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-us29 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssVeterans Leadership Academy and Elected Officials Training Academy 2.0http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39717&format=xml<br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Ruben Duran will provide training on &quot;Everyday Ethics for Local Officials: AB 1234 Compliance&quot; during the California Latino Leadership Institute's&nbsp;Veterans Leadership Academy&nbsp;and Elected Officals Training Academy 2.0. The session&nbsp;will provide attendees tactical solutions for&nbsp;everyday ethical issues&nbsp;local officals encounter and&nbsp;an opportunity to recieve their certification for completing AB 1234 training.<br /> <br /> <strong>When<br /> </strong>Friday, Oct. 9, 2015<br /> 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Embassy Suites Los Angeles - Downey<br /> 8425 Firestone Blvd.<br /> Downey, CA 90241<br /> <br /> For more information, <a target="_blank" href="http://socalatinos.org/events/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>&nbsp;(coming soon).Conferences & Speaking Engagements09 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39717&format=xmlThe Future of Cable Franchisinghttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40327&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Joseph Van Eaton&nbsp;is a panelist&nbsp;during the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA)'s 35th Annual Local Government Conference. Joseph's panel disccusion, &quot;The Future of Cable Franchising,&quot; will&nbsp;cover&nbsp;how current video service&nbsp;trends may impact the future of cable franchising and what these trends mean for local governments.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Wednesday, Sept. 9<br /> 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Hard Rock Hotel<br /> 207 5th Avenue <br /> San Diego, CA 92101<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.natoa.org/policy-advocacy/fcc-issues-of-interest/2015-ac-main.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements09 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40327&format=xmlBullying...The Legal View (and cost)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40638&format=xmlBest Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partners Jack Clarke, Jr. and Cathy Holmes will present &quot;Bullying...The Legal View (and Cost)&quot; during the Safe Schools Conference. The workshop will look at several important legal theories in regards to student-to-student bullying, which will assist educators and risk managers in spotting potential trouble and taking steps to protect students and the schools they attend.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, July 30<br /> 9 - 11:15 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Hilton Orange County Costa Mesa<br /> 3050 Bristol Street in Costa Mesa, CA 92626 <br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://safeschoolsconference.com/"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);">click here</span></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements30 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40638&format=xmlDealing With the Drought: State Water Resources Control Board (WRCB) Mandatory Water Consumption Reduction Measureshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39490&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Kelly Salt will present &ldquo;Dealing With the Drought: State Water Resources Control Board (WRCB) Mandatory Water Consumption Reduction Measures&rdquo; at Law Seminars International&rsquo;s program, &ldquo;Municipal Water Utility Ratemaking in California.&rdquo; Kelly will give an update on Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s Executive Order requiring 25 percent reductions and the Water Resources Control Board&rsquo;s implementation efforts and how the rate structuring/pricing/penalty provisions for encouraging conservation mesh with Proposition 218.</p> <p>The day-long seminar will be in Sacramento, and webcast live.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Monday, July 20, 2015<br /> 2:45 p.m.</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=15MWR2CA"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements20 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39490&format=xmlGeneral Manager Leadership Summithttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39545&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP partner's&nbsp;Fernando Avila and Nancy Park&nbsp;are among the speakers at the California Special District Association's event, &ldquo;General Manager Leadership Summit.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> <u>BB&amp;K Speakers:</u><br /> <br /> <strong>Fernando Avila</strong>, &quot;CEQA: What Special Districts Need to Know in 2015 and Beyond&quot;<br /> This panel will address the recent changes to CEQA from legislation and cases decided in 2015. Panelists will discuss how endangered species laws integrate with CEQA requirements for biological resources, effectively use CEQA exemptions following recent California Supreme Court rulings and analyzing the impacts of climate and greenhouse gases as part of public projects.<br /> 2:00 - 3:15 P.M.<br /> <br /> <strong>Nancy Park</strong>, &ldquo;Behind the Scenes Negotiating Secrets&rdquo;&nbsp;<br /> An overview of the changes in legislation related to public sector labor relations in the past year and a look at decisions from the Public Employment Relations Board that deal with how agencies interact with employee organizations.<br /> 3:30 - 4:30 P.M.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Monday, July 13, 2015<br /> <br /> <strong>Where</strong><br /> Hyatt Regency Newport Beach<br /> 1107 Jamboree Road<br /> Newport Beach, CA 92660<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://gmsummit.csda.net/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements13 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39545&format=xmlAB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Webinar (June 23, 2015)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38949&format=xml<div><br /> California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, pursuant to AB 1825, requires that employers with&nbsp;50 or more employees in California provide at least two hours of Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training every two years to any employee&nbsp;who has a supervisory role in operations. This presentation is designed to satisfy those requirements.<br /> <br /> Joseph Ortiz will present the training via a live webinar. The webinar is interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions.<br /> <br /> <p><strong>The webinar will cover:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>What constitutes sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace</li> <li>How to recognize and avoid it</li> <li>What procedures to follow if you witness harassment or are harassed yourself</li> <li>The potential consequences - including personal liability - of sexual harassment</li> </ul> <p><strong><br /> Who should attend:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Supervisors</li> <li>Human Resources Professionals</li> <li>Public Officials</li> <li>Managers &amp; Private Business Professionals with 50 or More Employees</li> </ul> <p><br /> <strong>When: <br /> <br /> </strong>June 23, 2015<br /> 9 - 11 a.m.&nbsp;PT</p> <p><br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Presenter:<br /> <br /> </strong>Joseph Ortiz, Partner, Labor &amp; Employment Practice Group in the Riverside office<br /> <strong><br /> <br /> Cost:</strong><br /> <br /> $75 per person<br /> <br /> Please provide payment before the training. Otherwise, you will not be able to join the webinar or receive a certificate of completion. Colleagues must register separately.<br /> <br /> <strong><br /> Registration:<br /> <br /> </strong>To register for this webinar, please click <span style="color: #0000ff"><strong><a target="_blank" href="https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1559305766182941698"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a></strong></span>. <br /> <strong><br /> </strong><em><strong>Deadline for reigstration and payment is Friday, June, 19</strong></em><br /> <br /> <strong>Payment:<br /> </strong></p> <form method="post" action="https://www.cart32.com/cgi-bin/cart32.exe/BBK-AddItem"> <font size="+1"><b>AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Webinar - June 23, 2015</b><br /> <input type="hidden" name="item" value="AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Webinar - June 23, 2015" /> Qty: <input type="text" name="Qty" value="1" size="3" /> <b>Price: $75</b> <input type="hidden" name="Price" value="75" /> <br /> <br /> <input type="submit" value="Add to Shopping Cart" /> <strong><br /> <br /> QUESTIONS:<br /> <br /> </strong>Contact <a href="mailto:amanda.fine@bbklaw.com?subject=Do%20You%20Need%20to%20Fulfill%20Your%20AB%201825%20Harassment%20Training%20Requirement%3F"><span style="color: #0000ff">Events@BBKlaw.com</span></a> if you have any questions about this event and/or about BB&amp;K upcoming seminars/events.<br /> <br /> If you are not currently receiving our Legal Alerts and would like to be added to our email distribution list, please visit our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2121"><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)">subscription page</span></a>.<br /> &nbsp; <p>&nbsp;</p> </font> </form> </div>Seminars and Webinars23 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38949&format=xml2015 California Public Records & Open Meetings Conferencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38931&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger attorneys Matthew (Mal) Richardson and Richard Egger are among the speakers at The State Bar of California Public Law Section&rsquo;s 2015 California Public Records &amp; Open Meeting Conference.</p> <p><u>BB&amp;K Speakers</u></p> <p><b>Mal Richardson</b>, &ldquo;Records Related to Public Business, But Not Controlled by Third Parties&rdquo;<br /> This session will track developing law regarding records related to public business, but controlled by third parties. This includes the use of private email accounts to conduct public business, as well as records relied upon by a public entity in conducting business, that are maintained by a third party, such as n investment firm.<br /> 3:30 &ndash; 4:40 p.m.</p> <p><b>Richard Egger</b>, &ldquo;Ethical Issues Related to Open Government Law&rdquo;<br /> This session will explore ethical issues arising from public entities&rsquo; obligations to provide public record access, including determining who your client is for purposes of attorney-client privilege and related third-party protection of confidential personal information held by agencies. Discussion will also include the potential waiver of any privileges caused by inadvertent PRA-document disclosures and the public attorney&rsquo;s potential ethical duty to third parties under this circumstance.<br /> 4:30 &ndash; 5:30 p.m.</p> <p>BB&amp;K is a sponsor of this event. MCLE Credit is available.</p> <p><strong>When<br /> </strong>Friday, June 19, 2015</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> UCLA-Palisades Room at Carnesales Commons<br /> 251 Charles E. Young Dr. West<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90095</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://publiclaw.calbar.ca.gov/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38931&format=xmlCalifornia Water Law & Policyhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38936&format=xml<p>It's official. The drought continues.</p> <p>But 2015 is very different from 2014: Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered sweeping new requirements for urban and agricultural water conservation; the State Water Resources Control Board has reduced water diversions via water right curtailment orders and rulemakings; the Water Bond has passed and in this new era of intense, &quot;mega-drought,&quot; everyone is looking at water reuse, recycling, and desalination to help bridge the gap between frighteningly low water availability and ever-increasing water demand.</p> <p>With these and other topics in mind, Argent Communications is presenting a two-day conference California Water Law &amp; Policy, co-chaired by BB&amp;K Partner Steven Anderson. BB&amp;K attorneys Andre Monette, Kelly Salt and Roderick Walston are also speaking at the conference, which is co-sponsored by the firm.</p> <p>This informative, practice-oriented two-day event is a must-attend for anyone who needs to understand California's complex water issues. Whether you're an attorney, water district staff or board member, federal or state government practitioner, consulting engineer, city or county counsel or planner, environmental organization representative, developer or agricultural business owner, you'll get the latest detailed updates on these and other crucial and complex issues.<br /> <b><i><br /> Mention BB&amp;K when registering and receive $100 off the tuition price.</i></b></p> <p><u>BB&amp;K Speakers</u></p> <p><b>Steve Anderson</b>, Conference Overview<br /> Monday, June 15, 8:30 a.m.<br /> Tuesday, June 16, 8:30 a.m.</p> <p><b>Andre Monette</b>, &ldquo;Water Quality Control and Drought: The Legal Aspects of Stormwater Capture and Use&rdquo;<br /> Monday, June 15, 1:30 p.m.</p> <p><b>Kelly Salt</b>, &ldquo;Prop. 218: The Future of Tiered Conservation Rates (San Juan Capistrano Case):<br /> Monday, June 15, 3:45 p.m.</p> <p><b>Roderick Walston</b>, &ldquo;Developing Groundwater Disputes: A Closer Look &mdash; Does the Reserved Rights Doctrine Apply to Groundwater? The Agua Caliente Case&rdquo;<br /> Tuesday, June 16, 10:15 a.m.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Monday, June 15 &ndash; Tuesday, June 16, 2015</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Hotel Nikko San Francisco<br /> <a target="_blank" href="http://images.magnetmail.net/images/clients/ARGENT/attach/2015CWLBrochure.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Click here</span></a> for more information</p> <p>To register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.registrationheadquarters.com/events/?da5124fee1c34386ad493ed9a7fad8c4a&amp;mmurlid=72082185"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements15 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38936&format=xmlThe Administrative & Public Environmental Law Conferencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39300&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Managing Partner Eric Garner and Of Counsel Sara Owsowitz will be speaking at The Administrative &amp; Public Environmental Law Conference, co-presented by The State Bar of California Public and Environmental law sections. BB&amp;K is a sponsor if of the one-day conference.</p> <p><u>BB&amp;K Speakers</u></p> <p><b>Sarah Owsowitz</b>, &ldquo;Preparing the CEQA Administrative Record&rdquo;<br /> 11:10 a.m. &ndash; 12:25 p.m.