Nossaman LLP

Should You Participate in the IRS Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program?

2014 marked a significant increase in the enforcement efforts by the IRS and Department of Justice against non-compliant U.S. taxpayers who failed to report their off-shore bank accounts and earnings.  Grand Jury proceedings…more

Criminal Prosecution, DOJ, Enforcement Actions, FBAR, IRS

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The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology Reverses Its Unlawful Ban on Treating Male Patients

In September of 2013, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology adopted a policy of excluding obstetrician/gynecologists from eligibility for Board certification and recertification if they treated any male patients. The…more

Healthcare, OB-GYN, Patients, Specialty Healthcare

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California Launches Road User Charge Pilot Study

This Friday, January 23, 2015, California will take the first step in investigating a road user charge pilot program as an alternative to the gas tax when the CTC convenes the Road User Charge Advisory Committee meeting. The…more

Department of Transportation, Fees, Gas Taxes, Roads

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Impact to Calif. Employers From Hobby Lobby Ruling

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, holding that closely held corporations could refuse to provide contraceptive coverage mandated by U.S. Department of Health…more

Affordable Care Act, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, Contraceptives, Employer Group Health Plans

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Implied Easements and Lessons for Landowners

On Jan. 28, 2015, in Richardson v. Franc, 14 C.D.O.S 941 (2015), the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District ruled in favor of an easement holder by granting an irrevocable license permitting additional…more

Easements, License Agreements, Property Owners

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Notice-and-Comment is Not Required for Changes Made to Interpretive Rules

On March 9, 2015, Justice Sotomayor, writing on behalf of the majority, overturned the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine, which requires federal agencies to use a notice-and-comment process before making a significant revision to an…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Notice and Comment, Paralyzed Veterans Doctrine, Perez v Mortage Bankers Assoc, Rulemaking Process

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Contract Award for Riverside Extension of SR-91 Express Lanes

On May 8th, 2013, the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) approved a $632 million dollar design-build contract for the SR-91 Corridor Improvement Project. The design-builder is a joint venture between Atkinson…more

Construction Contracts, Highways, Joint Venture

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Best Practices for Public Building P3 Projects: What Works and What Doesn’t?

The Performance Based Building Coalition (PBBC) and the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) together hosted the P3s for Public Buildings Summit in Miami on November 17 and 18, 2014. One of the panels…more

Canada, Construction Industry, P3s, Public Projects, Public-Private Partnerships

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A Short Reflection of The Infidel(*) Policyholder Counsel’s Invasion of the Insurance Industry’s Island Confab

I recently had the extraordinary opportunity to join other seasoned insurance professionals in a panel presentation focused on claims arising under jeweler’s block insurance. We gave this presentation as part of the annual…more

EU, Insurance Brokers, Insurers, Professional Conferences

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Contract Award for Riverside Extension of SR-91 Express Lanes

On May 8th, 2013, the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC) approved a $632 million dollar design-build contract for the SR-91 Corridor Improvement Project. The design-builder is a joint venture between Atkinson…more

Construction Contracts, Highways, Joint Venture

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Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance Promotes Alternate Source of Transportation Funding

The Second Annual Conference of the Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance (MBUFA) was held in Washington, DC on February 24, 2015. The MBUFA is a non-profit organization that promotes awareness and education about mileage-based user…more

Financing, Highways, Infrastructure, Legislative Agendas, Market Participants

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Davis v. Electronic Arts: Another Right of Publicity Loss for Media Companies

On January 6, 2015, Electronic Arts, Inc. (“EA”), maker of Madden NFL video games, lost its appeal to dismiss claims by approximately 6,000 retired professional football players in Michael Davis, et. al v. Electronic Arts, Inc.,…more

Athletes, College Athletes, Davis v. Electronic Arts, Digital Media, Football

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Did You Know…Employers Must Reimburse Employees for Personal Cell Phone Use

Last August, in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., a California Court of Appeal held that employers must reimburse employees for required work-related use of personal cell phones, even if the employees incur no additional…more

Bring Your Own Device, Cell Phones, Employer Liability Issues, Labor Code, Reimbursements

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Chromium 6: From the Code to the Courts… and Back Again

This past summer, with a little prodding from the Alameda County Superior Court in Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. California Department of Health, the California Department of Public Health met the California…more

Chromium-6, Department of Health, Legislative Agendas, Water Resources Control Board

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Preferred Offeror Named on Marion County Consolidated Justice Center Project

City of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced today that WMB Heartland Justice Partners was selected as the Preferred Offeror to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new Marion County Consolidated Justice…more

Public Projects

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Impact to Calif. Employers From Hobby Lobby Ruling

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, holding that closely held corporations could refuse to provide contraceptive coverage mandated by U.S. Department of Health…more

