The training will be held at <a shape="rect" target="_blank" _mce_style="color: #0000ff; text-decoration: underline;" _mce_href="" _mce_shape="rect" linktype="1" track="on" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K offices</span></a> throughout California. When you register&nbsp;indicate where you will attend the training.</p> <p align="left" _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; color: #00467f; font-size: 12pt;" styleclass=" style_ArticleTitle"><strong>Per Person Cost</strong>: $100<br /> Clients who&nbsp;are paid participants in the&nbsp;Pulic Policy &amp; Ethics Program will receive the discounted price of $75 per person.<br /> <br /> For more information or to register contact Jessy Asfahan at <a href=""><span style="color: #0000ff"></span></a>&nbsp;or 951-826-8212</p> </div>Seminars & Training25 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 on the Keys to a Successful P3<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Seth Merewitz moderated the panel &ldquo;Reflections on the Keys to a Successful P3 &ndash; Lessons Learned from Real Deals&rdquo; at the P3C Public-Private Partnership Conference &amp; Expo 2015 Feb. 23-25 in Dallas. There are proven &quot;keys to success&quot; to making a P3 project successful, regardless of the public partner or the project. Success requires more than value for money analysis, efficient capital deployment, operational expertise and innovative solutions. In this interactive session, attendees&nbsp;learned about the &quot;4P's Required Before the P3&quot; and other real world project-based reflections on what went well, what could have been done better and what was a failure.</p> <p><strong>When<br /> </strong>Monday, Feb. 23, 2015<br /> 4:45 &ndash; 6 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Sheraton Hotel Dallas</p> <p>For more information, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements23 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Good: Citing Older Decisions<p>Don&rsquo;t assume that an argument should be discarded because it is supported only an old case. For example, plaintiffs relied on <em>Stevens v. Los Angeles Dock &amp; Terminal Co.</em>, 20 Cal.App.743 (2d Dist. 1912), and defendant &nbsp;More-Gas first noted that <em>Stevens</em> is &ldquo;&rsquo;a 100 year old case that has never been cited by another California case.&rsquo;&rdquo; The court in <em>McGuire v. More-Gas Investments, LLC,</em> 220 Cal.App.4th 512, 526 (3d Dist. 2013), responded:</p> <p>That fact is of no significance. While it is true <em>Stevens</em> has never been cited by any published appellate decision in California, that does not undercut the validity of the reasoning in the case. Indeed, the principle applied in <em>Stevens</em> is well known in the common law, including here in California. An appellate court in New York that cited <em>Stevens</em> over 70 years ago succinctly articulated that principle as follows:</p> <p>As <em>McGuire</em> illustrates, age of a compelling case is not necessarily a matter of consequence.&nbsp; What are some ways to show why the case is compelling when it has never been cited by another California court?</p> <p>Other California cases may have reached the decision without citing the case.&nbsp; Use the headnotes and digest to locate them most easily.</p> <ul> <li>Courts in other states may have cited the case.&nbsp; Shepardizing or keyciting will produce this information, and you may want to do both as different results can occur.</li> <li>If there is a headnote or keynote number for the point decided in the case, use the regional digests or the decennial digest to locate other decisions on the point.&nbsp; For more on digests, see, e.g., <a href=";sid=1961818"><span style="color: #0000ff">;sid=1961818</span></a><span style="color: #0000ff">, </span><a href=""><span style="color: #0000ff"></span></a></li> <li>Is the case cited in significant treatises or in A.L.R. Annotations or elsewhere in respected legal materials?&nbsp; Their reliance on it bolsters its value and is independent argument for the point.</li> <li>Is there an analogy that opens the door to other cases?&nbsp; This may be the only case on the point in a mining context, but the same rule may apply in agriculture.</li> </ul> <p>Use your imagination.&nbsp; If you give up because the case is 100 years old, then it may be over.&nbsp; If so, the reason may be that you didn&rsquo;t try hard enough, not that you deserved to lose.