As examples, we regularly participate in public meetings as general counsel for our public agency clients. In this role, we assist entities in preparing agendas and conducting closed sessions in compliance with the Brown Act. We work with local public agencies to review and respond to requests for information under the Public Records Act. We give advice on rate setting, fees and assessments. This includes compliance with Proposition 218 and, when necessary, helping the agency complete a new Proposition 218 assessment. We also assist with local elections and help agency staff with the mass mailings that are often involved. We frequently help our public agency clients develop policies for the legislative bodies to follow, provide regular updates on new statutes, regulations, and court decisions that affect the clients’ operations, and assist with Conflict of Interest laws,
Our local government clients also come to us for help with employment law concerns from union negotiations to workplace investigations to advice on disability and medical leave matters. In this regard, Somach Simmons & Dunn is unique in that many agencies look for separate employment law counsel. Firm attorneys specialize in employment law for local public agencies and are able to provide a full suite of services for these clients.
It is impossible to separate specialized water, air, water quality, and environmental issues from local governance issues, and our attorneys handle both specialized counsel issues and outside general counsel issues with equal expertise.