Affordable Care Act, Burwell v Hobby Lobby, Contraceptive Coverage Mandate, Contraceptives, Employer Group Health Plans

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Endangered Species Rule Roundup: April 6-7, 2015

After a relatively quiet start to the year, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) have issued findings and rules regarding the proposed listings of four separate species under the…more

Endangered Species, Endangered Species Act, ESA Listings, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service

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Electronic Health Records Donations: Proposed CMS And OIG Rules Revise Stark Exception And Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor

On April 10, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (‘‘CMS'') and the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (‘‘OIG'') published twin proposed rules that amend and extend the…more

Anti-Corruption, Anti-Kickback Statute, CMS, Electronic Medical Records, HHS

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Court of Appeal Upholds Regional Water Quality Control Board's TMDL Based on Pollutants in Lake Bed Sediment

On March 30, 2015, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District upheld a novel, sediment-based total maximum daily load (TMDL) set by the Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) for McGrath…more

Appeals, Inland Waterways, State Park, Water Quality Control Boards

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Caltrans and Temecula Join Forces to Relieve I-15 Congestion

The City of Temecula is moving forward with the French Valley Parkway. The project involves constructio of a new arterial, as well as improvements to the I-15 Winchester Road interchange. Phase I of the project included…more

Caltrans, Construction Industry, Highways, Infrastructure, Request for Proposals

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The "ABCs" Of California Booze Law

Do you want to be part of the booze business in California? Or do you already have a liquor license but are unclear on what you're allowed to do? We're here to help. Originally Published in Krost, Baumgarten, Kniss &…more

Liquor, Wine & Alcohol

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Insurers Argue Damage by Meteor is all that is Covered in a CGL

In a decision out of the Superior Court in Delaware, Judge Rocanelli bought a favorite insurance industry argument so extreme, several state legislatures (including Colorado and South Carolina) have passed laws overruling court…more

Commercial General Liability Policies, Construction Project, Contractors, Insurance Litigation, Negligence

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Will We See A Trend For Direct Pension Fund Investment In US Greenfields Infrastructure?

Although historically the investment profile for pension funds has focused on established brownfields assets, the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) has recently invested $525 million AUD into the greenfields…more

Australia, Canada, Investment Funds, Pension Funds, Pensions

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The Texas Department of Transportation and Abrams-Kiewit Joint Venture Reach Agreement on the Loop 375 Border Highway West Extension Project

On August 22, 2014, the Texas Department of Transportation and Abrams-Kiewit Joint Venture (Developer) reached commercial close on the Loop 375 Border Highway West Extension Project (Project). The contract, which includes…more

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The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology Reverses Its Unlawful Ban on Treating Male Patients

In September of 2013, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology adopted a policy of excluding obstetrician/gynecologists from eligibility for Board certification and recertification if they treated any male patients. The…more

Healthcare, OB-GYN, Patients, Specialty Healthcare

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Did You Know…Bill Mandating Paid Sick Leave Signed By Governor

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. just signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, which takes effect on July 1, 2015. The new law requires nearly every employer in California to provide any employee who has worked…more

Employee Rights, Employer Liability Issues, New Legislation, Paid Leave, Sick Leave

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VP Biden Calls for Greater Investment in Port Infrastructure

On November 12, during a keynote address at the annual convention of the American Association of Port Authorities in Houston, Vice President Biden issued a call to action for greater investment in U.S. port facilities…more

Infrastructure, Joe Biden, P3s, Ports, Public-Private Partnerships

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Pilot Program Will Allow Local Hiring Preference for Workers on Federal Transportation Projects

Federal transportation officials are contemplating new contract rules that would make it easier for states and cities to hire local residents to work on transportation projects. Federal rules currently prohibit the Federal…more

Construction Industry, Construction Project, Federal Contractors, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration

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Water District Not Liable In Inverse Condemnation When Water Pipe Breaks and Damages Property

California’s infrastructure is aging. There have been numerous reports of water line breaks and gas line leaks, and public agencies have been moving quickly to upgrade their utilities to minimize these risks and satisfy…more

Appeals, Critical Infrastructure Sectors, Inverse Condemnation, Property Damage, Public Entities

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New 2015 Fundraising Restrictions on California Lobbyists and Limits on California Lobbying Firms

Lobbyists subject to new fundraising restrictions in 2015 - Effective January 1, 2015 lobbyists and their cohabitants are prohibited from hosting fundraising events for candidates and elected officials (for which the…more

Amended Regulation, Campaign Contributions, Fundraisers, Lobbyists, Political Campaigns

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Another Reason to Review Government Vendor Agreements: Government Agencies Can Be Held Liable for Patent Infringement Claims

Two recent court decisions serve as reminders of government liability for patent infringement claims: IRIS Corp. v. Japan Airlines Corp., Case No. 10-1051 (Fed. Cir., Oct. 21, 2014) (Prost, J.) and SecurityPoint Holdings, Inc…more