<br /> What goes into (and what stays out of) the administrative record prepared in California Environmental Quality Act litigation is one of the most difficult and controversial topics facing practitioners. What is required? What may be excluded? What is privileged? What about emails? What if a Public Records Act request is filed concurrently? Who pays for it all? Panelists will also provide advice on the use of joint defense agreements to maintain privileges between agency and applicant counsel communications involving scoping potential mitigation measures and responding to comments. This session will address recent case law answering these questions and provide practical tips for compliance.</p> <p><b>Eric Garner</b>, &ldquo;The Effects of California's Drought on Public Entities&rdquo;<br /> 3:15 &ndash; 4:45 p.m.<br /> This session will focus on legislative and regulatory developments resulting from California's long-standing drought, including from the state and local water boards and local entities. Panelists will provide advice and discuss the enforcement of programs to limit watering, diversions and code enforcement. The session will also address current water law rights and usage priorities, including the State's recent assumption of jurisdiction over groundwater rights and any anticipated changes to these laws.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Friday, June 12, 2015</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> UC Hastings College of the Law<br /> San Francisco</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://publiclaw.calbar.ca.gov/Education/TheAdministrativePublicEnvironmentalLawConf.aspx#sched"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements12 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39300&format=xmlPublic Law Attorney Janet Coleson Joins Best Best & Kriegerhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39395&format=xml<b>WALNUT CREEK, Calif.&nbsp;-</b> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is pleased to welcome Janet Coleson, Katherine Wisinski and Benjamin Lee to the Municipal Law practice group. Both Coleson and Wisinski come to BB&amp;K from Richards Watson and Gershon. Coleson was a shareholder there and Wisinski a senior counsel. They are joining Lee, who started last month. <p align="justify">Coleson is city attorney for the City of Pleasant Hill, town attorney for the Town of Fairfax and general counsel for the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District. She has served as city attorney for the City of El Cerrito and provided special counsel services to the cities of Fremont, Vallejo and East Palo Alto. Prior to attending law school, she was an environmental and land use planner for the cities of New York and El Segundo. She is a member of the American Planning Association and maintains certification with the American Institute of Certified Planners. She received her law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law.</p> <p align="justify">Wisinski serves as the assistant city attorney for Pleasant Hill and the assistant town attorney for Fairfax. She previously served in-house as an assistant city attorney for the City of Walnut Creek, as well as a deputy city attorney for the City of Concord. She earned her law degree at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.</p> <p align="left">Lee joins BB&amp;K from Olson Hagel &amp; Fishburn in Sacramento, where he worked as litigation associate with a focus on public law. He helped represent the California State Senate, the County of Los Angeles and numerous elected and appointed local government officials in trial court and agency enforcement proceedings. Following graduation from the University of Virginia School of Law, Lee served as an assistant attorney general with the District of Columbia Office of the Attorney General. While in law school, Lee served as a judicial intern with Judge Seon-Ki Park on the United Nations International Tribunal for Rwanda and worked as a summer law clerk with the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.</p> <p align="left">&quot;Janet, Katy and Ben will be great additions to our Bay Area Municipal Law practice,&quot; said Jeff Ballinger, head of BB&amp;K&rsquo;s Municipal Law practice group. &quot;Our public agency clients in the region will benefit from their depth of experience and knowledge of issues unique to the area.&quot;</p> <p align="left">&quot;We welcome Janet, Katy and Ben to our Walnut Creek office and are excited to work with each of them,&quot; added Gene Tanaka, the Walnut Creek office managing partner.</p> <dir><dir><dir><dir><dir><dir><dir><dir><dir><dir><dir><dir><dir><dir><font size="3"> <p align="left">###</p> </font></dir></dir></dir></dir></dir></dir></dir></dir></dir></dir></dir></dir></dir></dir><i> <p align="left">&nbsp;<b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP </i></b><em>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, Walnut Creek, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>www.bbklaw.com</em></span></a><em> or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</em></p> <p align="left">&nbsp;</p> <p align="left">&nbsp;</p> </i>Press Releases29 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39395&format=xmlTelecom Associate - DC Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40602&format=xml<p><span style="font-family: Arial"><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA">We have an immediate opening for an associate with 2-4 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. Position involves working closely with clients to: research and write briefs before lower courts and courts of appeal; prepare and file comments with the Federal Communications Commission; develop policy papers and positions on communications issues affecting local governments; draft ordinances governing use of rights of way and governing land use by communications providers (including wireless facilities providers); and draft agreements and franchises with communications and cable companies.</span><br /> <br /> </span></span><span style="font-family: Arial"><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></span></p> <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">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&K28 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40602&format=xmlHow to Avoid Brown Act Violations When Discussing Litigation Issueshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40623&format=xml<p><b>By Victoria Hester</b></p> <p>A nearly $400,000 severance deal struck between Pasadena Community College and its former president was nullified by a judge after determining that the deal was improperly discussed and finalized in closed session. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge recently found that the Pasadena Community College Board of Trustees violated the Brown Act. The Brown Act, California&rsquo;s open meeting law, generally requires that meetings of legislative bodies be open to the public.</p> <p>A nonprofit group, Californians Aware, filed the lawsuit against the college, claiming that the board violated the Brown Act by finalizing the former president&rsquo;s severance package in two closed sessions rather than in public meetings. The college claimed that a dispute with the former president had matured into potential litigation, and that the two closed sessions, held on July 22 and Aug. 6, qualified as &ldquo;conferences with legal counsel regarding anticipated litigation,&rdquo; and were exempt from the Brown Act&rsquo;s open meeting requirement.</p> <p><b>What the Brown Act Says about Litigation</b></p> <p>The Brown Act allows a legislative body to hold a closed session to &ldquo;confer with, or receive advice from, its legal counsel regarding pending litigation when discussion in open session concerning those matters would prejudice the position of the local agency in the litigation.&rdquo; Litigation is considered pending not only when a lawsuit has been formally initiated, but also when &ldquo;based on existing facts and circumstances, there is a significant exposure to litigation against the local agency.&rdquo;</p> <p>The Brown Act requires that when the facts and circumstances that may give rise to litigation are known to the potential plaintiff, they must be disclosed on the agenda or publicly announced. In the Pasadena Community College case, the facts and circumstances surrounding the anticipated litigation were not included on the college&rsquo;s agendas and were not publicly announced. Both closed session agenda items noted only that the sessions were closed due to conference with legal counsel regarding anticipation of litigation.</p> <p>The judge held that, although the severance package did qualify as a litigation settlement, because the college failed to announce or include on the agenda the facts and circumstances of the anticipated litigation, the college violated the Brown Act. The college and former president were given 90 days to &ldquo;unwind&rdquo; the agreement and revisit settlement negotiations, should they wish to do so, in compliance with the Brown Act.</p> <p><b>What should agencies do?</b></p> <p>Local agencies should remember that generally, the Brown Act requires meetings of governmental bodies to be open to the public. Under certain circumstances the legislative body can convene in closed session &ldquo;to confer with, or receive advice from, its legal counsel regarding pending litigation when discussion in open session concerning those matters would prejudice the position of the local agency in the litigation.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Litigation&rdquo; includes: Any adjudicatory proceeding, including eminent domain, before a court, administrative body exercising its adjudicatory authority, hearing officer, or arbitrator.</p> <p>If a legislative body wants to convene in closed session to discuss pending litigation, it must state on the agenda or publicly announce the paragraph of subdivision that authorizes the closed session.</p> <p>There is no need to disclose &ldquo;facts and circumstances&rdquo; that might result in litigation against the local agency, as long as the agency believes the facts and circumstances are not yet known to potential plaintiffs.&nbsp; Facts and circumstances including an accident, disaster, incident, etc. that might result in litigation and are known to the potential plaintiffs must be disclosed, either stated on the agenda or publicly announced.</p> <p><b>The Public Right to Know</b></p> <p>Receipt of a claim under the Government Claims Act, or some other written communication from a potential plaintiff threatening litigation, must be available for public inspection.&nbsp; A statement by a person in an open and public meeting threatening litigation on a specific matter does not need to&nbsp; be disclosed because it is a public statement.&nbsp; If a statement threatening litigation is made by a person outside of an open and public meeting on a specific matter, of which an official or employee of the agency makes a record, then the record must be made available for public inspection.</p> <p>It is important to note that none of these rules require disclosure of written communications that are privileged and not subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.</p> <p>The Brown Act was established to keep the business of public agencies open and transparent. If you are unsure how to proceed, it is best to discuss the specific situation with legal counsel. While litigation should always be carefully and thoughtfully discussed, it is also important to weigh the public&rsquo;s right to know.</p> <p><i>This article first appeared on <a href="http://www.publicceo.com/2015/05/how-to-avoid-brown-act-violations-when-discussing-litigation-issues/" target="_blank"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);">PublicCEO.com</span></a> on May 28, 2015. Republished with permission. </i></p>BB&K In The News28 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40623&format=xmlLegal Secretary - Municipal - Irvine Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40480&format=xml<span style="font-family: Arial"> <div><span style="font-size: medium">Immediate need for an experienced legal secretary with strong administration skills (i.e., Executive Assistant).&nbsp; Experience with municipal law&nbsp;a plus.&nbsp; The ideal candidate will be a highly organized, independent self-starter with executive management skills who can thrive in a fast-paced, deadline-intensive environment with a thorough knowledge of Superior and District court rules and procedures. Proficient in Word, Outlook, and iManage software.&nbsp; Excellent salary/benefits package and work environment.&nbsp; </span></div> <div><span style="font-size: medium">&nbsp;</span></div> </span><span><span style="font-family: Arial"> <div><span style="font-size: medium">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.&nbsp; If you are using an Apple product to send us your materials, please send directly to&nbsp;Lynda Byrd at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:Lynda.byrd@bbklaw.com">Lynda.byrd@bbklaw.com</a></span></div> </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=%3a%40%3bA"><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">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> </span></span>Job Openings at BB&K27 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40480&format=xmlBB&K Police Bulletin: Arresting Armed, Mentally Ill Suspectshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40318&format=xml<p><b>Overview: </b>The United States Supreme Court found that two police officers were immune from liability under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 even if the officers failed to accommodate the disability of a mentally ill person who was acting dangerously and uncooperatively. However, the Court did not address whether law enforcement officers are required, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, to provide accommodations to armed, violent and mentally ill suspects in the course of arrest.</p> <p><b>Training Points: </b>By upholding qualified immunity in such situations, this ruling provides a measure of security to police officers, who may be forced to act decisively when confronted with armed and dangerous individuals who suffer from mental disabilities. It should be noted, however, that this holding is limited to specific facts involving confrontations with mentally ill persons who are acting violently and dangerously. Other factual scenarios where officers&rsquo; duties are clearly established may still result in personal liability. Officers should follow their departmental policies and procedures on use of force and should continue to consider the totality of the circumstances when faced with an armed and dangerous individual.</p> <p>The extent to which the ADA applies in these circumstances remains an open question. From a practical standpoint, this case likely will not affect the procedures and training that departments utilize to prepare for these situations.</p> <p><b>Summary Analysis: </b>In <a target="_blank" href="http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/city-and-county-of-san-francisco-california-v-sheehan/"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan</i></span></a><i>,</i> a woman who lived in a group home for mentally disabled persons was arrested after she threatened her social worker with a knife and barricaded herself in her room. When two police officers arrived and entered her room, she threatened the officers with the knife. The officers, concerned that she would flee or injure herself, forcibly reentered the room, sprayed Sheehan with pepper spray and, when she continued to approach them with a knife, shot her several times.