Mr. Riddle advises and represents public sector clients on a wide range of government law issues. Mr. Riddle possesses a unique combination of election law experience, having served as Chief Counsel to the California Secretary of State and counsel to a county registrar of voters for ten years. Mr. Riddle, who manages the California Election Law website (www.calelectionlaw.com), has provided advice and litigation representation on matters related to constitutional issues, conflict of interest law and other governmental ethics matters, open government requirements, initiative, referendum and recall petitions, administrative law, the legislative process, the implementation of new voting systems, the Voting Rights Act and the Help America Vote Act. As Chief Counsel to the California Secretary of State, Mr. Riddle managed a legal staff of twelve attorneys. In 2006, he was named a California Super Lawyer in the area of political law. Mr. Riddle also teaches Election Law at the University of San Francisco School of Law.
Some of the matters on which Mr. Riddle has provided legal services include:
- Conducting mandatory AB 1234 ethics training on conflicts of interest, public records, open meetings and the proper use of government resources.
- Drafting charter amendments and initiative ordinances, and advising legislative bodies on potential legal issues with proposed legislation.
- Responding to public records requests and open meeting questions on behalf of local officials.
- Representing local governments in a broad range of government law litigation, including constitutional challenges to ordinances and other government actions.
- Advising and representing a county on the requirements of the Voting Rights Act minority language provisions and the Help America Vote Act to ensure compliance with a Justice Department consent decree.
- Representing a city clerk on complex issues related to a referendum petition, two recall petitions and two initiative measures.
- Advising and supervising extensive and complex litigation on behalf of the California Secretary of State in the historic 2003 gubernatorial recall.
Mr. Riddle is also an experienced appellate advocate on behalf of government agencies. He has written numerous appellate briefs on a wide range of government, election and constitutional law issues. He has also handled dozens of writ of mandate actions during his career as a government law attorney.
Prior to joining Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai, Mr. Riddle served as Chief Counsel to the Office of the California Secretary of State where he advised and represented the agency on the full range of election law issues, including the implementation of new voting systems. For fifteen years, Mr. Riddle served in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, where he was the Counsel to the Registrar of Voters and the San Francisco Ethics Commission. Mr. Riddle later became Chief of the Government Litigation Team, where he supervised sensitive and complex litigation involving challenges to city laws and policies, including City employment and contracting policies.
Mr. Riddle also served as Legal Counsel to the National Senate of the Republic of Palau, which had recently gained its independence. He drafted legislation, provided advice on a wide range of domestic and international issues, and represented the Senate in litigation.
AB 1234 Ethics Training, El Dorado County (December 2006)
“Courts Take the Initiative,” County Counsels’ Association Annual Meeting, Monterey (September 2006)
“Town Hall Meeting on Electronic Voting” (panel member), conducted by Congressman Mike Honda (March 2005)
City Attorney’s Continuing Education Seminar, League of California Cities, Issues in Election Law, Emeryville (February 2008)