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-us28 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssUpdate on the California Water Commissionhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42008&format=xmlBest Best and Krieger LLP Of Counsel Joseph Byrne will provide an update on the California Water Commission during the Three Valleys Municipal Water District Leadership Breakfast. As chair of the California Water Commission, Joe will touch on issues related to California&nbsp;water and how they impact both public and private entities.<br /> <br /> When:<br /> Thursday, Oct. 29<br /> 7:30 - 9 a.m.<br /> <br /> Where:<br /> Sheraton Fairplex Suites<br /> 601 W. McKinley Ave.<br /> Pomona, CA 91768<br /> <br /> For more information call 909-621-5568 or email <a href="mailto:cdechaine@tvmwd.com?subject=Oct.%2029%20Leadership%20Breakfast"><span style="color: #0000ff">cdechaine@tvmwd.com </span></a>Conferences & Speaking Engagements29 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42008&format=xmlCALPELRA Adventure: In Search Of Labor Relations Knowledgehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42103&format=xml<p>Join BB&amp;K at the 2015&nbsp;California Public Employers Labor Relations Association Annual Conference.<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speakers</strong><br /> <br /> Alison Alpert and Joseph Sanchez: &ldquo;You Can&rsquo;t Say That! Free Speech Issues In Public Employment&rdquo;<br /> Wednesday, Oct. 21<br /> 10:20 -11:50 a.m.<br /> <br /> Isabel Safie: &ldquo;Navigating A CALPERS Audit: The Triggers, Insights and Resolutions&quot;<br /> Wednesday, Oct. 21<br /> 1:15&nbsp;-&nbsp;2:45 p.m</p> <p>Alison Alpert: &ldquo;The Who, What, Where, When, And Why Of Workplace Investigations&quot;<br /> Thursday, Oct. 22<br /> 3:05 -&nbsp;4:35 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>When:</strong><br /> Saturday Oct.&nbsp;19 - Friday, Oct. 23, 2015<br /> <br /> <strong>Where:</strong><br /> Portola Hotel &amp; Spa<br /> 2 Portola Plaza<br /> Monterey, CA 93940<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.calpelra.org/contentdisplay.aspx?id=1000&amp;level=12&amp;sublevel=196"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements19 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42103&format=xmlVeterans Leadership Academy and Elected Officials Training Academy 2.0http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39717&format=xml<br /> Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Ruben Duran will provide training on &quot;Everyday Ethics for Local Officials: AB 1234 Compliance&quot; during the California Latino Leadership Institute's&nbsp;Veterans Leadership Academy&nbsp;and Elected Officals Training Academy 2.0. The session&nbsp;will provide attendees tactical solutions for&nbsp;everyday ethical issues&nbsp;local officals encounter and&nbsp;an opportunity to recieve their certification for completing AB 1234 training.<br /> <br /> <strong>When<br /> </strong>Friday, Oct. 9, 2015<br /> 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Embassy Suites Los Angeles - Downey<br /> 8425 Firestone Blvd.<br /> Downey, CA 90241<br /> <br /> For more information, <a target="_blank" href="http://socalatinos.org/events/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>&nbsp;(coming soon).Conferences & Speaking Engagements09 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39717&format=xmlCalifornia Water Law: The Drought, the Delta and the Futurehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42165&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Of Counsel Roderick Walston will co-chair CLE International's &quot;California Water Law: The Drought, the Delta and the Future<font size="2">&quot; and Partner Shawn Hagerty will serve on a panel discussion during the event.<br /> <br /> <u>BB&amp;K Speakers:<br /> <br /> </u>Roderick Walston, Program Co-Chair, Welcome and Introduction<br /> Thursday, Oct. 8, 8:15 a.m.<br /> Friday, Oct. 9, 8:15 a.m.<br /> <br /> Shawn Hagerty, panelist, &quot;The EPA and the Corps' Definition of 'Waters of the United States' Under the Clean Water Act&quot;<br /> Friday, Oct. 9<br /> 9:05 - 10:15 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where:</strong><br /> BASF Conference Center<br /> <font size="2">301 Battery Street</font><br /> <font size="2">San Francisco, CA 94111</font></font></p> <p><br /> &nbsp;</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements08 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42165&format=xml2015 IMLA Annual Conferencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41608&format=xml<p>Join BB&amp;K at the 2015 International Municipal Lawyers Association Annual Conference.<br /> <br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speakers</strong><br /> <br /> Shawn Hagerty and Paeter Garcia: &ldquo;Today's Water Wars - Water Rights and Water Quality: From East to West Coast&rdquo;<br /> <span>Sunday, Oct. 4<br /> 9:15 -10:15 a.m.<br /> </span><br /> Jordan Ferguson&nbsp;(panelist): &ldquo;The Sharing Economy: Uber and Airbnb - Can They Exist in a Regulated World? Will They Save or Destroy Your Community?&quot;<br /> Monday,&nbsp;Oct. 5<br /> 8:45 - 10:15 a.m</p> <p>Steve Anderson: &ldquo;Implementation of the Federal Endangered Species Act: Practical Strategies for Moving Forward with Public Projects&quot;<br /> Monday, Oct. 5<br /> 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.<br /> <br /> Joe Van Eaton and Gail Karish: &ldquo;Telecom - Shot Clocks, Municipal Broadband and How the FCC Controls Your World&quot;<br /> Tuesday, Oct. 6<br /> 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>When:</strong><br /> Saturday Oct. 3 - Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015<br /> <br /> <strong>Where:</strong><br /> Rio Hotel<br /> 3700 W. Flamingo Road<br /> Las Vegas, NV 89103<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://imlalasvegas2015.org/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements04 Oct 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41608&format=xml2015 Annual Conferencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42581&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP partners Fernando Avila, Richard Crawford, Michelle Ouellette and&nbsp;associate Thomas Rice are among the speakers at the California Special District Association's 2015 Annual Conference.<br /> <br /> <u>BB&amp;K Speakers:</u><br /> <br /> <strong>Fernando Avila</strong>&nbsp;and <strong>Michelle Ouellette</strong>, &quot;CEQA: What Special Districts Need to Know in 2015 and Beyond&quot;<br /> This panel will address the recent changes to CEQA from legislation and cases decided in 2015. Panelists will discuss how endangered species laws integrate with CEQA requirements for biological resources, how to effectively use CEQA exemptions following recent California Supreme Court rulings and how to analyze the impacts of climate and greenhouse gases as part of public projects.<br /> Tuesday, Sept. 21<br /> 2 - 3:15 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Richard Crawford </strong>and<strong> Thomas Rice,</strong> &quot;Negotiating with Employee Organizations - How to Avoid Disasters&quot;<br /> A summary of legislative changes related to public sector labor relations over the past year and a review of recent decisions from the Public Employment Relations Board affecting how special districts must interact with employee organizations.<br /> Tuesday, Sept. 21<br /> 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> September&nbsp;21-24, 2015<br /> <br /> <strong>Where</strong><br /> Monterey Marriott Hotel<strong><br /> </strong>350 Calle Principal<br /> Monterey,CA 93940<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://conference.csda.net"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements21 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42581&format=xmlThe Science and Law of Water in Californiahttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42577&format=xmlBB&amp;K Managing Partner Eric Garner<b> </b>and Partner Steve Anderson will participate in panel discussions during the Law Seminar International's&nbsp;day-long workshop, &quot;The Science and Law of Water in California.&quot;&nbsp;This informative seminar will explain the basics of hydrology and how it interacts with the law in California for the benefit of practitioners in both fields. In particular, leading experts in both fields will examine the relationship between hydrology and the law as it relates to water quality, endangered species, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and proposed groundwater legislation, as well as how hydrology comes into play during litigation.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Speakers<br /> <br /> </strong><u>Eric Garner</u>, program co-chair, Workshop Introduction and Overview and &quot;Preparing to Participate in the Groundwater Sustainability Planning and Adjudication Processes&quot;<br /> <br /> <u>Steve Anderson</u>, panelist, &quot;Surface Water: Identifying and Maintaining Adequate Stream Flows for Fish and Wetland Habitat for Birds&quot;<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, Sept. 17<br /> 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Doubletree Suites by Hilton Hotel Santa Monica<br /> 1707 4th St<br /> Santa Monica, CA 90401<br /> <br /> For more information, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=15HYCA#agenda"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></u></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements17 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42577&format=xml2015 NATOA Annual Conferencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40327&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partners Joseph Van Eaton and Gail Karish will&nbsp;serve as&nbsp;panelists&nbsp;in breakout sessions during the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA)'s 35th Annual Local Government Conference. <br /> <br /> <strong>Joseph Van Eaton</strong>, panelist, &quot;The Future of Cable Franchising&quot; <br /> The panel will&nbsp;cover&nbsp;how current video service&nbsp;trends may impact the future of cable franchising and what these trends mean for local governments.&nbsp;<br /> Wednesday, Sept. 9<br /> 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Gail Karish</strong>,&nbsp;panelist, &quot;Communications Grab Bag: 60 Answers in 60 Minutes&quot;<br /> The panel will answer questions from audience members and questions submitted online covering a variety of telecommunication and cable franchising topics.<br /> Thursday, Sept. 10<br /> 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.<br /> <br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Hard Rock Hotel<br /> 207 5th Avenue <br /> San Diego, CA 92101<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.natoa.org/events/annual-conference/2015/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements09 Sep 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40327&format=xmlFranchising and Renewal Updatehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41607&format=xmlBest Best &amp; Krieger LLP&nbsp;Partner Gail Karish is a panelist during the Alliance for Community Media's 2015 Annual Conference.&nbsp;Gail's panel, &quot;Franchising and Renewal Update,&quot; will discuss franchising and&nbsp; renewals issues and opportunities, such as getting PEG on HD channels, PEG funding options, EPG, franchise fees and more. In addition to discussing these issues&nbsp;the session will&nbsp;also provide an update on the challenges and progress during recent franchise processes.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <strong>When:</strong><br /> Friday, August 14, 2015<br /> 9 -10:30 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where:</strong><br /> Hilton Pasadena<br /> <span itemprop="streetAddress">168 South Los Robles Ave.<br /> </span><span itemprop="addressLocality">Pasadena, </span><span itemprop="addressRegion">CA </span><span itemprop="postalCode">91101</span><br /> &nbsp;<br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://allcommunitymedia.sched.org/info"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.<br />Conferences & Speaking Engagements14 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41607&format=xmlBroadband and Wireless - Connecting All the Dotshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42580&format=xmlBest Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Gerry Lederer will serve as a panelist discussing &quot;Broadband and Wireless &ndash; Connecting All the Dots&quot; during the Maryland Association of Counties 2015 Summer Conference. <br /> <br /> As technology improves, businesses and citizens need the capability to communicate and locate information at faster speeds. Yet, there are still many areas that do not have access to broadband or wireless networks. The resulting lack of connectivity limits economic and educational opportunities. This session will discuss the government&rsquo;s role in providing access, broadband and wireless approaches to achieve it, and why it&rsquo;s worth the investment. <br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, Aug.13<br /> 2 - 3 p.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where</strong><br /> Roland Powell Convention Center<br /> 4001 Coastal Hwy<br /> Ocean City, MD 21842<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mdcounties.org/index.aspx?nid=229"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements13 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42580&format=xmlBullying...The Legal View (and cost)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40638&format=xmlBest Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partners Jack Clarke, Jr. and Cathy Holmes will present &quot;Bullying...The Legal View (and Cost)&quot; during the Safe Schools Conference. The workshop will look at several important legal theories in regards to student-to-student bullying, which will assist educators and risk managers in spotting potential trouble and taking steps to protect students and the schools they attend.