California Public Records Act

The California Public Records Act was adopted to foster transparency, accountability and greater public access to government records. While these are all worthy goals, complying with records requests can be complicated, costly and time consuming. This is especially true with increasing amounts of data being stored, accessed and shared on both public and private devices. Public agencies must wade through large amounts of data, determine disclosability and exemptions under the PRA, all while respecting privacy rights and responding within a reasonable time to records requests. The consequences for not doing this right can be expensive litigation.
 
Faced with these challenges, local public agencies, including cities, special districts and school districts, rely on Best Best & Krieger LLP for clear and accurate guidance. With the largest full-service public agency practice in California and a reputation as a leader in the field, BB&K regularly provides hundreds of public agencies throughout the State with timely, strategic advice on all aspects of the PRA.

Leading Authority
 Always at the forefront on emerging issues, our attorneys and paralegals are leading authorities in public agency and PRA law. Members of our firm were instrumental in helping prepare the League of California Cities’ Guide to the California Public Records Act. We speak and write extensively on legislative changes and legal developments impacting how the PRA is interpreted and applied, and always keep our clients informed. For example, BB&K was one of the first law firms to advise clients on the significant impact of the California Supreme Court’s 2017 City of San Jose decision regarding disclosure of records stored on personal electronic devices. Through decades of practice, we understand the challenges our public agency clients face and are well prepared with strategies to help streamline the response process and avoid costly pitfalls.
 
Comprehensive Service
 Our services include: 

  • Helping clients efficiently locate, review and produce hard copy and electronic records while ensuring privacy rights are respected
  • Evaluating what should be disclosed — and which documents and communications are exempt from disclosure
  • Establishing best practices for agency staff members on PRA compliance, access and response protocols, and privacy protection
  • Providing clear guidance and assistance in responding to, and fulfilling, records requests
  • Drafting determination letters that document the agency response efforts and build public trust
  • Keeping our clients current regarding pending legislation and cases, court decisions and significant statutory and regulatory developments
  • Providing customized training programs on best practices
  • Representing clients’ processes before courts to defend their disclosure determinations and claims of exemption
  • Consulting with city attorneys on PRA disclosure, litigation and writs
  • Guiding clients through the legal provisions affecting police, fire and public education records under the PRA and education statutes

 
Further, with the emergence of new technologies, we regularly advise clients regarding the use of public and private electronic devices, and the public’s right to access information, including electronic communications.

Jane F. Abzug

Jane F. Abzug

Associate

(310) 220-2170

Areas of Focus: Charters & Internal Organizations | Comprehensive Code Enforcement | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Sigrid K. Asmundson

Sigrid K. Asmundson

Of Counsel

(916) 551-2853

Areas of Focus: Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Elections | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts
Alexandra A. Baca

Alexandra A. Baca

Associate

(951) 826-8347

Areas of Focus: Business Litigation | Business Services & School Facilities | California Public Records Act | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Jeffrey S. Ballinger

Jeffrey S. Ballinger

Partner

(619) 525-1343

Areas of Focus: Comprehensive Code Enforcement | Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Safety | Special Districts
Elizabeth R. Balloue

Elizabeth R. Balloue

Paralegal*

(925) 977-3307

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Joseph P. Byrne

Joseph P. Byrne

Partner

(213) 617-7496

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water
Carlos L. Campos

Carlos L. Campos

Partner

(760) 837-1602

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Amanda Charne

Amanda Charne

Associate

(925) 977-3324

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law
Samantha Chen

Samantha Chen

Associate

(925) 977-3315

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Janet E. Coleson

Janet E. Coleson

Partner

(925) 977-3319

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts
Paula C. P. de Sousa Mills

Paula C. P. de Sousa Mills

Partner

(619) 525-1328

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) | Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction | Special Districts
Stephen P. Deitsch

Stephen P. Deitsch

Partner

(909) 483-6642

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law
Tyree K. Dorward

Tyree K. Dorward

Partner

(619) 525-1338

Areas of Focus: Business Services & School Facilities | California Public Records Act | Education Law | Public Contracts & Construction
Jeffrey V. Dunn

Jeffrey V. Dunn

Partner

(949) 263-2616

Areas of Focus: Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Environmental Litigation | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts | Water
Richard T. Egger

Richard T. Egger

Partner

(909) 466-4915

Areas of Focus: Bankruptcy | Business | Business Litigation | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Trusts & Estates
Jeffry F. Ferre

