Partner Christine N. Wood leads Best Best & Krieger LLP’s ARC: Advanced Records Center, which provides clients across the nation with comprehensive and cost-effective support for records-related matters, including public records requests of every size and complexity. Christine is also an experienced and sought-after trainer and presenter, with an easy and conversational style that clients appreciate.
In her role as the firm’s e-Discovery Counsel, Christine skillfully advises, educates and assists public agencies in developing procedures and best practices to support the preservation, collection and production of electronically stored information. Additionally, Christine is experienced in both conducting and supervising forensic investigations. She is also known for being able to distill complex and voluminous data with efficiency and ease — most notably in response to requests for public records. Christine collaborates with clients to analyze the significance of records, using her experience in the newspaper industry to anticipate the newsworthiness of documents.
In addition to her trailblazing practice in public records matters, Christine is at the forefront of understanding and advising on the evolving laws regarding police officers’ use-of-force and privacy concerns related to technology deployment. In the effort to increase transparency in law enforcement, some states are changing laws that govern the release of police personnel records related to specific critical incidents. This has created significant burdens for law enforcement agencies, especially when tasked with releasing body cam footage, and Christine has led the effort to synthesize these shifts in the law so public safety clients can effectively comply.
In addition to her experience in the public records arena, Christine is also leading the initiative to help the City of Malibu form its own school district from territory within the existing Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. This is the first time a city within Los Angeles County has petitioned the county office of education to form a school district for its residents, and Christine has combined her knowledge of school finance, educational services and municipal law to guide the City of Malibu through this process.
Before joining BB&K, Christine worked as an assistant general counsel at the Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest school district in California and the second largest in the country. In that capacity, Christine provided legal opinions, advice and training on PRA, the Brown and Greene acts, as well as school finance, including federal grant requirements and developer fees.
Christine also represented clients in recoupment litigation, special education due process hearings, certificated and classified dismissals, as well as Pitchess motions on behalf of the Los Angeles School Police Department.
In her spare time, Christine has served as a coach in the Trial Advocacy Honors Program at Southwestern Law School, where she helps trial teams with litigation strategies and advocacy. Although she has lived on the East Coast and in the Pacific Northwest, Christine was born and raised in Los Angeles, where she lives with her daughter. She is licensed to practice law in the State of California.
- Southern California Super Lawyers, Women's Edition and Rising Stars, 2023
- Black Leader Worth Watching, Profiles in Diversity Journal, 2021
- Minority Leaders of Influence: Attorneys, L.A. Business Journal, 2021
- California Trailblazer, The Recorder, 2020
- California Lawyers Association Public Law Section Executive Committee, chair, 2020-2021
- Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, lifetime member
- "Government Transparency Act Is A Shameful Abuse of the Initiative Process," Daily Journal, Sept. 12, 2023
- "Peace Officer Records and the Public Records Act," Daily Journal, March 5, 2020
- "Questions Emerge After High Court Public Records Decision," Daily Journal, Sept. 12, 2018
- "Tips for Managing the Records Retention Lifecycle," California Special Districts Association, Board Secretary/Clerk Conference, Nov. 6, 2023
- "e-Discovery & Public Records," International Municipal Lawyers Association Annual Conference WONK Breakfast, Sept. 29, 2023
- "Public Records Act Requests 2023," Webinar, California Special Districts Association, Feb. 7, 2023
- "The Engineering of Public Records Processing," California Special Districts Association Board Secretary Clerk Conference, Nov. 8, 2022
- "E-discovery: Not Just a Litigation Tool: ESI Primer for Public Records (FOIA) Requests," International Municipal Lawyers Association's Annual Conference, Oct. 21, 2022
- "Public Records Act Litigation," Law Seminars International, Oct. 14, 2022
- "Earth – The Smart City: The Impacts of the Virtual Medium on Municipal Law Practice," Municipal Law Institute Virtual Symposium, Mar. 18, 2022
- "The Engineering of Public Records Processing," League of California Cities City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar, Dec. 8, 2021
- "ESI Primer for Public Records (FOIA) Requests," International Municipal Lawyers Association’s Annual Conference, Oct. 1, 2021
- "ESI Primer for PRA Requests," 2021 Virtual Solo and Small Firm Summit, California Lawyers Association, June 25, 2021
- "Social Media Law: Understanding Social Media, the First Amendment and the Brown Act," City Clerks Association of California's Annual Conference, Apr. 8, 2021
- "2021 Public Records Act Legislative Update," BB&K Webinar, Feb. 18, 2021
- "Social Media and the First Amendment," Virtual Clerk Training Workshop, City Clerks Association of California, Jan. 20 and 27, 2021
- "Comments, Likes and Emojis, Oh My! An Update on Evolving Social Media Law for Public Officials and Agencies," BB&K Webinar, Nov. 18, 2020
- "Something Old, New, Borrowed, but not Blue...," Webinar, California Special Districts Association, July 22, 2020
- "Case Study: California Public Records Act Lessons from the Sukumar Case," BB&K Webinar, July 16, 2020
- "Distinguishing Personal and Public Records," BB&K Webinar, June 18, 2020
- "Judicial and Legislative Update," Law Seminars International Seminar, June 12, 2020
- "A Review of National Lawyers Guild v. City of Hayward's Impact on the California Public Records Act and Video Records," BB&K Webinar, June 4, 2020
- "Best Practices for Handling a Surge in CPRA Requests Post-COVID-19," BB&K Webinar, May 20, 2020
- "Top Ten Public Records Act Tips in the COVID-19 Era," California Lawyers Association, Open Meetings and Open Records Digital Conference, May 15, 2020
- "Electronic Records: Considerations for Public Agencies to Ensure State Law Compliance," BB&K Webinar, Mar. 26, 2020
- "Exploring the CPRA's Investigatory Privilege," BB&K Webinar, Jan. 21, 2020
- "ESI Primer for Public Record Act Requests," League of California Cities City Clerks New Law & Elections Seminar, Dec. 11, 2019
- "Public Records Laws, Requests and Responses - What You Need to Know," 2019 CSDA Annual Conference and Exhibitor Showcase, Sept. 26, 2019
- "Producing Police Video and Audio Records," BB&K Webinar, July 30, 2019
- "Update: Social Media Meets the First Amendment," BB&K Webinar, June 18, 2019
- "An Update on the State of the PRA and Police Personnel Records," California Lawyers Association's Open Meetings and Open Records Conference, May 31, 2019
- April Chapter Meeting, Southern California Inland Empire ARMA Chapter, April 17, 2019
- City Clerks Association of California, May 3, 2019
- "Social Media and the First Amendment," CCAC Annual Conference, City Clerks Association of California, April 4, 2019
- "ESI Primer for PRA Requests," 2018 E-Discovery Day at The Par Center, Practice Aligned Resources, Dec. 4, 2018
- "ESI Primer for PRA Requests," BB&K Webinar, Oct. 24, 2018
- "Social Media Meets the First Amendment," BB&K Webinar, July 11, 2018
- "Do You Know the Way [After] San Jose?" BB&K Webinar, June 26, 2018
- "Public Records Act - Taming the Email Tiger," BB&K Webinar, May 23, 2018