Public Agency Litigation

Litigation involving municipalities and public agencies presents unique challenges. Cities and agencies not only want to win the case, but they must serve the public interest, communicate with their constituents and work with the media, legislators, community groups and other public agencies.
With its long history and extensive experience in all aspects of municipal and special districts law and litigation, Best Best & Krieger LLP’s attorneys understand the many dimensions of litigation. We approach a lawsuit mindful of all of these perspectives. Accordingly, BB&K has in-house litigators to fight the lawsuit, former members of the media to help communicate the public agencies’ messages and goals and legislative advocates in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., to meet with legislators and agency officials.
Proactive Guidance
Prevention is less expensive and usually more effective in achieving a city’s or public agency’s goals. Therefore, our attorneys take a proactive approach, identifying potential areas of liability, advising on contract terms, reviewing policies and practices, and offering strategies to anticipate litigation. Because we are the city attorney to more than 35 cities and general counsel for more than 100 public agencies, our public law attorneys all have experience working with clients to avoid lawsuits and to minimize adverse consequences if prevention does not stop the lawsuit.
Extensive Experience
Consistent with our size and experience representing public agencies, our team of attorneys litigate a broad range of matters, including:

We have represented clients in all California state courts, at both the trial and appellate levels, and federal courts, including the United State Supreme Court. We also regularly appear for clients before regulatory bodies and testify before legislatures to assist our litigation strategy. Finally, we have extensive experience resolving disputes through mediation, arbitration and informal negotiated settlement.

Cost-Efficient & Effective Service
We are mindful that we are spending the public’s money when we litigate. Therefore, we provide budgets of litigation costs and reports of the attorney’s fees and costs incurred to date. We will also provide estimates of the likelihood of success. While the chances of success are difficult to predict and change over the course of a case, we believe we owe our clients our best sense of the merits of the case. Taken together, these allow the client to evaluate the cost effectiveness of our services and make better strategic decisions on how to handle the case.

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 | Business Litigation | Intellectual Property | Public Agency Litigation | Trusts & Estates
Areas of Focus: Business Litigation | Business Services & School Facilities | California Public Records Act | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Areas of Focus: Eminent Domain | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Areas of Focus: Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Eminent Domain | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: Business | Business Litigation | Labor & Employment | Labor & Employment Litigation | Public Agency Litigation | Public Contracts & Construction
Areas of Focus: Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Areas of Focus: Bankruptcy | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal | Public Agency Litigation | Renewable Energy
Press Releases May 03, 2021

Telecommunications Law Attorney Cheryl Leanza Joins BB&K

Based in Washington, D.C., She Brings Extensive Litigation and Advocacy Experience

Legal Alerts Mar 19, 2021

Disclosing Law Enforcement Personnel Records

The Intersection Between Brady Lists, Pitchess Statutes and SB 1421

Client Successes Mar 01, 2021

Grocer Pandemic Pay Ordinance Upheld

BB&K Team Defends City’s Ordinance from Injunction Action in Federal Court

Legal Alerts Feb 01, 2021

Cities are Not Liable for Lessees’ Exercise of Choice in Speakers

Ninth Circuit Affirms Limits on Private and Municipal Liability for First Amendment Violations

Press Releases Jan 26, 2021

Six BB&K Attorneys Make Southern California Super Lawyers List

BB&K Attorneys Spanning Across Los Angeles and Irvine Receive 2021 Honor

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 11, 2021

Bringing a Case to Arbitration Should be Easier Following Recent Ninth Circuit Decision

Court Raises the Bar on Appeals Following Voluntary Dismissal

Legal Alerts Jan 06, 2021

Court Confirms FPPC's Authority to Punish Public Agencies That Spend Undisclosed Public Money to Influence Voters at Elections

California Trial Court Rules on Campaign-Related Public Spending

Legal Alerts Jan 06, 2021

New Laws for 2021

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

BB&K In the News Dec 28, 2020

Historic Cemetery Land Dispute

Media Reports on BB&K Attorneys Mark Velasquez Efforts to Identify Graves and Next of Kin

Legal Alerts Dec 21, 2020

Special Taxes by Voter Initiative Only Require Majority Voter Approval

For the Second Time This Year, California Appellate Court Upholds Voting Requirement

Legal Alerts Dec 17, 2020

Taxpayer Actions Can be Used to Challenge Government Contracts Even After Contract Completion

California Court of Appeal Decision in School District Case Applies to Public Agencies

BB&K In the News Dec 08, 2020

BB&K Attorney and Barrett, The Honors College at ASU Alum Christina Morgan Profiled

