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Client Alerts


Writs and Appeals

  • Court Holding: Even Accidental Disclosure Under CPRA Waives PrivilegesDecember 15, 2014A California appellate court has recently held that disclosure of a document under the California Public Records Act (“CPRA,” Government Code §§ 6254 et seq.) waives any privileges attached to the document, even if the disclosure was accidental or by a “low-level” employee not authorized to waive privileges.  (Ardon v. City of Los Angeles (Dec. 10, 2014, ... read more
  • Land Use

    Public Contracts

    First Amendment

    • Anticipated Supreme Court Ruling in First Amendment Sign Ordinance CaseOctober 22, 2014The Supreme Court of the United States granted Writ of Certiorari in the Ninth Circuit’s Reed v. Town of Gilbert (Reed II) case. The Ninth Circuit’s Reed II ruling considered a municipal sign ordinance that, among other things, imposed different limitations on signs depending on whether the sign was classified as a “temporary directional sign,” a “political ... read more
    • Ninth Circuit Upholds Reasonable Restrictions on Solicitation of Funds at LAXAugust 27, 2014Last week, the Ninth Circuit decided the final piece of a decades-old solicitation case, International Society for Krishna Consciousness of California, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, 2014 WL 4086794. The religious society, referred to as "ISKCON" by the Court, had challenged, under both the First Amendment and the California Constitution, the Los Angeles airport's ban on the ... read more
    • Supreme Court Upholds Legislative Prayer at Local Government LevelMay 6, 2014Whether the prayer activity at issue in Town of Greecewould also pass muster under the California Constitution remains an open question. For cities, counties and special districts best practices to avoid the perception of ‘coercion’ are advised. A majority of the Supreme Court has upheld the right of local governments to open their meetings with prayer so long as the ... read more

    Municipal and Special District Law

    • New Legislation to Increase Local Authority over Massage EstablishmentsSeptember 22, 2014On September 18, 2014, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1147 ("AB 1147") into law. AB 1147 changes numerous provisions of the Massage Therapy Act, effective January 1, 2015. Current law restricts local control over massage therapy businesses that employ therapists and practitioners that have been certified by the California Massage Therapy Council ("CAMTC"). AB 1147 restores local regulatory ... read more
    • Fifth Appellate District Affirms Preliminary Injunctions Prohibiting Internet “Sweepstakes” Café OperationsMarch 14, 2014Businesses that sell computer “time” in exchange for entries into on-line sweepstakes games likely violate California’s antigambling laws, the Fifth District Court of Appeal held last week.  In People v. Grewal (CON F065450/F065451/F065689), the Court upheld three preliminary injunctions that prohibit “sweepstakes” operations at Internet café businesses in Kern County.  The ... read more

    Environmental Law

    • Ninth Circuit Expands Judicial Scrutiny of CERCLA SettlementAugust 8, 2014 The Ninth Circuit recently issued an opinion that emphasizes the obligation of district courts to independently review the adequacy of proposed consent decrees under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA").  In Arizona v. City of Tucson, ---F.3d--- (9th Cir. 2014), 2014 WL 3765569, eighteen proposed consent decrees between the State of ... read more
    • Regulatory Scope of “Waters of the United States” to be ClarifiedMarch 31, 2014Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Agencies”) jointly released a proposed rule that further defines the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). The proposed rule revises the definition of “waters of the United States” and also adds new definitions for the terms “neighboring,” “riparian area,” ... read more

    Construction and Facilities

    • New Legislation to Affect Public Contracting and Prevailing Wage LawsJuly 18, 2014The Governor has recently signed into law SB 854, which mandates several changes in public contracting and prevailing wage laws. SB 854 took effect immediately; however, its provisions affecting public entities apply only as of 2015. SB 854 has three different compliance dates in 2015, each identified below. Contractor Registration Requirements. SB 854 amended the Labor Code to require ... read more

    California Public Records Act

    Labor and Employment

    • U.S. Supreme Court Tells Us What “Changing Clothes” Really MeansJanuary 30, 2014In a unanimous opinion delivered by Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court on Monday decided that employers and unions could agree in collective bargaining agreements to exclude the time workers spend putting on and taking off protective clothing from the work time that is subject to the minimum wage and overtime protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the FLSA, employees are ... read more