Best Best & Krieger News Feedhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=39&format=xml&directive=0&stylesheet=rss&records=50Best Best and Krieger is a Full Service Law Firmen-us22 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssHow the FCC's New Wireless Facility Rules Impact California Citieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34820&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney Matthew Schettenhelm will present &ldquo;How the FCC&rsquo;s New Wireless Facility Rules Impact California Cities&rdquo; at the League of California Cities&rsquo; City Attorneys&rsquo; Spring Conference in Monterey, Calif. The presentation will discuss the FCC&rsquo;s new wireless facility rules, how they affect California cities and what California cities can do in response.</p> <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="http://www.cacities.org/Education-Events/City-Attorneys-Spring-Conference"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements06 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34820&format=xmlCalifornia Land Use Law & Policyhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37112&format=xml<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? Include 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="http://images.magnetmail.net/images/clients/ARGENT/attach/CLUconf2015.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>. To register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.registrationheadquarters.com/events/?1e8d5c72f0d3403fb911a1f2593ad72ea&amp;mmurlid=63143569"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements09 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37112&format=xmlGroundwater Regulation and Management in Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35962&format=xml<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 AB 3030 Planning 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 /> Tsakopoulos Library Galleria<br /> 828 I St.<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814</p> For more information or to register, please visit Law Seminars International by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=15WATCA"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here.</span></a>Conferences & Speaking Engagements02 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35962&format=xmlAn Administrative Guide to Public Law: Applying California Law to Daily Procedurehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36084&format=xml<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 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 - 11:30 a.m. - 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;" track="on" linktype="1" _mce_shape="rect" _mce_href="http://www.bbklaw.com/offices" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/offices"><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="mailto:Jessy.Asfahan@BBKlaw.com?subject=BB%26K%20Training%3A%20An%20Administrative%20Guide%20to%20Public%20Law"><span style="color: #0000ff">Jessy.Asfahan@BBKlaw.com</span></a>&nbsp;or 951-826-8212</p> </div>Seminars & Training25 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36084&format=xmlReflections on the Keys to a Successful P3http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36305&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Seth Merewitz is moderating 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 you will learn 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 or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://thep3conference.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements23 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36305&format=xmlDeployment of Wireless Facilitieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36321&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Gerard Lederer, Gail Karish and Joseph Van Eaton, who is co-chair of the program, are 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 will also be providing 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 will introduce the legal, economic and outside design issues presented to local governments and private property owners by deployment and growth of mobile wireless services. We will consider the changing business of mobile and wireless communications services and how that is changing the demand for and design of wireless facilities. The panelists will review 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 discuss 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 or to register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=15TINCA"><span style="color: #0000ff">visit the Law Seminars International event page.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36321&format=xmlWestern Water Lawhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35561&format=xml<p>Roderick E. Walston, who is of counsel at Best Best &amp; Krieger, is co-chair of, and 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, will share their experience and insights into the myriad of complex and legal issues surrounding water in the West.</p> <p>These topics will be 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 will be speaking 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 or to register, visit the CLE event page by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cle.com/product.php?proid=1502&amp;src=Featured&amp;page=Western_Water_Law"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35561&format=xmlAdapting to Changing Water Supplieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35229&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Partner Joseph P. Byrne, who is also chair of the California Water Commission, is speaking on a panel titled &ldquo;Adapting to Changing Water Supplies&rdquo; during The Seminar Group&rsquo;s one-day event, &ldquo;Preparing for Climate Change &ndash; New Regulations and New Litigation.&rdquo; The panel will include discussions on:</p> <ul> <li>Permitting growth in times of drought</li> <li>Impacts of changing water levels</li> <li>Water rights transfers</li> <li>Water for municipalities</li> <li>Water for agriculture</li> <li>Water for utilities</li> <li>Water System: How it works from a state-wide perspective</li> <li>Drought: What people are doing to deal with it</li> <li>Water Bond</li> <li>Impacts on Development</li> </ul> <p>BB&amp;K Guests can receive $100 off the seminar rate by calling (206) 463-4400 and mentioning the code &ldquo;FAC100.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>When</strong></p> <p>Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015<br /> Conference: 9 a.m. &ndash; 5 p.m.<br /> Panel: 1:45 - 2:45 p.m.</p> <p>Where<br /> Le Meridien San Francisco<br /> 333 Battery St.<br /> San Francisco, CA<br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href="/?t=18&amp;dd=7527"><span style="color: #0000ff">Click here</span></a> to see the conference brochure (.pdf).</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements11 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35229&format=xmlNew Labor Laws 2015http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36304&format=xmlBest Best &amp; Krieger&nbsp;partner Joseph Ortiz will&nbsp;discuss &quot;New Labor Laws 2015&quot; as a part of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce's Busniess Seminar Series.&nbsp;The seminar will focus on how to prevent workplace lawsuits and cover a range of topics from mimmim wage, workers compensation and more.<br /> <br /> <strong>When:</strong><br /> Friday, Jan. 30<br /> 7:30- 9 a.m.<br /> <br /> For more information or to register visit the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce's website by clicking <a target="_blank" href="http://riverside-chamber.com/chamcart/index.cfm?categoryid=3"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements30 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36304&format=xmlVape & Mirrors: The Legal Issues Concerning e-Cigarettes for Municipalitieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36185&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP&nbsp;of counsel Tamara Bogosian and associate&nbsp;Andrew D. Maiorano will present &ldquo;Vape &amp; Mirrors: The Legal Issues Concerning e-Cigarettes for Municipalities.&rdquo; The IMLA webinar will provide an in-depth discussion regarding electronic cigarettes, including what they are; present and future regulation of their use at the federal, state and local levels; arguments for and against their use; enforcement tools; and emerging legal issues concerning the devices.</p> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015<br /> 10 a.m. PST</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/webinars/2015-calendar"><span style="color: #0000ff">IMLA website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36185&format=xmlCourt Holds Transfer of Electric Utility Revenues to City's General Fund Through Annual Budget Approval is a Tax under Prop. 26http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37327&format=xml<p>A city&rsquo;s annual budget transfer from its electric utility to its general fund, referred to as a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT), is a tax under Proposition 26 &mdash; unless the city can demonstrate the amount collected does not exceed the reasonable costs to the city of providing electric service, the California Court of Appeal has decided. The court rejected the City of Redding&rsquo;s argument that the PILOT is grandfathered-in because the practice of imposing it preceded the adoption of Proposition 26.</p> <p>Redding operates an electric utility. The City&rsquo;s electric utility revenues are accounted for separately from the City&rsquo;s general fund revenues. Because the electric utility is municipally owned, its real property is not subject to a 1 percent ad valorem tax. The City makes an annual budget transfer from its electric utility fund to its general fund. The annual transfer (i.e., the PILOT) is established at a rate to equate as nearly as practicable to the tax a private utility would have to pay the City in ad valorem taxes. The PILOT is not established by ordinance, but is part of the City&rsquo;s biennial budget.</p> <p>Approved by the voters in November 2010, Proposition 26 amended provisions of article XIII C of the California Constitution governing the imposition of local government taxes by providing a new definition of the term &ldquo;tax.&rdquo; For local governments, this narrow definition defines &ldquo;tax&rdquo; to mean any levy, charge or exaction of any kind imposed by a local government, except for seven specifically identified exceptions. As a consequence, fees and charges that do not fall within one of the seven exceptions are redefined as taxes and subject to voter approval. Proposition 26 shifted to local agencies the burden of demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., that it is more likely than not) that a fee is not a tax.</p> <p>In December 2010, the City approved a rate increase to its electric service fees and the PILOT. A group of citizens challenged the City&rsquo;s PILOT as a tax. They asserted that, because the PILOT is not attributable to any costs incurred by the utility or the City for providing electric service, it exceeded the cost of providing the service and is a tax within the meaning of Proposition 26. The City argued that: (1) Proposition 26 was not retroactive and therefore did not apply to the PILOT; (2) the electric service fees are not fees &ldquo;imposed&rdquo; by the City because any customer was free to provide their own service and (3) an electric utility charge is not a tax within the meaning of Government Code sections 53720-53730 (approved by voters by Proposition 62) requiring a two-thirds voter approval.</p> <p>The trial court held that: (1) the PILOT predated Proposition 26 and therefore was immune from a Proposition 26 challenge as a tax and (2) even if the PILOT fell within Proposition 26&rsquo;s ambit, it could reasonably be argued the PILOT reflected a reasonable cost of service.</p> <p>The Court of Appeal found that, because the PILOT was calculated as a flat percentage of the utility&rsquo;s assets, it was not designed to approximate the reasonable costs of providing electric service. While the City may recover costs that its general fund incurs on behalf of the utility, the court found that there was no showing that the PILOT coincides with those costs. The appellate court also rejected the City&rsquo;s argument that the electric service fees are not imposed, finding that a tax does not lose its revenue-generating character because there is a theoretical, but unrealistic way, to escape the tax. The court held that PILOT is a tax within the meaning of Proposition 26 unless the City can prove the amount collected is necessary to cover the reasonable costs to the City of providing electric service. Because the trial court concluded that the PILOT does not exceed the reasonable cost of providing electric service, the Court of Appeal remanded the case back to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing in which Redding may prove that the PILOT does not exceed the reasonable costs to the City.</p> <p>In addressing whether the PILOT was grandfathered-in by Proposition 26, the court took particular note of the fact that the PILOT was not adopted prior to Proposition 26 by a separate ordinance or law, but was calculated with each biennial budget according to a formula approved by the City Council. As a budget line item, the PILOT is subject to annual discretionary reauthorization by each City Council. Consequently, the court concluded that the PILOT cannot be deemed grandfathered-in as preceding the adoption of Proposition 26. Because it was not grandfathered-in, it must be cost justified.