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Thursday, July 30<br /> 9 - 11:15 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Hilton Orange County Costa Mesa<br /> 3050 Bristol Street in Costa Mesa, CA 92626 <br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://safeschoolsconference.com/"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);">click here</span></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements30 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40638&format=xmlStruggle to Save Endangered Santa Ana Sucker May Reach U.S. Supreme Courthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42574&format=xml<p>Two cities and 10 water agencies, represented by Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Gregory Wilkinson, are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop a plan that designates parts of the Santa Ana River as critical habitat to protect the endangered Santa Ana sucker &mdash; despite that those areas are dry and would waste water. In an interview with the <i>L.A. Times</i>, Greg said: &quot;Right now, there are no clear rules of the road when the interests of a species and habitat intersect with the interests of the human environment.&rdquo;</p> <p><i>To read the full article, which ran in the July 27, 2015, Los Angeles Times, <a href="http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-84079700/" target="_blank"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 255);">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News27 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42574&format=xmlAssistant Billing Manager - Riverside or San Diego Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42541&format=xml<span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">We are searching for an experienced, full-time Assistant Billing Manager&nbsp;who is able to independently support billing operations including, time uploads, proforma generation and processing, month and year end close, system balancing, report generation, understand system inquiries and database contents.&nbsp; Work closely with billing staff and others to support internal and external client needs.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <br /> Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume&nbsp;and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox <br /> for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh. <br /> <br /> </span></span><span style="font-size: medium"><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><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><br /> </span></span><span style="font-size: medium"> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Please address your cover letter to:</span></span></p> </span><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"> <p>Debbie Prior<br /> Director of Human Resources<br /> 500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1700<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814<br /> <em><strong><br /> No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></p> </span></span><span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </span>Job Openings at BB&K24 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42541&format=xmlRegulators Say First Water Case Aided by Detailed Recordshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42362&format=xml<p>As the State Water Resources Control Board begins seeking out illegal water diverters in California, many questions arise &mdash; including how to accurately calculate water supply and use. The Associated Press interviewed Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner on the issue. &quot;The data is not great,&quot; he said. &quot;It's not like you have an app that tells you how fast every car on the freeway is going. There's nothing similar for water.&quot;</p> <p><i>The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.presstelegram.com/business/20150722/regulators-say-first-water-case-aided-by-detailed-records"><span style="color: #0000ff">full article</span></a> can be seen in the July 22, 2015 edition of the Long Beach Press-Telegram.</i></p>BB&K In The News23 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42362&format=xmlCalifornia Supreme Court Denies Requests to Depublish San Juan Capistrano Casehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42523&format=xml<p>The California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied requests to depublish the appellate court opinion in <i>Capistrano Taxpayers Association v. City of San Juan Capistrano, </i>regarding the cost of service analysis required to support tiered water rates under Proposition 218. The Fourth District Court of Appeal struck down the City of San Juan Capistrano&rsquo;s tiered water rate structure in an opinion issued April 20, holding that the rate structure violated Proposition 218&rsquo;s proportionality requirements under article XIII D, section 6 of the California Constitution.</p> <p>The State Attorney General, on behalf of the State Water Resources Control Board, requested that the California Supreme Court depublish the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> case so that it could not be cited as precedent in future cases. The Association of California Water Agencies, the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities also requested depublication on the grounds that the opinion could hamper conservation efforts at a time when California is in the midst of a severe drought. The California Supreme Court&rsquo;s denial of the depublication requests means the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> case is now final.</p> <p>Importantly, the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> opinion did <u>not</u> strike down all tiered water rate structures. Rather, the appellate court expressly concluded that &ldquo;tiered water rate structures and Proposition 218 are thoroughly compatible.&rdquo; The appellate court, however, went on to strike down San Juan Capistrano&rsquo;s tiered rates because the city &ldquo;failed to carry the burden imposed on it&rdquo; by Proposition 218 of showing that the inclining tiered rates corresponded to the actual cost of providing water service attributable to each parcel. For more information on the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> opinion, see Best Best&amp; Krieger&rsquo;s April 2015 Legal Alert, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=38987&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">available here</span></a>.</p> <p>BB&amp;K Partner Kelly Salt appeared as <i>amicus curiae</i> for the ACWA, the LCC and CSAC.</p> <p>If you have any questions about this case or how it may impact your agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed to the right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=497&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Finance</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>23 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42523&format=xmlCalifornia Supreme Court Denies Requests to Depublish San Juan Capistrano Casehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42524&format=xml<p>The California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied requests to depublish the appellate court opinion in <i>Capistrano Taxpayers Association v. City of San Juan Capistrano, </i>regarding the cost of service analysis required to support tiered water rates under Proposition 218. The Fourth District Court of Appeal struck down the City of San Juan Capistrano&rsquo;s tiered water rate structure in an opinion issued April 20, holding that the rate structure violated Proposition 218&rsquo;s proportionality requirements under article XIII D, section 6 of the California Constitution.</p> <p>The State Attorney General, on behalf of the State Water Resources Control Board, requested that the California Supreme Court depublish the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> case so that it could not be cited as precedent in future cases. The Association of California Water Agencies, the California State Association of Counties and the League of California Cities also requested depublication on the grounds that the opinion could hamper conservation efforts at a time when California is in the midst of a severe drought. The California Supreme Court&rsquo;s denial of the depublication requests means the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> case is now final.</p> <p>Importantly, the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> opinion did <u>not</u> strike down all tiered water rate structures. Rather, the appellate court expressly concluded that &ldquo;tiered water rate structures and Proposition 218 are thoroughly compatible.&rdquo; The appellate court, however, went on to strike down San Juan Capistrano&rsquo;s tiered rates because the city &ldquo;failed to carry the burden imposed on it&rdquo; by Proposition 218 of showing that the inclining tiered rates corresponded to the actual cost of providing water service attributable to each parcel. For more information on the <i>San Juan Capistrano</i> opinion, see Best Best&amp; Krieger&rsquo;s April 2015 Legal Alert, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=38987&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">available here</span></a>.</p> <p>BB&amp;K Partner Kelly Salt appeared as <i>amicus curiae</i> for the ACWA, the LCC and CSAC.</p> <p>If you have any questions about this case or how it may impact your agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed to the right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=497&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Finance</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts23 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42524&format=xmlCalifornia Department of Water Resources Adopts Update to the Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinancehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42216&format=xml&nbsp;An updated Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance that establishes increases in water efficiency standards for new and retrofitted landscapes was approved by the California Water Commission. <a target="_blank" href="https://cwc.ca.gov/Documents/2015/07_July/July2015_Agenda_Item_8_Attach_1_Proposed_Revisions_to_MWELO_Final.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">The updated Model Ordinance</span></a>, approved last week, calls for more efficient irrigation systems, greywater usage and onsite storm water capture, as well as limits on the portion of landscapes that may be covered in turf. <p>The landscape restrictions in the updated Model Ordinance apply to any new construction project with an aggregate landscape area equal to or greater than 500 square feet and rehabilitated landscape projects with an aggregate landscape area equal to or greater than 2,500 square feet requiring a building or landscape permit, plan check or design review. In addition, all cities and counties are required to either adopt the updated the Model Ordinance or adopt a customized local water efficient landscape ordinance that is at least as effective in conserving water as the updated Model Ordinance by Dec. 1. If agencies do not take either of these actions, the Model Ordinance will automatically go into effect and apply.</p> <p>As an alternative, the Model Ordinance encourages the adoption of regional water efficient landscape ordinances by two or more local agencies to implement a consistent set of landscape provisions throughout a geographical region. Local agencies that plan to adopt regional ordinances have until Feb. 1 to do so, or the Model Ordinance will automatically go into effect.</p> <p>Cities and counties will also be required to report to the Department by Dec. 31 on the adoption of their updated ordinances. Agencies adopting a regional ordinance, however, are not required to report on the adoption of their new ordinances until March 1. All agencies would thereafter be required to comply with annual reporting requirements on the implementation and enforcement of their updated local water-efficient landscape ordinances.</p> <p>In California, about half the urban water used is for landscape irrigation. Water waste is common in landscapes that are poorly designed or not well maintained. Water waste from runoff, overspray, low head drainage, leaks and excessive amounts of applied irrigation water in landscapes is prohibited by Section 2, Article X of the California Constitution. The State Legislature adopted the Water Conservation in Landscaping Act (California Government Code section 65591 <i>et seq</i>.) in 1990 to improve state water conservation efforts by reducing the waste associated with outdoor landscaping irrigation. The Act required the Department to develop a model ordinance to govern local landscape irrigation. The Act was amended in 2008 to require an update to the original Model Ordinance.</p> <p>The current revisions to the Model Ordinance were made in response to Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s April 1 Executive Order declaring a statewide water shortage emergency. In addition to directing the State Water Resources Control Board to develop restrictions to achieve a 25 percent reduction in urban potable water use throughout California, the Executive Order called for the Department to update the Model Ordinance through expedited regulation.</p> <p>If you have any questions about the proposed update to the Model Ordinance or how it may impact your agency, please contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed to the right in the firm&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts22 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42216&format=xmlDraft Basin Boundary Regulations Releasedhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42192&format=xml<p>The California Department of Water Resources has released <a target="_blank" href="http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/pdfs/SGMA_Draft_Basin_Boundary_Regulations.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">draft emergency regulations</span></a> governing how groundwater basin boundaries may be modified or redrawn under the state&rsquo;s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Public comments on the draft regulations will be accepted until Sept. 4.</p> <p>The historic SGMA legislation, adopted last year, marked the first time California has attempted to comprehensively regulate groundwater and bring groundwater basins into a sustainable pattern of pumping and recharge.</p> <p>Existing groundwater basin boundaries are defined in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/bulletin118/index.cfm"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>California&rsquo;s Groundwater</i>, Bulletin 118</span></a>. The proposed regulations lay out the process that local agencies must follow when seeking to modify established groundwater basin boundaries. Under the proposed regulations, DWR will consider granting two types of modifications:</p> <ul> <li>Those based on scientific considerations (aka Scientific Modifications), supported by geologic and /or hydrologic evidence of basin conditions.