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Client Alerts



Land Use

  • First Appellate District Rules CEQA’s One-Year Rule for Certifying an EIR not MandatoryDecember 3, 2009 On December 2, the First Appellate District issued an important decision in Schellinger Brothers v. City of Sebastopol rejecting a developer’s ability to challenge a lead agency’s decision to continue processing an environmental impact report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), even after the expiration of the one-year period for certification of an EIR ... read more
  • Ninth Circuit Departs from Established Jurisprudence for Regulatory Takings ClaimsOctober 1, 2009In its split decision in Guggenheim v. City of Goleta , 2009 WL 3068152 (C.A.9 (Cal.)), the Ninth Circuit departed from established takings jurisprudence to find that the vacancy control provision of a rent control ordinance for mobile home parks caused a taking for which just compensation must be paid, despite the fact that the ordinance did not interfere with the property owner's ... read more
  • Legislature Responds to Economic Downturn by Extending the Lives of Tentative Subdivision Maps for Two YearsJuly 16, 2009 In response to the economic downturn, the Legislature adopted Assembly Bill (AB) 333, which extends the lives of approved tentative subdivision maps by two years. In order to qualify for the extension, tentative maps must have been valid on July 15, 2009 and must otherwise have expired by January 1, 2012. AB 333 is an emergency bill and is applicable immediately. The extension provided ... read more
  • Latest OPR CEQA Guidelines Emphasize Local Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plans in CEQA ReviewApril 30, 2009Senate Bill 97 directed the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) to develop regulations for the analysis and mitigation of greenhouse gases under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). OPR has issued a final draft of these regulations as amendments to the CEQA Guidelines. For the Guidelines to become law, the Natural Resources Agency must approve them by January 1, 2010. The ... read more

Municipal and Special District Law

Eminent Domain and Inverse Condemnation

  • Should Local Agencies Consider Proposed High Speed Rail in CEQA Analyses of Local Projects?November 16, 2009 With the California High Speed Rail Authority (the Authority) moving forward with efforts to bring high speed rail (HSR) service to California, local agencies should be aware that they may be required to consider the HSR project in analyses of the environmental impacts of their local projects. The HSR will extend from Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area in the north, through the ... read more

Climate Change and Green Initiatives

  • CEQA and Greenhouse Gas Regulations Moving Towards AdoptionNovember 4, 2009Regulations for the analysis of greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) have been finalized and are moving towards adoption. The final amendments to the State CEQA Guidelines have been released and are out for public comment until November 10, 2009. Under State law (SB 97), the Guidelines should be adopted ... read more
  • Resources for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Measures and PlansJune 29, 2009 Many public agencies are considering the adoption of greenhouse gas reduction measures and plans. These plans help agencies comply with developing legal requirements. They also benefit agencies by retaining local control, reducing legal risk, and saving energy and other costs. There are several resources that provide guidance, technical assistance and funding for the development of these ... read more

Environmental Law

Public Finance

Trial and Litigation

Labor and Employment

  • Ninth Circuit Finally Hears Oral Argument on “Donning and Doffing” CasesJune 1, 2009 The Ninth Circuit convened in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Monday, June 1, 2009 to hear two appeals involving “donning and doffing” cases brought by public safety personnel. Meyers Nave wrote the briefs for the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties, and attended oral argument. The Ninth Circuit judges assigned to the cases are Gould, Rawlinson and ... read more
  • Court of Appeal Finds Binding Interest Arbitration Statute UnconstitutionalMay 3, 2009 On April 24, 2009, the First Appellate District ruled in Sonoma County v. Superior Court (Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association) that SB440, a labor negotiations interest arbitration statute applicable to public safety unions, violated both Article XI, Section 1(b) and Article XI, Section 11(a) of the California Constitution. This was the first Court of Appeal decision to ... read more
  • Public Agency Can Unilaterally Decide to Lay Off EmployeesMarch 20, 2009On March 18, 2009, the California Court of Appeal held that the City of Richmond's decision to lay off its firefighters was not subject to collective bargaining, but that the effects of that layoff decision, such as the workload and safety of remaining employees, were subject to the meet and confer requirements of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (MMBA). The court emphasized that the union's ... read more
  • No Pay for Alleged Pre-Shift Tasks by Police OfficersFebruary 26, 2009 On February 13, 2009, a federal jury in the Southern District of California unanimously decided that the time that eight San Diego police officers spent performing tasks prior to their shifts was not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Specifically, the jury determined that the officers had not performed uncompensated work that was "controlled or required by the employer, and ... read more