Margaret R. Prinzing is a partner who focuses on litigation involving government law, constitutional law, and public policy issues. Representative matters include defending the California Legislature in litigation challenging the constitutionality of Regional Measure 3, a toll increase on Bay Area bridges (Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. Bay Area Toll Authority, 51 Cal. App. 5th 435 (2020)); representing a county in a challenge to the constitutionality of the unitary tax rate (AT&T Mobility LLC, et al. v. County of Riverside, Riverside County Super. Ct., No. RIC 1905814 (2020)); and defending the City of Mountain View’s implementation of a voter-approved rent control measure. (Bolhouse v. Rental Housing Committee, No. H046335, 2020 WL 7585884 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 22, 2020)).
Ms. Prinzing also specializes in election law. She helped draft Proposition 24 (2020), the California Privacy Rights Act; Proposition 63 (2016), which strengthened California’s gun safety laws; Proposition 47 (2014), which requires misdemeanor rather than felony sentences for certain nonviolent offenses; the Richmond Kids First Initiative to fund programs for children and youth (Richmond, 2018); and Measure D, the first voter-approved measure to tax the distribution of sugary beverages (Berkeley, 2014). She advises ballot measure committees and candidates on election procedures, engaging in political communications, and candidates’ ballot designations. She also represents her clients in litigation as necessary, including representing supporters of Measure D in San Diego County in two lawsuits that ultimately ensured the measure appeared on the ballot in 2018 (Vargas v. Vu, San Diego County Super. Ct., No. 37-2018-00035775; Greene v. Vu, San Diego County Super. Ct., No. 37-2018-00037778 (2018)); and winning emergency relief in the California Supreme Court to ensure that Proposition 57 appeared on the 2016 ballot. (Brown v. Superior Court, 63 Cal. 4th 335 (2016)).
In addition, Ms. Prinzing has expertise in mental health and education issues. She is currently representing a county in litigation over the hospitalization of patients experiencing mental health emergencies (Fairchild Medical Center v. Lightbourne, No. 2:20-CV-00487 (E.D. Cal. removed Mar. 4, 2020)); represented a joint powers authority in the first appeal in California of an audit under the Mental Health Services Act; and has represented the California Department of Education and Board of Education in litigation addressing the State’s role in providing students an equal education. (Cruz v. State of California, Alameda County Super. Ct., No. RG14727139 (2015)).
Finally, Ms. Prinzing advises interested persons, officeholders, and officials on government law matters including the separation of powers, statutory interpretation, administrative law, and conflicts of interest. She also advises attorneys on professional responsibility matters such as conflicts of interest and fee agreements, and has moved to disqualify a law firm for violating the conflict of interest rules.
In recent years, Ms. Prinzing has provided ethics training to the AC Transit Board of Directors; spoken before the California League of Cities’ Spring Conference on “Navigating Pitfalls Under Government Code Section 1090,” and made a presentation for the California Lawyers Association on election litigation.
Ms. Prinzing has served on the Board of Directors for Foster Youth Rising and the Advisory Board for the California Habeas Project. She also served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate in Alameda County for over six years.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Prinzing was an associate with Bingham McCutchen where she specialized in civil and appellate litigation, with an emphasis on federal preemption and employment law matters. She also worked as a legislative assistant to two members of Congress, focusing on health care, welfare, and education matters.