Dannis Woliver Kelley Launches BETA - Board Ethics, Transparency and Accountability Group
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For more than thirty years, Dannis Woliver Kelley (DWK) attorneys have acted as trusted advisors to school districts and community colleges. DWK has provided counsel not only within particular practice areas but also on overarching issues of governance and accountability. DWK has helped their clients navigate such challenges to maintain public trust and confidence at all times so that the vital work of public education is uncompromised.
The increasing challenges and scrutiny that school districts and colleges face on issues of public governance and accountability, as well as DWK's unparalleled and longstanding expertise on those very issues, have led DWK to expand and reshape their governing boards practice to launch a new legal specialty encompassing the full spectrum of accountability doctrines that school district and college boards and administrators face. DWK is excited to announce a new practice group:
Board Ethics, Transparency and Accountability
BETA brings together DWK's attorney experts who advise school district and community college boards and officials on the broad range of governance issues and who understand the nuances, intersections and interconnections of these doctrines as well as the important public functions these laws serve. BETA issues may include:
- compliance with the Brown Act, the Public Records Act and conflict-of-interest laws;
- campaigns and elections law, including compliance with the California Voting Rights Act and restrictions on campaign advocacy;
- accountability for use of public funds and voter-approved revenues;
- projects involving coordination and collaboration with other public agencies;
- informal and formal investigations of complaints;
- responses to audits, grand jury inquiries, and other "watchdog" proceedings;
- drafting and revision of statutes, regulations, board policies and administrative regulations; and
- all matters of public relations.
Certainly, BETA is not a new area of expertise at DWK. DWK was one of the first school law firms to present workshops around the state when the Brown Act was significantly amended in 1995, and DWK's handbook on the Brown Act, Conducting the Public's Business under the Brown Act, is now in its twelfth edition. Rather, BETA is a new way of organizing DWK's expertise to respond to their clients' needs and the ever-sharper lens placed on public agency integrity, ethics and accountability.
Janet Mueller and Sue Ann Salmon Evans , shareholders at DWK, will serve as Co-Chairs of BETA. They state: "BETA's launch has been anticipated for more than thirty years! It stands at the very heart of what we do in advising school districts and community colleges on sensitive and challenging governance issues in order to always uphold the public trust. We think our clients will appreciate this new identification of a longstanding and vital area of our practice, and we encourage our clients to stay tuned for upcoming news of presentations and trainings from our BETA group."
As part of its launch of BETA, DWK will be issuing its first BETA Test, entitled "Lawful Campaigning for November Measures " to school and community college districts across California, with guidance to help them recognize the legal limits on campaigning at public expense. DWK will also be holding its first free BETA Webinar on September 25, 2012, to further discuss permissible activities of district board members and employees during campaign season. Permissible campaign activities will also be a discussion topic at DWK's October EdLabs for school district and county office HR and labor relations professionals. More information, including a full description of the BETA practice area, is available at www.DWKesq.com.
SOURCE Dannis Woliver Kelley
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