</p> <p>If you have any questions about this case or how it may impact your agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed to the right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=497&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Finance practice group</span></a>, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts22 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37327&format=xmlEmployers Should Prepare Now for Sick Leave Changeshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37314&format=xml<p>One of the most talked about new laws of 2015 is AB 1552, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act. Learn more about it in an article in the Los Angeles Business Journal by Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Cynthia Germano by <span style="color: #0000ff"><a href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/L&amp;E LABJ Article and Ad.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span> </a></span><span>(.pdf).</span></p>BB&K In The News19 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37314&format=xmlHigh Court Reaffirms Local Government's Authority in Denials of Applications for Cell Towershttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37115&format=xml<p>A local government need not state the reasons for its denial of a new cell-tower application in its written decision, so long as its reasons are also available in a written record released at roughly the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court held in <i>T-Mobile South v. City of Roswell, Georgia</i>.</p> <p>Although the cell-tower industry may claim victory because the Court imposed a new narrow requirement that the two documents be published roughly contemporaneously, the decision &nbsp;is likely to be viewed as a positive for local governments. Each of the justices agreed that local governments need not set forth its reasons in its decision and each affirmed that Congress preempted local government authority under 47 U.S.C. section 332(c)(7) in only narrow respects.</p> <p>In this case, Roswell held a public hearing to consider an application by T-Mobile to build a cellphone tower on residential property. During the hearing, several councilmembers expressed concerns about the tower&rsquo;s impact on the area, and the hearing ended with the Council unanimously voting to deny the application. Two days later, the City&rsquo;s Planning and Zoning Division informed T-Mobile by letter that the application was denied and that minutes from the hearing would be made available &mdash; but those minutes were not published until 26 days later. T-Mobile filed suit alleging the denial was not supported by substantial evidence in the record, as required by federal law.</p> <p>The district court concluded that the City, by failing to issue a written decision stating its reasons for denying the application, had violated the Telecommunications Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit found that the requirements of the Act were satisfied because T-Mobile received a denial letter and possessed a transcript of the hearing outlining the basis for the denial. The Supreme Court affirmed that the law permits localities to deny an application for a cell tower in two separate documents, as was the case in Roswell, but that the delay of 26 days prejudiced the applicant&rsquo;s ability to bring a judicial challenge in the 30 days&rsquo; timeframe provided by the Telecommunications Act.</p> <p><i>Roswell&rsquo;s</i> lesson to local governments is that, while being mindful of any state or federal shot clock for action, no denial of a cell tower application should be issued until the document providing the substantial evidence for the denial is complete.</p> <p>For more information on the opinion and how to ensure that your community&rsquo;s practices are consistent, please contact the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=456&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Telecommunications Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i>Legal Alerts15 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37115&format=xmlLegislative Water Updatehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37088&format=xml<p>A number of conversations are occurring in the U.S. House of Representatives, and between the House and the U.S. Senate (particularly Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford, Calif.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.)) to reintroduce a version of last year's drought legislation (<a target="_blank" href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/5781"><span style="color: #0000ff">H.R. 5781</span></a>). The key short-term issue is providing flexibility under the Endangered Species Act, the biological opinions for the Delta Smelt and the winter run salmon. This flexibility would take the form of increased pumping at certain times of year. The two biological opinions, respectively on the smelt, from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the salmon, from the National Marine Fisheries Service, were litigated, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up the smelt case. The opinions are very prescriptive and severe about when pumping can occur from the Delta for conveyance to the South Bay, Central Coast, Central Valley and Southern California. A specific legislative solution amending the Endangered Species Act or directing how the Act would be applied in certain circumstances is likely to be extremely controversial and challenging to accomplish, so any bill will have to try to work through those constraints.The conversations also include Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona, Calif.), who wants to make sure that the stormwater flows can be integrated.</p> <p>One of the difficulties with this new approach is that it targets only California, and does not address any issues that may be problematic for other Western states. Since California only has two senators, despite such a large population, any bill will be difficult in the Senate. A broader bill dealing with other Western issues would be more likely to succeed, since it could gain more support in the Senate. Therefore, other issues may be taken up in the context of this bill, or separately, including facilitating storage projects and expediting permitting processes.This may potentially encompass some of the provisions of the recently introduced &ldquo;<a target="_blank" href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/291?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22H.R+291%22%5D%7D"><span style="color: #0000ff">Water in the 21st Century Act&mdash;H.R 291</span></a>,&rdquo; although the funding would be problematic. Congress could provide some matching funds for state development programs. In fact, it could be that Congress will use this opportunity to develop drought legislation that applies to all Western states, including Texas.</p> <p>All of these issues are being considered by the key players, including the new chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), and the new chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). If a larger bill emerges, it could be an opportunity for municipalities and agencies to solve any number of problems, including funding, contracts, permitting and other legislative and regulatory matters.</p> <p>BB&amp;K&rsquo;s Washington D.C. office is following these conversations closely and is available to answer any questions. For more information or to discuss any possible implications for your agency, please contact the author of this legal alert in the firm&rsquo;s <span style="color: #0033ff"><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=2487&amp;format=xml">Government Relations&nbsp;Services</a></span>&nbsp;practice group listed at the right, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i>Legal Alerts15 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37088&format=xmlSupreme Court Sides with T-Mobile in Tower Siting Case, Over Roberts Dissenthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37108&format=xml<p>In a closely-watched case, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that a local government need not state the reasons for its denial of a new cell-tower application in its written decision, so long as its reasons are also available in a written record released at roughly the same time.</p> <p>Although the cell-tower industry may claim victory in <i>T-Mobile South v. City of Roswell, Georgia</i> because the Court imposed a new narrow requirement that the two documents be published roughly contemporaneously, the decision is likely to be viewed as a positive for local governments.</p> <p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Gerard Lederer told&nbsp;<em><span style="color: #0000ff"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.warren-news.com/telecomservices.htm"><span style="color: #0000ff">Communications Daily</span></a></span></em>&nbsp;(subscription required) in an article published Thursday: &ldquo;While local governments are disappointed that the majority in Roswell created a new obligation of roughly contemporaneous publication, we are pleased the all nine justices clarified that the documents may be separate&hellip;.</p> <p>&ldquo;Moreover, the directive that courts should provide a great deal of deference to local governments&rsquo; decisions in these matters can be found in the majority opinion and is highlighted<span style="display: none" id="1421351967019E">&nbsp;</span>&rdquo; in the separate opinions, he added. &ldquo;It is a Pyrrhic victory at best. I suspect elements of the <em>Roswell</em> decision will be cited more often by local government advocates than industry counsel for years to come.&rdquo;</p> <p>Gerry made similar comments in an article published Wednesday by <font color="#0000ff"><em><a href="http://www.tr.com/online/trd/2015/td011415/index.htm"><span style="color: #0000ff">Telecommunications Reports</span></a> </em></font><font color="#000000">(subscription required).</font><em>&nbsp;</em></p>BB&K In The News15 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37108&format=xmlTelecommunications 101http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36320&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Gail Karish was among the speakers at &ldquo;Telecommunications 101&rdquo; at the States of California &amp; Nevada Chapter meeting of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors. At this presentation, attendees learned about all things telecommunications law for local government professionals &mdash; both in the area of wireless facilities and in cable/video franchises. The earliest regulation of the placement of telegraph lines in California in 1850, all the way to recent developments, such as the FCC&rsquo;s recent report and order regarding wireless facilities and the California Court of Appeal&rsquo;s decision giving guidance on the proper use of PEG fees was discussed.<br /> <br /> To see Gail's presentation for this event click <a target="_blank" href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/SCAN Telecom 101 Current Legal Issues Affecting Telecommunications.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015<br /> 9 a.m. &ndash; Noon</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Pasadena City Hall Council Chambers<br /> 100 N. Garfield Ave., Room S-249<br /> Pasadena, CA 91101</p> <p>For more information about the event and SCAN NATOA, <a target="_blank" href="http://scannatoa.org/calendar.html#Telecom101"><span style="color: #0000ff">visit their page here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements15 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36320&format=xmlRoadway and Transit Rights of Way: Understanding the Legal and Practical Issueshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34523&format=xml<p>Avoid and identify pitfalls that can delay or sidetrack right of way acquisition.</p> <p>Acquiring rights of way for roadway and transit projects can be stressful and high stakes. Timely and cost effective project delivery is critical to any roadway or transit project's success. Delay in acquiring just one parcel can have ripple effects that may jeopardize funding and contract deadlines for the entire project. We will include an overview of compliance with federal property acquisition and relocation requirements, environmental regulations and review, legal descriptions, title work, appraisal, and the eminent domain process from the agency board room to the court room as well as teach you the do's and don'ts of right of way acquisition.</p> <p>BB&amp;K partners <b>James B. Gilpin</b> and <b>Kendall H. MacVey&nbsp;</b>and associate <strong>Jamey Wyman</strong>&nbsp;will be speaking during this live webinar.</p> <p><b>When</b><br /> Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015<br /> 10 &ndash; 11:30 a.m. PST</p> <p>BB&amp;K guests receive 50 percent off registration.<br /> Register online: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lorman.com/390243?discount_code=T3775205&amp;p=15999"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.lorman.com/390243?discount_code=T3775205&amp;p=15999</span></a><span style="color: #0000ff"><br /> </span>Call: 866-352-9539<br /> Discount code: T3775205<br /> Priority code: 15999</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements15 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34523&format=xmlOn Behalf of Coachella, BB&K Attorneys Win Appealhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37084&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Kira Klatchko and Irene Zurko obtained a full reversal on appeal on behalf of the City of Coachella. The City sued a subdivider and its surety,&nbsp;after the subdivider refused to complete public improvements that it promised to construct on a subdivision site and&nbsp;the surety&nbsp;refused to make good on the bond securing completion of the work.