Best Best & Krieger News Feedhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=39&format=xml&directive=0&stylesheet=rss&records=50Best Best and Krieger is a Full Service Law Firmen-us24 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssCalifornia's Water: Drought, Finding Water, The Water Bond and Interpreting New Groundwater Regulationhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37949&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner is the program chair and a speaker, along with BB&amp;K attorneys Joseph Byrne, Glen Price and Kelly Salt, at The Seminar Group&rsquo;s &ldquo;California&rsquo;s Water: Drought, Finding Water, The Water Bond and Interpreting New Groundwater Regulation.&rdquo;</p> <p>This program will discuss important new water-related legislation, what the public and private sectors are doing to deal with the existing drought, and what our water future holds. This is a critical time in water law. How we address some of the pressing issues that face us will impact the future of California in many ways, including how the State continues to develop and grow. The program is designed for business persons who want to know how water issues may affect them going forward, as well as water professionals wanting the latest information.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b><br /> <br /> Eric Garner<br /> 9 a.m. &nbsp;Introduction and Overview<br /> 3 p.m. &ldquo;Where Do You Stand? Complying with New Groundwater Regulations and Preparing for More Legislation&rdquo;</p> <p>Kelly Salt<br /> 11:15 a.m. &ldquo;Water Conservation: Best Practices and Dealing with the Financial Impacts of Successful Conservation&rdquo;</p> <p>Glen Price<br /> 1:45 p.m. &ldquo;Making Sure Your New Development Has Water and/or Rights&rdquo;</p> <p>Joseph Byrne (also chair of the California Water Commission)<br /> 4 p.m. &ldquo;How to Find Money and Finance Water Projects as Regulatory Requirements Increase&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Friday, May 15, 2015<br /> 9 a.m. &ndash; 4:30 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> DoubleTree by Hilton L.A. Downtown<br /> 120 S. Los Angeles Street<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90012</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit <a target="_blank" href="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=xmlHow the FCC's New Wireless Facility Rules Impact California Citieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34820&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney Matthew Schettenhelm will present &ldquo;How the FCC&rsquo;s New Wireless Facility Rules Impact California Cities&rdquo; at the League of California Cities&rsquo; City Attorneys&rsquo; Spring Conference in Monterey, Calif. The presentation will discuss the FCC&rsquo;s new wireless facility rules, how they affect California cities and what California cities can do in response.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> May 6-8, 2015</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Monterey, Calif.</p> <p>For more information, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cacities.org/Education-Events/City-Attorneys-Spring-Conference"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements06 May 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34820&format=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=xmlCompliance Monitoring for Multi-Funded Affordable Housing Projectshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37973&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Elizabeth Hull is moderating &ldquo;Compliance Monitoring for Multi-Funded Affordable Housing Projects&rdquo; at Housing California&rsquo;s Annual Conference. The purpose of the workshop is to provide a comprehensive overview of</p> <p>the continuing compliance monitoring of affordable multifamily, which were funded from multiple public financing sources, including, but not limited to, tax credit equity, redevelopment low and moderate income set-aside funds, tax exempt financing, and local density bonus and/or inclusionary impact fees. The workshop will provide attendees with knowledge and skills necessary for performing or directing annual compliance monitoring activities, including tenant income certifications/re-certifications and affordable rent verifications, as well as residual receipts loan payment audit reviews.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> April 27-29, 2015</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Sacramento Convention Center<br /> 1400 J Street<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit <a target="_blank" href="https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/default.aspx?EventID=1573153"><span style="color: #0000ff">Housing California&rsquo;s event page</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements27 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37973&format=xmlIMLA's 2015 Mid-Year Seminarhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37676&format=xml<p>Join BB&amp;K at IMLA&rsquo;s four-day mid-year seminar in Washington D.C.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b></p> <p>Andre Monette: &ldquo;Land Use Sustainability Code and Stormwater&rdquo;<br /> Friday, April 24<br /> 2:50-3:50 p.m.</p> <p>Joseph Van Eaton and Gerard Lederer: Telecomm: An On Overview of FCC Regulations&rdquo;<br /> Sunday, April 26<br /> 9 &ndash; 10:30 a.m.</p> <p>Visit Gerard Lederer and John Freshman, BB&amp;K&rsquo;s senior director of Governmental Affairs, at the WONK Breakfast on Monday, April 27 from 7:30 to 9 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong>: <br /> April 24 &ndash; 27, 2015</p> <p><strong>Where</strong>:<br /> Omni Shoreham, Washington, D.C.</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/events/seminars/490-2015-mid-year-seminar#news"><span style="color: #0000ff">IMLA website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements24 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37676&format=xmlAB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Webinar (April 2, 2015)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37688&format=xml<div><br /> California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, pursuant to AB 1825, requires that employers with fifty or more employees in California provide at least two hours of Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training every two years to any employee that has a supervisory role in operations. This presentation is designed to satisfy those requirements.<br /> <br /> Joseph Ortiz will present the training via a live webinar. The&nbsp;webinar is interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions.<br /> <br /> <p><strong>The webinar will&nbsp;cover:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>What constitutes sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace</li> <li>How to recognize and avoid it</li> <li>What procedures to follow if you witness harassment or are harassed yourself</li> <li>The potential consequences - including personal liability - of sexual harassment</li> </ul> <p><strong><br /> Who should attend:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Supervisors</li> <li>Human Resources Professionals</li> <li>Public Officials</li> <li>Managers &amp; Private Business Professionals with 50 or More Employees</li> </ul> <p><br /> <strong>When: <br /> <br /> </strong>April 2, 2015<br /> 10 a.m.&nbsp;-&nbsp;Noon PT</p> <p><br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Presenter:<br /> <br /> </strong>Joseph Ortiz, Partner, Labor &amp; Employment Practice Group in Riverside office<br /> <strong><br /> <br /> Cost:</strong><br /> <br /> $75 per person<br /> <br /> Please provide payment before the training. Otherwise, you will not be able to join the webinar or receive a certificate of completion. Colleagues must register separately.<br /> <br /> <strong><br /> Registration:<br /> <br /> </strong>To register for this webinar, please click <a target="_blank" href="https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2733125687017174273"><strong><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></strong></a>. <br /> <br /> <br type="_moz" /> <strong>Payment:<br /> </strong><br /> <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</b><br /> <input type="hidden" name="item" value="AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Webinar" /> Qty: <input size="3" name="Qty" value="1" type="text" /> <b>Price: $75</b> <input type="hidden" name="Price" value="75" /> <br /> <br /> <input type="submit" value="Add to Shopping Cart" /> </font> </form> <strong><br /> <br /> QUESTIONS:<br /> <br /> </strong>Contact <a href="mailto:events@bbklaw.com?subject=Do%20You%20Need%20to%20Fulfill%20Your%20AB%201825%20Harassment%20Training%20Requirement%3F"><span style="color: #0000ff">Jessy Asfahan</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> </div>Seminars and Webinars02 Apr 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37688&format=xmlLand to Sea... Strategies to Solutionshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37367&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Paeter Garcia, Charity Schiller, Michelle Ouellette and Sarah Owsowitz will be among the featured speakers at the Association of Environmental Professionals Conference March 22-25, 2015 in Santa Barbara.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b></p> <p>Paeter Garcia and Charity Schiller, &ldquo;CEQA and the Big Drought&rdquo;</p> <p>California&rsquo;s ongoing drought poses numerous challenges, with consequences for both the state&rsquo;s physical and regulatory environments. This panel will address how CEQA is being applied, or in some cases waived, for projects intended to provide drought relief, and it will also discuss challenges related to completing legally defensible CEQA documents for projects that will be built under drought conditions. Paeter will discuss the complexities of water supply planning and preparing Water Supply Assessments when almost any water source may be subject to unknown levels of future curtailment as the drought drags on. Charity will provide an overview of the exemptions to CEQA contained in Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s two emergency drought declarations and how these apply, or don&rsquo;t, to many of the water supply projects that are being developed by local governments and water districts.&nbsp; She will also discuss legal defensibility as it relates to water supply conclusions contained in CEQA documents.</p> <p>Michelle Ouellette, &ldquo;Whiskey is for Drinking; Water is for Fighting Over: The Saga of the Cadiz Litigation 2.0&rdquo;</p> <p>In August 2014, an Orange County Superior Court judge issued rulings in six related lawsuits concerning the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project. The Cadiz project has been contentious, with several lawsuits filed by labor unions, environmental groups and a private salt mining company.&nbsp; &nbsp;As described by proponents, the Cadiz project is a public-private partnership between the Santa Margarita Water District and Cadiz, Inc. designed to manage a groundwater basin in San Bernardino County, capturing groundwater that would ultimately flow to hyper-saline lakes and evaporate. As described by opponents, they argue the Project is a water mining and privatization scheme that will harm a fragile desert ecosystem and fuel unsustainable growth. &nbsp;Given the years of controversy, a wide variety of CEQA, water and other issues were considered by Judge Gail Andler, who ultimately upheld the agencies&rsquo; decisions in all of the lawsuits.</p> <p>Sarah Owsowitz, &ldquo;Tribal Cultural Resources in CEQA, AB 52 Explained&rdquo;</p> <p>This dynamic panel will detail features and requirements of the new CEQA law on avoidance, preservation or mitigation of Tribal Cultural Resources, AB 52, and discuss strategies&nbsp; for preparing, entering into, and concluding consultation with Tribal Governments. If you are an environmental consultant, public agency representative, developer, or legal counsel who may have tribal cultural resources in your CEQA documents, then this presentation is for you. This panel will answer the following questions: What is AB 52, and how does it work? When does the law go into effect? What is the impact on my current environmental document? How do I consult with Tribal Governments? What is the role of the Lead Agency, the Project Proponent, and the California Native American Tribe in the consultation process?</p> <p><b>When<br /> </b>March 22-25, 2015</p> <p><b>Where</b><br /> Fess Parker Resort, Santa Barbara</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.califaep.org/events/2015-conference"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements22 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37367&format=xmlSB 854 Presentationhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37502&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Attorney Michael Maurer will give a presentation on SB 854, which significantly changes how the Department of Industrial Relations monitors compliance with the Prevailing Wage Law. It will impose new burdens on public agencies and many private business that contract with them. All contractors must now register with the DIR prior to bidding on or working on any public works projects.</p> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Thursday, March 19, 2015<br /> 11:30 a.m.</p> <p><strong>Where:</strong><br /> Dave &amp; Buster&rsquo;s<br /> 4821 Mills Circle Drive<br /> Ontario, CA 91764</p> <p>For more information, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.csmfo.org/"><span style="color: #0000ff">visit the CSMFO web page</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37502&format=xmlSustainable Groundwater Management: What the Hell Just Happened?http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37919&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner is one of the panelists speaking on, &ldquo;Sustainable Groundwater Management: What the Hell Just Happened?&rdquo; at the California Water Policy Conference.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, March 19<br /> 10:45 a.m.</p> <p><strong>Where<br /> </strong>The Roberts Environmental Center at Claremont McKenna College</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cawaterpolicy.org/index.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37919&format=xmlWater Issues: 2015 Editionhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37694&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Managing Partner Eric Garner is among the panelists discussing &ldquo;Water Issues: 2015 Edition&rdquo; at the USC Gould School of Law 2015 Real Estate Law and Business Forum. Get updated on the drought, how Southern California is dealing with it and how it will impact development now and in the future. Learn about the drought&rsquo;s potential impact on the ability of development to meet CEQA requirements and comply with Water Supply Assessment requirements, and pending cases that could impact real estate water availability. Eric will be joined on the panel by Building Industry Association of Southern California Environmental Affairs Director Mark Grey and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger.</p> <p><b>Real Estate Law and Business Forum</b></p> <p>For more than 10 years, the USC Gould School of Law Real Estate Law and Business Forum has been the most highly attended law and business conference in the area. Programming is designed to appeal to both professionals and business people across the real estate field. Speakers include nationally-known business and legal leaders. The focus is on opportunities - for you and for your clients - and how to maximize potential in the current real estate market.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, March 12<br /> 1:45 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Jonathan Club<br /> 545 S. Figueroa St.<br /> Los Angeles, CA</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://weblaw.usc.edu/why/academics/cle/realestate/"><span style="color: #0000ff">USC Gould School of Law website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements12 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37694&format=xmlMedical Marijuana in Commercial Real Estatehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38016&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Attorney Seena Samimi will present &ldquo;Medical Marijuana in Commercial Real Estate&rdquo; at the monthly CREW Sacramento program. Topics to be covered include:</p> <ul> <li>Historical framework of marijuana (and medical marijuana) in California</li> <li>Current legal framework of marijuana in California, and the interplay between federal, state, and local laws</li> <li>Landlord risks, and generally, leasing issues relating to marijuana-industry tenants</li> <li>What we know about the impact of marijuana on real estate values</li> <li>What medical marijuana users need to be aware of (in the workplace, and elsewhere)</li> <li>Trends, looking to the future, and marijuana&rsquo;s changing effect on various industries and fields</li> </ul> <p><b>When</b><br /> Thursday, March 12, 2015<br /> 11:30 a.m. &ndash; 1:30 p.m.</p> <p><b>Where</b><br /> The Sutter Club<br /> 1220 9th St.<br /> Sacramento, CA</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.crewsacto.org/chaptersite/eventdetail.aspx?sf=False&amp;code=BBD52ED2-2F40-4675-9CC9-7B3EEA02E0CF"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements12 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38016&format=xmlCalifornia Land Use Law & Policyhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37112&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Michelle Ouellette co-chairs and BB&amp;K co-sponsors this two-day conference, which also features several BB&amp;K speakers. The economy has improved much throughout 2014 and is expected to continue to improve into 2015. Private development and municipal redevelopment is back. Private counsel, federal, state and municipal counsel, and land use consultants need to be ready to address the pent-up demand.</p> <p>Will you be ready? What are the new hurdles to private, federal, state and community development projects? Certainly climate change requirements, CEQA and related environmental requirements are in flux. And what about the newest high hurdle to clear&mdash;water supply? Even with recent heavy precipitation, the drought is far from over and water supply will likely remain a dominant hurdle to development in California.</p> <p>Other issues that need to be on your land use radar screen includes large-scale habitat and conservation planning projects; species and wetlands protection; coastal development challenges; medical marijuana sales and cultivation; and the controversial practice of &ldquo;ballot box&rdquo; end runs around traditional land use regulation and compliance.</p> <p>MCLE credit is available.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b><br /> Shawn Hagerty: &ldquo;Stormwater Management and MS4 Permits &mdash; Get It Done Right the First Time&rdquo;<br /> Monday, March 9<br /> a.m.</p> <p>Charity Schiller: &ldquo;Life in the Country &mdash; Not Letting Climate Change Law Compliance Serve as a Barrier to Growth&rdquo;<br /> Monday, March 9<br /> 3:15 p.m.</p> <p>Jeffrey V. Dunn: &ldquo;Siting Medical Marijuana Dispensaries&rdquo;<br /> Monday, March 9<br /> 4:15 p.m.</p> <p><b>When</b><br /> Monday, March 9 &ndash; Tuesday, March 10, 2015</p> <p><b>Location</b><br /> Westin Hotel, Sacramento</p> <p>For see the entire program, <a target="_blank" href="http://images.magnetmail.net/images/clients/ARGENT/attach/CLUconf2015.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>. To register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.registrationheadquarters.com/events/?1e8d5c72f0d3403fb911a1f2593ad72ea&amp;mmurlid=63143569"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements09 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37112&format=xmlTop Five Things to Know About Letters of Intenthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37680&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Stephen Stwora-Hail will discuss letters of intent during the Sacramento Association of Realtors Commercial Division&rsquo;s Brown Bag Legal Lunch. Topics include:</p> <ul> <li>Find out what wide variety of factors can make a LOI binding</li> <li>Good drafting is key</li> <li>How important is the intent of the parties?</li> <li>Be sure to include a safety net &ndash; get this take away provision to add into every LOI</li> <li>Is an attorney really needed or are the standard forms sufficient? Where can I get myself in trouble with DIY?</li> </ul> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Thursday, March 5<br /> 11:30 a.m. &ndash; 1 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where:</strong><br /> SAR Mack Powell Event Center<br /> 2003 Howe Ave.<br /> Sacramento, CA 95825</p> <p>For more information or to register, call (916) 437-1208.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements05 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37680&format=xmlNew Kids on the Block: Regulatory Concerns in Online Vacation Rental Marketplaceshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37830&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys William J. &ldquo;Jim&rdquo; Priest and Jordan Ferguson will present &ldquo;New Kids on the Block: Regulatory Concerns in Online Vacation Rental Marketplaces.&rdquo; The webinar will provide a substantive discussion of online vacation rental marketplaces, from the basics of what these marketplaces are and how they function to the complex array of legal challenges they present for local governments. Whether the problems are related to code enforcement, tax collection or land use regulations, online vacation rental marketplaces are shifting the landscape and cities must adjust in order to face these issues head on.</p> <p><strong>When<br /> </strong>Wednesday, March 4, 2015<br /> 10 a.m. PST</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/webinars/2015-calendar"><span style="color: #0000ff">IMLA website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements04 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37830&format=xmlTo Adjudicate or Not to Adjudicate? That is the Question!http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37831&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner is among the panelists on &ldquo;To Adjudicate or Not to Adjudicate? That is the Question!&rdquo; at the Association of California Water Agencies&rsquo; 2015 Legislative Symposium on March 4 in Sacramento.</p> <p>Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s signing message for the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act indicated a desire to enact legislation that would streamline the adjudication process during this legislative session. Within the Legislature, Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) promised to explore streamlined adjudication and has held one legislative hearing already to learn from stakeholders about the pros and cons of expediting adjudications. This panel will explore the issues and challenges of adjudicating groundwater basins in the context of the Act and why anyone might, or might not, want to go the adjudication route.</p> <p><b>When</b><br /> Wednesday, March 4, 2015<br /> 9:45 &ndash; 10:45 a.m.</p> <p><b>Where</b><br /> Sacramento Convention Center<br /> 1400 J St., Room 307<br /> Sacramento, CA</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.acwa.com/events/acwa-2015-legislative-symposium"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements04 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37831&format=xmlGroundwater Regulation and Management in Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35962&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Paeter Garcia is co-chair of Law Seminars International&rsquo;s two-day conference and webcast &ldquo;Groundwater Regulation and Management in California: Updates on Legal and Policy Developments; Practical Tips and Strategies,&rdquo; which will be held March 2-3, 2015 in Sacramento. Paeter, along with BB&amp;K Managing Partner Eric Garner, will also be speaking on panels.</p> <p>California's new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is perhaps the most significant water law to be passed in the last 100 years. For the first time, California will implement broad reaching regulations over groundwater that will be phased in over the next several years. These new requirements will substantially affect future decisions in the areas of land use, the environment, agriculture and municipal water use, and many other aspects of California life.</p> <p>Join industry experts, leading attorneys and agency officials for a two-day conference regarding the mechanics and implications of the new Act. Topics include statewide perspectives in groundwater management, legal implications of the new laws, practical approaches and requirements for forming Groundwater Sustainability Agencies and developing Groundwater Sustainability Plans, the role of state agencies, funding issues, and practical examples of how real life groundwater disputes are resolved today.</p> <p>This comprehensive conference will provide local government, agricultural, environmental, attorney and consultant interests with a working knowledge of how to plan for the future under the new groundwater legislation.</p> <p><b>What You Will Learn</b></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Geohydrology science and engineering</li> <li>Existing groundwater law and what AB 3030 changes</li> <li>Development of Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (GSAs) and Plans (GSPs)</li> <li>What to expect in terms of state assistance and involvement</li> <li>Relationship between AB 3030 planning and other planning requirements and processes</li> <li>Financing issues</li> <li>Resolving groundwater disputes: Options when informal methods, such as mediation, fail</li> <li>Contingency planning: What if a plan fails?</li> <li>Case studies of the issues in the most controversial areas</li> </ul> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b></p> <p>Paeter Garcia: &ldquo;Relationship Between Planning Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and Other Planning Requirements and Processes&rdquo;<br /> Tuesday, March 3<br /> 8:45 &ndash; 10:15 a.m.</p> <p>Eric Garner: &ldquo;Resolving Groundwater Disputes: Options When Informal Methods, such as Mediation, Fail&rdquo;<br /> Tuesday, March 3<br /> 1:15 &ndash; 2 p.m.</p> <p><i>BB&amp;K is also co-sponsoring the reception for faculty and attendees at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 2.</i></p> <p><b>Where</b><br /> Courtyard Marriott Sacramento Midtown<br /> 4422 Y Street<br /> Sacramento, CA 95817</p> For more information or to register, please visit Law Seminars International by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=15WATCA"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here.</span></a>Conferences & Speaking Engagements02 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35962&format=xml2015 OC Collaborative Services Summithttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37705&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Partner Sonia Carvalho is among the &ldquo;local leaders in innovative government&rdquo; featured at the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission&rsquo;s 2015 OC Collaborative Services Summit.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, Feb. 26<br /> 8 a.m. &ndash; Noon</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Costa Mesa Country Club<br /> 1701 Golf Course Dr.<br /> Costa Mesa, CA</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://oclafco.org/"><span style="color: #0000ff">OC LAFCO website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements26 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37705&format=xmlRetail Utility Drought Response - What Works and Plans for 2015http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37677&format=xml<p>Sponsored jointly by the California Department of Water Resources, the Southern California Water Committee and NWRI, this event will focus on drought planning, response, and mitigation measures. Individuals from water agencies and other public and local organizations involved in drought response and planning efforts are invited to attend. The two-day program includes talks by water resources professionals and academics from organizations throughout California.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speaker</b></p> <p>Kelly Salt: &ldquo;Panel Discussion: Retail Utility Drought Response &ndash; What Works and Plans for 2015&rdquo;</p> <p>Wednesday, Feb. 25<br /> 3:30 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong>:<br /> Atrium Hotel<br /> Irvine, Calif.</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.nwri-usa.org/events.htm"><span style="color: #0000ff">NWRI website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements25 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37677&format=xmlAn Administrative Guide to Public Law: Applying California Law to Daily Procedurehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36084&format=xml<div id="_mcePaste"> <p _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;"><span _mce_style=" color: black; font-size: 10pt;">This half-day training will address the statutory duties of public agency filing officers, officials, and support staff including&nbsp;Form 700 Statements of Economic Interests (SEIs), conflict of interests codes, public meeting agendas, Public Records Act requests and more.