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-us21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssInitiatives and Referendumshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32239&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Kara Ueda will be among the presenters at the League of California Cities&rsquo; New Law &amp; Elections Seminar<span>, which will be held Dec. 3-5, 2014. She will provide an overview of the initiative process, including the roles of city clerks, city attorneys, city councils and initiative proponents, as well as considerations for potential and actual litigation.</span></p> <p><b>When<br /> </b>Dec. 4, 2014<br /> 1:45-5 p.m.</p> <p><b>Where<br /> </b>Hyatt Regency Monterey</p> <p>For more information or to register for the conference, visit the LCC&rsquo;s City Clerks New Law &amp; Elections Seminar page by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cacities.org/Education-Events/City-Clerks-New-Law-Elections-Seminar"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements04 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32239&format=xmlMoment of Truth: One State, One Water Futurehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34244&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Eric Garner will be the keynote speaker and Partner Kelly Salt will be a panelist at the Association of California Water Agencies 2014 Fall Conference &amp; Exhibition Dec. 2-5.</p> <p>Kelly will be discussing &quot;Fairness and Equity in Recycled Water Rates&quot; on Wed., Dec. 3, from 2 - 3:15 p.m.</p> <p>Eric will present &quot;Groundwater Legislation: History in the Making or Another Dead End?&quot; at the luncheon on Thurs., Dec. 4, from 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. Statewide regulation of groundwater is one of the most important &ndash; and controversial &ndash; challenges facing this generation of water managers. That&rsquo;s why the groundwater legislation passed this year is so important, whether you were for it or not. This once-in-a-century statute will change how water is managed in California.</p> For more information or to register, visit the ACWA event page by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.acwa.com/events/acwa-2014-fall-conference-exhibition"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.Conferences & Speaking Engagements02 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34244&format=xmlThe Courts, The Hill and The FCC - A Year in Review and Setting the Stage for 2015http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34321&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Gerard Lavery Lederer will be on a teleconference panel speaking about &ldquo;The Courts, The Hill and The FCC &ndash; A Year in Review and Setting the Stage for 2015&rdquo; presented by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.</p> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Monday, Dec. 1, 2014</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the NATOA website events page by <a target="_blank" href="https://www.natoa.org/events/enatoa.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here.</span></a></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements01 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34321&format=xmlAB 1825 Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training (November 18)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33486&format=xml<div>California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, pursuant to AB 1825, requires that employers with fifty or more employees in California provide at least two hours of Sexual Harassment Avoidance Training every two years to any employee that has a supervisory role in operations. This presentation is designed to satisfy those requirements.<br /> <br /> Joseph Ortiz will present the training from the Riverside office. All other BB&amp;K offices will participate in the training via state-of-the-art video conferencing. The video conference is interactive, allowing attendees to ask questions and participate in other ways.<br /> <br /> <a href="https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e9x01l7s48172129&amp;oseq=&amp;c=&amp;ch="><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)"><strong>Click Here</strong></span></a> to Register<br /> <br /> <p><strong>What will be&nbsp;covered:</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 /> Audience:</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>Registration:<br /> </strong><br /> The training will be&nbsp;held via video conference at the following BB&amp;K offices throughout California.</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=60&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Indian Wells </span></a></li> <li><a target="_top" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=61&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Irvine </span></a></li> <li><a target="_top" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=62&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Los Angeles </span></a></li> <li><a target="_top" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=59&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Ontario </span></a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=63&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Riverside</span></a> &ndash; Joseph Ortiz will present from the Riverside office</li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=64&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Sacramento </span></a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=65&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">San Diego </span></a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=10&amp;L=66&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Walnut Creek </span></a></li> </ul> <strong><br /> Cost:</strong><br /> <br /> $75 per person<br /> <br /> <br type="_moz" /> <strong>When: <br /> </strong><br /> Tuesday, November 18<br /> 9 - 11 a.m.</div> <p><strong>BB&amp;K Presenter:<br /> <br /> </strong>Joseph Ortiz, Partner, Labor &amp; Employment Practice Group in Riverside office<br /> <br /> <strong>QUESTIONS:<br /> <br /> </strong>Contact&nbsp;<a href="mailto:events@bbklaw.com?subject=Do%20You%20Need%20to%20Fulfill%20Your%20AB%201825%20Harassment%20Training%20Requirement%3F"><span style="color: #0000ff">Jessy Asfahan</span></a> if you have any questions about this event and/or about BB&amp;K upcoming seminars/events.<br /> <br /> If you are not currently receiving our Legal Alerts and would like to be added to our email distribution list, please visit our <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2121"><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)">subscription page</span></a>.<br /> &nbsp;</p>Seminars and Webinars18 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33486&format=xmlDeployment of Wireless Facilitieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31723&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K telecommunications law attorneys <b>Joseph Van Eaton</b> and <b>Gerard Lederer</b>, who is also a co-chair of the program, will be among the featured speakers at this two-day conference titled &ldquo;Deployment of Wireless Facilities: Adapting to New Technologies, FCC Rules, State Legislative Developments and a Major Supreme Court Decision.&rdquo;</p> <p>This year has seen explosive mobile industry growth. Smartphones, &quot;apps,&quot; social media and streaming video are all creating unprecedented demand for mobile broadband, both services and infrastructure. This conference addresses the practical, legal, economic and regulatory issues applicable to providers, local governments, building landlords, private property owners and others that arise from this explosion in the growth of mobile wireless services, and the infrastructure that makes these services possible.</p> <p>This advanced conference will examine the changing business of mobile and wireless communications services and its impact on the increased demand for, and design of, wireless facilities. Topics to be discussed include state and federal regulations and statutes that define the rights and responsibilities of mobile service providers, local governments and property owners when it comes to site, and modifying towers and antennas. Panelists will also discuss deal points associated with the deployment and modification of cell sites, towers, and other facilities' access.</p> <p>The conference will also be webcast live.<br /> <br /> <i>BB&amp;K clients and colleagues receive $100 off registration.</i></p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b><br /> Gerard Lederer<br /> Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014<br /> 8:30 a.m.<br /> &ldquo;Introduction to Day 1: Demand Factors for New Infrastructure and New Regulatory Developments&rdquo;<br /> The big events relating to local permitting of wireless telecommunications facilities and how they fit together: Case law; the FCC &quot;shot clock&quot; ruling and Supreme Court case; Section 6409 (a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief Act and follow-on court decisions.</p> <p>Joseph Van Eaton<br /> Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014<br /> 3:15 p.m.<br /> &ldquo;Other Items on the Changing Federal and State Legal Landscape for Deployment of Wireless Facilities: What Are the New Rules of the Road?&rdquo;<br /> Overview of recent federal court cases including T-Mobile South v. City of Roswell; other litigation developments; FCC regulatory initiatives; local government perspective on the implications.</p> <p>Gerard Lederer<br /> Friday, Nov. 14, 2014<br /> 10:15 a.m.<br /> &ldquo;Carrier Access to Buildings and Other Structures: Best Practices for Negotiating Lease Terms with the Landlord&rdquo;<br /> Carrier and building owner perspectives on getting to yes for wireless facilities leases</p> <p>BB&amp;K is also co-sponsoring a reception for faculty and attendees on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 at 5 p.m.</p> <p><b>Continuing Education Credits</b><br /> Live credits: This program qualifies for 10.3 GA CLE credits. Upon request, event organizers will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.</p> <p><b>Location</b><br /> Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Midtown<br /> 97 10th Street NW<br /> Atlanta, GA 30309</p> <p>For more information or to register, please visit Law Seminars International&rsquo;s event page by clicking <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=14TINGA"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements13 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31723&format=xmlWhat Works in Conservation: Tools for Rethinking Water, Quantifying Value, and Thriving in our Landscapeshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34322&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger is proud to sponsor and participate in the 69th Annual California Resource Conservation Districts Meeting &amp; Conference. The event will be held Nov. 12 &ndash; 14, 2014 in Ventura, Calif. Highlighting the key conservation issues in Southern California, participants will share ideas on what works in conservation and have the opportunity to advance statewide partnerships.</p> <p><strong>BB&amp;K Speakers</strong></p> <p>Thurs., Nov. 13, 2014<br /> 3 &ndash; 4:15 p.m.<br /> &ldquo;Rethinking Water: Strategies to Build an Equitable, Reliable, and Clean Water Source&rdquo;<br /> <b>Steven Anderson</b> will discuss the recent groundwater legislation.</p> <p>Fri., Nov. 14, 2014<br /> 8:30 &ndash; 9:30 a.m.<br /> &ldquo;Support for New Conservation Properties and Beginning Agricultural Professionals&rdquo;<br /> <b>Steven G. Martin</b> and <b>Ward Simmons</b> will discuss due diligence for conservation properties.</p> <p>Fri., Nov. 14, 2014<br /> 8:30 &ndash; 9:30 a.m.<br /> &ldquo;Creating Healthy CityScapes: Building Partnerships to Address Regional and Specific Urban Conservation Storm Water Management: Working with Cities to Relieve Regulatory Pressure&rdquo;<br /> <b>Shawn Haggerty</b> will discuss municipalities and water quality.</p> <p><strong>Where:</strong><br /> Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach<br /> For more information or to register, please visit the CARCD event page by <a target="_blank" href="http://carcd.org/annual_conference0.aspx"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements13 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34322&format=xmlNew FCC Rules Will Require New Approach to Siting of Wireless Facilitieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34267&format=xml<p>The FCC is scheduled to adopt new rules at its Oct. 17 meeting that are likely to require changes in the way local governments respond to applications for siting wireless towers, and for adding antennas to, and modifying, existing structures. The rules could necessitate an immediate review and revision of wireless siting ordinances in many communities, and have important implications for the way states and localities deal with siting of wireless facilities in historic districts and environmentally sensitive areas. The change in the rules may also affect the approach of public agencies, schools, special districts and local governments to leasing of their own property</p> <p>In a free webinar, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=456&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K telecommunications</span></a> attorneys will provide an overview of the new rules, the timetable for responding to them, and the challenges and opportunities facing public bodies as they attempt to protect local interests, while complying with federal requirements governing zoning of wireless facilities.</p> <p><strong>The webinar will cover: </strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>The FCC's new rules, which are expected to affect both the substance and the process associated with wireless siting</li> <li>The effect of the new rules on contracts for use of publicly owned property</li> <li>The legal issues raised by the rules and what local governments need to do if they wish to challenge, or obtain clarification of, the rules</li> <li>Ways local governments can respond to the rules that provide the maximum protection to the public&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong>Who should&nbsp;attend:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Municipal attorneys responsible for zoning matters or right-of-way</li> <li>Directors of planning/public works</li> <li>Members of zoning boards/elected officials</li> <li>Department heads responsible for leasing public property&nbsp;</li> </ul> <br /> <strong>When</strong>:<br /> Wednesday, Nov. 5<br /> 10 - 11 a.m. PT<br /> 1 - 2 p.m. ET<br /> <br /> To RSVP click <a target="_blank" href="https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1557014379678058497"><span style="color: #0000ff">here.</span></a><br /> <br /> <strong>Contact Person:<br /> </strong>Jessy Asfahan,&nbsp;Best Best &amp; Krieger<br /> <a href="mailto:jessy.asfahan@bbklaw.com?subject=BB%26K%20Webinar%3A%20Nov.%205"><span style="color: #0000ff">Jessy.Asfahan@BBKlaw.com&nbsp;</span></a><span style="color: #0000ff"><br /> </span><br type="_moz" />Seminars and Webinars05 Nov 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34267&format=xmlDealing in Drought: Development, Legislation and Litigationhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31529&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Managing Partner <b>Eric Garner</b>, who is the program chair of the event, and Partners <b>Paeter Garcia</b> and <b>Kelly Salt</b> will be participating in some of the panel discussions during this day-long seminar. This year is being touted as California&rsquo;s single driest year on record and severe drought conditions have brought the state to a crossroads. Is drought now going to be the new normal in California? This program will help attendees understand the impacts of drought on the competing needs of urban, agricultural and environmental water users. A diverse group of water leaders from state and local government, water associations, the legislature and engineers and attorneys will provide their insight on the legal and policy issues facing the state&rsquo;s surface water, groundwater and alternative water supplies. Come and discover how California&rsquo;s drought is creating challenges and prompting new solutions for water resource management.