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Invoices for Legal Services and the California Public Records Act

Client Alert

On December 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of California issued its decision in Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court (ACLU of Southern California), Case No. S226645. The Court held invoices for legal services transmitted to a governmental agency by outside counsel are not categorically exempt from disclosure under California Public Records Act (“PRA”). However, the contents of a legal invoice are privileged to the extent they either communicate information for the purpose of legal consultation or risk exposing information that was communicated for such a purpose. The latter category includes protecting, in their entirety, invoices that reflect work in active and ongoing litigation matters.

Wholesale Rates and Proposition 26, Newhall County Water District v. Castaic Lake Water Agency

Client Alert

Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal issued its decision in Newhall County Water District v. Castaic Lake Water Agency (“Newhall”). The court held a wholesale water agency’s rate structure, which included a charge for groundwater pumping (despite the fact it did not sell  groundwater to Newhall), violated Proposition 26.  

Local Officials Must Participate in Sexual Harassment Prevention Training and Education

Client Alert

On September 29, 2016, the Governor signed AB 1661 into law.  AB 1661 expanded the anti-harassment training requirement to elected officials and members of legislative bodies of local agencies. “Local agencies” include cities, counties, charter cities, charter counties, and special districts.

Department of Water Resources Granted Authority to Conduct Testing for Tunnel Project on Private Land Without Having to Pay Rent

Client Alert

A recent California Supreme Court decision increased the authority of the California Department of Water Resources (“DWR”) to enter upon private land.  This Alert provides an update on recent developments that impact local agencies and their authority to use private land.

13 Years and Two Trips to the Court of Appeals Later, A&W Attorneys Help the City of Carson Make New Law

The Subdivision Map Act allows the owner of a rental mobilehome park to convert the park from a landlord-tenant form of ownership to a subdivided condominium-style form of ownership.  A park owner must first obtain the approval of local government which has authority to “approve, conditionally approve, or disapprove” the application after holding a hearing to determine whether the park owner has complied with Section 66427.5 of that Act.

Local Agencies Granted Increased Authority for Drought-Related Civil Fines, May Not Issue Fines for Brown Lawns & Must Update Efficient Landscape Ordinances

Client Alert

The California Legislature and State agencies have been active this year developing various new rules regarding water use in California and local regulation thereof.  This Alert provides an update on several recent developments and proposed legislation that impact local agencies and how they regulate water use within their respective jurisdictions.

Pitchess Motions: California Supreme Court Reversed Court of Appeal Decision in People v. Superior Court (Johnson)

Client Alert

On July 6, 2015, the California Supreme Court unanimously reversed the First District Court of Appeal in People v. Superior Court (Johnson). The decision reaffirms that (1) prosecutors must comply with the Pitchess procedures if they seek information from confidential personnel records and (2) that the prosecution satisfies its Brady duty by disclosing to the defense that a testifying officer’s file may have material exculpatory information in it.

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