Ruben Duran

Partner

Tel: (213) 787-2569

Location(s)

At a Glance

Ruben serves as general counsel to public agencies, including the Oxnard Harbor District, Hub Cities Consortium, Fenner Valley Water Authority, Stallion Springs Community Services District and the Altadena Library District.
 
His practice emphasizes open government and transparency and complex conflicts of interest matters, as well as elections law, land use and planning and cannabis issues.

Ruben serves by appointment to the State Bar of California Board of Trustees.
 

Ruben Duran represents exclusively public agencies as a partner in the Municipal Law and Government Policy & Public Integrity practice groups of Best Best & Krieger LLP. He brings a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to the practice of public law. With an emphasis on open government and transparency and complex conflicts of interest issues, as well as elections law, land use and planning and cannabis issues, Ruben also provides special counsel to many of the firm’s clients. These include cities, school districts, public health plans and special districts.

He serves as general counsel for the Oxnard Harbor District, which owns and operates the commercial Port of Hueneme in Ventura County. He is also general counsel to the Hub Cities Consortium, a joint powers agency that provides workforce development services to the cities of Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lynwood, Maywood and South Gate. He is also general counsel to the Fenner Valley Water Authority, the Stallion Springs Community Services District and the Altadena Library District. As general counsel of these public entities, Ruben is responsible for all legal services, including advising the elected boards and staff at public meetings and day-to-day transactional and advisory services on issues such as public bidding and contracting, environmental laws and regulations, labor and employment matters, as well as oversight and management of litigation.

He has experience with public-private partnerships and is instrumental in assisting his public agency clients partner with large financial institutions and nonprofit organizations to finance and construct public projects. These include the use of New Markets Tax Credits for the development of shore-side power infrastructure and an intermodal transportation facility for the Oxnard Harbor District, where he serves as general counsel (completed 2015), and a state-of-the art health and wellness facility in the City of Desert Hot Springs, where he was city attorney (completed 2013). As a general counsel, he regularly guides clients through the public procurement and construction processes.

Ruben previously served as city attorney of Adelanto (2017-2018) and Desert Hot Springs (2006-2012) and general counsel of the Fontana Unified School District (2011-2012).

While attending the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, Ruben was a two-time national moot court champion in the Hispanic National Bar Association’s moot court competition. Prior to attending law school, Ruben served a year as a Public Affairs Fellow in the prestigious Coro Fellowship Program.

A frequent speaker and presenter on ethics and open government, Ruben enjoys meeting and interacting with public officials and employees from throughout the State, sharing a common goal of efficient, effective and ethical public service. He was appointed to the State Bar of California Board of Trustees in 2018 by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. He is past president of the City Attorneys Association of Los Angeles County and a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Ruben serves as a volunteer trainer for the Institute for Local Government, providing AB 1234 and ethics training for cities throughout California, and has presented on the New Markets Tax Credits program at the American Association of Port Authorities and the Association of Pacific Ports. He was appointed in 2018 by the State Bar of California's Board of Trustees to the Malpractice Insurance Working Group, which is charged with conducting a review and study regarding errors and omissions insurance for attorneys licensed in California. He chairs the Subcommittee on Encouraging Insurance Coverage.

Ruben is married with two adult sons. He enjoys reading, playing horseshoes and cooking. Ruben is admitted to practice law in California, the U.S. District Court for the Central and Northern districts of California and the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
 

Education

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D.
  • University of California, San Diego, B.S., political science

 

Staff & Board: Defining Roles, Staying Inside the Lines
Authored Articles & Publications Apr 26, 2018

Staff & Board: Defining Roles, Staying Inside the Lines

Partners Ruben Duran and Christopher Pisano Write for PublicCEO

A District Attorney May Employ Outside Counsel on a Contingent Fee Basis
Legal Alerts Apr 5, 2018

A District Attorney May Employ Outside Counsel on a Contingent Fee Basis

Ninth Circuit Opinion in Unfair Competition Suit Seeking Civil Penalties

The First Self-Driving Death
Legal Alerts Apr 4, 2018

The First Self-Driving Death

Mitigating Risks, Regulatory Update and a Tale of Two States

Drones: A Legal and Regulatory Update
Legal Alerts Oct 31, 2017

Drones: A Legal and Regulatory Update

Recent White House and Federal Court Action Impacting Future UAS Regulations

The Smoke Clears? AB 133 Passes
Legal Alerts Sep 20, 2017

The Smoke Clears? AB 133 Passes

Bill Makes Numerous Changes to California Cannabis Laws — Effective Immediately

Ban on Officers Discussing K9 Program Violated First Amendment
Legal Alerts Sep 11, 2017

