The Board of Supervisors signed off Tuesday on a list of law firms that the Riverside County Executive Office can use to make recommendations on who best to represent the county in complex cases that in-house lawyers are unable to manage.
“These 25 firms have represented many public entities across the state and have significant experience in diverse areas such as appellate law, civil rights, dangerous conditions, election law, employee relations, general government and taxation, just to name a few,” according to a Department of Human Resources statement posted to the board’s agenda.
The agency said the “pre-qualified list” will save county officials time in finding attorneys with specific expertise without having to go through extensive vetting procedures.
The list was first submitted for board consideration on Oct. 2, but Executive Office staff requested a two-week postponement to make a modification, removing one firm from the number, which was originally 26.
The county’s Risk Management Steering Committee will take the lead in identifying which firm is appropriate for certain cases. The committee, which was formed over a year ago to mitigate the impact of lawsuits against the county, includes representatives from the Department of Human Resources, Executive Office and Office of County Counsel.
Any contract will be subject to board review and approval.
“Over the past four years, the amount and complexity of cases handled by the county counsel has increased substantially,” according to the HR department. “More specifically, the office is handling more risk management cases than ever before. The goal is to obtain the best, most cost-effective representation designed to achieve the optimal result for the county.”
The California Government Code grants local governing bodies authority to choose outside counsel when circumstances warrant.
Several of the firms on the list have been utilized by the county in the past, particularly Riverside-based Best, Best & Krieger. The other firms are:
— Aarvig & Associates, Riverside;
— Arias & Lockwood, San Bernardino;
— Bent, Caryl & Kroll, Los Angeles;
— Burke, Williams & Sorensen, Santa Ana;
— Carpenter, Rothans & Dumont, Los Angeles;
— Collins, Collins, Muir & Stewart, Irvine;
— Disenhouse Law, Riverside;
— Ford, Walker, Haggerty & Behar, Long Beach;
— Ferguson, Praet & Sherman, Santa Ana;
— Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland, Los Angeles;
— Law Office of Henslee Smith, Orange;
— Hurrell Cantrall, Los Angeles;
— Law Office of Michael R. Kaiser, Palm Springs;
— Lawrence, Beach, Allen & Choi, Santa Ana;
— Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, San Bernardino;
— Leibert, Cassidy & Whitemore, Los Angeles;
— Lynberg & Watkins, Orange;
— Manning, Marder, Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez & Trester, Irvine;
— Maranga Morgenstern, Woodland Hills;
— Renne Public Law Group, San Francisco;
— Rinos & Martin, Tustin;
— Smith Law Office, Riverside;
— Thompson & Colgate, Riverside; and
— Woodruff, Spradlin & Smart, Costa Mesa.
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