California Public Records Act

The California Public Records Act was adopted to foster transparency, accountability and greater public access to government records. While these are all worthy goals, complying with records requests can be complicated, costly and time consuming. This is especially true with increasing amounts of data being stored, accessed and shared on both public and private devices. Public agencies must wade through large amounts of data, determine disclosability and exemptions under the PRA, all while respecting privacy rights and responding within a reasonable time to records requests. The consequences for not doing this right can be expensive litigation and the requester’s attorneys’ fees.
Faced with these challenges, local public agencies, including cities, special districts and school districts, rely on Best Best & Krieger LLP for clear and accurate guidance. With the largest full-service public agency practice in California and a reputation as a leader in the field, BB&K regularly provides hundreds of public agencies throughout the State with timely, strategic advice on all aspects of the PRA.

BB&K is also pleased to offer ARC: Advanced Records Center — a full-service, scalable and responsive resource utilizing experienced legal personnel and leading-edge technology to supplement in-house resources for greater consistency, efficiency and lower litigation liability (or risk). ARC provides comprehensive legal service with cost-effective support for records-related matters including PRA request processing, as well as policy drafting and training.

Leading Authority
 Always at the forefront on emerging issues, our attorneys and paralegals are leading authorities in public agency and PRA law. Members of our firm were instrumental in helping prepare the League of California Cities’ Guide to the California Public Records Act. We speak and write extensively on legislative changes and legal developments impacting how the PRA is interpreted and applied, and always keep our clients informed. For example, BB&K was one of the first law firms to advise clients on the significant impact of the California Supreme Court’s 2017 City of San Jose decision regarding disclosure of records stored on personal electronic devices. Through decades of practice, we understand the challenges our public agency clients face and are well prepared with strategies to help streamline the response process and avoid costly pitfalls.
Comprehensive Service
 Our services include: 

  • Helping clients efficiently locate, review and produce hard copy and electronic records while ensuring privacy rights are respected
  • Evaluating what should be disclosed — and which documents and communications are exempt from disclosure
  • Establishing best practices for agency staff members on PRA compliance, access and response protocols, and privacy protection
  • Providing clear guidance and assistance in responding to, and fulfilling, records requests
  • Drafting determination letters that document the agency response efforts, build public trust and shield the agency from costly litigation
  • Keeping our clients current regarding pending legislation and cases, court decisions and significant statutory and regulatory developments
  • Providing customized training programs on best practices
  • Representing clients’ processes before courts to defend their disclosure determinations and claims of exemption
  • Consulting with city attorneys on PRA disclosure, litigation and writs
  • Guiding clients through the legal provisions affecting police, fire and public education records under the PRA and education statutes

Further, with the emergence of new technologies, we use ARC’s certified e-Discovery specialists to regularly advise clients regarding the use of public and private electronic devices, and the public’s right to access information, including electronic communications.

BB&K is helping public agencies navigate Public Records Act compliance with our new Advanced Records Center. Combining legal know-how with cutting-edge technology, ARC provides comprehensive and cost-effective support for all records-related matters, including PRA requests. To learn more, visit the ARC page or email

Areas of Focus: Charters & Internal Organizations | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Areas of Focus: Business Litigation | Business Services & School Facilities | California Public Records Act | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Areas of Focus: Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Police & Public Safety | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Areas of Focus: ARC: Advanced Records Center | California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity
Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Comprehensive Code Enforcement | Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Land Use, Planning & Zoning | Municipal Law | Water
Areas of Focus: Education Law | Eminent Domain | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water
Areas of Focus: Bankruptcy | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal | Public Agency Litigation | Renewable Energy
Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Event Apr 08, 2021

Public Records, Social Media, Redistricting and More

City Clerks Association of California's 2021 Annual Conference

Legal Alerts Mar 19, 2021

Disclosing Law Enforcement Personnel Records

The Intersection Between Brady Lists, Pitchess Statutes and SB 1421

Free Webinar Feb 18, 2021

2021 Public Records Act Legislative Update

BB&K Free Webinar

Press Releases Jan 28, 2021

ARC: Advanced Records Center’s Christine Wood Named a Top Minority Attorney by L.A. Business Journal

A Trusted Advisor in the Business of Public Service

Authored Articles & Publications Jan 20, 2021

Public Record Costs

Director of PRA Services and e-Discovery Counsel Christine Wood Discusses National Lawyers Guild v. City of Hayward in Sacramento Magazine

Legal Alerts Jan 19, 2021

Elected Officials Entitled to Some, Not All, Public Agency Records

Access Depends on if Record Request is from “Elected Official” or “Member of the Public”