Ban on Officers Discussing K9 Program Violated First Amendment

Ninth Circuit Decision on Nevada State Highway Patrol Prior Restraint Case

The People's Business: A Guide to the California Public Records Act
Authored Articles & Publications Jun 5, 2017

The People's Business: A Guide to the California Public Records Act

BB&K Attorneys Contributed to LCC Publication

Authored Articles & Publications Mar 3, 2017

Officials’ Top 10 Things to Remember About Public Participation in Local Government

By Ruben Duran

Authored Articles & Publications Feb 1, 2017

New Markets Tax Credits – the Best Kept Secret in Financing Public Projects

By Ruben Duran

Understanding the Basics of Public Service Ethics Laws
Authored Articles & Publications Jan 6, 2017

Understanding the Basics of Public Service Ethics Laws

BB&K Attorneys Contributed to Update of ILG’s Flagship Ethics Resource

Are Private E-mails & Text Messages “Public Records?”
Legal Alerts Dec 9, 2016

Are Private E-mails & Text Messages “Public Records?”

Decision Expected Soon from California Supreme Court

Authored Articles & Publications Sep 14, 2016

The Ethics Advisor: The Details Matter — Recusing Yourself Due to Conflict of Interest

By Ruben Duran

Authored Articles & Publications May 4, 2016

The Ethics Advisor: Bad Stuff Sometimes Happens, Even to Good People

By Ruben Duran

Municipalities May Not Grant Preferential Parking to Residents Based on Dwelling Type
Legal Alerts Apr 21, 2016

Municipalities May Not Grant Preferential Parking to Residents Based on Dwelling Type

California Attorney General Addresses Local Preferential Parking Regulations

U.S. Supreme Court Holds States and Localities May Continue to Draw Voting Districts Based on Total Population
Legal Alerts Apr 6, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Holds States and Localities May Continue to Draw Voting Districts Based on Total Population

Total Population, However, May Not Be the Only Standard Upon Which Voting Areas Can Be Based

Authored Articles & Publications Nov 18, 2015

The Ethics Advisor: I’ve Just Been Elected (or Re-Elected) to Local Public Office — Now What?

By Ruben Duran

Authored Articles & Publications Oct 21, 2015

The Ethics Advisor: The Proper Roles of Staff and Elected Officials

By Ruben Duran

Authored Articles & Publications May 6, 2015

The Ethics Advisor: Don’t be Such a Crybaby!

By Ruben Duran

  • The Ethics Advisor: Fair Elections in California,” Southern California Latino Policy Center (via BBKnowledge), Oct. 18, 2017
  • “The Ethics Advisor: Cuidado with Decisions that Hit Too Close to Home (Literally),” BBKnowledge, June 15, 2017
  • “The Ethics Advisor: The Details Matter — Recusing Yourself Due to Conflict of Interest," Southern California Latino Policy Center Newsletter, Sept. 14, 2016
  • “The Ethics Advisor: 13 Things You Need to Know About Campaign Restrictions,” BBKnowledge, Aug. 18, 2016
  • "The Ethics Advisor: 13 Things You Need to Know About Campaign Restrictions," Southern California Latino Policy Center Newsletter, Aug. 16, 2016
  • The Ethics Advisor: It’s Getting Hot in Here,” SoCalLatinos, July 13, 2016 (via BBKnowledge)
  • "The Ethics Advisor: It’s Getting Hot in Here," Southern California Latino Policy Center Newsletter, July 13, 2016
  • The Ethics Advisor: Vamos a la Playa!SoCalLatinos, June 16, 2016 (via BBKnowledge)
  • "The Ethics Advisor: Vamos a la Playa!," Southern California Latino Policy Center Newsletter, June 14, 2016
  • "The Ethics Advisor: Bad Stuff Sometimes Happens, Even to Good People," Southern California Latino Policy Center Newsletter, May 3, 2016
  • “What does “One Person, One Vote” Mean?,” BBKnowledge, Dec. 10, 2015
  • “The Ethics Advisor: I’ve Just Been Elected (or Re-Elected) to Local Public Office — Now What?” Southern California Latino Policy Center Newsletter, Nov. 17, 2015
  • “The Ethics Advisor: The Proper Roles of Staff and Elected Officials,” Southern California Latino Policy Center Newsletter, Oct. 21, 2015
  • The Ethics Advisor: The California Public Official’s Quick and Clean Guide to Gift Rules and RegulationsSoCalLatinos, Sept. 17, 2015 (via BBKnowledge)
  • “The Ethics Advisor: The California Public Official’s Quick and Clean Guide to Gift Rules and Regulations,” Southern California Latino Policy Center Newsletter, Sept. 17, 2015
  • “The Ethics Advisor: Watch Out For Technology! The Ethical Use of Technology in Your Role as Public Official,” Southern California Latino Policy Center Newsletter, June 10, 2015
  • The Ethics Advisor: Watch Out For Technology! The Ethical Use of Technology in Your Role as Public OfficialSoCalLatinos, June 10, 2015 (via BBKnowledge)
  • “The Ethics Advisor: Don’t be Such a Crybaby!” Southern California Latino Policy Center Newsletter, May 6, 2015

