Public Agency Advice

As city attorney, general counsel or outside counsel to numerous public agencies, SMW regularly provides advice on the complex laws applicable to local government. We advise and provide training on compliance with the Brown Act’s notice and open meeting requirements; help agencies navigate conflict of interest issues under the Political Reform Act, Fair Political Practices Commission regulations, and other state and local laws governing conflicts; advise on record disclosure and privileges under the Public Records Act; and help solve problems on a wide array of issues faced by public agencies on a daily basis. Examples of the firm’s experience advising public agencies include:

  • City Attorney: The firm serves as City Attorney for the cities of Saratoga, Orinda, Half Moon Bay, and Cupertino, advising on the full range of issues affecting cities, including working with the City Manager and department heads to implement City policy in accord with various legal restrictions, assisting City staff with regard to code enforcement, and drafting ordinances, resolutions, contracts, permit conditions, easements, and other legal documents for the City. The firm has advised the cities of Alameda, San Bruno, Visalia, San Francisco, Mountain View, Pacifica, and many others.
  • General Counsel: The firm is general counsel for major public agencies, including the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the Alameda County Waste Management Authority, and the Tri-City and County Cooperative Planning Group for Open Space and Agriculture.
  • Agencies and Special Districts: SMW represents a wide range of public agencies and special districts as outside counsel, including the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, the Bolinas Public Utility District, and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District.
  • Tribal Government: The firm represents the Colorado River Indian Tribes on a broad range of issues arising under tribal, state and federal law.