Jeffry F. Ferre

Partner

(951) 826-8271

Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction | Special Districts
Melizza A. Gonzalez

Melizza A. Gonzalez

Paralegal*

(909) 483-6654

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Municipal Law
Seth Gruner

Seth Gruner

Municipal Analyst*

(213) 617-7497

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Christi Hogin

Christi Hogin

Of Counsel

(310) 220-2173

Areas of Focus: California Coastal Act | Elections | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Kimberly E. Hood

Kimberly E. Hood

Partner

(916) 551-2087

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Eminent Domain | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Labor & Employment | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Elizabeth W. Hull

Elizabeth W. Hull

Partner

(949) 263-2608

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Eminent Domain | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Municipal Law | Public-Private Partnerships
Tammy L. Ingram

Tammy L. Ingram

Paralegal*

(951) 826-8343

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | California Public Records Act | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | Public Agency Litigation
Jessica K. Lomakin

Jessica K. Lomakin

Associate

(909) 483-6643

Areas of Focus: Business | Comprehensive Code Enforcement | Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
John M. Natalizio

John M. Natalizio

Associate

(213) 542-3862

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Comprehensive Code Enforcement | Elections | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Public Agency Litigation
HongDao Nguyen

HongDao Nguyen

Associate

(949) 263-2614

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Nicholaus W. Norvell

Nicholaus W. Norvell

Associate

(619) 525-1380

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction | Special Districts
Kylee O. Otto

Kylee O. Otto

Of Counsel

(949) 263-2606

Areas of Focus: California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law
William J. Priest

William J. Priest

Of Counsel

(909) 483-6648

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Elections | Fees, Taxes & Assessments | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction
Marnie A. Prock

Marnie A. Prock

Paralegal*

(916) 551-2089

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Relations | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Thomas A. Rice

Thomas A. Rice

Associate

(909) 466-4913

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Labor & Employment | Municipal Law | Special Districts
Daniel Richards

Daniel Richards

Associate

(949) 263-2619

Areas of Focus: Business | Business Litigation | Labor & Employment Litigation | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Isaac Rosen

Isaac Rosen

Associate

(213) 787-2564

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Comprehensive Code Enforcement | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Safety
Trevor L. Rusin

Trevor L. Rusin

Partner

(310) 220-2177

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Joseph R. Sanchez

Joseph R. Sanchez

Partner

(619) 525-1372

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Education Law | Labor & Employment | Labor & Employment Litigation
Gary W. Schons

Gary W. Schons

Of Counsel

(619) 525-1348

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Public Safety | Special Districts
Daniel S. Shimell

Daniel S. Shimell

Associate

(949) 263-2612

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Ann Siprelle

Ann Siprelle

Partner

(916) 551-2834

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Municipal Law | Public Contracts & Construction | Special Districts
Nancy G. Stubbs

Nancy G. Stubbs

Lead Paralegal*/PRA Services Coordinator

(909) 483-6649

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Malathy Subramanian

Malathy Subramanian

Partner

(925) 977-3303

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) | Transportation
Andrea Swinhart

Andrea Swinhart

Paralegal*

(951) 826-8463

Areas of Focus: Business Services & School Facilities | Charter Schools | Education Law | Education Litigation | Special Education | Student Affairs
Jill Tremblay

Jill Tremblay

Associate

(760) 200-3060

Areas of Focus: Business | Comprehensive Code Enforcement | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Trusts & Estates
Kara K. Ueda

Kara K. Ueda

Partner

(916) 551-2822

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Elections | Environmental Litigation | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Mark R. Velasquez

Mark R. Velasquez

Of Counsel

(916) 551-2824

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | General & Special Counsel | Investigations | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Public Agency Litigation | Public Contracts & Construction
Christine N. Wood

Christine N. Wood

Director of PRA Services and E-Discovery Counsel

(213) 542-3861

Areas of Focus: Board Governance & Administration | California Public Records Act | Education Law | Education Litigation | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law
Natalie R. Wright

Natalie R. Wright

Paralegal*

(949) 263-6583

Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Comprehensive Code Enforcement | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts
BB&K Webinar Jan 23, 2019

AB 1234 Ethics Training (Jan. 23, 2019)

BB&K Webinar

BB&K Attorney Gary Schons Conducting Review of Police Use of Communication App
BB&K In the News Oct 25, 2018