</span></p> <p _mce_style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt;"><span _mce_style=" color: #00467f; font-size: 12pt;"><strong><strong>This informative&nbsp;training will discuss the Brown Act, the California Public Records Act and the Political Reform Act, identifying:</strong></strong></span></p> <ul _mce_style=" color: #000000; font-size: 10pt;" styleclass=" style_MainText"> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Legislative &amp; Regulatory Changes</li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">General Rules - What's Your Role? <ul> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left"><span _mce_style=" font-size: 10pt;">How to Respond to Requests</span></li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left"><span _mce_style=" font-size: 10pt;"><span _mce_style=" font-size: 10pt;">When to Involve Legal Counsel</span> </span></li> </ul> </li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Guidelines - Notices, Fines &amp; Waivers</li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Reviews - Facial vs. Full <ul> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">What to Look For</li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Common Errors/Misconceptions</li> </ul> </li> <li _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px;" align="left">Public Access - Violations</li> </ul> <p align="left" _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; color: #00467f; font-size: 12pt;" styleclass=" style_ArticleTitle"><strong>Who should attend:</strong></p> <ul> <li align="left">Filing officers and their assistants<span _mce_style=" color: black; font-size: 10pt;">(includes board secretaries, city clerks, deputy city cerks, executive assistants, administration and anyone else handling these matters on a daily basis)</span> for: <ul> <li align="left">Cities</li> <li align="left">Counties</li> <li align="left">School Districts</li> <li align="left">Special Districts&nbsp;</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p align="left" _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; color: #00467f; font-size: 12pt;" styleclass=" style_ArticleTitle"><strong>When:<br /> </strong>Wednesday, Feb. 25<br /> 8:30 a.m. - Check-in and pastries<br /> 9 -&nbsp;Noon - Training<br /> <br /> <strong>Where:</strong><br /> The training will be held at <a shape="rect" target="_blank" _mce_style="color: #0000ff; text-decoration: underline;" _mce_href="http://www.bbklaw.com/offices" _mce_shape="rect" linktype="1" track="on" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/offices"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K offices</span></a> throughout California. When you register&nbsp;indicate where you will attend the training.</p> <p align="left" _mce_style="margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; color: #00467f; font-size: 12pt;" styleclass=" style_ArticleTitle"><strong>Per Person Cost</strong>: $100<br /> Clients who&nbsp;are paid participants in the&nbsp;Pulic Policy &amp; Ethics Program will receive the discounted price of $75 per person.<br /> <br /> For more information or to register contact Jessy Asfahan at <a href="mailto:Jessy.Asfahan@BBKlaw.com?subject=BB%26K%20Training%3A%20An%20Administrative%20Guide%20to%20Public%20Law"><span style="color: #0000ff">Jessy.Asfahan@BBKlaw.com</span></a>&nbsp;or 951-826-8212</p> </div>Seminars & Training25 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36084&format=xmlReflections on the Keys to a Successful P3http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36305&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Seth Merewitz is moderating the panel &ldquo;Reflections on the Keys to a Successful P3 &ndash; Lessons Learned from Real Deals&rdquo; at the P3C Public-Private Partnership Conference &amp; Expo 2015 Feb. 23-25 in Dallas. There are proven &quot;keys to success&quot; to making a P3 project successful, regardless of the public partner or the project. Success requires more than value for money analysis, efficient capital deployment, operational expertise and innovative solutions. In this interactive session you will learn about the &quot;4P's Required Before the P3&quot; and other real world project-based reflections on what went well, what could have been done better and what was a failure.</p> <p><strong>When<br /> </strong>Monday, Feb. 23, 2015<br /> 4:45 &ndash; 6 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> Sheraton Hotel Dallas</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://thep3conference.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements23 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36305&format=xmlBest in Law: Tug-of-War Over Changing Prop. 13 Remains Intensehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38015&format=xml<p>BY MICHAEL GRANT</p> <p>A &ldquo;split roll&rdquo; might sound like something you would find in a bakery. But in fact, it is a real property tax concept that has been the subject of a tug-of-war since Proposition 13 was overwhelmingly passed by California voters in 1978.</p> <p>Proposition 13 capped assessed values for all California real estate at 1975 levels, with a maximum 2 percent increase per year. Reassessment to current values generally occurs only upon a &ldquo;change of ownership&rdquo; or if there is &ldquo;new construction&rdquo; (such as a room addition).</p> <p>Most California property owners have enjoyed the tax relief afforded by Proposition 13 and continue to support it. However, in the face of state budget shortfalls in recent years, a vocal minority continues to seek to reverse some or all of Proposition 13.</p> <p>One suggestion is to treat residential and commercial properties differently &mdash; a &ldquo;split tax roll.&rdquo; Under this approach, there would be no immediate change in assessed value or tax rates on residential property, but commercial property would be assessed at its current fair market value.</p> <p>Proponents estimate that revenues from increased commercial real estate property taxes would total between $10 billion and $12 billion per year.</p> <p>In recent years, dozens of bills have been introduced in Sacramento seeking to tighten perceived loopholes in the taxation of commercial properties, or to adopt the split roll and allow all commercial real estate to be assessed at its current fair market value. To date, Proposition 13 remains largely unchanged. The sides in this tug-of-war and the arguments of each are well-defined.</p> <p>Those who seek to adopt a split roll complain that commercial property owners can game the system by incrementally transferring fractional interests in commercial properties, resulting in a de facto change of ownership without reassessment. Commercial property owners, they say, are not paying their &ldquo;fair share.&rdquo; In their view, increased revenue is needed to fund schools and social safety net programs.</p> <p>Annual opinion polls conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California indicate that split roll proponents are predominately Democrats from coastal urban areas. Split roll legislation is often sponsored by public education and public employee organizations.</p> <p>Opponents of the split roll argue that it would have a negative effect. A 2012 study by the Pepperdine University Davenport Institute estimated a cost to the California economy of $71.8 billion and the loss of almost 400,000 jobs over the first five years.</p> <p>They maintain that commercial properties are already being assessed much closer to their market value than residential properties and that adoption of the split roll would significantly deepen the perception that California is &ldquo;anti-business.&rdquo; They charge that split roll proponents want to persuade the electorate to tax &ldquo;the other guy&rdquo; &mdash; in this case, supposedly rich commercial property owners.</p> <p>According to the PPIC poll, split roll opponents are predominately Republicans. Opponents include Chambers of Commerce, tax watchdog groups and business associations.</p> <p>Adoption of a split tax roll in California may continue to be difficult. It would require an amendment to the California Constitution, which in turn would require a successful voter initiative, in addition to passage by the Legislature.</p> <p>Proponents are undaunted, some expressing a desire to &ldquo;break Proposition 13&rsquo;s grip on the State&rsquo;s public finances&rdquo; (as the head of the California Tax Reform Association hopes to do) or, in the words of Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, to &ldquo;nuke Prop. 13.&rdquo;</p> <p>There are questions around a split roll: What constitutes &ldquo;commercial property?&rdquo; What about a mixed commercial and residential project? Or an apartment project or a co-op (in which there is a mixture of ownership and apartment characteristics)?</p> <p>Since many commercial leases are so-called &ldquo;triple net&rdquo; leases in which tenants pay all expenses (including property taxes), commercial tenants could experience significant rental expense increases. Even tenants under gross leases (in which property taxes are often factored into the base rent) could experience increased rental rates as higher taxes are eventually passed through.</p> <p>Despite an improving California economy, we can expect the &ldquo;split roll&rdquo; debate to continue.</p> <p><i>*This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pe.com/articles/commercial-760170-roll-split.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">The Press-Enterprise</span></a> on Feb. 22, 2015. Republished with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News22 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38015&format=xmlOverview of Debt Financing... So Many Moving Pieceshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37679&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Kelly Salt will present &ldquo;Overview of Debt Financing&hellip; So Many Moving Pieces&rdquo; at the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers&rsquo; Annual Conference: The Changing Tides of California Finance, Feb. 17-20, 2015 in Monterey, Calif.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speaker</b></p> <p>Kelly Salt: &ldquo;Overview of Debt Financing&hellip; So Many Moving Pieces&rdquo;</p> <p>Thursday, Feb. 19<br /> 2:30 &ndash; 3:45 p.m.</p> <p><strong>Where:<br /> </strong>Portola Hotel<br /> Monterey, Calif.</p> <p>To learn more or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://events.csmfo.org/events/index.cfm?OrgGUID=CA2000&amp;Action=Events&amp;Option=View&amp;GUID=A4BD0C0F-4040-BE2A-B1B1F4BD24DF6BEF"><span style="color: #0000ff">CSMFO website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37679&format=xmlDeployment of Wireless Facilitieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36321&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Gerard Lederer, Gail Karish and Joseph Van Eaton, who is co-chair of the program, are among the speakers at the two-day Second Annual Comprehensive Conference on Legal Developments for &ldquo;Deployment of Local Wireless Facilities: New Technologies, New Federal and State Rules and Practical Strategies for Carriers and Local Governments.&rdquo; Law Seminars International will also be providing a live webcast of the event in Los Angeles.</p> <p>In October, the FCC adopted new rules that restrict local authority to control modification and expansion of existing wireless towers and base stations. Those rules were adopted in the face of market trends that suggest that mobile data traffic in 2017 will be 13 times what it is today &mdash; translating into requirements for thousands of new cell sites and cell site modification.</p> <p>This comprehensive conference will introduce the legal, economic and outside design issues presented to local governments and private property owners by deployment and growth of mobile wireless services. We will consider the changing business of mobile and wireless communications services and how that is changing the demand for and design of wireless facilities. The panelists will review the controlling state and federal regulations and recent statutes that define the rights of mobile service providers and their agents to site and to modify towers and antennas located on public and private property, and discuss how local governments can respond to the new FCC rules in ways that promote deployment and protect communities.</p> <p>BB&amp;K Speakers</p> <p><b>Joseph Van Eaton</b><br /> Thursday, Feb. 19, 8:30 a.m., &ldquo;Introduction to Day 1: New Infrastructure and Federal Regulatory Developments&rdquo;<br /> Thursday, Feb. 19, 1:30 p.m., &ldquo;Federal Regulatory Provisions Affecting Local Authority Over Wireless Siting&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Gail Karish</b><br /> Thursday, Feb. 19, 10:30 a.m., &ldquo;Demand for New Infrastructure: Changing Operational Plans for Public and Private Sector Players&rdquo;</p> <p><b>Gerard Lederer</b><br /> Friday, Feb. 20, 1:15 p.m., &ldquo;Trends in Private Sector Dealmaking for Carrier Access to Buildings and Other Structures: Keeping Up with New Technologies and the Need for More Robust Networks?&rdquo;</p> <p>When<br /> Feb. 19-20, 2015</p> <p>Where<br /> DoubleTree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=15TINCA"><span style="color: #0000ff">visit the Law Seminars International event page.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36321&format=xmlWestern Water Lawhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35561&format=xml<p>Roderick E. Walston, who is of counsel at Best Best &amp; Krieger, is co-chair of, and a featured panelist at, CLE International&rsquo;s Western Water Law. During this two-day event, experts from around the West and the nation, who are actively shaping the direction of water supply and quality issues, will share their experience and insights into the myriad of complex and legal issues surrounding water in the West.</p> <p>These topics will be addressed:</p> <ul> <li>Perspectives on Federal Water Policy</li> <li>Ethics and Water Law</li> <li>Western Water Law Recap</li> <li>Federal Reserved Water Rights: Overview and Current Status</li> <li>Does the Reserved Rights Doctrine Apply to Groundwater?</li> <li>The Dispute Over the Rio Grande: Texas v. New Mexico</li> <li>California Adopts Groundbreaking Groundwater Legislation</li> <li>Regulation of Groundwater and Surface Water in Arizona</li> <li>How Are Western States Managing Water Supplies</li> <li>Federal Permitting and River Management</li> <li>Climate Change</li> <li>Water and Energy Development in Wyoming</li> <li>Endangered Species Act Issues: Delta Litigation in California</li> <li>Developments on the Clean Water Act</li> </ul> <p>Rod will be speaking on a panel titled &ldquo;Federal Reserved Water Rights&rdquo; on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015 at 1:45 p.m.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, Feb. 19 &ndash; Friday, Feb. 20</p> <p><strong>Where</strong><br /> The Westin San Diego</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the CLE event page by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cle.com/product.php?proid=1502&amp;src=Featured&amp;page=Western_Water_Law"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35561&format=xmlBB&K Attorneys Garner Top Verdict Recognitionhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37893&format=xml<p><b>IRVINE, Calif.