</li> <li>Those based on jurisdictional considerations (aka Jurisdictional Modifications), aimed at enabling more effective basin management by local agencies.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>The draft regulations require that a requesting agency meet a number of notification, consultation, public hearing and technical information requirements when submitting a basin boundary modification request. A critical element will be broad local support for each request because of the likelihood that such support will lead to more effective basin management.</p> <p>DWR will consider two types of scientific modification requests:</p> <ul> <li>External Boundary Modification, which modifies the boundary between the subject groundwater basin and the area outside the basin</li> <li>Hydrogeologic Barrier Modification</li> </ul> <p>Three types of jurisdictional boundary modification requests will be considered:</p> <ul> <li>Internal Boundary Revisions, which would adjust the location of a boundary between subbasins, within a basin or the shared boundary between adjacent basins.</li> <li>Basin Consolidations, which would reduce the number of subbasins within a basin, or merge two or more adjacent basins, but would change only shared boundaries. Included within the basin consolidation process is also a &ldquo;county basin consolidation&rdquo; process that would consolidate all contiguous basins or subbasins within a county into a single basin or subbasin with boundaries not extending beyond those of the subject county.</li> <li>Basin Subdivisions, which would increase the number of subbasins within a basin or subbasin.</li> </ul> <p>At a briefing before the California Water Commission on July 15, DWR staff explained that basin subdivisions are generally not desired and will have to meet a high bar for approval because of concerns about potential fragmentation of basins. Approved boundary changes will be published in <i>California&rsquo;s Groundwater</i>, Bulletin 118, 2017 Update.</p> <p>DWR will hold three public meetings to solicit input on the proposed regulations: Aug. 31 in Sacramento, Sept. 2 in Bakersfield and Sept. 3 in Santa Ana. The public comment period ends Sept. 4, with adoption by the California Water Commission slated for October or November.</p> <p>Under SGMA, all groundwater basins deemed high priority or medium priority must be governed by one or more &ldquo;groundwater sustainability agencies&quot; by June 30, 2017. These groundwater sustainability agencies must adopt a groundwater sustainability plan for the basin or basins they govern by Jan. 31, 2022. For basins subject to critical overdraft conditions, the plan must be adopted by Jan. 31, 2020. Sustainability plans must include long-term planning, objectives and goals to achieve basin sustainability within 20 years of implementation. The Act allows for state intervention when local agencies are unwilling or unable to manage the state&rsquo;s groundwater basins.</p> <p>More information about SGMA and the draft emergency basin boundary regulations can be found <a target="_blank" href="http://www.water.ca.gov/groundwater/sgm/basin_boundaries.cfm#regs"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.</p> <p>If you have any questions about the draft regulations or how they may impact your agency, please contact the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i>Legal Alerts21 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42192&format=xmlBB&K Welcomes Director of Governmental Affairs Syrus Devershttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42190&format=xml<p><b>SACRAMENTO, Calif.</b> - Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is pleased to announce that Director of Governmental Affairs Syrus Devers has joined the firm &mdash; augmenting the firm&rsquo;s unique advocacy support service. Working from the firm&rsquo;s Sacramento office, Devers brings more than 20 years of experience in state government affairs as both legislative staff and a lobbyist.</p> <p>Prior to joining BB&amp;K, Syrus served as executive director of government affairs for Verizon and lobbied on behalf of the California Medical Association. He began his water and environmental government affairs work while he was a student at McGeorge School of Law and working for then state Sen. Sheila Kuehl. His academic and professional focus shifted then, as he worked on a broad range of issues including groundwater contamination, drinking water standards, stormwater runoff and endangered species legislation. A major achievement of his was the multiyear effort to pass what became SB 221 in 2001, which required a verifiable water supply for residential developments of 500 or more units.</p> <p>With the addition of Devers, the firm can provide both federal and state advocacy services.&nbsp; Along with Senior Director of Governmental Affairs John Freshman and Partner Gerard Lederer in Washington, D.C. and the attorneys in the firm&rsquo;s Municipal Law, Special Districts and Environmental Law and Natural Resources practice groups, Devers will work to ensure that BB&amp;K&rsquo;s clients&rsquo; voices are heard by lawmakers. Whether it be before state or federal legislative bodies or regulatory agencies, the firm&rsquo;s public agency and private company clients will be fully supported by a team of BB&amp;K attorneys and advocates.</p> <p>Syrus was raised on a Central Valley almond farm, which is still in his family, and now resides in Sacramento with his wife.</p> <p style="text-align: center">###</p> <p><b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b><i> is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</span></a> or follow <a target="_blank" href="http://twitter.com/bbklaw"><span style="color: #0000ff">@BBKlaw</span></a> on Twitter.</i></p>Press Releases20 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42190&format=xmlDealing With the Drought: State Water Resources Control Board (WRCB) Mandatory Water Consumption Reduction Measureshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39490&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Kelly Salt will present &ldquo;Dealing With the Drought: State Water Resources Control Board (WRCB) Mandatory Water Consumption Reduction Measures&rdquo; at Law Seminars International&rsquo;s program, &ldquo;Municipal Water Utility Ratemaking in California.&rdquo; Kelly will give an update on Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s Executive Order requiring 25 percent reductions and the Water Resources Control Board&rsquo;s implementation efforts and how the rate structuring/pricing/penalty provisions for encouraging conservation mesh with Proposition 218.</p> <p>The day-long seminar will be in Sacramento, and webcast live.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Monday, July 20, 2015<br /> 2:45 p.m.</p> <p>For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=15MWR2CA"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements20 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39490&format=xmlEven Pre-Litigation Is Not a Contact Sporthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42161&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney Gary Schons presents a hypothetical to illustrate and clarify Rule 2-100 of the State Bar of California's Rules of Professional Conduct regarding contacting parties to possible litigation.</p> <p><i>Read the entire article, published in July 2015 by the San Diego County Bar Association's For the Record, by <a target="_blank" href="https://www.sdcba.org/index.cfm?pg=FTR-Jul-2015-4"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here.</span></a></i></p>BB&K In The News17 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42161&format=xmlPower Costs for San Diego Public Schools Under Investigationhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42138&format=xml<p>As electricity costs rise for public schools in San Diego County, a coalition of districts are fighting an application by San Diego Gas &amp; Electric to the California Public Utilities Commission to hike the rates even more. Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney Josh Nelson, representing the districts, was interviewed recently by The San Diego <i>Union-Tribune</i>:</p> <p>&ldquo;The school districts have hired Best Best &amp; Krieger, a high-powered law firm specializing in energy issues, to help make their case to the CPUC.</p> <p>&ldquo;They are urging the commission to reject or modify SDG&amp;E&rsquo;s application to further raise rates by a combined 25.93 percent over a three-year period from 2016 to 2018, according to Josh Nelson, an attorney with the firm.</p> <p>&ldquo;&rsquo;That&rsquo;s a significant rate increase,&rsquo; Nelson said. &lsquo;We want to make sure that schools are protected from rate increases and that they don&rsquo;t share a disproportionate share.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p><i>To read the entire article, originally published July 11, 2015 in the Union-Tribune, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/jul/11/power-costs-for-san-diego-public-schools-under/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News16 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42138&format=xmlBest in Law: The Far Reach of California's Taxeshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42011&format=xml<p><b>By Jeremiah Lee</b></p> <p>Although some businesses have left California for states with seemingly more friendly regulations and taxes, many remain in California because their customers are in California.</p> <p>When a company operates in California, even if not headquartered in California, it generally has to play by California&rsquo;s rules, including paying franchise taxes &ldquo;for the privilege of doing business in this state.&rdquo;</p> <p>What if a company&rsquo;s customers are not in California and it does not have active business operations in California? Would such an out-of-state company still have to pay franchise taxes in California? For example, if a Colorado company owns vacant property in California, but does not otherwise have any business operations here, does it have to pay franchise taxes as if it were a California company? The answer, surprising to some, likely is yes.</p> <p>When a company operates in California or is formed or registered in California, it must pay franchise taxes based on its net income. The minimum amount of the franchise tax is $800 even if the annual net income is zero. Unbeknownst to many businesses located outside of California, the minimum franchise tax has significant reach.</p> <p>The California Revenue and Tax Code requires a corporation or limited liability company which is &ldquo;doing business&rdquo; in California to file a tax return and pay franchise taxes. &ldquo;Doing business&rdquo; is defined to include some expected operating metrics such as 25 percent of a company&rsquo;s sales are in California, $50,000 or more is paid in compensation to workers in California or a company is organized in California.</p> <p>However, the code also contains an often overlooked definition of &ldquo;doing business&rdquo; that includes real property and tangible personal property located in California exceeding the lesser of $50,000 or 25 percent of the company&rsquo;s total real property and tangible personal property. Based on real property prices in California, it would not take owning very much land, even vacant land, in California to exceed $50,000.</p> <p>The confusion and frustration most commonly expressed by an out-of-state company discovering it may owe the minimum franchise tax stems from the different standards California uses for determining whether or not a business is operating in our state. A company is required to register with the California Secretary of State in order to &ldquo;transact intrastate business&rdquo; if it enters into repeated and successive business transactions in this state, other than interstate or foreign commerce.</p> <p>However, the Franchise Tax Board uses the broader definition discussed above and requires a company to file a tax return if it is &ldquo;doing business&rdquo; in the state. Many companies consider the more narrow definition in determining whether its business is engaged in California &ndash; whether it has repeated business transactions in the state. Even if a company has no repeated transactions and only passively holds vacant land in California, the company may still be considered to be doing business in California under the tax code if the property&rsquo;s value exceeds the threshold under the law (the lesser of $50,000 or 25 percent of the company&rsquo;s total real property and tangible personal property). The unaware company could be required to pay franchise taxes in California and, even if such a company does not have any net income for a given year, the minimum franchise tax of $800 would be due.</p> <p>Leaving California or holding California property through an out-of-state entity in an effort to escape this state&rsquo;s taxes may be a good plan in theory; however, the long reach of the state&rsquo;s tax code may still be able to touch out-of-state owners of property located in California.</p> <p><i>* This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pe.com/articles/california-772278-company-business.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">The Press-Enterprise</span></a> on July 2, 2015. Republished with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News14 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42011&format=xmlParalegal - Litigation, Riverside Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42059&format=xml<span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">We are searching for an experienced, full-time litigation paralegal with over 10 years of experience including trial experience to join our Riverside office.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume&nbsp;and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox <br /> for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh. <br /> <br /> </span></span><span style="font-size: medium"><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><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"><br /> </span></span><span style="font-size: medium"> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Please address your cover letter to:</span></span></p> </span><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial"> <p>Debbie Prior<br /> Director of Human Resources<br /> 500 Capitol Mall, Ste. 1700<br /> Sacramento, CA 95814<br /> <em><strong><br /> No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></p> </span></span><span> <p>&nbsp;</p> </span>Job Openings at BB&K14 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=42059&format=xml2015 Summer Conferencehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41626&format=xmlBest Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner,&nbsp;Eric L. Garner,&nbsp;is a panelist discussing &quot;Water Rights&nbsp;--&nbsp;Legal and Valuation Issues&quot; during&nbsp;Appraisal Institute's 2015 Summer Conference. Eric will provide an overview of&nbsp; water law and the impact of adjudications and the Sunstainable Groundwater Management Act on water markets.