Client Alerts

The California state legislature and courts as well as local governments are continuously changing the legal landscape.  Staying abreast of new laws, regulations and other legal developments, and analyzing their impact on local governments is what makes our attorneys some of the best in the state. In addition, we write timely alerts to keep our clients informed of developing legal news and analysis.

Client e-Alerts are emailed to our clients, and they can also be viewed on our website.  If you are interested in receiving our Client Alerts via email, please complete the subscription information in the left column.
Some of our most recent alerts are presented below grouped by their practice area. Older alerts are available in the Archives, which can be accessed via the links in the left column.

California Drought – Legal Services & Resources

State Water Board Adopts New Approach to Urban Water Conservation in Extended Emergency Regulations

May 19, 2016, Gregory J. Newmark, Lindsey F. Zwicker

Following a season of increased rain and snowfall in certain parts of the state, on May 9, 2016, Governor Brown issued a new Executive Order, signaling a major change in the state’s approach to water conservation.  The new Order directs the State Board to adjust and extend its emergency water conservation regulations through the end of January 2017 in recognition of the varied water supply conditions for many communities.  Adopted by the Board on May 18, 2016, the new

California Public Records Act

Meyers Nave Litigators Achieve Record Results On Year’s Highest Profile Cases

May 3, 2016

In 2015, Meyers Nave litigation attorneys obtained victories at both the trial and appellate level on many of the year’s most prominent court cases and highest profile economic development projects throughout California. The legal and regulatory matters covered a broad spectrum of the firm’s expertise, including Land Use, Environmental, First Amendment, Construction, Utility Regulation, Public Finance, Public Records, and Constitutional Law. Please read the below summary of a few representative examples of our 2015 litigation successes.

California Public Utilities Commission

Britt Strottman Helps Calaveras County Battle PG&E for $100s of Millions in Fire Damage

May 2, 2016, Britt K. Strottman

On April 28, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) issued its Investigation Report finding PG&E responsible for the Sept. 9, 2015 Butte Fire in Calaveras County which consumed 71,000 acres, destroyed 921 structures, caused more than $1 billion in damage, killed two people and injured another.

US Supreme Court Allows Challenges to Army Corps of Engineers' Jurisdiction Determinations

May 31, 2016, Joshua A. Bloom

The Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion authored by Chief Justice Roberts, has ruled that an "approved" jurisdictional determination from the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with regard to whether certain wetlands are "waters of the United States," and therefore within the purview of the Clean Water Act, constitutes a "final agency action" that may be subject to judicial review.  At issue in United States Army Corps of Engineers v.

Labor and Employment

Appellate Court Rules that Certain Investigative Reports Prepared by Counsel Retain Privilege Even Without Providing Legal Advice

June 27, 2016, Brandon W. Halter

On June 8, 2016, the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District held that an investigation report prepared by outside counsel need not contain legal advice to protect the report from having to be produced in litigation so long as the lawyer provided "legal services ... in anticipation of litigation." City of Petaluma v. Superior Court of Sonoma County (Cal. App. 1st Dist. June 8, 2016, No. A145437).  


Ninth Circuit Holds Cash-in-Lieu Payments Under a Flexible Benefits Plan Must Be Included in the FLSA Regular Rate

June 15, 2016, Edward L. Kreisberg

The Ninth Circuit recently held in Flores v. City of San Gabriel that the amount of cash an employee receives in lieu of an employer's contribution to health premiums under a flexible benefits plan must be included in the FLSA regular rate. 

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Updating Overtime Regulations

June 6, 2016, Jesse Lad

On May 18, 2016, President Obama announced the publication of the Department of Labor's final rule updating the overtime regulations, which is expected to automatically extend overtime pay protections to over 4 million workers within the first year of implementation.

Land Use

Taxing Marijuana: What Can Cities Do and How Should It Be Done?

July 7, 2016, Katherine A. Cook, Sky Woodruff, Ruthann G. Ziegler

With new state regulations on medical marijuana in place, and an initiative legalizing recreational marijuana qualifying for the November ballot, many California cities are reviving the debate surrounding these businesses.  Ballot measure deadlines are fast approaching, and therefore cities must decide in coming weeks whether to place a marijuana business tax question on the November ballot.

Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot: Key Points for Local Governments

July 1, 2016, Alex J. Mog, Ruthann G. Ziegler

The California Secretary of State announced that the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, commonly known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act ("Initiative"), has sufficient signatures to qualify for the November 8, 2016 ballot.  The 62 page Initiative covers a broad range of topics.  This Client Alert discusses the provisions of greatest interest to local government.

Personal Use

Municipal and Special District Law

Governor's Proposal to Streamline Housing Development Limits Local Review of Projects

May 23, 2016, Lindsay P. D'Andrea, Steven T. Mattas

Governor Brown recently announced a new proposal to streamline housing development in California. In order to be eligible for the streamlined process, projects must restrict a percentage of units for affordable housing. The required percentage varies depending on the level of affordability and proximity to transit priority areas. All projects that seek to qualify for the streamlined process are required to restrict at least 20 percent of units for individuals who earn 80 percent of the area median income. However, projects located in transit priority areas are subject to lower thresholds.

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