Federal Contractors, Governmental Liability, Japan Airlines, Patent Infringement, Patent Litigation

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Court of Appeal Strikes Down 2011 S.F. Charter Requirement that SFERS Be "Fully Funded" Before Vested Supplemental COLAs May be Granted

In a March 27, 2015 opinion, the First District Court of Appeal unanimously declared a voter-approved amendment to the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco (City) to be unconstitutional as applied to current City…more

Appeals, City Charters, COLA, Public Employees, Retirement

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Missoula, MT and Apple Valley, CA Team Up for Water Fight

In what might appear as a strange pairing, the city of Missoula, Montana and Apple Valley, California are collaborating on how to take back their local water systems. As reported by the Missoulian, the water systems for both…more

Municipalities, Private Utility, Utilities Sector, Water

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The Secret Is Out: The Documentary Transfer Tax Will Now Be Part of Public Record

The Documentary Transfer Tax Act allows each county and city to impose a tax on each deed, instrument, or writing by which any real estate is sold within the county at the time the document is recorded. Assembly Bill No. 1888…more

Documentary Stamp Tax, Public Records, Real Estate Transfers, Realty Transfer Taxes

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Did Koontz Stop Illegal Development Exactions?

Much was written by law school professors and property rights groups following the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Koontz v. St. John's River Water Management District (2013), which found that land-use permit requirements…more

Eminent Domain, Koontz v St John's River Water Management, Land-Use Permits, SCOTUS, Takings

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Scope of FTC’s Authority to Enforce Cybersecurity is Questioned

authoOn March 3, the Third Circuit heard oral argument in FTC v. Wyndham, a case that is being closely followed by the privacy and data security community. Wyndham is challenging the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) authority…more

Cybersecurity, Enforcement, FTC, FTC v Wyndham, Oral Argument

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Limited Liability Companies Forced into Compliance

California limited liability companies and foreign limited liability companies (LLCs) registered in California must file a Statement of Information with the California Secretary of State within 90 days after the articles of…more

Foriegn LLCs, LLC, Notice Requirements, Statement of Information

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A Closer Look At T-Mobile V. Roswell

On Jan. 14, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in T-Mobile South LLC v. City of Roswell, holding that the city violated the "in writing" requirement of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. §…more

Cell Towers, Municipalities, Operational Permits, SCOTUS, Substantial Evidence Standard

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Co-Tenancy Breaches And Remedies: What's Next For Landlords And Tenants After Grand Prospect Partners

Last month, the California Fifth Appellate Court issued a ruling concerning the enforceability of co-tenancy provisions in commercial leases. Grand Prospect Partners, L.P. v. Ross Dress for Less, Inc., et al…more

Commercial Bankruptcy, Commercial Leases, Cotenancy Provisions, Discount Retailers, Mervyns

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The End of the Hour

Before the twentieth century, state law prescribed set fees for specific legal services, and litigation fees were usually paid by the losing parties. Over time, maximum fee laws were repealed, and by the early twentieth century…more

Alternative Fee Arrangements, American Bar Association, Billing, Law Practice Management

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Did You Know…PAGA Waivers Unenforceable in California Courts

The United States Supreme Court recently declined to review the California Supreme Court’s decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC. In Iskanian, the California Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration…more

AT&T Mobility v Concepcion, Class Action, Class Action Arbitration Waivers, Federal Arbitration Act, Iskanian

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A Good Health Plan or an Uzi?

It was open enrollment for health benefits at Nossaman last week, and the conference room was filled with employees waiting to be briefed. Having spent the better part of the last few years of my professional life being…more

Essential Health Benefits, Healthcare

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House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee's Panel on Public-Private Partnerships Release Recommendations

On September 17, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Panel on Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) released its report and recommendations. The group, empaneled in February of this year, was tasked with examining…more

Infrastructure, Jurisdiction, P3s, Public-Private Partnerships

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FDOT Study Finds Significant Cost and Time Savings with Design-Build Project Delivery

According to a recent internal study conducted by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the design-build project delivery method provides significant cost and time savings as compared to the traditional…more

Construction Industry, Construction Project, Design-Bid-Build, Design-Build, Florida DOT

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FHWA Publishes Core Toll Concession P3 Model Contract Guide

The FHWA published its final Core Toll Concessions P3 Model Contract Guide (“Guide”) on September 10, 2014 as part of its mandate under MAP-21 to develop “standard public-private partnership transaction model contracts for the…more

MAP-21, P3s, Public-Private Partnerships

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California Public Utilities Commission Proceeding Updates Affecting the California Biogas Industry

Two pending proceedings at the California Public Utilities Commission ("CPUC") will substantially influence market opportunities for instate biogas producers. The CPUC initiated a rulemaking last week to address a number of…more