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Tuesday, July 14<br /> 10:15&nbsp;- 11:30 a.m.<br /> <br /> <strong>Where<br /> </strong>Sheraton Cerritos<br /> 12725 Center Court Dr.<br /> Cerritos, CA<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.myappraisalinstitute.org/education/more_info.aspx?id=34998&amp;view=B&amp;state=C7&amp;sort=D"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements14 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41626&format=xmlCharter/Time Warner Tout Benefits, Seek Approval of Merger in State and Federal Filingshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41887&format=xml<p>Charter Communications, Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc. and Advance/Newhouse Partnership recently filed a public interest statement with the FCC seeking approval of the proposed merger announced in May between Charter, TWC and the associated acquisition of Bright House Networks by Charter. The merger will combine Charter, TWC and BHN into a single company, to be called New Charter, that will serve approximately 24 million customers across 41 states and make it the nation&rsquo;s second-largest broadband provider after Comcast.</p> <p>The FCC must determine whether the merger serves the public interest, convenience and necessity by weighing the potential public interest harms and benefits and whether the merger violates or interferes with the Communication Act&rsquo;s objectives. According to the public interest statement, the merger will create no risk of public interest harms, and will instead result in a range of public interest benefits, such as faster Internet at a better value, continued commitment to an open Internet and a faster rollout of advanced video technology.</p> <p>To ensure these benefits are realized, New Charter says it will:</p> <ul> <li>increase competition, within four years of closing, by investing at least $2.5 billion to build-out networks in commercial areas within its footprint beyond where it currently operates, building out a million line extensions of its networks to homes in its franchise areas, and deploying more than 300,000 out-of-home WiFi access points;</li> <li>not block or throttle Internet traffic or engage in paid prioritization for three years;</li> <li>not impose data caps, engage in zero-rating or charge additional fees for use-specific third-party Internet applications for three years;</li> <li>engage in reasonable and non-discriminatory interconnection and submit any interconnection disputes to the FCC for resolution on a case-by-case basis for three years;</li> <li>transition all TWC and BHN cable systems to all-digital networks within 30 months of closing, allowing substantially all customers to take advantage of at least 60 Mbps download speeds;</li> <li>market services consistent with Charter&rsquo;s current packaging and pricing strategies to consumers in TWC and BHN areas where cable systems are all digital;</li> <li>create thousands of U.S.-based jobs for customer service call centers and field technician operations and return TWC call center jobs to the U.S.;</li> <li>embrace TWC&rsquo;s commitment to diversity and inclusion in governance, employment services, procurement and community partnerships; and</li> <li>build upon BHN&rsquo;s broadband program for low-income consumers by making broadband offering available with higher speeds and expanding eligibility at a significant discount across its footprint within three years of closing.</li> </ul> <p>Charter, TWC and Advance/Newhouse Partnership also made similar commitments in the applications they recently filed with the New York Public Service Commission and California Public Utilities Commission for approval of the transfer of control of subsidiaries and franchises located in the respective states.</p> <p>Whether these promises are made in a way that is enforceable, and whether they are sufficient or meaningful is, of course, another question.</p> <p>As&nbsp;explained in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=41723&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">a previous legal alert</span></a>, the FCC and state agency reviews of the merger provide an opportunity for local governments to voice their concerns about the merger&rsquo;s effects on localities and seek conditions that could protect local communities should the FCC and state agencies decide to approve the merger and transfer of control. It is fair to raise questions about the sufficiency and enforceability of the promises &mdash; i.e.: Is a 60 Mbps maximum download speed really adequate? Does it provide upstream capacity to allow residences and businesses to participate in the Internet economy? Given the price paid, will the combined company have the money to upgrade networks to provide more advanced services at reasonable rates?. Some of these concerns may include the following:</p> <ul> <li>The merger will have an impact on competition in the provision of cable services. For example, Charter, TWC and BHN have systems that abut one another, which means eliminating and combining the systems would remove one of the most readily available competitive entrants &mdash; the neighboring cable provider.</li> <li>The applicants do not make any commitments with respect to protecting and promoting public, education and government access programming. This is of particular concern, as Charter has shown an unwillingness in some communities to provide connections required to distribute PEG programming, unless those connections are paid for by the community.</li> <li>The commitments to providing a meaningful lifeline tier of service are minimal.</li> <li>The applicants&rsquo; commitments to Open Internet and Net Neutrality principles have a three-year expiration date. Upon expiration, New Charter could block or throttle Internet traffic, allow paid prioritization or impose data caps and engage in zero-rating, which would allow favored providers to have their content delivered without counting against the data cap. This could negatively affect small businesses that depend on robust Internet access to buy and sell goods and services, and also impact local governments that are increasingly relying on electronic communications to provide services, distribute information and streamline development.</li> <li>With TWC and Charter ranking near the bottom of customer satisfaction surveys, local governments may want to request that the FCC and state agencies condition approval of the merger on the applicants&rsquo; commitment to specific enhancements to customer service that include comprehensive reporting metrics about New Charter&rsquo;s customer service practices and performance record.</li> </ul> <p>With the review process now underway in the FCC, NYPSC and CPUC, local governments may want to begin discussing the importance of these issues with elected officials in Washington, D.C. and at state legislatures. And, they should prepare to participate in FCC and state agency proceedings to ensure that, if the merger is approved, it protects vital community interests.</p> <p>For more details, please visit <a target="_blank" href="http://bit.ly/1U5pnfR"><span style="color: #0000ff">BBKnowledge.com </span></a>or contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right, another attorney in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=456&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Telecommunications practice </span></a>or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <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 Alerts13 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41887&format=xmlPublic Safety Specialist - LA/Irvine/Riverside/Ontario Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41974&format=xml<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">We have an immediate opening for a mid-level to senior attorney with experience in public safety matters and criminal prosecution. The Public Safety Specialist will handle and supervise all code enforcement and gun confiscation cases for our municipal clients in the Inland Empire, Los Angeles, and Orange County areas.&nbsp; This is a non-partnership track position that will require travel to client offices and courts throughout those regions.&nbsp; <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. </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></p> <p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Please address your cover letter to:<br /> <strong>Jill N. Willis<br /> </strong><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> <br /> <em><strong>No phone calls or emails please</strong></em><br /> <br /> </span></span><span><span><b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></span></span></p>Job Openings at BB&K13 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41974&format=xmlGeneral Manager Leadership Summithttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39545&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP Partner Nancy Park&nbsp;is among the speakers at the California Special District Association's event, &ldquo;General Manager Leadership Summit.&rdquo; <br /> <br /> <u>BB&amp;K Speaker:</u><br /> <br /> <strong>Nancy Park</strong>, &ldquo;Behind the Scenes Negotiating Secrets&rdquo;&nbsp;<br /> An overview of the changes in legislation related to public sector labor relations in the past year and a look at decisions from the Public Employment Relations Board that deal with how agencies interact with employee organizations.<br /> 3:30 - 4:30 P.M.<br /> <br /> <strong>When</strong><br /> Monday, July 13, 2015<br /> <br /> <strong>Where</strong><br /> Hyatt Regency Newport Beach<br /> 1107 Jamboree Road<br /> Newport Beach, CA 92660<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, <a target="_blank" href="http://gmsummit.csda.net/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements13 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=39545&format=xmlAnti-Discrimination Housing Laws Tackled by U.S. Supreme Courthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41866&format=xml<p>Having taken up the question twice before only to see both cases settle, the United States Supreme Court recently concluded that claims alleging a disparate impact on minorities are proper under the Fair Housing Act. In <i>Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project</i>, a sharply divided Court agreed with nine courts of appeals that the FHA encompasses disparate-impact claims. In federal anti-discrimination law, the disparate-impact theory&nbsp;holds that employment, housing and other practices may be discriminatory and illegal if they have a disproportionate, adverse effect on minorities, and are unsupported by a legitimate rationale. This differs from disparate-treatment cases, in which discriminatory intent must be proven.</p> <p>Although <i>Inclusive Communities, </i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-1371_m64o.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">decided on June 25,</span></a>&nbsp;may spur litigation against public agencies, plaintiffs still face significant hurdles. Initially, a plaintiff must prove that the challenged practice has caused, or will cause, a discriminatory effect. Importantly, the Court imposed safeguards to limit disparate-impact liability. For instance, a plaintiff cannot prevail simply by pointing to racial imbalance, but must also identify the policy responsible for it.</p> <p>Additionally,&nbsp;public agencies need not reorder their priorities in the wake of <i>Inclusive Communities</i>. Even if a policy having a discriminatory effect is identified, a housing authority can maintain the policy by proving it necessary to achieve a valid interest. If a valid interest exists, the plaintiff must show that an available alternative would serve the agency&rsquo;s needs, but have a less discriminatory effect. Several cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, supported extension of disparate-impact liability to the FHA.</p> <p>In Texas, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs distributes low-income housing tax credits based upon a point system that gives priority to certain criteria such as tenants&rsquo; income levels. The Inclusive Communities Project alleged that HCA disproportionately allocated tax credits&mdash;granting too many for housing in mostly black urban areas and too few in mostly white suburban areas&mdash;perpetuating segregation. The ICP brought a disparate-impact claim under the FHA, which the Court found proper without reaching its merits.</p> <p>For more information regarding this case or its impact on your agency or company, please contact one of the attorney author of this Legal Alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law practice group</span></a> or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <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 Alerts10 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41866&format=xmlSeven BB&K Attorneys Included on the Northern California Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Rising Stars Listhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41879&format=xml<p><b>SACRAMENTO, Calif.</b>&nbsp;- Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP congratulates its seven attorneys included in the 2015 Northern California <i>Super Lawyers </i>and <i>Super Lawyers Rising Stars</i> lists. No more than 5 percent of California&rsquo;s attorneys are included in the <i>Super Lawyers</i> lists each year, which is compiled from peer nominations and a research team. To be one of the 2.5 percent of attorneys included on the <i>Rising Stars</i> list, an attorney must either be 40 or younger or in practice for 10 years or less.