Litigation Paralegal (Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, Santa Rosa or Sacramento Office)

Meyers Nave is recruiting for a Litigation Paralegal.  This is a nonexempt position reporting to the Director of Administration and is located in one of the Firm’s offices.

ABOUT MEYERS NAVE

Meyers Nave has an exceptional reputation in California as a go-to law firm that clients rely on to handle their highest profile, most complicated and often most controversial transactions and litigated matters. Attorneys work in multi-disciplinary teams to help public agencies, private businesses and non-profit organizations navigate complex local, state and federal laws and regulations.  Meyers Nave was founded over 30 years ago and has grown into a state-wide firm with approximately 65 attorneys in five locations.

JOB SUMMARY

A Litigation Paralegal is responsible for providing Firm attorneys with the full range of litigation paralegal support.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

The position’s essential functions include but are not limited to:

  • Work closely with attorneys and team members to proactively oversee case management from inception through trial/settlement and post-trial/post-settlement;
  • Draft, review, and revise legal documents;
  • Maintain case files and update discovery logs and indices;
  • Organize and maintain master documents, document lists, and document databases;
  • Support and manage document productions;
  • Assist with deposition and hearing preparation, including identifying and gathering exhibit documents and creating witness outlines;
  • Cite-check briefs;
  • Draft and arrange for service of subpoenas;
  • Obtain case-related documents informally from third parties;
  • Coordinate among vendors for litigation support services;
  • Monitor pending decisions and conduct and summarize legal research;
  • Assist with document review and coordinate with Litigation Support Group for back-end database management using Concordance, Disco and other recognized review platforms;
  • Perform litigation support duties such as Bates stamping exhibits, preparing spreadsheets and CDs, hyperlinking PDFs, reviewing litigation dockets, and ensuring that dates are calendared correctly;
  • Satisfy an annual 1575 billable hour budget;
  • Complete in a timely manner both (1) daily, accurate, and detailed billable-time entries and (2) time cards;
  • Work extended hours as needed;
  • Travel as required for case support;
  • Maintain composure and work efficiently and accurately during high-energy situations involving frequently changing circumstances;
  • Demonstrate excellent customer support;
  • Attend work on-site on a regular, punctual and reliable schedule;
  • Manage multiple problems and projects at once;
  • Work cordially, cooperatively and productively with Firm employees; and
  • Other functions as assigned.

Management retains the right to add to or change the functions of this position at any time.

OTHER FUNCTIONS

  • Maintain a professional network and key resource contacts.

QUALIFICATIONS

The following qualifications are required:

  • Ability to work and bill as a paralegal under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code section 6450;
  • A bachelor’s degree;
  • Minimum of three years of experience working as a paralegal with a law firm or in-house legal department;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite 2010;
  • Prior experience with Concordance (or other eDiscovery software), LiveNote, and Adobe Acrobat Pro XI;
  • Strong legal research database skills and experience with Westlaw (preferred) and/or Lexis;
  • Understanding and knowledge of legal procedures, rules of counsel, and local rules;
  • Experience with eDiscovery;
  • Strong organizational skills;
  • Ability to work well under stress;
  • Strong analytical thinking skills;
  • Ability to work independently with little or no direction; and
  • Ability to effectively function in a team environment, including but not limited to the ability to be open minded, cordial and cooperative with Firm employees;
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain high ethical standards and strict confidentiality of all information that the employee may receive as a result of her or his role;
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain and update skills as required by the position;
  • Demonstrated ability to organize and prioritize numerous tasks and complete them under time constraints and within budget:
  • Strong written and verbal skills; and
  • Interpersonal skills necessary to communicate in person and by phone with a diverse group of attorneys, staff and vendors to provide information with courtesy and tact.

 The following qualifications are preferred:

  • Strong technical eDiscovery skills and understanding of litigation support;
  • Experience with Office 2016, including Excel and Word styles / macros;
  • Prior experience using Trial Director;
  • Trial experience; and
  • Experience with Casebook programs or other data management systems, and with iManage or other document management programs.

Meyers Nave is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of any qualified applicant’s race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status or any other category protected by law.  Meyers Nave will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring (Ban the Box).

HOW TO APPLY:

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume by email to meyersjobs@meyersnave.com

Legislature Extends, Expands CEQA Streamlining for Major Projects

The Legislature recent passed, and the Governor signed into law, the Jobs and Economic Improvement Through Environmental Leadership Act of 2021 (“2021 Leadership Act”), which would extend the ability for certain qualifying projects to obtain streamlined judicial review for certain projects and would expand the types of projects that qualify.