BB&K Attorney Gary Schons Conducting Review of Police Use of Communication App

TigerText, Used in Long Beach, Automatically Deletes Messages

[WEBINAR] ESI Primer for PRA Requests
Videos Oct 24, 2018

[WEBINAR] ESI Primer for PRA Requests

BB&K Webinar

BB&K Webinar Oct 24, 2018

ESI Primer for PRA Requests

BB&K Free Webinar

Certain Police Personnel Records No Longer Confidential
Legal Alerts Oct 9, 2018

Certain Police Personnel Records No Longer Confidential

New California Law Increases Access to Records Under PRA

AB 748: More Public Access to Body Camera Footage Under PRA
Legal Alerts Oct 8, 2018

AB 748: More Public Access to Body Camera Footage Under PRA

Amendment to California Law Gives Public Agencies More Responsibility to Provide Footage

Public Agencies Do Not Have to Create Records for PRA Requesters
Legal Alerts Aug 30, 2018

Public Agencies Do Not Have to Create Records for PRA Requesters

California Appellate Court Reinforces Principle

The Public Square has Gone Online
Authored Articles & Publications Aug 23, 2018

The Public Square has Gone Online

BB&K Attorneys Christine Wood and HongDao Nguyen Write About Public Officials’ Social Media Use in PublicCEO

Christi Hogin Video Bio
Videos Aug 14, 2018

Christi Hogin Video Bio

Of Counsel

Trevor Rusin Video Bio
Videos Aug 14, 2018

Trevor Rusin Video Bio

Partner

Public Agency Spared Attorneys’ Fees Award in Reverse PRA Action
Legal Alerts Jul 30, 2018

Public Agency Spared Attorneys’ Fees Award in Reverse PRA Action

California Appellate Court Decision National Conference of Black Mayors, et al. v. Chico Community Publishing Company

Emails and E-Discovery: California Public Records Act
Authored Articles & Publications Jul 20, 2018

Emails and E-Discovery: California Public Records Act

BB&K's Christine Wood Explores San Jose Ruling Repercussions in PublicCEO

BB&K Webinar Jul 18, 2018

AB 1234 Ethics Training (July 18, 2018)

BB&K Webinar

BB&K Webinar Jul 11, 2018

Social Media Meets the First Amendment

Free BB&K Webinar

[WEBINAR] Social Media Meets the First Amendment
Videos Jul 11, 2018

[WEBINAR] Social Media Meets the First Amendment

BB&K Webinar

[WEBINAR] Do You Know the Way [After] San Jose?
Videos Jun 26, 2018

[WEBINAR] Do You Know the Way [After] San Jose?

BB&K Webinar

BB&K Webinar Jun 26, 2018

Do You Know the Way [After] San Jose?

BB&K Free Webinar

Digital Public Records
Authored Articles & Publications Jun 12, 2018

Digital Public Records

BB&K Attorney Christine Wood Discusses Record Retention Policies in PublicCEO

Isabel Safie and Jill Tremblay Return to 2018 So. Cal. Super Lawyers Rising Stars List
Press Releases Jun 7, 2018

Isabel Safie and Jill Tremblay Return to 2018 So. Cal. Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

The BB&K Attorneys Acknowledged Again for Practice Achievements

[WEBINAR] Public Records Act - Taming the Email Tiger
Videos May 23, 2018

[WEBINAR] Public Records Act - Taming the Email Tiger

BB&K Webinar

CEQA – Today and Tomorrow
Authored Articles & Publications May 23, 2018

CEQA – Today and Tomorrow

Legal Decisions and Pending Guideline Updates Have Effect on the CEQA Review Process Write BB&K Attorneys Charity Schiller and Amanda Daams in PublicCEO

BB&K Webinar May 23, 2018

Public Records Act - Taming the Email Tiger

BB&K Free Webinar

Event Apr 26, 2018

HIPAA, the Brown Act and the Public Records Act

California Fire Chiefs Association

Private Attorney General Statute to Award Fees Used in a Reverse-PRA Dispute
Legal Alerts Apr 20, 2018

Private Attorney General Statute to Award Fees Used in a Reverse-PRA Dispute

Part III: Pasadena Police Officers Association v. City of Pasadena

An Appellate Court’s Observation May Have Effect on Reverse-PRA Actions
Legal Alerts Apr 19, 2018