Biofuel, CPUC, Renewable Energy

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Bankruptcy Court Decides That The Bankruptcy Code Preempts California State Pension Laws

In a February 4, 2015 opinion, the bankruptcy judge presiding over Stockton, California's Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy case approved Stockton's bankruptcy plan of adjustment. In re City of Stockton, 2015 Bankr. LEXIS…more

Bankruptcy Court, CalPERS, Chapter 9, City of Stockton, Municipalities

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Notice-and-Comment is Not Required for Changes Made to Interpretive Rules

On March 9, 2015, Justice Sotomayor, writing on behalf of the majority, overturned the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine, which requires federal agencies to use a notice-and-comment process before making a significant revision to an…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Notice and Comment, Paralyzed Veterans Doctrine, Perez v Mortage Bankers Assoc, Rulemaking Process

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New Non-profit Donor Disclosure Takes Effect July 1, 2014 for California Elections

On May 14, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 27 (S.B. 27), increasing the disclosure requirements that non-profit "multipurpose" organizations are subject to when engaging in California elections. This legislative…more

Charitable Donations, Charitable Organizations, Citizens United, Donor Lists, Non-Profits

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Arizona Department of Transportation Shortlists Three Teams for the South Mountain Freeway P3 Project

The Arizona Department of Transportation (“ADOT”) announced today it has shortlisted three developer teams vying for the $1.9 billion design-build-maintain contract for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway Project. The three…more

Construction Industry, Design-Build, Highways, Infrastructure

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Houston METRO North Line Opens

On Saturday, December 21, the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) celebrated the opening of the North Line in Houston, Texas. The 5.3-mile northern extension of METRO’s Red Line includes eight new stations…more

Public Transit, Public-Private Partnerships, Railways, Transit Authority

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Changes To California Pregnancy Disability Regulations To Take Effect By Year End

Amendments to California’s pregnancy disability regulations proposed by the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission have been formally approved by the Office of Administrative Law. The amendments, which go into effect…more

Medical Leave, Pregnancy Disability Leave Law

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FHWA's Expanded Application of Buy America to Utility Relocations Causes Consternation, Delays

As we have previously reported, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued guidance holding that "Buy America applies to any utility work that is accomplished as a result of a Federal-aid highway project", unless the…more

Buy American Act, Delays, Federal Highway Administration, NEPA, Utilities Sector

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Court of Appeal Strikes Down 2011 S.F. Charter Requirement that SFERS Be "Fully Funded" Before Vested Supplemental COLAs May be Granted

In a March 27, 2015 opinion, the First District Court of Appeal unanimously declared a voter-approved amendment to the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco (City) to be unconstitutional as applied to current City…more

Appeals, City Charters, COLA, Public Employees, Retirement

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Arizona Department of Transportation Shortlists Three Teams for the South Mountain Freeway P3 Project

The Arizona Department of Transportation (“ADOT”) announced today it has shortlisted three developer teams vying for the $1.9 billion design-build-maintain contract for the Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway Project. The three…more

Construction Industry, Design-Build, Highways, Infrastructure

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What Every California LCC Needs To Know About California's New Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act

New changes to California's limited liability company law affect many of the rules governing operation of limited liability companies ("LLCs"). These changes include the default provisions that automatically apply when the…more

Business Formation, Fiduciary Duty, Indemnification, LLC, RULLCA

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“21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act” Introduced in House

On March 26, 2015, House of Representatives Republican Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced a bill (H.R. 1667) to amend Section 4(b) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to require the Secretary of Interior to “make publicly…more

Endangered Species Act, Information Sharing, Proposed Amendments, Public Disclosure, Scientific Research

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An Insurer Is Bound By a Default Judgment Resulting From Its Failure to Defend

An insurance company must defend its insured if there is a mere potential that the lawsuit against the insured is covered, and there are serious consequences when an insurer refuses to do so. In California, if a default…more

Default Judgment, Duty to Defend, Insurers

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Florida Governor Rick Scott Breaks Ground on I-4 Ultimate Project

Florida Governor Rick Scott broke ground yesterday on the I-4 Ultimate Project, which will rebuild I-4 in metro-Orlando. The Project involves the reconstruction of 21 miles of I-4 from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to…more

Construction Project, Highways, Infrastructure, Public Projects

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The Secret Is Out: The Documentary Transfer Tax Will Now Be Part of Public Record

The Documentary Transfer Tax Act allows each county and city to impose a tax on each deed, instrument, or writing by which any real estate is sold within the county at the time the document is recorded. Assembly Bill No. 1888…more

Documentary Stamp Tax, Public Records, Real Estate Transfers, Realty Transfer Taxes

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Co-Tenancy Breaches And Remedies: What's Next For Landlords And Tenants After Grand Prospect Partners

