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Published Articles


Municipal and Special District Law

  • Civil Gang Injunctions: What Can They do for Your City?December 1, 2011Civil gang injunctions are public nuisance actions that city attorneys or district attorneys bring in civil court to curb and disrupt gang-related criminal and noncriminal activities. Cities seek gang injunctions to intervene in, prevent and suppress gang activity in an affected neighborhood. Typically, gang injunctions not only prohibit already illegal activities but also impose restrictions on ... read more
  • Public Records Act Requires Disclosure of County Retiree Pension InformationJune 23, 2011In May 2011, a Court of Appeal clarified for the first time that, like public employee salaries, county retiree names and pension amounts are public records subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act. By now, most local government officials and employees know that their names and associated salary and benefit information are generally considered a matter of public record ... read more

Public Finance

  • Local Governments Need Bankruptcy OptionJuly 15, 2011Local government bankruptcies are rare. Nevertheless, some public employee organizations aim to make the local government bankruptcy option nearly impossible, as evidenced by AB 506. This bill would require a tortuous process before a municipality could even file for federal bankruptcy protection. Other large, complex states, notably New York, Texas and Florida, do not hem in their local ... read more

Trial and Litigation

  • Legal Immunity: How Court Ruling Impacts DepartmentsMay 31, 2011 Fire departments are now not liable for injuries caused by vehicles at the scene of a fire in Calif. Firefighters must make quick decisions under extremely stressful and dangerous circumstances while fighting a fire. Thus, the legislatures of many states, including California, have provided that fire departments cannot be held liable for injuries or damages caused to third persons during the ... read more
  • Evidence Collection for Civil LitigationFebruary 9, 2011Every day lawsuits are won and lost based on the quality of the evidence presented at trial. Most law enforcement agencies are well trained in the collection and preservation of evidence in the criminal arena. However, many of these same agencies never fully contemplate the ramifications of civil suits.  Evidence crucial to civil police litigation is often lost, destroyed, sold or never ... read more

Labor and Employment

  • Supreme Court Decision Extends Anti-Retaliation Protections to FianceesFebruary 8, 2011In Thompson v. North American Stainless LP, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that the anti-retaliation provisions in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") protected an individual from being terminated in retaliation for his fiancée's prior complaint of discrimination to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The Supreme Court's ... read more