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers:</b><br /> <br /> Eric Garner will deliver the event&rsquo;s opening introduction and overview at 9 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., he will moderate the discussion &ldquo;The Groundwater Conundrum,&rdquo; which will explore the following topics:</p> <ul> <li>Groundwater Use in an Arid State (Availability, Rights, Uses, Reserves and Overdraft)</li> <li>Whiskey is for Drinking (Adjudications Past, Present and Future)</li> <li>Common Ground (Groundwater Management Plans; Special Legislation; State Oversight)</li> </ul> <p>Paeter Garcia will appear as a panelist at 3 p.m. for a discussion titled, &ldquo;The Perfect Non-Storm: Permitting Development in Drought Conditions.&rdquo; Topics to be discussed include:</p> <ul> <li>California Growth and Related Development</li> <li>Tall Task for Water Supply Planning (Urban Water Management Plans; General Plans)</li> <li>Preparing Defensible Water Supply Analyses (Water Supply Assessments; Written Verifications; CEQA Analysis)</li> </ul> <p>Kelly Salt is participating on a panel at 4 p.m. called, &ldquo;Pricing the Way through a Water Shortage.&rdquo; Issues to be covered include:</p> <ul> <li>Declaring Water Shortage and Emergency Conditions (Ordinances, Conservation, Rationing)</li> <li>Pricing Structures and Challenges</li> <li>Public Issue with Private Implications</li> </ul> <p><b>Credits: </b><br /> <br /> CA CLE: 6.25 General CLE credits<br /> CDPH: 6.0 contact hours</p> <p><b>Topics Covered: </b></p> <ul> <li>Drought Response</li> <li>Environmental</li> <li>Groundwater Use and Management</li> <li>Stormwater and Greywater</li> <li>Water Purchases and Transfers</li> <li>Water Shortage and Emergency Conditions</li> </ul> <p><b>Who Should Attend:</b></p> <ul> <li>Attorneys/Legal Staff</li> <li>State and Municipal Officials</li> <li>Water Operators</li> <li>Developers/Land Owners</li> <li>Farmers/Ranchers</li> <li>Environmentalists</li> <li>Utility Managers</li> <li>Planners</li> </ul> <p><b>Where: </b><br /> <br /> DoubleTree by Hilton LA Downtown<br /> 120 S. Los Angeles St.<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90012</p> <p>For more information or to register, please click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.theseminargroup.net/seminar.lasso?seminar=14.DROUCA"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></u></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31529&format=xmlPrivate Access to Public Rights-of-Wayhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32231&format=xml<p>Join BB&amp;K attorneys Gail Karish and Matthew Schettenhelm at Lorman Education Services&rsquo; &ldquo;Private Access to Public Rights-of-Way.&rdquo; During this webinar, you will learn to increase your proficiency in the private use of rights-of-ways and be provided a useful introduction to the challenges facing local governments as more private providers seek to use the public rights-of-way for a variety of purposes. Public officials, private service providers and lawyers will benefit from understanding the variety of existing and emerging users and uses, the options available for securing access to public rights-of-way and the duties and liabilities related to their use.</p> <p>By using <a target="_blank" href="http://www.lorman.com/training/394386?discount_code=Q3462135&amp;p=13389&amp;s=direct"><span style="color: #0000ff">this link to register</span></a>, BB&amp;K guests receive 50 percent off registration.</p> <p><b>When</b><br /> Oct. 29, 014<br /> 10 &ndash; 11:30 a.m. (PST)<br /> <br /> Continuing Education credits are available.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements29 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32231&format=xmlLegal Requirements of Filing Officers and Officialshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32725&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Senior Paralegal Dianna Valdez will host a training&nbsp;on the statutory duties of public agency filing officers and officials regarding Form 700 Statements of Economic Interests (SEIs).</p> <p><strong>This informative seminar will discuss:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Legislative &amp; Regulatory Changes</li> <li>General Rules - What's Your Role? <ul type="circle"> <li>Types of Public Officials - PRA vs. CIC</li> <li>Disclosure Requirements - Full vs. Limited</li> </ul> </li> <li>Guidelines - Notices, Fines &amp; Waivers</li> <li>Reviews - Facial vs. Full <ul type="circle"> <li>What to Look For - Common Errors</li> </ul> </li> <li>Public Access - Within Two Days</li> <li>Enforcement - Reporting Apparent Violations</li> <li>Records &amp; Retention</li> <li>What February 1 Deadline?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Who should attend:</strong></p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Filing officers and their assistants for: <ul type="circle"> <li>School Districts</li> <li>Special Districts</li> <li>Cities</li> <li>Counties</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <strong>When:</strong><br /> Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014<br /> 8:30 a.m. - Check-in &amp; Pastries<br /> 9 - 11:30 a.m. - Training<br /> <p><strong>Where:</strong><br /> The training will be held&nbsp;at&nbsp;<span style="color: #0000ff"><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2115">BB&amp;K offices</a></span> throughout California. When you register you will select where you will attend the training.</p> <p><strong>Per Person Cost: $125</strong><br /> Clients who have signed off and paid for the new Pulic Policy &amp; Ethics program will receive the discounted price of $75 per person.<br /> <br /> To RSVP click <a href="mailto:Katey.Lamke@bbklaw.com?subject=BB%26K%20Training%3A%20Legal%20Requirements%20of%20Filing%20Officers%20%26%20Officials&amp;body=Name%3A%20%0D%0ACompany%3A%20%0D%0ATitle%3A%20%0D%0AEmail%3A%20%0D%0ABB%26K%20Office%3A%20%0D%0A*%20Please%20list%20additional%20attendees%20if%20applicable.%0D%0A"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span><span style="color: #0000ff">.</span></a><br /> <br /> <strong>Contact Person:<br /> </strong>Jessy Asfahan, Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> <a href="mailto:Jessy.Asfahan@BBKlaw.com?subject=Legal%20Requirements%20of%20Filing%20Officers%20and%20Officials"><span style="color: #0000ff">Katey.Lamke@BBKlaw.com</span></a>&nbsp;or (951) 826-8212</p>Seminars & Training29 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32725&format=xmlBridging the Gap: Private Equity Financing and Public Private Partnerships (P3s)http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34242&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Seth Merewitz will present &ldquo;Bridging the Gap: Private Equity Financing and Public Private Partnerships (P3s)&rdquo; at the CASA 2014 Fall Seminar: Funding Opportunities in the Wastewater Sector. Seth will discuss when private equity financing and P3s make sense and the potential benefits of utilizing these financing approaches.</p> <p><b>When</b><br /> Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014<br /> 1:30 &ndash; 2:30 p.m.</p> <p><b>Location</b><br /> Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District<br /> 19960 Goethe Rd.<br /> Sacramento, CA 95827</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the California Association of Sanitation Agencies events page by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.casaweb.org/events/funding-opportunities-wastewater-sector-0"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements23 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34242&format=xmlPropositions 218 and 26 Keeping You Awake at Night? Setting Utility Rates Without Counting Sheephttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33258&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner <b>Kelly Salt</b> will be presenting &ldquo;Propositions 218 and 26 Keeping You Awake at Night? Setting Utility Rates Without Counting Sheep&rdquo; at the American Water Works Association California-Nevada Section&rsquo;s Annual Fall Conference. The theme for this year&rsquo;s three-day conference is &ldquo;Finding Water in the Arid West.&rdquo;</p> <p><b>When:<br /> </b>Wed., Oct. 22<br /> 1:30 p.m.<br /> <b><br /> <br /> Location</b><br /> Grand Sierra Resort<br /> 2500 E. Second St.<br /> Reno, NV 89595<br /> <br /> For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ca-nv-awwa.org/CANV/web/events/AFC14_Attendee/web/events/AFC14_Reno__NV/AFC14_Attendee.aspx?hkey=8972798a-edc8-4e7b-8daf-c266544aed0d"><span style="color: #0000ff">AWWA California-Nevada Annual Fall Conference website by clicking here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements22 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33258&format=xmlA Game Changer for Downtown Plaza: The Opportunities and Challenges in Developing a Mixed-Use, Retail and Entertainment Sports Complexhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34243&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Stephen Stwora-Hail is moderating a panel being presented by the International Council of Shopping Centers that will discuss JMA Ventures, LLC, joint venturing with the Sacramento Kings ownership to develop the 900,000 sq. ft. (including Macy&rsquo;s) of mixed use, retail, residential and office space surrounding the new Kings Arena. Hear from panelists who are responsible for designing, developing, marketing and leasing this unique space. They will share what they envision for Downtown Plaza, the challenges they face, the opportunities they hope to create for their tenants and customers and how all of this may revitalize the surrounding area. Following the program, there will be a reception where you will be able to network with the panelists and industry peers.?</p> <p><b>When</b><br /> Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014<br /> 5:30 &ndash; 6:30 p.m.</p> <p><b>Location</b><br /> DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Sacramento<br /> 2001 Point West Way<br /> Sacramento, CA</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the ICSC events page by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.icsc.org/events-and-programs/program/sacramento-next-generosity-program-and-reception/2014n76-a-game-changer-for-downtown-plaza-the-opportunities-and-challenges"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements21 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34243&format=xmlCalifornia Attorney General Clarifies Oversight Board Member Compensation Ruleshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34394&format=xml<p>Local entities making appointments to oversight boards are prohibited from compensating the appointee, or reimbursing expenses incurred as a result of the service on the oversight board, the California Attorney General confirmed in an opinion issued last week. However, if the appointee is an employee of the appointing authority, the employee is not prohibited from receiving his or her normal compensation or expense reimbursement associated with his or her duties as an employee. The opinion clarifies the application of Health and Safety Code section 34179, subdivision (c), which regulates the compensation for oversight boards assembled to oversee the dissolution of California&rsquo;s redevelopment agencies.</p> <p>Since 1945 until their elimination in 2011, redevelopment agencies were charged with identifying and turning around underperforming areas throughout the state. However, when they were dissolved by statute, redevelopment agencies were replaced by a successor agency whose activities are overseen by a seven-member oversight board.</p> <p>Health and Safety Code section 34179(c) provides that oversight board members are to serve without compensation or reimbursement for expenses. A question arose as to whether the appointing authority could provide compensation and reimbursement of expenses to the oversight board member &mdash; despite that the successor agency and the oversight board cannot compensate the appointee. The Attorney General opined that &ldquo;the apparent severity of the no-compensation provision is tempered in several respects.&rdquo; The opinion clarifies that the law prohibits the oversight board member from receiving compensation for the service on the oversight board, but does not bar an appointed oversight board member from receiving his or her usual compensation from the appointing agency itself. This is true even if the compensation covers the time the employee spends on the board.&nbsp;</p> <p>Generally, the Attorney General concluded that, because the law allows the oversight boards to delegate much of its work to the successor agency and the successor agency staff, the prohibition on compensation was not overly burdensome.</p> <p>Local oversight boards will be dissolved effective July 1, 2016, and dissolution activities will be overseen by a regional oversight board thereafter.</p> <p>For more information on the Attorney General&rsquo;s Opinion and how it may affect your agency, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <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 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34394&format=xmlFPPC Goes on Offense to Identify and Fine Gift Reporting Failureshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34331&format=xml<p>The Fair Political Practices Commission has initiated a proactive approach to auditing and investigating gift reporting failures by government officials, focused on local government entities (most prevalently school districts). This project has resulted in scores of officials being fined and publicly reported to date.</p> <p>The FPPC&rsquo;s most recent &ldquo;pro-active gift non-reporting project,&rdquo; following on the heels of a similar project last year, has been in process for more than eight months. On the FPPC&rsquo;s most recent agenda, the Enforcement Division proposes $18,000 in fines to be levied against 70 officials from cities, school and water districts, and housing authorities, many of whom received gifts, such as meals from businesses seeking to do business with the officials&rsquo; agencies.</p> <p>Rather than waiting for a violation to be brought to its attention, the FPPC conducts &ldquo;proactive investigations.&rdquo; This involves the Enforcement Division contacting entities known to host events that public officials are likely to attend, and receive gifts or meals at, that would be reportable on their Statement of Economic Interests. (SEIs serve a dual purpose of making a filer aware of personal economic interests, including gifts, which might relate to and cause a conflict-of-interest with respect to a government decision, and disclosing interests to the public to promote transparency in government.)</p> <p>For example, recent reports detail an audit that focused on a single &ldquo;vendor,&rdquo; which identified 312 public officials who accepted gifts from the firm over the previous four years. If the value of the meal and/or gifts provided meets or exceeds the reportable amount ($50 from same source in a reporting period), the Enforcement Division then cross-checks the public official&rsquo;s SEI Form 700 filing for the reporting period to determine if that reportable gift was, in fact, reported.</p> <p>As reported in the <i>San Diego Union-Tribune </i>on Oct. 7, of the 282 officials required to report these gifts, only 22 did. Two-hundred and sixty public officials will face warnings and will be publicly identified and fined. The FPPC can impose a fine (up to a maximum of $5,000, although normally, first time offenders are fined in the area of $200 per violation) and will publish the name of the public official in its public filings. A &ldquo;knowing&rdquo; failure to report can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense carrying a $10,000 fine.</p> <p>The FPPC Enforcement Division&rsquo;s pro-active program is designed to promote compliance, spelling out current violations, identifying violators, and imposing both warnings and penalties. These failures to report and the ensuing enforcement actions give lie to the notion of &ldquo;a free lunch.&rdquo; Some officials protest that the reporting requirements are confusing and difficult to conform to. Such complaints seldom sway the FPPC or buy much in terms of mitigation in treatment by the Commission. The best defense against the FPPC&rsquo;s offense is knowledge of gift reporting requirements and gift acceptance limits, and attention to on-going proper reporting of economic interests.</p> <p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP&rsquo;s Public Policy and Ethics Group keeps apprised of any developments in FPPC policy and advises clients in public policy and ethics compliance. The Group offers AB 1234 training in-house and on-site regarding Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) filings, Conflicts of Interest, the Political Reform Act and more.