</p> <p>The BB&amp;K attorneys named to this year&rsquo;s list are:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=4176&amp;format=xml&amp;/Sarah%20E%20Owsowitz"><span style="color: #0000ff">Sarah Owsowitz</span></a>, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Land Use/Zoning, Walnut Creek</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2424&amp;format=xml&amp;/Susan%20L%20Schoenig"><span style="color: #0000ff">Sue Schoenig</span></a>, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Employment &amp; Labor Law, Sacramento</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2403&amp;format=xml&amp;/Stacey%20N%20Sheston"><span style="color: #0000ff">Stacey Sheston</span></a>, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Employment &amp; Labor Law, Sacramento</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2404&amp;format=xml&amp;/Harriet%20Steiner"><span style="color: #0000ff">Harriet Steiner</span></a>, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, State, Local &amp; Municipal Law, Sacramento</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1692&amp;format=xml&amp;/Gene%20Tanaka"><span style="color: #0000ff">Gene Tanaka</span></a>, <i>Super Lawyers</i>, Environmental Litigation, Walnut Creek</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=2423&amp;format=xml&amp;/Iris%20P%20Yang"><span style="color: #0000ff">Iris Yang</span></a>, <em>Super Lawyers</em>, Environmental/State, Local &amp; Municipal, Sacramento</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=3&amp;A=1545&amp;format=xml&amp;/Sigrid%20K%20Asmundson"><span style="color: #0000ff">Sigrid Asmundson</span></a>, <i>Rising Stars</i>, State, Local &amp; Municipal Law, Sacramento</li> </ul> <p><i>Super Lawyers</i> is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. For more information, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.superlawyers.com/index.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">SuperLawyers.com</span></a>.</p> <p><b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b><i> is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With nearly 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington D.C. For more information, visit <span style="color: #0000ff"><a href="http://www.bbklaw.com">www.bbklaw.com</a></span><span> or follow <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/bbklaw"><span style="color: #0000ff">@BBKlaw </span></a>on Twitter.</span></i></p>Press Releases10 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41879&format=xmlBB&K Ranks No. 15 on Diversity Scorecardhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41834&format=xml<p><b>RIVERSIDE, Calif.</b>&nbsp;- Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is pleased to announce it was named the 15th most diverse law firm in the country by <i>The American Lawyer</i>. With a diversity score of 34.8, BB&amp;K continues its trend of being among the top firms for attorney diversity in the last decade. In addition, BB&amp;K ranked No. 4 for having the most Latino or Hispanic attorneys in the U.S.</p> <p>&ldquo;Diversity, for us, is about innovation,&rdquo; said Partner Danielle G. Sakai, who oversees recruiting for the firm. &ldquo;Complex problems and issues can only be solved by bringing different cultures, ideas and experiences to the table. BB&amp;K understands that diversity is best for our clients, who have come to expect a high level of service, leadership and progressive approaches from the firm.&rdquo;</p> <p>Every year, <i>The American Lawyer&rsquo;s</i> <span style="color: #0000ff"><a target="_blank" href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/001061512Best.pdf">Diversity Scorecard</a></span><span> tallies the number of African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic and multiracial attorneys in law firms. A firm is ranked by adding the percentage of minority lawyers to the percentage of minority partners in its U.S. offices. The larger the number, the higher the firm ranks.</span></p> <p>To learn more about the 2015 Diversity Scorecard, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.americanlawyer.com/home/id=1202726915938"><span style="color: #0000ff">please click here</span></a>.</p> <p><b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b><i> is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With nearly 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</span></a></i>&nbsp;<em>or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter.</em></p>Press Releases09 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41834&format=xmlCalifornia Supreme Court Holds Prosecutors Must File Pitchess Motions to Examine Police Personnel Recordshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41856&format=xml<p>Prosecutors do not have unfettered access to confidential personnel records of police officers who are potential witnesses in criminal cases, the California Supreme Court held recently. Rather, prosecutors must follow the same procedures that apply to criminal defendants and file a <i>Pitchess</i> motion to seek the protected information contained in those records. The Court also determined that the prosecution fulfills its <i>Brady</i> duty if it informs the defense that the police department has indicated specific records may contain exculpatory information that may provide evidence a defendant is not guilty. The prosecution need not take the further step of actually filing a <i>Pitchess</i> motion to obtain that information on behalf of the defendant, though prosecutors would need to file a <i>Pitchess </i>motion to obtain the information for themselves, if they would like to view the records.</p> <p>In <a target="_blank" href="http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S221296.PDF"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>Superior Court of San Francisco County v. Johnson</i></span></a>, the San Francisco Police Department, acting pursuant to established procedures, informed the San Francisco District Attorney&rsquo;s office that confidential personnel records of two police officers who were potential witnesses might contain exculpatory information. Under <i>Brady v. Maryland</i>, prosecutors are obligated to disclose to the defense exculpatory evidence, or material evidence favorable to the defendant. Separately, <i>Pitchess v. Superior Court</i> allows criminal defendants to seek information contained in confidential personnel records of police officers. The <i>Johnson</i> Court determined that the prosecution must only inform the defense that records may contain exculpatory information to satisfy their <i>Brady </i>obligation. At that point, either side has the ability to file a <i>Pitchess</i> motion and to obtain the records after making a threshold showing that they are material to the case.</p> <p>Because criminal defendants and the prosecution have an equal ability to seek information contained in confidential personnel records, and because defendants can represent their own interests and have the right to bring a <i>Pitchess</i> motion even if the prosecution has not done so, the prosecution is not required to bring that motion to fulfill its <i>Brady</i> duty. The Court further indicated that the information the Police Department has provided about potential <i>Brady</i> material in the records, together with some explanation of how the officers&rsquo; credibility might be relevant to the case, satisfies the threshold showing a defendant must make to trigger judicial review of records under <i>Pitchess</i>.</p> <p>Once the Police Department informed the District Attorney that the officers&rsquo; personnel records might contain <i>Brady</i> material, the prosecution had a duty under <i>Brady</i> to provide that information to the defense. Essentially then, the <i>Johnson</i> Court held that the obligation does not go beyond that.</p> <p>This case affirms the limits of a prosecutor&rsquo;s <i>Brady</i> duty while emphasizing the effect a <i>Pitchess</i> motion can have on both parties in a criminal case. The Court indicated the prosecution can, and sometimes should, file its own <i>Pitchess</i> motion when the police department has advised that potential <i>Brady</i> material exists in the involved officers&rsquo; personnel records, but reiterated that the defense must be proactive in seeking out that information for itself. The decision reaffirms the sanctity and confidentiality of police personnel records, while also creating a bright line rule about the limits of <i>Brady</i> with respect to these records.</p> <p>Going forward, police departments should exercise care and seek guidance when the prosecution asks to review personnel files of a police officer witness, as the prosecutor will likely have to file a <i>Pitchess</i> motion to obtain that information. Further, <i>Johnson</i> provides strong guidance to police departments about the proper policies to have in place for review and potential disclosure to prosecutors. The San Francisco Police Department has a &ldquo;<i>Brady</i> committee&rdquo; tasked with identifying potential <i>Brady</i> material, reviewing reports on that material, permitting comments from the affected employee and providing a recommendation to the police chief whether to disclose the employee&rsquo;s name to the district attorney. Such a policy ensures the department complies with <i>Brady</i>, and also serves to protect the privacy of officers as much as possible. It also follows the new lesson of <i>Johnson</i>, that all police are required to provide to the prosecutor is the name of the officer whose personnel file contains possible <i>Brady</i> material.</p> <p>For more information regarding this case or its implications for your agency or public safety department, please contact one of the attorney authors of this bulletin listed at the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=2532&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Safety</span></a> group, our your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i>Legal Alerts09 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41856&format=xmlCloser Look at Scrutiny Needed in Affordable Housing Lawshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41863&format=xml<p>Both cities and affordable housing advocates lauded a recent California Supreme Court decision upholding the City of San Jose&rsquo;s affordable housing ordinance, Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney Christopher Diaz wrote in an article published today by the <i>Daily Journal</i>. In <i>California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose</i>, the Court found that the requirement to either construct or provide affordable housing units is a permissible land use regulation. Both cities and the development industry have waited a long time for this issue to be settled.</p> <p>To read the full article in the <i>Daily Journal</i>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/SubMain.cfm?seloption=NEWS&amp;pubdate=07-09-2015&amp;shNewsType=News&amp;NewsId=941913&amp;sdivId=mainContent1"><em><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></em></a> (subscription required). To read a recent BB&amp;K Legal Alert on the case, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=41487&amp;format=xml"><em><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></em></a>.</p>BB&K In The News09 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41863&format=xmlNorth Tahoe Public Utility District Hires BB&K as General Counselhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41864&format=xml<p>The <i>Sierra Sun</i> reported that Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorney Josh Nelson was selected by the North Tahoe Public Utility District as its next general counsel. This is the first time in 40 years that the District has a new lead attorney, according to the newspaper.</p> <p>BB&amp;K beat out three other finalists who had also submitted qualifications for the position, the newspaper said. &ldquo;I think it was just the combination of experience, depth within (BB&amp;K),&rdquo; NTPUD General Manager/CEO Duane Whitelaw told the <i>Sierra Sun</i> in explaining the board&rsquo;s hiring selection. &ldquo;&hellip; (Also) I think the board was looking at who they felt comfortable with, who they could trust for (this) important advice.&rdquo;</p> <p>To read the entire, published July 8, 2015 in the <i>Sierra Sun</i>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.sierrasun.com/news/17145526-113/north-tahoe-pud-will-pay-new-legal-counsel"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>BB&K In The News08 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41864&format=xmlNew CEQA Requirements Take Effect July 1http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41865&format=xml<p>Assembly Bill 52 went into effect July 1, adding new requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act regarding tribal cultural resources and consultation with California Native American tribes. Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP attorney Sarah Owsowitz wrote for the California Special Districts Association Blog that the law has two distinct parts: it adds a new topic for environmental review and adds a new noticing/consultation requirement.</p> <p>To read the blog posted July 1, 2015 by the CSDA, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.csda.net/blog/new-ceqa-requirements-take-effect-july-1st/"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>BB&K In The News08 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41865&format=xmlThe Flood of Water Rights Lawsuits Beginshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41799&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Managing Partner Eric Garner was among the guests on Which Way, L.A.? with Warren Olney on KCRW to discuss how water rights, which were granted more than 100 years ago, are creating water wars that are only getting more intense with the ongoing drought.</p> <p>Reasonable use is the overriding principle in determining who has the right to use the water at issue, depending on how a court or the State Water Resources Control Board determines, Eric told Warren in discussing the case involving a Central California cattle farmer and a water district.</p> <i>Listen to the show, which aired on KCRW (Los Angeles Public Radio) on July 2, 2015, by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/which-way-la#./the-flood-of-water-rights-lawsuits-begins"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</i>BB&K In The News02 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41799&format=xmlArizona Town's Content-Based Sign Rules Struck Down by U.S. Supreme Courthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41766&format=xml<p>The United States Supreme Court recently struck down portions of an Arizona town&rsquo;s sign code that subjected ideological, political and directional signs to different rules with respect to size, location and length of display time. In <span style="color: #0000ff"><i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-502_9olb.