</p> <p>Although the City granted&nbsp;the subdivider&nbsp;more time to complete the improvements,&nbsp;the surety asserted that, because the City did not properly extend&nbsp;the subdivider's&nbsp;deadline, the City&rsquo;s action was untimely and&nbsp;the&nbsp;surety&nbsp;had no obligation on the bond. The trial court ruled in favor of the surety, dismissing the City&rsquo;s case at the demurrer stage. The Court of Appeal reversed in full, however, concluding in an unpublished opinion&nbsp;that the City&rsquo;s action was not on its face barred by the statute of limitations. The Court concluded that the City was not required, at the pleadings stage, to allege (or provide proof of) how the City Council granted&nbsp;the subdivider&nbsp;the extension.</p>Client Successes14 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37084&format=xmlBB&K Police Bulletin: California Court of Appeal Clarifies Eleventh Amendment Immunity for State Officialshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37069&format=xml<p><b>Overview</b>: The California Court of Appeal clarified that the Eleventh Amendment immunity does not apply in civil rights actions brought in California courts. As a result, state officials will no longer be asserting Eleventh Amendment immunity in state court cases. Therefore, the only categorical defense available for state officials in civil rights actions is that the official is not a &ldquo;person&rdquo; under Section 1983, and thus not subject to suit at all.</p> <p><b>Training Points: </b>This ruling may affect the manner in which law enforcement agencies approach suits under Section 1983, a statute allowing litigants to file civil actions for deprivations of their constitutional rights. Whether an individual officer is subject to suit under 1983 will depend on whether they were acting in an official capacity or in a personal capacity at the time of the alleged conduct. If they were acting in their personal capacity, they will be subject to liability.</p> <p><b>Summary Analysis</b>: In <i>Pierce v. San Mateo County Sheriff&rsquo;s Department</i>, Pierce filed a civil rights action under Section 1983 against the San Mateo County Sheriff&rsquo;s Department and individual members of the department alleging violations of her Fourth Amendment rights. Specifically, Pierce alleged the San Mateo County Sheriff&rsquo;s Gang Task Force conducted a warrantless search of her home. She further alleged the deputies conducted a probation search of another individual, who was not a resident of her home or on probation at the time the search was conducted. The County was successful in having the case against it dismissed. On appeal, the court affirmed the dismissal against the County but reversed as to the individual deputies.</p> <p>The appellate court referenced California Supreme Court decision <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lawlink.com/research/CaseLevel3/10811"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>Venegas v. County of Los Angeles</i></span></a>&nbsp;which clarified the basis and rationale for dismissal of the County, but not the individual deputies. In <i>Venegas </i>the California Supreme Court addressed the question of whether a sheriff acts on behalf of the state or county when conducting a criminal investigation. This question is critical since <i>state</i> officials are not considered &ldquo;persons&rdquo; under 1983, however <i>local</i> officials are. The court in <i>Venegas</i> held that sheriffs conducting a criminal investigation are state officials and not subject to suit under 1983.</p> <p>The appellate court in <i>Pierce</i> reaffirmed that a &ldquo;state officer&rdquo; -- in this case the Sheriff and the Sheriff&rsquo;s Department -- is not liable to suit under Section 1983 because as a state officer, he or she represents the &ldquo;sovereign&rdquo; (state). However, a deputy acting in his personal capacity is a &ldquo;person&rdquo; and subject to suit under 1983. In those cases, such a defendant may assert &ldquo;qualified immunity&rdquo; based on a good faith belief that his actions were constitutionally permissible.</p> <p>Consistent with this holding, the appellate court found that the trial court erred in dismissing Pierce&rsquo;s claim against the individual deputies. The case was remanded for a determination whether Pierce sufficiently stated a claim that the officers were acting in a personal capacity at the time of the alleged conduct and whether they had qualified immunity.</p> <p>For more information regarding this case or its implications for your agency or public safety department, please contact one of the attorney authors of this bulletin listed at the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=2532&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Safety</span></a> group, our your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i>Legal Alerts14 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37069&format=xmlConflict Analysthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37063&format=xml<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">The Conflict Analyst is a hands on position responsible for accurately and timely running conflicts search requests and updating the conflict database with search criteria. The goal is to ensure we have searched, reviewed and updated the database with all potential conflicts and utilize internal expertise to support the requests.</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 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 href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG"><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</span></span></a><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><br /> </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Please address your cover letter to:</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Debbie Prior</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><em>No phone calls or emails please</em><br /> <br /> <i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></span></span></p>Job Openings at BB&K13 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37063&format=xmlFive Tips for Successful Police Leadership in 2015http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37285&format=xml<p>The beginning of a new year provides a good opportunity to reflect upon the prior year and identify key strategic goals for the coming year. This process, as we know it, is commonly referred to as &ldquo;making new year&rsquo;s resolutions.&rdquo;</p> <p>Most often, resolutions are of a personal nature: lose weight, go to the gym more often, save money and spend more time with the family. But what about leadership resolutions?</p> <p>According to a 2014 study by the University of Scranton published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, about 40 percent of Americans make New Year&rsquo;s resolutions, but only eight percent actually keep them. The translation here is that statically, even the most well-intended resolution-makers do not follow through. But law enforcement leaders are not easily deterred from anything at anytime. Here are five suggested leadership resolutions (in no particular ranking order) for law enforcement in 2015.</p> <p>1. Mentoring</p> <p>Mentoring has been the buzzword in leadership circles for the past decade or so. Every good police leader understands the concept, but few actually implement it. Now is a good time to embrace mentoring with your agency.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p><i>To read the full article on PoliceOne.com, which ran Jan. 13, 2015, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.policeone.com/police-leader/articles/8116440-5-tips-for-successful-police-leadership-in-2015/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News13 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37285&format=xmlCalif. Real-World Training Rules May Spark National Trendhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37082&format=xml<p>By Gavin Broady</p> <p>As young lawyers continue to face a punishing job market, California is poised to implement a bold set of competency requirements tying bar admission to significant real-world training and pro bono work, a move that many states are likely to follow but that some experts worry will do more harm than good.</p> <p>The first-of-its-kind initiative, spearheaded by the state bar's task force on admissions regulation reform, is designed to close a perceived gap between law school education and the obligations of real-world practice by requiring either 15 units of law school course work focused on practical skills training or equivalent post-graduate work in externships, clerkships or apprenticeships.</p> <p>New attorneys seeking admission to the 242,000-member California bar would also be required to log 50 hours of legal work for pro bono or modest means clients, as well as 10 hours of mandatory, post-admission training focused on lawyer competency skills.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>The admissions requirements may also have benefits for young attorneys beyond increased marketability in a tough job climate, according to <a target="_blank" href="https://www.law360.com/firms/best-best"><span style="color: #0000ff">Best Best &amp; Krieger</span></a> partner Richard Egger, who sees big-picture value in requiring new lawyers to take on pro bono projects.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;At the end of the day, it&rsquo;s a way for people to gain some more basic skills, but at the same time they&rsquo;re gaining an understanding that law as a profession does have some component of service to the community,&rdquo; Egger said. &ldquo;Having that requirement early might help instill a sense of civic responsibility in young lawyers, and that&rsquo;s not a bad thing.&rdquo;</p> <i>To read the full article in Law360, which ran Jan. 9, 2015, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.law360.com/articles/594258/calif-real-world-training-rules-may-spark-national-trend"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a> (subscription required).</i>BB&K In The News09 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37082&format=xmlLocal Agencies that Can Recover Fees Through Prop 218 Process are Ineligible for State Reimbursementshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36103&format=xml<p>Several agricultural water suppliers seeking reimbursement for state-mandated activities under the Water Conservation Act of 2009 are ineligible to receive state funding, the Commission on State Mandates has decided. The decision, released in early December, states that the suppliers are ineligible because they have the option to recover costs through the Proposition 218 process. The Commission also held that any local government entity that is funded exclusively through user fees, charges or assessments are <i>per se</i> ineligible for state mandate reimbursement.</p> <p>This decision marks an unprecedented position by exempting from reimbursement a majority of local agencies who have the <i>ability </i>to impose fees and recover costs &mdash; regardless of the potential obstacles in raising fees through the Proposition 218 process. Further, the Commission affirmed that only local agencies that receive property taxes are eligible to receive reimbursement for state-mandated programs. The Commission&rsquo;s ruling regarding an agency&rsquo;s ability to collect property taxes as a prerequisite to receiving state reimbursement is similarly broad sweeping, and affects a large number of special districts as well as other local agencies that do not receive property taxes.</p> <p>The Commission&rsquo;s reasoning relied on two main arguments. First, the Commission adhered to the California Supreme Court case <i>County of Fresno v. State of California</i>, which predates Proposition 218 and provides that state reimbursement is limited to only those local agencies subject to the tax and spend limits of Articles XIII A and XIII B of the California Constitution. Second, the Commission departed from its prior decision in <i>Discharge of Stormwater Runoff, </i>finding instead that Proposition 218 was not a legal impediment to an agency&rsquo;s ability to raise fees to cover costs associated with complying with the state mandate. The Commission created a distinction between inquiring into whether an agency possessed fee authority, and inquiring into the <i>sufficiency </i>of an agency&rsquo;s fee authority. The Commission ruled it was only concerned with the former &mdash; the latter was a factual inquiry. Rather, the Commission held that claimants would need to first try, and fail, to impose the necessary fees under Proposition 218 before they could demonstrate state mandated costs.</p> <p>Based on this decision, local agencies mandated by new legislation to perform a new program or higher level of service may be ineligible for state reimbursement. The Commission&rsquo;s decision could result in a denial of state reimbursement to local agencies in two different ways. First, it may be denied state reimbursement for new legislation whose costs could be covered through Proposition 218 fees, regardless of whether those fees are in place. Second, the Commission continued to extend its ruling that local agencies that are not funded through property taxes are not eligible for state reimbursement.