Although not strictly a part of our legal practice, our co-founding partner has professional experience in public relations and can advise our clients about techniques to get their public policy message in print and on the broadcast media. We work with our clients to convert their public reports (such as tax returns, lobby reports, state charity reports) into documents that help present their side of the story.
Public Policy Litigation
Public policy litigation is a powerful tool that must be coordinated with an organization’s other advocacy activities. We have significant experience in drafting court filings, discovery materials, taking depositions, and filing “Friend of the Court” briefs to help advance the public policy mission of our clients.
Partner James Lacy has recently represented the California slate mail publishers in two significant cases. The first case, decided in 2001, challenged the legality of Proposition 208, which imposed restrictions on the free speech of slate card publishers. Mr. Lacy and his co-counsel won this case against the Fair Political Practices Commission in federal district court on first amendment grounds, and certain provisions of Proposition 208 that violated the Constitution were invalidated.
In 2002, Mr. Lacy’s second case was decided, challenging the legality of yet another restriction on slate mail publishing imposed by the newly-passed Proposition 34. Levine v. Fair Political Practices Commission, 222 F.Supp. 2d 1182 (E.D.Cal. 2002). Again, Mr. Lacy and his co-counsel won the case against the Fair Political Practices Commission in federal district court on first amendment grounds, and provisions of Proposition 34 that violated the Constitution were invalidated.
In 2000, Mr. Lacy represented three members of a nonprofit organization from Mission Viejo, California who claimed that their rights under the California sunshine act, the Brown Act, had been violated. In a dramatic two-day trial, Mr. Lacy won a substantial victory and the City of Mission Viejo was found to have violated the Brown Act.