Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard

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Rebecca Akroyd

State Water Resources Control Board May Prevent Illegal Diversions Of Water, Even If Diverter Claims Riparian Or Pre-1914 Appropriative Water Right

In Young v. State Water Resources Control Board (--- Cal.App.4th ----, Cal.App. 3 Dist., August 4, 2013), a California court of appeal considered whether the State Water Resources Control Board (“Water Board”) has the authority…more

Appropriation, Department of Water Resources, Riparian Rights, Water, Water Diversion

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Constantine Baranoff

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Securities Fraud Lawsuit Brought by Purchasers of Municipal Bonds

A district court granted summary judgment in favor of a city in an action by purchasers of municipal bonds who alleged federal and state securities claims against the city. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth…more

Damages, Governmental Liability, Municipal Bonds, Securities Fraud, State Securities Claims

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S. Diane Beall

Legislature Repeals Hughes Bill

On July 1, 2013, the Governor signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 86, an education omnibus trailer bill which took effect immediately. AB 86 repeals the “Hughes Bill” mandate imposed on Local Educational Agencies (“LEAs”) to provide…more

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Marsha Bedwell

CalSTRS Extends Time to Elect to have Service Count Toward CalSTRS Retirement

CalSTRS recently issued new guidance that applies when a CalSTRS member changes to a new position that may not be eligible for participation in the retirement system. The guidance, found in Employer Information Circular, Volume…more

CalSTRS, Defined Benefit Plans, Eligibility, ERISA, Human Resources Professionals

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Anthony Bento

Communications by Public Officials Using Private Cell Phone or E-Mail Accounts are Not Public Records

The California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) requires the disclosure of “public records” on request, unless such records are exempt from disclosure. In City of San Jose v. Superior Court (March 27, 2014, H039498) --- Cal.App.4th…more

Cell Phones, CPRA, Email, Mobile Devices, Public Records

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Michelle Cannon

Communications by Public Officials Using Private Cell Phone or E-Mail Accounts are Not Public Records

The California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) requires the disclosure of “public records” on request, unless such records are exempt from disclosure. In City of San Jose v. Superior Court (March 27, 2014, H039498) --- Cal.App.4th…more

Cell Phones, CPRA, Email, Mobile Devices, Public Records

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William T. Chisum

Court Rejects Statute Allowing Court Ordered Entry Onto Private Property by Public Agencies for Pre-Acquisition Testing

California Eminent Domain Law allows public agencies to obtain a court order permitting access onto private property to conduct pre-acquisition testing and inspections. These tests and inspections can help an agency determine…more

Eminent Domain, Private Property, Takings

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June D. Coleman

Defendant to Prove Consent Unless Plaintiff Pleads Himself Out of Court by Admitting Consent

After receiving a text on his cell phone offering him a free cruise, an Illinois man was disappointed to discover that the offered cruise was not really free. He sued the cruise company in federal court, alleging violations of…more

Admissions, Burden of Proof, Cell Phones, Consent, Robocalling

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P. Addison Covert

School District Cannot Levy Fee on Preexisting Development Where No Increase in Student Generation is Shown

The owner of an apartment complex challenged a school district’s imposition of school impact fees that were based on the entire square footage of the owner’s new, larger apartment complex built after the demolition of an…more

Fees, Public Schools, School Districts

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Mona G. Ebrahimi

Court of Appeal Finds Caltrans Omitted Material Necessary to Informed Decision Making by Failing to Include a Threshold of Significance for Old Growth Redwood Trees and Including Mitigation Measures as Part of Project Description

In Lotus v. Department of Transportation (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 645, a California Court of Appeal found that Caltrans omitted material necessary to informed decision-making and informed public-participation when it failed to…more

Caltrans, CEQA, Environmental Assessments, Environmental Liability, Omissions

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Mark Ellinghouse

Court of Appeal Confirms that Laborers and Materialmen Have Priority over Construction Lenders to Funds Used to Develop the Project

A California Court of Appeal recently ruled that a construction lender must make available to stop notice claimants those amounts which the lender has already disbursed to itself on the construction loan. (Brewer Corp. v. Point…more

Construction Contracts, Construction Loans, Contractors, Debt

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Bruce Emard

Borrowers Have Standing to Challenge Void Assignments of Their Loans

A California Court of Appeal reversed a trial court’s decision and held that a borrower may sue a bank for wrongful foreclosure when an attempted transfer of loan to a securitized trust occurred after the trust’s closing date…more

