Donald M. Davis
Partner - Los Angeles
Don Davis has provided contract city attorney and general counsel services to public agencies throughout California for nearly 20 years. He currently serves as the City Attorney for Rolling Hills Estates, Assistant City Attorney for the cities of Camarillo and Industry, and General Counsel for the Pauma Valley Community Services District. Mr. Davis also provides special counsel services for numerous other Burke public entity clients.
Mr. Davis’ has considerable expertise in land use and planning. He has advised numerous planning commissions and city councils throughout his legal career, and regularly consults with city planning staffs on matters ranging from General Plan amendments to use permits. Mr. Davis has drafted dozens of major zoning and land use ordinances. Mr. Davis’ land use practice emphasizes the regulation of matters that implicate federal and state rights of freedom of speech and expression such as signage, adult businesses, protests, and solicitation.
Mr. Davis is an authority on the Brown Act, Public Records Act, and other government transparency and ethics laws and is the firm’s principal instructor for AB 1234 ethics trainings. He has provided seminars around the state on these subjects, which have been attended by hundreds of public officials and staff members.
Mr. Davis regularly handles a broad range of real estate transactional matters for public agencies such as property acquisitions, financing, leasing, and dispositions. As part of such transactions, he provides advice on appraisals, title reports, legal descriptions, engineering, and survey issues. In the course of his practice, Mr. Davis has assisted public and private clients in the purchase or sale of thousands of acres of property valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Mr. Davis has drafted a variety of easement, license, and encroachment agreements with respect to both public and private uses and projects.
Mr. Davis has significant experience with a wide variety of environmental issues including CEQA. In working with the firm’s public and private clients, Mr. Davis has handled all aspects of the CEQA compliance process, including the hiring and management of project specialists in various environmental disciplines. He routinely provides advice and opinions on CEQA compliance strategies, and has reviewed and commented on numerous CEQA documents ranging from notices of preparation to mitigated negative declarations and environmental impact reports.
Mr. Davis has significant experience in negotiating, drafting, and reviewing contacts for public agencies including contracts for public works projects, maintenance contracts, contracts for goods and services, and consultant and professional service contracts. Mr. Davis is a strong proponent of plain English in public contracts, which should be readable and understandable to public agency staff and the general public – not just lawyers.
Mr. Davis regularly provides advice on a range of public finance matters such as Proposition 218 and 26, the adoption and adjustment of public fees, rates and charges (including sewer, water and solid waste rates), and has advised clients on the formation and oversight of assessment districts, community facilities districts, and other special financing mechanisms.
As a litigator, Mr. Davis has successfully defended public agencies in matters involving due process, equal protection, freedom of speech, government torts, inverse condemnation, public bidding and contract disputes, and writs of mandamus including CEQA suits. Mr. Davis also has represented private clients in real estate, contract, and business-related litigation.
Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Davis served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Yemen and also worked as an international educational consultant.
- Statewide AB 1234 Educational Training, April 2012
- The Rubdown on California Massage Regulations, City Attorneys Association of Los Angeles County Spring Retreat, Spring 2012
- City Council Leadership Training, Training on behalf of the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, 2012
- Recent Amendments to the Brown Act, January 2013
Public Law Update
- New Local Disability Access Fee Collection and Information Requirements Under SB 1186, December 2012
Public Law Update
- Local Agency Website Transparency Opportunities, Contributing Editor, June 2012
Western City Magazine