Meyers Nave Secures Key Victory In California Supreme Court Confirming Application of Automatic Stay Pending Appeal to Mandatory Injunctions

In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court confirmed that the automatic stay pending appeal applies to a superior court judgment that orders mandatory injunctive relief. The trial court judgment ordered the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to vacate the Third District seat and then immediately fill the vacant seat with a new appointee selected by Governor Newsom, based on an alleged Brown Act violation in the process the Board had originally employed to fill the vacant seat. The challengers had argued that the judgment was prohibitory in nature, and therefore excepted from CCP § 916’s automatic stay. Agreeing with the Board, the Supreme Court instead held that the judgment ordered mandatory injunctive relief because it altered the status quo of the parties at the time the judgment was entered, and the judgment was therefore subject to the automatic stay.

Gomez Daly v. San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, S260209, came to the California Supreme Court in a unique procedural posture. Petitioners Michael Gomez Daly and Inland Empire United (“Petitioners”) filed a petition for writ of mandate in the San Bernardino County Superior Court alleging that the Board had violated the open meeting requirements of the Brown Act when it filled a vacancy on the Board in appointing a supervisor to the Third District seat. Over the Board’s strenuous objection, the superior court found that the appointment violated the Brown Act, and was therefore “null and void” under the Brown Act’s provisions allowing a court to nullify action taken in violation of the Act. The superior court then entered judgment requiring the Board to vacate the seat and to allow the Governor to make a new appointment. The Board immediately appealed the decision, alleging several errors committed by the superior court. In connection with the appeal, because Petitioners were attempting to immediately enforce the judgment notwithstanding the appeal, the Board sought writ of supersedeas in the Court of Appeal on the basis that CCP § 916’s automatic stay applied to the judgment pending appeal. The Court of Appeal denied the petition for writ of supersedeas, the Board petitioned to the Supreme Court for review, and the Court granted review.

The Supreme Court laid out the familiar rule: mandatory injunctions are ones that alter the status quo and are therefore subject to the automatic stay; prohibitory injunctions, on the other hand, seek to preserve the status quo and are not subject to the automatic stay. While many cases identify the status quo as the point in time before the injunction is ordered, Petitioners urged the Court to use another definition—the last peaceable, uncontested status preceding the controversy. The Supreme Court harmonized these two competing definitions by explaining that the latter could be used where an injunctive order seeks to prevent injury from future conduct rather than remedy a past wrong. The Court next turned to the facts of the case, and explained that the judgment here was a mandatory injunction. Although the relief stemmed from a finding that the Board’s action was “null and void,” the relief was nonetheless properly characterized as a mandatory injunction because it required a mandatory act that would change the relative position of the parties by removing the Supervisor from office. Now that the Supreme Court has confirmed the automatic stay applies, the case is back to the Court of Appeal to address the merits of the Board’s appeal.

With this decision, the Supreme Court affirmed that California law sets the “default rule” to be that mandatory orders are stayed pending appeal. The decision has far-reaching consequences, providing added clarity and guidance for all appeals from injunctive relief judgments. The decision should also provide comfort to public entities by ensuring that injunctive relief will generally be stayed pending appeal, reducing the potential for erroneous judgments to interrupt or impede stable governance.

Janice Brown Selected Among San Diego Business Journal’s “Women of Influence” 2021 List

Meyers Nave proudly announces that Principal Janice Brown has been selected to San Diego Business Journal’s “Women of Influence” 2021 list. She is one of 50 women recognized on this diverse list of honorees acknowledging the accomplishments of these top women in the San Diego region.

Janice is a Principal in Meyers Nave’s Labor and Employment Law Practice, Workplace Investigations Practice and Commercial Litigation Practice. She has more than 35 years of trial, arbitration and appellate experience in state and federal courts. Brown’s career began in the U.S. Justice Department where she quickly demonstrated expertise that earned her membership in the Honors Program and the “Outstanding Trial Attorney” and “Trial Lawyer of the Year” awards in under three years.

Janice is recognized as a pioneer in the legal profession, as well as a trusted adviser to clients, a mentor to colleagues and a leader in advancing diversity throughout the legal profession. She is regularly asked to speak and consult on diversity, equity and inclusion issues. Active in her legal and local community, Brown has been selected by Senators Boxer, Harris and Padilla to help select federal judges for lifetime employment. She is the former chairwoman of the San Diego Economic Development Corporation and is a member of its executive committee.

To see the full list of honorees, please click here.

Meyers Nave Northern California Attorneys Receive 2021 “Super Lawyers” and “Rising Stars” Recognition

Meyers Nave proudly announces that six attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2021 “Northern California Super Lawyers” list and the 2021 “Northern California Rising Stars” list. Published in Super Lawyers Magazine, only up to five percent of the lawyers in California are named to the Super Lawyers list and up to 2.5 percent are named to the Rising Stars list.

We congratulate our attorneys for this important recognition of their legal expertise and professional accomplishments in both their geographic region and their areas of specialty.

Super Lawyers

Rising Stars

  • Alex J. Mog, Of Counsel – State, Local & Municipal Law, 2020-2021

About Super Lawyers®: Super Lawyers evaluates attorneys from firms of all sizes in more than 70 practice areas throughout the United States. Super Lawyers selects lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. Super Lawyers Magazine, publisher of the lists, is distributed to attorneys and ABA-accredited law schools.

