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Ruthann G. Ziegler

Ruthann G. ZieglerPrincipalDownload PDFvCard916.556.1531


Ruthann Ziegler is a founding Principal of Meyers Nave’s Sacramento office and has more than 35 years of experience in public law, representing municipalities and special districts throughout California. She serves as Chair of the firm’s statewide California Public Records Act Practice Group. Ruthann also leads Meyers Nave’s new Cannabis Law Practice Group serving the needs of public entities. She has served on the League of California Cities’ Cannabis Regulatory Committee since being selected to the group when it was formed in 2011.

Ruthann represents clients in all matters affecting local governance and decision-making, from day-to-day operations to long-term policy issues. She advises clients on issues such as rate setting, public contracts and bidding, land use, and environmental issues, as well as the Brown Act, Political Reform Act, and Public Records Act. Her public records expertise was recently covered in news reports of a high-profile Public Records Act case for which the court appointed her as Special Master. The case required the review of 9,580 pages of emails to advise on those that should be disclosed as public records. All parties agreed to follow her findings. The novel matter involved a State University producing the public records of School District officials who also worked at the State University and sent or received School District-related messages on their State University email accounts.

Ruthann currently serves as city attorney and general counsel for several cities and special districts. She has served as City Attorney of Citrus Heights since its incorporation in 1997 and has worked with several municipal incorporation committees. Her other clients have included public utility districts, community services districts, healthcare districts, fire districts, water districts and joint powers agencies. As General Counsel and Special Counsel to numerous special districts, Ruthann has provided comprehensive advice on issues ranging from formation and governance to assessments, public records, conflicts of interest, and ethics compliance.

Ruthann frequently speaks before attorneys, associations of special districts, municipal law organizations and other groups. Topics on which she presents include the Brown Act, AB 1234, the California Public Records Act, conflicts of interest/FPPC Form 700, public contracting and bidding, land use issues, and medical marijuana regulation. Ruthann’s specialty expertise regarding public records was featured in two presentations she provided in the emerging field of law enforcement’s use of surveillance and data collection technologies, such as police body cameras, license plate readers, global positioning systems and stingray phone trackers.

Ruthann was recently quoted in numerous publications, including the Daily Journal and CourtHouse News, regarding the California Supreme Court’s decision in a landmark case concerning the Public Records Act (City of San Jose v. Superior Court (Smith) (March 2, 2017)). She also published articles about the case in the California Special Districts Association’s weekly e-newsletter and monthly magazine, and provided a related webinar sponsored by CSDA. The issue concerned whether e-mails and text messages, sent or received on private electronic devices or personal accounts used by public officials and their staffs, were subject to production under the CPRA. The Court held that such communications, if they relate to the conduct of public business, are subject to the CPRA and may be public records subject to disclosure.

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