Previously under the former 2011 Leadership Act, in order for projects to qualify for streamlining provisions, projects had to be of a certain specified type, be located on an infill site, result in $100 million or more in investment in California, meet LEEDs Gold standards, and pay prevailing wage to construction workers, among other requirements.  If a project met the qualifications, it could obtain streamlined judicial review of any challenges to the project.  These streamlining provisions included a requirement that the lead agency prepare the administrative record concurrently with the administrative process, certify the administrative record within 5 days of approval of the project, and that disputes regarding the administrative record be resolved through motions to augment filed concurrently with initial briefs in the trial court.  In addition, the 2011 Leadership Act required, to the extent feasible, that lawsuits filed challenging qualifying projects be resolved within 270 days of the certification of the administrative record, including any appeals.  The 2011 Leadership Act expired by its own terms on January 1, 2021.

The 2021 Leadership Act would reenact the 2011 Leadership Act, with certain changes, and would authorize the Governor, until January 1, 2024, to certify projects that meet the specified requirements to obtain the same streamlining benefits.  New in the 2021 Leadership Act is the inclusion of infill housing developments, which include a minimum 15% of the units dedicated to affordable housing, and which result in investment in California of between $15 million and $100 million.  Except for these housing development projects, the 2021 Leadership Act requires the quantification and mitigation of the impacts of a project from the emissions of greenhouse gases as provided in the statute.  In addition, the 2021 Leadership Act would allow the Governor to certify the project prior to the certification of the final EIR by the lead agency, and would allow the Governor to certify a project alternative to a project as described in the EIR.

Like the 2011 Leadership Act before it, the 2021 Leadership Act will likely apply only to a small range of projects.  The inclusion of more moderately-sized residential projects may, however, increase the number of qualifying projects.  In any event, with the passage of the 2021 Leadership Act, qualifying projects will continue to benefit from streamlined judicial review for another three years.

Update on California’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards, and OSHA

In a surprising move, last night, June 9, 2021, in a special meeting, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board withdrew the revisions to Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards that it had just approved on June 3. The Standards Board may consider new revisions as soon as its next regular meeting on June 17.

The Standards Board is under pressure to align workplace requirements to the California Department of Public Health’s (“CDPH”) new guidance that as of June 15, face coverings will not be required for fully vaccinated Californians in most public settings. The CDPH guidance, however, provides that face coverings will still be required for everyone in settings such as public transit, K-12 schools, childcare settings, other youth settings, healthcare settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and cooling centers.

Despite the new CDPH guidance, employers must continue to follow the Emergency Temporary Standards, which were first approved in November 2020. As a result, for now, even after June 15, face coverings will still be required for all workers when indoors.

In addition, today, June 10, the federal Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued an emergency rule that sets workplace safety parameters for employers in the health care sector for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also updated its guidance for mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 for all industries. Information about both developments is located here.

This past week’s events make clear that employers need to continue to stay alert and flexible when it comes to managing COVID-19 issues in the workplace.

Round 2: Cal/OSHA Revises Emergency Temporary Standards for COVID-19 Prevention

June 10 Update: Please click here for the latest news.

While many employers were expecting that the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) would follow the lead of the Center for Disease Control to do away with most masking and physical distancing requirements for vaccinated people, Cal/OSHA is taking a much more conservative approach. While the revised rules relax some restrictions, the revised rules will add new required protections for unvaccinated employees.

On June 3, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted Cal/OSHA’s revised COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards (“ETS”). As some will recall, California approved the original Cal/OSHA emergency temporary standards on COVID-19 infection prevention in November 2020. The new ETS is currently under review by the Office of Administrative Law, and if approved by June 13, will go into effect on June 15, 2021.

Employers should note that the revised ETS includes the following requirements, which apply to private employers and public entities:

Respirators:

  • After July 31, 2021, employers must provide respirators for voluntary use to all employees who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Respirators are defined as “a respiratory protection device approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (“NIOSH”) to protect the wearer from particulate matter.”
    • Examples of proper respirators under this definition include an N95 filtering face piece respirator.
  • Whenever respirators are provided for voluntary use under the revised ETS, they must be trained and instructed on the following:
    • (1) How to properly wear the respirator provided;
    • (2) How to perform a seal check according to the manufacturer’s instructions each time a respirator is worn, and the fact that facial hair interferes with a seal.
  • Note that while the ETS are silent on how long an N95 mask may be used, most FDA-cleared N95 respirators are labeled as “single-use” disposable devices. Also, the Department of Industrial Relations’ educational materials regarding proper N95 respirator use indicate that masks should be discarded at least at the end of each day.

