Public Entities

News & Analysis as of

California Public Works Contractors Must Register With State by March 2015

The California Legislature imposed a new registration requirement for contractors and subcontractors involved in public works projects. Senate Bill 854, passed in June, created a registration program, which went into effect...more

Tort Actions Against Public Entities – CCP § 1038 Sanctions Cannot be Awarded Against Parties’ Counsel

Kathryn Settle v. State of California - California Court Of Appeal, Second Appellate District (July 23, 2014) - When a public entity is sued in tort, Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”) § 1038 requires a mandatory...more

Public employers, you can’t drug test as if you were in the private sector

Karen Voss was offered a newly created position of Solid Waste Coordinator with the City of Key West. The job entailed marketing and planning related to the city’s recycling programs, and “overseeing other tasks within the...more

Task Force on Governmentally-Mandated Standby Letters of Credit

Unfortunately, as bankers in West Virginia know, these forms are in several respects at odds with letter of credit law and practice. Thus the forms not only are problematic from the standpoint of issuers, but also, they may...more

Corruption & Procurement: Bribery "Thrives in the Dark."

In the July 31, 2014 edition of the Jakarta Post there was a featured article “Smith & Wesson bribery scandal involves National Police officers,” which reported that “the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) has called for an...more

Public Bleachers Constructed Prior to the ADA Don't Need Additional Improvements if a Viable Alternative is Offered

Published Case Provides Blueprint for Viable Alternative Seating - The Ninth Circuit has ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require a public entity to structurally alter existing bleacher seating...more

Social Media Freedom of Expression Cases Pit the Public Against Public Officials

In perhaps the next battleground for government and education, citizens who comment on social media sites are facing off with local government officials public and school administrators who find their online expression...more

Department of Labor Brief Provides More Guidance on Interns

In the past, we’ve explained the DOL’s test for whether employers must pay their interns. Put simply, public employers and qualifying not-for-profit entities do not have to pay their interns. On the other hand, private...more

Redeveloping Redevelopment: Recent Legislation

THE RISE AND (UNINTENDED) FALL OF REDEVELOPMENT IN CALIFORNIA. The rise and fall of redevelopment agencies in California has been extensively written about, including in this publication. The history of redevelopment...more

Community Colleges Not Subject to UTPCPL

It only stands to reason, yet it took almost 12 years and repeated appeals for the final determination by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Meyer v. Community College of Beaver County, No. 22 WAP 2012, 2014 Pa. LEXIS 1524...more

Is China’s Big Win at the World Trade Organization against the U.S. Government’s Policy on Chinese Subsidies a Game-Changer?

On July 14, 2014, a panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in favor of China against certain policies employed by the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) in conducting countervailing duty investigations. ...more

Tales From The Green Room: My FOIA Book, My Television Interview and Why Public Agencies Should Care

On June 7th, 2014, I had the good fortune of being the guest on Focus on Connecticut, which is a weekly, half-hour public affairs show on “News 12 Connecticut.” The show is hosted by Tom Appleby, a veteran news journalist in...more

South Carolina Supreme Court Rules in FOIA Case - Public Policy & Governmental Affairs Alert

The South Carolina Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in Lambries v Saluda County Council. The high court ruled that nothing in the Freedom of Information Act prohibits a public body from adding an agenda item(s)...more

Supreme Court Asked If State Universities Are Exempt From Claims Under the False Claims Act

A professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the standard for imposing liability on state universities (and their related entities, such as hospitals and...more

Update on Recent FOIA and OMA Illinois Supreme Court and Attorney General Opinions

- The Illinois Supreme Court rules state's attorneys are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. - The Illinois attorney general rules that: (i) the Open Meetings Act requires public bodies to recite the key terms of...more

Rochester, New York Joins The "Ban-the-Box Movement"

On May 22, 2014, the City of Rochester became the second city in New York to “ban the box,” by adopting legislation restricting the timing of pre-employment inquiries by most Rochester public and private employers into a...more

Iowa Case Highlights Often Overlooked Risk of Releasing Personal Emails in Public Records Requests

As a frequent advisor to school districts on freedom of information requests, the question I face most often is how a public body can protect a sensitive document from release. ...more

Threshold For Prevailing Wage Work For New Jersey Municipalities To Increase July 1, 2014

The state prevailing wage threshold for total work done for a municipality or on property or premises owned by a municipality will increase from $14,187 to $15,444 beginning July 1, 2014. ...more

Second Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies When Fee Provisions In Other Statutes Trump The FOIA’s Fee Provisions

Readers of our FR Alerts may recall that in late 2012, the Fifth District of the Illinois Appellate Court clarified the narrow circumstances in which a public body may charge fees greater than those in the Freedom of...more

Increasing Focus on Expansion of Audit Committee’s Report

Recommendations that audit committees provide more robust discussions in their reports that are included by public companies in their proxy statements are getting more attention. The Audit Committee Collaboration’s report,...more

Potential Bid Protest Dangers: When the Agency Produces Documents Early

To paraphrase Virgil, beware of agency counsel bearing gifts. Under the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) bid protest rules, an agency is required to produce a report within 30 days of a protest that includes a...more

Michigan Affirmative Action Ban Upheld By U.S. Supreme Court

Michigan’s affirmative action ban, a Constitutional amendment enacted through referendum during the 2006 election cycle, was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The decision means that public entities, including...more

FASB Revised Guidance Will Decrease Discontinued Operations Treatment

The FASB recently issued an Accounting Standards Update that should reduce reporting of discontinued operations (disc ops) in some circumstances. The revised standard provides that only the disposal of a part of an entity...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Employees Of Private Contractors Of Public Companies Are Covered By SOX Whistleblower Protections

In Lawson v. FMR, LLC, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the whistleblower protections established in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) cover employees of a public company's private contractors and subcontractors, reversing...more

Public Entity Liability for Dangerous Conditions on Public Property

Woodland Hills personal injury attorney, Barry P. Goldberg, is cautious about suing public entities because liability is statutory and can be difficult establish. However, in the right case, with the right experts, an...more

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