</p> <p>Sheehan sought damages for her injuries against the two officers under section 1983 based on allegations the officers violated the ADA by failing to accommodate her mental disability.&nbsp;&nbsp;Under section 1983, police officers are immune from suit unless they violate a &ldquo;clearly established&rdquo; statutory or constitutional right. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found the officers could have provided an accommodation by &ldquo;respect[ing]&nbsp;[Sheehan&rsquo;s] comfort zone, engag[ing] in non-threatening communications and us[ing] the passage of time to defuse the situation rather than precipitating a deadly confrontation.&rdquo; &nbsp;The Supreme Court reversed, holding that officers&rsquo; duties in such situations are <i>not</i> clearly established &mdash; competent officers could have believed that reentry into the room was justified under the circumstances.</p> <p>The Supreme Court did not address the underlying issue &ndash; whether the ADA requires law enforcement officers to provide accommodations to an armed, violent and mentally ill suspect in the course of taking&nbsp;a suspect into custody. Though the Court had planned to determine this issue &ndash; where there is a split in authority among several Circuit Courts &ndash; the City did not brief the matter, and the Court therefore dismissed it without addressing the merits.</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 Alerts26 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40318&format=xmlBB&K Files Successful Amicus Brief in Eminent Domain Casehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40326&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Kendall H. MacVey and Kira Klatchko filed a successful brief as amicus curiae counsel to a California appellate court, which found that the Mello-Roos Act can be used to finance acquisitions by eminent domain. (<a target="_blank" href="http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/B255408.PDF"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>Golden State Water Company v. Casitas Municipal Water District, B255408</i></span></a>)</p> <p>The brief was filed on behalf of the Association of California Water Agencies, the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties and the California Special Districts Association, which collectively represent more than 2,000 public entities. The entities supported Casitas&rsquo; position that it had the right to acquire Golden State Water Company to provide water service in the City of Ojai.</p> <p>In a Mello-Roos election held in Ojai, 87 percent of the voters approved using Mello-Roos property taxes to finance Casitas&rsquo; acquisition by eminent domain of Golden State&rsquo;s Ojai water system. Golden State, declaring its system was &ldquo;not for sale,&rdquo; brought a legal challenge to set aside the voter approved Mello-Roos measure.</p> <p>The Second District Court of Appeal affirmed that the Mello-Roos Act should be &ldquo;liberally construed&rdquo; to allow for the financing of the acquisition of facilities.</p> <p>Casitas is seeking control of the for-profit regulated utility, which has a monopoly in providing water service in Ojai, out of concern for high water bills. Casitas believes the Ojai community would benefit from having its water utility run by a locally controlled entity rather than an out-of-area-corporation seeking to maximize profits for its owners.</p>Client Successes26 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40326&format=xmlWebinar: Regulations for Small Systemshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39627&format=xml<p><br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Kelly Salt is a speaker during the Association of California Water Agencies' webinar, titled: &quot;Regulations for Small Systems.&quot;<br /> <br /> The webinar, one in a series of special events on urban water conservation in the California drought, will provide an overview by the State Water Resources Control Board of the emergency regulations adopted May 5 and identify tools and resources available to water agencies as they work to meet conservation targets ranging from 4 percent to 36 percent.<br /> <strong><br /> When:</strong><br /> Tuesday, May 26, 2015<br /> 1 - 2:30 p.m.<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.acwa.com/2015-Drought-Regs-Webinars"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements26 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39627&format=xmlAdapting Water Laws to Increasing Demand and a Changing Climatehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38447&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Managing Partner Eric Garner will be a speaker at the IRWA&rsquo;s World Water Congress XV, which will be held May 25-29, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Eric will present &ldquo;Adapting Water Laws to Increasing Demand and a Changing Climate,&rdquo; where he will share how his water law work &mdash; both in the U.S. and abroad &mdash; have created solutions to increasing water demand. Based on more than 25 years of water law practice, Eric believes that aquifer governance institutions, &ldquo;physical solutions,&rdquo; that have developed in California are well-suited to managing groundwater, transboundary rivers and aquifers around the world in a time of shifting hydrology due to climate change. Eric will offer practical perspective on what works, what doesn&rsquo;t and why.</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://worldwatercongress.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p> <p>Follow along on Twitter: <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/bbkericgarner"><span style="color: #0000ff">@BBKEricGarner</span></a> and <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/WaterCongressXV"><span style="color: #0000ff">@WaterCongressXV</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements26 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38447&format=xmlBB&K Secures Employment Discrimination Lawsuit Dismissal for Clienthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39884&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Cynthia Germano and Sarah Mohammadi obtained dismissal of an employee discrimination lawsuit on behalf of the Los Angeles Community College District.</p> <p>Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson granted LACCD&rsquo;s motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the plaintiff, Ewan Paymah, failed to provide evidence to support his claims that he was discriminated against because of race, ethnicity or religion. Johnson wrote in his ruling that LACCD &ldquo;has shown that there were legitimate non-discriminatory reasons for each of the employment actions alleged&rdquo; by Paymah, an adjunct professor at the college.</p> <p>In addition, Johnson agreed with the arguments asserted by Germano that Paymah failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing the lawsuit. The dismissal followed a May 7 hearing.</p>Client Successes22 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39884&format=xmlProposed California Law Would Automatically Approve Applications for Cell Siteshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39818&format=xml<p>The California State Assembly&rsquo;s Local Government Committee has unanimously voted Assembly Bill 57 out of committee, moving the bill forward. If adopted in its current form, AB 57 would <i>deem approved</i> an application for <i>new</i> wireless towers and facilities if: (1) the city (including a charter city) or county fails to approve or disapprove the application within the time periods established in the Federal Communications Commission&rsquo;s 2009 Declaratory Ruling (24 FCC Rcd. 13994), and (2) all public notices regarding the application have been provided. The law would also apply to applications to collocate additional wireless facilities and devices on or adjacent to existing facilities.</p> <p>The FCC&rsquo;s 2009 Declaratory Ruling referred to in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/asm/ab_0051-0100/ab_57_bill_20150406_amended_asm_v97.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">AB 57</span></a> interpreted a &ldquo;reasonable period of time&rdquo; to be 90 days for processing colocation applications, and 150 days for processing all other applications. In the 2009 ruling, the FCC also considered whether an application should be &ldquo;deemed granted&rdquo; when a state or local government fails to take action within these time periods, but rejected that remedy. The FCC said that, in any particular case, a locality that was challenged for failing to meet the federal deadline could show that more time was required to act on the application. The FCC recently reaffirmed that decision with respect to initial installations of facilities, and with respect to many colocations.</p> <p>AB 57, on the other hand, would establish a strict, statewide requirement that would approve applications for initial installations not acted on within a very short period of time, regardless of the complexity of the proposal.</p> <p>AB 57 also creates a &ldquo;deemed granted&rdquo; remedy for colocations. There is a federal &ldquo;deemed granted&rdquo; rule that applies to some colocations (those that do not involve a substantial change in the physical dimensions of existing facilities); but the AB 57 rule is broader, and applies to any application for colocation of equipment, facilities and antennas on or adjacent to an existing wireless facility. In addition, the FCC rule for colocations is being challenged in federal court, and may be struck down in whole or in part. If AB 57 is law, the California law would include a &ldquo;deemed approved&rdquo; remedy, even if the FCC rule was invalidated.</p> <p>Under AB 57, while notice must be given to the public, in many communities the time lines will not allow adequate opportunity for public participation, or time to develop a record that will allow localities to make a reasoned decision on an application or to establish appropriate conditions on an application. The time lines may also require localities to hire additional staff, adopt new procedures or give wireless applications priority over other pending applications.</p> <p>AB 57 contains an express finding that wireless facilities are a matter of statewide concern, not a &ldquo;municipal affair&rdquo; &mdash; as that term is used in section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution &mdash; so that charter cities would also be subject to its requirements.</p> <p>For more information, please contact the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=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 Alerts21 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39818&format=xmlBB&K Among Top Firms for Minority Attorneyshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39834&format=xml<p>RIVERSIDE, Calif.&nbsp;- Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is pleased to announce that it was ranked No. 44 on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/articles/657666/the-100-best-law-firms-for-minority-attorneys"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>Law360&rsquo;s</i> Top 100 Firms for Minority Attorneys</span></a>. This is the national publication&rsquo;s first time ranking the firms for racial minorities, and is based on surveys submitted by the firms.</p> <p>In addition, BB&amp;K ranked No. 6 on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/articles/657725/2015-law360-minority-report?article_related_content=1"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>Law360&rsquo;s</i> Best Law Firms for Minority Partners</span></a>, with minorities making up nearly 20 percent of the equity partners.</p> <p>&ldquo;According to <i>Law360</i>, BB&amp;K&rsquo;s diversity representation is separate and apart from the trend at most law firms,&rdquo; said Partner Danielle Sakai, who oversees recruiting for the firm. &ldquo;BB&amp;K values diversity and knows that better service is delivered when we can offer different points of view and experiences to our clients.&rdquo;</p> <p>Previously, <i>Law360</i> recognized BB&amp;K as one of the Top 25 Best Law Firms for Female Partners, ranking the firm No. 13 on its <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/articles/529420/the-25-best-law-firms-for-female-partners"><span style="color: #0000ff">&ldquo;Ceiling Smashers&rdquo;</span></a> list.</p> <p>Last year, the firm was named the 12th most diverse law firm in the country by <i>The American Lawyer</i> in its annual <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/88E17A/assets/files/documents/Diversity-Scorecard-2014.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Diversity Scorecard</span></a>.</p> <p align="center">###</p> <p><b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b><i> is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With 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><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>www.bbklaw.com</i></span></a><i> or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases21 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39834&format=xmlWebinar: AB 52's New CEQA Requirementhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38776&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger attorneys Sarah Owsowitz and Christopher Diaz will present a webinar for the State Bar of California Public Law Section, titled: &ldquo;AB 52&rsquo;s New CEQA Requirement.&rdquo; Starting in July 2015, AB 52 will require all public agencies acting as lead agencies under CEQA to enter into consultation with requesting tribes prior to the release of a negative declaration or an EIR. Consultation may concern the level of environmental review necessary, the significance of a tribal cultural resource and of a project's impact on that resource, and project alternatives and/or mitigation, including those recommended by the tribe. A &quot;tribal cultural resource&quot; &ndash; a new term for CEQA &ndash; is any site, feature, place, cultural landscape, sacred place, or object with cultural value to a California Native American tribe. Significantly, AB 52 applies not just to federally recognized tribes (as is the case with Section 106 review under the National Historic Preservation Act), but to all tribes on the California Native American Heritage Commission's &quot;contact list.&quot;</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, May 21, 2015<br /> Noon &ndash; 1 p.m.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://publiclaw.calbar.ca.gov/"><span style="color: #0000ff">For more information or to register, click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements21 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38776&format=xmlBB&K Partner Michelle Ouellette Named a Top Woman Lawyer by the Daily Journalhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39749&format=xml<p><b>RIVERSIDE, Calif.</b> - Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Michelle Ouellette is among the <i>Daily Journal&rsquo;s</i> Top 100 Women Lawyers in California. While her recent environmental law accomplishments were considered, the legal newspaper highlighted her work leading the Santa Margarita Water District legal team in overcoming challenges to a water recovery and storage project.