Public Entities

News & Analysis as of

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Self-Critical Analysis Privilege

Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court heard argument in a case being closely watched by the civil defense bar: Harris v. One Hope United, Inc. Harris poses a simple question: does Illinois recognize the self-critical...more

Public Entities Can Inadvertently Waive Privilege in Response to a Public Records Act Request

California’s Public Records Act (PRA) law requires public entities to make their public records open for inspection and copying. Environmental practitioners often use PRA requests as a tool to obtain information regarding a...more

Sometimes it Depends on “Whose” Hand is in the Cookie Jar

In a lengthy and somewhat detailed decision, the California Court of Appeal for First District, in Pittsburg Unified School District v. S.J. Amoroso Construction Company, Inc., Case No. A138825 (December 22, 2014), held that...more

FinCEN Highlights Information Sharing Program Among Regulatory, Law Enforcement Agencies

On January 6, FinCEN released a fact sheet highlighting its Section 314(a) Program of the USA PATRIOT Act. Under the Section 314(a) Program, federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement are able to contact, through...more

School District Advisory: The Pure and Simple Truth - The Truth is Rarely Plain and Never Simple

In the recent case of J.P. v. Carlsbad Unified School District, the California Court of Appeal barred a public entity from enforcing the six-month government tort claim requirement when it prevents the claimant from filing a...more

Are You Complying? New 2015 Laws Affecting Public Agencies

Community leaders need to be attentive to the new laws that will take effect in 2015 that deal with issues specifically relating to cities, special districts and other public agencies. These new laws cover everything from...more

Availability Payment or Toll Concession: Is there a hybrid approach?

At the TRB P3 Subcommittee meeting on January 12, 2015, among the topics discussed is the growth in the U.S. P3 market of the availability payment approach and less use of toll concessions. Availability payment contracts...more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: January 8, 2015

Happy New Year! The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions yesterday, its first term for 2015. This term resulted in cases which, in various ways, deal with the authority of government entities (Workers Compensation...more

City of Chicago Expands “Ban the Box” Law to Smaller Employers and City Agencies

Effective January 1, 2015, the City of Chicago expanded the coverage of Illinois’s “ban the box” law within city limits. The amended Human Rights Ordinance, Section 2-160-010 of the Municipal Code of Chicago, effectively...more

FPPC Has Record Year for Enforcement Actions

Is compliance with state ethics laws, the Political Reform Act and Government Code section 1090, declining? Or, is the FPPC getting better at ferreting out violations and violators? These questions arise in the wake of the...more

Proxy Access Proposals: Recent Developments

Recently, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who oversees five municipal public pension funds with $160 billion in assets, announced an initiative to give shareholders who meet specified criteria the right to nominate...more

The One New Year’s Resolution You’ll Want to Keep if You’re Involved in Public Works Projects

New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep. In fact, studies (which I have a sneaking suspicion may have been paid for by the tobacco, donut and vacation timeshare lobbies) have found that only 8% of New Year’s...more

Accidental Disclosure Waives Privilege Under Public Records Act

Court of Appeal Says Privilege Removed Under PRA By Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents - If a privileged document is accidentally released to the public during compliance with a Public Records Act request,...more

Inadvertent Disclosure of Privileged Documents in Response to a Public Records Act Request Converts the Document Into a Public...

The Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, delivered a sobering reminder to public agencies to carefully review documents produced in response to the Public Records Act (“PRA”) to avoid disclosure of documents protected...more

Syracuse Common Council Passes “Ban the Box” Ordinance

On December 8, the Syracuse Common Council voted 8-1 to pass a “Ban the Box” ordinance. If the ordinance is signed by the Mayor (or if the Mayor’s veto is overridden by the Common Council), the ordinance would prohibit the...more

New FOIA Amendments Affect Public Bodies’ Responses to Requests

Effective immediately, the General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto to approve new amendments to the FOIA, which are designed to reduce the burden on public bodies. Public Act 98-1129 provides the following: 1) a...more

Amendment to Illinois FOIA Impacts Requests for Records Available Online - Public Bodies Now Have More Authority Regarding Their...

The Illinois General Assembly overrode Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of House Bill 3796 amending the Illinois Freedom of Information Act on Dec. 3, 2014. HB 3796 is now law, effective immediately. The key provisions of HB 3796...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether a Zoo is a "Local Public Entity"

The basic Illinois statute of limitations for personal injury actions is two years. But the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (745 ILCS 10/1-101) provides that for actions against a “local public...more

When a Meeting is Not a Meeting, at Least According to the FOIC

Most public entities are now intimately familiar with the long reach of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) into the conduct of agency meetings. A recent case from the Freedom of Information Commission (“FOIC”) reminds...more

Fourth Circuit Applies Sovereign Immunity to Shield State Hospital Supervisors from Suit

Some employers are immune from liability by virtue of their status as a state-run operation. Employees have become more creative in attempting to obtain recovery from their employers in such situations by naming individual...more

Fee award against non-party attorney is thrown out by appellate court

In Suarez v. City of Corona, 2014 DJDAR 12101, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided an interesting case concerning the interpretation of California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1038....more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Fire District Owed Tort Duty to 911 Caller

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide a question of potentially great import for Illinois first responders: do public entities and their employees owe a tort duty of care to...more

Internal Revenue Service Releases Interim Guidance Regarding Accountable Care Organizations' Use Of Tax-Exempt Bond-Financed...

On October 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2014-67, which provides guidance for determining whether a state or local governmental entity or an organization described by Section 501(c)(3) of the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Subcontractor Should Have Proceeded Against Project Bond

Last month, a divided Supreme Court held that a subcontractor on a public works program should have timely proceeded against the project bond, and had no remedy against the Village after the general contractor went bankrupt...more

Chip-and-PIN is Coming…To the US Government

Last Friday, in the wake of numerous data breaches, President Obama signed a new Executive Order that will change how federal agencies use payment cards and allow access to certain government portals. Those changes include...more

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