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona</span></a></i></span><i> </i>the Supreme Court found that such rules were content-based (as opposed to content-neutral) and, therefore, valid only if narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest. The Court concluded that the Town failed to meet this very strict legal standard. On the other hand, the Court was clear that content-neutral rules are permissible and subject to a more lenient standard of review. Therefore, as long as the regulation is not based upon a sign&rsquo;s message, local governments may regulate the size, lighting, location, timing, and number of signs, including fixed versus electronic messaging, placement on public versus private property, commercial versus residential property and on-premises versus off-premises signs.</p> <p>The Gilbert, Arizona sign code generally prohibits the display of outdoor signs without obtaining a Town permit. However, the code exempts various types of signs from this permit requirement. Among these are ideological, political campaign and temporary directional signs. These three types of signs were subject to different rules as to size, location and display time. For example, ideological signs could be up to 20 square feet and could be displayed in any zone indefinitely. Political campaign signs could be up to 16 square feet on residential property and up to 32 square feet on non-residential property, and displayed up to 60 days prior and 15 days after an election. Temporary directional signs to local religious, charitable and similar community events were subject to the most restrictive standard. They could be no larger than six square feet each, with a maximum of four signs on any one property, and could be displayed on private property or the public right of way for no more than 12 hours before and one hour after the event.&nbsp;</p> <p>A local &ldquo;itinerant&rdquo; church (one with no permanent location) often posted temporary directional signs around the Town to inform parishioners where services would be held that week. However, on several occasions, the church didn&rsquo;t remove the signs within the short timeframe set by the Town&rsquo;s sign code and was, therefore, cited by the Town. When efforts to work out an accommodation proved unsuccessful, the church sued the Town on grounds that the sign code was an impermissible content-based regulation in violation of the First (free speech) and Fourteenth (equal protection under the law) Amendments.</p> <p>The Supreme Court held that the sign code was content-based on its face because it subjected signs to different rules depending upon the message conveyed (whether ideological, political or directional). Content-based regulations are subject to the strictest review by the Court and are presumed unconstitutional unless the local agency can show that they are narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest. &nbsp;Local agencies can rarely satisfy this standard, as was the case here. The Court found that the sign code was not narrowly tailored to protect local aesthetics because an ideological sign (which may be larger and remain indefinitely) can cause as much or more impact than a more strictly regulated temporary directional sign. The Court also discounted the fact that the Town had no specific personal disagreement with the church&rsquo;s message. Content-based regulations are presumed unconstitutional whether or not a local agency has a problem with a particular message.</p> <p>Local agencies are strongly urged to review their sign codes to evaluate whether they have similar rules that treat signs differently based upon the content or type of message conveyed. For more information regarding the Supreme Court&rsquo;s decision and how it may impact your local code, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law practice group</span></a>, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts02 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41766&format=xmlCalifornia Governor Eliminates Personal Belief Exemption for School Vaccinationshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41753&format=xml<p>California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Senate Bill 277, eliminating the personal belief exemption for existing specified immunization requirements, including measles, mumps and pertussis, for both public and private school attendance.</p> <p>SB 277 requires that before a student&rsquo;s initial admission to a school or childcare facility, he or she be immunized and provide documentation of such immunization for the following diseases: diphtheria, haemophilus influenza type b, measles, mumps, pertussis, poliomyelitis, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis B, varicella and any other disease the state health department deems appropriate. Students who attend a home-based private school or are enrolled in an independent study program and who do not receive classroom-based instruction are not affected. Exemptions from immunization for medical reasons remain in place. SB 277 does not prohibit a pupil who qualifies for an Individualized Education Program under federal law and section 56026 of the Education Code from accessing any special education and related services required by his or her IEP.</p> <p>The law phases in the elimination of the personal belief exemption by permitting students who submit documentation before January 1, 2016 to a school or childcare facility asserting their opposition to immunizations to wait until they enroll in the next grade span -- defined as 1) birth to preschool; 2) kindergarten and grades 1 to 6, including transitional kindergarten and 3) grades 7 to 12 &ndash; to be immunized. This phase-in period ends on July 1, 2016, at which time schools may not unconditionally admit or advance any student to seventh grade without the immunizations required for his or her age.</p> <p>The impetus for the law came from California&rsquo;s recent outbreak of measles stemming from unvaccinated individuals infecting others who were vulnerable to the disease, including children unable to get vaccinated because of their age or health condition.</p> <p>The entire text of the chaptered Bill can be found <a target="_blank" href="https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB277"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.</p> <p>If you have any questions regarding this legislation or school vaccination requirements, contact the attorney author of this legal alert listed to the right, another attorney in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=488&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Education practice group</span></a> or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <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 Alerts01 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41753&format=xmlTexas Specialty License Plates Ruled to be Government Speech by U.S. Supreme Courthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41714&format=xml&nbsp; <p>The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, determined that specialty license plates issued per Texas&rsquo;s statutory scheme convey government speech. As such, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles&rsquo; refusal to issue a specific specialty plate design requested by the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, and displaying the Confederate flag, did not constitute a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech. While the Court ultimately determined that these specialty license plates were a form of government speech, it also noted that the designs could implicate the free speech rights of private individuals.</p> <p>Like other statutory schemes, Texas law requires that all drivers display a valid license plate. Drivers are given the option of displaying a State-issued license plate or specialty license plate. Specialty plates are issued by the State in one of three ways: the legislature can choose to commission a specific license plate design, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Board may approve a specialty plate proposal by a private vendor, or the Board may approve a specialty plate design sponsored by a nonprofit entity.</p> <p>The Sons of the Confederate Veterans is a nonprofit entity that sought to sponsor a specialty license plate. On their plate, SCV proposed a design that featured a Confederate flag framed with the words &ldquo;Sons of Confederate Veterans 1896.&rdquo; The Board denied SCV&rsquo;s specialty plate design. In 2010, SCV sought to renew its application before the Board. After inviting public comment both at an open meeting and on its website, the Board unanimously voted against issuing this specialty design. The Board cited the overwhelmingly negative public response to the plate calling the design offensive and hateful. SCV then brought this litigation arguing that the Board and its members had violated their First Amendment guarantee of the freedom of speech.</p> <p>In reaching its conclusion in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/walker-v-texas-division-sons-of-confederate-veterans-inc/"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans</i></span></a>, the Court began by looking at a similar case, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/pleasant-grove-city-ut-v-summum/"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>Pleasant Grove City v. Summum</i></span></a>. In <i>Summum</i>, the court determined that the government&rsquo;s acceptance and erection of a privately donated monument constituted government speech. In this case, the historical use of the license plates demonstrated that the State used them to convey more than just vehicle identification numbers. Rather, the State used these plates to convey particular messages to the public. Second, the Court considered the public perception of these license plates. Because these plates are seen as a form of government identification, the Court determined that the public often associates license plates with the State. Finally, the Court looked at the degree of governmental control and found that the State was involved in every aspect of the specialty plate design process.</p> <p>While the Court ruled that this action was a form of governmental speech, it also recognized that government speech is not wholly without restraint and cannot be used to compel a specific message from private actors. In choosing a specialty plate to display on a car, an individual is seeking to convey a particular message to others. However, just as the government cannot compel private persons to express a particular message, SCV could not require the government to express theirs.</p> <p>For more information on this ruling and how it may affect your agency, contact the attorney author listed to the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law </span></a>practice group or your BB&amp;K attorney.</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 Alerts30 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41714&format=xmlFCC Begins Review of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable Mergerhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41723&format=xml<p>The Federal Communications Commission <a target="_blank" href="https://www.fcc.gov/document/docket-open-charter-time-warner-cable-bright-house-proposed-deal"><span style="color: #0000ff">has opened a proceeding to review</span></a> the proposed merger announced in May between Charter Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable Inc., and the associated acquisition of Bright House Networks by Charter, and the companies have filed their &ldquo;<a target="_blank" href="https://transition.fcc.gov/transaction/charter-twc-bhn/charter-twc-bhn-public-interest.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">public interest statement</span></a>&rdquo; kicking off the FCC&rsquo;s review of the transaction.</p> <p>Local governments and the public will be given an opportunity to file comments on the proposed transaction. While the FCC has not yet set deadlines for filing comments, it will likely do so soon.</p> <p>The FCC review of the merger application will provide a unique opportunity for local governments to object to the merger (even if the merger is not subject to review at the local level) and raise concerns about the merger&rsquo;s effects on localities, as well as to seek conditions that could protect local communities. There may also be significant opportunities for some local governments to protect consumers through a local review process, or through reviews at the state level.&nbsp;</p> <p>For more details, please visit <a href="http://bit.ly/1U5pnfR"><span style="color: #0000ff">BBKnowledge.com </span></a>or contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right, another attorney in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=456&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Telecommunications practice </span></a>or your <a href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts30 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41723&format=xmlNew Sick Leave Law Goes Into Effect July 1. Is Your Business Ready?http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41727&format=xml<p>On July 1, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (AB 1522) officially goes into effect, requiring all California employers to provide almost all employees (including full-time, part-time, per diem and temporary employees) with paid sick leave. Best Best &amp; Krieger&rsquo;s Labor and Employment attorneys are offering a flat rate service to provide employers with compliant sick leave policies. If a particular employer&rsquo;s needs are too complex to qualify for the flat rate, BB&amp;K attorneys will be available to consult and provide a more customized policy.&nbsp;</p> <p>AB 1522 allows employers to choose between an accrual or lump sum method for providing paid sick leave. The accrual method requires that employees can accrue sick days at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked. If this method is used, employees may carry over unused sick leave to the next calendar year, but employers can cap accrual at 48 hours (or six days) per year. Conversely, the lump sum method requires an employer to provide a minimum of three full days of sick leave as of the first day of each year but does not include the carry-over requirement.