• email
  • share

Crisis Management: Public Policy, Ethics and Investigations

Our attorneys focus on managing high stakes legal crises and sensitive ethical and investigatory matters. We provide confidential evaluations of public malfeasance, conflicts of interest, investigations of official misconduct, and recovery and recoupment of improper payments and expenditures of taxpayer funds. Our clients benefit from our ethics training, forensic policy review and audits as well as our sound guidance on the wide range of ethical and related policy issues.

Foremost to any public agency is reducing its risk. We are committed to strengthening clients’ ethics and compliance programs. On behalf of clients, we evaluate and audit compliance with open meeting laws, conflicts of interest rules, Political Reform Act, and Public Records Act disclosure procedures. We also examine electronic protocols and communications, including email, for both internal and external use. Drawing on our long history representing a diverse range of public entities in California, we know what works for clients on a case-by-case basis. We have achieved many successes in this area, helping to implement new personnel practices and revise employee training so that our clients ultimately have a solid foundation in place to deter future workplace wrongdoings.

When a situation arises that calls into question an ethical infraction, quick and effective resolution is key. We come up with creative solutions with our clients’ best interests in mind, including conducting internal investigations. We help our clients handle employee misconduct and provide tools to deal with the resulting fallout from employee misconduct. We also recognize that work environments are often unsettled when an investigation takes place. To address this, we encourage measures that foster a strong sense of consideration and respect for everyone whether they are directly or indirectly involved.

Working in conjunction with investigative experts and forensic accountants and auditors, we help our clients manage transparency concerns and complex criminal and civil proceedings that arise out of ethical problems. It is our goal to help clients preserve, or regain, public trust, and avoid lasting damage, by promptly and strategically responding to these issues. Our attorneys have been practicing in public law for many years and therefore have intimate knowledge of the rules governing the behavior of public officials as well as the internal relationships within public agencies.

Courtroom litigation is sometimes unavoidable for certain matters. Our attorneys possess a diverse and experienced civil litigation practice in state and federal courts, as well as before administrative agencies and boards. We also have experienced in-house public relations experts to help clients effectively face media scrutiny and respond to potential fallout from a crisis, including the development of external and internal crisis communications plans.

Representative Experience

City of San Bruno. Meyers Nave serves as Special Counsel for the City of San Bruno, handling legal, regulatory and crisis management issues relating to the tragic natural gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes on September 9, 2010.

City of Bell. We were retained as interim City Attorney in the aftermath of a scandal that attracted national attention and public outrage because top level employees received grossly inflated salaries and benefits. Seeking reform quickly, the City asked Meyers Nave to help craft new policies and procedures to ensure accountability and transparency among public officials going forward.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). The transportation agency retained Meyers Nave to conduct a confidential internal affairs investigation of the officer-involved shooting death of Oscar Grant. This New Year’s Day incident gained public attention throughout the Bay Area and the nation, and sparked protests that extended for a number of weeks following the shooting. The investigation reviewed the actions of the police officers who were involved in the incident to determine any potential misconduct. Meyers Nave issued a public report of its findings and recommendations that resulted in certain changes in BART policies.

San Jose/Evergreen Community College District. Meyers Nave was retained to conduct a confidential investigation into alleged financial and administrative improprieties by the Chancellor. At the request of the District, Meyers Nave issued a comprehensive public report of findings and recommendations that the District adopted.

City of Stockton. Meyers Nave was retained to help the City Council through a declaration of emergency based on fiscal circumstances, and the adoption of a resolution for future fiscal sustainability.