2021 MLI Symposium

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An all-day, fully-online, no-charge pandemic edition of the Municipal Law Institute Symposium, presented by the usual suspects: the League of California Cities, the California Constitution Center, the Institute of Governmental Studies, and the Bar Association of San Francisco.


Hear from academics and practitioners on lessons learned from this unprecedented year for municipal practitioners, on fiscal impacts, social unrest, policing, housing, and race and equity. This event is estimated to qualify for a total of 6.0 MCLE credit hours.

9:00–9:15a Welcome/Opening Remarks

Isaac Rosen, Committee Chair, Municipal Law Institute Committee

9:15–10:15a Keynote Address: After the 2020 Election, What’s Next for American Democracy?

Richard L. Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, and an expert in election law, will address the question, “After the 2020 Election, What’s Next for American Democracy?” He will provide his views on how the election system and American democracy fared in the unprecedented 2020 election, and what steps can be taken to build public trust in elections across the political spectrum. MCLE: 1.0.

10:15–10:20a Break

10:20–11:35a Fiscal Impacts and Shortfalls in Local Budgets

Buck Delventhal’s vision for local finance and how it applies to today’s challenges, including the evolving landscape on citizen tax initiatives and other strategies to raise local revenue. MCLE: 1.25.

  • Moderators: David A. Carrillo and Sandra Lee
  • Panelists:
    • Timothy Bittle, Director of Legal Affairs, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
    • David A. Carrillo, Executive Director, California Constitution Center at Berkeley Law
    • Steven Mayer, Senior Counsel, Arnold & Porter
    • Scott Reiber, Chief Tax Attorney, City and County of San Francisco

11:35–11:40a Break

11:40a–12:10p Attorney Development and Succession Committee

Jennifer Mizrahi, ADSC Committee Member, City Attorney, Desert Hot Springs

Deepa Sharma, Burke, Williams & Sorensen

12:10–1:10p Lunch on your own

1:15–2:30p Housing and Land Use Equity

Analyzing California’s legislative responses to the housing supply and affordability crisis, in the context of both a pandemic and a growing call for racial justice in housing and land use policies. MCLE: 1.25.

  • Moderator: Isaac Rosen
  • Panelists:
    • Michael Lens, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
    • Stephen Menendian, Assistant Director and Director of Research at the Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley
    • Diana Varat, Of Counsel at Richards, Watson, Gershon, and Lecturer, Department of Urban Studies & Planning, California State University, Northridge

2:30–2:35p Break

2:35–3:50p Policing

A conversation between activists and practitioners about the problems facing policing in 2021. This panel will provide a 360º perspective on some of the issues that came to a head in 2020, including calls for racial justice and systemic racism, use of force, and the need for reform. MCLE: 1.25.

  • Moderators: Anais Martinez Aquino and Darren C. Ziegler
  • Panelists:
    • Arif Alikhan, President & Chief Counsel, TacLogix, Inc., former Dir. of Constitutional Policing & Policy, LAPD
    • LeRonne Armstrong, Chief of Police, Oakland Police Department
    • Eric S. Casher, Principal, Meyers Nave, City Attorney, Pinole
    • Lateefah Simon, BART Board of Directors President

3:50–3:55p Break

3:55–5:10p Social Unrest

A discussion of First Amendment, civil rights and related issues arising out of the implementation and enforcement of protest and demonstration measures in times of social unrest. MCLE: 1.25.

  • Moderators: John Abaci and Dion O’Connell
  • Panelists:
    • Duane E. Bennett, Law Office of Duane E. Bennett
    • Robert Cha, Deputy Chief, Branch Operations Division, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office
    • Naomi Sheffield, Deputy City Attorney, Portland City Attorney’s Office

5:10–5:15p Closing Remarks

Isaac Rosen, Committee Chair, Municipal Law Institute Committee