Municipal and Special District Law

Overview

For years, Meyers Nave has practiced public law in California, combining in one firm many disciplines that other firms consider specialties. As a result, our institutional knowledge of the law and California community policies is unequaled by any other law firm. Serving as city attorney as well as general and special counsel, we provide both day-to-day legal advice and representation in complex transactions and litigation.

Currently, Meyers Nave serves as city attorney to almost 25 municipalities and as general counsel to dozens of counties and special districts. Many of these relationships have spanned decades—a fact which testifies to the quality of our work and our commitment to clients.

Subpractices

  • Many of our clients routinely achieve compliance rates in excess of 80 percent without the need to initiate litigation.

  • Along with the Brown Act and CPRA, issues relating to conflict of interest are among the matters that must be dealt with on a day-to-day basis by any city attorney.

  • As city attorneys and general/special counsel, we routinely draft and negotiate franchise agreements, development agreements, leases, professional services agreements, public works contracts and more.

  • The actions of public agencies and public officials are closely scrutinized by the public, especially during voting season. Our clients look to us for counsel at these high-pressure times.

  • As public law attorneys, we are often faced with issues relating to methods of validly imposing fees and assessments. 

  • Due to our representation of several regional and statewide joint powers agencies, we have prepared numerous joint powers agreements and created several joint powers agencies.  Further, we are familiar with the options available to cities and other public entities in forming and working with JPAs.

  • We have represented cities and special districts before Local Agency Formation Commissions (LAFCo) in at least half of the counties in this state.

  • Preparing ordinances and resolutions requires skill with language and faithful attention to the details of the law as well as the intentions of the governing body enacting it.

  • Meyers Nave is at the vanguard of litigation and policy development critical to local governments trying to reform their retiree benefits structures. Closely watched by public entities across the country, our work for clients such as Orange County and the cities of San Jose and Los Angeles has led to pivotal decisions in state and federal trial courts, and to important precedent in the California Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

  • More than ever before, the public expects transparency and accountability from government, and the California Public Records Act is the public’s primary tool for accessing information to monitor the functioning of government agencies. With nearly 30 years of experience serving public entities, Meyers Nave is the “go-to” firm for helping public agencies understand the law’s requirements, exemptions and penalties; establish plans and protocols for efficient and cost-effective compliance; and develop strong defenses in the event of a courtroom challenge.

  • We routinely advise clients regarding issues relating to open meetings, often being called upon after hours and “on the fly” to provide immediate and urgent Brown Act direction.

  • We help our clients determine the taxes they can impose and impose those taxes lawfully.

  • We have advised numerous special districts throughout California. Operational issues within our purview include, but are not limited to, labor and employment matters, contracting, compliance issues, and public finance matters.

Publications