</b> &ndash; Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorneys Jeffrey V. Dunn, Thomas J. Eastmond and Steven C. DeBaun were recognized by the <i>Daily Journal</i> for having one of the Top Plaintiffs&rsquo; Verdicts by Impact in 2014. The legal journal&rsquo;s editors selected <i>Western Riverside Council of Governments v. City of Beaumont </i>as one of the top 10 verdicts in California last year because of its larger significance on society &mdash; not just the dollar amount awarded.</p> <p>After a four-week trial, an Orange County Superior Court judge ruled against the City of Beaumont and ordered it to pay nearly $43 million in withheld fees and more than $14 million in prejudgment interest for failing to comply with its municipal ordinance requiring it to collect and remit transportation impact fees to WRCOG. The impact fees are part of the Transportation Uniform Mitigation Fee (TUMF) Program administered by WRCOG. Under the TUMF Program, impact fees collected from new development in western Riverside County are remitted to WRCOG and allocated to build new transportation infrastructure to mitigate the impact of development on the regional transportation system.</p> <p>The BB&amp;K attorneys provided evidence that Beaumont failed to comply with its TUMF obligations and, instead, created both tax and traffic burdens on Beaumont&rsquo;s own residents. The court found that&ldquo; the evidence shows poor local transportation planning and execution.&rdquo; The court went on to conclude that &ldquo;[t]he evidence and testimony reveals that city management and staff engaged in a pattern and practice of deception that transcends the typical give-and-take of dispute negotiation. Had this been a typical civil trial I would have found fraud by clear and convincing evidence as against the city.&rdquo;</p> <p>The case is now on appeal.</p> <p>In a special Top Verdicts supplement to the<span style="color: #0000ff"> </span><span style="color: #0000ff"><i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/submain.cfm"><span style="color: #0000ff">Daily Journal</span></a></i></span>, the editors wrote, &ldquo;Some of the work honored in this issue garnered national headlines. Others got little attention outside of legal circles. In every case, the attorneys demonstrated that excellent trial work remains a prized skill.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: center">###</p> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b><i> is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With nearly 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><font color="#0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</font></a> or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</i>Press Releases18 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37893&format=xmlThe Changing Face of Stormwater Regulation in the U.S.http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37828&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Andre Monette will present the webinar &ldquo;The Changing Face of Stormwater Regulation in the U.S.&rdquo; Regulation of stormwater in many states is undergoing a metamorphosis from technology based controls to watershed based regional management solutions. In some cases these changes are driven by the municipal dischargers, in others regulatory authorities and NGOs are forcing dischargers to adopt the new strategy. There is little question that watershed based solutions will benefit water quality, however moving to this form of regulation raises important legal issues that dischargers and regulators need to consider.</p> <p><strong>When<br /> </strong>Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015<br /> 10 a.m. PST</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/webinars/2015-calendar"><span style="color: #0000ff">IMLA website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements17 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37828&format=xmlLitigation Associate - Ontario Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37860&format=xml<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">We have an immediate opening for an associate with 3 to 5 years of municipal and business litigation experience. Experience with probate litigation a plus.&nbsp; </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.<br /> <br /> </span></span><a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG"><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</span></span></a></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Please address your cover letter to:<br /> <br /> <strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <em><br /> <strong><em><strong>No phone calls or emails&nbsp;please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></strong></em></span></span></p>Job Openings at BB&K17 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37860&format=xmlBB&K Welcomes Legislative Assistant Annick C. Miller Riverahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37868&format=xml<p><b>WASHINGTON, D.C.</b>&nbsp;- We are pleased to announce that Annick C. Miller Rivera has joined Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP as a legislative assistant in the firm&rsquo;s Washington, D.C. office. She will work closely with the firm&rsquo;s Governmental Affairs senior director in developing and implementing legislative action plans &mdash; especially on policies related to water, the environment and related infrastructure issues, as well as telecommunications.</p> <p>Prior to joining BB&amp;K, Miller Rivera served as legislative assistant to former House Natural Resources Committee Chairman &quot;Doc&quot; Hastings (R-Washington). In this role, she briefed and advised the Congressman on various policy issues and legislative actions, including agriculture and water and their interconnections.</p> <p>&ldquo;With four years of working on Capitol Hill, Annick brings to BB&amp;K a unique perspective on complicated policy issues that will benefit the firm&rsquo;s clients and bolster its growing lobbying services,&rdquo; said Governmental Affairs Senior Director John Freshman.</p> <p>Miller Rivera has a master&rsquo;s degree in public policy from George Mason University and a bachelor&rsquo;s degree in international business from Johnson &amp; Wales University.</p>Press Releases17 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37868&format=xmlFCC Should Use Scalpel, Not Ax to Preempt State Laws Limiting Muni-Broadbandhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37845&format=xml<p>On Feb. 26, the FCC plans to act to preempt state laws that retard development of municipally owned broadband networks. The breadth of the potential preemption is unclear. The decision will occur at the same meeting at which the FCC plans to adopt broad net neutrality rules applying &ldquo;public utility treatment&rdquo; to local broadband networks to protect consumers and broadband applications.<sup>1</sup></p> <p>How did municipal ownership of broadband networks rise to equal billing with net neutral &ldquo;just and reasonable treatment&rdquo; of internet content? Local ownership of broadband distribution networks has risen steadily in the federal policy debate over broadband deployment. Accelerated by the Obama stimulus legislation of 2009, non-traditional ownership of broadband networks has proliferated.</p> <h6><span style="font-size: small">New Purpose for Muni-Broadband</span></h6> <p>Now the FCC may hope to use non-profit networks as &ldquo;yardsticks&rdquo; to observe developments in the local broadband distribution market as &ldquo;net neutrality&rdquo; rules are rolled out. The FCC is likely to impose hortatory net neutrality &ldquo;behavior standards&rdquo; and &ldquo;transparency requirements&rdquo; rather than specific performance and price requirements for broadband network providers.<sup>2</sup> The FCC needs a yard stick to segregate real from false claims about the on-going needs of broadband network providers: when are operator requirements legitimate network management and when are they anti-competitive efforts to disadvantage others?</p> <p>Publicly owned networks offer the necessary yardstick to compare terms of service, prices, and operational requirements. So, the FCC wants locally owned network providers to succeed and grow in the marketplace and needs to preempt existing laws in many states which prohibit directly and indirectly such networks.</p> <p>On the other hand, federal preemption of state laws is always legally difficult. In our federal system, federal authorities are not presumed to have the right to tell states what to do, or to preclude sovereign states pursuing their own policies. As the FCC moves toward curbing the worst anti-competitive broadband abuses in state law, it must tread lightly--and point repeatedly to national policy authorized by federal law as the basis for any preemption.</p> <h6><span style="font-size: small">The Case for Local Government Broadband Networks</span></h6> <p>Municipally owned broadband networks have developed to address public needs and interests the private sector broadband providers have ignored. Sometimes driven by refusal to serve, sometimes by inadequate service quality or outrageous prices, sometimes by unique governmental needs not addressed by commercial offerings, local governments have developed a mosaic quilt of self-provided broadband networks and related services.<sup>3</sup> Since the earliest days of telephony, municipal and co-operative telephone operators have successfully built and served rural, low-density, and high-cost areas that the investor owned companies by-passed.<sup>4</sup> Often co-located with public power entities, this movement continued into the broadband era, first with municipally owned cable television systems and more recently with broadband fiber optic data distribution networks.<sup>5</sup> This movement accelerated first with ultra-broadband service to Universities and research institutions and then with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (&ldquo;ARRA&rdquo;) which provided several billions of federal dollars to fund &ldquo;anchor institution&rdquo; broadband networks.<sup>6</sup> Today, there is a wide range of local and state government-owned broadband networks, offering a wide range of data services. While telephone and cable operator opposition has focused on consumer retail services, these publicly owned systems are best characterized as a much more eclectic collection of networks that were built to address multiple community needs the private companies would not serve at reasonable prices.</p> <p>Today, there are hundreds of local government fiber and data networks in operation. Some are special purpose internal communications networks providing e-government interfaces with citizens , traffic control and public safety communications. Some are high-tech billing, monitoring and management systems operating in conjunction with regional transportation, power, water and wastewater systems. Some are broadband educational and health networks connecting laboratories, libraries, classrooms, campuses, hospitals and neighborhood clinics. Some are traditional cable television video systems offering retail cable services to consumers and wholesale data transport services to local businesses. And some offer retail level telephone, cable video and internet access by local public power entities, like Cedar Falls Utilities and Chattanooga Public Power. These networks grew from fiber systems built to better manage retail and wholesale power consumption when the local community realized the networks were capable of addressing multiple other community needs as well.<sup>7</sup></p> <h6><span style="font-size: small">Industry Opposition Has Been Brutal</span></h6> <p>Over the last two decades, the telephone and cable television industries have not been asleep to the competitive threat posed by municipal level broadband initiatives. They have pursued an aggressive 3-part strategy reminiscent of the old public versus private power debates of the 1930's-40's. First the cable operators took on local governments which had the temerity to propose some form of local ownership, investment, or operation. Every community considering local involvement in broadband faced a voter initiative, lawsuits challenging the community's authority, a major PR campaign challenging government involvement in a private business.<sup>8</sup> Second, the telephone/cable lobbyists made common cause at state legislatures seeking a range of prohibitive restrictions on local involvement in broadband.<sup>9</sup> Led by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), right-wing legislators in different states introduced similarly worded proposals to prohibit using local bond authority, require extensive pre-market surveys, grant incumbent operators rights of first refusal, prohibit any use of taxpayer funds or public employees for the proposed operations, and restrict the lines of business and geographic areas to be served by any municipally owned networks.<sup>10</sup> Third, the incumbents brought their arguments to the FCC and tried to restrict local government cable franchise authority to require Institutional networks and other dedicated facilities to address local community non-commercial video and data needs.<sup>11</sup></p> <p>Fortunately, the ARRA had the unintended consequences of stopping further state legislative action. This apparently happened because the ARRA required all networks it funded to offer open access and non-discriminatory carriage to over providers.<sup>12</sup> As states sought this federal grant money, they realized further anti-competitive laws would disqualify their federal grant applications. But the earlier ugly laws still exist in places like North Carolina and Tennessee. And any community interested in building its own facilities has learned the painful lesson of those that have gone before--be prepared for scorched-earth tactics by the telephone and cable television operators.</p> <p>Chairman Wheeler recognized this reality in a blog post in June 2014, shortly after visiting Chattanooga:</p> <p>&thinsp;&ldquo;Ironically, Chattanooga is both the poster child for the benefits of community broadband networks, and also a prime example of the efforts to restrict them.</p> <p>&thinsp;Tennessee is one of many states that have placed limits on the deployment of community networks. Tennessee's law is restricting Chattanooga from expanding its network's footprint, inhibiting further growth. &hellip; Commercial broadband providers can pick and choose who to serve based on whether there is an economic case for it. &hellip; If the people, acting through their elected local governments, want to pursue competitive community broadband, they shouldn't be stopped by state laws promoted by cable and telephone companies that don't want that competition.