The Renne Public Law Group (RPLG) was formed in March 2018. Over the course of nine months, the firm has grown exponentially.
Kicking off the year’s conferences, RPLG attended the League of California Cities (LOCC or League) City Attorneys’ Spring Conference in May. The team – led by RPLG Partners Louise Renne, Jon Holtzman, Arthur Hartinger and Teresa Stricker – represented the firm in full force and hosted a reception event in San Diego. During the conference, Holtzman presented in a session titled “PERS’ Path Forward: Risks, Opportunities, and Options,” mapping out pension options and strategies for California cities to address the dramatic increases in CalPERS pension costs expected over the next few years.
In the following months, RPLG attended or hosted sessions at the League Mayor’s and Council Member’s Executive Forum in Monterey, County Counsels’ Association of California (CCAC) Annual Conference in Ojai, League Annual Conference and Expo in Long Beach, California Special Districts Association (CSDA) Annual Conference in Indian Wells, Public Employer Labor Relations Association of California Annual Training (PELRAC) Conference in Anaheim, Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) Annual Conference in Burlingame, Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC) Annual Conference in Indian Wells, Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC) Annual Conference in Yosemite and 2018 Municipal Finance Institute (MFI) in San Francisco. The firm presented on various topics ranging from public pensions and strategic financial planning to navigating pitfalls under the Brown Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). RPLG recently presented five sessions – on labor arbitration, wage and hour pitfalls, vested rights and the California Rule, labor negotiations and fact-finding – during the 2018 California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (CALPELRA) Annual Training Conference in Monterey.
In the spirit of helping public agencies better serve their communities, RPLG routinely holds training programs. This year, Of Counsel Jennifer Nock was tapped by the State Bar of California in the Spring to train the organization’s supervisors and managers on complying with harassment laws in a #MeToo world. Partner Teresa Stricker and Of Counsel Randy Riddle conducted ethics trainings programs for the cities of Livermore and Pleasanton, per the requirements of Assembly Bill 1234. RPLG additionally hosted trainings on other relevant topics, and plans on continuing this service in the coming year.
RPLG has invested time and resources to establish itself as an essential resource for the California public sector. To deepen its commitment to supporting local government, the firm partnered with a number of key agencies in 2018. RPLG is proud to be a Gold-Level Partner of the League, a Gold-Level Business Affiliate of CSDA, a Corporate Benefactor of the California City Management Foundation (CCMF) and an Executive Sponsor of MMANC.
Aside from presenting at conferences and sponsoring important events, RPLG has worked on a number of high profile legal cases during the year. Jon Holtzman and Linda Ross were selected by the League to write an amicus brief on the CAL FIRE Local 2881 v. CalPERS case, a case now before the California Supreme Court that could have a material impact on pension reform. Ross was also selected by Dennis Herrera, the San Francisco City Attorney, to handle Litvinova v. City and County of San Francisco, a large wage and hour collective action that seeks to certify a collective action covering all City registered nurses. Further, RPLG Partner Louise Renne along with a consortium of other well-known law firms, filed litigation addressing the opioid crisis on behalf of counties across California. The group is currently representing Marin County, Santa Cruz County, Sonoma County, Napa County and Tulare County in bringing affirmative claims against drug manufacturers and distributors to hold them accountable for their unlawful conduct.
The RPLG team has been recognized for its work and the skills of its members. In March, the International Municipal Lawyers Association honored RPLG Partner Arthur Hartinger with a second Amicus Service award for authoring the League’s amicus brief on behalf of Boling v. Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). In August, five members of the firm – Renne, Holtzman, Hartinger, Spellberg and Riddle – were named Northern California Super Lawyers for 2018 and honored for their high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
RPLG continues to grow, not only in its experience and recognition, but in its numbers as well. Senior Associate Lori Liu and Associate Ryan McGinley-Stempel joined RPLG’s numbers. Most recently, Ruth Bond, former Deputy City Attorney for the City and County of San Francisco, confirmed that she will join the firm as Of Counsel next month. The firm plans on expanding further in the coming year, as well as building on the experience of its more junior staff members through the firm’s mentoring program.
The firm’s expansion additionally encompassed the formation of a new consulting group – RPLG.solutions. The group is led by Bill Lindsay, recently retired and highly respected City Manager of Richmond, Calif., and Bruce Rudd, former Fresno County Manager who engineered Fresno’s turn around. RPLG.solutions merges the expertise of the seasoned attorneys at RPLG with the experience of professionals from a broad spectrum of disciplines, including public management, financial analysis, human resources, labor negotiations, police and fire management, and more.
As 2018 draws to a close, RPLG has no plans of slowing down. Stay tuned for some important additions to the firm in the coming months. Renne Public Law Group and RPLG.solutions and their highly skilled and motivated teams look forward to a promising new year.
RPLG practices throughout California, advising and advocating for public agencies and, nonprofits in need of effective, responsive and creative legal solutions.