Physical Distancing:

  • Physical distancing measures will remain in place until at least July 31, 2021.
  • Employers must comply with either of the following for all employees working indoors or at outdoor mega events (a new term, defined as “an event that includes over 10,000 participants or spectators outdoors”):
    • (1) All employees must be separated from other persons by at least six feet, except for employees who are wearing respirators.
    • (2) All employees who are not fully vaccinated must be provided respirators for voluntary use.
  • After July 31, 2021, physical distancing is no longer required (except during outbreaks), but employers must provide all unvaccinated employees with respirators for voluntary use.

Face Coverings:

  • Face coverings are still required of all employees unless any of the following apply:
    • (1) An employee is alone in a room.
    • (2) All persons in a room are fully vaccinated and do not have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • “Fully vaccinated” requires that the employer has documentation showing the person received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines must be FDA approved or have an emergency use authorization from the FDA.
  • Face coverings include surgical mask, a respirator worn voluntarily, and tightly woven fabrics with at least two layers.
  • Employers must provide training and guidance on the importance of face coverings, including the fact that particles containing the virus can travel more than six feet, especially indoors, so physical distancing must be combined with other controls, including face coverings and hand hygiene, to be effective.

Testing

  • Employers must offer free COVID-19 testing to unvaccinated symptomatic workers during paid working time, even if there is no indication that the exposure was work-related.

Exclusion from the Workplace

  • Fully vaccinated workers who test positive for COVID-19 still must be excluded from work for 10 days after the positive test, even if they are asymptomatic.

Takeaways for Employers

  • It is likely that California will adopt the revised ETS next week. Employers should plan to update their COVID-19 prevention plans. If employers do not have one already, one should be prepared, as they are required of all employers.
  • When drafting policies on how and when face covering requirements will remain in place, remember that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission considers information about an employee’s COVID-19 vaccination status to be confidential medical information under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Employers should plan for how they will collect and secure vaccination records.
  • If the new rules take effect, Cal/OSHA is likely to issue FAQs and other interpretative guidance to help employers to navigate these issues.

Meyers Nave can assist employers to comply with these new requirements.

Shiraz Tangri Selected as One of the 500 Most Influential People in Los Angeles

Meyers Nave proudly announces that the Los Angeles Business Journal selected Shiraz Tangri, a Principal in Meyers Nave’s statewide Land Use and Environmental Law Practice Group, for a second time to the 2021 edition of LA500 – its list of the 500 Most Influential People in Los Angeles.

As the Journal’s Publisher explained “the 2021 class of the LA500 was faced with challenges over the past year that many may never have to address again. It was a year of difficulty, tragedy, optimism and achievement. It was a year of growth, in so many ways, for our leaders, our communities and our nation. I believe it was a year that our Community of Business ™ can be proud of.”

Court of Appeal Upholds SB 35 and Orders City of Berkeley to Issue Ministerial Approval of Mixed-Use Affordable Housing Project

The Court of Appeal reversed a trial court judgment and issued an order directing the City of Berkeley to grant ministerial approval pursuant to Senate Bill (SB) 35 for a 260-unit mixed-use project. (Ruegg & Ellsworth v. City of Berkeley (2021) 63 Cal.App.5th 277.) This is the first appellate case to address the SB 35 streamlined approval process for housing. While much of the opinion concerned issues unique to the project, the court’s decision confirms the validity of the statute and its limitations on the discretion of local agencies under SB 35.

The case involved the City’s denial of one of the first SB 35 applications in the state. The City’s planning department denied the application for the mixed use development (with 135 apartments and retail) on grounds that SB 35 could not constitutionally be applied to limit the discretion of a charter city; that SB 35 does not apply to mixed-use developments; and that the project did not comply with the requirements for ministerial approval for various reasons, including that the project might require demolition of a historic structure.

The court first addressed whether the project is ineligible for SB 35 approval because it would require the demolition of a “historic structure,” which is an exception to ministerial approval included in the statute. The City had denied the developer’s application for ministerial approval, in part, on the grounds that construction of the project would require the destruction of a tribal shellmound, a local historic landmark that conflicting surveys indicated may encroach onto the project site. While the trial court had deferred to the City’s determination on the issue, the court of appeal reversed, rejecting the City’s interpretation of the term historic “structure” as including the shellmound and finding there was no evidence that the shellmound remnants could reasonably be viewed as a structure.

Next, the court turned to arguments that applying SB 35 to require ministerial approval would amount to an unconstitutional interference with the City’s “home rule” authority over historic preservation and land use issues as a charter city. On this issue, the court explained that, although local historical preservation and land use regulation are traditional municipal affairs, SB 35 was enacted to address a statewide issue—the housing crisis and specifically the lack of affordable housing. Moreover, because the statute’s interference with local governance is narrowed by limiting its application to cities that have failed to meet regional housing obligations and numerous other provisions limiting the scope of eligible projects, the court concluded there is no unconstitutional interference with the City’s home rule authority in this instance.