<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><em>* This blog post was originally published in </em><a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>IMLA Appellate Practice Blog</em></span></a><em>,&nbsp;February 23, 2015. Republished with permission. Visit </em><a href=""><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)"><em></em></span></a> <em>to read additional IMLA Appellate Practice Blog posts and to subscribe by email.</em></p>Blogs23 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 in Law: Tug-of-War Over Changing Prop. 13 Remains Intense<p>BY MICHAEL GRANT</p> <p>A &ldquo;split roll&rdquo; might sound like something you would find in a bakery. But in fact, it is a real property tax concept that has been the subject of a tug-of-war since Proposition 13 was overwhelmingly passed by California voters in 1978.</p> <p>Proposition 13 capped assessed values for all California real estate at 1975 levels, with a maximum 2 percent increase per year. Reassessment to current values generally occurs only upon a &ldquo;change of ownership&rdquo; or if there is &ldquo;new construction&rdquo; (such as a room addition).</p> <p>Most California property owners have enjoyed the tax relief afforded by Proposition 13 and continue to support it. However, in the face of state budget shortfalls in recent years, a vocal minority continues to seek to reverse some or all of Proposition 13.</p> <p>One suggestion is to treat residential and commercial properties differently &mdash; a &ldquo;split tax roll.&rdquo; Under this approach, there would be no immediate change in assessed value or tax rates on residential property, but commercial property would be assessed at its current fair market value.</p> <p>Proponents estimate that revenues from increased commercial real estate property taxes would total between $10 billion and $12 billion per year.</p> <p>In recent years, dozens of bills have been introduced in Sacramento seeking to tighten perceived loopholes in the taxation of commercial properties, or to adopt the split roll and allow all commercial real estate to be assessed at its current fair market value. To date, Proposition 13 remains largely unchanged. The sides in this tug-of-war and the arguments of each are well-defined.</p> <p>Those who seek to adopt a split roll complain that commercial property owners can game the system by incrementally transferring fractional interests in commercial properties, resulting in a de facto change of ownership without reassessment. Commercial property owners, they say, are not paying their &ldquo;fair share.&rdquo; In their view, increased revenue is needed to fund schools and social safety net programs.</p> <p>Annual opinion polls conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California indicate that split roll proponents are predominately Democrats from coastal urban areas. Split roll legislation is often sponsored by public education and public employee organizations.</p> <p>Opponents of the split roll argue that it would have a negative effect. A 2012 study by the Pepperdine University Davenport Institute estimated a cost to the California economy of $71.8 billion and the loss of almost 400,000 jobs over the first five years.</p> <p>They maintain that commercial properties are already being assessed much closer to their market value than residential properties and that adoption of the split roll would significantly deepen the perception that California is &ldquo;anti-business.&rdquo; They charge that split roll proponents want to persuade the electorate to tax &ldquo;the other guy&rdquo; &mdash; in this case, supposedly rich commercial property owners.</p> <p>According to the PPIC poll, split roll opponents are predominately Republicans. Opponents include Chambers of Commerce, tax watchdog groups and business associations.</p> <p>Adoption of a split tax roll in California may continue to be difficult. It would require an amendment to the California Constitution, which in turn would require a successful voter initiative, in addition to passage by the Legislature.</p> <p>Proponents are undaunted, some expressing a desire to &ldquo;break Proposition 13&rsquo;s grip on the State&rsquo;s public finances&rdquo; (as the head of the California Tax Reform Association hopes to do) or, in the words of Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, to &ldquo;nuke Prop. 13.&rdquo;</p> <p>There are questions around a split roll: What constitutes &ldquo;commercial property?&rdquo; What about a mixed commercial and residential project? Or an apartment project or a co-op (in which there is a mixture of ownership and apartment characteristics)?</p> <p>Since many commercial leases are so-called &ldquo;triple net&rdquo; leases in which tenants pay all expenses (including property taxes), commercial tenants could experience significant rental expense increases. Even tenants under gross leases (in which property taxes are often factored into the base rent) could experience increased rental rates as higher taxes are eventually passed through.