</p> <p>An Orange County Superior Court&rsquo;s ruling last year rejected six challenges to the environmental review and approvals by SMWD and the County of San Bernardino related to the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project. The public-private partnership with Cadiz, Inc. to pump and transmit groundwater secures an annual average of 50,000 acre-feet of water for delivery to SMWD and other water users.</p> <p>That case is important to me because of the drought in California and the need to provide water to our citizens &nbsp;Ouellette said in an interview with the <i>Daily Journal</i>.</p> <p>&ldquo;I rely on a large group of people at BB&amp;K who work so hard and so diligently for our clients,&rdquo; Ouellette said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re really the success story here &mdash; not me.&rdquo;</p> <p>For 26 years, Ouellette has practiced in BB&amp;K&rsquo;s Environmental Law and Natural Resources practice group. She effectively and efficiently helps cities, counties, special districts, developers and other clients in the private sector to navigate the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, the National Environmental Policy Act &nbsp;and state and federal endangered species laws.</p> <p>The <i>Daily Journal</i> editors noted in the special Top Women Lawyers supplement that it&rsquo;s only been a short time that female lawyers have had the opportunity to reach &ldquo;legendary&rdquo; status for their complex and impactful legal work. The women on this list, like Ouellette, they wrote, have achieved that status.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/SubMain.cfm?shCenFileName=Supplement&amp;shNewsType=Supplement&amp;selOption=Top%20Women%20Lawyers&amp;NewsId=1301&amp;pubdate=2015-05-13#section=tab3.cfm%3Fseloption%3Dnews%26pubdate%3D2015-05-13%26shNewsType%3DSupplement%26NewsId%3D941102%26sdivId%3Dtab3"><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)">Read more in the <i>Daily Journal</i></span></a> (subscription required).</p> <p style="text-align: center">###<br /> <br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b><i> is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington D.C. For more information, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</span></a></i>&nbsp;<em>or follow @BBKlaw on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitter.com/bbklaw"><span style="color: #0000ff">Twitter.</span></a></em></p>Press Releases19 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39749&format=xmlBB&K Police Bulletin: Supreme Court Allows Court-Ordered Transfer of Felon's Fire Arms to Third Partieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39753&format=xml<p><b>Overview: </b>A court-ordered transfer of a felon&rsquo;s lawfully owned firearms from government custody to a third party is not barred by federal law prohibiting a felon to be in possession of firearms, the U.S. Supreme Court held this week. The felon may choose the third party his weapons are transferred to, so long as the court is satisfied that the recipient will not give the felon control over the firearms such that he or she could either use or direct their use.</p> <p><b>Training Points:</b> This case provides guidance to law enforcement agencies about how to handle confiscated firearms. The agency should not refuse to transfer lawfully owned firearms to a third party of the felon&rsquo;s choosing if the transaction was approved by the court. The court will determine whether the transfer would be likely to grant the felon access to the firearms, such that he or she may use or direct their use. Beyond that, felons are free to seek transfer of their firearms to whomever they choose, whether it is a seller of firearms or another third party who will deny the felon actual or constructive possession of the weapons.</p> <p><b>Summary Analysis: </b>In <a target="_blank" href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-1487_l6gn.pdf"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);"><i>Henderson v. United States</i></span></a>, the defendant was required to turn over firearms that he lawfully owned after pleading guilty to the felony offense of distributing marijuana. He then asked the FBI, which had custody of his firearms, to transfer them to a friend, which the agency refused to do. The government argued that allowing Henderson to transfer his firearms to a third party of his choosing would give him constructive possession over the weapons, which is prohibited by federal law. The Court disagreed, however, holding that federal law does not bar such a transfer unless it would allow the felon to later control the guns so that he could either use or direct their use.</p> <p>The Court held that the government&rsquo;s view conflates possession, which is prohibited by law, with an owner&rsquo;s right to alienate his property, which is not prohibited by the law. Accepting the government&rsquo;s argument would expand the scope of the law far beyond its purpose, preventing a felon from disposing of his firearms, even in ways that would guarantee he never uses them again. The Court held that reading of the law does nothing to advance the statute&rsquo;s goal of keeping firearms away from felons, and that it is thus beyond the scope of the law. The law prevents a court from ordering the sale or other transfer of a felon&rsquo;s guns to someone willing to give the felon access to them or to accede to the felon&rsquo;s instructions about their future use.</p> <p>What matters, the Court decided, is not whether a felon plays a role in deciding where his firearms should go. What matters is whether the felon will have the ability to use or direct the use of his firearms after the transfer. That ability to use or direct the use of the weapons is what constitutes constructive possession, not the ability to determine which third party gains possession of the firearms.</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: rgb(0, 0, 255);">Public Safety</span></a> group, our your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);">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 Alerts19 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39753&format=xmlHollywood Project a Lesson for Agencieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39755&format=xml<p><strong>By Christopher Diaz</strong></p> <p>Traffic. We all loathe it, yet we endure it day in and day out &mdash; especially in megacities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. In the current real estate upswing, many are questioning how developers can continue to build without further wreaking havoc on the daily commute.</p> <p>As part of all development in California, traffic, along with many other environmental topics, are scrutinized under the terms of the California Environmental Quality Act. Before any city or county can approve a development project, an analysis of all environmental impacts is required in the form of an environmental impact report or some other more simplified environmental review.</p> <p>Traffic continues to be a challenge to development in California. Because megacities continue to struggle to keep people and commerce moving, if traffic is not properly studied and analyzed under CEQA, it can halt development and hold up a project for years.</p> <p>This exact scenario is playing out in the city of Los Angeles with the proposed Millennium Hollywood project. The project is proposing two skyscrapers, one 39 stories arid the other 35 stories, bordering the historic Capitol Records building right in the middle of the glitz and glamour of traffic-congested Hollywood.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p><i>To read the full article in the May 19, 2015 Daily Journal, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/SubMain.cfm?seloption=NEWS&amp;pubdate=04/22/2015&amp;shNewsType=NEWS&amp;NewsId=-1&amp;sdivId=&amp;screenHt=670#section=DJStoryContent.cfm%3Fseloption%3DNEWS%26pubdate%3D04/22/2015%26shNewsType%3DNews%26NewsId%3D940798%26sdivId%3DmainContent1"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a> (subscription required).</i></p>BB&K In The News19 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39755&format=xmlWebinar: Where's the Line?: Ethical Tensions Between Public Disclosure, Our Ethical Duties as Lawyers, and Constitutional Rightshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39608&format=xml<p><br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger Partner&nbsp;Charity Schiller&nbsp;is a speaker&nbsp;the State Bar of California&nbsp;Environmental Law&nbsp;Section webinar, titled: &quot;Where's the Line?: Ethical Tensions Between Public Disclosure, Our Ethical Duties as Lawyers, and Constitutional Rights.&quot;<br /> <br /> Unique ethical issues confront lawyers practicing administrative law in the land use entitlement and environmental enforcement contexts. Whether representing a public agency, a property owner or another interested party, such as an environmental group, union, neighbor or neighborhood group, lawyers have ethical duties to clients. Public agencies also must comply with open records and meetings laws, as well as other laws designed to further transparency. Real parties and interested parties have constitutional rights to petition government, yet concerns about ex parte communications and undue influence sometimes restrict such outreach. This panel will outline the framework of these potentially competing rights and responsibilities, discuss how recent appellate cases highlight the tension between these various duties, and consider strategies to balance these issues without running afoul of our ethical responsibilities as attorneys.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Tuesday, May 19, 2015<br /> Noon &ndash; 1:30 p.m.</p> <p><a href="https://calbar.inreachce.com/Details?resultsPage=1&amp;sortBy=&amp;q=EL_5-19-15&amp;searchType=1&amp;groupId=453de0a1-6f0a-4531-a950-5949e4a17d95" target="_blank"><span style="color: #0000ff">For more information or to register, click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39608&format=xmlIf Neutral, Bans on Religious Displays OKhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39715&format=xml<p><strong>By Jordan Ferguson</strong></p> <p>The display of religious material on public property has been an intermittently controversial issue for decades now. Whether it is a monument to the Ten Commandments on the steps of a courthouse, a menorah in front of city hall, or a talking wishing well, use of religious iconography on public property raises complex questions about the interplay between free speech and the separation of church and state.</p> <p>Sometimes, regulations of such displays have been freely permitted. At other times, they have been constrained or overruled entirely as violations of the First Amendment rights of those seeking to erect them. The array of cases dealing with this issue lay out some guidelines for local governments facing the potential controversies associated with religious displays. Yet each new case is worth paying attention to for the way every decision sheds light on how cities should think about these issues.</p> <p>A high-profile case that provides guidance on how local governments might approach holiday display regulations without violating constitutional rights was decided recently by a federal appellate court. The city of Santa Monica did not violate the First Amendment by ending all unattended displays in a city-owned park, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. The ruling came in an ongoing dispute over &quot;Winter Displays,&quot; including a Nativity scene, in the city's famous Palisades Park. The court held that the city's repeal action equally applied to all displays and, thus, was a content neutral time, place and manner restriction allowed by the First Amendment.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p><i>To read the full article in the May 18, 2015 Daily Journal, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/SubMain.cfm?seloption=NEWS&amp;pubdate=04/22/2015&amp;shNewsType=NEWS&amp;NewsId=-1&amp;sdivId=&amp;screenHt=670#section=DJStoryContent.cfm%3Fseloption%3DNEWS%26pubdate%3D04/22/2015%26shNewsType%3DNews%26NewsId%3D940798%26sdivId%3DmainContent1"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a> (subscription required).</i></p>BB&K In The News18 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39715&format=xmlCalifornia's Office of Planning and Research Releases Draft Technical Advisory for Formal Native American Consultations Under AB 52http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39727&format=xml<p>The Office of Planning and Research released a Draft Advisory earlier this month entitled &ldquo;Discussion Draft Technical Advisory: AB 52 and Tribal Cultural Resources in CEQA&rdquo; to provide guidance to lead agencies regarding changes to CEQA requirements relating to tribal cultural resources pursuant to Assembly Bill 52.</p> <p>AB 52 requires that lead agencies undertaking CEQA review evaluate, just as they do for other historical and archeological resources, a project&rsquo;s potential impact to a tribal cultural resource. In addition, AB 52 requires that lead agencies, upon request of a California Native American tribe, begin consultation prior to the release of a negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration or environmental impact report for a project.</p> <p>AB 52 goes into effect July 1. Its requirements will apply to all projects for which a lead agency has not yet issued a notice of preparation of an environmental impact report or notice of intent to adopt a negative declaration.</p> <p>AB 52 does not require OPR to adopt updates to the initial study checklist in Appendix G of the CEQA Guidelines until July 1, 2016. However, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.opr.ca.gov/docs/DRAFT_AB_52_Technical_Advisory.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Draft Advisory</span></a> notes that lead agencies need not wait to update their own procedures. It suggests that lead agencies apply the following question in their environmental documents: Would the project cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a tribal cultural resource as defined in Public Resources Code section 21074?</p> <p>The Draft Advisory also summarizes AB 52&rsquo;s requirements for consultation and tribal cultural resources. For example, it reiterates the definition of tribal cultural resource provided in the new Public Resources Code section 21074 and summarizes AB 52&rsquo;s new notification requirements. It also summarizes rules governing confidentiality during the tribal consultation process, which generally prohibit lead agencies from disclosing information provided by a California Native American tribe during the consultation process, without the prior written consent of the tribe.</p> <p>Finally, the Draft Advisory also provides a readable flowchart summarizing the compliance timeline and consultation process mandated by AB 52, which may be helpful to lead agencies.</p> <p>While the Draft Advisory does not add appear to add any information not already found in AB 52, OPR is accepting comments on the Draft Advisory through June 1. Comments may be sent via e-mail to <a href="mailto:CEQA.Guidelines@resources.ca.gov"><span style="color: #0000ff">CEQA.Guidelines@resources.ca.gov</span></a>.</p> <p>For more information about how AB 52 or OPR&rsquo;s Draft Advisory will affect your agency and its CEQA review process, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney.</span></a></p> <i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i>Legal Alerts18 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39727&format=xmlInland Empire Real Estate Community Focuses on Water Restrictionshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39719&format=xml<p><b>By Neil Nisperos</b></p> <p>New state water restrictions by the State Water Resources Control Board to help speed along a historic conservation effort in light of the drought were shared with members of the local real estate community at a forum here.</p> <p>Among the ideas presented by panelists were a push toward more drought-tolerant landscaping and an emphasis on higher density and water-efficient development. Much of California&rsquo;s water use &mdash; 60 percent to 70 percent &mdash; goes to watering lawns and other turf, officials said.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>Water agencies around the state are now required to conserve a significant amount of water, said event panelist Steven Anderson, a partner with the Riverside-based law firm Best Best &amp; Krieger. Among the prohibitions: outdoor water runoff into the street; using hoses without nozzles; a ban on street median irrigation; and non-recirculated fountains.</p> <p>&ldquo;So they&rsquo;ve got to march forward now and start implementing programs in order to save that amount of water,&rdquo; Anderson said of regional water agencies. &ldquo;This (discussion) is part of the education of the community about what folks in the development community and the commercial brokerage community can do and expect with respect to saving water for the commercial developments they&rsquo;re involved in and what they can do to help.&rdquo;</p> <p><i>To read the full article, which was published in the May 17, 2015 edition of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailybulletin.com/general-news/20150517/inland-empire-real-estate-community-focuses-on-water-restrictions"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News17 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39719&format=xmlCyberattacks Present Ethics Questions for Law Firmshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39628&format=xml<p><b>By <span>LYLE MORAN</span></b></p> <p>Law firms subject to cyberattacks must think carefully about whether to inform all their clients of the news and what details to include in any disclosures, experts say.</p> <p>A firm should first try to figure out whether the attack resulted in client data being accessed or stolen, said Richard Egger, an Ontario, Calif.-based partner at Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP.</p> <p>Egger, speaking in San Diego at the State Bar of California&rsquo;s annual ethics symposium, said detailed information provided by technical experts can help firms determine what type of disclosure, if any, they make about a cyberattack.</p> <p>Attorneys at the firm must also consider their obligation under Rule 3-500 of California's rules of professional conduct to keep clients reasonably informed about &ldquo;significant developments&rdquo; related to representation.</p> <p>If an attack is halted before accessing client data, Egger said &ldquo;that is not necessarily a circumstance where I want a send a letter out to all the clients saying, 'This happened. We stopped it.'</p> <p>&ldquo;On the other hand, if the Sony hack happened to us, I'd be looking at our complete client database and saying I've got to send a letter to everybody and that may include all of our former clients,&rdquo; he said at the event held at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.</p> <p>Egger said another reason to take care with disclosures to clients is that they later could be exhibits in a lawsuit brought against the firm as a result of a breach.</p> <p><i>To read the full article, which was published on May 12, 2015 in the San Diego Daily Transcript, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sddt.com/news/article.cfm?SourceCode=20150512czg&amp;_t=Cyberattacks+present+ethics+questions+for+law+firms#.VVUoGJOS-Xg"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a> (subscription required).</i></p>BB&K In The News15 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39628&format=xmlBB&K Prevails in Appeal of Intellectual Property and anti-SLAPP law Judgmenthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39640&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner G. Henry Welles obtained a judgment in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a patent infringement lawsuit brought against clients Ernie Ball, Inc. and Hohner, Inc. The CAFC judgment affirms the judgment of dismissal of the complaint, without leave to amend, entered in favor of the clients by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.</p> <p>Ernie Ball and Hohner were sued for patent infringement by Earvana, LLC in March 2014 in the Central District of California. At issue were patents related to certain devices to improve tuning of guitars and other stringed instruments and claims of unfair competition. Welles brought a motion to dismiss the complaint under both FRCP 12(b)(6) and the California anti-SLAPP law. The District Court granted the motion in its entirety, entered judgment of dismissal without leave to amend, and awarded Ernie Ball all the attorney fees sought under the anti-SLAPP law.</p> <p>Earvana appealed the decision to the CAFC, which, after briefing and oral argument, issued a judgment affirmance of the District Court decision on May 12, 2015.</p>Client Successes15 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39640&format=xmlAt Water Technology Summit Innovation Trumps All in Battle Against California Droughthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39645&format=xml<p><strong>By Daniel Nussbaum</strong></p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>Engineers, manufacturers, attorneys, water district managers, state water bureaucrats, and academics gathered at the Pasadena Hilton on Thursday for the first-ever Water Technology and Funding Summit in an attempt to solve it.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>Eric Garner, managing partner at Best Best and Krieger and a former Los Angeles Water Lawyer of the Year, described the dangers of &ldquo;groundwater overdraft,&rdquo; in which deep underground water wells draw more water than is returned through the earth naturally.</p> <p>Garner praised the state&rsquo;s passage of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act for &ldquo;bringing these basins into management and correcting the overdraft issue.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s hard to miss the stories in the Central Valley right now, of falling land levels due to subsidence, due to over-pumping,&rdquo; Garner said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s okay to draw on that reserve account in the drought. In fact, that&rsquo;s what it&rsquo;s there for. But it&rsquo;s not okay to do that if you&rsquo;re not replenishing it in times of plenty, and that&rsquo;s what has not been going on.&rdquo;</p> <p>Garner also touched on regulations recently approved by the State Water Resources Control Board, under which every city and community in California must reduce water usage to accommodate a 25 percent statewide cut. Garner called the new restrictions a &ldquo;dramatic change&rdquo; that would &ldquo;create big challenges,&rdquo; but he stressed the importance of innovation in future conservation efforts. While desalination is &ldquo;still expensive,&rdquo; the attorney pegged drought-resistant landscaping as a promising area for growth.</p> <i>To read the full article, which was published on May 15, 2015 in Breitbart.com, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.breitbart.com/california/2015/05/15/at-water-technology-summit-innovation-trumps-all-in-battle-against-california-drought/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></i>BB&K In The News15 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39645&format=xmlShifting Landscapes: Regulatory Challenges Stemming from Emerging Technologieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39646&format=xml<p>I. INTRODUCTION</p> <p>In the modern era, the world moves fast&mdash;aided by technology that is constantly evolving and changing our relationships with each other and with the world around us. Technological developments challenge state and local agencies and policymakers in many ways, including how they balance use of these new tools against regulating them to ensure they do not create new problems that outweigh their benefits.</p> <p>Emerging technologies in all their various forms, from those that create the sharing marketplace to those that enhance law enforcement, generate dynamic and ever-shifting issues for state and local agencies hoping to implement and integrate them. The focus now for state and local agencies must be on clarifying the issues these technologies present, and finding solutions for their appropriate regulation and implementation consistent with the public good. By looking at Transportation Network Companies, Online Property Rental Marketplaces, Mealsharing, Body Worn Cameras, and Automated License Plate Readers, these issues and their implications may be seen with greater clarity.<br /> <br /> ...</p> <p><i>To read the entire article in the Spring 2015 Public Law Journal, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/88E17A/assets/files/documents/BBK-LAS-CalPubLawJrnl-EmergingTech-Ferguson.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>. First published in the Public Law Journal, a quarterly publication of the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California. Reprinted with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News15 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39646&format=xmlAB 52: CEQA's New Perspective on the Environment and Tribal Cultural Resourceshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39650&format=xml<p>I. INTRODUCTION</p> <p>Assembly Bill 52, one of the most significant additions to the California Environmental Quality Act (&ldquo;CEQA&rdquo;) in recent years, will, un-deniably, impose significant new obligations on public agencies.1 While at first blush, AB 52&rsquo;s large number of new requirements and definitions could appear to add unnecessary new layers to complying with CEQA, a close reading of the statute confirms that, carefully implemented, it can be a mechanism for strengthening CEQA documents by treating cultural resources in a comprehensive manner from the outset of the environmental review process.</p> <p>Beyond the new obligations, the AB 52-required processes provide real benefits to public agencies. CEQA is a disclosure statute, meant to inform the public and decision-makers about the environmental impacts of a project so that decision-makers can make a considered balancing of a project&rsquo;s impacts benefits before considering any approvals. One of the most troublesome aspects of CEQA for public agencies is preparing a document, confident in its adequacy, only to learn, after publication of a draft environmental report or a draft negative declaration, and often after the expenditure of considerable time and resources, that there may be an important piece of information or subject missing from the document. But now, through the AB 52 consultation process, the public agency would learn at the beginning of the CEQA process, rather than close to the end, whether there might be significant Tribal issues that could be addressed via mitigation, project design modification and/or outreach.</p> <p>The following overview of AB 52 details how this new statute can help public agencies to provide a full picture to the public and decision-makers of a project&rsquo;s potential to impact a Tribal Cultural Resource from the outset&mdash;a practice that, despite the undeniable implications regarding cost and time, will hopefully add certainty to the CEQA process as well as aiding in the protection of significant pieces of California&rsquo;s cultural heritage.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <i>To read the entire article in the Spring 2015 Public Law Journal, <span style="color: #0000ff"><a href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/BBK-WC-CalPubLawJrnl-CEQA-Owsowitz.pdf">click here</a></span><span><span style="color: #0000ff">.</span> First published in the Public Law Journal, a quarterly publication of the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California. Reprinted with permission.</span></i>BB&K In The News15 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39650&format=xmlThe Challanges in Implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Acthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39566&format=xml<br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorney&nbsp;Sarah Foley will provide an overview of the State Groundwater Management Act at the American Groundwater Trust's program, &quot;Groundwater Law.&quot; The overview is part of a panel discussion that will cover the technical, financial and legal challenges surrounding SGMA.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Friday, May 15<br /> 10: 50 a.m. - Noon<br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>DoubleTree by Hilton San Francisco Airport<br /> 835 Airport Blvd.<br /> Burlingame, CA 94010<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.agwt.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&amp;id=204"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements15 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39566&format=xmlCalifornia's Water: Drought, Finding Water, The Water Bond and Interpreting New Groundwater Regulationhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37949&format=xml<p>Water is our most essential resource and is at the center of California&rsquo;s economy. The current historic drought has highlighted this importance and made it very obvious how dependent California is on our &nbsp;aging infrastructure that, in many cases, moves water&nbsp;hundreds of miles. As California faces the prospect of a worsening drought, it is imperative that we understand the water challenges we face and work together to develop solutions. A continuing shortage &nbsp;of water will impact almost all aspects of our economy.</p> <p>Program Chair and BB&amp;K Managing Partner <b>Eric Garner</b>, and attorneys <b>Joseph Byrne</b>, <b>Kelly Salt</b> and <b>Glen Price</b>, will be joined by other leaders in the water field to discuss important new water-related legislation, what the public and private sectors are doing to deal with the &nbsp;drought, and what our water future holds. This is a critical time in water law. How we address &nbsp;the pressing issues that face us will impact the future of California in many ways, including &nbsp;the State&rsquo;s continued &nbsp;development and growth. The program is designed for those in both the business and public sectors who want the latest information on &nbsp;how water issues may affect them going forward. <br /> <br /> <strong>To recieve a $100 discount, register by telephone to 206-463-4400 or 800-574-4825 and use code &quot;FAC100&quot;</strong></p> <p><strong>BB&amp;K Speakers<br /> </strong><br /> Eric Garner<br /> 9 a.m. Introduction and Overview<br /> 3 p.m. &ldquo;Where Do You Stand? Complying with New Groundwater Regulations and Preparing for More Legislation&rdquo;</p> <p>Kelly Salt<br /> 11:15 a.m. &ldquo;Water Conservation: Best Practices and Dealing with the Financial Impacts of Successful Conservation&rdquo;</p> <p>Glen Price<br /> 1:45 p.m. &ldquo;Making Sure Your New Development Has Water and/or Rights&rdquo;</p> <p>Joseph Byrne <br /> 4 p.m. &ldquo;How to Find Money and Finance Water Projects as Regulatory Requirements Increase&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Friday, May 15, 2015<br /> 9 a.m. &ndash; 4:30 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> DoubleTree by Hilton L.A. Downtown<br /> 120 S. Los Angeles Street<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90012<br /> The seminar will also be available via a live webinar and through pre-orders of video-on-demand or DVDs.