Olson Remcho represents state and local public agencies through litigation, representation in administrative actions, and advice on a wide range of matters.
Our attorneys have expertise in state and local open meeting laws, state and local budget matters, city or county charters and state preemption issues, the Public Records Act, conflicts of interest, and the California Administrative Procedure Act.
The firm also advises government clients on election-related issues, including compliance with state Elections Code requirements. We have drafted or updated campaign finance ordinances for cities and special districts. The firm has nationally recognized expertise in advising on the appropriate use of public funds when communicating with the public regarding ballot measures.
Our attorneys also advise government entities and officials who must comply with open meeting and public records laws. We have successfully defended several local government entities in litigation brought to challenge their compliance with these complex laws.
Conflicts of Interest and Ethics:
Attorneys at Olson Remcho assist local, state, and federal officeholders and employees in understanding and complying with the complex laws governing conflicts of interest, including gift and honoraria restrictions and revolving door laws. We also assist in preparing financial disclosure statements and advise parties who do business with public agencies in how to operate within the requirements of those laws and regulations.
In order to help our clients properly address these issues before they arise, we develop and present seminars on the subjects of ethics and conflicts of interest for local and state officials. We have conducted ethics training for the State Legislature, the Governor’s staff, counties, and state agencies.
Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Services:
- Consulting on all aspects of compliance with ethics and conflict of interest law, including limitations and prohibitions on gifts and honoraria and revolving door restrictions.
- Advising parties that do business with public agencies and public officials on how the law affects them.
- Counseling public agencies and public officials on conflict of interest requirements, including disclosure and disqualification matters.
- Preparing financial disclosure statements for federal, state and local candidates, and elected and appointed officials.
- Soliciting opinions and formal advice from the California Fair Political Practices Commission that confer limited immunity from prosecution.
- Advising private consultants and public agencies on potential disclosure and disqualification issues.
- Advising former public officials on “revolving door” requirements.
- Advising public officials and contributors on the potential disqualifying consequences of receiving and making campaign contributions.
- Representing clients who are subject to investigation or enforcement actions by regulatory agencies.
Representative Cases – Government Law:
Martinez v. City of Watsonville, Santa Cruz County Superior Court, No. CV169473 (2012). Successfully argued on behalf of the City of Watsonville that city council “vacancy” under city charter occurred upon submission of letter of resignation rather than on relinquishment of office.
Vargas v. City of Salinas, 46 Cal. 4th 1 (2009). Filed amicus curiae brief on behalf of the League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties in case defending the rights of local governments to expend public funds informing citizens of the effects of upcoming ballot measures.
Mendoza v. State of California, 149 Cal. App. 4th 1034 (2007). Successful challenge to State legislation transferring control of the Los Angeles Unified School District to the Mayor.
People ex rel. Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights v. Duque, 105 Cal. App. 4th 259 (2003). Won reversal of trial court ruling that would have required a commissioner of the Public Utilities Commission to forfeit his office on the basis of a conflict of interest.
Kleitman v. Superior Court, 74 Cal. App. 4th 324 (1999). Successful defense of City Council’s right to maintain confidentiality of closed session deliberations.
California Standardbred Sires Stakes Committee v. California Horse Racing Board, 231 Cal. App. 3d 751 (1991). Litigation of alleged conflict-of-interest violations.