by William R. Galstan on July 20, 2015
Law Enforcement, Pitchess Motions,
The California Supreme Court has resolved questions that have arisen among police departments, city attorneys and district attorneys about their obligations to respond to criminal discovery requirements under the landmark decisions of Brady v. Maryland and Pitchess v. Superior Court.
The Brady case, generally, requires the prosecution to disclose material evidence that is favorable to the criminal defendant. Pitchess holds that peace officers are entitled to a measure of privacy, and that their personnel records can only be examined and disclosed after the filing of a “Pitchess motion”. ... Continue Reading
by David G. Ritchie on July 14, 2015
Employee Benefits, Sick Leave,
Governor Brown, on July 13 signed AB 304 into law thereby amending the Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act (the California Paid Sick Leave law). The changes address needed clarifications in the original text of the law and implement some significant changes. These are immediately effective as the law contains an urgency clause.
The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act requires employers to provide a limited amount of paid sick leave for most employees in California. Our earlier post that provides details of the original Act can be read here.
... Continue Reading
by Derek P. Cole on July 13, 2015
Does the Brown Act sometimes get in the way of good government? According to the Little Hoover Commission, a think-tank agency that studies the performance of state government, the answer is yes. After comprehensively studying how the Brown Act regulates “serial meetings”—discussions that occur among more than two council or board members outside of a noticed public meeting—the Commission has published a report that finds that Act’s serial-meeting provisions may be impeding effective decision-making.
The Commission’s findings are interesting and, in this author’s opinion, probably ... Continue Reading
by Derek P. Cole on June 16, 2015
Consultants are fixtures in the world of local government. Engineers, architects, lawyers, and many other professionals routinely contract with local agencies to provide a wide range of services. A recent court opinion, Davis v. Fresno Unified School District, warns the companies that employ these professionals of their potential for conflicts of interest.
... Continue Reading
by Derek P. Cole on April 27, 2015
Public Records Act,
In a ruling that probably surprised many people, the Los Angeles-based Second District Court of Appeal held this month that attorney billing records need not be produced under the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”). The appellate court overturned a lower court ruling that found outside counsels’ litigation-billing invoices were public records that must be disclosed.
In County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court, a lawsuit that originated with a public-records request made by the American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”), the court found itself caught between competing ... Continue Reading