</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theseminargroup.net/seminardetl.aspx?id=1467"><span style="color: #0000ff">The Seminar Group&rsquo;s website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements15 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37949&format=xmlGlobal Perspectives on Water and Societyhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39297&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner will be speaking on a panel titled &ldquo;Global Perspectives on Water and Society&rdquo; at Water Technology Hub&rsquo;s Water Technology &amp; Funding Summit. BB&amp;K is also a sponsor of the one-day event.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> May 14, 2015<br /> 9:10 a.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Hilton Pasadena</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://watertechnologyhub.com/Events"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements14 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39297&format=xmlState Board Issues Curtailment Notices of Surface Water Rights Diversionshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39595&format=xml<p>Just as it did in 2014, the State Water Resources Control Board has issued several notices of curtailment for surface water rights holders in various watersheds because California&rsquo;s extreme drought has resulted in insufficient water supplies to serve all water-right holders. On May 1, the State Board issued a notice of unavailability of water and immediate curtailment for those diverting water in the Sacramento River watershed under post-1914 appropriative rights. The notice explains that most or all pre-1914 rights may also be curtailed later this year.</p> <p>The State Board&rsquo;s decision is based on reservoir storage levels and inflow projections and forecasts for future precipitation, or lack thereof. This and other curtailment notices follow the Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s April 1 Executive Order continuing California&rsquo;s drought state of emergency declaration, as well as a measurement of the lowest snowpack levels in recorded history. Decreased surface water suppliers will lead to increased groundwater pumping of already declining supplies.</p> <p>Five other curtailment notices have been issued in the past month:</p> <ul> <li>April 30: Curtailment of Term 91 water rights. Project water from the Central Valley Project or State Water Project is being released to meet water quality standards in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed, and those with Term 91 conditions in their water permits and licenses are prohibited from diverting this water pursuant to the curtailment notice.</li> <li>April 23: Curtailment of post-1914 appropriative rights in the San Joaquin River watershed. Pre-1914 rights are also expected to be curtailed later this year.</li> <li>April 23: Curtailment of junior priority class rights in the Scott River watershed.</li> <li>April 17: Curtailment of post-1914 appropriative water rights holders in the Deer Creek watershed and flow requirements for fish protection for all water rights holders.</li> <li>April 3: Curtailment of post-1914 appropriative water rights holders in the Antelope Creek watershed and flow requirements for fish protection for all water rights holders.</li> </ul> <p>The State Board is also reviewing riparian rights and considering curtailments for the San Joaquin River tributaries and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River watershed and Delta.</p> <p>Failure to comply with these curtailment notices may result in administrative fines, cease-and-desist orders or prosecution in court. The State Board may levy fines of $1,000 per day of violation and $2,500 for each acre-foot diverted in excess of a valid water right. The violation of cease-and-desist orders may result in fines of $10,000 per day.</p> <p>For more information about how these curtailments will affect your water rights, 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> or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=487&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Special Districts</span></a> practice groups, 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 Alerts13 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39595&format=xmlLitigation Associate - San Diego Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39574&format=xml<p>The San Diego office has an immediate opening for an associate with 3-5 years of litigation experience. Candidate must have excellent research, analytical and writing skills as well as experience formulating discovery plans and drafting dispositive motions. Experience with real property and construction law and/or construction background preferred.</p> <p>Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.<br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a></p> <p>Please address your cover letter to:<br /> <br /> <strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <em><br /> <strong><em><strong>No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></strong></em></p>Job Openings at BB&K12 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39574&format=xml5 Ways California Water Restrictions are Affecting Real Estatehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39580&format=xml<p>With California&rsquo;s state water board recently adopting emergency regulations aimed at cutting back the state&rsquo;s overall water use by 25 percent, developers are scrambling to get a handle on what the water restrictions might mean for their current and future projects.</p> <p>Among developers&rsquo; concerns are lengthy delays in getting project approval, the potential for opponents to use water as an additional means of attempting to block projects, and the tricky prospect of having to redesign both landscaping and interior water usage aspects of projects to meet the new state regulations.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>With the difficulty in gaining approval and the threat of additional litigation, developers are likely going to have to make some drastic changes to the traditional landscaped lawns that often accompany multifamily and office campus projects, lawyers say.</p> <p>&ldquo;To meet the cut, it will be hard for people to continue watering,&rdquo; said Eric L. Garner of Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP.</p> <p>The solution for some developers will be &ldquo;xeriscaping,&rdquo; or designing desert-like lawns that require little or no water, Garner said.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>Lawyers say developers are placing a much greater emphasis on finding any way possible to conserve water as they draw up their plans in preparation for navigating what is often a long entitlement process in California.<br /> <br /> &ldquo;There&rsquo;s a much greater emphasis on efficiency than you&rsquo;ve seen in the past,&rdquo; Garner said. &ldquo;Residential development can continue. It&rsquo;s just going to have to look a little different.&rdquo;</p> <p><i>To read the full article in Law360, which ran May 11, 2015, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.law360.com/articles/652203/5-ways-calif-water-restrictions-are-affecting-real-estate"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>. (Subscription Required)</i></p>BB&K In The News12 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39580&format=xmlLaw Enforcement Data May Not Be Subject to PRAhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39521&format=xml<p>Data collected by automated license plate readers is exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act, a California appellate court held this week. ALPRs scan license plates visible from their position and automatically check them against a &ldquo;hot list&rdquo; of license plates associated with suspected crimes. The court determined that the data collected by ALPRs is exempt from disclosure because it constitutes law enforcement records of investigations.</p> <p>In <a target="_blank" href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2074045-court-of-appeal-decision-may-2015-lapd.html"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>ACLU v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County</i></span></a>, the ACLU submitted a PRA request for policies and guidelines concerning the use of ALPR technology, as well as for all data collected by ALPRs used by both the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff&rsquo;s Department during a single week in August 2012. The LAPD and LASD refused to produce the data, citing the law enforcement investigative records exemption and privacy concerns. The ACLU sued for disclosure, and both the trial and appellate courts found that the investigations exemption applies to all data collected by ALPRs.</p> <p>This case confirms that law enforcement agencies are not required to release ALPR data following PRA requests. More importantly, it may provide an indication of how courts will treat similar data systemically collected by law enforcement agencies, such as footage from body worn cameras or drones used for surveillance. Because these technologies are used to further police investigations into whether a crime has been committed, and because the exemption is in no way limited to investigations that are still ongoing, this case serves as a strong argument that these types of data will not be subject to disclosure under the PRA, preserving the ability of law enforcement officers to use these tools without fear of disclosure harming their investigations, or the privacy of those whose data may be recorded.</p> <p>The ALPR systems in place record all plate scan data, whether or not there is a hit off the hot list, and retain that data for up to five years for use in future investigations. The LAPD estimates it records plate scan data for approximately 1.2 million cars per week, while LASD estimates between 1.7 and 1.8 million. Both policies restrict access to plate scan data to use for law enforcement purposes only. The court focused on the meaning of the term &ldquo;investigations,&rdquo; determining that the functions performed by the ALPR systems fit within the exemption. The court indicated that the exemption encompasses routine investigations undertaken to determine if a violation of law has, or may have, occurred without distinguishing between investigations to determine if a crime has been committed and those undertaken once criminal conduct is apparent. Further, the court emphasized that the exemption is not limited to &ldquo;pending investigations,&rdquo; but covers all investigations by law enforcement agencies.</p> <p>The ACLU argued that, unlike cases involving requests for documents related to targeted investigations of specific criminal acts, plate scans are not precipitated by a specific criminal investigation, and so ALPRs do not conduct investigations so much as they collect data. The court disagreed, holding that ALPR scans are precipitated by specific criminal investigations&mdash;namely, the investigations that produced the hot list against which all scans are checked.</p> <p>For more information regarding this case or its implications for your agency or public safety department, please contact&nbsp; the attorney author of this&nbsp;legal alert&nbsp;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, 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 Alerts08 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39521&format=xmlBody Worn Cameras: Federal and State Legal Issues for Municipalities and Public Safety Departmentshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39423&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Gary Schons and Tamara Bogosian will present the IMLA webinar, &ldquo;Body Worn Cameras: Federal and State Legal Issues for Municipalities and Public Safety Departments.&rdquo; This webinar will cover</p> <ul> <li>The legal issues affecting body worn cameras under state law and the U.S. Constitution</li> <li>Best practices for deployment of BWCs</li> <li>Practical concerns affecting recording in the field</li> <li>Effects of BWCs on citizen and peace officer conduct</li> <li>Use of BWC data in the criminal justice system</li> <li>Access to BWC data under state public records laws</li> <li>Command and control of the data.</li> </ul> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Friday, May 8, 2015<br /> 10 a.m. PST</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/webinars/2015-calendar"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements08 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39423&format=xmlState Water Resources Control Board Adopts Emergency Water Restrictions Throughout Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39501&format=xml<p>The State Water Resources Control Board took final action on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/docs/emergency_regulations/adopted_regs_womarkup.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">emergency regulations</span></a> designed to achieve an overall 25 percent reduction in potable urban water use across California. The regulations are designed to address a relentless four-year drought and mark the first time in the state&rsquo;s history for such action. The impacts for residents, businesses, industries and public institutions will be felt across the entire state.</p> <p>Draft versions of the regulations drew hundreds of comment letters, many containing criticism about the magnitude and structure of the restrictions. Nonetheless, the Board left intact nearly all of the tough provisions and adopted the final regulations May 5 after a 10-hour public hearing. The regulations include mandatory potable water production restrictions of up to 36 percent for many water suppliers. The regulations next will be submitted to the state Office of Administrative Law, which has 10 days to approve or deny them. If approved, the regulations would take effect immediately and run through February 2016.</p> <p>The historic regulations implement provisions contained in an Executive Order issued by Gov. Jerry Brown on April 1 to address the drought. The Board moved swiftly to implement several provisions in the Order by issuing a draft conceptual framework April 7, draft regulations April 18 and revisions to the regulations on April 28. The process drew nationwide attention.