Legal Alerts Jan 07, 2021

California Public Records Act Update

New CPRA Case Law and Legislation for 2021

Legal Alerts Jan 06, 2021

New Laws for 2021

Bills and Court Decisions Impacting Public Agencies and Businesses in the New Year

Authored Articles & Publications Dec 28, 2020

Partner Jack Clarke Honors Colleague John Brown

Riverside Lawyer Magazine Feature on Brown, the Krieger Meritorious Service Award Winner

Legal Alerts Nov 16, 2020

CPRA Requesters Could Pay Agency Costs to Store Emails

Requesters Must Post an Undertaking if Public Agency Will Suffer Certain Damages During Injunction Proceedings

Free Webinar Oct 15, 2020

AB 1234 Ethics Training (Oct. 15, 2020)

BB&K Workshop via Webinar

Press Releases Oct 06, 2020

California Trailblazer: BB&K’s Christine N. Wood Honored for Public Records Work

The ARC: Advanced Records Center Leader Recognized by The Recorder

Press Releases Sep 11, 2020

BB&K Attorney Nicholaus Norvell Named a Top 40 Under 40 in San Diego

San Diego Daily Transcript Recognizes Young Professionals

Event Aug 27, 2020

WRCOG Webinar: Navigating Virtual Governance and the Brown Act in a COVID-19 Climate

Western Riverside Council of Governments

BB&K Webinar Jul 16, 2020

Case Study: California Public Records Act Lessons from the Sukumar Case

BB&K Workshop via Webinar

BB&K Webinar Jul 15, 2020

AB 1234 Ethics Training (July 15, 2020)

BB&K Webinar

BB&K Webinar Jun 18, 2020

Distinguishing Personal and Public Records

BB&K Workshop via Webinar

Authored Articles & Publications Jun 10, 2020

E-Discovery and Public Records Lessons from California Supreme Court

BB&K's Annie Loo Provides Analysis in Association of E-Discovery Certified Specialists Blog

BB&K Webinar Jun 04, 2020

A Review of National Lawyers Guild v. City of Hayward's Impact on the California Public Records Act and Video Records

BB&K Free Webinar

Legal Alerts Jun 04, 2020

Jurisdiction Over CPRA Cases Not Limited to Courts in the County Where Records are Situated

A California Appellate Court Draws a Distinction between the Power of a Court to Rule —“Jurisdiction”— and the Proper Place for a CPRA Suit —“Venue”

Authored Articles & Publications Jun 03, 2020

Investigatory Privilege and California Public Records Act Requests

It's the Information, Not the Record, that Must be Considered, Say BB&K's Christine Wood and Isaac Rosen in PublicCEO

Legal Alerts May 29, 2020

California Supreme Court: Government Cannot Charge Fee to Redact Police Body Camera Footage

California Public Records Act Provision Permitting Public Agencies to Charge for “Extraction” Analyzed

BB&K Webinar May 21, 2020

AB 1234 Ethics Training (May 21, 2020)

BB&K Webinar

BB&K Webinar May 20, 2020

Best Practices for Handling a Surge in CPRA Requests Post-COVID-19

BB&K Free Webinar

Event May 11, 2020

CLA's Open Meetings and Open Records Digital Conference 2020

California Lawyers Association

Legal Alerts Apr 24, 2020

New Public Records Act Opinion Considers Extent of Trade Secret Privilege

Drug Company’s Mandatory Release of Price Increase May Compromise Privilege, Permitting Disclosure Under the CPRA

Legal Alerts Apr 20, 2020

Records Disclosure and Retention When Working Remotely

How COVID-19 Stay Home Orders Impact Government Records

Legal Alerts Apr 03, 2020

Public Records Requests During COVID-19 Crisis

California Public Agencies Struggle with CPRA Compliance

Event Apr 01, 2020

Keeping Local Government Open Through Social Distancing

Institute for Local Government

BB&K Webinar Mar 26, 2020

Electronic Records: Considerations for Public Agencies to Ensure State Law Compliance

BB&K Free Webinar

Legal Alerts Feb 11, 2020

Another SB 1421 Decision Against Law Enforcement Agencies

Police Records Must Be Disclosed Even if Created or Officer Employed By Different Agency, California Appellate Court Says

Videos Jan 21, 2020

[WEBINAR] Exploring the CPRA’s Investigatory Privilege

BB&K Webinar

Legal Alerts Jan 16, 2020

California Public Records Act Case Law Update

Part 2: New CPRA Laws for 2020

Legal Alerts Jan 15, 2020

California Public Records Act New Legislation

Part 1: New CPRA Laws for 2020

Legal Alerts Jan 15, 2020

New Laws 2020 Roundup

New Public Agency, California Public Records Act, Education and Labor & Employment Laws