The Business Practice Group Member Featured in Alumni Newsletter

Press Releases Nov 11, 2020

BB&K Attorney Christina Morgan Named a San Diego Next Top 40 Business Leaders Finalist

San Diego Business Journal Recognizes Professionals Under Age 40

Legal Alerts Oct 27, 2020

Mobile Billboard Ordinance that Exempts Certain Vehicles is a Content-Based Regulation

Such Regulations are Subject to Strict Scrutiny, Ninth Circuit Rules

Press Releases Oct 01, 2020

BB&K Attorney Nowland Hong a 2020 Person of the Year

Metropolitan-News Enterprise Honors Litigator for Work on New Book “Lawyers of Los Angeles”

Legal Alerts Sep 23, 2020

Two Courts Offer Election Guidance: Slow-Walking Ballots is Unconstitutional

Mail-In and Absentee Ballots Debated in COVID-19 Pandemic and Election Day Overlap

Legal Alerts Sep 17, 2020

An Extraordinary Smackdown of an Ordinary Sign Ordinance

Court Invalidates Common Sign Ordinance on First Amendment Grounds

Press Releases Sep 15, 2020

D.C. Litigator Lisa A. Bell Joins BB&K Labor & Employment Practice

Former Senior Counsel and Trial Attorney in the D.C. AG's Office

Legal Alerts Aug 25, 2020

“You Can’t Stand in the Way of Progress”

California Appellate Court Says Public Utility Must Pay to Relocate Pipelines to Make Way for Public Transportation Project

Press Releases Aug 20, 2020

36 BB&K Attorneys Recognized on The Best Lawyers in America List for 2021

Three Named “Lawyers of the Year” and One Included on “Ones to Watch” List

Legal Alerts Aug 17, 2020

5G Infrastructure Decision Mixed for Local Governments

Ninth Circuit Takes on FCC Small Cell Orders

Legal Alerts Aug 13, 2020

Challenge to Prop 15: Courts Don’t Mess with Initiatives (or AGs Who Summarize Them)

Swift Decision Rejects Ballot Language Opposition

Client Successes Aug 13, 2020

BB&K Wins Dismissal of Contaminant Exposure Lawsuit

Summary Judgment Granted to Public Agency Landlord

Legal Alerts Aug 06, 2020

Local Utility Charges Cannot Be Challenged by Referendum

Calif. Supreme Court Decision in Wilde v. City of Dunsmuir

Legal Alerts Jul 14, 2020

Property Owners Must Participate in Public Hearing to Challenge BID Assessments

A “No” Vote is Not Enough, California Appellate Court Holds

Legal Alerts Jul 13, 2020

Special Taxes by Voter Initiative Not Restricted by Proposition 13 or Proposition 218

Court of Appeal Holds Only Simple Majority Needed to Impose Special Taxes by Initiative Power

Legal Alerts Jul 07, 2020

A Toll Increase for Toll Bridge is Not a Tax Increase

California Appellate Court Says Toll is a Fee to Use Government Property, Exempt from Tax Definition

Press Releases Jun 11, 2020

Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2020 Includes Two BB&K Attorneys

Partner Megan Garibaldi and Associate Ryan Guiboa Return to Prestigious List

Legal Alerts Jun 01, 2020

$6 Million Fine for Trustee Who Knowingly Allowed Illegal Cannabis Dispensaries on Property Owned by Trust

California Appellate Court Says Trustee Can be Held Personally Liable

Legal Alerts May 13, 2020

Court Decision on Bias Tainting a City Council Vote Now Precedent-Setting in California

Legislative Body Members Must be Neutral and Unbiased to Vote on Matters

Legal Alerts Apr 29, 2020

COVID-19 Safety Orders v. the First Amendment

A California Federal Court Weighs-In on Religious Group’s Challenge

Legal Alerts Apr 08, 2020

Local Government Has an Important Interest in Adjudicating Zoning Disputes

Ninth Circuit Dismisses Case Brought Against Alameda County for Zoning Requirements

Legal Alerts Apr 07, 2020

New Court Rules During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Bail, Evictions, Remote Hearings and Depositions and Statutes of Limitation Rule Changes

Legal Alerts Apr 06, 2020

California’s Voter Participation Rights Act Does Not Apply to Charter Cities

Appellate Court Takes on “Home Rule” in City of Redondo v. Alex Padilla

Legal Alerts Mar 26, 2020

Takings Claim Fails on “Ripeness” Grounds

Ninth Circuit Decision in Apartment-Condominium Conversion Program Dispute

Press Releases Mar 10, 2020

Six BB&K Attorneys Named San Diego Top Lawyers 2020

San Diego Magazine’s Annual List

Client Successes Jan 29, 2020

BB&K Defends Fair Compensation Ordinance

Court Challenge Over Hotel Room Cleaner Wages

Press Releases Jan 17, 2020

Southern California Super Lawyers 2020

Nine BB&K Attorneys Earn Recognition

Legal Alerts Jan 16, 2020

California Public Records Act Case Law Update

Part 2: New CPRA Laws for 2020

Legal Alerts Jan 03, 2020

Only a Contracting Party May Sue Under Government Code Section 1092

Calif. Supreme Court: San Diegans for Open Government v. Public Facilities Financing Authority of the City of San Diego