</p> <p>Under the regulations, the state&rsquo;s 411 &ldquo;urban water suppliers&rdquo; must achieve assigned water savings targets that collectively would result in a 25 percent reduction in potable urban water production across the state. &ldquo;Urban water suppliers&rdquo; are defined as those serving more than 3,000 customers or delivering more than 3,000 acre feet of water per year (but not suppliers functioning solely in a wholesale capacity). The emergency regulations include a tiering framework designed to place the greatest conservation demands on those agencies with the highest residential gallons per capita/per day water usage. The nine tiers have conservation standards ranging from 4 percent to 36 percent. Urban water suppliers are assigned to the tiers based on three months of summer residential gallons per capita/per day water usage data (July through September of 2014).</p> <p>The Board adjusted a provision in the final regulations to enable urban water suppliers to subtract the amount of water provided for commercial agricultural use from their potable water production total, subject to reporting and other criteria. The draft version of the regulations had provided a similar exception, but only for suppliers providing 20 percent or more of their total potable water production for commercial agricultural uses.</p> <p>Urban water suppliers must reduce total potable water production by the amount in their assigned conservation tiers. Compliance will be determined by comparing total potable water production between June 2015 and February 2016 with total potable water production in the same months of 2013. Urban water suppliers will have discretion in deciding how to achieve their conservation standards across residential, commercial, industrial and institutional sectors. The Board plans to begin assessing compliance, on a rolling cumulative basis, starting July 15, when urban suppliers must submit June monthly reports on water production. The regulations only apply to potable (drinkable) water and not non-potable types of water, such as recycled water.</p> <p>The regulations include enforcement provisions, including the ability of the state to issue conservation orders requiring additional actions on the part of suppliers not complying with their conservation standard. Board staff have emphasized that the emphasis will be on working cooperatively with agencies that are having difficulty achieving their mandated water savings.</p> <p><b>Previous Legal Alerts:</b></p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=39373&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Tough Mandatory Water Restrictions of up to 36 Percent Retained in Draft Emergency Drought Regulation for California</span></a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=38987&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">California Court of Appeal Holds City's Tiered Water Rate Structure Violates Proposition 218</span></a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=38961&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Draft Mandatory Regulations Restricting Water Use in California Released by State Water Resources Control Board</span></a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=38751&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Proposed Framework for Mandatory Water Use Reductions in California Released</span></a></li> </ul> <p>If you have any questions about the regulations or how they may impact your municipality or agency, please contact the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law and Natural Resources</span></a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=487&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Special Districts</span></a> practice groups, 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 Alerts07 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39501&format=xmlLCC City Attorneys' Spring Conferencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34820&format=xml<p>Join BB&amp;K&nbsp;at the League of California Cities&rsquo; City Attorneys&rsquo; Spring Conference in Monterey, Calif.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'"><font face="Arial">BB&amp;K Speakers</font></span></strong><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'"><font face="Arial"><br /> <br /> Harriet Steiner</font>: &ldquo;FCC Wireless Facility Rules Implementing Section 6409(a)&rdquo;<b><o:p></o:p></b></span><br /> <span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'"><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'">Wednesday, May 6<br /> </span></span></p> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'">1-3 p.m<br /> <br /> Alison Alpert (co-facilitator): &ldquo;Demystifying How The ADA Applies To Public Facilities And Services&rdquo; (Panel Presentation And Interactive Breakout Groups) session<br /> Thursday, May 7<br /> 2:15-4:15 p.m<br /> </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'"> <p>Jeff Dunn (moderator): &ldquo;Medical Marijuana&rdquo; Concurrent Group Discussion<br /> Thursday, May 7<br /> 4:30-5:30 p.m</p> </span> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> May 6-8, 2015</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Monterey, Calif.</p> <p>For more information, <a target="_blank" href="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=xmlRuling Guides Cities on How to Regulate Holiday Displayshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39469&format=xml<p>A high-profile case that provides guidance on how local governments might approach holiday display regulations without violating constitutional rights was decided last week by a federal appellate court. The City of Santa Monica did not violate the First Amendment by ending all unattended displays in a city-owned park, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. The ruling came in an ongoing dispute over &rdquo;Winter Displays&rdquo;, including a nativity scene, in Palisades Park. The court held that the City&rsquo;s repeal action equally applied to all displays and, thus, was a content neutral time, place and manner restriction allowed by the First Amendment.</p> <p>In <a target="_blank" href="http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/04/30/13-55011.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee v. City of Santa Monica</i></span></a>, the City opted to repeal an exemption it had created to allow &ldquo;Winter Displays&rdquo; in Palisades Park. A nativity scene was first erected in the park in 1955. In 1994, the City prohibited the construction of unattended displays in all parks, allowing the nativity scene to continue its annual tradition by enacting an exception to the general prohibition for &ldquo;Winter Displays&rdquo; during the month of December and only in Palisades Park. Under the exception, all members of the community were allowed to put up displays, and display space was to be allocated on a first come, first-served basis. In 2011, applications for the space surged as a number of atheists applied for space. The City used a lottery system to allocate available space that year, but &mdash; faced with the prospect of a continued flood of applications and tensions between the Committee and the other applicants &mdash; the City elected to repeal the exception and keep the park free of all unattended displays. The Committee then sued, alleging that the repeal violated both their free speech rights and the Establishment Clause by effectively communicating an anti-Christian message.</p> <p>The Ninth Circuit disagreed, holding that the repeal was generally applicable, that it did not silence speech because of its content and that it did not communicate a message that has a tendency to establish a religion. Because the City had a neutral desire to preserve the aesthetic qualities of the park and to avoid the time-consuming and costly process of operating the lottery, the repeal was not aimed at silencing particular speech, nor at advocating for a viewpoint on the question of religion or religious holiday displays. Because the repeal was content-neutral, it only needed to be narrowly tailored to serve a significant governmental interest and leave open ample alternative channels of communication. The City made an effort to accommodate all applicants for space, but came to the conclusion that the administrative problems and strife outweighed the benefits of continuing the exception, a decision the court found was both neutral and narrowly tailored to serve significant governmental interests.</p> <p>The court quickly dispensed with the Establishment Clause challenge by pointing out that the repeal had 1.) a secular legislative purpose, 2.) that its principal or primary effect was not to enhance or inhibit religion, and that 3.) it did not foster excessive governmental entanglement with religion. As a result, the repeal did not violate the Establishment Clause.</p> <p>This case affirms the authority of cities to remove exceptions they have created for religious displays, so long as that removal is done in a content-neutral matter. The City cannot determine which displays it will allow on public property based on the content, religious or otherwise, of those displays. Rather, all localities should ensure their regulations are content neutral, narrowly tailored to advance the governmental interest at play, and leave open alternative channels of communication. Local governments should also avoid taking actions that have the apparent effect of establishing a religion (or lack thereof) by ensuring their policies have a secular legislative purpose, that they do not principally aim to advance or inhibit religion, and that they do not require the government to become excessively entangled with religion. By focusing on advancing the city&rsquo;s interests through neutral policies that approach questions of religion from a level playing field, local governments can avoid First Amendment challenges and create lasting policies to address these issues.</p> <p>For more information regarding this case or its implications for your municipality, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, 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 Alerts05 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39469&format=xmlSustainable Groundwater Management Acthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39353&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorney Sarah Foley will be speaking on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act during this one-hour CLE Brown Bag program by the San Diego Bar Association Environmental and Land Use law sections. The historic groundwater management act was passed after Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s declaration and proclamation of a drought emergency in January 2014. In times of drought many local agencies, business and individuals turn to groundwater to make up the difference based on a reduction in surface water supply.&nbsp; For those who rely on groundwater, many have reached the bottom of their wells and there is nothing left to pump.&nbsp; Because of a concern for overuse of groundwater and no real accountability, this has brought the sweeping legislative reform.</p> <p>The speakers will discuss the key components of the Act, the issues unresolved and additional measures the State Water Resource Control Board is taking to conserve surface water, promote recycled water and mandate public conservation efforts.&nbsp; We are still in a dire state of drought today and this reality highlights the fact that water demand will continue to increase, while supplies will continue to face both hydrologic and regulatory constraints.&nbsp; This growing tension will bring challenges, opportunities and a host of consequences. Fasten your seatbelts as California water law speeds into the 21st century.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Tuesday, May 5, 2015<br /> Noon &ndash; 1 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> San Diego County Bar Association Conference Center</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.sdcba.org/index.cfm?pg=events&amp;evAction=showDetail&amp;eid=22216"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements05 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39353&format=xmlMission: Possible - Taking Charge of Changehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38509&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney Joseph Byrne, chair of the California Water Commission, and partners Paeter Garcia and Kelly Salt will be speaking at the Association of California Water Agencies 2015 Spring Conference and Exhibition &ldquo;Mission: Possible &ndash; Taking Charge of Change.&rdquo;</p> <p>Joe will be delivering the luncheon keynote address on Thursday, May 7 at 11:45 a.m. He will share first steps in developing the Commission&rsquo;s Water Storage Investment Program as part of the implementation of the water bond made possible with the passage of Proposition 1.</p> <p>Kelly will be speaking on Wednesday, May 6 at 10 a.m. on &ldquo;Overcoming Public Scrutiny and Challenges in the Rate Setting Process &ndash; Lessons Learned from San Juan Capistrano.&rdquo; In September 2013 the Orange County Superior Court invalidated a City&rsquo;s water rates (Capistrano Taxpayers Assoc., Inc. v. City of San Juan Capistrano) because the City did not prove that the price difference between its tiered-rates were proportional to the costs of providing water services to its customers. The City lacked an administrative record that justified their current rate structure and explained the rationale behind the tiered pricing. In addition, many rate-payers and even City Council members had strong opinions about how the utility should be run, generating a general lack of trust within the community. Panelists will discuss the lessons learned from this landmark case.<br /> <br /> Paeter will be presenting &ldquo;The Nuts and Bolts of SGMA&rdquo; on the new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act on Wednesday, May 6 at 10 a.m.</p> <p><strong>When<br /> </strong>Tuesday, May 5 &ndash; Friday, May 8, 2015</p> <p><strong>Where<br /> </strong>Sacramento Convention Center</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.acwa.com/events/acwa-2015-spring-conference-exhibition"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements05 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38509&format=xmlAsscociate - Employee Benefits & Taxhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32024&format=xml<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><span style="mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA">We are seeking an associate with 2 to 5 years of employee benefits and tax experience. Ideal candidate will have experience representing public employers on matters related to state, regional and local retirement systems (including CalPERS, CalSTRS and 1937 Act systems) and advising employers with respect to qualified retirement plans and other pension and welfare benefit plans under ERISA.&nbsp; This is a unique opportunity for a motivated and creative thinker to join a practice group with significant growth potential.&nbsp; </span></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"><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">Jill N. Willis<br /> <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>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&K05 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32024&format=xmlLaw of the Colorado River: Meeting Demand During Unprecedented Droughthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37999&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Of Counsel Roderick Walston will discuss <i>Agua Caliente vs. Coachella Valley Water District and Desert Water Agency</i> during the &ldquo;Addressing Tribal Concerns&rdquo; panel of the two-day conference &ldquo;Law of the Colorado River: Meeting Demand During Unprecedented Drought.