Last month, the California Fifth Appellate Court issued a ruling concerning the enforceability of co-tenancy provisions in commercial leases. Grand Prospect Partners, L.P. v. Ross Dress for Less, Inc., et al…more

Commercial Bankruptcy, Commercial Leases, Cotenancy Provisions, Discount Retailers, Mervyns

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Mello-Roos May Be Used to Fund Condemnation Action of Private Utility Provider

Those of us living in newer neighborhoods are familiar with Mello-Roos – it shows up on our annual tax bills as a way to pay off bonds issued to finance various public improvements, such as schools, streets, and parks that were…more

Bond Financing, Condemnation, Eminent Domain, Mello-Roos, Private Utility

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Guidance for Managing NEPA-Related Risks and Other Risks in Project Delivery - National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)

In This Issue: - AUTHOR'S ACKNOWLEDGMENTS - GUIDANCE FOR MANAGING LEGAL RISKS IN THE NEPA PROCESS ..Early Identification and Assessment of Legal Risks ..Methods for Managing Legal Risks ..Legal Risk…more

Department of Transportation, Environmental Review, Federal Highway Administration, Highways, NEPA

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Chromium 6: From the Code to the Courts… and Back Again

This past summer, with a little prodding from the Alameda County Superior Court in Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. California Department of Health, the California Department of Public Health met the California…more

Chromium-6, Department of Health, Legislative Agendas, Water Resources Control Board

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Cannot Say Enough – Customs' Enforcement Efforts – Antidumping And Countervailing Duty Laws

In September 2011 we published an article entitled Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties – Know the Products You Import…more

Antidumping Duties, Commodities, Countervailing Duties, Customs and Border Protection, False Claims Act

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Florida Governor Rick Scott Breaks Ground on I-4 Ultimate Project

Florida Governor Rick Scott broke ground yesterday on the I-4 Ultimate Project, which will rebuild I-4 in metro-Orlando. The Project involves the reconstruction of 21 miles of I-4 from west of Kirkman Road in Orange County to…more

Construction Project, Highways, Infrastructure, Public Projects

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Guidance for Managing NEPA-Related Risks and Other Risks in Project Delivery - National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)

In This Issue: - AUTHOR'S ACKNOWLEDGMENTS - GUIDANCE FOR MANAGING LEGAL RISKS IN THE NEPA PROCESS ..Early Identification and Assessment of Legal Risks ..Methods for Managing Legal Risks ..Legal Risk…more

Department of Transportation, Environmental Review, Federal Highway Administration, Highways, NEPA

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Did You Know…Court Confirms Employees on Medical Leave Must Still Comply With Existing Company Policies

In Richey v. Autonation, Inc., Case No. S207536 (January 29, 2015), the California Supreme Court confirmed that an employee who is on medical leave does not have a greater right to reinstatement or to other benefits and…more

Arbitration, Automotive Industry, CA Supreme Court, Car Dealerships, CFRA

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Remember Bonds on Preliminary Injunctions

Intellectual property litigation, particularly litigation involving trade secrets and Lanham Act claims for trademark and false designation of origin, often if not usually involves seeking a preliminary injunction. As a general…more

Injunction Bonds, Lanham Act, Preliminary Injunctions, Trademark Litigation

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Is the Attorney's Fees Clause Moot in an Illegal Contract? – Depends On Your Involvement, Explains First Appellate District Court

The Court of Appeal recently clarified when a party can recover attorney's fees under a real estate purchase contract that is ruled to be illegal. California courts have previously enforced attorney's fees provisions in a real…more

Appeals, Attorney's Fees, In Pari Delicto, Purchase Agreement, Real Estate Transfers

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New 2015 Fundraising Restrictions on California Lobbyists and Limits on California Lobbying Firms

Lobbyists subject to new fundraising restrictions in 2015 - Effective January 1, 2015 lobbyists and their cohabitants are prohibited from hosting fundraising events for candidates and elected officials (for which the…more

Amended Regulation, Campaign Contributions, Fundraisers, Lobbyists, Political Campaigns

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Finding Win-Win Outcomes For Conservation And Utilization

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, or MSA, governs marine fisheries management in federal waters of the United States. The statute's purpose is to conserve and manage fisheries resources to rebuild…more

Conservation, Environmental Policies, National Marine Fisheries Service, Waters of the United States

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Hexavalent Chromium: Is the Maximum Contaminant Level a Done Deal?

The California Department of Public Health Submits Its Final Regulation Package on Hexavalent Chromium: Is the Maximum Contaminant Level a Done Deal?…more

Chromium-6, Contamination, Department of Health, Health Safety, Natural Resources Defense Council

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The Inevitable Cyber Break In: Are You Protected?