</p> <p>Under either method, employees must be permitted to use at least 24 hours or three sick days per year, unless the employee has not worked in California for at least 30 days. Notably, employers who already have a paid leave or paid time off policy need not provide any additional sick leave days under this new law, as long as their existing policy provides a sufficient amount of leave that may be used for the same purposes and under the same conditions as specified in AB 1522.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><u>Other Employer Requirements</u></p> <p>In order to be in compliance with the new law, employers must:</p> <ul> <li>Allow eligible employees to use accrued paid sick leave upon reasonable request.</li> <li>Permit sick leave to be used to address the employees&rsquo; own health concerns, or those of a family member or for other specified purposes.</li> <li>Show how many days of sick leave an employee has available. This must be on a pay stub or a written document issued the same day as a paycheck.</li> <li>Keep records showing how many hours have been earned and used for three years.</li> <li>Provide formal notice and place conspicuous signs summarizing the requirements of the law.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <br /> <br type="_moz" /> If you have questions&nbsp;about this new law or would like to request review of your sick leave policy,&nbsp;contact the attorney author listed to the right in the&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=491&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Labor and Employment&nbsp;</span></a>practice group or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.<br /> <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 Alerts30 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41727&format=xmlLawsuits over California water rights are a fight a century in the makinghttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41704&format=xml<p><strong>By Bettina Boxall</strong><br /> <br /> The lawsuits hit the courts within days of the state mailing notices to some Central Valley irrigation districts: They were to stop diverting from rivers and streams because there wasn't enough water to go around.</p> <p>Unsurprising as the move may be in this fourth year of drought, to the districts, the notices amounted to an assault on water rights they have held for more than a century.</p> <p>&quot;This is an attempted water grab,&quot; said Steve Knell, general manager of the Oakdale Irrigation District, one of several San Joaquin Valley agencies suing the state to block the curtailments. &quot;It is a power move and we will fight tooth and nail to make sure that this doesn't happen.&quot;</p> <p>The drought has highlighted the arcane workings of California's water rights system, one that rewards those who got here first and underpins agriculture's position as the state's dominant water user.<br /> &hellip;</p> <p>&quot;Water-use data in California is a huge problem,&quot; said attorney Eric Garner, an adjunct professor of water law at USC. &quot;You cannot manage a resource without data.&quot;<br /> &hellip;<br /> <br /> &quot;No water right is set in stone,&quot; Garner said. &quot;I think that all water rights and all water users are going to be getting greater scrutiny.&quot;</p> <p><i>To read the full article, posted on the Los Angeles Times website on June 29, 2015, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-water-rights-legal-20150629-story.html#page=1"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here.</span></a></i></p>BB&K In The News29 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41704&format=xmlWater Law Associate - Los Angeles Officehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41685&format=xml<p><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">We have an immediate opening for an associate with 4+ years of transactional and litigation experience to work with our water law team on water rights, water supply, and environmental litigation and mitigation. Candidate must have excellent research, analytical and writing skills.&nbsp; Experience with water rate setting and compliance under Propositions 218 and 26 a plus. </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><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><span style="font-size: medium"><span style="font-family: Arial">Please address your cover letter to:<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></span></p>Job Openings at BB&K26 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41685&format=xmlCalifornia Supreme Court Grants Review in San Buenaventura Groundwater Pumping Fees Casehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41646&format=xml<p>Two California Appellate Court decisions handed down in March addressed whether or not a local water agency&rsquo;s groundwater pumping charges are property-related fees. One of these cases concluded that they are not property-related fees. That court decision will now be reviewed by the California Supreme Court. The distinction is important because of the restrictions imposed for property-related fees under Proposition 218 &mdash; as well as the exemptions for fees that are considered taxes under Proposition 26.</p> <p>In <i>City of San Buenaventura v. United Water Conservation District</i>, issued March 17, the Second District Court of Appeal held that a water conservation district&rsquo;s groundwater pumping fees, established at a rate for non-agricultural users that is three times higher than that for agricultural users, are not property-related fees subject to the restrictions imposed under Proposition 218 (California Constitution article XIII D, section 6). The court also rejected the argument that the challenged fees are taxes under Proposition 26 (California Constitution, article XIII C, section 1(e)). Rather, the court found that the fees are valid fees imposed under two exceptions to the definition of &ldquo;tax&rdquo; established under Proposition 26. The California Supreme Court has granted review of this decision.</p> <p>In the other case, <i>Great Oaks Water Company v. Santa Clara Valley Water District</i>, issued March 26,the Sixth District Court of Appeal came to a contrary conclusion regarding the classification of the district&rsquo;s groundwater pumping fees. Here, the court found that the District&rsquo;s groundwater pumping fees are property-related fees subject to Proposition 218. This case is not under review by the California Supreme Court.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=38550&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Read more about both of these cases in a Legal Alert published on March 31.</span></a></p> <p>If you have any questions about these cases or how they may impact your agency, please contact 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=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal</span></a>,&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=487&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Special District</span></a> and&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=497&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Finance</span></a> practice groups, or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">your 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 Alerts25 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41646&format=xmlBB&K Webinar: AB 52: CEQA's New Requirementhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40965&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney Sarah Owsowitz will present &quot;AB 52: CEQA's New Requirement.&quot; Starting on July 1, every public agency in California will have significant new California Environmental Quality Act duties. In addition to considering a project&rsquo;s potential impact on historic and archaeological resources, agencies will now have to consider a project&rsquo;s potential to impact tribal cultural resources - essentially any object of cultural value to a California Native American tribe -&nbsp;&nbsp;when preparing an Environmental Imapct Report or a negative declaration.</p> <p>Also, agencies must consult on a project&rsquo;s potential to impact a tribal cultural resource with any California Native American tribe who requests a consultation.&nbsp;Consultation may include:</p> <ul> <li>The level of environmental review necessary;</li> <li>The significance of a tribal cultural resource and of a project's impact on that resource; and</li> <li>Project alternatives and/or mitigation, including those recommended by the tribe.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>These are big and complex changes, and understanding and keeping track of them will be essential to an agency&rsquo;s ongoing CEQA compliance.</p> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Thursday, June 25, 2015<br /> 11 a.m. &ndash; Noon</p> <p>To register for this free webinar, please <a target="_blank" href="https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4269693189109606401"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Seminars and Webinars25 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=40965&format=xmlInconsistencies Between Practices, Brown Act Guidelines Highlighted During LBCCD Traininghttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41798&format=xml<p><b>By Jason Ruiz</b></p> <p>The Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) Board of Trustees took some extra time before last night&rsquo;s regular meeting for a refresher course on the Ralph M. Brown Act, a law that upholds the public&rsquo;s right to participate in meetings of local legislative bodies. The training session revealed further inconsistencies between the board's practices and established Brown Act guidelines.</p> <p>The two hour long presentation, which appeared to be about as enjoyable as traffic school for some members of the board, was given by Ruben Duran, a partner with the law firm Best Best &amp; Krieger. It spanned multiple topics, including what kind of information needs to be shared with the public, what can be discussed in closed session and general &ldquo;best practices&rdquo; for preventing a possible violation of the act.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p><i>To read the full article in the Long Beach Post, which was posted on June 24, 2015, <a target="_blank" href="https://lbpost.com/news/education/2000006433-lbccd-receives-brown-act-training"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</i></p>BB&K In The News24 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41798&format=xmlDrought Bill To Combat Water Shortages Passes In California Legislaturehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41596&format=xml<p>The California Legislature approved a budget bill that would grant the state authority to force water systems to consolidate to serve disadvantaged communities where a steady supply of clean drinking water is not available. Senate Bill 88 also would give public water suppliers the power to impose civil fines of up to $10,000 for violations of water conservation programs, impose new measuring and reporting requirements for water diversions, and suspend environmental review for certain drought-related projects.</p> <p>The bill approved Friday, which can be read <a target="_blank" href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/sen/sb_0051-0100/sb_88_bill_20150619_enrolled.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>, passed on divided votes of 24-14 in the Senate and 52-28 in the Assembly. It now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s signature. &nbsp;</p> <p>The legislation comes on the heels of unprecedented action last month by the State Water Resources Control Board to address an <a target="_blank" href="http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/docs/040115_executive_order.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">emergency order</span></a> by Brown. On May 5 the Board approved <a target="_blank" href="http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/drought/docs/emergency_regulations/rs2015_0032_with_adopted_regs.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">emergency regulations</span></a> designed to achieve an overall 25 percent reduction in potable urban water use across California. Some areas must achieve water use reductions as high as 36 percent. The regulations have left cities, special districts and other water suppliers scrambling to adopt urgency ordinances and other measures to comply with the regulations.</p> <p><u>Forced Consolidations of Water Suppliers</u></p> <p>One of the bill&rsquo;s more controversial elements involves granting the State Water Resources Control Board authority to force local water systems in disadvantaged communities located in an unincorporated area, or served by a mutual water company, to consolidate to deliver safe drinking water to disadvantaged communities. This provision would apply where a water system within a disadvantaged community consistently fails to provide a supply of safe drinking water. In such cases, the Board may order consolidation with a public water system (the &ldquo;receiving water system&rdquo;). The consolidation may be physical or operational. The Board could also order the extension of service to such a community, so long as the extension is an interim extension in preparation for consolidation. The provision grants authority to the Board to set timelines and performance measures to complete such consolidations.</p> <p>The provision drew harsh criticism among legislators and communities throughout California as an unnecessary and inappropriate abuse of power by the state&rsquo;s executive arm. Concerns were raised that the new measures would enable the state to bypass the normal consolidation procedures overseen by Local Agency Formation Commissions operating in counties throughout California. The consolidation provision was developed and passed by the Legislature within a matter of days, with minimal public policy discussion and debate. Concerns were also raised about forced consolidations involving private water suppliers, which have complicated governance structures and land and property rights, and about potential debts and liabilities from absorbed water systems.</p> <p>Under the legislation, forced consolidation or service-extension measures would be undertaken only after the Board has taken other steps, including encouraging voluntary consolidation or extension of service and meeting various requirements for consultations, efforts to improve water service, and public hearings. If consolidation ultimately is ordered, the Board must make funds available, &ldquo;as necessary and appropriate&rdquo; and &ldquo;upon appropriation by the Legislature,&rdquo; to the receiving water system for costs related to consolidation or extension of service. The legislation requires the Board to coordinate with the appropriate local agency formation commission and other local agencies to facilitate the change of organization or reorganization, and adequately compensate owners of a privately owned subsumed water system for the fair market value of the system as prescribed in the bill.