</p> <p>For more details and inquiries about the FPPC&rsquo;s reporting requirements, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=452&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Policy and Ethics Compliance</span></a> group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts20 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34331&format=xmlCalifornia Takes Significant Strides Toward Design-Buildhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34372&format=xml<p>The adoption of Senate Bill 785 signifies strong movement toward authorizing design-build procurement in California at the state and local agency levels. SB 785, effective Jan. 1, repeals several design-build statutes previously adopted by the Legislature for the purpose of testing the effectiveness and viability of design-build procurement in California. The new law resolves various problems and inconsistencies with these prior statutes by providing consolidated design-build authorization under a single source of law.</p> <p>For local agencies, SB 785 authorizes a city, county, city and county, transit district, or special district operating wastewater facilities, solid waste management facilities, water recycling facilities or fire protection facilities to utilize the design-build project delivery method on public works projects exceeding $1 million. To utilize design-build, the local agency must meet certain administrative requirements, including the use of a rigorous statutory selection procedure.</p> <p>Local agencies wishing to utilize design-build under SB 785 must follow a two-step RFQ-RFP process where prospective design-build firms are first prequalified and, for those firms that are deemed qualified, then requested to submit proposals. Selection of the design-build firm may be made on the basis of low bid or best value. &nbsp;Best value requires the local agency to take into consideration various factors in addition to price in ranking proposals. At minimum, the local agency must consider technical design and construction expertise, project price and life-cycle costs over a minimum of 15 years. In the event a local agency elects to utilize best value, the agency may also hold discussions and negotiations with responsive proposers. Local agencies using best value must award the design-build contract to the firm offering the best value to the public. Once an award is made utilizing either low bid or best value, the local agency must publicly announce the award and provide a statement regarding the basis of the award.</p> <p>In addition to the lengthy selection process under SB 785, the new law also contains significant skilled workforce requirements. Local agencies should be cognizant that design-build firms not meeting the skilled workforce requirements under the new law may not be prequalified. Because of this and other potentially restrictive requirements under SB 785, it should be noted that the enactment of SB 785 does not preclude local agencies that retain separate authority to utilize design-build from exercising that authority. Local agencies that are authorized to use design-build under SB 785 and one or more other sources of authority should determine what design-build procurement process and requirements best serves the agency&rsquo;s interests.</p> <p>For more information about SB 785 and the design-build project delivery method, please contact the authors of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=451&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Contracts and Construction group</span></a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=524&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Transportation 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 Alerts20 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34372&format=xmlThe Business of Water and Environmental Lessons from Nuclear Disastershttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34240&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Eric Garner is co-chair of &ldquo;The business of water: key issues in investing in and financing of water and wastewater projects&rdquo; at the International Bar Association&rsquo;s annual conference in Tokyo, Japan. With water supply and treatment becoming pressing concerns worldwide, and with many types of infrastructure urgently needed to provide potable water and to treat water, this panel will discuss methods that private companies are undertaking on their own efforts to protect water supplies essentials to their business models. The panel will also discuss a variety of ways that companies and governments are working together to get projects financed and constructed.</p> <p>In addition, BB&amp;K Partner Michelle Ouellette, who is senior vice chair of the Environment, Health and Safety Law Committee, is co-moderating &ldquo;Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima: lessons learned and being learned.&rdquo; This session will explore the legal lessons that we have learned as a result of the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima incidents. In particular, it will address how the legal community has responded to these incidents from a liability, regulatory and contractual perspective. It will also address what additional legal/regulatory steps should be considered in respect to existing and future nuclear generating stations, to address any claims or consequences arising from nuclear incidents and to reduce or prevent future nuclear incidents from occurring.</p> Michelle is also the session co-chair of &ldquo;The international environmental law consequences of natural resource and energy extraction.&rdquo; As nations are increasingly looking to other countries and continents as a source of addressing rapidly growing demands for natural resource and energy commodities, triggering environmental law issues in both the domestic and foreign countries, as well as international obligations. Meanwhile, some nations are restricting trade of their own natural resources and energy commodities (including rate earth minerals). These developments are raising questions related to the environmental liability of organizations under domestic, foreign and international environmental laws. This session will discuss considerations relevant to both multinational companies and foreign governments in pursuing trade and resource and energy development in other nations, as well as environmental and trade law implications of restrictions imposed by nations on the export of resources. The session will be orientated toward any lawyers who work on issues pertaining to trade of energy commodities and natural resources and will not assume expertise in international environmental law.Conferences & Speaking Engagements20 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34240&format=xmlFederal Telecommunications Law: Threats and Opportunities for Texas Citieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34320&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Joseph Van Eaton presented &quot;Federal Telecommunications Law: Threats and Opportunities for Texas Cities&quot; at the Texas Coalition of Cities for Utility Issues 2014 Seminar in Houston, Texas.</p> <p>A copy of his presentation can be found <a target="_blank" href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/Federal Telecommunications Law.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements17 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34320&format=xmlFCC Radio Licenses: Saving Paper Doesn't Change Notice Requirementshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34303&format=xml<p>Many municipal governments and special districts, especially public safety departments, hold radio licenses or antenna structure permits from the Federal Communications Commission. <a target="_blank" href="http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db1010/DA-14-1478A1.pdf"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">The FCC is proposing to save paper and staff time by making the authorizations stored on agency databases &ldquo;official&rdquo; records.</span></u></a></p> <p>However, licensees would still be required to post paper copies where the rules call for it, or to notify tenants on communication towers that the facilities are duly registered.</p> <p>During a proposed transition period, licensees could opt out of continuing mail delivery of licenses. If the proposal to rely on electronic records is adopted, licensees wishing to continue to receive paper copies would then be asked to notify the FCC of that choice. Licensees no longer receiving paper copies could print from the official electronic record any documents they need to post.</p> <p>A selection of FCC regulations requiring notice or posting appears below. Licensees should be familiar with state or local paper record requirements that may differ from, or add to, the federal regulations.</p> <p>The FCC will accept public comment on its paper-saving proposals until Nov. 10. If you have questions about how this proposed policy change will affect your municipality or agency, or if you need assistance with commenting, 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"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></u></a> practice group or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></u></a>.</p> <p><span style="color: #0000ff"><b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=12fc5c631d1fd9dcdb021d65cbb43768&amp;node=pt47.5.90&amp;rgn=div5#sp47.5.90.n"><span style="color: #0000ff">Title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 90, Subpart N</span></a></b></span></p> <p><b>&sect;90.437 Posting station licenses.</b></p> <p>(a) The current original authorization for each station shall be retained as a permanent part of the station records but need not be posted.</p> <p>(b) Entities authorized under this part must make available either a clearly legible photocopy of the authorization for each base or fixed station at a fixed location at every control point of the station or an address or location where the current authorization may be found.</p> <p>(c) An applicant operating under temporary authority in accordance with &sect;90.159 must post an executed copy of FCC Form 601 at every control point of the system or an address or location where the current executed copy may be found.</p> <p><b>&sect;90.439 &nbsp;Inspection of stations.</b></p> <p>All stations and records of stations in these services shall be made available for inspection at any reasonable time and any time while the station is in operation upon reasonable request of an authorized representative of the Commission.</p> <p><b>&sect;90.441 &nbsp;Inspection and maintenance of antenna structure marking and associated control equipment.</b></p> <p>The owner of each antenna structure required to be painted and/or illuminated under the provisions of Section 303(q) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, shall operate and maintain the antenna structure painting and lighting in accordance with part 17 of this chapter. In the event of default by the owner, each licensee or permittee shall be individually responsible for conforming to the requirements pertaining to antenna structure painting and lighting.</p> <p><b>&sect;17.4 &nbsp;Antenna structure registration.</b></p> <p>(f) The Commission shall issue, to the registrant, FCC Form 854R, Antenna Structure Registration, which assigns a unique Antenna Structure Registration Number. The structure owner shall immediately provide a copy of Form 854R to each tenant licensee and permittee.</p> <p><b>&sect;90.447 &nbsp;Retention of station records.</b></p> <p>Records required by this part shall be retained by the licensee for at least one year.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts16 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34303&format=xmlAdvanced Issues in Discipline and Layoffs and DFEH Complaintshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33177&format=xml<p>Best Best &amp; Krieger Partner <b>Arlene Prater</b> will be speaking on &ldquo;Advanced Issues in Discipline and Layoffs: How to Separate the &lsquo;Protected&rsquo; Employee&rdquo; at the Public Employer Labor Relations Association of California&rsquo;s 5th Annual Conference. Arlene will discuss how to successfully discipline or layoff an employee who has engaged in a protected activity, such as requesting a disability accommodation, taking a medical leave, filing a complaint of harassment or speaking out against the employer.</p> <p>In addition, BB&amp;K partners <strong>Alison Alpert </strong>and <strong>Joseph Sanchez </strong>will present &ldquo;We Just Received A DFEH Complaint . . . Now What?&rdquo; They will answer questions such as: How long do I have to respond? Should I hire an outside expert? How valid is the claim? What do I need to do to effectively present my agency&rsquo;s side without coming across as defensive? In this session you will learn how to properly handle and respond to a DFEH claim to help ensure your agency prevails with its response.</p> <p><strong>When</strong><br /> Arlene Prater<br /> Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014<br /> 2:45 &ndash; 4 p.m.</p> <p>Alison Alpert and Joseph Sanchez<br /> Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014<br /> 9:30 &ndash; 10:45 a.m. <br /> <br /> <strong>Location<br /> </strong>The Queen Mary<br /> 1126 Queens Highway<br /> Long Beach</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.npelra.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3717"><span style="color: #0000ff">PELRAC events page</span></a>.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements15 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33177&format=xmlTo Campaign or Not to Campaign: A Refresherhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34281&format=xml<p><b><i>By Scott C. Smith and Matthew Richardson, Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b></p> <p>As November elections and some major ballot measures loom, and as 2016 general election candidates start copping to &ldquo;thinking about a run,&rdquo; now seems a good time to revisit the impartiality required of public agencies and their employees when it comes to election ballot matters.</p> <p>Running afoul of these important laws regarding the use of public funds and advocacy can land a public agency and/or its employees in hot water, but compliance really just requires some common sense and presence of mind.</p> <p><b>Use of Public Funds</b></p> <p>California law allows public agencies to expend public money and resources to educate voters on matters included on an upcoming ballot. State law does not permit using public money or resources to advocate on behalf of, or attempt to influence voters on election matters. In short, a public agency may not encourage &ldquo;yes&rdquo; or &ldquo;no&rdquo; votes, but may expend public funds on informational activities that provide a fair representation of the facts surrounding a ballot measure. In short, education is permitted; advocacy is not.</p> <p>The prohibition on the use of public funds for traditional campaigning purposes is founded on the principle that proponents and opponents of a local proposition have an equal right and interest in the use of local public monies and resources. Selective and imbalanced use of public funds in election campaigns improperly distorts the democratic process.</p> <p>Although no particular rule governs every case, the following factors help distinguish between improper campaigning activities and proper, informational activities:</p> <ul type="disc"> <li>Balanced Presentation. Legitimate informational activities are those that present information relevant to both sides of an issue, including potentially positive and negative impacts. One way to ensure a balanced presentation is to provide measure opponents (who, by definition, might not have had a hand in crafting the ballot measure)actual access to publications so they may provide their contrary point of view.</li> </ul> <ul type="disc"> <li>Campaign Materials. Public monies should not fund items such as bumper stickers, posters, advertising floats or television or radio spot surging a particular vote on a measure.</li> </ul> <ul type="disc"> <li>Public Meetings. The agency&rsquo;s view on a measure may be expressed at a noticed public meeting because individuals in opposition to the agency&rsquo;s view are afforded an opportunity to speak out. In this situation, the agency is not limited to providing a fair presentation of the facts, and members of the governing board may advocate for or against a measure.