Published Articles

Every day local governments in California must manage numerous emerging legal issues, as well as carry on the business of operating their cities, counties, districts, and other agencies.  One of the ways our attorneys provide superior value is by authoring articles to provide context and insightful analysis on a wide-range of critical issues impacting public agencies today.

Navigating CEQA guidelines and regulating greenhouse gas emissions, addressing ethics and transparency in government, discussing methods to reduce gang violence to make communities safer, and identifying how employers can ensure compliance with labor and employment laws to avoid penalties are a few examples of recently published articles written by our attorneys.

If you work for a newspaper or magazine and would like one of our attorneys to write an article for your periodical, please contact our marketing manager, Lindsey Staples, at 510.808.2000 or

Some of our most recent articles are presented below grouped by their practice area. Older articles are available in the Archives, which can be accessed via the links in the left column.

Student Journal Research is Cited by Courts Nationwide

September 25, 2013, UC Hastings Magazine, Kevin P. McLaughlin

Over the past decade, journal notes by UC Hastings students have been cited more than 65 times by federal and state appellate courts and trial judges around the country. This recognition reveals just how much impact student-run journals can have on the adjudication of cases in courts at every level.

Meyers Nave Congratulates Eric Danly on Being Appointed as the In-House City Attorney for the City of Petaluma

May 30, 2013

SANTA ROSA, CA – The City of Petaluma voted at its June 3 City Council meeting to appoint Eric Danly as the City’s in-house City Attorney.  Eric has served as Petaluma’s City Attorney while a Principal at Meyers Nave since his appointment on December 5, 2005.  Meyers Nave has provided legal services to the City of Petaluma since 1994.   

California Public Utilities Commission

City of San Bruno Files Claim Against PG&E for $2.25 Billion for the San Bruno Blast and Fire

May 6, 2013, SF Gate and KGO-SF, Steven R. Meyers, Britt K. Strottman

Steven Meyers announced the filing of a claim of $2.25 billion for the City of San Bruno against PG&E in front of PG&E headquarters in San Francisco on Monday, May 6, 2013.

Please click here to read this article on the SF Gate website in its entirety.

Crisis Management: Public Policy, Ethics and Investigations

Under California: Knowing What Lies Beneath

June 3, 2013, Western City, Steven R. Meyers, Britt K. Strottman

Most people are generally unaware of what lies beneath the streets they travel on each day. Depending on the level of urbanization in a given community there may be multiple systems of lines and pipes for conveying water, sewage, storm drainage, petroleum, gas and communications systems including fiber optic, telephone and cable television services — as well as electrical conduits and transformer vaults — and the occasional subway system and pedestrian walkway. In some metropolitan areas, high-pressure steam is also pumped underground for heating purposes.

First Amendment

The “Occupy” Movement and What Cities Can Do to Regulate or Avoid the Impacts of Such Events

August 10, 2012, Meyers Nave, Deborah J. Fox, David S. Warner

The Occupy Movement blew through California cities last year challenging the capacity of city officials to find the right balance between the city’s police powers and the Occupy Movement’s First Amendment rights.  The clash was more than just theoretical, as arrests were numerous in every major California city and several smaller jurisdictions as well.  By the end of the year, the Occupy Movement had cost taxpayers millions of dollars and left public officials more uncertain than ever about their rights and obligations under the First Amendment.

Municipal and Special District Law

Public Officials’ Private Emails not Public Records

April 7, 2014, The Daily Journal, Nicholaus W. Norvell, Ruthann G. Ziegler

The California Public Records Act declares that “access to information conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.” Government Code Section 6250. Failure to comply with the CPRA carries a significant penalty: A successful plaintiff is entitled to mandatory award of its attorney fees against the public entity which withheld records which it should have released. Section 6259(d). Communication by electronic media raises multiple questions as to which emails, texts and tweets to and from public officials and employees are, or are not, public records subject to disclosure under the CPRA.

Drones And The Potential Redefinition Of Privacy

April 1, 2014, Law 360, Kristopher Kokotaylo

Law360, New York (April 01, 2014, 3:19 PM ET) -- The term “drones” — or UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles — may be most commonly associated with overseas military activity, but the use of such technology domestically, on a smaller physical scale, is set to explode. Unlike traditional model airplanes, UAVs are typically equipped with sophisticated cameras, and they can also be equipped with eavesdropping devices or even small arms.

Developing Trends in Medical Marijuana Regulations

August 15, 2013, The Public Law Journal, Krysten Hicks, Ruthann G. Ziegler

Seventeen years after the passage of Proposition 215 (the “Compassionate Use Act” or “CUA”) and nine years after the adoption of Senate Bill 420 (the “Medical Marijuana Program Act” or “MMPA”), local governments still wrestle with medical marijuana’s continued controversies. Issues faced by local governments range from regulating or banning dispensaries and marijuana cultivation to balancing individual rights against community interests.

Trial and Litigation

At the Margins of Taxpayer Standing

February 11, 2014, Daily Journal, Kevin P. McLaughlin

It may come as little surprise that in order to assert taxpayer standing, one must be a taxpayer. In fact it may be more surprising to learn that standing to bring suit can be premised only upon payment of taxes. A concept long rejected for federal taxpayers, payers of state and local tax nonetheless have broad standing under California law to bring suits to restrain the illegal expenditure or waste of public funds or property. While this rule has great breadth, it is not without limits.

Syndicate content