Camille Hamilton Pating Selected Among California’s “Top Labor and Employment Lawyers”

Meyers Nave proudly announces that Principal Camille Hamilton Pating has been selected for a consecutive year to the Daily Journal’s 2021 list of California’s “Top Labor & Employment Lawyers.” Camille is Chair of Meyers Nave’s Labor and Employment Practice and Workplace Investigations Practice. She is a highly respected employment law expert, specializing in independent investigations of high-profile workplace misconduct claims. Camille is an experienced litigator advising and defending employers in litigation, arbitrations and disciplinary hearings and appeals. She is a thought leader in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs and initiatives and develops and leads innovative training programs.

In the past year, Camille has provided advice and counsel to employers on managing COVID-19 issues in the workplace, including return to office issues, ADA accommodation, managing remote employees, trends in COVID-related litigation, leave laws and vaccine policies, while also speaking and advising on diversity and inclusion issues in our legal communities.

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.

Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Meyers Nave Takes On Another Leading Role

Meyers Nave proudly announces that Principal Eric Casher, Chair of the Firm’s Municipal and Special District Law Practice and Diversity Committee, has been appointed to serve on the newly formed Advancing Equity Advisory Committee of the League of California Cities (LOCC). The 25 members of the Committee represent a diverse group of leaders across California who are charged with identifying how cities and towns can recognize and eliminate biases and disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities. Currently in his 3rd year serving as the City Attorney for the City of Pinole in Contra Costa County, Eric is the only City Attorney appointed to the Committee that is comprised of mostly elected Mayors, City Councilmembers and City Managers. The League of California Cities is an association of officials who work together to support California’s 482 cities and towns.

Goals of Advancing Equity Advisory Committee
The Committee will work in partnership with the National League of Cities, Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL) group to identify and recommend best practices, tools, and resources designed to:

  • Strengthen local leaders’ understanding and knowledge of equity and inclusion challenges.
  • Help local leaders reevaluate operations and services through an equity and inclusion lens.
  • Support local leaders in taking action to reform systemic racial biases and inequities that exist in institutions and policies, and replace them with systems that are more inclusive, fair and just.

Headshot of Eric CasherEric Casher, Principal
ecasher@meyersnave.com, 800.464.3559

“I am honored to have this opportunity to work with a dedicated team of elected officials and leaders from across the State to address these critical issues and develop best practices and policies to create a more equitable and just future for all Californians. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working with all types of public entities on equity issues as they play out in different ways, from public contracting, code enforcement, and zoning ordinances, to policy initiatives relating to economic development, affordable housing, and policing. It is exciting to be able to bring my experience to bear and contribute to the important work of this Committee.”

In addition to serving as Chair of Meyers Nave’s Diversity Committee, Eric serves on the Board of numerous organizations that promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession and local communities. He serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the California Minority Counsel Program and recently completed terms as President of California ChangeLawyers and the Charles Houston Bar Association.

Women’s Initiative: Meet The Women Who Lead Practices at Meyers Nave

Meyers Nave is proud of our demonstrated commitment to recruit, train, mentor and advance women attorneys throughout our firm. For example, half of Meyers Nave attorneys are women, nine practice groups are led by women, one of three executive committee members is a woman, two of four attorneys elevated to Principal since 2018 are women, four of our six Diversity Fellowship Program participants are women, and Law360 highlighted our commitment to diversity as a key to our merger with the Brown Law Group, a prominent woman- and minority-owned law firm. (“Diversity Is Key In Calif. Boutique Merger With Meyers Nave,” Law360, 9/3/2020). On February 1, 2021, the San Diego Business Journal featured Principal Janice Brown in an article titled “Encouragement Changes Lives: Celebrating Black Entrepreneurship.”

Meet Our Women Leaders
To help introduce the women listed below who lead practice groups at Meyers Nave, we created a Meet Our Women Leaders flyer that briefly describes each attorney’s areas of expertise and includes a quote from a woman leader who inspires each Meyers Nave attorney.

Sharing Their Advice and Experience
Meyers Nave proudly served as a Gold Sponsor of the Daily Journal’s inaugural Women Leadership in Law conferences held in San Francisco and Los Angeles which brought together women who are leading all sectors of the legal profession, including in-house law departments, law firms and the judiciary. To share their personal experiences and professional insight for women litigators, Deborah Fox, Chair of our First Amendment Practice, Trial & Litigation Practice and Crisis Management Practice, spoke at the Los Angeles event and Nancy Harris, Chair of our Commercial Litigation Practice, spoke at the San Francisco event.

Other prominent presentations about women in the legal profession include Brenda Aguilar-Guerrero, Chair of our Eminent Domain & Inverse Condemnation Practice, who spoke about “Pathways to Partnership” at a California Women Lawyers conference as well as the Women’s Leadership Summit for the Municipal Management Association. Brenda also participated on the “Battling Bias” discussion panel at the Women In Law Series hosted by the Alameda County Bar Association and Women Lawyers of Alameda County and spoke about “Career Advancement Obstacles and Opportunities” at a Women Lawyers’ Retreat sponsored by the Alameda County Bar Association, Women Lawyers of Alameda County, Contra Costa Bar Association’s Women’s Section, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, and California Women Lawyers.

Camille Hamilton Pating, Chair of our Labor & Employment Practice and Workplace Investigations Practice, participated on the panel discussing “Overcoming the Imposter Syndrome” at the Women of Color Forum at the California Minority Counsel Program’s Business Conference. Camille also participated on a panel discussing “Organizational Transformation: A Conversation on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” for the Association of Women in Water, Energy and Environment.

For more information about Meyers Nave’s Women’s Initiative, please contact the women listed above. Additional information is also available on our Women’s Initiative page.