</li> </ul> <ul type="disc"> <li>Use of Public Resources. Using public resources to influence voters on a measure is not permitted. Public resources include any property owned by the agency, including buildings, facilities, funds, equipment, telephones, supplies, computers and vehicles. Public resources also include the use of agency staff. Therefore, correspondence favoring or opposing a measure should not be authored by agency employees during working hours.</li> </ul> <p><b>Preparing or Developing a Ballot Measure (Before Inclusion on the Ballot)</b></p> <p>One of the primary functions of elected and appointed officials is to devise legislative proposals to implement the current administration&rsquo;s policies. Consequently, courts have held that a public agency may prepare, develop and draft proposed legislation, including a ballot measure, to be submitted to the voters. A public body&rsquo;s ability to prepare and present a ballot measure probably includes some ability to publish and disseminate it, but these activities should not exceed what is statutorily prescribed under the Elections Code and what the agency normally does in connection with public notification of other minute motions, resolutions and ordinances ordinarily adopted by the agency.</p> <p><b>Campaigning by Officials </b></p> <p>As discussed above, the use of public funds in connection with a ballot measure is restricted to informational activities. However, when the use of public funds or resources is not involved, this restriction does not apply. Therefore, agency officials may attend rallies and neighborhood meetings, or go door-to-door, as long as they do not represent that they are doing so in connection with official business and are not using public funds or time in connection with such activities. Where agency time or funds are involved, the effort must be strictly limited to providing objective information to the public. It is also important to note that public employees are specifically prohibited from participating in any sort of political activity while in uniform.</p> <p>Officials who wish to participate in activities concerning ballot measures may do so in their individual, as opposed to official, capacity.</p> <p>They may also expend their own personal funds on a measure and identify themselves as being affiliated with the agency in any presentation or publication advocating for or against the passage of the measure. However, it should be clear that such presentation or publication is paid for with the official&rsquo;s personal funds, or some other funding source, and not with public funds.</p> <p><i>* This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.publicceo.com/2014/10/to-campaign-or-not-to-campaign-a-refresher/"><span style="color: #0000ff">PublicCEO.com</span></a> on Oct. 14, 2014. Republished with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News14 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34281&format=xmlCities can offset cracked sidewalk liabilityhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34287&format=xml<p>Despite procedural safeguards designed. by the state Legislature to prevent municipalities from becoming the insurer of public ways against all defects, California cities continue to become engaged in litigation arising out of &quot;trip and fall&quot; accidents along its miles and miles of public sidewalks. While excessive litigation against private citizens and corporations is problematic, excessive litigation against California's public entities has devastating potential. The immunities afforded to such entities by the Government Claims Act, codified at Government Code Section 810 et seq., occasionally prove inadequate in protecting against the expenditure of tax payer dollars when defending dangerous condition of public property litigation.</p> <p>Generally, municipalities are not liable for dangerous conditions of public property where a condition does not pose a substantial (as opposed to trivial) risk of injury to foreseeable users when used with due care. Government Code Sections 830 and 830.2. Yet, in the case of height differentials, cracks, spalling and other defects commonly afflicting city sidewalks, to what extent do private property owners owe a duty to pedestrians and bicyclists for the condition of public sidewalks immediately adjacent to or abutting their property? Streets and Highways Code Section 561o, which imposes a duty of maintenance and repair upon private property owners, often goes unused and even unknown by many public agencies.</p> <p>In relevant part, Section 5610 provides that, &quot;owners of lots or portions of lots fronting on any portion of a public street ... shall maintain any sidewalk in such condition that the sidewalk will not endanger persons or property.' While it is notable that Section 561.0 does not impose any liability for personal injuries to third parties for a condition of a public sidewalk upon a private property owner, it does impose a duty upon a private property owner to share in the cost of maintaining the adjacent sidewalk In other words, Section 5610 can be utilized by municipalities to help offset the cost of repair to and maintenance of old, damaged, worn out or defective sidewalks, thereby reducing overall costs to the municipalities.</p> <i>To read the full article in the Daily Journal, which ran Oct. 14, 2014, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/SubMain.cfm?seloption=NEWS&amp;pubdate=10/14/2014&amp;shNewsType=NEWS&amp;NewsId=-1&amp;sdivId=&amp;screenHt=670#section=tab3.cfm%3Fseloption%3Dnews%26pubdate%3D10/14/2014%26shNewsType%3DPerspective%26NewsId%3D937654%26sdivId%3Dtab3"><u><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></u></a> (subscription required).</i>BB&K In The News14 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34287&format=xmlState Water Board Releases Draft Safe Drinking Water Planhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34246&format=xml<p>The State Water Resources Control Board released a draft Safe Drinking Water Plan for California. The draft plan assesses the quality of the state's drinking water, identifies specific water quality problems, analyzes known and potential health risks that may be associated with drinking water contamination, and provides specific recommendations to improve drinking water quality.</p> <p>With the transition of the Drinking Water Program from the California Department of Public Health on July 1 the State Water Board now has the primary authority to enforce federal and state safe drinking water acts, and is responsible for the regulatory oversight of about 8,000 public water systems throughout the state. One of the goals in transferring the program was to promote safe drinking water through more integrated water quality management, from source to tap.</p> <p>The draft plan contains 32 practical recommendations in nine areas that would expand the State Water Board&rsquo;s efforts to bring a greater number of systems into compliance. Recommendations include consolidating small water systems with larger systems wherever feasible, increasing funding to small and disadvantaged communities, and increased emergency preparedness.</p> <p>The State Water Board is accepting comments on the draft plan until Dec. 15. If your agency is concerned about the contents of the draft plan or would like assistance submitting comments, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental and Natural Resources</span></a> or&nbsp;<a target="_top" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal</span></a>&nbsp; practice groups, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts13 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=34246&format=xmlSurviving a Career in Law Enforcementhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33781&format=xml<p>Paul Cappitelli, a law enforcement specialist at Best Best &amp; Krieger, LLP, reflects on 37 years of working in and around law enforcement in an article he penned for LawOfficer.com. There are challenges to surviving a law enforcement career, he writes, including injuries, mistakes and unethical conduct.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.lawofficer.com/article/leadership/surviving-career-law-enforceme"><span style="color: #0000ff">Read the article, and his tips for increasing the longevity of a law enforcement career, by clicking here.</span></a></p>BB&K In The News10 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33781&format=xmlBB&K Partner Michelle Ouellette Among Diversity Journal's 2015 Women Worth Watchinghttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33728&format=xml<p><b>RIVERSIDE, Calif.</b> _ Michelle Ouellette, a Best Best &amp; Krieger partner in the firm&rsquo;s Riverside office, is one of 160 women named to the <i>Diversity Journal&rsquo;s</i> 2015 Women Worth Watching&reg; list. Ouellette, who practices in the Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources group, was nominated for her positive influence on diversity both inside and outside the workplace.</p> <p>In the September/October 2014 edition of <i>Diversity Journal</i>, Ouellette gives a first-person account of lessons learned during her career &mdash; including how building relationships, staying competitive and working hard can lead to success. (<a target="_blank" href="http://www.womenworthwatching.com/michelle-ouellette/"><span style="color: #0000ff">Click here to see the article</span></a>.)</p> <p>&ldquo;Michelle represents what can be accomplished by women, or anyone, who work hard and are passionate about what they do,&rdquo; said BB&amp;K Partner Danielle Sakai, who oversees recruiting. &ldquo;She sets a fantastic example for the less experienced female attorneys in the firm, whom she supports and mentors.&rdquo;</p> <p>This is the <i>Diversity Journal&rsquo;s</i> 13th year publishing this list, which includes women from a variety of industries and locations nationwide. &ldquo;When we launched our inaugural Women Worth Watching issue, we knew we were doing something unique,&rdquo; said Kathie Sandlin, the magazine&rsquo;s editor in chief. &ldquo;We may not have been the first to celebrate the accomplishments of women in business, but we knew by telling their stories, we could help propel the wave of high achievers that would certainly follow.&rdquo;</p> <p>BB&amp;K has a strong commitment to diversity. In May 2014, <i>The American Lawyer</i> ranked BB&amp;K No. 12 in attorney racial diversity out of more than 200 of the largest and highest-grossing law firms nationwide on their annual &quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/88E17A/assets/files/documents/Diversity-Scorecard-2014.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Diversity Scorecard</span></a>.&quot; In addition, BB&amp;K was recognized in June 2014 by <i>Law360</i> for being one of the top 25 U.S. law firms - out of 400 surveyed - that have the highest percentage of female partners. BB&amp;K ranked No. 13 on <i>Law360</i>&rsquo;s first ever &quot;<span style="color: #0000ff"><u><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&amp;an=31314&amp;format=xml">Ceiling Smashers</a></u></span>&quot; list, with women accounting for nearly a third of the firm&rsquo;s partners.</p> <p align="center">###</p> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP</i></b><i> is a national law firm that focuses on environmental, business, education, municipal and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With 200 attorneys, the law firm has nine offices nationwide, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington D.C. For more information, visit </i><span style="color: #0000ff"><i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</span></a></i></span><i><span> or follow @BBKlaw on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.twitter.com/bbklaw"><span style="color: #0000ff">Twitter</span></a>.</span></i>Press Releases09 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33728&format=xmlThe Great Energy Debatehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32589&format=xml<p>Join BB&amp;K Partners Robert Hargreaves and Sophie Akins at the Southern California Energy Summit&rsquo;s &ldquo;The Great Energy Debate,&rdquo; Oct. 9 &ndash; 10, in Palm Springs, Calif. They will be joined by regional leaders from the counties of Riverside, San Bernardino, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, Kern and Los Angeles to discuss the opportunities, challenges and solutions facing the various energy industries of Southern California. Learn from private and public sector leaders about how new programs, policy and trends that will affect your business and community. Explore interactive exhibits and discover new energy efficient and sustainable technologies.</p> <p>Be sure to stop by BB&amp;K&rsquo;s booth on Friday, Oct. 10.</p> <p>BB&amp;K Speakers</p> <p>&ldquo;Renewable Energy Opportunities at the Salton Sea&rdquo;<br /> What current efforts are underway to facilitate renewable energy opportunities and restoration? What renewable energy opportunities are on horizon?<br /> Moderator: Robert Hargreaves, Partner, Best Best &amp; Krieger</p> <p>&ldquo;Advancing Local Rooftop Solar &amp; Energy Storage&rdquo; <br /> How can the region support the advancement of local rooftop solar and energy storage?&nbsp; How do we engage property owners to participate?&nbsp;How do we make it happen with utilities (municipal vs. investor) considering interconnection costs, upgrades, etc.? These and other questions will be addressed.<br /> Moderator: &nbsp;Sophie Akins, Partner, Best Best &amp; Krieger</p> <p>When<br /> Oct. 9-10, 2014</p> <p>Where:<br /> Palm Springs Convention Center<br /> 277 N. Avenida Caballeros<br /> Palm Springs, CA 92262</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the Southern California Energy Summit page by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.socalenergysummit.org/index.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements09 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32589&format=xmlHydrology and the Lawhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32004&format=xml<p>Program Co-Chair and BB&amp;K Managing Partner <b>Eric Garner</b> and Partner <b>Shawn Hagerty</b> are among the presenters at this one-day seminar titled &ldquo;Hydrology and the Law: Effective Tools for Resolving Water Rights and Damages Issues&rdquo; in Santa Monica, Calif. and webcast live. California is in the midst of a historic drought. Surface water deliveries are at an all-time low and many groundwater basins are being significantly drawn down. As the State, other public agencies and private interests struggle with how to maintain supplies in the short and long term, as well as protect the environment and comply with environmental regulations, understanding how hydrology and the law interrelate has never been more important.</p> <p>This one-day 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 and pending groundwater legislation, as well as how hydrology comes into play during litigation. This seminar will help practitioners in both fields improve their overall understanding of these very interrelated fields just as water issues are front page news.</p> <p style="text-align: left"><strong><em>Half-price registration is available to BB&amp;K guests. Please call (206) 567-4490 or email </em></strong><strong><a href="http://wiseadmin.net/wise2/fckeditor/editor/dialog/ndawber@lawseminars.com%20"><em><font color="#0000ff">ndawber@lawseminars.com</font></em></a><em> and mention BB&amp;K to obtain this special discount.</em></strong></p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b></p> <p>Eric Garner<br /> 8:30 a.m., &ldquo;Introduction and Overview: Surface and Groundwater Law and Relevant Legal Concepts&rdquo;<br /> 2:30 p.m., &ldquo;The Practical Application of Science to New Groundwater Regulation&rdquo;</p> <p>Shawn Hagerty<br /> 1:30 p.m., &ldquo;The Practical Application of Science to Current Water Quality Issues: Challenges of Certainty in an Uncertain World&rdquo;</p> <p><b>What You Will Learn</b></p> <ul> <li>Hydrology of surface water, groundwater and sub-surface flows</li> <li>Water supply forecasting</li> <li>Application of science to water quality issues</li> <li>New groundwater regulations</li> <li>The use of science in resolving water quality disputes and damages</li> </ul> <p><b>Who Should Attend</b></p> <ul> <li>Attorneys</li> <li>Consultants</li> <li>Real estate developers</li> <li>Agricultural water users</li> <li>Agency and Tribal representatives</li> <li>Anyone else involved in water issues in California</li> </ul> <p><b>Date:</b><br /> Oct. 7, 2014<br /> 8 a.m. &ndash; 5 p.m.</p> <p><b>Location:</b><br /> DoubleTree Guest Suites Santa Monica Hotel or Live via Webcast</p> <p><b>Continuing Education Credits</b><br /> Live credits: Law Seminars International is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 6.75 California MCLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.