Margaret R. Prinzing

Margaret R. Prinzing

Margaret R. Prinzing is a partner who focuses on litigation involving government law, constitutional law, and public policy issues.  She has defended the Governor and Director of Finance from a challenge to the State’s use of its share of funds from the National Mortgage Settlement (National Asian American Coalition v. Brown, Sac. County Super. Ct., No. 34-2014-80001784) (pending on appeal); represented the California Department of Education and Board of Education in litigation addressing the State’s role in providing students an equal education (Cruz v. State of California, Alameda County Super. Ct., No. RG14727139 (2015)); and defended the State Controller from a series of lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of California’s Unclaimed Property program.  Taylor v. Yee, 780 F.3d 928 (9th Cir. 2015) & Suever v. Chiang, 484 Fed. Appx. 187 (9th Cir. 2012).

In addition, Ms. Prinzing has expertise in the California budget process and state fiscal issues.  Representative matters include representing nineteen counties in a challenge to a State directive that shifted financial responsibility for certain mental health services to the counties (County of Colusa v. Douglas, 227 Cal. App. 4th 1123 (2014)); filing an amicus curiae brief in support of the State’s efforts to restructure California’s redevelopment agencies (California Redevelopment Association v. Matosantos, 53 Cal. 4th 231 (2011)); and challenging State efforts to reduce education funding far below the amount agreed upon in the 2004-05 budget compromise.  (California Teachers Association v. Schwarzenegger, Sac. County Super. Ct., No. 05CS01165 (2006)).

Other notable cases include defending the constitutionality of the City of Mountain View’s voter-approved rent control measure (California Apartment Association v. City of Mountain View, Santa Clara Super. Ct., No.: 16-CV-304253 (2017)); and defending the City of Watsonville’s practice of allowing a departing council member to participate in the vote to appoint his successor.  (Martinez v. City of Watsonville, Cal. Ct. App., No. H038230 (2014)).

Ms. Prinzing also specializes in election law.  She recently helped draft Proposition 63 (2016), which strengthened California’s gun safety laws; Proposition 47 (2014), which requires misdemeanor rather than felony sentences for certain nonviolent offenses; and Measure D, the first voter-approved measure to tax the distribution of sugary beverages.  (Berkeley, 2014).  She advises ballot measure committees and candidates on election procedures, engaging in political communications, and candidates’ ballot designations.  She represents her clients in litigation as necessary, including winning emergency relief in the California Supreme Court to ensure that Proposition 57 appeared on the 2016 ballot (Brown v. Superior Court, 63 Cal. 4th 335 (2016)); and ensuring that Congressional candidate José Hernandez’s was able to use his chosen ballot designation in the 2012 election.  (Dillman v. Bowen, Sac. County Super. Ct., No. 34-2012-80001093 (2012)).  

In addition, Ms. Prinzing advises interested persons, officeholders, and officials on government law matters including the separation of powers, statutory interpretation, administrative law, and conflicts of interest.  Although she has addressed a broad range of public policy issues, she has developed a particular focus on health care policy, including mental health issues, education, and criminal justice reform.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Prinzing was an associate with Bingham McCutchen where she specialized in civil and appellate litigation.  From 1993 to 1997, she worked as a legislative assistant to U.S. Congressmen Martin Olav Sabo and Frank McCloskey, focusing on health care, welfare, and education matters. 

  • Education

    • Indiana University (B.A. 1992) • with distinction
    • University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) (J.D. 2000)
  • Admissions

    • California

Representative Highlights+

Results described below were dependent on the facts of that particular case. Prior results do not guarantee or predict similar outcomes.