</p> <p>&thinsp;I believe that it is in the best interests of consumers and competition that the FCC exercises its power to preempt state laws that ban or restrict competition from community broadband. Given the opportunity, we will do so.<sup>13</sup></p> <h6><span style="font-size: small">FCC Preemption Requires Careful Legal Thought</span></h6> <p>Chairman Wheeler's proposal to deal with anti-competitive state laws was well received in communities burdened with ALEC-like statutes. Communities like Wilson, N.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn., know their existing municipally owned networks could do more, better, cheaper than the incumbents if not restricted by state statutes restricting the areas they serve. Elsewhere in local government, there was less enthusiasm for the Chairman's comments favoring preemption. Every local government has a cable franchise and has zoning rules controlling wireless tower siting. Not every local community has a municipally owned broadband network.</p> <p>So there is consensus among local elected officials that the FCC has been misguided in much of its recent preemption of local franchise authority over cable television operators<sup>14</sup> and local zoning authority over tower siting.<sup>15</sup> In both cases, the FCC's rationale for preemption of local rules sounded fearfully like the rhetoric the FCC Chair used in criticizing the state laws affecting local ownership: in an area traditionally and exclusively subject to state and local law, FCC claimed broad preemptive authority to impose a national priority, regardless of the local community's specific facts. The FCC has protected the interests of wireless carriers in forcing one-size-fits-all zoning rules that trump property interests of local residents. And the FCC has issued a series of orders limiting and shrinking local government's authority to require in-kind broadband facilities from cable television operators through the cable franchise process.<sup>16</sup></p> <p>In response to Chairman Wheeler's blog last June, the City of Wilson, N.C., and the Chattanooga Electric Power Board filed petitions for special relief with the Commission. CEPB asked the FCC to preempt the Tennessee statutory limit on CEPB's geographical area of broadband service.<sup>17</sup> Wilson asked the FCC to preempt generally the multiple provisions of a North Carolina statute which make it practically impossible for Wilson to extend its fiber network to surrounding communities.<sup>18</sup></p> <p>Most fair-minded observers will conclude that the North Carolina and Tennessee laws were written by industry proponents specifically to restrict and prohibit expansion of municipally provided broadband services. Will the FCC act to preempt some or all of these provisions? At this point, municipal enthusiasm for relief must be tempered by the reality that the FCC has not traditionally been the partner, let alone the friend of local governments. In other words, be careful what you ask for--when federal authorities begin preempting state and local laws and policies, the process requires a scalpel, not a meat cleaver.</p> <p>While relief from state legislative efforts to defeat competition to the incumbent operators is welcome, any action by the FCC must be consistent with the nation's system of federalism, and consistent with the Supreme Court's precedents limiting the authority of the federal government over the states.</p> <p>Fundamental federalism law is that the Tenth Amendment reserves all governmental powers to the states that the U.S. Constitution does not give to the federal government. In the area of regulation, the courts traditionally require the federal authority have explicit statutory authority to carry out a federal policy (in this case the Communications Act of 1934), permitted by a Constitutional provision (in this case the Interstate Commerce Clause), to preempt ONLY state regulatory actions that frustrate the federal policy.<sup>19</sup></p> <p>The FCC can preempt contrary state regulation, but cannot order the state to become an agent of the federal government carrying out the federal policy.<sup>20</sup> And the FCC cannot preempt a state proprietary (as opposed to regulatory) action which is taken pursuant to the state's property interests (what are protected under the 5th Amendment, just as private property rights are protected). The <i>Printz opinion</i> suggests the solution--if the federal government wishes to authorize the placement of facilities, it must do so itself--and take responsibility for those actions.<sup>21</sup> On the other hand, the federal government can preempt state regulations .<sup>22</sup></p> <p>Within this broad analysis, there is a particular problem when the FCC deals with local governments.</p> <p>47 U.S.C &sect;253(a) of the Communications Act bans any state or municipality from prohibiting &ldquo;any entity&rdquo; from offering telecommunications service. This would seem to end the discussion--the FCC is about to find that providing broadband service is a &ldquo;telecommunications service&rdquo;. Section 253(a) is an explicit statute within the authority of the FCC to enforce. But unfortunately for the FCC, and fortunately for local governments, the U.S. Supreme Court, in <i>Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League,</i> 541 U.S. 125 (2004), found that local governments are not &ldquo;any entity&rdquo; within the meaning of 253(a). So 253(a) does not give the FCC the authority it needs to preempt the state laws.<sup>23</sup></p> <p>The likely response of the FCC will be to rely on 47 U.S.C. &sect;706, which mandates the FCC promote the rapid deployment of broadband services and remove barriers to that deployment. This is the authority the FCC originally relied on for its first set of net neutrality rules, which the courts struck down as not fitting within the meaning of the language &sect;706. Will the FCC meet the same problem if it preempts the TN/ NC statutes? Probably not, if the FCC is careful to define why its preemption is authorized by &sect;706(b) and is as narrowly drawn as possible to not intrude on appropriate state authority over local governments.</p> <h6><span style="font-size: small">The FCC's New Alternative</span></h6> <p>The FCC has an alternative. It can rely on the new net neutrality rules under Title II, finding that the state statutes cause unreasonable and unjust discrimination in the availability of broadband services. That would be both new and strongly supported by local governments.</p> <p>The FCC needs to avoid using &sect;253(a). Any FCC attempt to revisit <i>Nixon</i> endangers an entire range of local government franchise, tax and fees traditions related to cable and telecommunications service providers. The industry would love that door opened to attack local government revenues. This is not a sanguine possibility. The FCC has now preempted local zoning authority over cell tower siting, imposing shot-clocks for local decision making, and implementing a new Congressional statute<sup>24</sup> apparently granting wireless companies unprecedented rights to federally mandated outcomes if local processes don't work to the tower companies' interests. And the FCC recently issued an order on reconsideration stating that cable operators may be able to reduce their franchise fee payments to local governments if the local franchise requires local broadband facilities dedicated to public use.<sup>25</sup></p> <h6><span style="font-size: small">Local Government Broadband Networks as the Yardstick for Net Neutrality</span></h6> <p>This author hopes the FCC thinks this problem through. The proposed FCC net neutrality rules are dependent on hortatory standards and expectations, but not many rules. The FCC is desperate to avoid rate regulation and terms and service tariffs for broadband providers. To get satisfactory results in the marketplace, the FCC needs real life examples of what is working, and why and where the problems are occurring. There is a real partnership possible between federal and local authorities. If local government cooperates in expanding local broadband network options, the FCC will have real tools to measure performance under the new net neutrality rules. Local networks can provide meaningful rate and operational information to judge the behavior of the incumbents and to observe non-profit entities testing innovative prices, terms of service and investment strategies.</p> <p>Last month, President Obama traveled to Cedar Falls, Iowa to promote the city's public utility, which is operating a fiber-based broadband network to all homes and businesses in the community.<sup>26</sup> &ldquo;What you're showing is that here in America, you don't have to be the biggest community to do really big things,&rdquo; Obama said. The President went on to urge the Federal Communications Commission to strike down state laws that limit local governments from building their own networks. &ldquo;In some states, it is virtually impossible to create a community network like the one that you've got here in Cedar Falls,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Enough is enough. We're going to change that so every community can do the smart things you guys are doing.&rdquo;</p> <p>Let's hope the FCC gets it right and a new era of federal-local partnership commences.<br /> <br /> <i>*This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bna.com/fcc-scalpel-not-n17179923070/"><span style="color: #0000ff">Bloomberg BNA</span></a> on Feb. 13, 2015. Republished with permission. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/88E17A/assets/files/Documents/FCC%20Should%20Use%20Scalpel,%20Not%20Ax%20to%20Preempt%20State%20Laws%20Limiting%20Muni-Broadband.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Click here</span></a> to download a pdf of this article.<br /> </i></p> <hr /> <p><a><sup><br /> 1</sup></a> Press Release, Federal Communications Commission, FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for February Open Meeting (Feb. 5, 2015) (available at <a target="_blank" href="https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-331900A1.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-331900A1.pdf</span></a>).</p> <p><a><sup>2</sup></a> Fact Sheet: Chairman Wheeler Proposes New Rules for Protecting the Open Internet (Feb. 4, 2015) (available at<a target="_blank" href="https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-331869A1.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-331869A1.pdf</span></a>).</p> <p><a><sup>3</sup></a><a target="_blank" href="http://www.muninetworks.org/communitymap"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.muninetworks.org/communitymap</span></a><span style="color: #0000ff">.</span></p> <p><a><sup>4</sup></a><a href="http://www.ntca.org/about-ntca/history-of-rural-telecommunications.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.ntca.org/about-ntca/history-of-rural-telecommunications.html</span></a><span style="color: #0000ff">.</span></p> <p><a><sup>5</sup></a> The American Public Power Association claimed 108 members provided internet access service in 2010. See <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ntia.doc.gov/legacy/ntiahome/broadband/comments2/APPA.htm"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.ntia.doc.gov/legacy/ntiahome/broadband/comments2/APPA.htm</span></a> at note 11.</p> <p><a><sup>6</sup></a> 47 USC &sect;1305(g)(3).</p> <p><a><sup>7</sup></a> See for example, discussion of Chattanooga EPB decision to build area-wide fiber network based on electric distribution network needs alone, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ilsr.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/muni-bb-speed-light.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.ilsr.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/muni-bb-speed-light.pdf</span></a> at 35.</p> <p><a><sup>8</sup></a> The history of Lafayette, La., is instructive. Multiple lawsuits, appeals and then more lawsuits. <a target="_blank" href="http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2010/05/lousiana-fiber-network-running-despite-cable-telco-lawsuits"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2010/05/lousiana-fiber-network-running-despite-cable-telco-</span><span style="color: #0000ff">lawsuits</span></a>.</p> <p><a><sup>9</sup></a> The behavior state by state in the 19 legislatures that have adopted legislation to discourage local government deployment of broadband networks is surprisingly similar. Here is a good description of the playbook: <a href="http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/08/28/15404/how-big-telecom-smothers-city-run-broadband"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/08/28/15404/how-big-telecom-smothers-city-run-broadband</span></a></p> <p><a><sup>10</sup></a><a href="http://www.alec.org/task-forces/telecommunications-and-information-technology/municipal-broadband"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.alec.org/task-forces/telecommunications-and-information-technology/municipal-broadband</span></a><span style="color: #0000ff">.</span></p> <p>In 19 state legislatures, outrageously restrictive laws were passed and are still on the books. A good example is the State of North Carolina, NCGA &sect;160A-340, <i>et seq.</i> The City of Wilson Petition for Relief contains a detailed analysis of the NC legislation. <i>In the matter of City of Wilson, North Carolina Petition for Preemption of North Carolina General Statutes &sect;160A-340, et seq</i>., WC Docket No. 14-115 (filed July 24, 2014), at:</p> <p><a href="http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521737310"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521737310</span></a> (1-24),</p> <p><a href="http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521737311"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521737311</span></a> (25-49),</p> <p><a href="http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521737312"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521737312</span></a> (50-59).</p> <p>The North Carolina law allows only &ldquo;unserved areas&rdquo; of the state to be served by municipal systems, and adopts a definition of &ldquo;unserved&rdquo; that includes only the very lowest density, remote regions. In addition, the law requires: 1) a public entity must comply with requirements applicable to a private entity (which by definition a public entity can't satisfy); 2) separate enterprise funds for each communications service provided and prohibits any cross funding of services; 3) service be limited to the corporate limits of the community; 4) phantom costs &ldquo;equal to whatever a private provider would incur&rdquo; be imputed into consumer price; and 5) a special election.</p> <p><a><sup>11</sup></a> Implementation of Section 621(a)(1) of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 as amended by the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992, Second Report and Order, 22 FCC Rcd 19633 (2007) (&ldquo;Second Report and Order&rdquo;).