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Hanson Bridgett LLP Successfully Defends the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Against Discrimination Claims (March 30, 2009) 

On March 27, 2009, United States Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte ended almost four years of litigation by ruling in favor of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and against a class of plaintiffs on their state discrimination claims. The plaintiff class brought this action asserting that MTC's funding decisions discriminated against the minority riders of AC Transit. 

Announcing the court's decision after a month-long October trial in a 90-page ruling, Judge Laporte found that MTC had not discriminated against the plaintiff class under state law. The court previously had rejected plaintiffs' federal claims of intentional discrimination under Title VI and the Equal Protection Clause when it granted in part MTC's motion for summary judgment in August of 2008. Hanson Bridgett LLP attorneys, led by Kimon Manolius, represented MTC in the litigation. 

At the October trial, Plaintiffs contended that three of MTC's funding practices had a disparate impact on the minority riders of AC Transit. Plaintiffs contended that each of these apparently neutral transportation funding practices diverted funding from bus operations in favor of expansion of rail services, disproportionately harming AC Transit's predominantly minority bus riders in violation of antidiscrimination statutes. The court found that plaintiffs failed to prove disparate impact and were not entitled to any relief against MTC. "We are gratified by the court's ruling as it represents a total victory for MTC. 

The transportation funding realm is quite complex, and we are happy that the court took the time to understand these novel legal issues; to our knowledge, this trial was the first of its kind in California," said Manolius, who heads Hanson Bridgett's Public Agency Litigation practice group. "MTC's work is so important. It coordinates funding not only for more than two dozen transit operators, but also must address funding for the region's streets, highways, and bridges," continued Manolius. "The ruling without question recognizes MTC's ongoing commitment to equity in transportation funding and planning." 

For over 40 years, Hanson Bridgett has served as both general and special counsel for public agencies, including transportation and other special districts, cities and counties, joint powers authorities, and associations of local governmental agencies. The firm provides a comprehensive array of services including both affirmative and defense litigation, labor and employment, municipal finance, environmental, real estate and land use, as well as government procurement, and contract negotiations. 

Hanson Bridgett Public Relations: 

P: 415-995-5075, F: 415-541-9366 

To receive future Hanson Bridgett Press Releases by email or hard copy please email mklopp@hansonbridgett.com.

Hanson Bridgett is a law firm with more than 150 attorneys in offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, the North Bay, Silicon Valley and the East Bay. Serving clients since 1958, we are well known in Northern California and have earned a national reputation in many of our practice areas.

Our diverse client list includes large national and global companies as well as many governmental entities, regional businesses and individuals. While we keep true to our California roots, our work increasingly takes us across state and national borders.

Michelle Klopp
Hanson Bridgett LLP
425 Market Street, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

415-995-5075 Direct Phone
415-541-9366 Fax

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