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Brown Act & Open Government


Our Brown Act and Open Government Focus Area assists public officials, including elected officials, agency managers and agency clerks in complying with the Ralph M. Brown Act,  California’s open meeting law for local government agencies.  In addition, we assist public entities with compliance with the Public Records Act through our Public Records Act and E-Documents Focus Group.

Representative Services

Meeting agenda preparation: how to list items of business, proper use and listing of closed sessions, special, regular and adjourned meeting notice requirements.

Avoidance of the serial meeting prohibition: advice on the proper utilization of staff and developers in briefings of public officials in advance of meetings, and how telephone, e-mail, and social media communications between members of the legislative body need to be conducted to avoid an inadvertent serial meeting violation.

Closed Sessions: proper listing and compliance with the closed session exceptions to the open meeting requirement.

Meeting management techniques: rules of decorum, parliamentary rules of procedure and tips for managing effective and efficient meetings.

Public Records Act compliance: time limits for compliance, exemptions, redaction, responses and litigation.


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Richards, Watson & Gershon delivers practical advice and solutions tailored to the unique needs of public entities. Working seamlessly across offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, Temecula, the Central Coast, and Sacramento, and our dedicated team of experts provides the full scope of public law services.

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