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Pam K. Lee

Partner
 
 
(949) 250-5415
Fax
(949) 223-1180
Pam K. Lee
 

Pam Lee is a partner with the firm and handles a wide variety of municipal law, land use and planning, affordable housing, and labor and employment matters.  Ms. Lee regularly advises her clients regarding the Brown Act, Political Reform Act, Public Records Act, planning and zoning laws, CEQA, and affordable housing laws.  Ms. Lee assists in the negotiation of various development agreements and affordable housing agreements, particularly under SB 35 and SB 330. Currently, Ms. Lee serves as General Counsel to the Bell Canyon Community Services District, and housing counsel to the cities of Carson, Hesperia, and Perris.

As housing counsel, Ms. Lee has been negotiated several market-rate and affordable housing projects on behalf of public agencies and has drafted numerous disposition and development agreements, owner participation agreements, master loan agreements, and affordable housing agreements. She is thoroughly familiar with the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, State and Federal programs for housing assistance, including HOME Investment Partnership Program, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, and Section 8 Housing Program, inclusionary housing and density bonus programs, housing elements and the regional housing needs assessment and allocation process. She has also drafted numerous density bonus, inclusionary housing, and below marketing rate housing ordinances.

Ms. Lee also specializes in labor and employment and routinely provides counsel on employee discipline, leave and accommodation issues (under CFRA, FEHA, ADA, FMLA, etc.), wage and hour laws, and employee benefits (CalPERS, ACA, etc.).  Ms. Lee also provides management-side representation in labor relations, serving as a labor negotiator for public agencies and advising clients on the relevant laws and practical considerations related to labor negotiations.  Ms. Lee routinely counsels local civil service commissions/personnel boards and handles matters before the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Public Employment Relations Board.  Ms. Lee is also the Firm’s COVID-19 and emergency response chair and provides her clients with the most up-to-date information on law COVID-19 related guidance.  

Ms. Lee’s litigation experience includes multi-million dollar inverse condemnation, eminent domain, CEQA, and constitutional rights claims in both State and Federal courts.  She has argued before the California Supreme Court on the matter of City of Perris v. Stamper, et al., (2016), 1 Cal.5th 576. 

Ms. Lee has given numerous presentations, preventative trainings, and workshops for employers, public agency officials, and agency representatives before the American Planning Association (APA) – California Chapter, California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (CALPELRA), National Public Employer Labor Relations Association (NPELRA), and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).  Her topics include, among others: the Brown Act/Public Records Act, Ethics Training, Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Prevention Training, Employee Leave and Accommodations, Land Use and Planning laws, CEQA compliance, and Employee Retirement and Health Benefits.

Ms. Lee has co-edited various sections of the California Municipal Law Handbook and authored various articles and Client Alerts on new developments in land use, housing, and labor & employment law.

Ms. Lee attended law school at the University of Southern California, where she earned her J.D. in 2006.  She volunteered as a dispute mediator at the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center and facilitated out of court settlements.  Prior to law school, Ms. Lee was an intern at the Legal Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand.

Ms. Lee graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA in 2002 with a double major in Economics and International Development Studies.  As an undergraduate, she worked at a redevelopment consulting organization associated with the Los Angeles City Mayor’s Office that remediated 21 brownfield sites in Los Angeles.

Representative Transactional Matters

  • Housing: Renaissance Specific Plan – Represented city in the development and implementation of a 1,400 acre master-planned community with industrial, commercial, and residential development, including the development of the Renaissance Marketplace, a commercial retail center with 407,000 square feet of retail and entertainment uses
  • Housing: Verano Affordable Housing Development – Represented the city in providing city loan and land grant for a 40 unit affordable housing development that received California low-income tax credits
  • Housing: Mercado Affordable Housing Development – Represented the city in providing former redevelopment housing funds, land grant, and federal funding for a 60 unit affordable housing development that received California low-income tax credits
  • Labor & Employment: City of Cerritos – Represented the city in labor negotiations to achieve 3-year contracts; drafted employee handbook and personnel rules and policies; drafted COVID-19 Prevention Program and other safety standards
  • Labor & Employment: City of Carson – Represented the city in labor negotiations; advised the city on various employee leave issues and accommodation processes; represented the city in employee disciplinary actions; drafted COVID-19 Prevention Program and other safety standards 
  • Labor & Employment: City of Hesperia – Represented the city in labor negotiations regarding layoffs; advised the city on various employee leave issues; represented the city manager in employee appeal hearings; negotiated executive employee terminations and settlements; drafted COVID-19 Prevention Program and other safety standards 

Representative Litigation Matters

  • City of Redondo Beach, et al. v. Rob Bonta (2022) Los Angeles Sup. Ct. Case No. 22STCP01143 Legal challenge by charter cities of SB 9, which eliminates single family zones and erodes local control over land use and zoning 
  • Endangered Habitats League, et al. v. City of Rialto (2019) San Bernardino County Sup. Ct. Case No. CIVDS1806755.  Successfully defended a city against legal challenge of violation of CEQA laws in city’s implementation of specific plan of a 1,250 acre master-planned community of residential and commercial development. 
  • City of Perris v. Stamper, et al. (2016) 1 Cal.5th 576.  Successfully argued in favor of City certain constitutional issues related to a public agency’s authority to require dedication of private land for public use.
  • City of Banning v. Dureau (2013) US Dist. Ct., C.D. Cal., Case No. ED CV 12–00043 BRO (SPx); 2013 WL6063344. Successfully sued defendant property owner for negligence and damages against the city for defendant’s violation of environmental responsibility under federal CERCLA. 
  • Correa v. City of Inglewood (2008) CA Court of Appeal, Second Dist., Div. 1, Case No. B204205; 2008 WL 4816653.  Successfully defended city in wrongful termination lawsuit of fire police officer found to have violated city’s rules of conduct and engaged in criminal activity while on duty.
  • Carson Coalition for Healthy Families v. City of Carson  (2007) CA Court of Appeal, Second District, Div. 4, Case No. B194923; 2007 WL3408624.  Successfully defended city against legal challenge under CEQA for the commercial development of a 157-acre contaminated parcel.

Speaking Engagements

  • California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (CALPELRA) – 2020 Annual Conference (November 2020)
  • Rialto State of the Woman – Speaking Engagement on Panel (March 2020)
  • Appearance, ABC 7 – legal update on SB 188 and non-discrimination in the workplace based on hair textures or hairstyle intimately associated with race (December 2019)
  • California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (CALPELRA) – 2019 Annual Conference (November 2019)
  • Public Employer Labor Relations Association of California (PELRAC) – 2018 Annual Conference (October 2018)
  • National Public Employer Labor Relations Association (NPELRA) – 2017 Annual Conference (April 2017)
  • National Asian-Pacific American Bar Association – 2015 Annual Conference (November 2015)
  • California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (CALPELRA) – 2014 Annual Conference (November 2014)
  • Orange County City Attorneys Association (March 2014)
  • American Planning Association – 2012 California Conference (October 2012)
  • American Planning Association, California Chapter – Inland Empire Planning Commissioner’s Workshop (August 2011)
  • Numerous supervisor and employee training sessions on Anti-Harassment and Discrimination Prevention, Brown Act and Ethics Training