</p> <p>If you have questions about this decision or how it will affect agency, please contact the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts08 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36103&format=xmlBB&K Police Bulletin: Burden of Proof on Government in Request for Return of Property Not Considered Contrabandhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36153&format=xml<p><b>Overview: </b>The Ninth Circuit recently held that, once a criminal investigation or prosecution is completed, the government bears the burden of proof to demonstrate that there exists &ldquo;legitimate reason&rdquo; for retaining property seized from an individual &mdash; here, a computer that contained child pornography.</p> <p><b>Training Points:</b> When a motion for return of property is made before an indictment is filed, it is important to remember that the defendant must prove that the property&rsquo;s seizure was illegal and that he or she is entitled to its return. However, this burden of proof shifts to the government agency when the property is no longer needed for evidentiary purposes because the trial is complete, the defendant has plead guilty or the government has abandoned its investigation. At that point, the defendant is presumed to have a right to a return of the property and the government bears the burden of demonstrating it has a legitimate reason to retain, rather than return, the property. To meet this burden, the agency must be able to show that returning the property would be difficult or costly, or that it has another reason beyond its use as evidence in an open case.</p> <p>Regardless of the agency&rsquo;s reason, it must provide evidence to support its argument. Agencies should consider the circumstances on a case-by-case basis to determine if there is a reasonable justification to retain the property, and if evidence can be provided to support that reason. While obvious contraband &mdash; like illegal weapons, drugs and the child pornography in this case &mdash; need never be returned, all other property must presumptively be given back to the owner after the case has concluded. However, agencies may have very good reasons to retain the property. For example, public safety and rehabilitation may qualify as rationale for opposing the return of property. Law enforcement may consider assistance from the probation department regarding the return of an offender&rsquo;s property, particularly during the term of probation. Another option would be to argue against returning the property directly to the offender, and rather return it to a family member or other responsible person.</p> <p><b>Summary Analysis: </b>In <i>United States v. Gladding</i>, after defendant Gladding pled guilty to receipt or distribution of child pornography, he filed a request for the return of computer files that were not considered to be contraband. While the defendant conceded that the computers and electronic storage devices in question were forfeited, he requested the government return his personal emails and family photos contained on his computer that were not associated or linked to the material considered to be contraband.</p> <p>The government claimed that segregating contraband from noncontraband files would be both difficult and time consuming. The Court of Appeal held that, since the government failed to submit any evidence supporting its position, it failed to meet its burden to prove that it had a &ldquo;legitimate reason&rdquo; for not returning the files. The court emphasized that the difficulty and cost of segregating data can be a legitimate reason for the government to retain a defendant&rsquo;s property; however, the government must produce evidence that has a tendency to show its cost concerns are reasonable under the circumstances. Because the government did not submit any supporting evidence for its assertion that returning the property would be difficult or cost consuming, it did not meet that burden here, the court ruled.</p> <p>The court provided several alternatives to a government agency that has received such a request, including requiring the defendant to pay the costs of segregation or providing the defendant with a printed directory of all files so a more detailed request for specific items can be made.</p> <p><b>Follow-Up Contact: </b>For more information regarding this case or its implications, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=2532&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Safety practice group</span></a>, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <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 Alerts08 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36153&format=xmlTwo BB&K Attorneys Named Partnershttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36184&format=xml<p><b>LOS ANGELES AND WASHINGTON D.C.</b>&nbsp;- Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP promoted two attorneys, the law firm announced today. Andre Monette, who focuses on water law in the firm&rsquo;s Washington, D.C. office, and Gail A. Karish, a telecommunications law attorney in the Los Angeles office, were named the newest partners.</p> <p>&ldquo;Both Andre and Gail representative &nbsp;of the diverse talents and skills BB&amp;K attorneys bring to their clients,&rdquo; said Managing Partner Eric Garner. &ldquo;They are recognized leaders who each have substantial experience in their practice areas, and I know they will be instrumental in the firm&rsquo;s continuing success.&rdquo;</p> <p>Andre works with both public and private clients in matters involving water quality, water rights, wetlands, and state and federal hazardous and solid waste issues. He is a member of the Environmental &amp; Natural Resources practice group. Andre is from San Diego, Calif., and earned his law degree at Case Western Reserve School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio.</p> <p>Gail specializes in federal communications law and assists her clients (principally local governments and municipal utilities) with regulatory and transactional matters involving cable, telecommunications, wireless, and broadband, as well as advocacy before the Federal Communications Commission and state utility commissions. Gail is a member of BB&amp;K&rsquo;s Municipal Law practice group. Gail earned her law degrees from McGill University and York University in her native Canada, and is a member of the California Bar.</p> <p style="text-align: center">###</p> <p><b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b><i> is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington D.C. For more information, visit </i><span style="color: #0000ff"><i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><span style="color: #3366ff">www.bbklaw.com</span></a></i></span><i> or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases08 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36184&format=xmlCommunications Technology Transitionshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36086&format=xml<p>It is rare for the Federal Communications Commission to expressly invite local government participation in formulating communications policy, so when this happens it is worth special attention. <a target="_blank" href="http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db1125/FCC-14-185A1.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking</span></a> released Nov. 25 and the related agency <a target="_blank" href="http://www.fcc.gov/events/state-and-local-government-webinar-0"><span style="color: #0000ff">webinar</span></a> of Dec. 2 are open for public comment and review.</p> <p>Technologies change all the time, but now is a particularly critical period. First, telephone voice services are moving from &ldquo;legacy&rdquo; analog or digital signaling systems to Internet Protocol networks &mdash; deployed by cable providers and phone companies alike as Voice Over IP. Second is the concomitant expansion of wireless services running on Long Term Evolution networks, including Voice Over LTE. And third, the evolving changes from copper wire to coaxial cable (long in place for cable television), fiber optic cable and wireless technologies both mobile and fixed.</p> <p>These transitions raise important issues in public safety, consumer protection and competition. Municipal stakes in the first two topics are obvious, but the FCC also recognizes local concerns for real competition: &ldquo; . . . [S]chools, libraries, healthcare facilities, and governmental entities also rely on communications services,&rdquo; states the Notice. &ldquo;We really would love to hear from states and localities and tribal nations,&rdquo; said Greg Vadas of the agency&rsquo;s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs in wrapping up the webinar.</p> <p>Municipalities have particular reasons to understand that video competition has not always been real. Congress amended the Communications Act in 1996 to allow phone companies into the cable television business, but that did not change the prevalence of single video franchises, nor did it produce widespread telephone company deployment of fiber as an alternative to coaxial cable &mdash; a point made by the Marin Telecommunications Agency in San Rafael, Calif. during the webinar.</p> <p>From the public safety perspective, the transition from self-powered copper wire voice telephony to IP and wireless networks demands durable and reliable back-up power to the latter, especially during weather and other emergencies that tend to increase calling generally and 9-1-1 calling particularly. So the FCC wants to hear from local governments about how to &ldquo;safeguard continuity of communications throughout a power outage,&rdquo; according to the Notice. In a parallel proceeding about Next Generation 9-1-1, <a target="_blank" href="http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db1121/FCC-14-186A1.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">the agency asked public safety agencies</span></a> how to ensure emergency call completion and caller location that would match the levels reached by wire telephony as 9-1-1 networks undergo their own transitions to IP. That same question figures prominently in this &ldquo;tech transitions&rdquo; rulemaking.</p> <p>In terms of consumer protection, the Notice asks a basic question: &ldquo;What happens when a consumer [and consumers include municipalities, of course] is told that the telephone service on which he or she has relied is about to be discontinued or when the copper network used to provide that service is going to be shut down?&rdquo; A case in point: the consumer concerns raised by a Verizon proposal to replace copper with fixed wireless networks in parts of Fire Island, New York devastated by Hurricane Sandy two years ago.</p> <p>Finally, regarding competition, the FCC often acknowledges that municipalities are important consumers of communications services and thus depend on reliable services at affordable prices. The Notice declares: &ldquo;[W]e are guided by the mantra that technology transitions should not be used as an excuse to limit competition that exists.&rdquo;</p> <p>Local governments will have until Feb. 5 to comment and until March 9 to reply. Municipalities wishing assistance from BB&amp;K in formulating their views based on local facts and circumstances and examples are welcome to contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=456&amp;format=xml"><font color="#0000ff">Telecommunications Law</font></a> group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts07 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36086&format=xmlThe Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan: Looking Forward After 10 Yearshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36091&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Michelle Ouellette and Charles Landry, the executive director of the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority, co-authored an in-depth analysis of the Western Riverside County Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan on its 10th anniversary. The article discusses the Plan&rsquo;s benefits, as well as its implementation impediments and ways the Riverside Conservation Authority over came funding challenges.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/NRE_v29n03_feat10_OuelletteLandry.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Click here </span></a>to see the whole article.</p>BB&K In The News07 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36091&format=xmlCEQA Associate - Riverside or Irvinehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36050&format=xml<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Our Environmental &amp; Natural Resources Group has an immediate opening for an associate with 2-4 years of CEQA experience (both transactional and litigation), as well as land use experience. The attorney can be based in our Riverside or Irvine office; however, if Irvine, he/she must be willing to work out of our Riverside office regularly and as needed.<br /> <br /> </span></span><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.</span></span></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG"><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</span></span></a><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><br /> <br /> Please address your cover letter to:</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <br /> <em><strong>No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></span></span></p>Job Openings at BB&K06 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36050&format=xmlNew Laws of 2015: New Tax Infrastructure Financing Toolshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36051&format=xml<p>The final article in the New Laws of 2015 series focuses on new legislation that makes it easier for municipalities and special districts to harness tax increment&mdash;the future incremental growth in property tax revenues &mdash;for financing infrastructure.