</p> <p>For more information, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.lawseminars.com/detail.php?SeminarCode=14HYCA"><font color="#0000ff">visit the Law Seminars International event page by clicking here</font></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements07 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32004&format=xmlClimate Action Planning by Local Governmenthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32363&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K attorneys <b>Fernando Avila</b> and <b>Charity Schiller</b> will present &ldquo;Urban Density, Transit, Water/Energy Conservation and Distributed Energy: Climate Action Planning by Local Government&rdquo; at CLE International&rsquo;s &ldquo;California Greenhouse Gas Regulations&rdquo; two-day program.</p> <p><b>When:</b><br /> Oct. 6, 2014<br /> 3:30 p.m.</p> <p><b>Location:</b><br /> Hotel Nikko, San Francisco<br /> For more information or to register, visit CLE International by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cle.com/product.php?proid=1469&amp;src=Featured&amp;page=California_Greenhouse_Gas_Regulations"><font color="#0000ff">clicking here</font></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements07 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32363&format=xmlCEQA Associate - Riverside, Irvine or LAhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=7930&format=xml<p>Our Environmental &amp; Natural Resources Group has an immediate opening for an associate with a minimum of 4 years of CEQA experience (both transactional and litigation), as well as land use experience. A planning background is ideal.&nbsp; The attorney can be based in our Riverside, Irvine or Los Angeles office; however, he/she must be willing to work out of our Riverside office regularly and as needed.<br /> <br /> Qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applicants must attach a resume, transcript and cover letter to be considered for employment. This self-apply feature is compatible with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 &amp; 9, Mozilla Firefox for Windows, or Safari for Macintosh.<br /> <br /> <a target="_blank" href="https://lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx?%40Pl3%3cKWEX%40=2%3e4&amp;%3db8=8_CG">lawcruit.micronapps.com/sup/lc_supp_jobpost.aspx</a></p> <p>Please address your cover letter to:<br /> <br /> <strong><span>Jill N. Willis<br /> </span></strong><span><em>Chief Talent Officer<br /> </em>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP<br /> 300 South Grand Avenue, 25th Floor<br /> Los Angeles, CA 90071<br /> </span><em><span><br /> </span><strong><span><em><strong>No phone calls please</strong></em><br /> <br /> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.</i></b></span></strong></em></p>Job Openings at BB&K07 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=7930&format=xmlLegislation Broadening Infrastructure Financing Districts Signed by Gov. Brownhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33498&format=xml<p>Four bills affecting infrastructure financing districts, a funding mechanism for infrastructure and development projects that benefit the broader community, were recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. IFDs, created in 1990, have garnered renewed interest after the dissolution of redevelopment in California as a way for cities to capture the resulting increase in property tax revenues generated by the affected area (tax increment financing). The legislative intent to provide an alternative means for local communitiesto finance public infrastructure and improvements, in the wake of the dissolution of redevelopment agencies, is explicitly noted in these bills:</p> <p><span style="color: #0000ff"><b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0601-0650/sb_628_bill_20140929_chaptered.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">SB 628</span></a></b></span> by Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) allows local agencies to create enhanced infrastructure financing districts &nbsp;to finance specified infrastructure projects and facilities, and reduces the statutory threshold for voter approval of an EIFD&rsquo;s issuance of tax increment bonds from two-thirds to 55 percent. An EIFD&rsquo;s lifespan is also significantly extended from 30 years to a period of no more than 45 years from the date on which the issuance of bonds is approved. An EIFD authorizes the issuance of bonds to finance capital public infrastructure projects with tax increment financing.<br /> <br /> EIFDs can be used to finance every type of public infrastructure, as well as other types of capital projects. Eligible projects include transportation, transit, water treatment, flood control and storm water quality management, industrial facilities for private use, affordable housing, childcare facilities, libraries, parks, public facilities, energy, solid waste disposal and environmental impact mitigation. EIFDs also have the power to finance the re-use of former military bases, fund transit projects, and construct and rehabilitate affordable housing units.</p> <p>EIFDs may also utilize any powers under the Polanco Redevelopment Act, which would allow the EIFD to take actions necessary to remedy or remove a release of hazardous substances within the EIFD&rsquo;s boundaries.</p> <p>Among the prerequisites for forming an EIFD, cities with former redevelopment agencies must have received a finding of completion from the Department of Finance, and resolved all outstanding litigation matters.</p> <p><span style="color: #0000ff"><b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0601-0650/sb_614_bill_20140929_chaptered.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">SB 614</span></a></b></span> by Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Vacaville) allows a local agency, until Jan. 1, 2025, to use tax increment financing in a newly formed or reorganized IFD to fund improvements or upgrades to structures, roads, sewer or water facilities, or other infrastructure that serves a disadvantaged unincorporated community. A community qualifies as a &ldquo;disadvantaged unincorporated community&rdquo; if the annual median household income is less than 80 percent&nbsp;of the statewide annual median household income.</p> <p><a href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0201-0250/ab_229_bill_20140929_chaptered.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff"><b>AB 229</b> </span></a>by Assemblymember John Perez (D-Los Angeles ) authorizes a city to form an IFD to finance projects on a former military base and dedicate any portion of its funds from the Redevelopment Agency Property Tax Trust Fund to the district. The bill also allows districts to finance projects in former RDA areas.</p> <p><span style="color: #0000ff"><b><a target="_blank" href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_2251-2300/ab_2292_bill_20140929_chaptered.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">AB 2292</span></a></b></span>&nbsp;by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) authorizes cities to create IFDs that can issue bonds to pay for public capital facilities or projects for broadband. Before AB 2292, city-wide fiber optic networks could qualify for IFD financing in some cases, even though it was not specifically included in the definition of eligible projects for communitywide infrastructure. The bill expands the definition of public capital facilities to specifically include broadband and any communications network facilities that enable high-speed Internet access.</p> <p>If you have any questions about IFDs, tax increment financing or economic development, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the firm&rsquo;s <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>. For more discussion and updates on IFDs, please visit <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbknowledge.com/"><span style="color: #0000ff">BBKnowledge.com</span></a> and subscribe to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2121"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K Legal Alerts</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 Alerts06 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33498&format=xmlGovernor Signs Legislation Amending California's Water Service Duplication Statutehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33541&format=xml<p>Assembly Bill 2443, signed Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown, amends California&rsquo;s Water Service Duplication Statute to allow for political subdivisions, such as municipalities or county water districts, to provide recycled water service to customers within the service area of privately owned water companies that do not currently provide recycled water service, upon the political subdivision&rsquo;s compliance with the Water Recycling Act.</p> <p>Under previous law, the California Water Service Duplication Statute attempted to grant privately owned water companies the right to be paid compensation for the diminution in the value of their property occurring as a result of the duplication of water service by a political subdivision, which was interpreted by some to prevent the expansion of recycled water service.&nbsp;The lone exception to this rule was a legislative amendment that exempted the use of recycled water by entities in Los Angeles County from the compensation requirement of the Statute.&nbsp;</p> <p>Specifically, AB 2443 makes inapplicable the requirement that a mutual water company is entitled to compensation when a public agency constructs facilities to provide or extend recycled water service to the territory of the mutual water company and has fully complied with the Water Recycling Act. However, this exemption would not apply in the case of a public agency providing or extending recycled water service to the territory of the mutual water company that already provides recycled water service, or has developed specific plans to provide recycled water service, by Dec. 31.</p> <p>For more information about how this amendment to the Water Service Duplication Statute will affect your agency, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a> 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 Alerts03 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33541&format=xmlBest in Law: Hybrid corporations combine profit and good willhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33579&format=xml<p>By George Reyes and Patrick Monroe</p> <p>In 2012, California created two new subtypes of stock corporations &ndash; a &ldquo;Flexible Purpose Corporation&rdquo; and a &ldquo;Benefit Corporation&rdquo; (also known as a &ldquo;B corporation&rdquo;).</p> <p>These new subtypes enable entrepreneurs to form hybrid corporations, operating with both economic and social objectives. California is one of at least six states to acknowledge entities that pursue profit as well as aim to create a positive impact on society.</p> <p>These stock corporation subtypes differ from both traditional, for-profit corporations that are organized to pursue profit and nonprofit corporations that must be used solely to promote social benefits.</p> <p>Traditionally, directors and officers who pursued activity outside of the scope of the purpose of a corporation could be held liable to shareholders. These new entities give directors and officers the flexibility to pursue both profit and social objectives without the risk of liability associated with doing so in a traditional corporation.</p> <p>Although these hybrid corporations provide greater flexibility to those who run them, they are rather new in California and have little, if any legal, precedent to support them. The precedent that does exists is from other states, which California is not required to follow.</p> <p>A lack of precedent creates uncertainty as to what directors and officers can and cannot do within the bounds of the law. This should be considered when deciding whether or not to form a Flexible Purpose Corporation or a Benefit Corporation.</p> <p>Some owners are enticed by the marketing prospects of claiming that their corporation provides a social benefit, and therefore are interested in converting their traditional for-profit corporations into a Flexible Purpose Corporation or Benefit Corporation. However, this can actually have a devaluing effect on the corporation. In a hybrid corporation, management can redirect assets to activities that often do not result in profit, which ultimately could result in a lower share price.</p> <p>For those corporations that are primarily profit driven, a hybrid corporation probably is not a good choice since the shareholders or future investors may be resistant to trade profit for good will.</p> <p>On the other hand, organizations that are primarily driven by a passion for doing good could benefit from forming a hybrid corporation rather than a traditional for-profit or nonprofit corporation. A hybrid corporation can receive investment from like-minded people without running the risk of being sued by profit-minded shareholders.</p> <p>In addition, the hybrid corporation can take profits for its shareholders without having to worry about the restrictive tax rules that govern nonprofit corporations.</p> <p>Ultimately, the decision to use a hybrid corporation should be based on the founders&rsquo; true motives balanced with their tolerance for risk and willingness to follow the applicable rules.</p> <p><i>*This article first appeared in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.pe.com/articles/corporation-751183-profit-corporations.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">The Press-Enterprise</span></a> on Oct. 2 , 2014. Republished with permission.</i></p>BB&K In The News02 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33579&format=xmlGuidance Lacking for On-Street Disabled Parkinghttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33524&format=xml<p>The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled in <i>Fortyune v. City of Lomita</i>, 2014 DJDAR 12344 (Sept. 25, 2014), that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires cities to provide on-street parking that is accessible to people with disabilities. Though handicapped parking is commonplace, the existing design standards only govern parking within facilities, not on-street parking.</p> <p><i>Fortyune</i> is the first case to find an obligation under the ADA, even in the absence of corresponding design standards.</p> <p>The plaintiff in <i>Fortyune</i> was a paraplegic who alleged that he experienced &quot;great difficulty, discomfort, and even fear for his safety&quot; because of a lack of accessible on-street parking. The city moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that, without specific regulations targeting on-street parking, the city could not have any obligations under the ADA. The 9th Circuit found that, despite the lack of accessibility standards, on-street parking is a normal function of a city and therefore must be made accessible. In essence, the decision in <i>Fortyune</i> interprets the ADA as requiring a general obligation to make all public services accessible, and therefore it is not limited to specific regulations.</p> <p>The U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for developing regulations to implement the ADA. As part of this duty, the DOJ adopts specific technical and scoping standards for the design and construction of public facilities. All public facilities that have been constructed or altered since 1991- when the ADA regulations first became effective - must be built and constructed in conformance with these standards.</p> <i>Click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/submain.cfm#section=tab3.cfm%3Fseloption%3Dnews%26pubdate%3D10/02/2014%26shNewsType%3DPerspective%26NewsId%3D937491%26sdivId%3Dtab3"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a> to read the entire article published on Oct. 2, 2014 in the Daily Journal (subscription required).</i>BB&K In The News02 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33524&format=xmlAppeals Court Rules Fingerprint Impressions Are Records Of Arrest That Can Be Sealed and Destroyedhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33530&format=xml<p><b>Overview: </b>The California Court of Appeal held that fingerprint impressions taken of suspects at the time of their arrest constitute &ldquo;records of arrest&rdquo; that can be sealed and destroyed if the suspect is found to be factually innocent under Penal Code section 851.8.