Overview of Services
Representing public agencies has been a principal specialty of Hanson Bridgett for more than 50 years. We represent, as general counsel, transportation districts, cities, water districts, harbor districts, community service districts, fire districts, hospital districts, joint powers authorities, associations of local governmental agencies and sanitation districts. In addition, we serve public agencies on individual assignments (or as on-going counsel in specific areas of the law) on projects involving labor and employment law, municipal finance, litigation, environmental laws, rate setting, real estate and land use, government reorganization and complex procurements and contract negotiations.
Much of the work for public sector clients is performed by attorneys in the government group, composed of lawyers whose practices are devoted exclusively to representation of general and special purpose public agencies. Whenever necessary we are able to draw on the expertise of attorneys in other specialized practice areas.
Just like our clients, we are creative, resourceful and dedicated to providing the best service possible. We take pride in understanding the business of our public agency clients and in finding ways to implement their goals and objectives on a sound legal basis and in a cost-effective manner.
The firm has substantial (in some cases unsurpassed) experience with issues unique to agencies providing services in certain fields. These include transportation, water supply and solid waste management.
Areas of Expertise:
- Open Government Laws
- Conflicts of Interest
- Public Procurement
- Public Works and Infrastructure
- Labor and Employment
- Employee Benefits
- Appellate Advocacy
- Technology Procurements
- Privacy, Data Security and Information Control
- Environmental Law
- Financial and Rate Setting
- Taxes, Assessments and Fees
- Administrative Law
- Insurance Recovery
- Code Enforcement
- Eminent Domain and Inverse Condemnation
- LAFCO Issues
- Land Use
- Real Property Acquisition, Management and Disposition
- Joint Powers Agreements
- Ordinances and Resolutions
- Public Private Partnerships
News & Resources
Supreme Court Depublishes Court of Appeal Opinion Regarding Required Placement of Discussion Concerning the Application of CEQA Exemptions in Agenda Items Providing for Project Approval
It's best practice for local agencies, when taking action on projects that include a recommendation to rely on CEQA exemptions, to include, on their agenda entry for the item, a mention of the intent to rely on the exemption or exemptions.
Local Elected Officials: Levine Act Lookback Policy Does Not Apply to 2022 Donations
Local elected officials are not required to recuse themselves from participating in a decision for accepting a contribution over $250 from a party or participant to a proceeding in 2022.
Pay-to-Play Restrictions Expanded in 2023
SB 1439 amends the Levine Act to apply to all elected officials and restricts campaign donations from applicants for decisions coming before their agencies.
Pandemic-Era Extensions for Presenting Government Claims to Public Entity Defendants Expired on October 27, 2022
Governor Plans to Lift COVID-19 State of Emergency, Limiting Agencies’ Ability to Meet Remotely
As of February 28, 2023, agencies would no longer be able to hold teleconference-only meetings as a result of COVID-19.
AB 2647: Sharing Documents with the Board of Directors
Governor Signs AB 2449: The Latest Development to the Brown Act in a Post-Pandemic World
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 2449 (Rubio), marking the latest development of the Brown Act in a post-pandemic world.
California Supreme Court Allows Challenge to Oakland’s Franchise Fee
In Zolly v. City of Oakland, the California Supreme Court ruled that a Proposition 26 challenge to the City of Oakland’s solid-waste franchise fees should not have been dismissed on demurrer.
California Court Reaffirms that Litigation Threat Letters Should be Treated as Claims Under the Government Claims Act
Fourth District Court of Appeal Wades Into Government Claims Act Split and Warns Public Entities To Treat Litigation Threat Letters as Claims or Risk Waiving Defenses
California Indoor Mask Mandate Update
Effective February 16, the CDPH will no longer require vaccinated individuals to wear masks in all indoor public settings.