Maggie W. Stern

Ms. Stern helps cities, counties, and special districts navigate the complex, and also sometimes the mundane, legal issues facing California municipal agencies. She streamlines routine legal matters and demystifies regulatory compliance issues, so her clients can spend less time on legal issues and more time on service delivery. Municipal agencies rely on Ms. Stern for advice on general governance matters, including Brown Act and Public Records Act compliance, conflicts-of-interest evaluation and guidance, constitutional law, procurement and public safety issues. She also represents and defends municipal agencies in civil actions involving contract disputes, public agency cost recovery, tort defense, tax allocation disputes, construction, land use, public works, and code enforcement.

Legal Experience

Ms. Stern provides representation and advice on general municipal law governance matters. Examples of her specific experience and areas of practice include:

  • Open meeting laws, including the Brown Act
  • Public records laws, including the Public Records Act and local Sunshine laws
  • Compliance with the Fair Political Practices Act
  • Conflicts of Interest, including Government Code section 1090 and the Political Reform Act
  • Code enforcement, including abatement warrants and receiverships
  • Pitchess Motions and weapons petitions
  • Construction, public projects and public works, including prevailing wages, competitive bidding, and bid protests

 

Ms. Stern also has experience in all phases of litigation, from pre- litigation strategic advising, through trial and recovery of judgments, and has experience representing cities in nuisance abatement, construction, tax, civil rights, dangerous condition of public property, and contract litigation.

Before joining Kronick, Ms. Stern worked in the City Attorney’s Office for the City of Oakland as a Neighborhood Law Corps attorney, where she managed cases involving public nuisance.

While attending law school, Ms. Stern was a Judicial Extern to the Honorable Russel D. Pulver of the United States Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges, where she worked on cases involving the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Act and the Defense Base Act.

Practice Examples

  • Ms. Stern successfully resolved four bid protests on a $50 million dollar public works project, avoiding project-killing delays.
  • Ms. Stern successfully prosecuted two Oakland motel owners for violations of the California Red Light Abatement Act. Following trial, the Judge ordered both motels to close for one year. Ms. Stern also obtained a permanent injunction against a third Oakland motel owner by stipulation.
  • She prevailed in a lawsuit against a property owner for breach of contract for failing to adhere to a settlement agreement designed to abate drug nuisance activities.
  • She has prepared Reasonable Accommodation Ordinances for a number of cities in the Sacramento region.
  • She obtained a workplace violence restraining order for a special district.
  • She has prepared transactional documents for public works design-bid-build, lease-leaseback, and design-build projects, and has helped clients navigate hundreds of projects from issuing the notice inviting bids, through filing of the notice of completion.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Ms. Stern provides trainings for public agencies, including Brown Act, Public Records Act, Form 700 and AB 1234 training for boards and commissions, and inspection warrant and right-of-entry training for code enforcement officers. Her professional activities and affiliations include:

  • Member, Public Safety Policy Committee, League of California Cities (2017)
  • Member, Legal Committee, California Special Districts Association (2017)
  • Top Lawyers, Sacramento Magazine (2016, 2017)
  • Reviewer, League of California Cities, Municipal Law Handbook, Public Contracting Chapter (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Board member, Sacramento County Bar Association, Public Law Section (2016-present)
  • Chairperson, Sacramento County Bar Association, Public Law Section (2013-2015)
  • Member, California State Bar Association
  • Reviewer, League of California Cities, 2013 Municipal Law Handbook, Code Enforcement Chapter (2012)
  • Presenter, “Civil Remedies to Address Human Trafficking and the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children,” National District Attorney’s H.E.A.T. Conference (2012)
  • Presenter, “Eliminating Blight in Your Community,”  Mayor’s Crime Prevention Summit for the City of Oakland (2011)

Admitted to Practice

  • All California State Courts
  • United States District Court, Eastern and Northern Districts of California

Academic Background

J.D. Golden Gate University, 2009

  • Member, Environmental Law Journal
  • Law and Leadership Fellow

M.P.A. Middlebury (formerly Monterey) Institute of International Studies, 2001

B.A. Middlebury (formerly Monterey) Institute of International Studies, 2000

  • Graduated magna cum laude