</p> <p><b>Training Points: </b>While all law enforcement agencies are required to submit fingerprint impressions of arrestees to the Department of Justice and the Attorney General&rsquo;s Office, some agencies have their own internal policies regarding when to retain or when to destroy this evidence.</p> <p><b>Summary Analysis: </b>In <i>People v. Christiansen, </i>Christiansen appealed her conviction on charges related to violations of the conflict-of-interest laws under the Government Code. Her convictions were reversed, her sentence vacated and the charges dismissed. On remand, Christiansen moved for a dismissal of the charges and a finding of &ldquo;factual innocence&rdquo; under Penal Code section 851.8, including an order that all records of her arrest and conviction be sealed and destroyed. The court granted Christiansen&rsquo;s request for relief under Penal Code section 851.8, declaring Christiansen &ldquo;factually innocent&rdquo; of the charges and ordered her arrest record sealed and destroyed. But, rather than issuing an order to destroy her fingerprint impressions, the court ordered them retained. Christiansen appealed.</p> <p>The Appellate Court held that Christiansen&rsquo;s fingerprint impressions constituted &ldquo;records of arrest&rdquo; within the meaning of Penal Code section 851.8, and should have been sealed and destroyed since Christiansen was found to be factually innocent. &nbsp;The Court rejected the prosecution&rsquo;s argument that Christiansen&rsquo;s fingerprint impressions should be retained to track arrests and convictions. The Court found this argument nonsensical since the statute itself <i>requires</i> the destruction of records of arrests of persons found to be factually innocent, therefore obviating the need to track or retain information about these persons.</p> <p>An affected agency can expect to receive a letter from the defendant&rsquo;s counsel with the court order to seal and destroy records and fingerprint impressions.</p> <p><b>Follow-Up Contact: </b>For questions regarding this case or its implications for your agency and public safety department, please contact one of the authors of this bulletin listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=2532&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Safety practice</span></a>, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i>Legal Alerts02 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33530&format=xmlA Summary of California Water Rights Systems and a Primer for Public Water Agency Directorshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31201&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K attorneys Eric Garner and Jeff Ferre will be presenting at the Water Education Foundation&rsquo;s 2014 Water 101 Workshop. This course offers the opportunity to learn the California water basics and water district board member governance. It is open to anyone interested in learning more about the history of, and the management structure of, water in California, and about the key water issues facing the State &ndash; including the drought, groundwater management and the potential for a 2014 water bond.</p> <p>BB&amp;K Managing Partner Eric Garner will present &ldquo;Summary of California Water Rights Systems&rdquo; on Thursday, Oct. 2 at 10:30 a.m. Eric will discuss:</p> <ul> <li>Riparian Rights</li> <li>Appropriative Rights</li> <li>Groundwater Law and Cases</li> <li>Reasonable and Beneficial Use</li> <li>Public Trust Law and Cases</li> </ul> <p>BB&amp;K Partner Jeff Ferre will present &ldquo;Governance Primer for Water District Directors&rdquo; on Friday, Oct. 3 at 9 a.m. He will speak about:</p> <ul> <li>The Role and Responsibilities of a Water District Director</li> <li>Building an Effective Board</li> <li>The Brown Act &ndash; Basic Requirements</li> <li>The Fair Political Practices Act &ndash; Basic Requirements</li> <li>Conflict of Interest Code</li> <li>Requirements for Ethics Training</li> <li>Avoiding Common Legal and Political Pitfalls for Directors</li> </ul> <p><strong>Audience:<br /> </strong>The course will be especially beneficial to water resource industry staff, engineering and environmental firm personnel, legislators, legislative staff, press, advocates, stakeholders, environmentalists, public interest organizations and water district directors.</p> <p><strong>When:</strong><br /> Thursday, Oct. 2 &ndash; Friday, Oct. 3, 2014</p> <p>Where:<br /> The Cucamonga Valley Water District&rsquo;s Frontier Project in Rancho Cucamonga</p> <p>For more information or to register, please click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.watereducation.org/foundation-event/water-101-workshop"><span style="color: #0000ff"><span style="background-color: #ffffff">here</span></span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements02 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=31201&format=xmlNinth Circuit: City's Pioneering Drug-Disposal Ordinance Does Not Violate Commerce Clausehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33795&format=xml<p>If your medicine cabinet is filled with old prescriptions and other medications that you no longer want or can use, you might have asked: how and where should I get rid of these? <a href="http://www.imla.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Pills.jpg"><img class="alignright size-medium wp-image-1109" border="0" hspace="15" alt="Pills" vspace="15" align="right" src="http://www.imla.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Pills-300x200.jpg" width="300" height="200" scale="0" /></a></p> <p>Local governments are beginning to provide an answer. Old medications are not only misused, they also pose dangers for the environment. Flushing pills or putting them in the trash can contaminate drinking water and cause other environmental problems.<br /> <br /> But disposal programs can be expensive. What&rsquo;s a local government to do?</p> <p>Alameda County, California, devised a solution. It passed a <a target="_blank" href="https://www.acgov.org/aceh/safedisposal/documents/SDD-Regulations.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance</span></a> that requires any prescription drug producer who sells, offers for sale, or distributes drugs in the County to participate in a program to collect and dispose of the County&rsquo;s unwanted drugs.</p> <p>Manufacturers and distributors objected, however. They claimed that requiring them to pay for the program violates the dormant Commerce Clause because it discriminates against or directly regulates interstate commerce. Are they right?</p> <p>On Tuesday, <a target="_blank" href="http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2014/09/30/13-16833.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">the Ninth Circuit said</span></a> that the program does <em>not</em> violate the Commerce Clause.</p> <p>The court ruled that the ordinance does not discriminate against interstate commerce because the ordinance &ldquo;both on its face and in effect, applies to all manufacturers that make their drugs available in Alameda County&mdash;without respect to the geographic location of the manufacturer.&rdquo; The court explained that an ordinance that applies across-the-board &ldquo;provides no geographic advantages.&rdquo; The court also rejected the view that the ordinance impermissibly shifts costs to counties and states outside of Alameda so that there could be no check through the Alameda political process. The court noted that the ordinance would also require Alameda residents to pay more for their drugs.</p> <p>The court also ruled that the ordinance does not directly regulate interstate commerce, by controlling conduct beyond the county&rsquo;s borders. Among other things, the court noted that the County may regulate a business whose only connection to the County is interstate commerce:</p> <blockquote> <p>[T]here is nothing unusual or unconstitutional per se about a state or county regulating the in-state conduct of an out-of-state entity when the out-of-state entity chooses to engage the state or county through interstate commerce.</p> </blockquote> <p>Finally, the court ruled that the ordinance does not impose burdens that are clearly excessive in relation to its putative benefits under the test of <a target="_blank" href="http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?q=397+U.S.+137+&amp;hl=en&amp;as_sdt=2006&amp;case=31785783815027646&amp;scilh=0"><span style="color: #0000ff"><em>Pike v. Bruce Church, Inc., </em>397 U.S. 137 (1970).</span></a> Because the court could find no evidence that the ordinance would affect the interstate &ldquo;flow of goods,&rdquo; it could not conclude that the ordinance would substantially burden interstate commerce. It noted that the challengers had stipulated to the program&rsquo;s benefits, that legislative determinations about safety are entitled to a strong presumption of validity, and that the fact that the County could run a program at its own expense would not nullify the program&rsquo;s benefits.</p> <p>Image courtesy of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/emagineart/4741451457/"><span style="color: #0000ff">Flickr</span></a> by <a target="_blank" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/emagineart/"><span style="color: #0000ff">E-MagineArt.com</span></a> (<a target="_blank" href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/"><span style="color: #0000ff">creative-commons license, no changes made</span></a>).</p>Blogs01 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33795&format=xmlGovernor Signs Two Gun-Related Bills; Vetoes Onehttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33500&format=xml<p>Gov. Jerry Brown recently took action on three bills of interest to law enforcement. He signed a measure allowing temporary restraining orders to block gun use, approved a bill requiring toy guns to be brightly colored and vetoed legislation that would have required Californians to register homemade guns. The bills are intended to improve law enforcement agencies&rsquo; ability to prevent gun-related deaths in their communities.</p> <p><span style="color: #0000ff"><b><a target="_blank" href="https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB1014"><span style="color: #0000ff">Assembly Bill 1014</span></a></b></span><span style="color: #0000ff">,</span> introduced in response to the recent shooting near the University of California, Santa Barbara, will allow family members of individuals displaying signs of mental instability to request a court order temporarily barring gun use and purchase of firearms. Modeled after California&rsquo;s domestic violence restraining order laws, the intent of this legislation is to potentially limit the access of mentally unstable individuals to firearms. The legislation allows a court to bar possession of firearms for up to 21 days, after which a hearing must be held.</p> <p>Additionally, Governor Brown signed <span style="color: #0000ff"><b><a target="_blank" href="http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB199"><span style="color: #0000ff">Senate Bill 199</span></a></b></span>, which requires toy guns be brightly colored in response to tragic incidents involving children and adults wielding realistic-looking toy guns. Though critics claim this will simply lead to criminals painting their guns to confuse officers, the legislation aims to more readily identify toy guns in situations where lethal force is considered.</p> <p>In contrast, Governor Brown <i>vetoed</i> <span style="color: #0000ff"><b><a target="_blank" href="https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB808"><span style="color: #0000ff">Senate Bill 808</span></a></b></span>, which would have required Californians to register firearms they make themselves. The bill arose out of fear of the increasing availability of homemade guns, including those cobbled together from spare parts and those produced by 3-D printers. Because these guns are not manufactured in traditional ways, they are often untraceable, frustrating law enforcement efforts to solve crimes. Governor Brown commented that adding a serial number to a homemade gun is unlikely to advance public safety.</p> <p>For more information regarding these bills or their implications for your agency and public safety department, please contact one of the authors of this legal alert listed at the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal</span></a> and <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, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.<br /> <br /> <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 Alerts01 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33500&format=xmlImpacts of Changing Markets on Localism and Franchise Renewal and Cable Regulation in the Digital Worldhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33519&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Joseph Van Eaton presented during a panel on &ldquo;Impacts of Changing Markets on Localism&rdquo; at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors on Oct. 1 in St. Paul, Minn. A copy of his PowerPoint presentation, &ldquo;Mega-Mergers and Impacts on Local Government&rdquo; can be found by <span style="color: #0000ff"><a target="_blank" href="https://www.natoa.org/events/annual-conference/2014/"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a></span><span>.<br /> <br /> In addition, BB&amp;K Partner Gerard Lavery Lederer presented &ldquo;Franchise Renewals, Transfers and Cable Regulation in the Digital World.&rdquo; A copy of his PowerPoint presentation can be found by <a target="_blank" href="88E17A/assets/files/Documents/Gerry Presentation to NATOA in 2014.pdf"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</span></p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements01 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33519&format=xmlAsset Protection: Facts and Fantasieshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32606&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K Partner Franklin Adams will be the guest speaker at the Estate Planning Council of Riverside County&rsquo;s monthly meeting in October. He will be discussing &ldquo;Asset Protection: Facts and Fantasies.&rdquo;</p> <p>For more information or to register, please visit the Estate Planning Council of Riverside County by <a target="_blank" href="http://epcriverside.org/events/event/10991"><span style="color: #0000ff">clicking here</span></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements01 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32606&format=xmlRate Setting Compliance, Social Media in Politics and CEQAhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32089&format=xml<p style="text-align: left">BB&amp;K Partners <b>Kelly Salt, </b><b>John Brown, Michelle Ouellette </b>and<b>&nbsp;</b>Of Counsel<b> Fernando Avila</b>&nbsp;and <strong>Sarah Owsowitz</strong> are among the presenters at the CSDA Annual Conference, which will be held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 2014, in Palm Springs, Calif.</p> <p>BB&amp;K is a sponsor of this event.</p> <p><b>BB&amp;K Speakers</b><br /> <b><br /> Kelly Salt</b>, panelist, &ldquo;Rate Setting and the Role of Attorneys and Public Officials in Reviewing Cost-of-Service and Rate Studies for Compliance with Propositions 218 and 26&rdquo;<br /> Oct. 1<br /> 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.<br /> The burden of proof for compliance with the two propositions is on public agencies. Courts will exercise their independent judgment when reviewing whether a public agency has complied with the substantive and procedural requirements of Proposition 218 and whether a fee is a tax under Proposition 26. This presentation will discuss the process for preparing a cost-of-service and rate study, and issues that attorneys and public officials should address in reviewing these studies.</p> <p><b>John Brown</b>, moderator, &ldquo;Citizen Engagement: New Uses of Social Media and the Body Politic&rdquo;<br /> Oct. 1<br /> 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.<br /> This multi-media workshop will combine the perspectives of a general counsel, social media expert and two water district public affairs experts to discuss innovative uses of social media to facilitate constituent communications and promote important issues of public policy on a regional basis.<br /> <br /> Panelists: Director of Legislative &amp; Community Affairs Greg Morrison, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District;<br /> Public Information Associate Jennifer Poland, Hi-Desert Water District and President Teresa Warren, TW2 Marketing<br /> <br /> <b>Michelle Ouellette, Fernando Avila and&nbsp;Sarah Owsowitz</b>&nbsp;panelists, &ldquo;Special Districts and CEQA &ndash; CEQA from Your Perspective&rdquo;<br /> Oct. 1<br /> 3:45 &ndash; 4:45 p.m.