</p> <p><a><sup>12</sup></a> 47 USC &sect; 1305(j).</p> <p><a><sup>13</sup></a><a href="http://www.fcc.gov/blog/removing-barriers-competitive-community-broadband"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.fcc.gov/blog/removing-barriers-competitive-community-broadband</span></a></p> <p><a><sup>14</sup></a> Second Report and Order, <i>supra</i>; Petitions of NATOA et al. Petition for Reconsideration and Clarification (filed Dec. 21, 2007); City of Breckenridge Hills, Missouri Petition for Reconsideration (filed Dec. 21, 2007); City of Albuquerque, New Mexico et al. Petition for Reconsideration (filed Dec. 21, 2007).</p> <p><a><sup>15</sup></a> Report and Order of the Federal Communications Commission, <i>In re Acceleration of Broadband Deployment by Improving Wireless Facilities Siting Policies</i>, FCC 14-153, WT Docket No. 13-238 (Oct. 17, 2014).</p> <p><a><sup>16</sup></a> The FCC has been bipartisan in its adverse treatment of local government authority over the last 15 years. Three major issue areas intersect local government and FCC interests. One is local cable television franchise authority which is spelled out and protected by Title VI of the Federal Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. &sect;521, <i>et seq.</i> The FCC has handed down a series of restrictions on traditional local authority. The decisions restrain local authority to require specific facilities, performance and customer service standards, as well as funding to support public, educational and governmental programming by cable television operators.</p> <p>The second is local zoning authority over the siting of wireless towers and antennas, 47 U.S.C.&sect;332(c)(7). Congress explicitly protected local zoning decisions and the FCC has narrowed the language repeatedly.</p> <p>Only in the third area, public safety communications, has the FCC been largely supportive of state and local government requests for spectrum and operational discretion. Because all three of those areas have dealt with explicit federal statutory language, federalism arguments by local governments have been largely unsuccessful.</p> <p><a><sup>17</sup></a><i>Petition Pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for Removal of State Barriers to Broadband Investment and Competition</i>, filed by Electric Power Board, Chattanooga, Tennessee, WC Docket No. 14-116 (filed July 24, 2014), at 3, available online at <a href="http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521737334"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521737334</span></a>.</p> <p><a><sup>18</sup></a><i>In the matter of City of Wilson, North Carolina Petition for Preemption of North Carolina General Statutes &sect;160A-340, et seq</i>., WC Docket No. 14-115 (filed July 24, 2014), at 2-3.</p> <p><a><sup>19</sup></a> The federal government &ldquo;may not compel the States to enact or administer a federal regulatory program.&rdquo; (<i>Printz v. United States</i>, 521 U.S. 898, 918-19, 925026 &amp; 933 (1997)(quoting <i>New York v. United States</i>, 505 U.S.144, 188 (1992)).</p> <p><a><sup>20</sup></a> The Constitution only authorizes the federal government to regulate individuals, not States. (<i>Printz</i>, 521 U.S. at 925).</p> <p><a><sup>21</sup></a><i>Id.</i></p> <p><a><sup>22</sup></a><i>American Airlines v. Dept. of Transp.</i> 202 F.3d 788, 810 (5th Cir. 2000); <i>Building &amp; Construction Trades Council v. Associated Builders &amp; Contractors</i>, 507 U.S. 218, 219 (1993). However, the Communications Act does not preempt &ldquo;nonregulatory decisions of a state or locality acting in its proprietary capacity.&rdquo; (<i>Sprint Spectrum v. Mills</i>, 283 F.3d 404, 421 (2d Cir. 2002)).</p> <p><a><sup>23</sup></a> In <i>Nixon</i>, the Missouri Municipal League challenged a Missouri state law that prohibited local governments from offering telecommunications services. The League claimed the explicit language of 47 U.S.C.&sect;253(a) banned any state law that prevented &ldquo;any entity&rdquo; from offering competitive telecommunications services. The Supreme Court held that &ldquo;any entity&rdquo; did not include local governments because Congressional intent to preempt state authority over local governments was not clear. Federalism principles required the strictest interpretation of the language when a state was dealing with the powers and authorities of its own creatures--local governments. The decision was met with mixed reaction in the local government community. As discussed later in this article, there was broad local government concern that the FCC would use 47 U.S.C. 253(a) to broadly preempt many local rules and agreements governing use of rights of way by telecommunications service providers. The <i>Nixon</i> result discouraged that trend.</p> <p><a><sup>24</sup></a> Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act Title VI (Spectrum Act) &sect;6409(a), 47 U.S.C. &sect;1455 (2012).</p> <p><a><sup>25</sup></a><i>In the Matter of Implementation of Section 621(a)(1) of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 as amended by the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992</i>, Order on Reconsideration, FCC 15-3, (Jan. 21, 2015), available online at <a href="https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-3A1.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-3A1.pdf</span></a>.</p> <p><a><sup>26</sup></a><a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/14/remarks-president-promoting-community-broadband"><span style="color: #0000ff">http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/14/remarks-president-promoting-community-broadband</span></a>.</p>BB&K In The News12 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37845&format=xmlNew Rules on Location of Wireless 911 Callshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37816&format=xml<p>For the first time, FCC regulations will cover location of 911 calls placed within buildings.</p> <p>Historically, the FCC&rsquo;s requirements for accuracy in determining and transmitting the location of wireless 911 calls were based on calls placed outdoors. Since most wireless phone calls are now made indoors, and most 911 calls now come from wireless phones, it is critical that these 911 calls communicate location with the three-dimensional accuracy that first responders need and citizens expect. The new rules also strengthen current regulations for calls placed outdoors. (For most of the past 50 years, accurate location of wire telephone calls was achieved through databases correlating wire telephone numbers with the fixed street addresses of the wire-connected phones.)</p> <p>Within two years, all wireless providers will be required to make available to Public Safety Answering Points either a latitude-longitude location within 50 meters or a &ldquo;dispatchable&rdquo; location (which includes not only an address, but a floor, suite or apartment number &mdash; where appropriate) for at least 40 percent of all wireless 911 calls, with this percentage to increase over time.</p> <p>Additionally, over the next nine years, carriers in the top 50 Cellular Market Areas will be required to deploy technology to identify the vertical location of wireless 911 calls, either via a location technology or a technology that identifies height from the ground.</p> <p>Wireless providers will be required to certify in 2018, and again in 2021, that they have deployed compliant technology to sufficiently improve indoor location accuracy.</p> <p>The rules mostly follow the Roadmap for Improving E911 Location Accuracy agreed to in November 2014 by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, the National Emergency Number Association and the four national wireless providers (AT&amp;T Mobility, Sprint, T-Mobile USA and Verizon), as well as comments submitted to the FCC by the Competitive Carriers Association, which represents most smaller U.S. wireless providers.&nbsp;However, some public safety commenters argued that the new rules were weaker than those proposed in the original call for comment.</p> <p>The report and order are available <a target="_blank" href="https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-9A1.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">by clicking here</span></a>, and the notice of proposed rulemaking can be found by <a target="_blank" href="https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-13A1.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p> <p>The FCC is involved in many significant proceedings relating to the intersections of public safety and information technology. Municipalities interested in learning about this or related FCC proceedings are welcome to contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=456&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Telecommunications</span></a> group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p>Join the conversation on Twitter <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/BBKlaw"><span style="color: #0000ff">@BBKlaw</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 Alerts12 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37816&format=xmlA Year of Inland Empire Economic Progresshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37957&format=xml<p>At the end of a year, people often look back and ask, &ldquo;Is the world a better place than it was when the year started?&rdquo;</p> <p>I have made the Inland Empire my home for more than 35 years, and I strongly believe the Inland Empire Economic Partnership did its share to make San Bernardino and Riverside counties a better place in 2014.</p> <p>It has been an honor to have served the IEEP, the region&rsquo;s largest economic organization, as the chairman of its Board of Directors for the last 24 months, my second tenure in that position. I recently handed the gavel to Brett Guge, the vice president for administration at California Steel Industries, who will help guide the organization in 2015.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p><i>To read the full column in the Feb. 11, 2015 Press-Enterprise, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1666&amp;format=xml&amp;/George%20M.%20Reyes"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News11 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37957&format=xmlAdapting to Changing Water Supplieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35229&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Partner Joseph P. Byrne, who is also chair of the California Water Commission, is speaking on a panel titled &ldquo;Adapting to Changing Water Supplies&rdquo; during The Seminar Group&rsquo;s one-day event, &ldquo;Preparing for Climate Change &ndash; New Regulations and New Litigation.&rdquo; The panel will include discussions on:</p> <ul> <li>Permitting growth in times of drought</li> <li>Impacts of changing water levels</li> <li>Water rights transfers</li> <li>Water for municipalities</li> <li>Water for agriculture</li> <li>Water for utilities</li> <li>Water System: How it works from a state-wide perspective</li> <li>Drought: What people are doing to deal with it</li> <li>Water Bond</li> <li>Impacts on Development</li> </ul> <p>BB&amp;K Guests can receive $100 off the seminar rate by calling (206) 463-4400 and mentioning the code &ldquo;FAC100.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>When</strong></p> <p>Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015<br /> Conference: 9 a.m. &ndash; 5 p.m.<br /> Panel: 1:45 - 2:45 p.m.</p> <p>Where<br /> Le Meridien San Francisco<br /> 333 Battery St.<br /> San Francisco, CA<br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href="/?t=18&amp;dd=7527"><span style="color: #0000ff">Click here</span></a> to see the conference brochure (.pdf).</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements11 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=35229&format=xmlFCC Guidance Attempts to Reconcile Mobile Data Needs with Municipal Zoning Concernshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37746&format=xml<p>New Federal Communications Commission guidance on cell tower site regulation set to take effect in April has some municipal and telecommunications attorneys concerned that wireless providers have been given too much leeway in the quest to provide more mobile bandwidth for consumers.</p> <p>The new rules flesh out several sections of federal law concerning the construction and expansion of wireless towers and &quot;base stations&quot; that relay data across networks to cellphones and other mobile devices.</p> <p>With surging demand for mobile data, wireless providers have advocated for a streamlined process that would allow for them to build infrastructure to create a more robust network. The FCC estimates that tens of thousands of new and expanded cell sites will go online as carriers upgrade their networks over the next several years.</p> <p>Local governments, however, find themselves caught in the nexus of competing constituent interests: on the one hand, everyone wants to be able to use their favorite iPhone app wherever they may be, but on the other, businesses, property owners and residents of cities don't want cell towers creating an eyesore in their neighborhood.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>Gail Karish, an attorney with Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP who often represents municipal interests in FCC-related matters, said her firm had been looking into filing a suit challenging the FCC if the right set of circumstances arose for a client.</p> <p>She said the new rules put forth by the agency could force local governments to give broad approval for a cell tower project without full knowledge of what it entails or the impact it will have.</p> <p>&quot;It really puts cities in a dangerous position when they approve a wireless facility,&quot; she said. &quot;Under the new rules it's possible that when [a city] is granting a [wireless provider] approval for X that it allows them to do Y.&rdquo;</p> <i>To read the full article in the Daily Journal, which ran Feb. 9, 2015, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/submain.cfm#section=DJStoryContent.cfm%3Fseloption%3DNEWS%26pubdate%3D01/22/2015%26shNewsType%3DNews%26NewsId%3D939349%26sdivId%3DmainContent1"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a> (subscription required).</i>BB&K In The News09 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37746&format=xmlCEQA Attorney - Riverside, Irvine or LAhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=7930&format=xml<p>Our Environmental &amp; Natural Resources Group has an immediate opening for an attorney with a minimum of 4 years of CEQA experience (both transactional and litigation), as well as land use experience. A planning background is ideal.&nbsp; The attorney can be based in our Riverside, Irvine or Los Angeles office; however, he/she must be willing to work out of our Riverside office regularly and as needed.<br /> <br /> Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.