The firm has developed a specialty of representing -- and working with the lawyers of -- governmental agencies, constitutional officers and state universities in a variety of contexts. We have represented:
- The California Insurance Commissioner in prosecuting a $4 billion fraud claim arising out of the collapse of the Executive Life Insurance Company.
- The State of California in the defense of a $1 billion claim for breach of a complex contract regarding the largest tract of privately-owned old growth redwoods in the world.
- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in connection with a proposed public investigation of his office by the federal district court in connection with prison issues.
- The California Department of Health and Human Services and other state agencies in defense of a class action under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal statutes.
- Alameda County in defending against a challenge by the pharmaceutical industry of a county ordinance that requires pharmaceutical companies to establish a prescription drug stewardship program.
- The Hawaii Department of Education and the University of Hawaii in two related claims for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and other claims.
- The Regents of the University of California on appeal in a sexual harassment case.
- The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District in various litigation matters.
In litigation on behalf of public officials and state agencies, we often have worked closely with government attorneys, sometimes as co-counsel. We welcome the opportunity to team up with “in-house” government counsel and have established close and productive working relationships that allow us to complement each other’s strengths and address case needs with flexibility and efficiency.
The head of our practice group, Arthur Shartsis, served as an elected official and that experience, along with our department’s wide-ranging involvement in claims by and against government entities, gives us a deep understanding of and appreciation for the unique statutory, regulatory, institutional and political concerns implicated by litigation involving public officeholders and government agencies. We are also mindful of the budget difficulties confronting virtually all public entities and work with our government clients to staff and manage our cases as cost effectively as possible.
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