Assignments, Borrowers, Foreclosure, Loans, Mortgages

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Corrie Erickson

Employee Not Required to Arbitrate FEHA Claims Where Language of Arbitration Agreement Is Permissive

While contractual claims arising from a collective bargaining agreement including an agreement to arbitrate are generally presumed arbitrable, the same presumption does not apply to statutory claims. Where an employee covered…more

Arbitration, Arbitration Agreements, Collective Bargaining, FEHA, Waivers

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Jon E. Goetz

Court Rejects Statute Allowing Court Ordered Entry Onto Private Property by Public Agencies for Pre-Acquisition Testing

California Eminent Domain Law allows public agencies to obtain a court order permitting access onto private property to conduct pre-acquisition testing and inspections. These tests and inspections can help an agency determine…more

Eminent Domain, Private Property, Takings

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Janet Goldsmith

Flood Control District Wins Dispute Over Discharge Of Storm Water That Flows Through Improved Portions Of Navigable Waterways

In its most recent foray into the meaning of the Clean Water Act, the Supreme Court has answered the fundamental question: “Does a ‘discharge of pollutants’ occur when polluted water flows from one portion of a river that is…more

Clean Water Act, Discharge of Pollutants, Los Angeles County Flood Control District, Permits, SCOTUS

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Diana Halpenny

Temporary Teacher May Seek Damages For School District's Failure To Provide Her "First Priority" When Filling A Subsequent Vacancy

In Henderson v. Newport-Mesa Unified School District (--- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, Cal.App. 4 Dist., March 13, 2013), a California court of appeal considered whether a temporary teacher employed for more than two years by a school…more

Hiring & Firing, Teachers, Temporary Employees

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Amara Harrell

Court of Appeal Confirms that Laborers and Materialmen Have Priority over Construction Lenders to Funds Used to Develop the Project

A California Court of Appeal recently ruled that a construction lender must make available to stop notice claimants those amounts which the lender has already disbursed to itself on the construction loan. (Brewer Corp. v. Point…more

Construction Contracts, Construction Loans, Contractors, Debt

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Michael Hersher

Education Code Section 56041 Requires the District of the Parents' Residence to Provide Special Education Services to Eligible County Jail Inmates Between Age 18 and 22

Pursuant to a request for a state law decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court has interpreted Education Code section 56041 to say that the district of the parents' residence is responsible…more

Inmates, Minors, Public Schools, School Districts, Special Education

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Jonathan Hobbs

Individual Fund Information for Investments Made by a Public Agency were not Prepared, Owned, Used, or Retained by the Agency, and, thus, not Subject to Disclosure as Public Records

Reuters America LLC submitted a request pursuant to the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) seeking individual fund information for current investments made by the Regents of the University of California (“Regents”). While…more

Board of Regents, CPRA, Disclosure Requirements, Public Records

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Sirenia Jimenez

Juvenile Court Schools, Reporting Allegations of Misconduct Against Certificated School Employees, and Bidding Practices under the Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act

KMTG will be issuing a series of updates on new legislation signed by Governor Brown. All laws became effective January 1, 2014, unless otherwise stated. Juvenile Court Schools—AB 631 - AB 631 amends Education…more

Juveniles, Public Schools, Subcontracts, Subletting, Teachers

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Christian M. Keiner

Communications by Public Officials Using Private Cell Phone or E-Mail Accounts are Not Public Records

The California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) requires the disclosure of “public records” on request, unless such records are exempt from disclosure. In City of San Jose v. Superior Court (March 27, 2014, H039498) --- Cal.App.4th…more

Cell Phones, CPRA, Email, Mobile Devices, Public Records

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Elizabeth Leeper

Brown Administration Releases First Four Of Twelve Chapters of Bay Delta Conservation Plan

Today the administration of California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. released the first four of 12 chapters of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). The four chapters released today include: - Introduction: background,…more

Habitat Conservation Plan, Jerry Brown

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Jeffrey L. Massey

U.S. Supreme Court: Federal Nexus And Proportionality Analysis Applies To Land Use Permitting Fees And To Both Denial And Granting Of Permits

A Florida landowner seeking a permit to develop part of a wetlands property offered a conservation easement on the undeveloped portion of the parcel to the local water management district. The district indicated it would not…more

Dolan v City of Tigard, Fifth Amendment, Koontz v St John's River Water Management, Land Developers, Nexus