<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><span>Jill N. Willis<br /> </span></strong><span><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> </span><em><span><br /> </span><strong><span><em><strong>No phone calls please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></span></strong></em></p>Job Openings at BB&K06 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=7930&format=xmlCEQA Associate - Riverside or Irvinehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36050&format=xml<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Our Environmental &amp; Natural Resources Group has an immediate opening for an associate with 2-4 years of CEQA experience (both transactional and litigation), as well as land use experience. The attorney can be based in our Riverside or Irvine office; however, if Irvine, he/she must be willing to work out of our Riverside office regularly and as needed.<br /> <br /> </span></span><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.</span></span></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG"><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</span></span></a><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><br /> <br /> Please address your cover letter to:</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <br /> <em><strong>No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></span></span></p>Job Openings at BB&K06 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36050&format=xmlTelecom Attorney - DC Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36052&format=xml<span style="font-family: Arial"> <p><span style="font-size: medium">We have an immediate opening for an attorney with 5+ years of transactional and litigation experience in telecommunications law, including appellate matters. Our clients are mainly local governments, schools and public agencies in their roles as regulators, infrastructure owners and market participants. &nbsp;Position involves working closely with clients to: prepare and file comments with the Federal Communications Commission; develop policy papers and positions on communications issues affecting local governments; appear before lower and appellate courts in disputes with communications companies; draft ordinances governing use of rights of way and governing land use by communications providers (including wireless facilities providers); and negotiate and draft agreements and franchises with communications and cable companies.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium">Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.</span></p> </span><span style="font-size: medium"> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG"><span style="font-family: Arial">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</span></a></p> </span><span> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><br /> <br /> Please address your cover letter to:</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <br /> <em><strong>No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></span></span></p> </span>Job Openings at BB&K05 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36052&format=xmlMunicipal Law Associate - Irvine Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=29737&format=xml<p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: Arial">We have an immediate opening for an attorney with 3-5 years of municipal law experience (both transactional/advisory and litigation), including planning, zoning and land use expertise. Candidate must be comfortable attending legislative body meetings. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Arial">Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants </span>must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.</p> <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a><br /> <br /> <p>Please address your cover letter to:</p> <p><strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <br /> <em><strong>No phone calls please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></p>Job Openings at BB&K04 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=29737&format=xmlWater Quality Litigation Associate - Walnut Creekhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34999&format=xml<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">We have an immediate opening for an associate with 2-3 years of litigation experience who will be primarily developing an expertise in water quality litigation and the Clean Water Act. The associate will also have the opportunity to work on land use and toxics litigation cases.&nbsp; </span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.</span></span></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a><br /> <br /> &nbsp;<span style="font-size: medium">Please address your cover letter to:</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <br /> <em><strong>No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></span></p>Job Openings at BB&K03 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34999&format=xmlLitigation Paralegal - Municipal Law Practice Grouphttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37747&format=xml<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Our Municipal Law practice group has an immediate full time opening for a paralegal with a minimum of 7 years of litigation and trial experience. A background supporting municipal and natural resources attorneys is ideal but not required.&nbsp; This paralegal will be based in the Irvine office; however, he/she must be willing to occasionally work from the firm&rsquo;s other regional offices and travel for trial when necessary. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume 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> <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=%3a%40%3bA"><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</span></span></a><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><br /> <br /> Please address your cover letter to: </span></span> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Debbie Prior</span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"> <p><em>No phone calls or emails please.</em><br /> <br /> <i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></p> </span></span>Job Openings at BB&K02 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37747&format=xmlLocal Agencies Face Suits Alleging Brown Act Violations for Failing to Release Closed Session Vote Detailshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37582&format=xml<p>Pasadena City College is facing criticism &mdash; and a lawsuit &mdash; for its preceived lack of transparency regarding its Board of Trustees&rsquo; vote to approve a $400,000 severance package for controversial former school President Dr. Mark Rocha. The lawsuit, filed Sept. 25 by Sacramento-based watchdog group Californians Aware, claims that the Board took the action in closed session to avoid a public hearing. The Board cited &ldquo;anticipated litigation&rdquo; as the reason for the closed session. But, according to the lawsuit, the severance package was part of Rocha&rsquo;s existing contract and was not a result of any litigation or litigation threat.</p> <p>The Board unanimously approved the severance package during a closed session on Aug. 6, but failed to announce the decision during the open session of the same meeting, as required under California&rsquo;s Brown Act, which regulates meetings of governing bodies. The Brown Act requires that all votes in closed session be publicly reported orally or in writing within 24 hours and copies of any contracts or settlement agreements approved be made available promptly. In addition to failing to report the vote, College officials also failed to make the severance package available when reporters began requesting it. If a judge rules against the College, the severance package could be voided and the Board would have to take a legal vote on the issue, which could include a public hearing.</p> <p>On a similar note, the Chico City Council came under fire this month for alleged ongoing Brown Act violations, including failure to release the details of a July closed session vote not to recruit for city manager, thereby immediately promoting Assistant City Manager Mark Orme to the position. The City&rsquo;s refusal to release the roll call votes from the closed session meeting is part of a pattern of Brown Act violations, according to Jessica Allen, who sent the City Council a cease-and-desist letter regarding its meeting practices and filed a lawsuit on Oct. 24.</p> <p>The Brown Act is clear about closed session &mdash; only certain matters can be discussed, and the governing body must make public any action taken in closed session as well as the vote or abstention of every member present. Although local government bodies may want to shield certain matters from public hearing or public comment, it is important to remember that only certain issues &mdash; including litigation, real property purchases and labor negotiations &mdash; can be discussed in closed session, and even when closed session action is appropriate, the topic must be disclosed in advance and a detailed voting record must be released to the public.</p> <p>If you have any questions about the Brown Act, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed to the right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=452&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Policy and Ethics Compliance group</span></a>, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.<br /> <br /> Join the conversation on Twitter <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/BBKlaw"><span style="color: #0000ff">@BBKlaw</span></a><span style="color: #0000ff">.</span></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 Alerts02 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37582&format=xmlForming a Firm? Get It All in Writinghttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37642&format=xml<p>Thinking about forming a law partnership? Two or more lawyers may join together to engage in the practice of law via a general partnership, a limited liability partnership or a professional corporation. Each entity has its own requirements, but generally they all present the same issues for lawyers to consider.</p> <p>A general partnership is formed when two or more persons carry on as co-owners in a business for profits, whether or not the persons intended to form a partnership. California Corporations Code Section 16202(a). Accordingly, two or more lawyers may be deemed to have formed a partnership by their actions even if they never intended to. The first lesson in partnerships among lawyers is determining whether to form a partnership, then act accordingly.</p> <p>Alternatively, lawyers may form a limited liability partnership or professional corporation in which case the laws surrounding formation are more formal and involve filings with the California secretary of state and the State Bar of California. Failure to comply with these requirements could render the entity invalid and subject its owners to personal liability.</p> <p>Regardless of which entity a law partnership chooses, once two or more lawyers decide to form a partnership, they should commit their understanding to a written partnership agreement. Surprisingly, lawyers will all too often forego the written partnership agreement because they are &quot;such good friends that nothing could divide them,&quot; or because they &quot;will figure it out as they go.&quot; These excuses only cover up the real reason for not having a written agreement: People who are pursuing new ventures are optimistic and do not want to contemplate &quot;what if' scenarios, such as disagreement, disability, death, divorce or more commonly a disproportionate contribution of time and effort to the partnership.</p> <p><i>To read the full article in the Daily Journal, which ran Feb. 1, 2015, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/submain.cfm#section=DJStoryContent.cfm%3Fseloption%3DNEWS%26pubdate%3D01/22/2015%26shNewsType%3DNews%26NewsId%3D939349%26sdivId%3DmainContent1"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a> (subscription required).</i></p>BB&K In The News02 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37642&format=xmlLitigation Legal Secretary - Environmental - Riverside Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37654&format=xml<span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><strong>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP has an immediate need in the Riverside office for an experienced legal secretary with strong litigation skills. Experience with environmental law and/or administrative records 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. Proficient in Word, Outlook, and iManage software.&nbsp; Excellent salary/benefits package and work environment.&nbsp;<br /> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.<br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=%3a%40%3bA">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a><br /> <br /> </span></span><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Please address your cover letter to:</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Debbie Prior</span></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><em>No phone calls or emails please</em><br /> <br /> <i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></span></span></p> </strong></span></span>Job Openings at BB&K02 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37654&format=xmlCommunity News - BB&K Attorney Appointed to State Bar of California Business Law Section Corporations Committeehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37641&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorney Patrick Monroe, who is of counsel, was appointed to a four-year on the State Bar of California Business Law Section Corporations Committee. <i>San Diego Attorney</i> reported on the appointment in its Community News column, which <a target="_blank" href="http://attorneyjournalsd.com/blog/2015/02/01/community-news-february-2015/"><span style="color: #0000ff">can be read here</span></a> (third item).</p>BB&K In The News01 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37641&format=xmlNew law changes landscape for public projectshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37544&format=xml<p>Two pieces of legislation signed into law in 2014 will have a significant effect on contractors and developers in public works projects. Senate Bill 854 establishes a new system for the Department of Industrial Relations to monitor the payment of prevailing wages on all public works projects. Assembly Bill 1939 puts the onus on developers who receive public funding to inform their contractors of the prevailing wage requirements.