Public Agency & Municipal Law

Practice Area

Public Agency & Municipal Law

Lewis Brisbois' Public Agency & Municipal Law Practice provides a range of litigation, counseling, and transactional representation to cities, counties, regional governments, special districts, school districts, and joint powers authorities. Our team handles municipal law matters for public entities from California to the East Coast, and features several lawyers who serve as General Counsel, Assistant General Counsel, or Special Counsel for cities, special districts, and other municipal bodies. 

The work of our Public Agency & Municipal Law Practice includes:

Property Acquisition/Economic Development

  • Voluntary acquisition
  • Eminent domain
  • Inverse condemnation
  • Public works construction and claims, including development of public works packages
  • Bid protests, bidding responsibilities, interpreting and enforcing public works contracts, stop notices, and contractor issues
  • All aspects of pre-acquisition due diligence, including entitlements
  • All aspects of redevelopment
  • Environmental compliance and safeguards
  • Acquisition and disposition including ERNs, purchase and sale agreements, DDAs, property conveyance documents, common interest agreements, reciprocal easements, and other joint use agreements
  • Affordable housing

Land Use & Planning

  • Land use entitlements
  • Phase I and II investigations
  • Zoning
  • Negotiation with and permitting from the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Fish & Game, and Regional Water Quality Control Boards
  • General Plan development and amendment
  • All transactional and permitting support for large scale energy projects including liquid natural gas, geothermal, and thermal solar plants

Environmental Concerns:

  • Compliance with federal and local environmental laws including RCRA, Endangered Species Act, Fish & Game Act, National Environmental Policy Act including remediation, NPDES, CERCLA, and CEQA
  • Brownfields/Polanco Act
  • Water, wastewater, recycled water
  • Air quality
  • Soil and groundwater contamination

Open & Public Meetings

  • Compliance with ethics laws
  • Sitting with and advising Boards, Commissions, and Committees during public meetings
  • Compliance with the California Open Meeting requirements (Ralph M. Brown Act)
  • Record keeping and responding to requests under the California Public Records Act

Tort Litigation

  • Tort Claims Act Claims
  • Dangerous condition of public property
  • Nuisance

Local Entity Formation & Governance

  • Formation of joint powers authority
  • District reorganizations including annexations and detachments
  • Local authority administration
  • Crafting and reviewing ordinances and resolutions
  • Negotiation of regulatory, administrative, and legal issues with governmental agencies
  • Drafting of contracts, leases, and licenses for government-owned facilities

Public Finance

  • Serving as bond counsel, disclosure counsel, trustee’s counsel, letter of credit counsel, underwriter’s counsel, issuer’s counsel, and contract negotiation counsel in connection with public financing
  • Financing for infrastructure projects, schools, housing, airports, and governmental facilities
  • Tax increment financing (tax exempt and taxable) for redevelopment activities
  • Bond anticipation notes, grant anticipation notes and tax and revenue anticipation notes
  • Assessment, special tax and community facility districts, including all substantive and procedural aspects underlying the formation of such districts, such as validations
  • Advise on prevailing wage requirements, the reasonableness of city exactions, the economic impacts of proposed taxes, the effects of implementation thereof, and the reasonableness of the provisions of bond financing as structured by underwriters or financial consultants
  • Counseling on the restructuring or refinancing of benefit assessment districts and Mello-Roos districts


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