 

BB&K Partner Ruben Duran Appointed to State Bar of California Board of Trustees
Press Releases Sep 17, 2018

BB&K Partner Ruben Duran Appointed to State Bar of California Board of Trustees

Public Law Attorney Joins Legal Industry Governing Body

Event Aug 24, 2018

How to Build and Maintain the Public’s Trust: Practical Ethics and the Law

myLawCLE

Event Apr 18, 2018

Understanding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

American Association of Port Authorities

BB&K Webinar Mar 6, 2018

What’s New in Environmental and Special Districts Law

BB&K Free Webinar Series

[WEBINAR] Who Does What? Defining Proper Roles for Staff and Elected Officials
Videos Feb 13, 2018

[WEBINAR] Who Does What? Defining Proper Roles for Staff and Elected Officials

BB&K Municipal, Environmental and Special Districts Law Webinar Series

BB&K Webinar Feb 13, 2018

Free Municipal Law Webinar Series from BB&K

Legal Issues that Matter Most to California Cities

Event Jan 19, 2018

How to Build and Maintain the Public’s Trust: Practical Ethics and the Law (AB 1234 Training)

New Mayors & Council Members Academy

Event Jan 12, 2018

Electrification of Port: California as a Case Study

Association of Pacific Ports Winter Conference

Event Dec 5, 2017

Tips to Promote an Ethical and Transparent Culture

ILG Webinar

Event Nov 8, 2017

Required Ethics AB1234 Compliance Training

California Special Districts Association Webinar

Event Oct 31, 2017

Who Does What? Best Practices in Board/Staff Relations

MVCAC Fall Quarterly Meeting

Videos Sep 15, 2017

[VIDEO] The Ethics Advisor: Policymakers Aren’t Immune to Free Speech Pitfalls

By Ruben Duran

Event Apr 21-24, 2017

IMLA’s 2017 Mid-Year Seminar

International Municipal Lawyers Association

Event Feb 23, 2017

Difficult Ethical Issues

City Attorneys’ Association of LA County

Event Feb 22, 2017

Who Does What? Best Practices in Board/Staff Relations

California Special Districts Association Webinar

Event Oct 5-7, 2016

LCC Annual Conference

League of California Cities

Event May 2, 2016

Who Does What? Best Practices in Board/Staff Relations

California Special Districts Association

Event Jan 22, 2016

How to Build and Maintain the Public's Trust: Practical Ethics and the Law (AB 1234 Training)

2016 New Mayors Council Academy

Event Jan 20, 2016

Webinar: Who Does What? Best Practices in Board/Staff Relations

California Special Districts Association

Event Oct 9, 2015

Veterans Leadership Academy and Elected Officials Training Academy 2.0

California Latino Leadership Institute

Event Oct 1, 2015

Successfully Navigating Through the Statement of Economic Interest

League of California Cities

Inconsistencies Between Practices, Brown Act Guidelines Highlighted During LBCCD Training
BB&K In the News Jun 24, 2015

Inconsistencies Between Practices, Brown Act Guidelines Highlighted During LBCCD Training

BB&K Partner Ruben Duran Gives Long Beach Community College District Board of Trustees Refresher Course on Open Meeting Laws, as Reported by the Long Beach Post

Presentations

  • “Ethically Navigating Local and State Licensing for Cannabis Businesses,” Continuing Education of the Bar Webinar, Dec. 7, 2018
  • “NMTC Case Study: the Port of Hueneme,” Association of American Port Authorities Annual Conference, November 2014
  • “Emerging Economic Development Trends: Best Practices for Municipal Finance,” CSMFO 2014 Conference, February 2014
  • “Williams Compliance in the Age of Tablets, Tweets and Technology Yet-to-be Tamed,” California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators 12th Annual Summer Institute, July 2013
  • “New Markets Tax Credits for Ports,” Association of Pacific Ports Winter Conference, January 2013
  • “Dealing with Common Board Member Conflict of Interest Issues,” California Council of School Attorneys and the County Counsels’ Association Annual Conference, December 2012
  • “AB 1234 Training,” City of Bell, 2011
  • “Advanced Ethics and Conflicts of Interest,” League of California Cities, City Clerks’ Association Annual Conference, 2011
  • “Cold as I.C.E.: How Not to Get Burned by the National Immigration Debate on Your Campus,” The Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, 2011
  • “AB 1234 Training,” City of Downey, 2010
  • “AB 1234 Training,” City of Desert Hot Springs, 2009 and 2007