Updated completely since the original 2005 edition, The CalAware Guide to Open Meetings in California focuses on the Ralph M. Brown Act (local government councils, boards and commissions), with parallel coverage of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (state government councils, boards and commissions) as well as special rules for meetings of the state legislature, the California Judicial Council, the Commissions on Judicial Appointments and Judicial Performance, the University of California Board of Regents, the Board of Trustees of the State Bar, student government bodies at California State University campuses, local school site parent advisory committees, homeowners association governing boards, and locally adopted sunshine ordinances.
The 305-page guide analyzes each statutory provision as well as its interpretive case law and attorney general’s opinions-current through September 2015—and includes the full text of each statute and court rule. Issues addressed for the Brown and Bagley-Keene Acts include the definition of key terms, the requirements for meetings, the rights of the public, exceptions from the open meeting requirement, dealing with violations without going to court, and legal remedies and litigation strategy, including sample letters to challenge violations of these open meeting laws. Also examined is the constitutional open government mandate added by Proposition 59 of 2004.
The comprehensively indexed guide is written by Terry Francke, general counsel for the nonprofit public interest organization Californians Aware, with more than 36 years’ experience helping journalists, citizen watchdogs, attorneys and even government officials and employees understand the open government laws. Francke is also author of the other CalAware Guides on Journalism Law in California and Public Records and Private Information in California.