An Appellate Court’s Observation May Have Effect on Reverse-PRA Actions

Part II: Pasadena Police Officers Association v. City of Pasadena

PRA Fee Award Narrowed to Cover the Issue of Scope of Redactions
Legal Alerts Apr 17, 2018

PRA Fee Award Narrowed to Cover the Issue of Scope of Redactions

Part I: Pasadena Police Officers Association v. City of Pasadena

Top 5 Tips for Responding to a PRA Request (Hint: Communication is Key)
Authored Articles & Publications Mar 23, 2018

Top 5 Tips for Responding to a PRA Request (Hint: Communication is Key)

BB&K Attorney Jessica Lomakin Writes on Public Records Act Requests for PublicCEO

Event Mar 13, 2018

Required Ethics AB 1234 Compliance Training Webinar

Join BB&K Partner Michael Maurer for a CSDA webinar covering general ethics principals and AB 1234 compliance training.

New Laws Part I: 2018 Brings Campaign, Election and Records Reforms
Authored Articles & Publications Feb 28, 2018

New Laws Part I: 2018 Brings Campaign, Election and Records Reforms

PublicCEO

California’s Labor & Employment Changes for 2018: Part I
Legal Alerts Feb 7, 2018

California’s Labor & Employment Changes for 2018: Part I

Legislative Changes Impacting Employers

2018 California Public Agency Laws – Part III
Legal Alerts Jan 11, 2018

2018 California Public Agency Laws – Part III

Cannabis, LAFCO Law and a Round Up of Other New Laws Impacting Public Agencies

2018 California Public Agency Laws – Part II
Legal Alerts Jan 10, 2018

2018 California Public Agency Laws – Part II

Housing and Land Use, Environment, Public Property/Public Works and Economic Development

2018 California Public Agency Laws – Part I
Legal Alerts Jan 9, 2018

2018 California Public Agency Laws – Part I

Elections, Public Records Act, Revenue and Conflicts of Interest

Five Attorneys Named to Partnership
Press Releases Jan 2, 2018

Five Attorneys Named to Partnership

BB&K Announces Promotions

Event Sep 26-27, 2017

Growth: The Leadership Conference for Special Districts

2017 CSDA Annual Conference

Event Sep 13-15, 2017

LCC Annual Conference

League of California Cities

Automated License Plate Scans Data May Be Disclosed
Legal Alerts Aug 31, 2017

Automated License Plate Scans Data May Be Disclosed

California Supreme Court Finds Public Record Exemptions Do Not Apply

PRA Request Compliance May Not Shield from Attorney's Fees
Legal Alerts Aug 21, 2017

PRA Request Compliance May Not Shield from Attorney's Fees

California Appellate Court Orders City to Pay

AB 119: What Public Employers Need to Know about their Obligations to Give Unions Access to New Employees
Legal Alerts Aug 1, 2017

AB 119: What Public Employers Need to Know about their Obligations to Give Unions Access to New Employees

Information, Access and Notice Requirements for Public Employers

Event Jul 20, 2017

Public Records Practices After the San Jose Decision

League of California Cities Webinar

Five BB&K Attorneys Included on Palm Springs Life 2017 Top Lawyer List
Press Releases Jun 7, 2017

Five BB&K Attorneys Included on Palm Springs Life 2017 Top Lawyer List

Coachella Valley’s Best Lawyers Recognized in Magazine’s Annual List

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

Event May 19, 2017

The Public Records Act and Private Emails

The State Bar of California Public Law Section

Civil Discovery Act Applies to Public Records Act Proceedings, California Appellate Court Concludes
Legal Alerts Mar 9, 2017

Civil Discovery Act Applies to Public Records Act Proceedings, California Appellate Court Concludes

May Impose Increased Burdens on Public Agencies

[WEBINAR] Do You Know the Way from San Jose: The Public Records Act and Private Emails
Videos Mar 8, 2017

[WEBINAR] Do You Know the Way from San Jose: The Public Records Act and Private Emails

BB&K Webinar on California Supreme Court Decision

BB&K Event Mar 8, 2017

Do You Know the Way from San Jose: The Public Records Act and Private Emails

BB&K Webinar on California Supreme Court Decision

E-Communications on Private Accounts May Be Subject to Disclosure Under the California Public Records Act
Legal Alerts Mar 2, 2017

E-Communications on Private Accounts May Be Subject to Disclosure Under the California Public Records Act

State Supreme Court Opinion Impacts Public Agencies

Key Contacts

Connected Industries

Related Practices

Our Perspective