Legal Notes

Overview

Legal Notes

Article Legal Notes by Gary B. Bell and Holly O. Whatley

Wayfair Decision Means More Sales and Use Tax Revenues for Cities

A new law will help bridge the tax collection gap for online sales.

Article Legal Notes by Alex Pal

Disasters in California: A Brief Overview of Preparedness, Proclamations and Assistance

Though California cities cannot predict or prevent the next disaster, they can take steps to maximize preparedness and build capacity.

Article Legal Notes by Joaquin Vazquez

Safe Sidewalk Vending Act Curbs Local Regulations: What You Need to Know

This new law affects cities in several significant ways.

Article Legal Notes by Jennifer Gore

Dockless Bicycles and Scooters: Responding to New Technology

Few technologies have overtaken cities as quickly as that of dockless bicycles and scooters, and these devices have proved difficult for cities to regulate.

Article Legal Notes by Christian Marsh

California’s Public Trust Doctrine Draws Attention in the Courts

During the past decade, California has experienced a surge in the volume of public trust cases and recent court decisions.

Article Legal Notes by Todd Leishman and Leeann Habte

U.S. Public Agencies May Need to Comply With European Union Data Privacy Regulation

Public agencies need to understand if and how the new law might apply to them and which of their day-to-day advertising, partnership and online activities might bring them under its purview.

Article Legal Notes by Patrick Whitnell, Corrie Manning and Luis Haro

Regulating Hate Speech in California

Even though hateful speech is generally protected under the First Amendment, some hate speech does not receive protection.

Article Legal Notes by T. Peter Pierce

Loaded Questions: Local Regulation of Businesses Selling Firearms

A look at local zoning and safety regulations that cities may adopt and apply to firearms retailers.

Article Legal Notes

U.S. Supreme Court Revisits Sales and Use Taxes in the E-Commerce Age

The case involves a challenge to South Dakota’s “remote seller compliance law” that imposes sales and use tax collection duties on retailers without a physical presence in the jurisdiction. If the court upholds the state’s scheme, the case could establish sweeping changes to how sales and use taxes are collected in the e-commerce age.

Article Legal Notes Jimmie Johnson

Lessons for Local Governments About ADA Lawsuits

A recent court decision offers clarification on which standards and regulations apply to which government

Article Legal Notes Barbara Kautz

New Housing Laws Change How Cities Process Housing Applications

California’s new housing laws create additional requirements and new compliance rules for cities.

Article Legal Notes Clare M. Gibson

Prevailing Wage Compliance: What Cities Should Do to Avoid Penalties Under SB 96

Prevailing wage laws have changed again. Because prevailing wage requirements apply to all public works contracts over $1,000, these new requirements will apply to the vast majority of municipal…

Article Legal Notes Robert Saxe

Court Rejects Challenges to Mello-Roos District in San Ramon

The decision is an important reminder for cities that the creation of Mello-Roos Community Facilities Districts may be a potential tool to supplement funds needed to provide services to new…

Article Legal Notes Hongdao Nguyen

What Cities Should Know About Public Records in Private Accounts

Local agency employees’ personal accounts and devices may be subject to the state’s Public Records Act.

Article Legal Notes Joan S. Smyth

California’s Design Immunity Defense: Why Your City Wants It and How to Get It

The defense can shield public agencies from liability.

Article Legal Notes Gage C. Dungy

Workplace Protections for Transgender Employees

State and federal laws expressly protect a person’s transgender status.

Article Legal Notes David Urban

Religion in the Public Sector Workplace

Public employers often face situations in which the religious beliefs of their employees become a major legal issue. This article explains applicable law and addresses some common scenarios.

Article Legal Notes Rick JarvisChristina Crowl

Changes Ahead for CEQA Traffic Studies: How Your City Can Prepare Now

An upcoming amendment will significantly change how local public agencies are required to analyze development projects’ traffic impacts.

Article Legal Notes Stephen A. McEwenNicholas E. Hermsen

Preserving Access While Regulating Conduct in Public Libraries

Open library access can lead to dilemmas such as situations involving patrons who bring in excessive amounts of personal belongings and use the library as a temporary shelter.

Article Legal Notes Bruce Galloway

Maximizing Revenue From City Property With Municipal Leases

A municipal lease transaction should be evaluated for various legal issues.