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Friday, May 1, 2015<br /> 8:45 a.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Planet Hollywood Las Vegas</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cle.com/product.php?proid=1518&amp;src=Featured&amp;page=Law_of_the_Colorado_River"><span style="color: #0000ff">event page at CLE</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements01 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37999&format=xmlTough Mandatory Water Restrictions of up to 36 Percent Retained in Draft Emergency Drought Regulation for Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39373&format=xml<p>The State Water Resources Control Board released revisions to its <a target="_blank" href="http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/docs/emergency_regulations/draft25percent_conservation_regs20150428.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">draft emergency regulation</span></a><span style="color: #0000ff"><u>s</u></span> to restrict overall potable urban water usage across the state by 25 percent. The revisions, released late Tuesday, include language clarifications and changes to certain provisions. By and large, however, the new proposed regulations retain the form and substance of the strict and far-reaching mandatory conservation requirements that the Board has advocated for for the past three weeks.</p> <p>In comment letters on the draft regulations, numerous cities and water agencies urged the Board to consider alternative provisions that consider the diverse geographic, climatic, population, environmental and water conservation factors across the state. Agencies &nbsp;expressed particular concern about the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/docs/emergency_regulations/supplier_tiers_20150428.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">nine tiers of conservation standards</span></a> contained in the regulations, which require urban water suppliers to achieve potable (drinkable) water savings ranging from 8 to 36 percent based on existing residential per capita water usage. The revised regulations retain the nine tiers, which rise by increments of four percentage points.</p> <p>In a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/docs/emergency_regulations/emergency_reg_fact_sheet_20150428.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Fact Sheet</span></a>, the Board indicated that it may be willing to modify the tier structure before adopting the regulations to double the number of tiers and use 2 percent increments for setting the required conservation standards. The Board is encouraging feedback on this point.</p> <p>Tuesday&rsquo;s release marked the Board&rsquo;s Notice of Proposed Emergency Rulemaking and commencement of a formal comment period on the forthcoming regulations. The comment period will be brief, with written comments due by 10 a.m. May 4. Cities, public agencies and other interested parties should submit written comments by the deadline to <a href="mailto:commentletters@waterboards.ca.gov"><span style="color: #0000ff">commentletters@waterboards.ca.gov</span></a>.&nbsp;All comments should indicate on the subject line: &ldquo;Comment Letter &ndash; Emergency Conservation Regulations.&rdquo; The Board scheduled adoption of the proposed emergency regulations for its May 5-6 meeting. The public hearing is scheduled to begin May 5. Specific prohibitions would become effective approximately May 15, with reporting activities and compliance due to start in June. The emergency provisions would remain in effect through February 2016.</p> <p>The draft regulations implement an <a target="_blank" href="http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/docs/040115_executive_order.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Executive Order</span></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;issued by Gov. Jerry Brown on April 1 to address the serious drought in California. The Board issued a Draft Regulatory <a target="_blank" href="http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/docs/emergency_regulations/draft_regulatory_framework.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">Framework</font></a> for the proposed water restrictions on April 7, and the first version of the draft regulations on April 18. On Tuesday, Brown announced he will propose new legislation to provide expanded enforcement powers to local agencies, including the ability to &ldquo;deputize&rdquo; staff to cite water wasters and to impose fines of up to $10,000 per day for those who fail to comply with locally imposed water restrictions. Brown also said he would propose legislation to accelerate environmental permitting for local water supply projects.</p> <p><b>Urban Water Suppliers</b></p> <p>To a large extent, the draft regulations are aimed at urban water suppliers, defined as those serving more than 3,000 customers or delivering more than 3,000 acre feet of water per year (but not suppliers functioning solely in a wholesale capacity). The proposed regulations&rsquo; tiering structure is designed to place the greatest conservation demands on those agencies with the highest residential gallons per capita/per day water usage. In Tier 2, for example, 23 suppliers would be required to achieve an 8 percent potable water savings, while in the highest Tier 9, 85 agencies would be required to reduce potable urban water production by 36 percent. Collectively, the percentage-based conservation standards are designed to achieve the overall 25 percent reduction in urban potable water use across the state that Brown&rsquo;s Executive Order requires.</p> <p>The state&rsquo;s 411 urban water suppliers are assigned to the tiers based on three months of summer residential gallons per capita/per day water usage data (July through September of 2014). According to the Board, this three-month period reflects the large amount of water used for summer outdoor irrigation, which provides one of the greatest opportunities for conservation savings.</p> <p>The draft regulations contain no specific reduction standards for commercial, industrial and institutional customers of urban water suppliers. Instead, suppliers would have discretion to decide how to achieve their conservation standards by applying restrictions, as they see fit, to residential and nonresidential users.</p> <p>For compliance purposes, the draft regulations provide that 2013 would form the base year for comparison. Each urban supplier&rsquo;s water savings between June 2015 and February 2016 would be compared to water usage in the corresponding prior months of June through December 2013 and January and February 2013 to determine whether the mandated conservation standard is achieved. The Board plans to begin assessing compliance with the emergency regulations starting July 15, when urban water suppliers will be required to submit their June monthly reports on water production. Thus, local agencies will be required to move quickly to implement conservation measures and restrictions starting as early as June 1 to be able to capture the greatest amount of water savings within the compliance period.</p> <p>Tuesday&rsquo;s revisions to the draft regulations include language clarifications to address questions . The draft regulations originally referred to &ldquo;total water usage&rdquo; in establishing the nine tiers of conservation standards. The regulations now call for reductions in the &ldquo;total potable water production&rdquo; of urban water suppliers. &ldquo;Total potable water production&rdquo; is defined as &ldquo;all potable water that enters a water supplier&rsquo;s distribution system, excluding water placed into storage and not withdrawn for use during the reporting period, or water exported outside the supplier&rsquo;s service area.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>End User Requirements</b></p> <p>The new draft regulations retain a new prohibition applicable to all Californians, which would ban irrigation with potable water of ornamental turf on public street medians. A second new prohibition for all new development in California was modified to remove direct reference to &ldquo;drip or microspray systems.&rdquo; This provision now prohibits &ldquo;irrigation with potable water of landscapes outside of newly constructed homes and buildings in a manner inconsistent with regulations or other requirements established by the California Building Standards Commission.&rdquo;</p> <p>Under Brown&rsquo;s Executive Order, Provision 5 called for the Board to impose restrictions requiring commercial, industrial and institutional properties &mdash; such as campuses, golf courses and cemeteries &mdash; to immediately implement water-efficiency measures to reduce potable water usage. The revised draft regulations provide that all such properties that use a water supply, any portion of which is from a source other than an urban water supplier, must either limit outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscapes or turf with potable water to no more than two days per week or achieve a 25 percent reduction in potable water use. The Board explained that the goal is to reduce water use for &ldquo;large landscapes&rdquo; that otherwise would not be addressed by the regulations.</p> <p><b>Reporting and Compliance</b></p> <p>The draft regulations retain a provision under which the Board would track compliance on a cumulative basis. As monthly reports are submitted, the Board will add agencies&rsquo; conservation savings together from one month to the next, comparing the amount of water used during the same months in 2013. In addition to residential water use, urban water suppliers will be required to report on monthly usage by the commercial, industrial and institutional sectors within their jurisdictions.</p> <p>The draft regulations include a revised provision that would allow the Board&rsquo;s executive director, or the executive director&rsquo;s designee, to issue an informational order requiring water suppliers, or commercial, industrial or institutional properties that receive any portion of their supply from a source other than an urban water supplier, to submit &ldquo;additional information relating to water production, water use or water conservation.&rdquo; Failure to provide such requested information within 30 days (or within any additional time extension that may be granted) would be a &ldquo;violation subject to civil liability of up to $500 per day for each day the violation continues pursuant to Water Code section 1846.&rdquo;</p> <p>The revised regulations also clarify potential enforcement actions for failure to comply with any end-user requirements, including provisions that were adopted prior to the current emergency rulemaking. The draft regulations state that such a violation is an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $500 for each day the violation occurs. The revised regulations add this statement, which makes clear that other potential enforcement actions may come into play: &ldquo;The fine for the infraction is in addition to, and does not supersede or limit, any other remedies, civil or criminal.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>If you have any questions about the draft regulations or how they may impact your municipality or agency, please contact the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law and Natural Resources</span></a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=487&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Special Districts</span></a> practice groups, 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 Alerts29 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39373&format=xml2014 Legislative Highlightshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39376&format=xml<p><b>INTRODUCTION</b></p> <p>The 2014 Legislative session was notable for the continued inability of the Legislature to resolve a series of high profile real property related issues that were carried over from previous sessions. This inability persisted despite the existence of Democratic Party supermajorities in both houses and indicates either the intractable character of these issues or the existence of divisions on these issues within the Democratic Party. Most likely both factors played a role in the Legislature's ineffectiveness.</p> <p>One of the most prominent of these issues was reform of the California Environmental Quality Act (&quot;CEQA&quot;). Although there was a general recognition that CEQA reform could be important to facilitate development activity in California, the 2014 session was nevertheless relatively quiet with respect to new CEQA legislature in comparison to the last two years. A total of thirty-one bills relating to CEQA were introduced in the 2013 session, with six bills eventually signed into law. In 2014, only fifteen bills were introduced and only twelve of them were actually new bills, with only five bills eventually being signed into law. The most notable of these bills, AB 52, establishes a new and powerful role for California Native American Tribes in the CEQA process by adding several provisions to CEQA dealing with impacts on &quot;tribal cultural resources.&quot; Of course, this is not the type of CEQA reform desired by those who want to streamline the CEQA process to facilitate development.</p> <p>A second issue of continued concern was how the Legislature would address the void left by the dismantling of California's five billion dollar per year redevelopment programs that took place in 2012. Although Governor Brown vetoed a number of bills meant to address this problem, he did sign legislation that expands the existing mechanisms of infrastructure financing districts to provide tax-increment financing authority for capital improvement projects, many of which may overlap with projects once carried out by redevelopment agencies. While this is only a partial fix, it appears to be as far as the Governor is willing to go in resurrecting what was previously considered an essential development financing tool.</p> <p>The third major issue of continued concern was Proposition 13 reform. These reform efforts have been a continuing occurrence for many years now. In 2014, these efforts took a different turn, which nearly resulted in the enactment of a historic compromise agreement (AB 2372) regarding change of ownership abuses. However, in the end, this reform effort also failed in the waning hours of the 2014 Legislative session. The expectation is that this issue will resurface in 2015 as both parties prepare for the 2016 election.</p> <p><i>To read the entire article in the Spring 2015 California Real Property Journal, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/88E17A/assets/files/documents/BBK-LA-CalRealPropertyJournal-LegislativeUpdate-Maurer.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>. First published in the California Real Property Journal, a quarterly publication of the Real Property Section of the State Bar of California. Reprinted with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News29 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39376&format=xml