</p> <p>Senate Bills 614 and 628 strengthen Infrastructure Financing Districts (IFDs) by lowering the vote threshold for creating IFDs and broadening their applicability to different types of projects. IFDs can finance capital investments in public facilities by issuing bonds backed by tax increment.</p> <p>Though IFDs have existed in California law since 1990 (traditional IFDs), very few traditional IFDs have been created because redevelopment agencies had broader powers to leverage tax increment financing until they were dissolved in 2011.</p> <p>CSDA thanks Jake Vollebregt and Paul C. Marra for their assistance with this article. Jake Vollebregt is a public law attorney with Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP and Paul C. Marra is a managing principal for Keyser Marston Associates, Inc.</p> <p><i>IFDs for Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities</i></p> <p>SB 614 allows any local taxing entity (except school-related agencies) to form an IFD in an unincorporated area with LAFCO approval. The IFD can invest the sponsoring entity&rsquo;s tax increment to fund improvements or upgrades to structures, roads, sewer or water facilities, or other infrastructure that serves a disadvantaged unincorporated community. A community qualifies as a &ldquo;disadvantaged unincorporated community&rdquo; if the annual median household income is less than 80 percent of the statewide annual median household income.</p> <p><i>Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts</i></p> <p>SB 628 creates a new mechanism called the Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD). Special districts can partner with a sponsoring city or county to create an EIFD for capital infrastructure and economic development projects. Though a municipality must take the lead in forming an EIFD, any affected taxing agency (except school-related agencies) may choose to partner with the sponsoring municipality and allocate some or all of its share of the tax increment toward the infrastructure financing plan. Municipalities and other taxing entities can combine this revenue stream with investments from other capital providers to further public-private partnerships. Here is an outline of the key distinctions between EIFDs and traditional IFDs:</p> <p><u>1. Reduced approval threshold by the electorate</u>: Traditional IFDs require voter approval by two-thirds of the electorate to both form the IFD and issue bonds. A municipality may form an EIFD without a ballot approval, and the EIFD may issue tax increment bonds with the approval of 55 percent of the voters in the affected area because the debt service is backed solely by the tax increment. If the proposed EIFD boundaries include fewer than 12 registered voters, the vote is held among the landowners.</p> <p><u>2. Extended Financing Period</u>: Traditional IFDs limited the financing period for repaying the issued bonds to 30 years from the date when the IFD was formed. EIFDs allow the financing (and the capture of tax increment) to extend for 45 years after the date the bonds are authorized. This extends the tax increment financing period by more than 15 years, which significantly increases the amount of tax revenue available for financing. Both traditional IFDs and EIFDs can also enter into reimbursement agreements with master developers as an alternative to conventional or bond financing.</p> <p><u>3. Broaden Applicability to many types of infrastructure</u>: EIFD funding may be applied to projects of communitywide significance that provide significant benefits to the EIFD area or the surrounding community. This includes flood control, storm water quality management, sewage treatment, water reclamation, industrial facilities for private use, and environmental impact mitigation.</p> <p><u>4. Polanco Act Powers</u>: An EIFD may also utilize any powers under the Polanco Redevelopment Act, which allows the EIFD to clean up toxic or hazardous substances within the EIFD&rsquo;s boundaries. This power was reserved to redevelopment agencies and disappeared when redevelopment agencies were dissolved.</p> <p><u>5. Cross-boundary cooperation</u>: Municipalities may form multiple EIFDs within their jurisdictions and partner with other municipalities to form larger EIFDs across city and county lines.</p> <p>Before creating an EIFD, a municipality must have completed the process of winding down its affairs of its redevelopment agency and received a notice of completion from the Department of Finance.</p> <p><i>Creating a Value Proposition</i></p> <p>These changes in the law may make tax increment financing a viable option for a broader array of infrastructure projects. There are many factors to consider in determining whether an IFD can add value to a project, including bond market conditions. Financing with tax increment depends on a &ldquo;before and after&rdquo; analysis of many factors, including anticipated amount, timing and valuation of new development within the affected area. EIFDs may not work for all jurisdictions, since the portion of the 1 percent tax levy that is allocated to cities varies widely. For example, the City and County of San Francisco receives approximately 57 percent of the 1 percent property tax levy. Even for projects of the largest scale, however, tax increment financing from an EIFD will likely be just one of several revenue sources in a project&rsquo;s capital financing portfolio.</p> <i>*This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://csda.informz.net/admin31/content/template.asp?sid=37467&amp;brandid=3092&amp;uid=836291980&amp;mi=3957576&amp;mfqid=13950984&amp;ptid=0&amp;ps=37467"><span style="color: #0000ff">the CSDA e-News</span></a> on Jan. 6, 2015. Republished with permission.</i>BB&K In The News06 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36051&format=xmlTelecom Attorney - DC Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36052&format=xml<span style="font-family: Arial"> <p><span style="font-size: medium">We have an immediate opening for an attorney with 5+ years of transactional and litigation experience in telecommunications law, including appellate matters. Our clients are mainly local governments, schools and public agencies in their roles as regulators, infrastructure owners and market participants. &nbsp;Position involves working closely with clients to: prepare and file comments with the Federal Communications Commission; develop policy papers and positions on communications issues affecting local governments; appear before lower and appellate courts in disputes with communications companies; draft ordinances governing use of rights of way and governing land use by communications providers (including wireless facilities providers); and negotiate and draft agreements and franchises with communications and cable companies.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium">Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.</span></p> </span><span style="font-size: medium"> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG"><span style="font-family: Arial">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</span></a></p> </span><span> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><br /> <br /> Please address your cover letter to:</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <br /> <em><strong>No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></span></span></p> </span>Job Openings at BB&K06 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36052&format=xmlSanta Rosa Wins Court Round in Redevelopment Fight with Statehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36058&format=xml<p>Santa Rosa has won a key legal battle in its effort to recoup $7.2 million in redevelopment loans that the state said did not merit repayment by Sacramento.</p> <p>A Sacramento County Superior Court judge found last month that the state Department of Finance had &ldquo;abused its discretion&rdquo; when it rejected the city&rsquo;s requests for repayment of three loans plus interest.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>A key dispute involves whether a June 2012 law intended to clean up many of the outstanding dissolution issues was meant to be retroactive or not, said Iris Yang of the Sacramento law firm Best Best &amp; Krieger, which has represented the city&rsquo;s redevelopment agency for years.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>Frawley&rsquo;s ruling isn&rsquo;t final. State attorneys requested he hold off officially recording it pending the outcome of a similar case currently on appeal involving the city of Emeryville, said H.D. Palmer, the spokesman for the Department of Finance. He noted that the state has won the majority of the cases it has faced over the dissolution of redevelopment.</p> <p>Even so, Yang sees the latest ruling as an important victory.</p> <p>&ldquo;I consider it a win,&rdquo; Yang said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s consistent with the way the trial courts have been treating these cases.&rdquo;</p> <p><i>*To read the full article in the Jan. 1, 2015, Press-Democrat, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pressdemocrat.com/home/3315318-181/santa-rosa-wins-court-round"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News01 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36058&format=xmlDrought Spurs New Court Rulings, Legislation Governing State Water Rightshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35992&format=xml<p>By Fiona Smith</p> <p>As California ends a third year of drought and prepares to enter a possible fourth dry year, water users and environmentalists have been fighting increasingly high-stakes battles over the scarce resource.</p> <p>Legislation and regulations have been approved while court battles gained new urgency as supplies shrink. This year saw major decisions out of the state and federal courts including how much water can be pumped from the Sacramento San Joaquin River Delta, a major source of drinking water for more than 25 million Californians and the lifeblood for much Central Valley agriculture.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>In January, Gov. Jerry Brown made his first attempt at getting all Californians to conserve water - issuing an official drought declaration as reservoir levels visibly dropped and the Sierra Nevadas had only a thin smattering of snow.</p> <p>As farmers began doubling down on groundwater pumping, concern also grew over the rapid depletion of the state's vast but unseen groundwater aquifers. Brown signed legislation that for the first time imposed state regulations on groundwater pumping.</p> <p>And after several years of attempting to get a water bond on the ballot, the Legislature and the Governor agreed on, and voters approved, a $7.5 billion bond to invest in water infrastructure.</p> <p>&quot;You could argue this is the biggest year ever in California water,&quot; said Eric L. Garner, managing partner with Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP.</p> <p>The drought was the catalyst that led to passage of both the bond and the groundwater regulations, Garner said. And of all the developments this year, he and others steeped in California water issues point to the groundwater law as the most significant.</p> <p>'The law of California groundwater has essentially been, 'Pump until a judge tells you not to,' Garner said. It's a big deal because groundwater is an integral and essential part of our water supply and we need to manage it so it's there when we need it and this legislation is the first step toward doing it.&quot;</p> <p><i>To read the full article in the Daily Journal, which ran Dec. 30, 2014, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/submain.cfm#section=DJStoryContent.cfm%3Fseloption%3DNEWS%26pubdate%3D12/30/2014%26shNewsType%3DNews%26NewsId%3D939044%26sdivId%3DmainContent1"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a> (subscription required).</i></p>BB&K In The News30 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35992&format=xmlBB&K Attorney Wins Trust Trialhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35982&format=xml<p>In re<i> Gordon G. Jervis Trust</i>, Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneyLauren Strickroth successfully represented Patricia Clayton, one of two co-trustees of the Gordon E. Jervis Trust, at trial in Riverside Superior Court.&nbsp;On Clayton&rsquo;s behalf, Lauren asked the court to confirm the validity of a handwritten amendment to the trust, and to direct distribution of the trust pursuant to that amendment.</p> <p>The other co-trustee obtained counsel and opposed the petition, arguing that the handwritten document was not a valid trust amendment.&nbsp;After a three-day trial, the court ruled on Dec. 22 completely in favor of Clayton.&nbsp;The court&rsquo;s ruling will result in a significant change in the division of the trust&rsquo;s assets to the four trust beneficiaries.&nbsp;In addition, the court identified Clayton as the prevailing party and invited &nbsp;a motion for attorney&rsquo;s fees.</p>Client Successes29 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35982&format=xmlSchool District Case Clarifies PRA Copying Chargeshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35983&format=xml<p>A judge has ruled that a California school district&rsquo;s charging policy for viewing public documents violates the Public Records Act. At issue was Redlands Unified School District&rsquo;s practice of charging 25 cents a page to copy documents that required redaction before allowing a member of the public to inspect them.