February 2017

Courts Reject Attempts to Exempt Charter Schools from Local Zoning Requirements

Education Law Alert

John R. Yeh

Two recent cases confirm that only school districts can exercise Government Code section 53094's power to exempt classroom facilities from local zoning requirements.  That statute provides that "the governing board of a school district ... by a vote of two- thirds of its members, may render a city or county zoning ordinance inapplicable to a proposed use of property by the school district."

January 26, 2017

Courts: Only District Can Zone Charter Schools

San Francisco Daily Journal (quoted)

John R. Yeh

November 2016

Preparing for 2017: California Legislative Update

Kelly A. Trainer, Joel Moon

As is the norm, a new year will bring new laws for California employers. This article outlines several key laws signed by Governor Brown during the 2015-2016 California legislative session that will likely affect public employers.

Fall 2016

2016 Legal Trends

2016 Legal Trends

Jack P. Lipton, Ph.D., Timothy L. Davis, Katy A. Suttorp, Kelly A. Trainer, Daphne M. Anneet, Monica Sanchez McQueen, Sheila Delshad, Janae H. Novotny, Janet Cory Sommer, Traci I. Park, Cheryl L. Johnson-Hartwell, Mitchell A. Wrosch, Kristina Doan Gruenberg, Brian S. Ginter, Ulysses Aguayo, Paloma P. Peracchio, David A. Rosenthal, Samantha W. Zutler, Lillian Kae Yoo, Amber N. Morton

Burke is pleased to produce Legal Trends. The purpose of Legal Trends is to inform public sector employers about key areas of labor and employment law, and to inform public agencies about new developments in these areas of law. Burke has a remarkable combination of experience in California public relations and employment law, involving the representation of numerous cities, school districts, and other public entities. Burke plans to continue to provide this vital publication to public sector employers in the years to come.

November 1, 2016

Update on Significant California Public Law Cases

USC Sol Price School of Public Policy Newsletter

Donald M. Davis, Kane Thuyen

October 2016

Workplace Harassment Prevention Training is Now Mandatory for Elected Officials

Employment Law Update

Kelly A. Trainer, Traci I. Park

With sexual harassment claims against elected officials on the rise, Governor Brown recently signed AB 1661, which mandates workplace harassment training for local elected officials.

September 21, 2016

School Board Talks ROP

Chico Enterprise-Record (cited)

John R. Yeh

September, 2016

Fact Sheet: 1,2,3-Trichloropropane and What it Means for Your Water Supply System

Currently, over 200 water supply systems in California have reported TCP detections in groundwater in over 300 hundred wells. Review this fact sheet to find out if your city's water system is affected and what to do to make sure you are in compliance when the new Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) is adopted.

Gregory J. Patterson

September 9, 2016

Selling voters on local tax measures

San Francisco Daily Journal

Thomas B. Brown, Will Swaim

August 2016

August 2016 Prison Break - Correctional Liability Update

Susan E. Coleman, Kristina Doan Gruenberg, Nathan A. Oyster, Lillian Kae Yoo

Fake It 'Till You Make It? The Problem of Inmates Posing as Attorneys
Policing the Police Through Private Insurance
Ninth Circuit Extends Kingsley, Makes it Easier for Pretrial Detainees to Sue for Deliberate Indifference
Stay the Course: Why Law Enforcement Agencies Should Resist the Calls of Critics Who Want to Restrict Officers' Ability to Protect Themselves

Summer 2016

Social Media and the Workplace

Today's Insurance Professionals

Traci I. Park, Kelly A. Trainer

Social media has changed every aspect of our society, including the workplace.  Employers are struggling to keep up with all aspects of social media, including positive uses of social media for things like marketing and recruitment, to the negative issues presented by social media such as employee misconduct and invasions of privacy. The laws related to social media and the workplace continue to develop as lawmakers and courts attempt to keep up with the ever-changing face of social media.  This article highlights some of the current issues facing employers.

June 27, 2016

Charter Bill Reveals Potential to Widen Divide with LEA's

Education California:  The Official Newspaper of the Association of California School Administrators

John R. Yeh

June 2016

June 2016 Prison Break - Correctional Liability Update

Susan E. Coleman, Kristina Doan Gruenberg, Scott M. Nenni, Nathan A. Oyster

Ross v. Blake: Reinforcing or Undermining the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)
Joints in the Joint? An Overview of Medical Marijuana in the Correctional Context
More Changes on the Way for California's Overcrowded Prisons
A 5-Minute Guide to Defending Small Claims Litigation

June 13, 2016

Court of Appeal Issues Important Clarification of Summer Unemployment Benefits for School Employees

Education Law Alert

John R. Yeh

The California Court of Appeal has issued a significant ruling on the rights of school district employees to obtain unemployment benefits during the summer, ruling that substitute teachers and classified employees who receive "reasonable assurance" of returning during the succeeding academic year were not eligible for unemployment benefits for the summer, even if they were unable to obtain employment during the summer school session.

June 9, 2016

Court of Appeal Rules that Personnel Investigations are Privileged

Employment Law Alert

Samantha W. Zutler

On June 8, 2016, the Court of Appeal, First District, ruled that a personnel investigation, performed by an outside attorney investigator, is protected by the attorney-client privilege and the work-product doctrine. City of Petaluma v. Superior Court (Cal. App. 1st Dist. June 8, 2016, No. A145437).

May 2016

May 2016 Prison Break - Correctional Liability Update

Susan E. Coleman, Kristina Doan Gruenberg

Stopping the Runaway Jury
The Ninth Circuit Holds that Prohibiting the Possession of Marijuana Does Not Violate teh RFRA:  An Analysis of Oklevueha Native American and Church of Hawaii, Inc., Michael Rex Mooney v. Lynch, et al.
Hamby v. Hammond: The Power of Qualified Immunity in Eighth Amendment Indifference Cases

April 2016

April 2016 Prison Break - Correctional Liability Update

Susan E. Coleman, Nathan A. Oyster, Kristina Doan Gruenberg, Scott M. Nenni


  • Prisoners' Property Problems
  • Lowry v. City of San Diego: What are the Implications for Section 1983 Excessive Force Cases in General and Police K-9 and Monell Cases, Specifically?
  • Inmate Loses Flying Spaghetti Monster Lawsuit and Provides a Lesson in RLUIPA and Qualified Immunity
  • Will the Supreme Court Begin Counting Calories?
April 2016

Curiouser and Curiouser: Expansion of the Duty to Reasonably Accommodate Disability

Employment Law Update

Kelly A. Trainer, Katy A. Suttorp

For the first time, the California Court of Appeal held that the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) creates a duty to reasonably accommodate an applicant or employee who is associated with a disabled person. The holding of Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc. is unprecedented and there is a possibility that it will be appealed to the California Supreme Court. However, based on this decision, California employers are required to engage in a good faith interactive process to consider reasonable accommodations for an employee or applicant who associates with a disabled person.