Our firm has long specialized in public agency law and provides a full range of experience in all aspects of administrative, transactional and litigation matters, including statutory compliance, real estate, eminent domain, public construction, contracting, environmental issues, personnel and employment, and personal injury/property damage claims.

Our attorneys have earned a state-wide reputation as experts on the “nuts & bolts” issues regularly faced by public agencies. Moreover, we have in-depth knowledge about many laws viewed as difficult and arcane by other less experienced attorneys.

For example, Practice Group Chair Lauren Layne has extensive experience representing both urban and agricultural public agencies on a variety of topics, including land use and water issues. Partner Kenneth Price serves as general counsel to many large public agencies and has served on the California State Bar’s Public Law Executive Committee. Partner Douglas B. Jensen has over 35 years of experience representing public agencies on land use and water issues.

In addition, the firm represents individuals and businesses before public agencies in a variety of matters, including land use and water rights.

Services Offered

Governing Board

  • Ralph M. Brown Act compliance
  • Conflicts of interest and disclosure statements
  • Public Records Act and privacy issues
  • Governing Board regulations and policies
  • Legislative issues

Real Property

  • Acquisition, development, and disposition of real property
  • CEQA and zoning issues
  • LAFCO Law
  • Purchase and sale agreements, leasing and easement issues
  • Eminent domain litigation


  • Development and implementation of personnel policies
  • Employment agreements
  • Employee discipline and litigation

Public Contracts

  • Negotiation and drafting of contracts for public improvements, professional services, and other operating requirements
  • Compliance with competitive bidding laws
  • Contract disputes and construction claims, including arbitration, litigation and alternative dispute resolution

Business and Financial Issues

  • Imposition of fees, assessments and taxes
  • General counsel representation on financing mechanisms, including bonds and certificates of participation

Environmental Regulations

  • Counseling and litigation services in a wide array of environmental issues, including water quality, wastewater discharge, air quality, toxics, and CEQA

Water Law

  • Formation and reorganization of Districts
  • Negotiation of long-term water supply contracts with state and local agencies as well as with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation

General counsel to public agencies

  • Litigation of numerous water rights issues in both state and federal courts
  • Advising clients in connection with issues arising under the Federal Endangered Species Act