</p> <p>San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Bryan Foster said members of the public should be allowed to inspect the documents for free, but that, if copying is required, the District overcharged for the duplication. If it is necessary to make copies before producing documents under the PRA, Foster said a public agency can charge only for the costs of direct duplication &mdash; not the costs associated with reviewing the request or redacting the documents. Foster ordered the District to reduce its copying fee from 25 cents per copy to 10 cents per copy to comply with state law requirements that government agencies charge only for &ldquo;direct duplication&rdquo; costs.</p> <p>Redlands Unified School District has not filed a notice of appeal within the required 60-day period of Foster&rsquo;s Sept. 29 order that its public records policies violate state law and must be changed. The case does not set precedent, but was closely watched because of the issues it raised.</p> <p>The lawsuit began when Maia Pawooskar, the mother of a special education student, filed a public records request seeking billing records for an attorney hired to represent the District in an administrative hearing against Powooskar&rsquo;s son. The District claimed not to have the records she was looking for, so Powooskar expanded her search, and the District produced 11,180 pages of documents.</p> <p>The District claimed that, because the records contained personal information, they needed to be redacted before&nbsp;Pawooskar could inspect them, and that redacting the documents would require copies to be made. The District did not allow Pawooskar to inspect the documents to decide which documents she wanted to copy. Instead, the District indicated it would charge 25 cents to copy each page &mdash; meaning Pawooskar could have paid $2,795 to view the documents.</p> <p>State law provides that members of the public can inspect documents at no cost; however, if copies must be made, government agencies can charge only for the direct duplication costs and not the &ldquo;ancillary&rdquo; costs associated with retrieving, inspecting and handling the documents.</p> <p>The District stated that its 25 cent rate was based on the fact that senior staff members process the records, and their salaries are higher than those of the employees who operate the copy machine. Foster ruled that this approach is out of line with state law, and ordered the District to reduce the rate to 10 cents per copy.</p> <p>If you have questions about this ruling, how it will affect your municipality or agency, or the PRA in general, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a>&nbsp;practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts29 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35983&format=xmlBest in Law: Head Off a Contest: Bolster Your No-Contest Clausehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35980&format=xml<p>BY LAUREN STRICKROTH</p> <p>The inherent problem with safeguarding your wishes after death is that you are not here to defend them. To discourage litigation and protect your requests, most trusts contain a &ldquo;no-contest&rdquo; clause. The clause typically states that if a beneficiary challenges the trust in court, the gift to that beneficiary is revoked. The goal is to make beneficiaries think twice before suing.</p> <p>A trustee, faced with defending a lawsuit by a beneficiary, often wants to look to the no-contest clause as the first line of defense. However, it is not as powerful or as effective as it seems. Regardless of what the trust says, California limits the enforceability of a no-contest provision.</p> <p>The Probate Code states that a no-contest clause is only enforceable against a &ldquo;direct contest&rdquo; brought without &ldquo;probable cause.&rdquo; A &ldquo;direct contest&rdquo; is a contest that challenges the validity of the trust on the grounds of forgery, lack of due execution, lack of capacity, menace, duress, fraud, or undue influence, improper revocation, or disqualification of an interested beneficiary. &ldquo;Probable cause&rdquo; means that there is a reasonable likelihood that the contest will be successful.</p> <p>The purpose is to permit a challenger to file a contest without triggering the no-contest clause if there is a reasonable likelihood that something improper occurred.</p> <p>The downside is that the &ldquo;reasonable likelihood&rdquo; standard is uncertain. It opens the door to expensive and time-consuming litigation. There is a risk that a beneficiary will challenge your wishes when you are not there to defend them.</p> <p>A no-contest clause is still effective, but its limitations are substantial. Challenges occur for many different reasons, such as litigious children, blended families that do not get along and unequal gifts. What can you do now to bolster that no-contest provision and discourage a fight after your death?</p> <p><strong>Communication</strong>: Expectations and disappointment often create conflict. Discussing your plan with your beneficiaries as a group helps eliminate surprises. Keep your beneficiaries informed of any changes. Communicating your wishes early, clearly and often helps manage expectations.</p> <p><strong>Videotape</strong>: Many trust challenges are to invalidate the trust for undue influence or lack of capacity. These challenges typically arise when there is an unequal distribution by an elderly parent. A video recording of mentally competent parents rationalizing their decision may significantly reduce the risk of a challenge. With the ease of smartphones and digital media, a video recording is easy to make, and may eliminate any suggestion of &ldquo;probable cause&rdquo; to challenge the trust.</p> <p><strong>Distribution</strong>: The no-contest clause only works if the challenging party has something to lose. If an heir gets nothing under the trust, there is nothing to lose by challenging. Therefore, if you know you have a litigious heir(s), it may be beneficial to consider giving them a small amount through your trust that would make them think twice.</p> <i>*This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pe.com/articles/contest-756832-trust-clause.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">The Press-Enterprise</span></a> on Dec. 28, 2014. Republished with permission</i>BB&K In The News28 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35980&format=xmlCongress Passes Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 and Retroactively Extends Tax Relief Provisionshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35818&format=xml<p>The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 retroactively extends, through Dec. 31, various individual and business tax relief provisions that previously expired during calendar year 2013 or 2014. The full text of the Act, passed by Congress last week, may be accessed <a target="_blank" href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/5771"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a>.</p> <p>Significant features of the Act impacting individual taxpayers include:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px"><span>1.<span>&nbsp; </span></span><u>State and Local Sales Tax Deduction</u>. The Act retroactively extends the ability of an individual taxpayer that itemizes deductions to elect to deduct state and local general sales and use taxes instead of state and local income taxes. Prior to the passage of the Act, this election was not available for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2013.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px"><span>2.<span>&nbsp; </span></span><u>IRA Distributions to Eligible Charities</u>. Subject to certain limitations, taxpayers aged 70 1/2 or older may make tax-free distributions from their Individual Retirement Accounts to charities. Such charitable IRA distributions are not subject to the charitable contribution limits that otherwise apply to charitable contributions made by individuals.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px"><span>3.<span>&nbsp; </span></span><u>Discharged Home Mortgage Debt</u>. The exclusion from gross income of income derived from the discharge of &ldquo;qualified principal residence indebtedness&rdquo; is extended, and applies to home mortgage debt discharged before Jan. 1, 2015. This exclusion previously only applied to qualifying debt that was discharged before Jan. 1, 2014.</p> <p>These retroactive extensions provide a welcome relief for individual taxpayers who elect to itemize their deductions, instead of taking the standard deduction, as well as for certain individuals who desire to make charitable contributions from their retirement accounts.</p> <p>On the business side, the highlights of the Act include, but are not limited to:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px"><span>1.<span>&nbsp; </span></span><u>Extension of Certain Tax Credits</u>. The Act retroactively extends the Research Credit, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, the Indian Employment Credit, the New Markets Tax Credit and the Differential Wage Payment Credit for employers.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px"><span>2.<span>&nbsp; </span></span><u>S Corporation Five Year Recognition Period for Built-in-Gain Tax</u>. The five-year recognition period provided for an S corporation with built-in-gains at the time of converting from a C corporation is extended and applies for tax years beginning in 2014. This extension provides much needed clarity to tax attorneys, tax advisors and accountants advising clients contemplating making an election to treat their corporations as an S corporation.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px"><span>3.<span>&nbsp; </span></span><u>Exclusion of 100 percent of Gain on Certain Small Business Stock</u>. The Act extends the 100 percent exclusion from income on all gain recognized on the disposition of qualified &ldquo;small business stock.&rdquo;</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px"><span>4.<span>&nbsp; </span></span><u>Lower Shareholder Basis Adjustments for Charitable Contributions by an S Corporation</u>. Prior to the Act, for charitable contributions in tax years beginning before Dec. 31, 2013, a shareholder in an S corporation who makes a contribution of property to a charitable organization reduces his or her basis in the S corporation stock by an amount equal to the shareholder&rsquo;s pro-rata share of the adjusted basis of the contributed property. The Act extends this provision for contributions in tax years beginning before Jan. 1, 2015.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px"><span>5.<span>&nbsp; </span></span><u>Bonus First Year Depreciation Extended</u>. Subject to certain conditions, an additional first year depreciation deduction was permitted equal to 50 percent of the adjusted basis of certain property acquired and placed into service after Dec. 31, 2011 and before Jan. 1, 2014. The Act extends this bonus first-year depreciation for one year so that it applies to certain property acquired and placed into service before the end of calendar year 2014.</p> <p>The impact of the Act on your tax filing position and business may be complex. For additional details regarding how the extensions provided in the Act may impact your business, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=410&amp;format=xml"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Tax</span></u></a> group or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></u></a>.</p> <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 Alerts22 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35818&format=xmlCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife Increases CEQA Document Filing Feeshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35663&format=xml<p align="left">The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will increase its filing fees for all CEQA Notices of Determination filed on or after Jan. 1.&nbsp;</p> <p align="left">As was the case in 2014, no DFW fee will be assessed for the filing of Notices of Exemption in 2015. Please note, however, that a local clerk&rsquo;s processing fee may be charged for the filing of any NOD or NOE, depending on local county policy.</p> <p align="center"><b>DFW Fee Schedule<u><br /> </u> <table style="width: 555px; height: 153px" border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" width="555"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="text-align: center"><u>NOD Pertains To:</u></td> <td style="text-align: center"><u>2014 Fees</u></td> <td style="text-align: center"><u>Fees Effective January&nbsp;1, 2015</u></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center">Negative Declaration or Mitigated Negative Declaration</td> <td style="text-align: center">$2,181.25</td> <td style="text-align: center">$2,210.00</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center">Environmental Impact Report</td> <td style="text-align: center">$3,029.75</td> <td style="text-align: center">$3,069.75</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="text-align: center">Environmental Document Pursuant to a Certified Regulatory Program*</td> <td style="text-align: center">$1,030.25</td> <td style="text-align: center">$1,043.75</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </b>*Including, but not limited to, timber harvesting plans and other state agency regulatory programs.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </span>(Public Resources Code, &sect; 21080.5; State CEQA Guidelines, &sect; 15251).