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Diploma Mills: How to Prevent Employees from Buying Questionable Degrees

Client Alert

Many public agency employers provide education incentives such as education pay and tuition reimbursement in their collective bargaining agreements with their employee organizations to promote employee pursuit of higher education.  As a result, there have been a growing number of employees obtaining degrees from a variety of different types of educational institutions and in a myriad of ways, ranging from the traditional in-person instruction to online classes to credit for “life experience.” What used to take 2 or 4 years to obtain a postsecondary school education can sometimes be achieved in a matter of months from questionable educational institutions, leading to issues of educational legitimacy and educational value.

Executive Order Issued on "Waters of the United States"

Client Alert

On February 28, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order, “Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the ‘Waters of the United States’ Rule."  The Executive Order requires that the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers publish for notice and comment a proposed rule rescinding or revising the “Clean Water Rule: Definition of ‘Waters of the United States,’” (the “WOTUS Rule”).

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.


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