Shartsis Friese’s Government Representation Practice focuses on the representation of governmental agencies, constitutional officers, municipalities, and state universities across a variety of litigation matters.  Often tapped to serve as lead counsel in high stakes litigation, Shartsis Friese has represented the State of California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California Insurance Commissioner, the Regents of the University of California, the California Department of Health and Human Services, the County of Alameda, the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District, the City of Richmond, and the Hawaii Department of Education, among others.

Because of its deep experience in representing government clients, Shartsis Friese is uniquely attuned to, and adept at managing, the particular statutory, regulatory, institutional, and political issues implicated by litigation involving public officeholders and government agencies.  Shartsis Friese’s litigators are also mindful of the budget difficulties confronting virtually all public entities and work with its government clients to manage litigations as cost effectively as possible.

Shartsis Friese welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with “in-house” government attorneys on litigation matters and establish productive working relationships that allow for each case’s needs to be address with flexibility and efficiency.  These collaborative relationships run the gamut from Shartsis Friese serving as lead trial counsel to Shartsis Friese serving exclusively as backroom support for cases being litigated by government attorneys.

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, et al., v. County of Alameda, et al.  Shartsis Friese defended the County of Alameda and the Alameda County Department of Environmental Health in a lawsuit instituted by multiple pharmaceutical industry trade organizations that challenged the constitutionality of the County’s landmark safe drug disposal ordinance, which requires pharmaceutical companies to cover the cost of the safe disposal of unwanted prescription drugs.  Shartsis Friese secured summary judgment in favor of the County before the District Court for the Northern District of California, and the grant of summary judgment was unanimously affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  See Pharm. Research & Mfrs. of Am. v. County of Alameda, 967 F. Supp. 2d 1339 (N.D. Cal. 2013), aff’d 768 F.3d 1037 (9th Cir. 2014).

Steven Poizner, as Insurance Commissioner of the State of California, etc. v. ALTUS Finance S.A., et al.  Shartsis Friese was retained by the California Department of Insurance to serve as lead trial counsel in the federal jury trial of a fraud claim arising out of the failure of the Executive Life Insurance Company.  The case settled with payment to the Department of Insurance of $200 million.

Madrid v. Tilton.  Shartsis Friese represented then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in a federal court proceeding in which a court-appointed Special Master sought authority to conduct a public investigation of the Governor’s Office in connection with prison reform matters.  Shartsis Friese, on behalf of the Governor, successfully resisted the Special Master’s proposed investigation.