News & Events

News & Events

News

September 28,2017

Burke, Williams & Sorensen and its Employees Raise More Than $40,000 to Support Hurricane Relief Efforts

Traci I. Park, John J. Welsh

Burke attorneys and employees rallied together to raise funds for over 20 different charities to aid in the effort to provide relief to those affected by recent hurricanes.

January 11, 2017

Burke, Williams & Sorensen Names Three New Owners

Gregory R. Aker, Susan E. Bloch, Anna C. Shimko, John J. Welsh

Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP, announced that it has named 3 new owners from its partnership ranks, effective January 1, 2017.  The new owners are Gregory R. Aker (Oakland), Susan E. Bloch (Oakland), and Anna C. Shimko (San Francisco). 

June 9, 2016

Burke Included in "BTI Most Recommended Law Firms 2016"

The BTI Most Recommended Law Firms 2016 report is out. Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP is one of only 55 law firms recommended by top legal decision makers to their peers for its client service for 2 years in a row.

June 2, 2016

IN MEMORIAM

Burke, Williams & Sorensen is saddened to share that James T. Bradshaw, Jr. passed away on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Events

September 26, 2018

Required Harassment Prevention Training (Part 1 & 2)

Traci I. Park, Kelly A. Trainer

Presented by two dynamic employment attorneys, this fun, informational, and interactive workplace harassment prevention training will teach Special District officials and supervisors how to identify, prevent, and properly respond to workplace harassment, discrimination, retaliation and abusive conduct in order to avoid personal and agency liability in compliance with AB 1825/2053/1661.

September 25, 2018

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Harassment Prevention Training

Traci I. Park, Kelly A. Trainer

Advanced harassment prevention training that examines the complicated questions of harassment that are unaddressed during basic harassment training.

May 3, 2018

Ballot Box Planning and Finance

Kevin D. Siegel

This presentation will provide updates on a range of legal issues that arise when cities and counties confront ballot measures affecting local government finance.Some are established principles of elections law, some reflect new developments and some are pending cases. In general, thisarea of law is developing quickly—via initiatives, legislation and court cases—and practitioners should be alert fornew developments.

May 4, 2018

Gender Issues in Policing from the Law and Order Perspectives

Susan E. Coleman

The last several decades have witnessed a rise in female officers in law enforcement agencies, with a growing number of women leading police departments.  L.A. County has seven female police chiefs.  However, at the same time, there have been barriers to recruiting more women, increased awareness regarding sexual harassment, and a federal court recently ruled that one city’s physical abilities test for its police officers violated federal law because there was a disparate impact on women.  This panel presentation will go through this case as well as other topics that affect females in law enforcement.  Addressing gender issues in law enforcement can help the quality of policing by ensuring that the best candidates are hired and retained.  It can also reduce potential liability for cities and counties.

April 21, 2018

Demolition in Progress: A Panel Discussion on Breaking Through Barriers to Advancement in Commercial Real Estate Law

Elizabeth M. Pappy

A panel of five intergenerational female Commercial Real Estate attorneys put their hardhats on to have an honest and interactive discussion with the audience on how to counter bias specific to the real estate industry, and identify known strategies that can be employed by male and female allies. With years of collective experience and insights, all attendees will walk away with new tools and architectural plans to move the needle ever closer to a bias-free profession.

April 21, 2018

“Green is the New Gold”: An Overview and Update on State and Local Cannabis Legalization and its Implications for Real Property, Land-use, and Business

Nira F. Doherty

This program will highlight some of the real estate trends and hurdles that have been observed since issuance of State cannabis licenses on January 1, 2018. We will discuss some of the observed tax implications on real property in light of the State and local cannabis excise taxes and will discuss CEQA trends in cannabis project entitlements. We will also summarize the regulations and provide an overview of trends in current “green zones” throughout the State.

April 21, 2018

Avoiding Speed Bumps at the Intersection of Land Use and Real Estate Law

Deborah L. Kartiganer, Anna C. Shimko

Learn to identify and hone your skills to address key legal and strategic business issues that arise when real estate transactional law and land use development law mix.

April 20, 2018

The Future of Housing in California: Economic, Policy, and Development Perspectives

Susan E. Bloch

This panel will examine state and local housing policies, development constraints and opportunities, and economic trends affecting housing development in California.