Legal Alerts Dec 03, 2019

Single Contractor Not Precluded from Providing Both Design and Construction Services

Case Provides Valuable Guidance for Public Agencies Wanting One Contractor for Two Phases

Press Releases Nov 01, 2019

BB&K Achieves High Marks in “Best Law Firms” Rankings for 2020

U.S. News-Best Lawyers in America Annual List Recognizes Many of the Firm’s Premier Practice Areas

Authored Articles & Publications Oct 23, 2019

Takings Decision by SCOTUS Expected to Create More Litigation for Public Agencies

Partner Gene Tanaka Analyzes Knick v. Scott in Law360

Legal Alerts Oct 09, 2019

LAPD, ACLU Reach Settlement in Public Records Act Lawsuit

LAPD Agrees to Requirements Significantly Beyond the CPRA

Client Successes Oct 08, 2019

Budget-Based Water Rates Challenge Dismissed

BB&K Successfully Defends Water District

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

Authored Articles & Publications Aug 14, 2019

Tire Chalking Case Treads on Cities’ Parking Enforcement Techniques

Isaac Rosen, Ryan Guiboa and Gary Schons Write About 6th Circuit Ruling in Law360

Authored Articles & Publications Jul 31, 2019

President’s Twitter Use a Cautionary Tale for Public Officials

BB&K’s Christine Wood and HongDao Nguyen Discuss Social Media and 1st Amendment in PublicCEO

Legal Alerts Jun 06, 2019

Failure to Participate in Prop. 218 Hearing Does Not Bar Fee Challenge

Calif. Supreme Court Holds Such Hearings Do Not Adequately Address Challenges to Method for Calculating Fee

Press Releases Jun 06, 2019

Two BB&K Municipal Law Attorneys on So Cal Super Lawyers Rising Stars List

Partner Megan Garibaldi and Associate Ryan Guiboa

Authored Articles & Publications May 22, 2019

Expert Witnesses: Effective Questioning

Litigator Scott Ditfurth Shares Best Practices in Riverside Lawyer

Authored Articles & Publications May 22, 2019

Rooms with a View: Cross-Examining Experts in Depositions

BB&K Partner Mark Easter Walks Us Through the House of Depositions in Riverside Lawyer Magazine

Legal Alerts Apr 30, 2019

“Chalking” Vehicles is a Search Under the Fourth Amendment, Sixth Circuit Finds

Court Did Not Address Whether Chalking Violates the Right Against Unreasonable Searches

Press Releases Apr 24, 2019

BB&K’s Christi Hogin and Andre Monette Honored for Amicus Work by IMLA

The Attorneys Argued About Short-Term Rentals and the Clean Water Act in the Ninth Circuit

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

Press Releases Apr 02, 2019

BB&K a Top Litigation Firm in Sacramento

Sacramento Business Journal Also Gives High Rank for Women Attorney Numbers

Authored Articles & Publications Mar 26, 2019

Gun Violence Restraining Orders

A Valuable, Rarely Used Tool Against Violence, Writes Denise Grimes in PublicCEO

Legal Alerts Mar 25, 2019

Simultaneous Federal and State Court Actions on Code Violations?

Ninth Circuit Says Yes… In Rare Instances

BB&K In the News Mar 13, 2019

Ban on Commercial Cannabis Licenses Lifted

San Bernardino Sun Reports on BB&K’s Successful Defense of City

Legal Alerts Mar 06, 2019

No Committee Exception to Brown Act Public Comment Requirement for Special Meetings

California Appellate Court Decision in Preven v. City of Los Angeles

Client Successes Mar 05, 2019

City’s Ordinance Upheld

BB&K Team Represented City of San Clemente in Hospital Ordinance Challenge

Legal Alerts Mar 04, 2019

FPPC Wants Authority to Enforce Misuse of Public Funds for Campaign Activity

Seeking Legislation to Amend Political Reform Act

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

Client Successes Feb 14, 2019

BB&K Defeats Program Management Services Contract Challenge

Los Angeles Community College District’s $80 Million Program Management Services Contract Properly Awarded, Court Finds