The court of appeal also rejected the City’s argument that mixed-use projects are ineligible for the ministerial approval process unless the zoning for the site specifically provides that mixed use projects contain two-thirds residential uses. Again disagreeing with the trial court, the court held that the relevant inquiry is whether the project includes at least two-thirds residential uses, reasoning that any interpretation which would further limit the number of eligible projects would be counter to the legislature’s intent to promote affordable housing construction.

Finally, the court rejected the City’s arguments that, even if SB 35 applies, the project is inconsistent with applicable objective zoning standards, namely, the City’s Affordable Housing Mitigation Fee ordinance and traffic standards. First, the court explained that an affordable housing mitigation fee is not the type of “objective planning standard” with which a project can be inconsistent, thus, the ordinance could not provide the City with a valid basis to deny ministerial approval under SB 35. Second, with regard to the alleged failure to comply with traffic standards, the court found that the City failed to provide the developers any specific criteria by which to assess project traffic impacts. Because the statute requires that a city provide applicants with documentation of which standard(s) a project conflicts with and explanation as to why, the court concluded that the City’s assertion the project fails to comply with traffic standards is an insufficient basis for its denial of ministerial approval.

While the opinion ultimately turned on the unique factual circumstances and regulations at issue, the court’s decision emphasizes the Legislature’s intent to promote housing construction and to limit local governments’ ability to impede development in areas where housing is needed most through the application of subjective local regulations. The opinion is likely to embolden the use of SB 35 for new housing projects in California and highlights that local agencies should provide objective development standards and strictly adhere to the procedures and timelines included in SB 35.

Deborah Fox Selected Among the “Top Women Lawyers” in California

Meyers Nave proudly announces that the Daily Journal selected Principal Deborah J. Fox to its 2021 list of “Top Women Lawyers” in California. The list honors women lawyers who have made a difference to their clients, their firms and their profession.

The Daily Journal award article features Deborah’s expertise with First Amendment issues, land use litigation and crisis management. “Her work over the past year has included precedent-setting wins and published decisions in the defense of counties, cities and public officials in a rapidly developing wave of state and federal court challenges to shelter in place orders, public health orders, and reopening plans.”

 

Gallagher v. Newsom – California’s Third District Court of Appeal Upholds Governor Newsom’s Broad Authority to Issue Executive Orders During the COVID-19 Emergency

On May 5, 2021, California’s Third Appellate District struck down a superior court injunction that sought to narrowly limit Governor Newsom’s authority to issue Executive Orders under the Emergency Services Act (“the Act”).  What began as California Assemblymen James Gallagher and Kevin Kiley’s challenge to an Executive Order requiring vote-by-mail ballots to be sent to all California voters evolved into a dispute that challenged the very power of the Governor to issue Executive Orders under emergency authority during the extended COVID-19 pandemic.

The case’s initial focus was Governor Newsom’s Executive Order requiring all voters be provided a vote-by-mail ballot for the November 2020 election, along with other measures intended to ensure voting access during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Assemblymen Gallagher and Kiley filed suit challenging the Executive Order as an unconstitutional exercise of powers reserved for the Legislature.  Sutter County Superior Court Judge Sarah Heckman ruled that the Governor had exceeded his authority under the Act, finding that the Governor had the power to suspend laws but not to make new laws or amend existing laws.  Judge Heckman enjoined the Governor from issuing any executive orders that amend or make statuory law, noting that the Governor had issued at least 50 executive orders under the Act and would likely continue to issue more executive orders relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just one day after the Governor sought a writ challenging the ruling, the Third Appellate District stayed the injunction.  Now, the Court has issued its decision holding that the Emergency Services Act permitted the Governor to amend or make new laws.  The Court went on to explain that Government Code § 8627 authorized the use of “all police powers,” which includes the power to legislate by enacting laws that promote the public health, safety, and welfare.  The Court recognized the Act’s purpose of empowering the Governor to deal with a wide variety of differing emergencies from wildfires to floods to a pandemic.  As well, the Court found no violation of the separation of powers doctrine nor any improper delegation of legislative authority to the Governor.  Rather, the Court concluded that the Act provided guidance in how to implement the Act by requiring that their be a coordinated emergency response.  More crucially, the Act included a key safeguard that any orders pursuant to the Act cease to have effect once the emergency is over, and the Legislature itself has the authority to declare an end to the emergency.

