COSTA MESA, Calif., March 6, 2013 – Rutan & Tucker, LLP, one of California’s largest full-service public agency and business law firms, was prominently featured in a recent California Planning & Development Report article about the growing number of lawsuits filed against the state’s Department of Finance (DOF) coming from the dissolution of redevelopment agencies.
The article referred to a study by the League of California Cities, an association of California city officials, indicating that more than 40 lawsuits have been filed in the past year with many more likely filed in recent weeks. Speaking as a member of a team of Rutan attorneys that has filed many cases against the DOF, Jennifer Farrell, an associate in the firm’s Government & Regulatory Law Section, told reporter Larry Sokoloff that the disputes need “to go to litigation to get their attention.” Farrell was the only attorney other than the League’s general counsel to be listed in the article’s contact section.
Sokoloff cited two noteworthy redevelopment dissolution cases recently handled by Rutan attorneys that demonstrated that litigation could offer a path to a successful reversal of adverse administrative decisions made by the DOF.
In the first case, Rutan partners Jeffrey Melching and Dan Slater, along with Farrell, obtained a quick change of position by the California Attorney General’s office in response to a temporary restraining order application filed on behalf of their client the City of Duarte. The order sought an immediate reversal of a DOF ruling that would have required the city to turn over $1.2 million in former redevelopment agency (RDA) funds. The money was designated for Andres Duarte Terrace II, a 43-unit building to be constructed by a non-profit housing developer for low-income senior citizens. The victory also had the effect of keeping another $7.7 million in HUD funding from being lost, which would have resulted in the cessation of the project.
In the second cited case, Rutan partners Bill Ihrke and Hans Van Ligten, who chairs the firm’s Government & Regulatory Law Section, again along with Farrell, obtained a ruling on behalf of their client CRFL Family Apartments. The ruling, potentially the first of its kind in Superior Court, obligates the DOF to recognize a $14.2 million contract for an affordable housing development in Oxnard. The attorneys believe this successful challenge to an adverse funding decision made by the DOF may be the first of dozens to come from private parties, local governments and others. Last month, the League of California Cities congratulated Rutan attorneys for their achievements in these two cases.
“We are pleased with the results our attorneys have achieved for our city and developer clients as they demonstrate our legal prowess in complex matters involving redevelopment,” said Kim Thompson, the firm’s managing partner.
About Rutan & Tucker LLP
Rutan & Tucker is California’s largest full-service law firm headquartered in Orange County, California with offices in Costa Mesa and Palo Alto. Primary practice areas include business and real estate litigation, corporate and securities law, labor and employment law, intellectual property, real estate, municipal and government agency law, land use law, bankruptcy, condemnation and property valuation, environmental law, and taxation and estate planning. Detailed information about the firm is available at www.rutan.com.