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Jeffrey Mitchell

Mitigation Fee Act Applies to Developer’s Challenge of City’s Affordable Housing Set Aside Requirements

As required under its “inclusionary housing” ordinance, Palo Alto required a developer to set aside 10 condominium units as below market rate housing and make a cash payment to the City as a condition of obtaining a tentative…more

Affordable Housing, Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, Mitigation

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Linda M. Monje

Wife's Undue Influence Over Changes Made to Husband's Trust Voids Changed Terms of the Trust

A California court of appeal affirmed a ruling voiding the terms of a trust after finding that there was ample evidence to support that the decedent's wife used undue influence over him to change the trust. The court held in…more

Estate Planning, Trusts, Undue Influence Claims, Void and Unenforceable

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Scott Morris

Local Initiative Measures May Not Set Water Rates Lower than Amount Needed to Cover Required Costs under the Water Code

After a county water district raised its water and sewer rates, opponents of the rate hikes qualified two initiatives for the ballot to reverse the increase. The district filed a court action for declaratory relief, arguing…more

Anti-SLAPP, Consumer Utility Costs, Declaratory Judgments, Water

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Marie Nakamura

Small Business Procurement and Contract Act For Postsecondary Institutions, Employment Contracts for Local Agency Executives, Sex Offenders on School Grounds, and Graduation Requirements for Pupils in Foster Care

KMTG will be issuing a series of updates on new legislation signed by Governor Brown. All laws became effective January 1, 2014, unless otherwise stated. Small Business Procurement and Contract Act For Postsecondary…more

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Catherine Nystrom

2013 Legislative Developments - Reference Guide

In this Reference Guide: - Wage/Hour Legislation - Prevailing Wage Legislation - Anti-Retaliation Legislation - Employee Leave Legislation - Discrimination/Harassment Legislation - New…more

Anti-Retaliation Provisions, Background Checks, Compliance, Criminal Background Checks, Discrimination

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Daniel J. O'Hanlon

Court of Appeal Finds Caltrans Omitted Material Necessary to Informed Decision Making by Failing to Include a Threshold of Significance for Old Growth Redwood Trees and Including Mitigation Measures as Part of Project Description

In Lotus v. Department of Transportation (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 645, a California Court of Appeal found that Caltrans omitted material necessary to informed decision-making and informed public-participation when it failed to…more

Caltrans, CEQA, Environmental Assessments, Environmental Liability, Omissions

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Arturo E. Ocampo

Laboratory Retirees May Proceed In Their Lawsuit Over Health Benefits Against Regents

A group of retirees from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory brought a lawsuit against the Regents of the University of California (“Regents”) after the University of California eliminated their University-sponsored health…more

Board of Regents, Employee Benefits, Employer Group Health Plans, Health Insurance, Lifetime Limits

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Chelsea Olson

LCFF Update

On November 7th, the State Board of Education (“SBE”) met to review proposed regulations implementing the “proportionality requirement” and the Local Control and Accountability Plan (“LCAP”) framework under the Local Control…more

Department of Education, Proportionality, Public School Boards, Students

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Laura Izon Powell

Donning and Doffing Protective Gear Constitutes ‘Changing Clothes’ for Purposes of the FLSA

In a unanimous opinion, the United States Supreme Court held in Sandifer et al., v. United States Steel Corp., 571 U.S. __ (January 27, 2014) that the time employees spent “donning and doffing” protective gear was not…more

Collective Bargaining, FLSA, Sandifer v U.S. Steel Corp, SCOTUS, Unions

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Brett L. Price

Cities Entitled to Pre and Post Judgment Interest for Tax Administration Fees Improperly Calculated and Withheld by County

Seven cities brought a lawsuit against a county over the calculation of a fee that the county charges for the collection and distribution of property taxes to each city. A trial court entered judgment in favor of the cities and…more

Fees, Property Tax

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Eric Robinson

“Pay First, Litigate Later” Doctrine Applies to Local Governments: Taxpayers Required to Pay Local Assessments Until Resolution of Tax Litigation

The Water Replenishment District of Southern California (“District”) protects groundwater quality in Los Angeles County groundwater basins from overuse and saltwater intrusion. The District finances its efforts through an…more

Environmental Claims, Groundwater, State and Local Government, Tax Assessment, Tax Liability

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Meghan Covert Russell

Small Business Procurement and Contract Act For Postsecondary Institutions, Employment Contracts for Local Agency Executives, Sex Offenders on School Grounds, and Graduation Requirements for Pupils in Foster Care