Gallagher offers the strongest support yet for the Governor’s authority to use Executive Orders to address the COVID-19 pandemic.  The petitioners have gone on record that they will be seeking review by the California Supreme Court.

Business Development Specialist (Oakland, Los Angeles or San Diego)

Meyers Nave is recruiting for a Business Development Specialist. This is a non-exempt position reporting to the Business Development Manager and may be located in the Firm’s Oakland, Los Angeles or San Diego office.

ABOUT MEYERS NAVE

Meyers Nave has an exceptional reputation in California as a go-to law firm that clients rely on to handle their highest profile, most complicated and often most controversial transactions and litigated matters. Attorneys work in multi-disciplinary teams to help public agencies, private businesses and non-profit organizations navigate complex local, state and federal laws and regulations. Meyers Nave was founded over 30 years ago and has grown into a state-wide firm with approximately 65 attorneys in five locations.

JOB SUMMARY

The Business Development Specialist supports the Marketing Department in a variety of marketing and business development programs, activities, plans, and initiatives. The position will work closely with the Business Development Manager, assisting with the day-to-day execution of tasks related to attorney support, practice group support, and event management.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

The position’s essential functions include but are not limited to:

Business Development

  • Maintain the Firm’s experience database by ensuring attorney bios, practice group descriptions and representative experience sections are updated;
  • Play a key role in the RFP, proposals, and pitches process, manage deadlines, develop frameworks of initial drafts, and work closely with Practice Group Leaders;
  • Maintain the Firm’s CRM system, including resolving duplicate contact information, generating various reports, updating database content for business development purposes such as adding new contacts, tracking contact participation, etc.;

Technology

  • Update the Firm’s website with current attorney biographies, practice group descriptions, written content, events and other general information;
  • Prepare and distribute clients alerts, newsletters, Firm announcements, and awards;
  • Host online events and conduct related administrative tasks including pre- and post-online event registrations, presentation materials, minor video editing, video library management, website updates, etc.;
  • Maintain social media channels (i.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, SlideShare);

General Essential Functions

  • Maintain composure and work efficiently and accurately during high-energy situations involving frequently changing circumstances;
  • Demonstrate excellent customer support;
  • Work cordially, cooperatively and productively with Firm employees;
  • Travel to all Meyers Naves offices on an as-needed basis; and
  • Other duties as required.

Management retains the right to add to or change the functions of this position at any time.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • 3-5 years of experience in law firm or professional services business development and/or marketing;
  • Bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing, or a related field, or the equivalent professional experience including strong knowledge of business development, marketing, and client relations;
  • Excellent organizational, written and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and tasks with great attention to detail;
  • Proactive and deadline oriented;
  • Strong knowledge of CRM, Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, and website updates;
  • Ability to work independently or as part of a team and/or remotely;
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint);
  • Strong knowledge of social media channels including LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and SlideShare;
  • Willingness and availability to work additional hours as needed;
  • Demonstrated problem-solving, troubleshooting and analytical skills; and
  • Strong computer skills.

Meyers Nave is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of any qualified applicant’s race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, military or veteran status or any other category protected by law. Meyers Nave will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

HOW TO APPLY:

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume by email to meyersjobs@meyersnave.com

Direct applicants only. The Firm is not accepting submissions from recruiters for this position.

Deborah Fox selected among the “Most Influential Women Lawyers” in Los Angeles

Meyers Nave proudly announces that the Los Angeles Business Journal selected Deborah Fox to its 2021 list of the “Most Influential Women Lawyers” in Los Angeles. “The women covered in these pages have been recognized for exceptional legal skill and achievement across the full spectrum of responsibility, exemplary leadership as evidenced by the highest professional and ethical standards, and for contributions to the Los Angeles community at large. Congratulations to the extraordinary women included this year and thank you for your contributions to the people and businesses of our region.”

The Journal’s description of Deborah’s professional expertise is excerpted below.

Deborah Fox is a principal in the Los Angeles office of Meyers Nave, a member of the firm’s three-person Executive Committee, and the founder and leader of the firm’s Trial & Litigation Practice and First Amendment Practice. The cases Fox handles confirm her reputation as a go-to attorney for high impact complex litigation and crisis management involving controversial matters that are already front-page news or likely to become headlines in the greater Los Angeles region and across the U.S. She is particularly well known for handling cases in new areas of law that define pivotal eras in history that will leave powerful legacies, such as her pioneering COVID-19 litigation that lies at the intersection of law and highly charged considerations for society. She is currently defending counties, cities and public officials in 10 lawsuits throughout California in cases filed by businesses challenging COVID-related restrictions.