Authored Articles & Publications Nov 27, 2019

Record Disclosure Obligations for California Police

BB&K's Christine Wood Gives Updates on AB 748 and SB 1421 in PublicCEO

Legal Alerts Oct 09, 2019

LAPD, ACLU Reach Settlement in Public Records Act Lawsuit

LAPD Agrees to Requirements Significantly Beyond the CPRA

Authored Articles & Publications Sep 10, 2019

CPRA: The Only Constant is Change

ARC’s Christine Wood Discusses Calif. Public Records Act Updates in Riverside Lawyer Magazine

Legal Alerts Jun 26, 2019

Public Agencies Should Follow Appellate Decision on SB 1421 Despite New, Conflicting Ruling

Ventura County Decision Latest to Address Public Release of Police Records

Videos Jun 17, 2019

[WEBINAR] Update: Social Media Meets the First Amendment

BB&K Webinar

Legal Alerts Apr 11, 2019

California Court of Appeal Publishes Opinion Requiring Release of Police Personnel Records Under SB 1421

Decision is Binding on All Trial Courts in the State

Legal Alerts Feb 26, 2019

Attorney-Client Privilege Successfully Argued by City in PRA Case

California Appellate Court Decision Says Even a Judge Can’t Review Privileged Records

Legal Alerts Feb 12, 2019

Public Agency Access to Data Does Not Make Data Disclosable Under PRA

California Appellate Court Ruling in Anderson-Barker v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Legal Alerts Feb 11, 2019

First Court Ruling on Merits of SB 1421

Police Unions’ Argument to Block Release of Pre-2019 Records Found “Legally Unmeritorious”

Authored Articles & Publications Feb 08, 2019

Open Secrets: Police Records and the PRA

BB&K’s Christine Wood and Alexander Brand Go In-Depth on SB 1421 in Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine

Legal Alerts Feb 04, 2019

California Public Records Act Update

Legislative and Court Updates Impacting PRA in 2018

Legal Alerts Jan 29, 2019

SB 1421 Challenged in Courts, But Most California Public Agencies Must Still Produce Peace Officer Records

Police Unions Obtain Temporary Restraining Orders to Stop Record Disclosures

Legal Alerts Jan 16, 2019

California Attorney General’s Office Clarifies its Information Bulletin Regarding Public Access to Police Records

Information Bulletin Regarding SB 1421 Does Not Impose New Records Retention Requirements

Legal Alerts Dec 31, 2018

California AG Addresses Charter Schools and Public Integrity Laws

Opinion Confirms Applicability of the Brown Act, Public Records Act, and Conflicts of Interest Laws

Videos Dec 26, 2018

ARC: How the San Jose Case Changed the Public Records Act

The Advanced Records Center Helps Public Agencies Prepare and Respond

Videos Dec 26, 2018

Why Technology Matters: Public Records Act

How BB&K’s ARC: Advanced Records Center Helps

Videos Dec 21, 2018

Introducing BB&K’s ARC: Advanced Records Center

Full-Service Public Records Act Response, Training and Advice

Press Releases Dec 19, 2018

Cities’ Struggles to Meet Obligations Are Real — BB&K Municipal Law Team Grows to Help

New and Expanded Services and More Attorneys and Staff Added in 2018

BB&K In the News Oct 25, 2018

BB&K Attorney Gary Schons Conducting Review of Police Use of Communication App

TigerText, Used in Long Beach, Automatically Deletes Messages

Oct 24, 2018

[WEBINAR] ESI Primer for PRA Requests

BB&K Webinar

Legal Alerts Oct 09, 2018

Certain Police Personnel Records No Longer Confidential

New California Law Increases Access to Records Under PRA

Legal Alerts Oct 08, 2018

AB 748: More Public Access to Body Camera Footage Under PRA

Amendment to California Law Gives Public Agencies More Responsibility to Provide Footage

Legal Alerts Aug 30, 2018

Public Agencies Do Not Have to Create Records for PRA Requesters

California Appellate Court Reinforces Principle

Authored Articles & Publications Aug 23, 2018

The Public Square has Gone Online

BB&K Attorneys Christine Wood and HongDao Nguyen Write About Public Officials’ Social Media Use in PublicCEO

Videos Aug 14, 2018

Christi Hogin Video Bio

Of Counsel

Videos Aug 14, 2018

Trevor Rusin Video Bio


Legal Alerts Jul 30, 2018

Public Agency Spared Attorneys’ Fees Award in Reverse PRA Action

California Appellate Court Decision National Conference of Black Mayors, et al. v. Chico Community Publishing Company

Authored Articles & Publications Jul 20, 2018

Emails and E-Discovery: California Public Records Act

BB&K's Christine Wood Explores San Jose Ruling Repercussions in PublicCEO

Jul 11, 2018

[WEBINAR] Social Media Meets the First Amendment

BB&K Webinar

Jun 26, 2018

[WEBINAR] Do You Know the Way [After] San Jose?

