Catherine Groves

Catherine J. Groves

Senior Counsel

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San Francisco

Catherine serves as outside general counsel to numerous local government agencies and advises on a wide variety of legal issues. Her clients include transit districts, water districts, fire district, cities, counties, and other special districts. Catherine has particular enthusiasm for, and expertise in, the evolving legal landscape of data security and privacy laws.

Catherine's areas of expertise within the public agency realm are expansive. She advises clients on government ethics, governance laws, legislation, and constitutional issues. She also drafts, reviews, negotiates, and analyzes a wide variety of contracts in a team effort with procurement staff, project managers, and upper management, including agreements for technology, inbound licensing, software as a service (SaaS), professional services, goods, real estate, public works/construction, design-build and alternative project delivery, intergovernmental collaboration, and funding/grants. In addition, Catherine counsels clients regarding privacy policies, end-user license agreements, website terms and conditions, data breach response, and privacy issues in technology agreements. Catherine frequently advises and trains clients on compliance with the Brown Act, Public Records Act, election laws, and conflict of interest laws and regulations.

Catherine is passionate about providing pro bono assistance to various organizations and serves as a member of the firm's Pro Bono Committee.

Representative Work

Counseled a municipal utility district on assessing and implementing an agency-wide data security and privacy program.

Advised public transit agency clients through all stages of the procurement and launch of mobile ticketing and mobility applications.

Developed all formation documents for new agency, including bylaws, procurement manual, conflict of interest code (including interfacing with the FPPC), investment policy, and template agenda materials.


"Amendment to the Brown Act Provides for New Website and Agenda Requirements," Government Law Alert (July 2017)

"New Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirement For Local Agency Officials: FAQ & Compliance Tips," co-author, Labor & Employment Law Alert (March 2017)

"California Supreme Court Case Alert: Public Records on Private Accounts," co-author, Government Law Alert (March 2017)

"Why Take 8 Steps When You Can Get There In 4? The FPPC’s New Conflict of Interest Regulations for Public Officials in California," co-author, Public Law Journal (March 2016)

“Ask the Experts: The Brown Act,” co-author, California Special Districts Association Magazine (April 2015)

"New Public Works Requirements for Contractors and Public Agencies Pursuant to SB 854," co-author, Public Agency Law Alert (December 2014)

"New Brown Act Reporting Requirements," co-author, Public Agency Law Alert (March 2014)

"Summary of California Appellate Cases," Association of California Water Agencies, Contributing Author of Summaries (2012-2013 and 2014-2015)

See All Publications


"An Overview of Laws and Compliance," co-presenter, MCLE Marathon (January 2020)

"First Amendment Issues and Transit: A Discussion of Speech Rights and Recent Developments in Advertising and Filming on Transit Systems," co-presenter, American Public Transit Association Legal Affairs Seminar (February 2020)

"Cyber Sense: Legal and Strategic lnsights on How to Protect Sensitive and Confidential Information Amid Increased Security Threats," co-speaker, California Special Districts Associations (June 2019)

"Data Sharing Opportunities and Managing Data Risks in a “Smarter” World," co-speaker, Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting (January 2019)

"Information Privacy LawGovernment Data Collection & Disclosure Laws,” lecturer, University of San Francisco School of Law (November 2018)

"Who Owns the Data-Mitigating Data Breach Risks in a 'Smarter' World,” co-speaker, Transportation Research Board 57th Annual Workshop (July 2018)

“Laws Governing Sensitive Information & Tips for Advising on Common Cyber Security Issues,” co-speaker, American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Legal Affairs Seminar (February 2018)

"Contract Tips for Protecting Sensitive Data and Reducing the Risk of a Breach and Top 5 Things to Do in the Week After a Data Breach," co-speaker, Northern California County Counsel Meeting (June 2017)

"Government Ethics Academy," co-speaker, Santa Clara University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics (May 2016)

"Welcome to the Fishbowl: An Interactive Government Ethics Workshop," co-speaker, 2015 CSDA Annual Conference (September 2015)

"Ask the Legal Experts," co-speaker, 2015 CSDA General managers Leadership Summit (July 2015)

See All Presentations

Professional Affiliations

League of California Cities, Fair Political Practices Commission Committee

The Bar Association of San Francisco, Cybersecurity and Privacy Law

Academic Distinction

Berkeley Ecology Law Quarterly, Articles Editor

Berkeley Law Board of Advocates Team

Certificate of Specialization in Environmental Law


J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law (2012)

B.A., highest departmental honors, University of California, Berkeley (2008)

Admissions And Courts


San Francisco

415-995-5171 Direct Phone
415-995-3535 Fax

Email Attorney


Firm Leadership

Pro Bono Committee, Member & former Vice-Chair