Nossaman has an extensive public agency practice, representing more than 200 public agencies and governmental entities at the local, state, and federal levels. As a result of this representation and our public service activities, we have an in-depth understanding of the legal and political issues and constraints confronting public entities.
Nossaman offers a broad range of services to our public agency clients, including providing General Counsel services, as well as assisting agencies in their planning, project development, and operational activities and associated litigation. We focus on achieving our clients' overall policies and goals, and work closely with agency boards, staff, and consultants to manage our legal work efficiently and cost-effectively, and to anticipate and resolve legal issues before they become problems.
Our experience includes:
Public agency governance representation, including providing advice to boards and staff on public meeting requirements under California's Ralph M. Brown Act, the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, and under similar laws in other states, including advice and consultation on notice and agenda requirements, regular, special and emergency meeting legal requirements, assistance in preparation for board and committee meetings, as well as addressing issues arising during meetings, including questions regarding conflicts of interest, closed sessions, quorum and voting requirements and related meeting matters.
Assisting in identifying and resolving potential conflicts of interest for board members and staff under state laws such as the California Political Reform Act and California Government Code Section 1090 et seq., common law conflict and bias issues, gift, travel and loan restrictions for board members and staff, incompatible offices and activities proscriptions; and ethics training for board members and staff. We represent our clients in litigating complex provisions of the California Fair Political Practices Act and similar state regulations pertaining to conflicts; and assist in interpreting the requirements associated with the California FPPC Form 700 – Statement of Economic Interest.
Consulting and providing on-going assistance in complying with public agency public records requirements, including the California Public Records Act and similar laws in other states, and the federal Freedom of Information Act. Our services include advice regarding responses to requests made pursuant to such statutes; providing tutorials on complying with laws regarding maintenance of electronic records and documents; and advising our clients with respect to preparing and maintaining records retention policies consistent with the Act and good public agency practice.
Assisting agencies in developing procurement policies and procedures
, and in negotiating and procuring contracts with private entities, including competitive procurements and negotiated contracts. We have assisted in developing forms for a wide variety of contracts, including purchase orders, service agreements, consultant agreements, operations and maintenance contracts, construction contracts, design-build contracts, development agreements, concession agreements, utility relocation agreements, franchise agreements and leases. We are familiar with the laws applicable to public agency contracts, including requirements associated with competitive lowest responsible bidder, qualifications-based procurements and issues related to state and federal funding.
Advising and consulting on wage and labor requirements, including minimum wage and prevailing wage requirements, apprenticeship requirements and related matters under the California Labor Code and similar requirements in other states, and under applicable federal contracting requirements.
Advising and consulting on employment law
, employee benefits issues and employment litigation.
Advising on environmental issues
, including obtaining permits and approvals from federal, state, and local agencies required for project development and ongoing operations under the Clean Air and Clean Water Act state and federal requirements, endangered species representation and consultation and advice, wetlands legal and regulatory issues, water rights, CEQA and other state environmental law, and NEPA consultation and representation, including litigation.
Providing financing advice and representation, including assisting in identifying, seeking and obtaining funding for projects and programs from state, local, and federal funding sources as well as private sources of funding, including serving as issuer, disclosure and bond counsel for all aspects of municipal finance
needs. Advising agencies on the complex issues arising out of California's tax limitation statutes: Propositions 13 and 218.
Providing representation in litigation
matters, including environmental litigation, eminent domain, inverse condemnation, constitutional law, civil service law, finance and tax limitation cases, complex landlord-tenant disputes, bid protests; contract and construction dispute resolution, and related agency matters.
Providing representation in real estate
transactions and tax matters, including sales tax and possessory interest tax issues.
- Providing legislative representation at the state and federal level, including bill monitoring, review, and drafting and advocacy on behalf of our clients.