</p> <p>It is well established in California that public works projects generally require all contractors and subcontractors to pay their workers' the prevailing rate of wages, established by the DIR director. In determining the prevailing rate, the director must consider the collectively bargained rates in the area. The prevailing rate therefore does not necessarily reflect the wages paid to most workers - which may be lower - but rather the rates established for union workers through the collective bargaining process.</p> <p>The Prevailing Wage Law, at least in theory, puts union contractors on equal footing with nonunion contractors to obtain public works contracts, which generally must be awarded to the lowest qualified bidder. Of course, by raising the labor costs, the costs of public work also rise. This system may provide contractors willing to risk paying lower wages with an opportunity to undercut other bidders.</p> <p>With SB 854, the DIR is attempting to create a system that will substantially increase the risk of not paying prevailing wages. The new system works in three steps: (1) all contractors and subcontractors must register with tile DIR prior to bidding on or working on any public projects; (2) public agencies must notify the DIR of all public projects and which contractors were awarded the project and (3) contractors and all subcontractors must submit certified payrolls directly to the DIR on a weekly basis.</p> <p><i>To read the full article in the Daily Journal, which ran Jan. 30, 2015, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/submain.cfm#section=DJStoryContent.cfm%3Fseloption%3DNEWS%26pubdate%3D01/22/2015%26shNewsType%3DNews%26NewsId%3D939349%26sdivId%3DmainContent1"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a> (subscription required).</i></p>BB&K In The News30 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37544&format=xmlNew Labor Laws 2015http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36304&format=xmlBest Best &amp; Krieger&nbsp;partner Joseph Ortiz will&nbsp;discuss &quot;New Labor Laws 2015&quot; as a part of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce's Busniess Seminar Series.&nbsp;The seminar will focus on how to prevent workplace lawsuits and cover a range of topics from mimmim wage, workers compensation and more.<br /> <br /> <strong>When:</strong><br /> Friday, Jan. 30<br /> 7:30- 9 a.m.<br /> <br /> For more information or to register visit the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce's website by clicking <a target="_blank" href="http://riverside-chamber.com/chamcart/index.cfm?categoryid=3"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements30 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36304&format=xmlVape & Mirrors: The Legal Issues Concerning e-Cigarettes for Municipalitieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36185&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP&nbsp;of counsel Tamara Bogosian and associate&nbsp;Andrew D. Maiorano presented &ldquo;Vape &amp; Mirrors: The Legal Issues Concerning e-Cigarettes for Municipalities.&rdquo; The IMLA webinar provided an in-depth discussion regarding electronic cigarettes, including what they are; present and future regulation of their use at the federal, state and local levels; arguments for and against their use; enforcement tools; and emerging legal issues concerning the devices.</p> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015<br /> 10 a.m. PST</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/webinars/2015-calendar"><span style="color: #0000ff">IMLA website</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=36185&format=xmlState Board Issues Notice of Potential Curtailment of Surface Water Rights Diversionshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37441&format=xml<p>Despite some rainfall and the temporary lifting of certain 2014 surface water curtailment notices during the fall, the drought emergency in California continues. On Jan. 23, the State Water Resource Control Board issued a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/docs/2015_notice.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Notice of Surface Water Shortage and Potential for Curtailment of Water Right Diversions</span></a> for the coming year. The Notice warns that, unless precipitation conditions substantially improve, surface water supplies in 2015 will continue to be low. As a result, the State Board expects that curtailment notices may again be issued in the spring or summer, with potential impacts to more than 9,000 water right holders in California.</p> <p>Under California law, the most recent or junior water right holders are required to discontinue diversion in times of water shortage, before more senior, riparian and pre-1914 water right holders have to do so. While the new Notice does not specify when such curtailment notices will be issued to the affected water rights holders, it is expected that the State Board will follow similar procedures as it did in curtailing water diversions in 2014.</p> <p>Prior to issuing diversion curtailments in May 2014, the State Board conducted analyses of the Sacramento-San Joaquin, the Russian River and the Eel River watersheds to determine water supply, demand and availability. Similar analyses were conducted after the 2014 curtailment notices were issued to monitor these watersheds and to determine if and when to lift the curtailments.</p> <p>For the past few months, the State Board has been soliciting <a target="_blank" href="http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/dryyear_report/"><span style="color: #0000ff">recommendations</span></a> from the public on how to best implement the water rights priority system in times of drought. State Board staff is expected to present its findings and suggested improvements to the State Board by Jan. 31. It is possible that curtailment procedures may change in 2015 based on the staff recommendations.</p> <p>For more information about how the potential curtailments will affect your agency, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a> 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> <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 Alerts27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37441&format=xmlThe List: Law Firmshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37475&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is the 9th largest law firm in the Sacramento area, with 26 local attorneys, according to a list published Jan. 5 by the <i>Sacramento Business Journal</i>. In addition, the firm ranked 6th on the <i>Business Journal&rsquo;s</i> list of Most Female Attorneys, with 14 female attorneys in the firm&rsquo;s Sacramento office. BB&amp;K was also listed as 9th among the 10 Sacramento-area law firms with the most offices nationwide (BB&amp;K has nine offices throughout California and in Washington, D.C.).</p> <p>The list was compiled from surveys submitted by law firms in Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/subscriber-only/2015/01/23/law-firms.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">Click here to see the list</span></a> (subscription required to see the full list).</p>BB&K In The News27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37475&format=xmlNo Time Restrictions on PRA Information from Police Agencieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37478&format=xml<p>A law enforcement agency cannot set a time period on the information related to citizen complaints and requests for assistance required to be disclosed by the Public Records Act, a California Court of Appeal has held. However, the decision does note an exemption may nonetheless be available if a public agency must undertake a complicated, time-consuming review, redaction and production process. In general, the &ldquo;fiscal and workload burden being imposed upon a public agency by a particular request&rdquo; may be a relevant factor to consider in determining whether a public agency must produce responsive records.</p> <p>The case, &nbsp;<i>Fredericks v. City of San Diego,</i> arose out of the plaintiff&rsquo;s PRA request to the San Diego Police Department for all complaints and/or requests for assistance made during the prior six months. The City provided documents only for the previous 60 days. The trial court agreed with the City, ruling that only &ldquo;current&rdquo; police information must be disclosed. On appeal, the court found there was no statutory basis to impose a time limit for disclosing such information. However, the court left open the possibility that the request may have been so burdensome that the City did not have to disclose the records.</p> <p>In general, records relating to investigations conducted by police departments are exempt from disclosure under the PRA. However, under limited exceptions, departments must disclose general information about arrests and police responses to complaints or requests for assistance. In the 1993 case <i>County of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (Kusar)</i>, the Court of Appeal held that these exceptions apply only to &ldquo;current&rdquo; or contemporaneous information collected at the time an incident occurs, not historical information from the investigation.</p> <p>At issue in <i>Fredericks</i> was the meaning of &ldquo;contemporaneous.&rdquo; The trial court held that, under <i>Kusar</i>, the City could refuse to disclose records beyond 60 days because such records were no longer contemporaneous. The appellate court overturned the trial court in this regard, holding that nothing in the PRA allows a police department to set such a time limit.</p> <p>Many departments comply with the requirement to disclose general information on citizen complaints and requests for assistance by providing daily/weekly/monthly crime logs, arrest logs and/or CAD (computer-aided dispatch) printouts for recent police responses at specific locations. To the extent a department creates and maintains such records, and the records do not contain otherwise exempt or confidential information, the records will continue to be subject to disclosure without any time limit.</p> <p>However, the Court of Appeal specifically noted that such records may be exempt under Government Code section 6255 if the nature of the request is overly burdensome on the public agency. Though the PRA does not expressly provide a time limit on disclosing police records, the court pointed out that nothing in the law proscribes such a limit either. The court also noted other possible grounds for exemption, such as the risk of compromising ongoing investigations. Thus, even though the court disagreed with the City&rsquo;s basis for the exemption, the case leaves open clear methods&nbsp;to balance the interests of the public and the government agency when dealing with burdensome requests.</p> <p>If you have any questions about this case or how it may impact your department, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed to the right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=452&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Policy and Ethics Compliance group</span></a>, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>. (A paralegal assisted in the writing, planning and research of this article.)</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 Alerts27 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37478&format=xmlStipulations of law: Wouldn't it be nice if we could all agree?http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37557&format=xml<p>Occasionally an attorney will propose that the parties stipulate to the meaning of a relevant statute. Such stipulations have no legal force and will be disregarded by the court. Numerous cases so hold across the United States:</p> <ul> <li><strong>&ldquo;</strong>Parties to a dispute cannot stipulate to the law and assume that the court will follow blindly an incorrect interpretation of the law, especially in an unsettled and everchanging area.&rdquo; <em>Carlile v. South Routt School Dist. RE-3J</em>, 739 F.2d 1496, 1500 (10th Cir. 1984)</li> </ul> <ul> <li>&ldquo;Parties may stipulate to facts but they may not stipulate to the law. Such stipulations as to the law will be disregarded.&rdquo; <em>Ahlswede v. Schoneveld</em>, 488 P.2d 908, 910 (Nev. 1971), followed in <span style="color: #0000ff"><em><a target="_blank" href="http://web.lexisnexis.com/research/buttonTFLink?_session=a6601d80-9850-11e4-963e-da45226e21fb.1.1.1302626.+.1.0&amp;wchp=dGLzVzt-zSkAW&amp;zone=bestbestkrieger&amp;_b=0_1955092007&amp;_xfercite=%3ccite%20cc%3d%22USA%22%3e%3c!%5BCDATA%5B87%20Nev.%20449%5D%5D%3e%3c%2fcite%3e&amp;_lexsee=SHMID&amp;_lnlni=&amp;_butType=3&amp;_butStat=254&amp;_butNum=13&amp;_butinfo=%3ccite%20cc%3d%22USA%22%3e%3c!%5BCDATA%5B1978%20U.S.%20Dist.%20LEXIS%2014003%5D%5D%3e%3c%2fcite%3e&amp;prevCase=Ahlswede%20v.%20Schoneveld&amp;prevCite=87%20Nev.%20449&amp;_md5=C98BA5886EF8029609DDD0F33824D953"><span style="color: #0000ff">Southern Pacific Transp. Co. v. United States</span></a></em></span>, 462 F. Supp. 1227, 1239 (E.D. Cal. 1978)</li> </ul> <ul> <li>&ldquo;As for the proper measure of damages and the parties&rsquo; stipulation thereto, we note the circuit court&rsquo;s accurate statement from the bench that parties cannot stipulate to the law or to legal conclusions.&rdquo; <em>Henry v. Mitchell</em>, 428 S.W.3d 454 (Ark. 2013)</li> </ul> <p>There is an important distinction between stipulations as to the interpretation of the law and agreements as to the choice of law. Contracting parties can agree to the choice of law, especially before any dispute has arisen, absent the presence of facts that justify breaking the agreement such as duress, undue influence, illegality, or the like.</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t assume that the court has these rules memorized and instantly accessible. On the other hand, don&rsquo;t take advantage of the ignorance of your opponent and the workload of the trial court. It often happens that the trial court accepts a stipulation as to interpretation of the law only to be reversed on appeal. At that point, the party harmed by the stipulation may have new counsel or time to research the issue. The appellate court is much more likely to have a law clerk to research such issues. Attempts to argue that the stipulation should stand are likely to produce a loss of respect. As a result, any benefit of the stipulation is typically more than negated by the cost of a reversal and retrial.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><em>* This blog post was originally published in </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.imla.org/blog/2015/01/stipulations-of-law-wouldnt-it-be-nice-if-we-could-all-agree/"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>IMLA Appellate Practice Blog</em></span></a><em>, January 26, 2015. Republished with permission. Visit </em><a href="http://www.imla.org/blog/"><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)"><em>www.imla.org/blog</em></span></a>&nbsp;<em>to read additional IMLA Appellate Practice Blog posts and to subscribe by email.</em></p>Blogs26 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=37557&format=xml