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Client Alerts

The California state legislature, local government entities, and state and federal courts are constantly changing the environment in which our clients operate on a daily basis and plan their future strategic direction. Staying abreast of new laws, regulations and other legal developments – and analyzing the impact on clients – is what makes our attorneys standout as go-to experts. We share breaking-news information through the timely distribution of Client Alerts, and we encourage you to sign up to receive these updates by completing the subscription information in the left column. Our most recent Client Alerts are provided below, alphabetized by area of law.  Prior alerts are available in the annual archives in the left column or via the search function on our website.

Municipal and Special District Law

  • Recreational Marijuana is Legal in California – Now What?November 9, 2016On November 8, Californians approved Prop 64 - the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act ("AUMA" or "the Act"), legalizing recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older, effective November 9, 2016. While many cities and counties have ordinances or other regulations governing medical marijuana, such ordinances and regulations may be insufficient to cover "nonmedical" ... read more
  • Cal. Supreme Court Opens Door for State Reimbursing Local Agencies for Unfunded MandatesAugust 30, 2016On August 29, the California Supreme Court handed an important victory to local agencies that are seeking to enforce their constitutional right to reimbursement for unfunded mandates imposed by the State.   In Department of Finance v. Commission on State Mandates, the Court ruled in favor of public agencies subject to storm water discharge permits, holding that State-mandated storm ... read more
  • Marijuana Initiative Qualifies for Ballot: Key Points for Local GovernmentsJuly 1, 2016The California Secretary of State announced that the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, commonly known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act ("Initiative"), has sufficient signatures to qualify for the November 8, 2016 ballot.  The 62 page Initiative covers a broad range of topics.  This Client Alert discusses the provisions of greatest interest to local government. Personal ... read more
  • Governor’s Proposal to Streamline Housing Development Limits Local Review of ProjectsMay 24, 2016Governor 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 ... read more

Land Use

  • California Supreme Court Confirms Deferential Standard of Review Applies to CEQA Analysis of Changed ProjectsSeptember 21, 2016The California Supreme Court has ruled that the deferential "substantial evidence" standard of review applies to a public agency's decision about whether changes to a project require further environmental analysis under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). By clarifying the standard of review, this new decision benefits developers and public agencies by bolstering the use of addenda ... read more
  • Taxing Marijuana: What Can Cities Do and How Should It Be Done?July 7, 2016With new state regulations on medical marijuana in place, and an initiative legalizing recreational marijuana qualifying for the November ballot, many California cities are reviving the debate surrounding these businesses.  Ballot measure deadlines are fast approaching, and therefore cities must decide in coming weeks whether to place a marijuana business tax question on the November ballot.  ... read more

Environmental Law

  • Court of Appeal Rules Developers Can Recover CEQA Administrative Record CostsSeptember 19, 2016In the partially published opinion for Citizens for Ceres v. City of Ceres (Sept.12, 2016), the Fifth District held that the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) allows the developer to recover costs of administrative record preparation where the city actually incurred those costs and the developer reimbursed the city for those costs.  Citizens for Ceres challenged the City of ... read more
  • Final Changes to Proposition 65 Warning RegulationsSeptember 16, 2016The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, after a myriad of proposals, hearings, and workshops, has now issued final regulations that significantly revise how Proposition 65 warnings are to be provided.  Although intended to clarify the law and reduce lawsuits by private plaintiffs, it is likely that the opposite will occur.  The final regulation is available here and ... read more
  • TSCA Reform Close to Reality, But at the Expense of California’s Green Chemistry Regulations?January 11, 2016After its enactment nearly 40 years ago, the federal Toxic Substances Control Act ("TSCA") is nearing its first major overhaul.  TSCA has been viewed as generally ineffective in regulating chemicals as originally intended.  However, Congress has recently passed new TSCA reform bills that, if enacted, will substantially increase federal chemical regulation, but likely at the expense of similar ... read more

Climate Change and Green Initiatives

  • Air District Releases Planning Guidebook To Promote Healthy Infill DevelopmentJuly 26, 2016The adverse health effects of pollution from freeways and industrial facilities on occupants of infill development has been an ongoing issue of concern.  The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) has taken various approaches to address this problem from regulations to CEQA Guidance to development of data and analysis tools.  These approaches have been criticized by developers and ... read more
  • US Supreme Court Allows Challenges to Army Corps of Engineers’ Jurisdiction DeterminationsMay 31, 2016The Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion authored by Chief Justice Roberts, has ruled that an "approved" jurisdictional determination from the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) with regard to whether certain wetlands are "waters of the United States," and therefore within the purview of the Clean Water Act, constitutes a "final agency action" that may be subject to judicial review.  At issue in ... read more

Labor and Employment

California Public Records Act

California Drought – Legal Services & Resources

Crisis Management

  • Britt Strottman Helps Calaveras County Battle PG&E for $100s of Millions in Fire DamageMay 2, 2016On 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. As explained in Britt Strottman's interview on NBC Bay Area and in ... read more

First Amendment

Eminent Domain and Inverse Condemnation

  • Brenda Aguilar-Guerrero Named in Daily Journal’s “Top Verdicts of 2015”February 16, 2016Meyers 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. In this front-page news trial, Principal Brenda Aguilar-Guerrero successfully represented the City of Sacramento in defeating the last legal challenge to the new $477 million entertainment and sports arena ... read more