Practice Area Details
Remcho, Johansen & Purcell has secured trial court victories for our public and private sector clients involved in political, public policy, and constitutional matters before state and federal courts.
We represent the California State Legislature on redistricting matters and litigation involving the privileges and responsibilities of the legislative branch, along with state agencies like the State Controller, local government entities, and a broad range of nonprofit organizations.
As counsel to the California Department of Education, the California Teachers Association, and individual school districts, we have expertise in education matters ranging from statewide school finance litigation to local bond initiatives to student school assignments.
Our attorneys are extensively involved in state and local initiative litigation, including pre-election and post-election challenges and litigation over the form and content of petitions and ballot arguments.
Remcho, Johansen & Purcell has both defended and challenged initiatives, on topics ranging from limits on campaign contributions to early childhood development programs, and has represented numerous candidates in litigation ranging from ballot designations to campaign finance issues.
Representative highlights of this work include:
- National Asian American Coalition, et al. v. Brown, Sacramento County Superior Court, No. 34-2014-80001784 (ongoing).
Currently representing Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. and the Director of Finance Michael Cohen in a lawsuit challenging the use of approximately $350 million of settlement funds awarded to the State as part of the National Mortgage Settlement, a $25 billion settlement with five of the largest U.S. mortgage servicers, and the federal government and 49 states.
- Cruz v. State of California, Alameda County Superior Court, No. RG14727139 (ongoing).
Currently defending the State Board of Education, California Department of Education, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson from a class action lawsuit challenging California's educational system in four school districts, including Los Angeles Unified School District. In April 2015, successfully defended against a motion for preliminary injunction that would have required State intervention in three school districts, including Los Angeles Unified, Compton Unified, and Oakland Unified.
- City of Berkeley v. Dupuis, Alameda County Superior Court, No. RG14720117 (2014).
Successfully represented the City in effort to use Council-approved redistricting map until a referendum election took place.
- Lee v. City of Los Angeles, No. CV 12-06618-CBM (C.D. Cal.) (ongoing).
Successfully defended the City of Los Angeles's 2012 Redistricting Ordinance against a lawsuit challenging the boundaries created for City Council Districts 8, 9, and 10 on the grounds that district boundaries violated the Federal and State Constitutions, and the Los Angeles City Charter.
- Martinez v. City of Watsonville, (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 16, 2014, No. H038230) 2014 WL 7149778
Defended trial court ruling by arguing that recent legislative amendments rendered the appeal moot.
- McDonough v. Superior Court, 204 Cal. App. 4th 1169 (2012); Constant v. Hawkins, Santa Clara County Superior Court, Case No. 1-12-CV-221239 (2012).
Represented opponents of the City of San Jose’s Measure B in successful ballot pamphlet litigation upholding their ballot pamphlet arguments against Measure B, and striking partisan and prejudicial portions of the City’s ballot title and question.
- Williams v. City of Alameda, Alameda County Superior Court, Case No. RG12622649 (2012).
Won a court order upholding the ballot pamphlet title, summary, and statement in favor of the City of Alameda’s Measure C for the June 2012 election.
- Dillman v. Bowen, Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No. 34-2012-80001093 (2012).
Successfully defended Congressional candidate José Hernandez’s use of the ballot designation “Astronaut/Scientist/Engineer” for the 2012 election.
- Martinez v. City of Watsonville, (Santa Cruz County Superior Court, No. CV169473 (2012))
Successfully argued on behalf of the City of Watsonville that city council "vacancy" under city charter occurred upon submission of letter of resignation rather than on relinquishment of office.
- Robles-Wong v. California, Alameda County Superior Court, Case No. RG10515768 (2010).
The firm represented interveners, the California Teachers Association, in this challenge to the constitutionality of California's education finance system.
- Riverside County Democratic Central Committee v. Dunmore, Riverside County Superior Court, Case No. RIC 10012986 (2010).
Won a court order requiring the Registrar of Riverside County to count 12,500 ballots that the Post Office had failed to deliver on Election Day.
- Migden v. Fair Political Practices Commission, No. 2:08-CV-00486-EFB (E.D. Cal. 2008).
Won an injunction prohibiting the FPPC from enforcing Government Code section 89519 on the grounds that the provision unconstitutionally restricts individuals from spending campaign funds left over from prior elections.
- California School Board Association v. California State Board of Education, Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No. 34-2008-00021188 (2008).
Represented the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction in a successful challenge to the State Board of Education's effort to force schools to comply with an unfunded mandate that all eighth graders take Algebra I.
- California Family Bioethics Council v. California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, 147 Cal. App. 4th 1319 (2007).
Represented the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, together with the Attorney General, in successfully defending against a constitutional challenge to Proposition 71 (initiative funding stem cell research in California) at the trial and appellate court levels.
- California Teachers Association v. Schwarzenegger, Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No. 05CS01165 (2006).
Represented the California Teachers Association and the Superintendent of Public Instruction in a successful challenge to efforts to reduce education funding far below the amount agreed upon in the 2004-05 budget compromise. Recovered $3 billion in Proposition 98 funding for schools.
- Andal v. Davis, Sacramento County Superior Court, Case No. 01CS01397 (2003).
Successfully defended the California Assembly against several constitutional challenges to the Legislature's 2001 statewide redistricting plan.
- Fong v. Westly, Sacramento County Superior Court, Case Nos. AS02905, AS03424, AS03425 (2002).
Successfully defended a challenge to the California State Controller's implementation of the Unclaimed Property Law through a series of successful summary judgment motions and a bench trial. The Third District Court of Appeal subsequently affirmed the decision on appeal. Fong v. Westly, 117 Cal. App. 4th 841 (2004).
- Cano v. Davis, 191 F. Supp. 2d 1135 (C.D. Cal. 2001); 211 F. Supp. 2d 1208 (C.D. Cal. 2002), aff'd, 537 U.S. 1100 (2003).
Represented the California Assembly in a successful defense of the State's 2001 redistricting plan against a federal lawsuit challenging the congressional and state legislative plans on the grounds that they violated the Constitution and the federal Voting Rights Act.
- California Association of Retail Tobacconists v. State, San Diego County Superior Court, Case Nos. GIC 732079, GIC 743506 (2000).
Successfully defended Proposition 10 (the initiative establishing the First 5 agencies) during a 10-week trial in San Diego. The Fourth District Court of Appeal subsequently affirmed the trial court's ruling. California Association of Retail Tobacconists v. State, 109 Cal. App. 4th 792 (2003).
- San Franciscans for Sensible Government v. Renne, No. 4:99-cv-02456-CW (N.D. Cal. 1999).
Participated in a successful federal court challenge to San Francisco campaign contribution limits.
- Service Employees International Union v. Fair Political Practices Commission, 747 F. Supp. 580 (E.D. Cal. 1990).
Successfully challenged Proposition 73 (measure that sought to regulate political contributions) on First Amendment grounds. On appeal, the firm persuaded the California Supreme Court that Proposition 73 could not be reformed and so could not go into effect. Kopp v. Fair Political Practices Commission, 11 Cal. 4th 607 (1995).