<br /> The panel will provide a brief overview of CEQA as it applies to districts and then engage the audience in a wide-ranging conversation based on questions submitted prior to or during the panel about how CEQA works for districts.</p> <p>For more information or to register, visit the CSDA Annual Conference event page by <a href="http://conference.csda.net/#about"><font color="#0000ff">clicking here</font></a>.</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements01 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32089&format=xmlCourt of Appeal Issues Decision Clarifying the Applicability of Prevailing Wage Law to Offsite Fabrication of Materialshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33377&format=xml&nbsp;The California Court of Appeal has ruled that fabrication of materials for a public works project is not subject to California&rsquo;s prevailing wage law if it occurs at a &ldquo;permanent, offsite manufacturing facility, the location and existence of which is determined wholly without regard to the particular public works project.&rdquo; In <i>Sheet Metal Workers&rsquo; International Assn., Local 104 v. Duncan</i>, published Aug. 27, Russ Will Mechanical, Inc. was the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning subcontractor contracted to perform the HVAC component for a community college district project. <p>As part of the public works project, Russ Will fabricated sheet metal for various HVAC components at a permanent offsite facility it had operated for more than a decade. An employee of Russ Will filed a complaint with the Department of Industrial Relations claiming he should have received prevailing wages for his work fabricating sheet metal at the offsite facility. Following the DIR&rsquo;s administrative review of the matter, DIR&rsquo;s final coverage determination concluded that Russ Will was not required to pay prevailing wages. Local 104, which had participated in the DIR proceedings, then filed a petition for a writ of mandate in court challenging the final DIR coverage determination. Local 104&rsquo;s petition was granted, and the court returned the matter to the DIR. Russ Will then appealed.</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/A131489.PDF"><span style="color: #0000ff">The Court of Appeal&rsquo;s decision</span></a> clarifies and solidifies the rule consistently set forth in past DIR coverage determinations that prevailing wage requirements do not apply when the offsite fabrication takes place at a permanent, offsite manufacturing facility, where the location and existence of the facility has no relationship to the public works project in question. While this decision could be appealed to the California Supreme Court, for now, the <i>Sheet Metal Workers&rsquo; International</i> decision provides certainty that the payment of prevailing wages is not required in relation to a public agency&rsquo;s direct purchase of materials for a public works project from a permanent offsite manufacturing facility, so long as the facility&rsquo;s existence is not reliant on, or otherwise related to, the public works project.</p> <p>For more information about this case and how it may impact your agency, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=488&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Education</span></a>, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=487&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Special Districts</span></a> or <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal</span></a>practice groups, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <p><i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i></p>Legal Alerts30 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33377&format=xmlFight over water rates could limit popular tool to encourage conservationhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33602&format=xml<p>By Fiona Smith<br /> <br /> A fight over water rates in the scenic hamlet of San Juan Capistrano is stirring concern among utilities around the state that fear it could threaten the widespread practice of charging high-volume users more than their thrifty neighbors to encourage conservation.</p> <p>A group of residents sued the city of San Juan Capistrano alleging its use of so-called 'tiered&quot; rates is not only unfair but that it violates Proposition 218, a 1996 constitutional amendment. Prop. 218 constrains local agencies' ability to raise revenue by requiring that charges for property-related services be proportional to the cost of providing the service. A 2008 state law specifically authorizes tiered conservation rates and a majority of the state's more than 200 water districts use such a scheme, according to California Department of Water Resource&amp; Supporters of tiered pricing point to a 2009 study in Water Resources Research that concluded that pricing was a more effective and economically efficient way to cut water use compared to command-and-control approaches such as barring hosing down driveways.</p> <p>The Capistrano Taxpayers Association Inc. alleges charging some residents more than others for their water is not proportional to the cost of the service. Under the city's system, residents are given a water budget based on the number of inhabitants and size of their property. If they exceed that water budget, they are charged at higher rates for the excess water.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>Tiered pricing meets the &quot;proportionality&quot; requirement of Prop. 218 because high water users place higher costs on the system by demanding more water. That forces utilities to spend money seeking out new water supplies, said Kelly J. Salt, a partner with Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP who wrote the amicus brief on behalf of the local government groups including the Association of California Water Agencies.</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>The taxpayer group also objects to residential users being charged for the costs of building a recycled water facility that will provide nonpotable water for irrigation and other uses. Prop. 218 prohibits ratepayers for being charged for services &quot;not immediately available&quot; to them, it argues.</p> <p>That issue is extremely important as water agencies around the state try to increase water recycling and clean LID contaminated groundwater to increase nonpotable supplies, said Salt.</p> <p>If that part of the ruling is upheld, it will discourage the construction of recycled water facilities and make them prohibitively expensive by limiting who can be charged for the costs, Salt said. Residential customers benefit from these projects even if they don't use them because it lowers the demand for potable water and lessens the need to seek out expensive supplemental sources of drinking water, she said.</p> <i>To read the full article in the Daily Journal, which ran Sept. 29, 2014, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/SubMain.cfm?shCenFileName=SEARCH&amp;shNewsType=Search&amp;selOption=Search&amp;NewsId=7#section=tab3.cfm%3Fseloption%3DNEWS%26pubdate%3D01/01/2000%26shNewsType%3DSEARCH%26NewsId%3D937439%26sdivId%3Dtab3"><span style="color: #0000ff">click here</span></a> (subscription required).</i>BB&K In The News29 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33602&format=xmlNew Law Expands Local Control Over Massage Industryhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33442&format=xml<p>A new law substantially revises the state&rsquo;s regulation over the massage industry, including expanding cities&rsquo; and counties&rsquo; ability to regulate massage therapists and establishments within their jurisdictions. Importantly, <a target="_blank" href="http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB1147"><span style="color: #0000ff">Assembly Bill 1147</span></a>, signed recently by Gov. Jerry Brown, allows local agencies to impose reasonable zoning, business licensing and health and safety requirements for massage businesses, with some exceptions. This law revises prior legislation, set to sunset this year, that restricted local agencies&rsquo; ability to regulate massage businesses, including entitling these businesses to special zoning protections.</p> <p>In 2008, the Legislature adopted <a target="_blank" href="http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/sen/sb_0701-0750/sb_731_bill_20080927_chaptered.html"><span style="color: #0000ff">Senate Bill 731</span></a>, which created a state-organized nonprofit organization to regulate the massage industry: the California Massage Therapy Council. Under SB 731, and later bills that revised its terms, the CAMTC was given the ability to issue voluntary massage therapist certifications. CAMTC-licensed therapists and establishments only employing CAMTC-licensed therapists were then entitled to special land use, operational and licensing benefits and protections. For example, massage businesses could only be subject to land use regulations that were uniformly applied to all other individuals and businesses providing professional services as defined in the Corporations Code. This legislation is set to expire on Jan. 1.</p> <p>SB 731 was widely criticized by local agencies as providing massage businesses with almost unprecedented protection from local zoning and land use authority, and interfering with local law enforcement efforts to close massage businesses allowing prostitution and other illegal activities. Given the upcoming sunset date for SB 731, the League of California Cities and other stakeholders worked tirelessly to restore local control. AB 1147 is the result of these efforts.</p> <p>In addition to revising internal CAMTC processes and permitting requirements, AB 1147 makes important changes regarding how local agencies can regulate and police massage businesses. Importantly, cities and counties can now adopt local zoning, business licensing and reasonable health and safety requirements with some relatively minor exceptions (examples noted below).</p> <p>From a land use perspective, local agencies cannot define massage establishments as adult businesses. In addition, they cannot require a special massage therapist permit or license for CAMTC-licensed therapists. Lastly, AB 1147 limits local agencies&rsquo; ability to prohibit massage techniques permitted by the CAMTC and state law, impose some dress code requirements for clients and therapists and require some internal building standards that interfere with client privacy or building security. AB 1147 will take effect on Jan. 1 and will sunset on Jan. 1, 2017, unless extended by later legislation.</p> <p>Local agencies that revised their massage ordinances due to SB 731 should consider amending their ordinance to take advantage of the new powers granted by AB 1147, especially the expanded zoning authority.</p> <p>For more details regarding the impact of this legislation, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Municipal Law</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i>Legal Alerts29 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33442&format=xmlNew Law Requires Formal Consultation with Native American Tribes During CEQA Processhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33399&format=xml<p>Assembly Bill 52, signed yesterday by Gov. Jerry Brown, seeks to protect a new class of resources under CEQA: &ldquo;tribal cultural resources.&rdquo; It requires that lead agencies undertaking CEQA review must, upon request of a California Native American tribe, begin consultation prior to the release of a negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration or environmental impact report for a project. AB 52 does not go into effect immediately, but will apply to those projects for which a lead agency has issued a notice of preparation of an environmental impact report or notice of intent to adopt a negative declaration on or after July 1, 2015.</p> <p>Under AB 52, lead agencies must now evaluate, just as they do for other historical and archeological resources under CEQA, a project&rsquo;s potential impact to a &ldquo;tribal cultural resource.&rdquo; A tribal cultural resource is defined as a site, feature, place, cultural landscape, sacred place or object with cultural value to a California Native American tribe, which may include non-unique archeological resources previously subject to limited review under CEQA. &ldquo;California Native American tribes&rdquo; are all tribes (federally recognized or not) on the &ldquo;contact list&rdquo; maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission. If substantial evidence demonstrates that a project may cause a substantial adverse change to a tribal cultural resource, AB 52 provides that the project may have a significant effect on the environment. AB 52 also contains a list of potential mitigation measures, including a preference for preservation in place, which must be considered by a lead agency, unless it determines that the measure is infeasible.</p> <p>AB 52 requires that, by July 1, 2016 (note that this a year <i>after</i> the statute takes effect), NAHC must provide the tribes on its contact list with a list of all public agencies that may serve as a lead agency for projects within the geographic area within which the tribe is traditionally and culturally affiliated. NAHC must also inform these tribes how to request that public agencies notify the tribes about projects for the purposes of requesting consultation.</p> <p>Where a tribe requests, in writing, that a public agency inform it of proposed projects, the lead agency must notify the tribe within 14 days of determining that a project application is complete or deciding to undertake a project (i.e., prior to the release of the environmental document). If the tribe responds by requesting consultation, in writing, within 30 days of the notification, the lead agency must begin the consultation process within 30 days of receiving the request.</p> <p>Consultation may concern the level of environmental review necessary; the significance of a tribal cultural resource and of a project&rsquo;s impact on that resource; and project alternatives and/or mitigation, including those recommended by the tribe. During consultation, lead agencies must also follow certain confidentiality requirements concerning the tribal cultural resources at issue. Consultation ends when 1) the lead agency agrees to incorporate the mitigation requested by the tribe into the CEQA document (if a significant effect exists), or 2) the tribe or the lead agency conclude that agreement cannot be reached. If no agreement is reached, the lead agency must still consider feasible mitigation based on the standards in the statute.</p> <p>For more information about how this law will affect your agency and its CEQA review process, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a> practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</p> <i>Disclaimer: BB&amp;K legal alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information in this communiqu&eacute;.</i>Legal Alerts26 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33399&format=xmlBB&K Partner Eric Garner Named the Best Lawyers 2015 Water Law Lawyer of the Year in Los Angeleshttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33401&format=xml<p><b>LOS ANGELES, Calif.</b>&nbsp;- Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP is pleased to announce that Eric Garner was named the <i>Best Lawyers</i>&reg; 2015 Water Law &ldquo;Lawyer of the Year&rdquo; in Los Angeles. In <i>Best Lawyers </i>magazine, appearing in Los Angeles newspapers today, Garner is featured among the City&rsquo;s most prestigious lawyers, who were selected by their peers.</p> <p>In the magazine profile, Garner discusses how he&rsquo;s made water law his primary practice for 27 years, drawn to the field as early as law school because of its complexity. &ldquo;I thought water law was fascinating because it was so challenging to determine whose interests should come first,&rdquo; Garner said.</p> <p>Garner began his legal career at BB&amp;K, and has served as the firm&rsquo;s managing partner since 2005. <i>Best Lawyers</i> cites the work Garner has done in litigating and negotiating key agreements involving major western U.S. water bodies, including the Santa Maria and Antelope Valley groundwater basins, as well as work he&rsquo;s done internationally &mdash; such as helping South Africa rewrite its water laws after apartheid.</p> <p>He told <i>Best Lawyers</i> his success is a testament to the mentors he&rsquo;s had over the years. &ldquo;From working with brilliant lawyers, I&rsquo;ve learned that being creative is perhaps the most important part of resolving disputes in this area,&rdquo; Garner said.