The prevalence of cyber data breach over the years has not only grown in number, but has also grown in size. Perhaps the most well-known example of a large-scale data breach is that suffered by Target Corp. occurring at the end…more

Cyber Attacks, Cyber Insurance, Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection

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To Understand King v. Burwell Look To Yates v. US

On March 4, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard argument in King v. Burwell, the most publicized case to reach the high court in some time. The issue is whether certain tax subsidies essential to the proper fiscal management of…more

Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance, Health Insurance Exchanges, King v Burwell, SCOTUS

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Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Critical Habitat: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Sets December 18, 2014 Public Hearing in Sacramento

As we reported in November, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) has been planning to hold a public hearing on the proposal to designate 546,335 acres of critical habitat for the western population of yellow-billed cuckoo…more

Administrative Hearings, Critical Habitat, Endangered Species, Fish and Wildlife Service

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Northern Long-Eared Bat Listed as Threatened

On April 2, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) issued a final rule listing the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service determined that…more

Endangered Species Act, ESA Listings, Final Rules, Fish and Wildlife Service

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Did You Know…The Guiding Light on Employer Handbooks — Sort of

Most employers already know they cannot forbid employees from criticizing management, workplace conditions, or discussing salaries in person or on the Internet.  Employers cannot forbid employees from posting comments — both…more

Employee Handbooks, Employment Policies, NLRA, NLRB, Section 7

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State and Local Communities Respond to Crude-by-Rail Safety Issue

July 6 marked the one year anniversary of the crude oil derailment in Lac Megantic Quebec, which significantly heightened throughout North America the awareness about safety issues surrounding crude by rail. This heightened…more

Oil & Gas, Oil Spills, Proposed Regulation, Railroads, Railways

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Seventh Circuit Restricts the Reach of U.S. Antitrust Laws on Foreign Component Manufacturers

Background-Seventh Circuit Issues Important Decision for Foreign Manufacturers - In a precedent-setting antitrust decision, a federal appellate court handed a significant victory to Nossaman client AU Optronics in its…more

Antitrust Litigation, Antitrust Provisions, Foreign Corporations, Manufacturers

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Sea Level Rise Guidance For Agencies, Cities

In 2008, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed an executive order calling for the development of a statewide strategy and ordered state agencies to plan for sea level rise impacts. And Oct. 14, following Gov. Jerry Brown's…more

Coastal Real Estate, Sea Levels, State and Local Government

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New California Privacy Law AB 1710: Data Security Requirements Just Got Broader

California has been a pioneer in enacting legislation designed to protect privacy. AB 1710, which was signed into law on September 30, 2014 by Governor Brown, is the latest example. It extends liability to businesses that…more

Breach Notification Rule, Data Breach, Data Protection

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Lessons On Peer Review For Calif. Hospitals And Physicians

On June 6, 2013, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously in El-Attar v. Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center that the delegation of a peer-review matter to the hospital's governing board did not violate a physician's…more

Board of Directors, Corporate Governance, Due Process, Healthcare Professionals, Hospitals

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CalPERS’ Commitment to Infrastructure (Real Assets Annual Program Review, November 2014)

On November 17, 2014, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest U.S. public pension fund with approximately $300 billion in assets, conducted its annual real assets program review. CalPERS’ real…more

CalPERS, Infrastructure, Pensions, Tangible Property

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California High-Speed Rail Authority Announces Apparent Best Value Proposer

The California High-Speed Rail Authority recently announced that a joint venture composed of Tutor Perini, Zachry Construction and Parsons has provided the apparent best value proposal for the initial design-build construction…more

High-Speed Rail, Valuation

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Revises Proposed Critical Habitat Rule for Zuni Bluehead Sucker

On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) reopened the public comment period on its proposed rule designating critical habitat for the Zuni bluehead sucker (Catostomus discobolus), a fish species…more

Comment Period, Critical Habitat, Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Service, Proposed Regulation

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Congress Passes WIFIA Pilot Program

Following the 412-4 vote in the U.S. House on Tuesday and the 91-7 vote in the U.S. Senate yesterday, the president is expected to quickly sign into the law the Water Resources and Reform Development Act of 2014 (WRRDA). In…more

EPA, Infrastructure, TIFIA, US Army Corps of Engineers, WIFIA

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Update on Two Recent California Eminent Domain Cases

I wanted to provide a quick update on two recent cases from the California Court of Appeal. The first, Golden State Water Company v. Casitas Municipal Water District (April 14, 2015), involves what appears to be an issue…more

Administrative Remedies, Appeals, Eminent Domain, First Impression, Mello-Roos

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Tenth Circuit Upholds Roadway Project On Lands Formerly Used To Manufacture Nuclear Weapons

On April 17, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a district court decision upholding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) approval of a roadway project in the Rocky Flats area of Denver,…more

Appeals, Construction Project, Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Service, Incidental Take Permits

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EPA Presents WIFIA Listening Sessions in Los Angeles

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently holding a roadshow of listening sessions across the US to provide information on the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) and its proposed five-year pilot…more

Environmental Policies, EPA, Infrastructure, Water, Water Supplies

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Liable for not Learning from Target Data Breach?

