Public Agency Law

Representation of Public Agencies as General and Special Counsel

Our public agency law practice emphasizes providing advice as general counsel that takes into account the practical realities faced by local government decision-makers and administrators. Our goal is to provide local officials with knowledge of all legal options and the pros and cons of each so that they are confident in making difficult decisions. We also ensure that local officials conduct their business in a manner that complies with all federal and state laws so that they may focus on the critical policy issues they are charged with addressing.

Expertise Based on Broad Public Agency Experience

Our lawyers have extensive experience advising local and state officials on a broad range of government law issues. Our firm includes the former elected San Francisco City Attorney, who advised elected and appointed officials on matters ranging from resolving complex constitutional issues, to drafting and interpreting city charter provisions and ordinances, to government sunshine laws governing public meetings and public records. Members of our firm serve as City Attorney for the cities of Brisbane, Cortre Madera, and Santa Rosa (interim). Our firm also includes the former Los Gatos, Pleasanton, and Richmond City Attorneys and Redevelopment Agency Counsel, all of whom have extensive experience in public agency law. In addition, the firm’s lawyers include the former San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney, and the former Chief of the San Francisco Government Litigation division of the City Attorney’s Office.

The types of matters on which we advise and represent public agency officials include:

  • Serving as contract city attorney/general counsel
  • Drafting charter amendments and ordinances
  • Employment advice and personnel actions
  • Labor relations and labor negotiations
  • Land use, CEQA, and development issues
  • Negotiation of development agreements
  • Advice on and resolution of complex and sensitive constitutional issues, including First Amendment issues
  • Advising public agencies on the Brown Act, Public Records Act, sunshine legislation and other laws governing the local government decision-making and operations.

Ethics Advice & Training

Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai attorneys have extensive experience in guiding public officials through the labyrinth of ethics laws governing their conduct. We offer pro-active ethics advice and training, including Political Reform Act provisions on conflicts of interest and restrictions on gifts to public officials. We also advise and represent public officials on specific allegations or charges by the FPPC.

Defending Local Governments

Our firm’s attorneys have represented agencies and officials in federal and state court challenges to their decisions and policies. We have successfully defended public agencies against constitutional challenges to a wide range of ordinances and policies, as well as challenges to agency decisions by administrative agencies. In addition, we have defended and prevailed on claims alleging violations of the state’s open meetings and public records laws. We also represent public agencies in civil litigation arising from activities of the agency and its employees. Our approach is to zealously defend the ability of public officials and staff to make the difficult decisions they are charged with making.

Practice Area Contact

Randy Riddle
(415) 678-3814
Teresa Stricker
(415) 678-3811
Michael Roush
(415) 678-3815