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Best Best & Krieger LLP Partner Christopher Pisano represents public agencies and private corporations in a variety of litigation matters, including land use, property valuation, water rights, health care litigation, unfair competition, inverse condemnation, construction, civil rights and general business disputes.

Chris has represented numerous public agencies in state and federal court matters, including:

  • County of Los Angeles
  • County of Shasta
  • County of Tulare
  • Oxnard Harbor District
  • Gold Coast Health Plan
  • ‚ÄčLA Care Health Plan
  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • Riverside County Transportation Commission
  • Corona Housing Authority
  • Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles
  • Kern County Water Agency
  • The cities of Azusa, Coachella, Colton, Covina, Culver City, Long Beach, Newport Beach, San Clemente, Paso Robles, Thousand Oaks, Yorba Linda, Ventura and West Hollywood, among others

Chris quickly became the go-to litigator for public agencies in a variety of COVID-19-related disputes. He was called upon to defend cities in a variety of lawsuits filed by businesses in response to shutdown orders during the pandemic and a sheriff’s department in a class action over COVID-19 outbreaks in the jail. He also served as lead litigator on the team that defended several cities that were sued in federal court over the enactment of “Hero Pay” ordinances for frontline workers during the pandemic. Chris successfully defended the City of Long Beach, which was the first city in California to enact a “Hero Pay” ordinance that mandated grocery stores to pay their workers premium pay to compensate them for the risk of working during the pandemic. 

In a recent notable victory, Chris defended Shasta County’s Registrar of Voters against a lawsuit seeking a last minute court order to force the County to extend the deadline to collect signatures in the attempted recall of three supervisors. In less than one week, Chris and the BB&K trial team prepared for trial and filed their opposition, earning a rejection of the suit.

Other recent work includes representing the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority in its condemnation of subsurface easements to allow for the Metro Purple Line tunnel extension. He is also defending a California county in federal civil rights lawsuits over its marijuana law enforcement.
 
In addition, Chris represents public agencies in water rights disputes. This includes representing the State Water Contractors and two additional contractor agencies in the California Department of Water Resources Water Operations Cases. The case includes eight lawsuits against the DWR and other state agencies claiming that an Incidental Take Permit unlawfully limits how much water suppliers can receive from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to serve their customers. Chris represents other cities over water rights in matters that often involve many parties, including environmental groups, farmers, businesses and other landowners and whose outcomes impact wide swaths of water customers.

Chris represented the County of Los Angeles and the Housing Authority for the City of Los Angeles in class action and representative action litigation for housing and employment benefits, and defended several cities and counties against claims of wrongful arrest, wrongful search and seizure and excessive force. Chris also represents Gold Coast Health Plan in a broad range of health insurance coverage and other contract disputes with health care providers, and also represents Riverside Medical Clinic in an insurance coverage dispute. He also served as lead trial and appellate counsel for the City of Covina in a 2011 published search and seizure case before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals — Dougherty v. City of Covina, et al. — in which the appellate court affirmed dismissal on the grounds that the investigating officers were entitled to qualified immunity, and that plaintiffs did not plead sufficient facts to attribute liability to the city and supervising officers.
 
Chris was one of the founding partners of BB&K’s Los Angeles office in 2005.

Accolades
  • Los Angeles Times Business in Law "Legal Visionary," 2021
  • Los Angeles Business Journal Top Litigators and Trial Attorneys, 2021
  • Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star, Litigation, 2005-2007
Professional & Community Involvement
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • International Right of Way Association
  • International Municipal Lawyers Association
Thought Leadership

Publications

  • “Public Entities’ Discretion in Approving Construction Designs Strengthened,” BB&K Legal Alert, Aug. 2, 2013
  • “Dangerous Condition Liability: No Dangerous Condition Based Solely on Third Party Conduct,” BB&K Legal Alert, Jan. 11, 2013
  • “Dangerous Condition Liability: Improvements on Other Public Properties Do Not Defeat Design Immunity,” BB&K Legal Alert, Jan. 8, 2013

Presentations

  • "Best Practices for Board/Staff Roles & Communication," California Special Districts Association Webinar, Oct. 10, 2023
  • "Who Does What? Defining Proper Roles for Staff and Elected Officials," BB&K Municipal Law Webinar Series, Feb. 13, 2018
  • "Who Does What? Best Practices in Board/Staff Relations," California Special Districts Association Workshop, May 2, 2016
  • "Who Does What? Best Practices in Board/Staff Relations," California Special Districts Association Webinar, Jan. 20, 2016

Education & Admissions

Education
University of Southern California Gould School of Law
J.D.
Georgetown University
B.S.
Bar Admissions
California

Languages

English

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