</p> <p>Despite an improving California economy, we can expect the &ldquo;split roll&rdquo; debate to continue.</p> <p><i>*This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">The Press-Enterprise</span></a> on Feb. 22, 2015. Republished with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News22 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 of Wireless Facilities<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Gerard Lederer, Gail Karish and Joseph Van Eaton, who is co-chair of the program, were among the speakers at the two-day Second Annual Comprehensive Conference on Legal Developments for &ldquo;Deployment of Local Wireless Facilities: New Technologies, New Federal and State Rules and Practical Strategies for Carriers and Local Governments.&rdquo; Law Seminars International also provided a live webcast of the event in Los Angeles.</p> <p>In October, the FCC adopted new rules that restrict local authority to control modification and expansion of existing wireless towers and base stations. Those rules were adopted in the face of market trends that suggest that mobile data traffic in 2017 will be 13 times what it is today &mdash; translating into requirements for thousands of new cell sites and cell site modification.</p> <p>This comprehensive conference introduced the legal, economic and outside design issues presented to local governments and private property owners by deployment and growth of mobile wireless services. The presentation included the changing business of mobile and wireless communications services and how that is changing the demand for and design of wireless facilities. The panelists reviewed the controlling state and federal regulations and recent statutes that define the rights of mobile service providers and their agents to site and to modify towers and antennas located on public and private property, and discussed how local governments can respond to the new FCC rules in ways that promote deployment and protect communities.</p> <p>BB&amp;K Speakers</p> <p><b>Joseph Van Eaton</b><br /> Thursday, Feb. 19, 8:30 a.m., &ldquo;Introduction to Day 1: New Infrastructure and Federal Regulatory Developments&rdquo;<br /> Thursday, Feb. 19, 1:30 p.m., &ldquo;Federal Regulatory Provisions Affecting Local Authority Over Wireless Siting&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Gail Karish</b><br /> Thursday, Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m., &ldquo;Demand for New Infrastructure: Changing Operational Plans for Public and Private Sector Players&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Gerard Lederer</b><br /> Friday, Feb. 20, 1:15 p.m., &ldquo;Trends in Private Sector Dealmaking for Carrier Access to Buildings and Other Structures: Keeping Up with New Technologies and the Need for More Robust Networks?&rdquo;</p> <p>When<br /> Feb. 19-20, 2015</p> <p>Where<br /> DoubleTree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown</p> <p>For more information, <a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">visit the Law Seminars International event page.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 of Debt Financing... So Many Moving Pieces<p>BB&amp;K Partner Kelly Salt presented &ldquo;Overview of Debt Financing&hellip; So Many Moving Pieces&rdquo; at the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers&rsquo; Annual Conference: The Changing Tides of California Finance, Feb. 17-20, 2015 in Monterey, Calif.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speaker</b></p> <p>Kelly Salt: &ldquo;Overview of Debt Financing&hellip; So Many Moving Pieces&rdquo;</p> <p>Thursday, Feb. 19<br /> 2:30 &ndash; 3:45 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where:<br /> </strong>Portola Hotel<br /> Monterey, Calif.</p> <p>To learn more, visit the <a target="_blank" href=";Action=Events&amp;Option=View&amp;GUID=A4BD0C0F-4040-BE2A-B1B1F4BD24DF6BEF"><span style="color: #0000ff">CSMFO website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Water Law<p>Roderick E. Walston, who is of counsel at Best Best &amp; Krieger, is co-chair of, and was a featured panelist at, CLE International&rsquo;s Western Water Law. During this two-day event, experts from around the West and the nation, who are actively shaping the direction of water supply and quality issues, shared their experience and insights into the myriad of complex and legal issues surrounding water in the West.