</p> <p style="text-align: left">The DFW fee may be charged only once per project. In the event that a project requires the filing of multiple NODs by lead or responsible agencies, the DFW fee is required at the time the lead agency files the first NOD. If a copy of the DFW fee receipt for the filing of the first NOD can be shown, subsequent NODs for the same project will not be charged any additional DFW fees.<br /> <br /> Should you have any questions regarding theses changes, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources </span></a>practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>. <o:p></o:p></p> <p style="text-align: left; margin: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><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> <p style="text-align: justify; margin: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto" class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p></p>Legal Alerts18 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35663&format=xmlAnnual Compensations Must Be Posted by Local Government Agencies in Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35600&format=xml<p>Starting Jan. 1, local public agencies will be required to post information on the annual compensation of their elected officials, officers and employees. Under existing law, cities and special districts are required to file an annual report with the State Controller&rsquo;s Office identifying the annual compensation of their officers and employees. AB 2040 extends the law so that public agencies are required to also post the same information on their own websites.</p> <p>Public agencies can comply with this law in two ways: directly include the salary information on the agency&rsquo;s website or provide a link on the website to the State Controller&rsquo;s &ldquo;Government Compensation in California&rdquo; site, which can be found by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sco.ca.gov/compensation_search.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here.</span></a> It&rsquo;s likely the latter option will be the easiest for most agencies.</p> <p>The information or the link must be posted in a &ldquo;conspicuous&rdquo; location. The bill does not define the meaning of &ldquo;conspicuous,&rdquo; so there is no specific location regarding where the information or the link must be included. However, the information or the link should be posted in a manner that is not hidden and that indicates that the salary information is available.</p> <p>The requirement to provide salary information on local agencies&rsquo; websites applies to all cities and special districts that maintain a website. Thus, cities or districts that do not currently have a website are under no obligation to create one. However, every city and special district is still required to report its salary information to the State Controller&rsquo;s Office, regardless of whether it maintains a website.</p> <p>For more information regarding this law or its implications for your agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed at the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts16 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35600&format=xmlBB&K Police Bulletin: Investigatory Stop Still Valid Even If Officer Made Mistake of Lawhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35563&format=xml<p><b>Overview: </b>The U.S. Supreme Court held that an officer&rsquo;s mistaken belief that a driver had violated a state vehicle code regarding operability of brake lights, even if the driver was in compliance with the law, provided sufficient cause for the officer to make a traffic stop. The Court held the stop satisfied the requirements of probable cause and was therefore reasonable and valid.</p> <p><b>Training Points: </b>In its opinion, the Court reiterated, &ldquo;this Court&rsquo;s holding does not discourage officers from learning the law.&rdquo; As such, officers should continue to stay-up-to-date on relevant statutes and case law to ensure they have sufficient cause to initiate stops and effectuate arrests. Officers must remember that only &ldquo;objectively reasonable&rdquo; mistakes may be upheld by a court. A &ldquo;reasonable&rdquo; mistake of law justifies an investigatory stop, but if the court finds the mistake was &ldquo;unreasonable,&rdquo; the stop, detention, arrest and any fruits of the crime may be suppressed. Officers should continue to fully document their reports and provide all necessary background and training regarding the laws upon which they are initiating an investigatory/traffic stop.</p> <p><b>Summary Analysis: </b>In <i>Heien v. North Carolina,</i> an officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle that had one brake light working in violation of the State&rsquo;s vehicle code. During the traffic stop, the officer became suspicious of two of the vehicle&rsquo;s occupants. During a consent search of the vehicle, the officer found cocaine. Defendant Heien was charged with attempted trafficking. At trial, Heien filed a motion to suppress. The trial court denied the motion because the court found the faulty brake light gave the officer reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop. The North Carolina Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the relevant code provision that requires a car to be equipped with a stop lamp requires only a single stop lamp, which Heien&rsquo;s vehicle had. Therefore, the appeal court found, the justification for the stop was objectively unreasonable.</p> <p>Reversing, the Supreme Court held that the officer&rsquo;s mistaken understanding of the law, even if no violation of state law occurred, was reasonable. The court found that the officer&rsquo;s error was reasonable because the State&rsquo;s vehicle code requiring &ldquo;a stop lamp&rdquo; also provides that the lamp &ldquo;may be incorporated into a unit with one or more other rear lamps&rdquo; and that &ldquo;all originally equipped rear lamps&rdquo; must be &ldquo;in good working order.&rdquo; Although the state court held the &ldquo;rear lamps&rdquo; do not include the brake lamps, the word &ldquo;other,&rdquo; coupled with the lack of state court precedent interpreting this statute, made it objectively reasonable for the officer to think a faulty brake light constituted a violation. As such, the Court held the stop was valid.</p> <p><b>Follow-Up Contact: </b>For questions regarding this case or its implications for your agency and public safety department, please contact the author of this bulletin listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=2532&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Safety practice</span></a>, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <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 Alerts15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35563&format=xmlCourt of Appeal Upholds Anti-SLAPP Motion to Defeat Claims Against Government Agencieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35283&format=xml<p>A government agency can employ an anti-SLAPP motion to win early termination of meritless and vexatious lawsuits brought to&nbsp;quash government action conducted in the &ldquo;public interest,&rdquo; the California Court of Appeal ruled last week. The court upheld the City of Eureka&rsquo;s use of the anti-SLAPP (which stands for &ldquo;strategic lawsuit against public participation&rdquo;) motion finding that the case stemmed from the City&rsquo;s protected code enforcement activities.</p> <p>In <i>Squires v. City of Eureka</i>, a landlord sued the city, alleging 10 causes of action including harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, municipal liability and supervisor liability, as well as several federal equal protection claims. The landlord owned several properties with persistent code violations. Following prolonged efforts to address the problems through code enforcement, the City attempted to have a receiver appointed. Just prior to the City&rsquo;s filing of the receivership petition, plaintiffs filed the lawsuit, alleging equal protection violations in addition to other causes of action. The City filed an anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court granted as to seven of the 10 causes of action, allowing discovery on the three federal claims. Following that discovery, the City filed a renewed anti-SLAPP motion, which the trial court granted in an extensive and thorough order, concluding that plaintiffs had not shown a probability of prevailing on any of their remaining claims. The Court of Appeal affirmed that decision.</p> <p>Courts evaluate the use of an anti-SLAPP motion by applying a two-step process: whether the defendant has made a threshold showing that the challenged cause of action is one arising from protected activity and whether the plaintiffs demonstrated a probability of prevailing on its claims. In <i>Squires</i>, the court and both parties agreed that the City&rsquo;s activity was protected, since it involved code enforcement actions taken by the City. As such, the court focused on the second prong of the test, and determined that the plaintiffs did not establish that they were treated differently than other similarly situated individuals, as is required.</p> <p>An anti-SLAPP motion to dismiss a case may be used by defendants early in litigation to end a SLAPP case and save the defendant from unnecessary costs and the burdens of litigation.</p> <p>This case illustrates that the anti-SLAPP motion is a tool public agencies may use to obtain dismissal of meritless lawsuits before they become more costly diversions.&nbsp;Normally, the anti-SLAPP motion is brought by an individual defendant who is sued to &ldquo;chill the valid exercise of the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and the petition for redress of grievances.&rdquo; Such cases are normally a &ldquo;David vs. Goliath&rdquo; contest, where the defendant is an individual being sued by a well-heeled corporate plaintiff.</p> For more information regarding this case or its implications for your agency, please contact&nbsp; the attorney author of this legal alert listed at the right in the&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.<br /> <br /> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35283&format=xmlAccidental Disclosure Waives Privilege Under Public Records Acthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35237&format=xml<p>If a privileged document is accidentally released to the public during compliance with a Public Records Act request, the privilege is waived and the document becomes a public record accessible to anyone, a California Appellate Court ruled this week. Previously, public agencies 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 precedent-setting appellate opinion, issued Wednesday, drew a clear distinction between the civil litigation discovery process and the PRA.</p> <p><i>In Estuardo &nbsp;Ardon v. City of Los Angeles</i>, the City inadvertently disclosed privileged documents during a production of records in response to a request under the PRA made by an attorney representing Ardon, who sued the City over a telephone users tax.&nbsp;The records disclosed included documents covered by the attorney-client privilege. 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. The trial court agreed with the attorney and the 2nd District Court of Appeal, Division 6 in Ventura, affirmed.</p> <p>Compliance with PRA requests must be carefully conducted and scrutinized, both to ensure complete disclosure, but also to ensure that material covered by legal privileges, is confidential, or is otherwise exempt from disclosure under the Act are not inadvertently disclosed.</p> <p>If you have questions about this opinion or how it will affect your municipality or agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=1139&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Policy and Ethics Compliance</span></a> practice group or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span><font color="#0000ff">.</font></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 Alerts12 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35237&format=xmlBB&K Attorneys Successfully Defend City Client from Brown Act and Other Claimshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35255&format=xml<p>In <i>Ontario Mountain Village Association et al v. City of Ontario</i>, Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Michelle Ouellette, Richard T. Egger and Sarah Owsowitz successfully defended the legality of an ordinance by the City of Ontario that extended by one-year the expiration dates for all development plans, conditional use permits and variance approvals. The extension was challenged in a lawsuit on the alleged grounds that the City violated the Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The plaintiffs also alleged violation of their due process rights.</p> <p>The lawsuit was filed after the City approved extension of the expiration dates in December 2011 &mdash; as it had done several times previously to support development and economic recovery in the City. The plaintiffs claimed the City violated the Brown Act, which guarantees the public&rsquo;s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies, and their due process rights by failing to disclose a legal memorandum. They also alleged the City violated CEQA by not substantiating that the ordinance extending the expiration dates was exempt from environmental review, among other claims.</p> <p>As the trial court had done, the 2nd District Court of Appeal, in an opinion issued Dec. 11, sided with BB&amp;K attorneys and rejected all the plaintiffs&rsquo; claims.