Harriet A. Steiner


Tel: (916) 551-2821


At a Glance

Harriet represents cities, special districts and joint powers agencies as city attorney, general counsel and special counsel.
She has appeared on The Best Lawyers in America® list for Municipal Law & Municipal Litigation every year since 2009.
Harriet is city attorney to the City of Davis.

Harriet Steiner’s practice focuses on public law, representing cities, special districts and joint powers agencies as city attorney, general counsel and special counsel. A partner in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Municipal Law practice group, her background includes:

  • Land use
  • Environmental law
  • Telecommunications law and cable television franchising
  • Wastewater and municipal water
  • Public financing 

Land Use and Environmental Utility Rate Setting 
Harriet advises public agencies on land use approvals, including negotiation of development agreements, compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, public financing and Proposition 218 compliance. She represented public agencies in CEQA and land use litigation, election challenges, public financing and development impact fee challenges, and Proposition 218 litigation.
Harriet represented the City of Davis in the restructuring of its water fees to facilitate a new surface water project; challenges to the fees included initiative measures, election issues and a Proposition 218 challenge in which the City prevailed in the trial court and then successfully settled the case, allowing the project and amended water fees to move forward. She is also currently representing Davis in two CEQA challenges on two land use proposals.
Litigation matters she has handled include:

  • Knox v. Orland, 4 Cal.4th 132, upholding Landscaping and Lighting District, 1992
  • Friends of Davis v. City of Davis, 83 Cal.App.4th 1004 CEQA; design review approval challenge 2000
  • Oates v. City of Lincoln, 93 Cal.App.4th 25, defense of refinancing of Marks Roos bonds, 2001
  • LandValue 77, LLC v. Board of Trustees Kashian, Fifth District Court, 193 Cal.App.4th 673 Government Code section 1090, CEQA Challenge; Attorneys’ fees, 2011
  • City of Hayward v. CSU, First District Court, 242 Cal.App.4th 833, 2015 Cal. Lexis 1371, petition for review denied - returned to trial court - CEQA challenge, 2015
  • Yolo Ratepayers for Affordable Public Utility Services v. City of Davis, Yolo County Superior Court, Case No. CV 13-187, settled after mediation and dismissed, 2015
  • Supporters of Responsible Planning in Davis v. City of Davis, Yolo County Superior Court, Case No. PT15-1442, pending trial court CEQA challenge, 2015

City Attorney
As city attorney for the City of Davis since 1986, among the matters Harriet has assisted the City on are the development and implementation of its agricultural mitigation ordinance for farmland and habitat preservation; its Affordable Housing Ordinance; the creation of a joint powers agency with the County for Community Choice Electricity; and creation and implementation of water and sewer rates, associated with new water and sewer projects, including litigation challenging these rates under Proposition 218.
Harriet serves as general counsel to the Sacramento Metropolitan Cable Television Commission, which holds the cable television franchise for the county and the cities within the county and now implements the DIVCA franchises in the County. She assisted the Commission in the development of a robust fiber institutional network for the schools in Sacramento known as BestNet. She also represents the cities of Davis, Piedmont, Oakland, Paso Robles, and others in telecommunications matters. She has drafted telecommunications ordinances, negotiated cable franchises and franchises with cable over-builders, negotiated and drafted fiber network agreements, cellular tower and DAS lease agreements, and represented local entities on telecommunications siting applications and permitting, in cable and wireless cellular tower litigation.
Prior to joining BB&K, she was a shareholder with McDonough Holland & Allen in Sacramento. She is admitted to practice in all federal courts located in California and the California Supreme Court and is licensed to practice law in the State of California.

  • University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D.
  • State University of New York, M.A.
  • State University of New York, Harpur College, B.A.


  • League of California Cities’ Committee on Revenue & Taxation, liaison
  • Southern California and Nevada chapters of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors
  • Sacramento County Bar Association Public Law Section, past president
  • League of California Cities
  • Sacramento Business Journal Best of the Bar, 2015
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Municipal Law & Municipal Litigation, 2009-2016
  • Sacramento Magazine Top Lawyers, State, Local & Municipal, 2015
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, State, Local & Municipal Law, 2009-2015
  • Super Lawyers Top Women Attorneys in Northern California, 2014
Press Releases Mar 23, 2017

Sacramento Business Journal Again Ranks BB&K as a Top Litigation Firm

Based on Number of Attorneys

Press Releases Aug 15, 2016

20 BB&K Attorneys Make Best Lawyers in America 2017 List

Two Named Lawyers of the Year

Press Releases Aug 3, 2016

Sacramento Magazine Recognizes BB&K Partners

The Annual Top Lawyers List Includes Five Firm Attorneys

Press Releases Jul 8, 2016

Congratulations to BB&K’s Attorneys on the Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists

Eight Attorneys Recognized for Their Professional Achievements

Event Apr 26, 2016

Groundwater Law Conference

American Groundwater Trust

Event Apr 21, 2016

Public Real Estate Transactions

UC Davis Extension

Press Releases Mar 24, 2016

BB&K Named a Top Litigation Firm in Sacramento

The Sacramento Business Journal Ranked the Firm 24th of the Top 30

Event Oct 6, 2015

Drones, Phones, and Automobiles

American Planning Association, California Chapter Northern Annual Conference

Sacramento Business Journal Names Five BB&K Attorneys to 2015 Best of the Bar List
Press Releases Aug 28, 2015

Sacramento Business Journal Names Five BB&K Attorneys to 2015 Best of the Bar List

Congratulations to Each of These Attorneys for Their Recognition

Press Releases Aug 17, 2015

19 BB&K Attorneys Included on the 2016 Best Lawyers in America List

Partner Iris Yang and Of Counsel Joseph Coomes Selected as Lawyers of the Year

Press Releases Aug 3, 2015

Seven BB&K Attorneys Appear on Sacramento Magazine’s 2015 Top Lawyers List

Voted the Best in Their Fields by Their Peers

Press Releases Jul 10, 2015

Six BB&K Attorneys Included on the Northern California Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

The Attorneys in the Firm’s Walnut Creek and Sacramento Offices Represent a Cross-Section of Practices

Event May 6-7, 2015

LCC City Attorneys’ Spring Conference

League of California Cities

Event Sep 10-12, 2014

BB&K Attorneys Appeared on Panels Covering Telecommunications, the Environment, Hot Federal Issues and More

IMLA 2014 Annual Conference

Press Releases Aug 19, 2014

Thirteen BB&K Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 List

The Included Attorneys Practice in BB&K Offices throughout California

Press Releases Jul 4, 2014

BB&K Attorneys Recognized as 2014 Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Congratulations to These Attorneys