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

Good News for Public Agencies: Supreme Court Decides Accidental Disclosure of Privileged Documents under Public Records Act Does Not Result in Waiver of Privilege

March 18, 2016, Nicholaus W. Norvell, Ruthann G. Ziegler

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court decided a significant case concerning the California Public Records Act ("CPRA," Government Code §§ 6250 et seq.).  In its decision, the court held that only intentional disclosure of public records - not inadvertent disclosure - waives privileges applicable to the records.  (Ardon v. City of Los Angeles (March 17, 2016, S223876).) Previously, two intermediate appellate courts had split on this important issue.

Court Orders Release of Names and Addresses of Turf Rebate Program Participants

March 1, 2016, Nicholaus W. Norvell, Ruthann G. Ziegler

Recently, the Los Angeles County Superior Court ordered the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (“District”) to release the names and addresses of participants in a turf-replacement rebate program jointly administered with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (“DWP”).  (City of Los Angeles v. Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Feb. 26, 2016, BS157056).)

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.

Eminent Domain and Inverse Condemnation

Brenda Aguilar-Guerrero Named in Daily Journal's "Top Verdicts of 2015"

February 17, 2016, Daily Journal, Brenda Aguilar-Guerrero

Meyers Nave proudly announces that the Daily Journal selected the victory in Gonzalez v. Johnson as a "Top Defense Result" in its special report of the Top Verdicts for 2015.

First Amendment

Sign Regulation in California: What Should Cities Do After the SCOTUS Decision in Reed v. Gilbert?

February 9, 2016, Margaret Rosequist

The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert potentially has implications that reach far beyond its finding that specific sign regulations in Gilbert, Arizona, violated the First Amendment. The ordinance at issue placed different restrictions on three types of noncommercial signs -- political, ideological and directional signs. The justices unanimously agreed that the distinctions in the ordinance were not content neutral because signs were treated differently depending on the message.

A Sign of Relief: Appellate Court Allows Sign Codes to Distinguish Off/Onsite and Non/Commercial

March 17, 2016, Deborah J. Fox, Margaret Rosequist

In an opinion which will elicit sighs of relief from municipal governments around the state, the Second Appellate District has upheld municipalities’ ability to differentiate between offsite and onsite commercial advertising under the California liberty of speech clause.  

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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