BB&K Webinar

Authored Articles & Publications Jun 12, 2018

Digital Public Records

BB&K Attorney Christine Wood Discusses Record Retention Policies in PublicCEO

Press Releases Jun 07, 2018

Isabel Safie and Jill Tremblay Return to 2018 So. Cal. Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

The BB&K Attorneys Acknowledged Again for Practice Achievements

May 23, 2018

[WEBINAR] Public Records Act - Taming the Email Tiger

BB&K Webinar

Authored Articles & Publications May 23, 2018

CEQA – Today and Tomorrow

Legal Decisions and Pending Guideline Updates Have Effect on the CEQA Review Process Write BB&K Attorneys Charity Schiller and Amanda Daams in PublicCEO

Legal Alerts Apr 20, 2018

Private Attorney General Statute to Award Fees Used in a Reverse-PRA Dispute

Part III: Pasadena Police Officers Association v. City of Pasadena

Legal Alerts Apr 19, 2018

An Appellate Court’s Observation May Have Effect on Reverse-PRA Actions

Part II: Pasadena Police Officers Association v. City of Pasadena

Legal Alerts Apr 17, 2018

PRA Fee Award Narrowed to Cover the Issue of Scope of Redactions

Part I: Pasadena Police Officers Association v. City of Pasadena

Authored Articles & Publications Mar 23, 2018

Top 5 Tips for Responding to a PRA Request (Hint: Communication is Key)

BB&K Attorney Jessica Lomakin Writes on Public Records Act Requests for PublicCEO

Authored Articles & Publications Feb 28, 2018

New Laws Part I: 2018 Brings Campaign, Election and Records Reforms


Legal Alerts Feb 07, 2018

California’s Labor & Employment Changes for 2018: Part I

Legislative Changes Impacting Employers

Legal Alerts Jan 11, 2018

2018 California Public Agency Laws – Part III

Cannabis, LAFCO Law and a Round Up of Other New Laws Impacting Public Agencies

Legal Alerts Jan 10, 2018

2018 California Public Agency Laws – Part II

Housing and Land Use, Environment, Public Property/Public Works and Economic Development

Legal Alerts Jan 09, 2018

2018 California Public Agency Laws – Part I

Elections, Public Records Act, Revenue and Conflicts of Interest

Press Releases Jan 02, 2018

Five Attorneys Named to Partnership

BB&K Announces Promotions

Event Sep 26, 2017

Growth: The Leadership Conference for Special Districts

2017 CSDA Annual Conference

Legal Alerts Aug 31, 2017

Automated License Plate Scans Data May Be Disclosed

California Supreme Court Finds Public Record Exemptions Do Not Apply

Legal Alerts Aug 21, 2017

PRA Request Compliance May Not Shield from Attorney's Fees

California Appellate Court Orders City to Pay

Legal Alerts Aug 01, 2017

AB 119: What Public Employers Need to Know about their Obligations to Give Unions Access to New Employees

Information, Access and Notice Requirements for Public Employers

Press Releases Jun 07, 2017

Five BB&K Attorneys Included on Palm Springs Life 2017 Top Lawyer List

Coachella Valley’s Best Lawyers Recognized in Magazine’s Annual List

Authored Articles & Publications Jun 05, 2017

The People's Business: A Guide to the California Public Records Act

BB&K Attorneys Contributed to LCC Publication

Authored Articles & Publications Mar 27, 2017

San Jose PRA Decision: Q&A

By Gary W. Schons and HongDao Nguyen

Legal Alerts Mar 09, 2017

Civil Discovery Act Applies to Public Records Act Proceedings, California Appellate Court Concludes

May Impose Increased Burdens on Public Agencies

Mar 08, 2017

[WEBINAR] Do You Know the Way from San Jose: The Public Records Act and Private Emails

BB&K Webinar on California Supreme Court Decision

Authored Articles & Publications Mar 06, 2017

Is a Private Email a Public Record? Context Matters!

By Gary W. Schons

Legal Alerts Mar 02, 2017

E-Communications on Private Accounts May Be Subject to Disclosure Under the California Public Records Act

State Supreme Court Opinion Impacts Public Agencies

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