KMTG will be issuing a series of updates on new legislation signed by Governor Brown. All laws became effective January 1, 2014, unless otherwise stated. Small Business Procurement and Contract Act For Postsecondary…more

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Bruce A. Scheidt

CalPERS May Calculate Retirement Benefits for a City Council Member Separately From His Benefits as a City Employee

A city administrator-turned-elected city council member believed his retirement benefits would be based on his highest salary multiplied by all his years of service, including his years on the city council; however CalPERS…more

CalPERS, ERISA, Municipalities, Public Employees, Public Employers

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William Schuetz

The Constitutional Rights of Students Wearing American Flag Shirts on Cinco de Mayo Were Not Violated When They Were Required to Remove or Turn Their Shirts Inside Out or Leave School for the Day To Prevent Substantial Disruption or Violence at the School

On Cinco de Mayo 2010, when school officials at a California high school became aware of a potential altercation between two groups of students, they asked the students wearing shirts bearing images of the American flag to…more

Due Process, First Amendment, Free Speech, Public Schools, Students

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Jennifer Scott

Court Rejects Statute Allowing Court Ordered Entry Onto Private Property by Public Agencies for Pre-Acquisition Testing

California Eminent Domain Law allows public agencies to obtain a court order permitting access onto private property to conduct pre-acquisition testing and inspections. These tests and inspections can help an agency determine…more

Eminent Domain, Private Property, Takings

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Kristianne Seargeant

CalPERS May Calculate Retirement Benefits for a City Council Member Separately From His Benefits as a City Employee

A city administrator-turned-elected city council member believed his retirement benefits would be based on his highest salary multiplied by all his years of service, including his years on the city council; however CalPERS…more

CalPERS, ERISA, Municipalities, Public Employees, Public Employers

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Maggie W. Stern

Communications by Public Officials Using Private Cell Phone or E-Mail Accounts are Not Public Records

The California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) requires the disclosure of “public records” on request, unless such records are exempt from disclosure. In City of San Jose v. Superior Court (March 27, 2014, H039498) --- Cal.App.4th…more

Cell Phones, CPRA, Email, Mobile Devices, Public Records

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Danielle Teeters

Defendant to Prove Consent Unless Plaintiff Pleads Himself Out of Court by Admitting Consent

After receiving a text on his cell phone offering him a free cruise, an Illinois man was disappointed to discover that the offered cruise was not really free. He sued the cruise company in federal court, alleging violations of…more

Admissions, Burden of Proof, Cell Phones, Consent, Robocalling

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Stacy Toledo

School Facilities

KMTG continues our series of updates on new legislation signed by Governor Brown. All laws became effective January 1, 2014, unless otherwise stated. School Facilities: Sale of Surplus Real Property; Return of State School…more

Funding, Real Estate Transfers, School Districts, School Facilities, State Allocation Boards

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Nevin Trehan

Department of Finance Releases Local Control Funding Formula

The Department of Finance released a long-awaited table today that shows how each K-12 District fares in Governor Jerry Brown’s new plan, aptly labeled Local Control Funding Formula, to direct more money to schools with…more

Funding, Jerry Brown, Public Schools, School Districts, State Funding

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David W. Tyra

Donning and Doffing Protective Gear Constitutes ‘Changing Clothes’ for Purposes of the FLSA

In a unanimous opinion, the United States Supreme Court held in Sandifer et al., v. United States Steel Corp., 571 U.S. __ (January 27, 2014) that the time employees spent “donning and doffing” protective gear was not…more

Collective Bargaining, FLSA, Sandifer v U.S. Steel Corp, SCOTUS, Unions

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Leslie Z. Walker

Court of Appeal Finds Caltrans Omitted Material Necessary to Informed Decision Making by Failing to Include a Threshold of Significance for Old Growth Redwood Trees and Including Mitigation Measures as Part of Project Description

In Lotus v. Department of Transportation (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 645, a California Court of Appeal found that Caltrans omitted material necessary to informed decision-making and informed public-participation when it failed to…more

Caltrans, CEQA, Environmental Assessments, Environmental Liability, Omissions

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Hanspeter Walter

Bureau of Reclamation Reduces 2013 CVP Allocations by 5 Percent

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation today decreased the Water Year 2013 water supply allocations for the Central Valley Project, citing the extremely dry conditions in California. Reclamation's announcement is quoted below..…more

Bureau of Reclamation, Water Supplies

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