Photo of Michael G. Colantuono

Certified appellate specialist, California State Bar. Representing California local governments of all types since 1989 at a large firm before opening my own, mid-sized firm in 2001. We have particular strength in appellate litigation and I have appeared in the California Supreme Court 14 times since 2004.

Our goal is to provide top-notch legal advice that is understandable, helpful, and fairly priced.

Specialties: Appellate advocacy, advice and litigation regarding local government revenues (Props. 13, 62, 218 and 26) , elections, LAFCO, land use, police liability, inverse condemnation and other public law issues.

Ben Franklin famously said: “When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.” Today’s Supreme Court decision in Wilde v. Dunsmuir is an important win for public utilities and local governments promising stability in local finance. [Disclosure: I argued the case for five local government associations.]

Specifically, it holds that water rates

CHW’s quarterly newsletter on public law topics is out. You can see it here.

This issue has articles on:

  • A new ruling of the Federal Communications Commission further expanding federal preemption of local regulation of cell tower and other communications infrastructure;
  • A new decision of the Court of Appeal extending time to sue under

California’s Constitution, like most, requires government to pay just compensation when it takes or damages private property. This has led to the development of two bodies of law — eminent domain (when government sues to acquire property or an interest in it) and inverse condemnation (when property owners sue government alleging property damage). The

The Fall ballot includes Proposition 15, an initiative constitutional amendment proposed by progressive interests to eliminate Proposition 13‘s cap on the assessed value of property for purposes of property taxation as to non-residential and non-agricultural property valued at more than $3 million. Residential and farm property would retain Proposition 13’s cap on assessed

Cities around America are looking at yawning budget deficits due to the sudden economic slowdown arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, Politico, a news source covering the federal government, has this piece suggesting many California cities are looking to tax cannabis commerce to close the gap.

The deadline to place measures on the November