General & Special Counsel

Special districts are facing greater regulation and enforcement, making it more important than ever to understand the rules and assure strict compliance. Best Best & Krieger LLP attorneys have extensive experience advising boards of directors as they navigate through high-profile, complex decisions — and the contentious public meetings and hearings that can be a part of that process.
Regarded as a leading law firm in advising special districts, BB&K regularly serves as general and special counsel to public entities throughout California. We apply deep regulatory knowledge and legal acumen to help clients optimize opportunities, overcome challenges and reduce their legal exposure.
Serving as general and special counsel to all levels of public entities, we advise municipalities, utilities, planning commissions, local agency formation commissions, transportation commissions, water agencies and a wide variety of other public entities. We offer comprehensive guidance on all matters involving special district services, day-to-day operations, governance and regulation. These include interpretation and application of the Ralph M. Brown Act (open meeting law), Public Records Act requirements, notices, agendas, rules regarding conducting meetings and other governance and procedural matters. We advise on everything from the introduction and adoption of minute orders, resolutions and ordinances through the timing and structure of public hearings and presentations to the public and election laws.
Our lawyers work with clients to assure their compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations. We advise on district formation, prepare and review documentation, negotiate transactions, secure necessary regulatory approvals and permits and advocate for clients before regulatory agencies, administrative authorities and courts, resolving disputes and defending our client’s interests.

Our role as general counsel includes providing advice on the following matters:

  • Political Reform Act (Government Code § 81000 et seq.)
  • Contractual conflicts of interest  (Government Code § 1090)
  • Incompatibility of public offices

We are also often retained by special districts to handle individual matters that require an in-depth knowledge of legal and regulatory issues, such as employment and labor issues, environmental regulatory compliance, state and local regulations and litigation.
BB&K lawyers closely monitor statutory and common law changes, stay current regarding Fair Political Practices Commission decisions and keep our clients informed of changes.


BB&K is helping public agencies navigate Public Records Act compliance with our new Advanced Records Center. Combining legal know-how with cutting-edge technology, ARC provides comprehensive and cost-effective support for all records-related matters, including PRA requests. To learn more, visit the ARC page or email

Areas of Focus: Charters & Internal Organizations | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation
Areas of Focus: Endangered Species | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | Environmental Litigation | General & Special Counsel | Special Districts | Water
Areas of Focus: Air Quality | Renewable Energy | Special Districts | Water Quality
Areas of Focus: Education Law | Eminent Domain | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts | Water
Areas of Focus: General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Health Care | Labor & Employment | Municipal Law | Public Agency Litigation | Public Contracts & Construction
Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Public Agency Labor & Employment | Public Agency Litigation | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: Economic Development, Real Estate & Affordable Housing | Election Law | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Public Contracts & Construction
Areas of Focus: General & Special Counsel | Health Care | Special Districts
Areas of Focus: California Public Records Act | Environmental Law & Natural Resources | General & Special Counsel | Government Policy & Public Integrity | Municipal Law | Special Districts
Press Releases Mar 30, 2021

Latino Leader Worth Watching: BB&K Partner Ruben Duran

Municipal Law Attorney Recognized by Profiles in Diversity Journal

Authored Articles & Publications Dec 28, 2020

Partner Jack Clarke Honors Colleague John Brown

Riverside Lawyer Magazine Feature on Brown, the Krieger Meritorious Service Award Winner

BB&K In the News Dec 03, 2020

BB&K Partner Ryan Baron Advising Calif. Cities on CCA Energy Path

Orange County Cities Seeking Guidance, According to News Reports

BB&K Event Oct 29, 2020

MMASC Annual Virtual Conference

Municipal Management Association of Southern California

BB&K Webinar Sep 16, 2020

The Brown Act: The People’s Business and the Right to Access

BB&K Workshop via Webinar

Press Releases Sep 11, 2020

BB&K Attorney Nicholaus Norvell Named a Top 40 Under 40 in San Diego

San Diego Daily Transcript Recognizes Young Professionals

Press Releases Dec 12, 2019

BB&K Partner John Brown Named Public Lawyer of the Year

California Lawyers Association’s Public Law Section Award Honors Commitment to Public Entities

