Public Entities

News & Analysis as of

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

To Campaign or Not to Campaign: A Refresher

As November elections and some major ballot measures loom, and as 2016 general election candidates start copping to “thinking about a run,” now seems a good time to revisit the impartiality required of public agencies and...more

First District Holds CEQA’s Application To Public Agency’s Approval of Railroad Operations Is Preempted By Federal Law Despite...

The North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA), a public agency established by state law, contracted with Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company (NWPRC) to allow NWPRC to conduct freight services on tracks controlled by NCRA....more

Public Agency May Recover the Cost of Supplementing Administrative Record

In CEQA litigation, the party challenging the project can either request that the agency prepare the record of proceedings (“Record”), or prepare the Record itself, subject to certification by the lead agency. In either case,...more

Governor Brown Is Not CEQA “Public Agency,” Holds Third District In Indian Casino Case

In a published decision filed September 24, 2014, the Third District Court of Appeal (per Justice Robie) held that CEQA’s definition of a “public agency” that is subject to its requirements (see Pub. Resources Code, § 21063)...more

Don’t Make Promises That You Cannot Keep: Greenwich Silver Shield Association v. Town of Greenwich, the FOIA and Discrimination...

Investigations in the public sector confront the competing demands of employee privacy rights and the public’s “right to know” under the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”]. Another decision by the Freedom of Information...more

When Bribery Pays, People Bribe

As Alison Taylor (Senior Managing Director, Control Risks) stated in a recent Forbes Article, “Compliance and Risk: Clearing the Org Chart Hurdle, “the traditional preventative approach to risk management is proving...more

City’s Handling of Application for Subdivision Approvals May Trigger Liability Under Fair Housing Act

The Federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) prohibits discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, including discriminatory land use decisions, on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or familial status. The...more

Loose Lips Sink Ships: The Limits of the Attorney-Client Privilege and the Dangers of “Public” Reliance Upon Your Attorney’s...

Public agencies often secure opinions from legal counsel to guide their actions. However, these agencies should be aware that what they say in public about the advice given may jeopardize the confidentiality of the legal...more

Public Officials and Agencies: To Campaign or Not to Campaign?

California law allows public agencies to expend public money and resources to educate voters on matters included on an upcoming election ballot. State law does not permit using public money or resources to advocate on behalf...more

The “Program Accessibility” Exception for Public Entities Under the ADA

Public owners, as well as private owners and tenants of commercial and retail properties, are at risk of lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) and related state law alleging that their...more

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

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