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 district law and litigation, Best Best & Krieger LLP’s (BBK) attorneys understand the many dimensions of litigation. We approach a lawsuit mindful of all of these perspectives. Accordingly, BBK 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.
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 Municipal Law attorneys all have experience working with clients to avoid lawsuits and to minimize adverse consequences if prevention does not stop the lawsuit.
Consistent with our size and experience representing public agencies, our team of attorneys litigates a broad range of matters, including:
- Complex land use
- Inverse Condemnation, including regulatory takings claims and physical takings claims
- California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and other environmental regulations
- Water rights and water quality disputes
- Hazardous materials cleanup and toxic torts
- Labor and employment
- Public contracting, bidding, and construction
- Fees, taxes, assessments, and rate challenges, including Proposition 218
- Public policy and ethics, including Brown Act and California Public Records Act
- Tort liability
- Land use decisions and writs
- Eminent domain
- Telecommunications and utilities issues
- Public safety, ordinance enforcement, and code enforcement
- Civil rights and constitutional claims
- Spheres of influence and incorporations
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 and Effective Services
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 attorneys’ fees and costs incurred to date. 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 and allow the client to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of our services and make better strategic decisions on how to handle the case.