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 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

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

Press Releases Dec 17, 2018

BB&K Welcomes Water and Environmental Partner Lowry Crook

Served Senior Positions with the Army Corps of Engineers and the White House

Authored Articles & Publications Nov 30, 2018

Speech is Speech and It’s Protected

Tori Hester Analyzes Ninth Circuit First Amendment Ruling for Public Agencies in PublicCEO

Event Nov 15, 2018

California Coastal Law Conference

Continuing Legal Education International

Press Releases Nov 02, 2018

BB&K Proud to be Among the Best

U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2019 Rankings Released

Authored Articles & Publications Oct 16, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court Declines Review of Inclusionary Zoning Case

Partner Gregg Kettles Discusses West Hollywood’s Ordinance in the California Lawyers Association’s Real Property Journal

Authored Articles & Publications Oct 12, 2018

Public Agency, Officials’ & Employees’ Rules for Electioneering

BB&K Attorneys Jim Priest and Sigrid Asmundson Discuss the Dos and Don’ts in PublicCEO

Legal Alerts Oct 10, 2018

Public Bus Ad Gets a Free Ride

County Cannot Prohibit Ad Content Solely Because it’s Disparaging or Potentially Disruptive, Ninth Circuit Holds

Legal Alerts Oct 09, 2018

Certain Police Personnel Records No Longer Confidential

New California Law Increases Access to Records Under PRA

Legal Alerts Oct 04, 2018

Statutory Authority to Adopt Fees Negates Any Potential State Mandate Funding

California Appellate Court Finds There is No State Mandate When a Public Agency Has The Statutory Authority to Levy Fees

Legal Alerts Sep 20, 2018

Public Entities Can Limit Public Comment Speaking Time at Meetings

California Appellate Court Finds Limit Did Not Violate Brown Act or First Amendment

Legal Alerts Sep 19, 2018

Statutory Development Agreements Cannot be Passed by Initiative

California Appellate Court Gives Cities Less Flexibility

Legal Alerts Sep 04, 2018

12 Orange County Cities Prevail in Federal Antitrust Lawsuits Over Ambulance Services

Ninth Circuit Affirms Lower Court’s Dismissals

Legal Alerts Aug 16, 2018

General Tax Measure with Related Advisory Measure on Same Ballot Does Not Turn It Into a Special Tax

Issue Related to Number of Votes Needed to Pass a General Versus Special Tax Under Proposition 218

Aug 15, 2018

[WEBINAR] "Walking the Line" - Public Agencies', Officials' and Employees' Roles in Local Elections

BB&K Webinar

Videos Aug 14, 2018

Christi Hogin Video Bio

Of Counsel

Videos Aug 14, 2018

Trevor Rusin Video Bio


Videos Aug 10, 2018

Gregg Kettles 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

Jul 19, 2018

[WEBINAR] Update on Pension Litigation

BB&K Webinar

Press Releases Jul 16, 2018

10 BB&K Attorneys Honored on 2018 Northern California Super Lawyers List

One Recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer Rising Star

Press Releases Jul 12, 2018

BB&K Attorney Thomas O’Connell Appointed Chair of Hesperia Chamber of Commerce

Business Associate Also Heading Up High Desert Regional Chambers Coalition

Legal Alerts Jun 29, 2018

Colorado Cake Bias Case Holds Lessons for Public Agencies

U.S. Supreme Court Opinion Shows Importance of Eliminating Bias from Administrative Claim Process

Press Releases Jun 22, 2018

BB&K Partner Lauren Langer on Daily Journal 40 Under 40 List

Annual List Recognizes Attorneys for their Achievements

Legal Alerts Jun 21, 2018

“Protected Activity” Rejected by California Appellate Court Under Anti-SLAPP Statute

School District Officials’ and Board Members’ Actions at Issue

Legal Alerts Jun 21, 2018

When is an Employer Responsible for Accidents on Employees’ Commutes?

California Court of Appeal Reverses $14 million Judgment Against Employer Because Employee’s Vehicle was Not Required at Work on the Day of the Accident

Press Releases Jun 18, 2018

Partner Mark Easter Named IRWA Professional of the Year

Honored by Inland Empire Chapter of the International Right of Way Association

Client Successes May 31, 2018

CEQA Challenge to Billboard Project Defeated

BB&K Attorneys Defended West Hollywood’s Sunset Blvd. Sign Approval

May 23, 2018

[WEBINAR] Public Records Act - Taming the Email Tiger

BB&K Webinar

Press Releases May 17, 2018

Victoria Hester Earns Spot on Top 40 Under 40 List

San Diego Daily Transcript Recognizes the Area’s Young Professionals

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