</p>Client Successes12 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35255&format=xmlCalifornia's New Groundwater Law Seeks to Guide Planning Without Adjudicationhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35613&format=xml<p><strong>By Susan Bruninga</strong></p> <p>California's new law establishing a framework for the sustainable management of its groundwater attempts to accomplish what previously had mostly been produced through protracted litigation, a water law attorney said Dec. 4.</p> <p>Moreover, the Groundwater Sustainable Management Act gives local water districts the time and opportunity to develop their own plans through a public process and work toward long-term sustainability without state interference unless their plans fall short, Eric Garner, managing partner with Best, Best &amp; Krieger LLP in Los Angeles, said. Garner, who sits on the advisory board for Water Law &amp; Policy Monitor, spoke at the fall conference of the Association of California Water Agencies.</p> <p>Prior to the act, Garner said, conflicts about groundwater pumping were resolved by a judge.</p> <p>&ldquo;Just sue them all and let a judge sort it out,&rdquo; he said of the approach often used to resolve groundwater conflicts.</p> <p>The new law, he said, provides a generous timeline for establishing a sustainability agency and then developing and implementing a plan to manage groundwater use.</p> <p>Sustainable management of the state's groundwater is important because 80 percent of Californians rely on the resource, he said. Fifteen million acre-feet were pumped last year, and California withdraws more groundwater than the rest of the states combined, he said.</p> <p>As California's population continues to grow from its current 38 million, a more sustainable system for managing withdrawals is critical to ensure the state can meet demand.</p> <i>To read the full article in Bloomberg BNA, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.environmental-expert.com/news/california-s-new-groundwater-law-seeks-to-guide-planning-without-adjudication-458126"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i>BB&K In The News11 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35613&format=xmlNewly Elected Policy Briefinghttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34694&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partners Matthew &ldquo;Mal&rdquo; Richardson and Joseph Ortiz as well as a host of other&nbsp;public officials&nbsp;participated&nbsp;at the Association of California Cities Orange County &ldquo;Newly Elected Policy Briefing.&rdquo; The roundtable discussion topics included:</p> <ul> <li>Public Safety</li> <li>Zoning and Land Use</li> <li>Intergovernmental Relationships</li> <li>Budget Management</li> <li>Legislative Engagement</li> <li>The Role of the Policy Maker &ndash; the Role of the Staff</li> </ul> <p>State-mandated training was also provided, free of charge for ACC-OC members, by BB&amp;K in AB1234 (Ethics) and AB1825 (Sexual Harassment).</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014<br /> 9:30 a.m. &ndash; 5 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> IRWD Community Meeting Room<br /> 15500 Sand Canyon Ave.<br /> Irvine, CA 92618</p> <p>For more information, <a target="_blank" href="https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ea40y6nmbb2c7290&amp;oseq=&amp;c=&amp;ch="><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements11 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34694&format=xmlBB&K Webinar: Labor & Employment Update 2014http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34596&format=xml<p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=491&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K Labor </span><font color="#0000ff">and Employment</font></a> law attorneys&nbsp;provided a&nbsp;free webinar focusing on new legislation and case law impacting California employers - private and public.</p> <p><strong>What&nbsp;was discussed:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li align="left">New Legislation</li> <li align="left">Wage and Hour Law</li> <li align="left">Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation</li> <li align="left">Disability and Medical Leaves</li> <li align="left">&quot;Special Topic&quot; - Affordable Care Act - Cadillac Tax</li> <li align="left">Public Agency Case Update</li> </ul> <p><strong>Audience:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Human resource professionals at both public agencies and private businesses</li> <li>General and in-house counsel</li> </ul> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> <br /> Wednesday, December 10<br /> 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.&nbsp;PT<br /> <br /> <strong>Materials:<br /> <br /> </strong>The slides can be viewed <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/88E17A/assets/files/documents/L&amp;E2014WebinarSlides.pdf"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a>.<br /> The handout and case summaries&nbsp;can be viewed <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/88E17A/assets/files/documents/2015LegislativeUpdate-CaseSummaries.pdf"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a>.<br /> The webinar recording can&nbsp;be viewed&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://youtu.be/WrhcJm9q3DU"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a>.<br /> <br /> <strong>Contact Person:<br /> <br /> </strong>Jessy Asfahan, Best Best &amp; Krieger<br /> <a href="mailto:jessy.asfahan@bbklaw.com?subject=BB%26K%20December%2010%20Webinar%3A%20Labor%20%26%20Employment%20Update"><span style="color: #0000ff">Jessy.Asfahan@BBKlaw.com </span></a><br /> &nbsp;</p>Seminars and Webinars10 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34596&format=xmlBB&K Partner Kira Klatchko Receives Outstanding Young Lawyer Awardhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35173&format=xml<p><b>INDIAN WELLS, Calif.</b>&nbsp;- Kira Klatchko, an appellate attorney in Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP&rsquo;s Indian Wells, Calif. office, received the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award from the Desert Bar Association and the Warren Slaughter-Richard Roemer Inn of Court during the First Annual DBA/Inn of Court Judge and Lawyer Hall of Fame Awards on Tuesday night. The award recognizes an attorney who has practiced for less than 10 years and who has shown &ldquo;sterling character, unquestioned integrity and a dedication to the highest standards of ethics, civility and professionalism,&rdquo; according to the organizations.</p> <p>Klatchko&rsquo;s appellate work takes her to both the state and federal courts on behalf of a variety of clients, including public agencies, businesses and private individuals. She is chair of the firm&rsquo;s Appellate Practice Litigation group, and holds the unique distinction of being an Appellate Law Specialist, certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.</p> <p>She recently earned a high-profile victory in the California Supreme Court on behalf of the City of Inglewood, Calif. She obtained a unanimous opinion that red light camera evidence is not an out-of-court statement constituting hearsay, and may be authenticated like other photographic evidence. The published decision represents the broadest description and clarification regarding photographic evidence since a 1960s case, and is already being cited in a broad range of civil and criminal cases. Also this year, she secured dismissal of all attorneys&rsquo; fee claims and obtained a clarification on the law governing private special education placements on behalf of Upland Unified School District and a special education local plan area.</p> <p>Klatchko is the immediate past chair of the State Bar of California&rsquo;s Standing Committee on Appellate Courts and serves as a volunteer mediator for the 4th District Court of Appeal, in addition to conducting private mediations. She is often called upon to teach, speak and write about appellate practice. She is co-editor of &ldquo;California Civil Appeals and Writs&rdquo; (Matthew Bender 2014), a comprehensive two-volume practice guide for appellate counsel and general litigators.</p> <p>In addition, she is a member of the State Bar of California&rsquo;s Justice Gap Fund Committee, dedicated to supporting free civil legal services for low-income Californians, and serves as chair of the ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers&rsquo; Pro Bono Committee. Klatchko also sits on the board of directors for Angel View, a nonprofit dedicated to serving disabled children and adults in the Inland Empire region of Southern California.</p> <p>Nominations for the Outstanding Young Lawyer Award were solicited from DBA and Inn of Court members, and other members of the legal community with the winner being selected by the Joint DBA/Inn of Court Awards Selection Committee.</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><i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><span><font color="#0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</font></span></a> or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases10 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35173&format=xmlCalifornia Public Utilities Commission to Approve Grant Program to Promote Broadband Internet for Public Housinghttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35000&format=xml<p>The California Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to approve the California Advanced Services Fund Public Housing Broadband Grant Guidelines on December 18, which will create a new state grant opportunity to facilitate the installation of on-site broadband internet for public housing units. Up to $20 million will be available for grants and loans to finance&nbsp;projects to connect broadband networks to public housing, and an additional $5 million will be available to support adoption programs, which will provide devices and training to residents of public housing. Eligible applicants include public housing authorities and non-profit public housing owners.</p> <p>The window to apply for the first round of grants is fast approaching: December 18 through mid-January. After that, applications will be accepted on a quarterly basis until they run out of funding or reach December 31, 2016, the deadline for awarding grants.</p> <p>The CPUC will offer an approval process for grant requests up to $75,000 for broadband infrastructure/hardware applications and up to $50,000 for adoption program applications. The grants are intended to provide individual housing units with broadband service for free or a nominal fee of no more than $20 a month.</p> <p>For more information on this CPUC grant opportunity, please contact the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right, an attorney in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=456&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Telecommunications practice</span></a> or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p>Legal Alerts05 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35000&format=xmlWater Quality Litigation Associate - Walnut Creekhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34999&format=xml<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">We have an immediate opening for an associate with 2-3 years of litigation experience who will be primarily developing an expertise in water quality litigation and the Clean Water Act. The associate will also have the opportunity to work on land use and toxics litigation cases.&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.</span></span></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a><br /> <br /> &nbsp;<span style="font-size: medium">Please address your cover letter to:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <br /> <em><strong>No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></span></p>Job Openings at BB&K04 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34999&format=xmlWho Signs and How to Hold? Legal and Taxable Consequenceshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34932&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Partner Stephen Stwora-Hail was among the presenters at the Sacramento Association of Realtors Commercial Division&rsquo;s &ldquo;Who Signs and How to Hold? Legal and Taxable Consequences.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>When</b><br /> Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014<br /> 11 a.m. &ndash; 1 p.m.</p> <p><b>Where</b><br /> SAR Mack Powell Event Center<br /> 2003 Howe Ave.<br /> Sacramento, CA 95825</p> <p>For more information, call Carol at (916) 437-1208</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements04 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34932&format=xmlInitiatives and Referendumshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32239&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Kara Ueda&nbsp;was among the presenters at the League of California Cities&rsquo; New Law &amp; Elections Seminar<span>, which&nbsp;was held Dec. 3-5, 2014. She provided an overview of the initiative process, including the roles of city clerks, city attorneys, city councils and initiative proponents, as well as considerations for potential and actual litigation.</span></p> <p><b>When<br /> </b>Dec. 4, 2014<br /> 1:45-5 p.m.</p> <p><b>Where<br /> </b>Hyatt Regency Monterey</p> <p>For more information, visit the LCC&rsquo;s City Clerks New Law &amp; Elections Seminar page by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cacities.org/Education-Events/City-Clerks-New-Law-Elections-Seminar"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements04 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32239&format=xml