</p> <p>Disadvantaged communities are defined as communities with an annual median household income of less than 80 percent of the statewide annual median household income.</p> <p><u>Conservation Fines and Penalties</u></p> <p>One of the more difficult aspects of the Board&rsquo;s emergency regulations is how to persuade customers to comply with locally designed water restrictions aimed at achieving the mandatory water use reductions. SB 88 provides new tools.</p> <p>The bill amends section 377 of the California Water Code, which contains provisions for criminal convictions, to permit a court or public water supplier to hold a person civilly liable for violations of water conservation programs and regulations. The fines are not to exceed $10,000 for violating a local water conservation program adopted under Water Code section 376 or for violating an emergency regulation adopted by the Water Board pursuant to Water Code section 1058.5. This provision would be codified as subdivision (b) of Water Code section 377. For residential water users, the civil liability for the first violation may not exceed $1,000 unless the court or public entity finds the following extraordinary situations: the residential water user had actual notice of the requirement that was violated; the conduct was intentional; and the amount of water at issue was substantial. On the 31st day after a person has been notified of a violation under subdivision (b), the water user &ldquo;may additionally be civilly liable&rdquo; in an amount not to exceed $10,000, plus $500 for each additional day the violation continues. Civil liability imposed pursuant to Water Code section 377 shall be collected by the public entity and expended solely for purposes of water conservation. In addition to these remedies, this bill authorizes a public entity to enforce water use limitations by a volumetric penalty in an amount established by the public entity.</p> <p>SB 88 allows the top executive officer of public entities to identify &ldquo;designees&rdquo; to issue citations and complaints where violations of local water conservation programs or emergency Water Board regulations have occurred.</p> <p><u>Additional Provisions</u></p> <p>SB 88 includes exemptions from the California Environmental Quality Act if a project: mitigates drought conditions; is for construction or expansion of a recycled water pipeline, and any directly related infrastructure, or certain projects related to groundwater replenishment.&nbsp;The exemption expires January 1, 2017. &nbsp;It also includes new requirements that people who divert 10 acre feet of water or more per year measure their diversions, maintain records and report the information to the Board. &nbsp;</p> <p>If you have any questions about this proposed law or how it may impact your agency, please contact the attorney authors of this legal alert listed to the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=487&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Special Districts</span></a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=497&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Finance</span></a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a> practice groups, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><font color="#0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</font></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts23 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41596&format=xmlHotels Need Not Provide Guest Registry to Law Enforcementhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41597&format=xml<p>Like a host of municipalities, the City of Los Angeles has an ordinance that requires hotel operators to record information about guests (aka, a guest registry) and to keep that information on premises for 90 days. The ordinance further requires a hotel operator to allow the police to inspect the register upon demand. Refusal to do so constitutes a misdemeanor offense.</p> <p>A group of hotel operators and a lodging association brought action in federal court asserting the ordinance was facially invalid under the Fourth Amendment based on their expectation of privacy in their own records. After that claim was rejected by the district court, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and found the ordinance was facially invalid. The U.S. Supreme Court granted review of that decision.</p> <p>In a 5-4 decision issued Monday in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/13-1175_2qe4.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff"><i>City of Los Angeles v. Patel</i>,</span></a> the Supreme Court agreed with the Ninth Circuit and held that the City&rsquo;s ordinance was facially invalid under the Fourth Amendment. It is important to sort what the Court found invalid from what it held a government entity could lawfully enact and enforce, and how that process ought to proceed.</p> <p>First, the Court held that the City could require hotel operators to make and keep the records required by the ordinance, and could require hotel operators to provide access to these records to the police when requested. However, the Court held that the police can compel hotel operators to turn over these records only when the police have a proper administrative warrant, including one issued by the police, themselves.</p> <p>The Court explained that this kind of ordinance authorizes an &ldquo;administrative search&rdquo; &mdash; a search based on &ldquo;special needs&rdquo; outside the goal of the general interest in crime control. Once the ordinance is placed in the context of an &ldquo;administrative search,&rdquo; it is subject to the requirement of affording the hotel operators an opportunity to obtain precompliance review before a neutral decision maker. Because the Los Angeles ordinance failed to provide for such precomplinace review, it facially violated the Fourth Amendment.</p> <p>So, how would such precompliance review work in practice? The Court provided a road map. If an officer requests to review hotel registry records and that request is declined, the officer can issue an administrative subpoena right in the field. The warrant would not require the traditional showing of probable cause or even assert that the ordinance is being infringed. The officer would then serve the administrative warrant on the operator. If the operator refused to comply with the warrant by providing the records, &nbsp;the officer could seize and secure &mdash;&ldquo;guard&rdquo; &mdash;the records, if the officer had cause to believe the operator might tamper with the registry while review is sought and obtained. The operator would then seek expedited review of the administrative warrant before a neutral decision maker, likely an administrative law judge, who would simply determine whether the warrant is enforceable &mdash; that is, whether it was issued for a proper purpose consistent with the ordinance and not, for example, for purposes of harassing the operator.</p> <p>For more information about this decision and its impact on your organization, 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=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law practice group</span></a>, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <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 Alerts23 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41597&format=xmlAB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Webinar (June 23, 2015)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38949&format=xml<div><br /> California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, pursuant to AB 1825, requires that employers with&nbsp;50 or more employees in California provide at least two hours of Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training every two years to any employee&nbsp;who has a supervisory role in operations. This presentation is designed to satisfy those requirements.<br /> <br /> Joseph Ortiz will present the training via a live webinar. The webinar is interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions.<br /> <br /> <p><strong>The webinar will cover:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>What constitutes sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace</li> <li>How to recognize and avoid it</li> <li>What procedures to follow if you witness harassment or are harassed yourself</li> <li>The potential consequences - including personal liability - of sexual harassment</li> </ul> <p><strong><br /> Who should attend:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Supervisors</li> <li>Human Resources Professionals</li> <li>Public Officials</li> <li>Managers &amp; Private Business Professionals with 50 or More Employees</li> </ul> <p><br /> <strong>When: <br /> <br /> </strong>June 23, 2015<br /> 9 - 11 a.m.&nbsp;PT</p> <p><br /> <strong>BB&amp;K Presenter:<br /> <br /> </strong>Joseph Ortiz, Partner, Labor &amp; Employment Practice Group in the Riverside office<br /> <strong><br /> <br /> Cost:</strong><br /> <br /> $75 per person<br /> <br /> Please provide payment before the training. Otherwise, you will not be able to join the webinar or receive a certificate of completion. Colleagues must register separately.<br /> <br /> <strong><br /> Registration:<br /> <br /> </strong>To register for this webinar, please click <span style="color: #0000ff"><strong><a target="_blank" href="https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1559305766182941698"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a></strong></span>. <br /> <strong><br /> </strong><em><strong>Deadline for reigstration and payment is Friday, June, 19</strong></em><br /> <br /> <strong>Payment:<br /> </strong></p> <form method="post" action="https://www.cart32.com/cgi-bin/cart32.exe/BBK-AddItem"> <font size="+1"><b>AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Webinar - June 23, 2015</b><br /> <input type="hidden" name="item" value="AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training Webinar - June 23, 2015" /> Qty: <input type="text" name="Qty" value="1" size="3" /> <b>Price: $75</b> <input type="hidden" name="Price" value="75" /> <br /> <br /> <input type="submit" value="Add to Shopping Cart" /> <strong><br /> <br /> QUESTIONS:<br /> <br /> </strong>Contact <a href="mailto:amanda.fine@bbklaw.com?subject=Do%20You%20Need%20to%20Fulfill%20Your%20AB%201825%20Harassment%20Training%20Requirement%3F"><span style="color: #0000ff">Events@BBKlaw.com</span></a> if you have any questions about this event and/or about BB&amp;K upcoming seminars/events.<br /> <br /> If you are not currently receiving our Legal Alerts and would like to be added to our email distribution list, please visit our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2121"><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)">subscription page</span></a>.<br /> &nbsp; <p>&nbsp;</p> </font> </form> </div>Seminars and Webinars23 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=38949&format=xmlWebinar: Negotiating in the Sharing Economyhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41573&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger attorney Jordan Ferguson presented the webinar &ldquo;Negotiating in the Sharing Economy.&rdquo; Now available for download, the presentation includes an insightful review of the business models of key players in the online vacation rental market (e.g. Airbnb and HomeAway), transportation network companies (e.g. Uber and Lyft) and meal sharing apps (e.g. Meal Sharing, EatWith and CookApp).</p> <p>This ground-breaking webinar continues with a discussion of the issues confronting each of the aforementioned sectors of the sharing economy. These challenges include:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Housing market issues, taxing issues, code enforcement issues, and policy enforcement issues in the case of online vacation rental companies</li> <li>Competition with the taxi industry, lack of regulations, and employee classification with respect to the transportation network companies.</li> <li>Limiting royalty payments to claims that would otherwise be infringed</li> <li>Zoning issues, business license issues, and health and safety issues relative to meal sharing apps</li> </ul> <p>The following are among the policy and negotiation issues discussed during the session:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>To what extent can sharing companies straddle the different relevant regulatory bodies?</li> <li>How is the availability of insurance helping or hindering the scaling of sharing companies?</li> <li>How aggressive can sharing companies become in terms of bestowing gifts on regulators? In terms of tempting regulators with the possibility of career opportunities within their organizations?</li> <li>What legal requirements are placed on sharing companies with respect to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act?</li> <li>How aggressive are State Attorney's&trade; General in demanding records of lodging hosts from online vacation rental operators? What level of resistance are they encountering?</li> <li>What penalties do lodging hosts stand to receive for violating local anti-sharing laws? What is the level of difficulty in identifying and charging such violators?</li> <li>To what extent do online vacation rental operators have standing to sue when they wish to challenge local laws?</li> <li>What market penetration strategies are sharing companies pursuing? What is the range of restrictions regulators are placing on such companies?</li> <li>How should sharing companies present themselves before regulators?</li> <li>Where does the Civil Rights Act intersect with the sharing economy?</li> <li>What are the implications of collect-and-remit and transient occupancy taxes?</li> </ul> <p>To order the webinar for the discounted price of $195, mention the code &ldquo;Friends of BB&amp;K&rdquo; when registering. To register, call (609) 919-1895 and ask for Neomi Barazani.</p> <p>For more information, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.instituteforstrategicnegotiations.com/negotiating_in_the_sharing_economy.php"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements22 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=41573&format=xml