April 19, 2018

The New Norm: Cultural Changes in the #MeToo Era Workplace

Kelly A. Trainer

Interactive training exploring cultural shifts since the #MeToo Movement and effective tools for officials to support sexual harassment prevention, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. In this session, we will take a deeper look at current events, explore emerging cultural values, and brainstorm best practices for cities when dealing with workplace harassment issues.

April 19, 2018

Work-Life & Creating Balance: 2.0

Janae H. Novotny

Creating a balanced professional and personal life can be one of the toughest challenges lawyers face, both for in-house and outside counsel. It’s clear there is not a simple solution, or a once size fits all approach. This panel explores the realities women face as they build a fulfilling career while also financially and emotionally supporting themselves – and potentially their family. How to create some level of balance professionally and personally in a world where the workforce is continually asked to do and be more?

April 11, 2018

Advanced Training in the CA Public Records Act

Donald M. Davis, Kane Thuyen, Christina M. Burrows

This training is primarily intended for public agency personnel who have some knowledge of and experience with the CPRA, and who are seeking to expand their understanding of the law.

April 5, 2018

What You See Depends on Where You Sit

Thomas D. Jex

A planner, a commissioner and an attorney all walk into the room…” Not the beginning of a joke, but rather the beginning of a Commission meeting. Everyone in the room has a different perspective that is the result of their responsibilities. During this session, we’ll hear from a City Attorney, a Planning Commissioner, and Planning Director on what they each focus on during the meeting. We’ll discuss the most important part of the meeting to each, how their perspective on public input may differ, and what happens when the Commission does something unexpected.

March 27, 2018

Great! We’ve Been Served! Now What? How Do You As An Agency/Consultant Survive A CEQA Lawsuit

Thomas D. Jex

This lively session discusses what happens after an agency has been served with a lawsuit, and what we can do beforehand to help them with their defense of our work. Topics will include tips on conclusions, references, analysis and the wording of mitigation. Discussion will touch on the all-important administrative record, correspondence and what constitutes ‘substantial evidence’. Look for lively discussion, a bit of gallows humor, a few informative stories and a lot of tips on strengthening the document. And of course, we’ll discuss what happens after planners are pens-down and the legal system judges the adequacy of our work. What are the remedies? What happens when courts get it wrong? Do we always have to start again at the beginning?

March 1, 2018

Municipal Elections: From Start to Finish

Erica L. Vega

This timely webinar will provide an overview of the municipal elections process, from the calling of an election through the canvass and declaration of the results.

January 29, 2018

Transparency Strategies

Thomas D. Jex, Erica L. Vega, Eric S. Vail

Local agency staff and officials can demonstrate their commitment to transparency in a variety of ways including:

  • conscientious observance of transparency laws;
  • concerted efforts to share information with the public about local agency operations and decision-making process; and
  • a commitment to engaging the public.

This training offers tips on how to successfully increase the level of transparency in your community.

January 24, 2018

Charter School Oversight: The Need for Reform in Charter School Finances and Governance

John R. Yeh

Charter authorizers throughout the State have recently been forced to take action against charter schools in light of allegations of fiscal improprieties. What do the current laws provide with respect to the application to charter school operators of laws intended to protect public education funds and open governance, such as conflict of interest statutes and other transparency laws? This session will review common charter school financial practices, and highlight where reform is needed in current laws to better protect public education funding.

December 19, 2017

Ready or Not – Top 5 Legal Changes Coming for 2018!

Monica Sanchez McQueen, Katy A. Suttorp

Presented by Katy A. Suttorp and Monica Sanchez McQueen, this webinar provides you with the latest California employment law related updates.  Learn how new regulations on the following hot topics will affect your day-to-day operations and workplace policies:

• Salary history restrictions
• CA minimum wage increases and minimum exempt salary
• Recreational marijuana legalized in California
• Conviction history restrictions
• New parental leave requirements

December 8, 2017

Choose Your Own Disability Adventure

Katy A. Suttorp, Kelly A. Trainer

Join us in choosing your own disability adventure. This all-new, interactive, multiple-choice, multiple-ending session will lead you through a realistic disability hypothetical in the workplace, with the audience assuming the role of the decision-maker and making choices that determine the employer's actions in response to the plot and its outcome. You'll be faced with making simulated real-life decisions that will include challenging topics such as whether to order a fitness for duty evaluation, the revelation of a potential harassment complaint against a supervisor, whether to discipline a disabled employee for abuse of leave, or whether to grant a requested accommodation. You'll learn the risks and benefits of some of the imperfect options that arise in disability matters, as well as the legal considerations associated with the interactive process, fitness-for-duty evaluations, harassment complaints, and reasonable accommodation.