Has the standard of care for retailers handling consumer data shifted in the last 9 months? As analysts compare the recent Home Depot data breach to the data breach of the credit card processing system at Target last December,…more

Cybersecurity, Data Breach, Data Protection, Hackers, Home Depot

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Court of Appeal Says Communications on Personal Communicating Devices are Exempt from Disclosure under Public Records Act

Reversing a Superior Court ruling that had caused quite a splash a few months ago, in City of San Jose v. Superior Court (H039498, March 27, 2014), the Sixth District of the Court of Appeal has held that communications to and…more

Disclosure Requirements, Electronic Devices, Exemptions, Mobile Devices, Public Records Act

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California to Purchase High-Speed Trains

Trainsets - On January 30, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) issued a draft Request For Proposals (RFP) for Tier III trainsets and invited industry to submit comments…more

High-Speed Rail Authority, Request for Proposals, Trains

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Citing Conservation Plan and $45 Million in Funding, FWS Concludes Listing for Bi-State Population of Greater Sage Grouse is Unnecessary

While the larger controversy is far from over, for the California and Nevada populations of the greater sage grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), the controversy does appear to be put to rest. In 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife…more

Critical Habitat, Endangered Species, ESA Listings, Fish and Wildlife Service, Proposed Regulation

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The Texas Department of Transportation Shortlists Three Development Teams for the Grand Parkway Segments H, I-1 and I-2 Project

On July 31, 2014, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting qualifications from teams interested in entering into a design-build contract and a comprehensive maintenance…more

Construction Contracts, Construction Industry, Design-Build, Highways, Public Projects

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U.S. Supreme Court Holds in Favor of Cell Tower Siting Applicants

On January 14, the U.S. Supreme Court in T-Mobile South, LLC v. City of Roswell, held that the City of Roswell ("City") violated the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(iii) (the "Telecommunications Act"),…more

Cell Phones, Municipalities, Operational Permits, Permits, SCOTUS

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Congressman Delaney Talks Infrastructure Funding at IBBTA Conference

On March 31, 2015, Congressman John K. Delaney (D-MD) spoke at the Washington Briefing of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBBTA) in Washington, DC. At the event, Congressman Delaney provided an update…more

Federal Highway Administration, Highways, Infrastructure, Proposed Legislation

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President Releases 2016 Budget Proposal

Earlier today, President Barack Obama released his approximately $4 trillion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2016, which begins on October 1 of this year. While the President’s proposed budget covers everything from defense to…more

Appropriations Bill, Barack Obama, Federal Budget, Infrastructure

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Sold Only an Interest in Your Property? Get Ready To Pay More Tax

California state and local government agencies looking for more revenue have long been looking at real estate sales to increase their tax take. Last month, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District…more

Commercial Real Estate Market, Land Transfer Taxes, Local Taxes, Property Tax, SALT

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Nossaman’s Eminent Domain Practice Group Attending the Transportation Research Board’s 94th Annual Meeting In Washington D.C.

The Transportation Research Board’s 94th Annual Meeting is well under way in Washington D.C. (January 11-15, 2015).  The meeting, which has attracted over 12,000 attendees and 300 exhibitors this year, provides an opportunity…more

Eminent Domain, Infrastructure, Professional Conferences, Surface Transportation

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What is Your Privacy Worth?

$29 per month, according to AT&T. The telecommunications giant launched its high-speed internet service, GigaPower, in Cupertino, California this week.  GigaPower boasts network speeds so fast that users can “download 25…more

AT&T, Data Mining, GigaPower, Online Advertisements, Telecommunications

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STB Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Announcing Weekly Reporting on Rail Service Issues

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which the Board seeks comments on the establishment of regulations which will require all Class I railroads and the Chicago…more

NPRM, Public Comment, Railroads, Surface Transportation Board

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Historic Calif. Groundwater Bills are Dry on Specifics

On Aug. 29, 2014, the California Legislature cast the final votes necessary to move three companion groundwater management bills to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk. If signed by Gov. Brown, the bills will establish the Sustainable…more

Drought, Groundwater, Water, Water Resources Control Board

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Major Step Forward for California Design-Build: SB 785 Signed September 30, 2014

With the enactment of Senate Bill 785, the State of California has taken a major step forward in authorizing state and local agencies to use design-build. Although many California agencies have the ability to use design-build…more

Construction Contracts, Construction Industry, Design-Build, New Legislation, Public Projects

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New Guidance for Transparency in “Best Value” Procurements