</p> <p>These topics were addressed:</p> <ul> <li>Perspectives on Federal Water Policy</li> <li>Ethics and Water Law</li> <li>Western Water Law Recap</li> <li>Federal Reserved Water Rights: Overview and Current Status</li> <li>Does the Reserved Rights Doctrine Apply to Groundwater?</li> <li>The Dispute Over the Rio Grande: Texas v. New Mexico</li> <li>California Adopts Groundbreaking Groundwater Legislation</li> <li>Regulation of Groundwater and Surface Water in Arizona</li> <li>How Are Western States Managing Water Supplies</li> <li>Federal Permitting and River Management</li> <li>Climate Change</li> <li>Water and Energy Development in Wyoming</li> <li>Endangered Species Act Issues: Delta Litigation in California</li> <li>Developments on the Clean Water Act</li> </ul> <p>Rod spoke on a panel titled &ldquo;Federal Reserved Water Rights&rdquo; on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015 at 1:45 p.m.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, Feb. 19 &ndash; Friday, Feb. 20</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> The Westin San Diego</p> <p>For more information, visit the CLE event page by <a target="_blank" href=";src=Featured&amp;page=Western_Water_Law"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Attorneys Garner Top Verdict Recognition<p><b>IRVINE, Calif.</b> &ndash; Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Jeffrey V. Dunn, Thomas J. Eastmond and Steven C. DeBaun were recognized by the <i>Daily Journal</i> for having one of the Top Plaintiffs&rsquo; Verdicts by Impact in 2014. The legal journal&rsquo;s editors selected <i>Western Riverside Council of Governments v. City of Beaumont </i>as one of the top 10 verdicts in California last year because of its larger significance on society &mdash; not just the dollar amount awarded.</p> <p>After a four-week trial, an Orange County Superior Court judge ruled against the City of Beaumont and ordered it to pay nearly $43 million in withheld fees and more than $14 million in prejudgment interest for failing to comply with its municipal ordinance requiring it to collect and remit transportation impact fees to WRCOG. The impact fees are part of the Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee (TUMF) Program administered by WRCOG. Under the TUMF Program, impact fees collected from new development in western Riverside County are remitted to WRCOG and allocated to build new transportation infrastructure to mitigate the impact of development on the regional transportation system.</p> <p>The BB&amp;K attorneys provided evidence that Beaumont failed to comply with its TUMF obligations and, instead, created both tax and traffic burdens on Beaumont&rsquo;s own residents. The court found that&ldquo; the evidence shows poor local transportation planning and execution.&rdquo; The court went on to conclude that &ldquo;[t]he evidence and testimony reveals that city management and staff engaged in a pattern and practice of deception that transcends the typical give-and-take of dispute negotiation. Had this been a typical civil trial I would have found fraud by clear and convincing evidence as against the city.&rdquo;</p> <p>The case is now on appeal.</p> <p>In a special Top Verdicts supplement to the<span style="color: #0000ff"> </span><span style="color: #0000ff"><i><a target="_blank" href=""><span style="color: #0000ff">Daily Journal</span></a></i></span>, the editors wrote, &ldquo;Some of the work honored in this issue garnered national headlines. Others got little attention outside of legal circles. In every case, the attorneys demonstrated that excellent trial work remains a prized skill.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: center">###</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 <a target="_blank" href=""><font color="#0000ff"></font></a> or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</i>Press Releases18 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800 Associate - Ontario Office<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">We have an immediate opening for an associate with 3 to 5 years of municipal and business litigation experience. Experience with probate litigation a plus.&nbsp; </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.<br /> <br /> </span></span><a target="_blank" href=";%3db8=8_CG"><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"></span></span></a></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Please address your cover letter to:<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 /> <em><br /> <strong><em><strong>No phone calls or emails&nbsp;please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></strong></em></span></span></p>Job Openings at BB&K17 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800