Event Nov 14, 2019

2019 MMASC Annual Conference

Municipal Management Association of Southern California

Press Releases Jun 11, 2019

Two BB&K Partners Named Coachella Valley Top Lawyers

Henry Welles and Robert Hargreaves Selected by Palm Springs Life Magazine

BB&K In the News Mar 11, 2019

Construction Traffic Plan MOU

BB&K Attorneys Acknowledged for Contribution in the Hermosa Beach Patch

Press Releases Jan 02, 2019

BB&K Announces Three New Partners

Additional Changes to Leadership Roles

BB&K In the News Nov 05, 2018

Law360: BB&K Adds Three Health Attys from Archer Norris

The Legal Publication Interviews Colin Coffey, Noël Caughman and Alison Bassett

Press Releases Oct 22, 2018

BB&K’s Health Care Practice Welcomes Three New Members

Former Archer Norris Attorneys Join Firm

Press Releases Sep 17, 2018

BB&K Partner Ruben Duran Appointed to State Bar of California Board of Trustees

Public Law Attorney Joins Legal Industry Governing Body

Legal Alerts Aug 07, 2018

Ninth Circuit: No “Amen” to School Board Invocation

Prayers Violated First Amendment

Jun 26, 2018

[WEBINAR] Do You Know the Way [After] San Jose?

BB&K Webinar

Press Releases Jun 22, 2018

BB&K Partner Lauren Langer on Daily Journal 40 Under 40 List

Annual List Recognizes Attorneys for their Achievements

BB&K In the News Jun 01, 2018

Brent Collinson Admitted to U.S. Supreme Court Bar

Attorney Recently Merged Firm with BB&K, Sierra Sun Reports

Press Releases May 01, 2018

BB&K Partner Paula de Sousa Mills a San Diego Best Attorney

San Diego Metro Magazine Annual List

Event Apr 18, 2018

Understanding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

American Association of Port Authorities

BB&K In the News Apr 03, 2018

The Recorder: SoCal’s Best Best & Krieger Scoops Up Eight-Lawyer Outfit

Jenkins & Hogin Merger with BB&K

Press Releases Apr 02, 2018

Jenkins & Hogin Joins Forces with Best Best & Krieger

Combination Creates Municipal Law Powerhouse Committed to Public Service

BB&K Webinar Mar 06, 2018

What’s New in Environmental and Special Districts Law

BB&K Free Webinar Series

Press Releases Jan 02, 2018

Five Attorneys Named to Partnership

BB&K Announces Promotions

BB&K In the News Nov 27, 2017

Two Service Districts Form LAFCO

Plumas County News Reports on BB&K Partner Joshua Nelson’s Consolidation Advisement

Event Jul 20, 2017

Public Records Practices After the San Jose Decision

League of California Cities Webinar

Event May 04, 2017

Medical & Recreational Marijuana in California

County Counsels’ Association of California

Apr 27, 2017

[WEBINAR] Short-Term Rentals: Burdens and Opportunities

BB&K Webinar on Short-Term Vacation Rentals Like Airbnb, VRBO, and Flipkey

Press Releases Mar 23, 2017

Sacramento Business Journal Again Ranks BB&K as a Top Litigation Firm

Based on Number of Attorneys

Legal Alerts Mar 09, 2017

Civil Discovery Act Applies to Public Records Act Proceedings, California Appellate Court Concludes

May Impose Increased Burdens on Public Agencies

Mar 08, 2017

[WEBINAR] Do You Know the Way from San Jose: The Public Records Act and Private Emails

BB&K Webinar on California Supreme Court Decision

BB&K In the News Mar 07, 2017

San Jacinto Getting New City Attorney

Press-Enterprise Reports on BB&K’s Michael Maurer’s Appointment

Legal Alerts Mar 02, 2017

E-Communications on Private Accounts May Be Subject to Disclosure Under the California Public Records Act

State Supreme Court Opinion Impacts Public Agencies

Legal Alerts Dec 29, 2016

Legal Invoices to Public Agencies in California May Be Exempt from Disclosure

The California Supreme Court Tackles Public Records vs. Attorney-Client Privilege

Videos Nov 30, 2016

Elizabeth Hull Video Bio


Videos Nov 22, 2016

Joseph Byrne Video Bio


BB&K In the News Nov 11, 2016

Mills Takes Over as FPUD Legal Counsel

Partner Paula de Sousa Mills Appointed New General Counsel of Fallbrook Public Utility District

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