“Best value” procurements are sometimes criticized as involving a “black box” decision-making process. A recent report issued by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (“NCHRP”) discusses practices to increase…more

Construction Industry, Federal Contractors, Infrastructure, Public Procurement Policies, Transparency

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Getting Healthy Together

Originally Published in The Recorder, September 4, 2012. A whole lotta conjunctions goin' on with California health care system players, an exceptional surge of large acquisitions and consolidations, some with surprising…more

ACOs, Affordable Care Act, Healthcare, HMOs, Hospitals

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Governments Eager to Help Market for Cyber Insurance Develop

Have you heard about cyber insurance? It is predicted to be the next big thing in insurance coverage. In the aftermath of the Home Depot and Target data breaches, it’s easy to see why companies doing business over the internet…more

Cyber Insurance, Cybersecurity, Data Protection, Home Depot, Popular

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Notice-and-Comment is Not Required for Changes Made to Interpretive Rules

On March 9, 2015, Justice Sotomayor, writing on behalf of the majority, overturned the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine, which requires federal agencies to use a notice-and-comment process before making a significant revision to an…more

Administrative Procedure Act, Notice and Comment, Paralyzed Veterans Doctrine, Perez v Mortage Bankers Assoc, Rulemaking Process

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Don’t Overlook the Potential Value Added By Green Buildings

It is increasingly important for buildings to be energy efficient. So-called “green buildings” can not only lead to more efficient energy use, but can also result in significant cost savings over time. Indeed, green buildings…more

Commercial Property Owners, Commercial Real Estate Market, Commercial Tenants, Construction Industry, Energy Efficiency

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Equal Access To Justice Act: Why Prevailing On Only 1 Out Of 3 Claims In Oregon Forestry Case Can Still Be Quite Rewarding

Generally, a failure rate of two-thirds would indicate that what you are doing isn't profitable. However, when dealing with environmental law, that clearly isn't the case. In Cascadia Wildlands v. Bureau of Land Management,…more

Access To Justice, Attorney's Fees, Bureau of Land Management, Environmental Assessments, FLPMA

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Court of Appeal Strikes Down 2011 S.F. Charter Requirement that SFERS Be "Fully Funded" Before Vested Supplemental COLAs May be Granted

In a March 27, 2015 opinion, the First District Court of Appeal unanimously declared a voter-approved amendment to the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco (City) to be unconstitutional as applied to current City…more

Appeals, City Charters, COLA, Public Employees, Retirement

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The Treasury Recommends Cyberinsurance For Banks

If you think you are being overly paranoid about the recent cyber attacks on Sony, JP Morgan, and Target, think again. You aren’t the only one that has been paying attention – hackers are also front-and-center on the minds of…more

Banks, Cyber Insurance, Cybersecurity, Financial Institutions, U.S. Treasury

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Orange County Transportation Authority Issues Request for Qualifications for the I-405 Improvement Project

On October 27, 2014, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting statements of qualifications (SOQs) from qualified firms interested in submitting proposals for the…more

Construction Industry, Construction Project, Design-Build, Highways, Infrastructure

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CEQA Reform – Legislature Balks In 2012: What is the Starting Point for Working Group Discussions and 2013 Legislation?

In recognition of the complexity and political rancor surrounding CEQA reform, Governor Jerry Brown quipped this week that CEQA reform was "the Lord's work." Concurrent with his comments, major CEQA reforms were being debuted…more

CEQA, CEQA Reform, Environmental Impact Report, SB 317

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Ninth Circuit Dismisses Action Alleging San Francisco Violated the Endangered Species Act

In a three-page memorandum decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed Wild Equity and other groups’ appeal from a lower court decision, dismissing as moot a lawsuit alleging that the City and…more

Appeals, Endangered Species Act, Golf Courses, San Francisco, Takings

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Appellate Court Upholds Santa Maria Groundwater Judgment & Physical Solution

On November 21, 2012, the California Court of Appeal (Sixth District) handed down its lengthy and long-awaited ruling in the Santa Maria groundwater litigation, which commenced in 1997. Although it reverses the Judgment on one…more

Groundwater, Physical Solutions, Water Overdraft

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TTAB Decisions May Be Determinative Of Trademark Infringement Litigation

In a well-written opinion, the Supreme Court ruled this week that a final TTAB decision on likelihood of confusion regarding a particular mark can be binding in separate trademark infringement litigation. The Court reversed a…more

B&B Hardware v Hargis Industries, Likelihood of Confusion, Registration, SCOTUS, Trademark Infringement

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DBIA seeks industry comment on revised Design-Build Best Practices

As long time participants in the alternative delivery sector know, the Design-Build Institute of America has from its earliest days sought to set forth guiding principles that would be universally applicable across all…more

Design-Bid-Build

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Contact

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