Altshuler Berzon LLP is pleased to welcome two attorneys who joined the firm in September 2019: Hunter Thomson, who joined the firm as an associate; and Elizabeth Vissers, who joined the firm as the Altshuler Berzon-NRDC Joint Fellow. Hunter is a graduate of Columbia Law School and clerked for Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. Elizabeth is a graduate of Stanford Law School and clerked for Judge Wallace Tashima of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Judge David Carter of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
On September 18, 2019, the San Bernardino County Superior Court granted petitioners’ peremptory writ of mandate in Gomez Daly and Inland Empire United v. Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County, Case No. CIVDS 1833846, holding that the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors violated California’s open meetings law, the Ralph M. Brown Act, in filling a vacant seat on the Board, and requiring the Board to rescind the appointment. Altshuler Berzon LLP represented petitioners Inland Empire United and Michael Gomez Daly in the case, along with co-counsel Rothner, Segall & Greenstone.
In granting the writ, the Court determined that the Board’s selection of 13 “finalists” for the Third District Supervisor position outside of a noticed and open meeting violated the Brown Act’s prohibition of seriatim meetings and secret ballots, and that the Board failed to cure or correct this violation through a rushed and superficial “rescission” after petitioners sent a letter demanding the Board address its violation. The Court also rejected the Board’s argument that the Brown Act requires petitioners to show prejudice to obtain the nullification remedy.
You can read the Court’s Statement of Decision here.