Press Releases Apr 24, 2019

BB&K’s Christi Hogin and Andre Monette Honored for Amicus Work by IMLA

The Attorneys Argued About Short-Term Rentals and the Clean Water Act in the Ninth Circuit

For Immediate Release: April 24, 2019
Media Contact: Denise Nix • (213) 787-2552 • denise.nix@bbklaw.com
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Best Best & Krieger LLP attorneys Christi Hogin and Andre Monette received International Municipal Lawyers Association Amicus Service Awards at the organization’s mid-year seminar. Christi was recognized for her service to the IMLA Legal Advocacy Program in the Home Away v. Santa Monica and La Park La Brea LLC v. Airbnb Ninth Circuit cases. Andre’s recognition came for his work on the County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund et al. matter, now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.
 
The Award recognizes “lawyers who have been actively involved in legal advocacy for and on behalf of local governments and IMLA, and who have done exemplary work to protect and advance local government interests,” according to the organization.
 
In March, the City of Santa Monica’s ordinance regulating short-term vacation rentals of residential property was upheld by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Home Away v. Santa Monica. Internet-based companies Airbnb, Inc. and Homeaway.com, Inc. attacked the ordinance, claiming it violated the federal Communications Decency Act of 1966 and infringed on their First Amendment rights. The Ninth Circuit held that local regulation of the “booking” transaction did not impair protected speech rights, noting that just because these commercial activities happen through the Internet does not excuse them from complying with local laws.
 
The Ninth Circuit’s opinion clears a path for local governments to regulate the booking transactions of short-term vacation rentals from Internet-based companies and better enforce local rules.  Santa Monica’s position was adopted by the court and supported through amicus briefs filed by Christi on behalf of IMLA, the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties.
 
With the multi-billion dollar short-term rental industry coming under scrutiny by city officials throughout California, the ordinance and the challenge is of great importance to both sides. For local governments, the impact of the short-term rental industry could be felt on the rental housing market and in nuisance and noise complaints. This decision allows “state and local governments breathing room to address pressing issues faced by their communities.”
 
In a separate matter, the Ninth Circuit last year decided that the Clean Water Act prohibits the unpermitted injection of treated waste water into wells hydrologically connected to the Pacific Ocean. Representing IMLA and other municipal water regulators as amici counsel, Andre argued that the court’s expansive reading of the CWA would likely require numerous facilities and entities, previously thought to be exempt, to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits. Andre was recognized by IMLA in 2016 for his work on this matter.

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Best Best & Krieger LLP is a national law firm that focuses on municipal, environmental, business, education, employee benefits and telecommunications law for public agency and private clients. With more than 200 attorneys, the law firm has 10 offices nationwide, including Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.bbklaw.com or follow @BBKlaw on Twitter or @BestBestKrieger on Facebook.

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