December 7, 2017

Understanding Special Compensation: Key Compliance Issues

Daphne M. Anneet

Specialty pays comprise a significant portion of a member's expected pensionable compensation and these items are often at the forefront of compensation negotiations. To be recognized as PERSable premium pay, the premium pay must precisely comply with retirement system regulations. This session's presenters will highlight common special compensation problem areas, help you understand what can and cannot be reported as special compensation, and present options for specific labor agreement language that will comply with CalPERS' regulations.

December 7, 2017

Understanding And Effectively Managing Employee And Union Protected Rights

Janae H. Novotny, Janet Cory Sommer

In order to effectively meet your labor relations and employment goals, it is essential you understand the nature and extent of employees' and unions' protected rights. Disputes over employees' union representation and free speech rights often derail reasonable discipline efforts. Agencies' labor relations goals are frequently stymied by allegations of failure to provide requested information to unions during bargaining. And increasing efforts by employees and unions to modify bargaining units and/or decertify the existing union representative create challenges for employers who must respond to such efforts without favoring one union or employee group over another. In this session you'll learn how to avoid these problems that can interfere with your personnel management and labor relations goals, as the presenters explain PERB's recent refinements of employees' rights to union representation and unions' rights to represent their members.

December 6, 2017

Annual Update Of Key Labor Relations Decisions From PERB, The Courts, And The Legislature

Janet Cory Sommer

A long-time Conference highlight, this session addresses the year's most important PERB cases, court decisions, and key new laws affecting public sector labor relations. Two of California's most respected labor relations attorneys review the latest changes in California labor law, with special emphasis on the duty to bargain, scope of bargaining, effects bargaining requirements, impasse declaration, strikes, other concerted activities, and other key labor relations issues. As the presenters put the year's cases and legislation in context, you'll receive practical advice to help you negotiate successfully and avoid unfair labor practices. Using her substantial public sector labor relations experience and keen analytic skills to cover the newest developments, Janet will elicit Bill's unique insights and perspective into labor relations developed from his deep understanding of the law and the realities of public sector negotiations.

December 6, 2017

The CalPERS Audit: How To Successfully Navigate The CalPERS Audit Process

Daphne M. Anneet

To ensure that public agencies correctly enroll members in CalPERS and accurately report compensation, CalPERS' Office of Audit Services regularly conducts audits of public agencies. You'll leave this session with the tools you need to prepare for, respond to, and redress audit findings, if appropriate. With specific examples from recent audits, you'll learn about the key compliance issues that result in the most common findings and how to address them, including: (1) salary schedules; (2) special compensation; (3) retired annuitants; (4) part-time/temporary employees; (5) unused sick leave; and, (6) independent contractors and affiliate agencies. You'll also learn about the key phases of the audit process and how to successfully navigate each phase to best position your agency to either avoid an audit finding, minimize the impact of an audit finding, or, if appropriate, challenge a finding.

November 14, 2017

Think Before You Tweet: Social Media Basics for Local Government Officials

Traci I. Park, Kelly A. Trainer

Social media presents elected officials with a tempting but sometimes risky platform for communicating with constituents. This educational and entertaining webinar focuses on the First Amendment, the Public Records Act, and the Brown Act. Traci I. Park and Kelly A. Trainer frequently advise public agencies on social media use, and will help officials navigate the ever-changing social media landscape without putting themselves or their agency at risk.

October 25, 2017

Not Your Average Harassment Training

Kelly A. Trainer, Traci I. Park

Presented by Kelly A. Trainer and Traci I. Park, two dynamic employment attorneys, this fun, informational, and interactive online workplace harassment prevention training will teach local agency officials and supervisors how to identify, prevent, and properly respond to workplace harassment, discrimination, retaliation and abusive conduct in order to avoid personal and agency liability in compliance with AB 1825/2053/1661.

October 11, 2017

Abstentions and Disqualifications – Conflicts of Interest and When One Must or Should Step-Aside

Christina M. Burrows, Nira F. Doherty

It can be difficult for public officials to determine when to abstain from the decision-making process. This webinar will discuss:

  • What financial interests and other conflicts of interest disqualify an official from participating in, or influencing, the decision-making process;
  • Guidelines for deciding when to abstain; and
  • What to do if you abstain or disqualify yourself from the process.