</p> <p>&ldquo;Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as &lsquo;Lawyer of the Year,&rsquo; making this accolade particularly significant,&rdquo; according to <i>Best Lawyers</i>.</p> <p align="center">###</p> <b><i>Best Best &amp; Krieger&rsquo;s Water Rights</i></b><i> practice area is a nationally recognized force in water law since James Krieger&rsquo;s significant role in implementing the State Water Project. As general counsel to water providers, BB&amp;K represents dozens of public agencies that serve water to more than 21 million people, in addition to countless developer, agricultural and manufacturing clients. We regularly advise public agency and private clients on all aspects regarding allocation of scarce water supplies. For more information, visit </i><i><a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/"><span><font color="#0000ff">www.bbklaw.com</font></span></a><span> or follow <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/bbklaw"><span style="color: #0000ff">@BBKlaw </span></a>or <a target="_top" href="https://twitter.com/bbkericgarner"><span style="color: #0000ff">@BBKEricGarner </span></a>on Twitter.</span></i>Press Releases26 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33401&format=xmlA Reception for New Lawyers & Students Pursuing Public Service Careershttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32570&format=xml<p>BB&amp;K co-sponsored the event and Partner <b>Kara Ueda </b>spoke&nbsp;at the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California&rsquo;s Reception for New Lawyers and Students Pursuing Public Service Careers.</p> <p>Kara&nbsp;was among a the distinguished panelists of public-service attorneys who discussed their careers and the qualities they look for when hiring.</p> <p><b>When</b><br /> Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014<br /> Noon &ndash; 1:30 p.m.</p> <p><b>Where</b><br /> University of California, Davis, School of Law<br /> King Hall, Classroom 1001<br /> 400 Mrak Hall Dr.<br /> Davis, CA</p>Conferences & Speaking Engagements25 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=32570&format=xmlPrivacy and police body-worn camerashttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33366&format=xml<p>The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., has turned a white hot light on the issue of equipping all police officers on patrol with body-worn cameras, or BWCs. In the first 20 days after the shooting, the White House &quot;We the People&quot; petition website received more than 150,665 petitions for the so-called &quot;Mike Brown Law&quot; to require all state, county and local police to wear a camera while on patrol. This exceeds the threshold meriting a response from the White House. And, the Ferguson Police Department has since begun the deployment of BWCs.</p> <p>Advocates and observers alike note that BWCs promise to bring transparency, enhanced legitimacy and accountability to police conduct on the street where most encounters with citizens occur and where the vast majority of controversial incidents, including officer-involved shootings and use of force, occur. Experts and citizens alike believe that having a record of what happened will curb police abuse and provide a record for dealing with it when it does. But, the benefits of the technology extend beyond that goal.</p> <p>The city of Rialto's police department deployed and studied BWC technology between February 2012 and July 2013, during which half of patrol officer shifts were equipped with BWCs and half were not. The study reported that officers without BWCs experienced twice as many officer-involved use-of-force incidents as those deploying the technology. Additionally, five use-of-force incidents without BWCs were not precipitated by physical threats to the officers, while there were no such incidents for officers with BWCs. Overall, the Rialto Police Department saw complaints against officers decline by 88 percent and use-of-force incidents decline by 60 percent during the study period, with just 50 percent deployment.</p> <p>This and other studies suggest that BWCs both improve officer behavior toward citizens and citizen conduct during encounters with the police. Other benefits noted include expedited resolution of citizen complaints when made and resolution of lawsuits. BWCs can make substantial contributions to the detection, identification arrest and successful prosecution of criminal offenders, as well as the exoneration of innocent subjects. BWC data can also contribute to police training by bringing the reality of the street to the classroom.</p> <i>Click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/submain.cfm#section=tab3.cfm%3Fseloption%3Dnews%26pubdate%3D09/24/2014%26shNewsType%3DPerspective%26NewsId%3D937382%26sdivId%3Dtab3"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a> to read the entire article published on Sept. 24, 2014 in the Daily Journal (subscription required).</i>BB&K In The News24 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33366&format=xmlGovernor Signs New Laws Amending California's Urban Water Management Planning Acthttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33369&format=xml<p>Under new amendments to California&rsquo;s Urban Water Management Planning Act, urban water suppliers will be required to provide narrative descriptions of their water demand management measures and account for system water losses when preparing Urban Water Management Plans, among other changes. The amended Act, created by Gov. Jerry Brown&rsquo;s signature on Assembly Bill 2067 and Senate Bill 1420 last week, also establishes July 1, 2016 as the deadline for urban water suppliers to prepare and submit their 2015 UWMPs to the Department of Water Resources.</p> <p>Water supply planning in California is more important now than ever before. To that end, the Act generally requires all wholesale and retail urban water suppliers &mdash; whether publicly or privately owned &mdash; that provide water directly or indirectly for municipal purposes to more than 3,000 customers, or more than 3,000 acre-feet per year, to prepare an UWMP. The standard timing requirement is that UWMPs must be adopted at least once every five years on or before December 31 in years ending in five and zero (i.e., 2005, 2010, 2015). Based on previous legislation, the deadline for adopting and submitting the 2010 UWMPs was extended to July 1, 2011, which gave water agencies additional time to comply with the then-new requirements of the Water Conservation Act of 2009 (otherwise known as SBX7-7). Under AB 2067, the deadline for agencies to adopt and submit the next round of 2015 UWMPs will be extended to <b>July 1, 2016</b>. Also notable, SB 1420 amended the Act to require agencies to electronically submit their UWMPs to DWR, and to include any standardized forms, tables, or displays specified by DWR.</p> <p>Demand management remains a critical component of the UWMP process. This was made abundantly clear in 2009 when SBX7-7 was passed to require a statewide 20 percent reduction in urban per capita water use by Dec. 31, 2020. SBX7-7 substantially expanded the role of UWMPs by requiring all urban retail water suppliers to develop baseline daily per capita water use data, urban water use targets, and other technical information, and to report all of the information in their 2010 UWMPs.</p> <p>AB 2067 and SB 1420 mark a continued focus on water use reduction strategies. As amended, the Act will require urban retail water suppliers to provide a &ldquo;narrative description&rdquo; that addresses the nature and extent of each water demand management measure implemented over the last five years, the measures the supplier plans to implement to achieve its water use targets in accordance with SBX7-7, and specific descriptions of certain water saving practices. Urban wholesale water suppliers will also be required to provide narrative descriptions for certain water-saving practices. In addition, the amended Act will require UWMPs to quantify &ldquo;distribution system water loss&rdquo; as a new category of a water supplier&rsquo;s past and current water use. Furthermore, the Act has been amended to allow water use projections to account for water savings estimated to result from applicable codes, standards, ordinances and transportation and land use plans.</p> Similar to when SBX7-7 made it more complicated to prepare the 2010 UWMPs, AB 2067 and SB 1420 have added new requirements and procedures for preparing the next round of 2015 UWMPs. Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP has represented myriad retail and wholesale water providers throughout the state in preparing their UWMPs, Water Supply Assessments, Written Verifications and other water supply analyses required by law. <br /> <br /> <p>For more information about how the Urban Water Management Planning Act will affect your agency, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=492&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)">Environmental Law &amp; Natural Resources</span></a><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)"> </span>practice group, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: rgb(0,0,255)">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.<br /> <br /> <em>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;</em></p>Legal Alerts24 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33369&format=xmlGetting Schooled by the FPPChttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33345&format=xml<p>The Fair Political Practices Commission has initiated a proactive approach to auditing and investigating reporting violations, some focused on school district officials. Rather than waiting for a violation to be brought to its attention, the FPPC conducts &ldquo;proactive investigations&rdquo; in which the Enforcement Division contacts entities known to host events of the type that public officials are likely to attend and where public officials might receive gifts or meals that would be reportable on their Statement of Economic Interests. SEIs serve a dual purpose of making a filer aware of personal economic interests, including gifts, which might relate to, and cause a conflict of interest, with respect to a governmental decision, and disclosing interests to the public to promote transparency in government.</p> <p>Once the Enforcement Division identifies an entity known to have held such a qualifying event, it requests a list of attendees for that event and information as to the value of any meals and/or gifts provided to attendees. If the value of the meal and/or gifts provided meets or exceeds the reportable amount ($50 from same source in a reporting period - limited to $440 from a single source in a calendar year under Title 2, Div. 6, Cal. Code of Regs., secs. 18940 et seq.), the Enforcement Division then cross checks the public official&rsquo;s SEI Form 700 filing for the reporting period to determine if that reportable gift was in fact reported. If not, the FPPC will have cause to believe a violation has occurred and will likely contact the official. If a violation is established, the FPPC can impose a fine (up to a maximum of $5,000, although normally, first time offenders are fined in the area of $200 per violation) and the FPPC will publish the name of the public official in its public filings. A &ldquo;knowing&rdquo; failure to report can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense carrying a $10,000 fine.</p> <p>Recently, the FPPC appears to be auditing school district officials by investigating events such as dinner receptions hosted at the California School Board Association annual conference. The FPPC Enforcement Division&rsquo;s agenda reads as a cautionary tale, spelling out current violations, identifying violators, and imposing penalties. These failures to report soon become &ldquo;teachable moments&rdquo; where a school board member learns there truly is no such thing as &ldquo;a free lunch.&rdquo;</p> <p>So how does a public official navigate this regulatory hop-scotch court without fouling out? Know the course. Knowledge of gift reporting requirements and gift acceptance limits is the key element in properly reporting one&rsquo;s economic interests.</p> <p>AB 1234 mandates ethics training for public officials (Gov. Code, sec. 53235). However, school districts are not included in this requirement, and many school districts officials often miss the opportunity to learn the reporting requirements and limitations imposed by the Political Reform Act. Without the training and knowledge to identify reportable financial interests, such as gifts, the limitations on the acceptance of gifts, and the disqualifying conflicts which can arise from accepting gifts, violations are par for the course.</p> <p>Best Best &amp; Krieger LLP&rsquo;s Public Policy and Ethics Compliance group keeps in constant contact with the FPPC and advises clients in public policy and ethics compliance. The Group offers AB 1234 training in-house and on-site regarding Statement of Economic Interest (Form 700) filings, Conflict of Interest, the Political Reform Act and more.</p> <p>For more details or questions about the FPPC&rsquo;s reporting requirements, please contact one of the attorney authors of this legal alert listed at the right in the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=5&amp;LPA=489&amp;format=xml"><span style="color: #0000ff">Public Policy and Ethics Compliance group</span></a>, or your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bbklaw.com/?p=2099"><span style="color: #0000ff">BB&amp;K attorney</span></a>.</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 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33345&format=xmlIn response to drought, California takes historic step to regulate groundwaterhttp://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33331&format=xml<p>The crisis spawned by California's now three-year drought has led state leaders to pass a law thought politically impossible even just a few years ago - a statewide scheme imposing controls on groundwater pumping.</p> <p>Gov. Jerry Brown, who tried and failed to address the problem of rampant groundwater extraction during the last drought in the 1970s, signed the historic legislation into law last week.</p> <p>Groundwater use has been largely unregulated in the state and the new law comes as increased pumping is causing wells to go dry and land to subside around the state, particularly in the Central Valley.</p> <p>The bill was supported by a wide array of interests, from environmentalists to urban water suppliers. Agricultural interests, including the California Farm Bureau Federation, opposed it.</p> While hailing the significance of the law, water lawyers say it raises questions, including how the new law will interact with the well-developed common law on groundwater pumping rights, how local governments skill cooperate, and how aggressively the state will oversee local efforts. <br /> <br /> &hellip; <p>Eric L. Garner, another longtime water attorney, said he didn't think he'd see comprehensive groundwater law pass in his career but that it's enormously important.</p> <p>&quot;There are simply too many people in the state and too much demand on water, and groundwater is too important to not be managed,&quot; said Garner, managing partner at Best Best &amp; Krieger L.L.P. &quot;We have to manage this resource for the long term.&quot;</p> <p>&hellip;</p> <p>This new law- offers an alternative that is 'hopefully quicker and more efficient&quot; than adjudications, which can last 10 or 15 years, Garner said.</p> <p>&quot;Optimistically, one would like to say that the planning process, which is participatory and broad-based, will reduce litigation, but realistically, when some pumpers are faced with either reducing pumping or paying substantially more for what they pump, that's when litigation breaks out,&quot; Garner said.</p> <p>Another incentive that could motivate people to take a more cooperative approach is a desire to keep the State Water Resources Control Board from stepping in and imposing a plan, Garner said.</p> <p><i>Click <a target="_blank" href="http://www.dailyjournal.com/subscriber/submain.cfm#section=DJStoryContent.cfm%3Fseloption%3DNEWS%26pubdate%3D09/22/2014%26shNewsType%3DNews%26NewsId%3D937322%26sdivId%3DmainContent1"><span style="color: #0000ff">here</span></a>&nbsp;to read the entire article published on Sept. 22, 2014 in the Daily Journal (subscription required).</i></p>BB&K In The News22 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0800http://www.bbklaw.com/?t=40&an=33331&format=xml