Simas & Associates, Ltd. Newsletter | March 3, 2017 | Volume V, Issue 3
Firm Announcement
Simas & Associates, Ltd. Joins California Special Districts Association

Sacramento, CA — Simas & Associates, Ltd. recently joined the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) as a business-member.

"Fifteen years ago, Simas & Associates, Ltd. was founded as a Government and Administrative Law Firm," explained Steven L. Simas. "And although our practice areas have expanded, at its core, the firm still is best equipped to handle matters and disputes that arise in those areas of practice."

CSDA is a 501(c)(6), not-for-profit association that was formed in 1969 to promote good governance. It seeks to provide local services to its members through professional development, advocacy, and legal services for all types of independent special districts.

For over 40 years, CSDA has been offering its members cost-efficient programs and representation at the State Capitol. It boasts a membership of over 1,000 organizations throughout California. It is the only statewide association representing all types of independent special districts including irrigation, water, park and recreation, cemetery, fire, police protection, library, utility, harbor, healthcare and community services districts.

The firm has served on behalf of numerous boards and special districts throughout its existence. Its multiple years of service to the San Luis Obispo Civil Services Commission and recent contracts with the Counties of Sonoma and San Diego, refocused the firm on this particular offering to local and municipal government

"As such," continued Simas, "re-joining the California Special Districts Association was a no-brainer. It puts our law firm in front of a large swath of potential clients needing our legal services or representation. Furthermore, it helps us better communicate our capacity to educate, conduct investigations, or serve as third-party neutrals."

However, CSDA's network affiliation offers so much more. 

"CSDA's network affiliation program helps connect like-minded or issue-concerned districts," explained Simas. "This provides a forum for smaller districts to pool time, energy, and resources to address issues that impact more than a single special district. This could be on proposed legislation or implementing regulations that are being proposed at the state level. This could also be legal cases that are challenging or pursuing sought-after interpretations of ordinances."

"Being part of the network helps educate our law firm," Simas concluded. "While we may have the tools and experience to help, CSDA's network provides us with an opportunity to understand the why a particular special district cares."

For more information on Simas & Associates, Ltd. and its Government and Administrative Law practice areas and Alternative Dispute Resolution legal services, please visit our website at
Firm Announcement
Steve Simas to Present at "Writs of Administrative Mandamus Demystified" on April 20

On April 20, 2017, Steven L. Simas, owner and founder of Simas & Associates, Ltd., will be serving as one of several presenters for Writs of Administrative Mandamus Demystified: A Step by Step Guide. This day-long seminar is being hosted by Pincus Professional Education.  The seminar will be held at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, located downtown Sacramento, 828 I Street.

A Petition for Writ of Administrative Mandate is a request that the Superior Court review and reverse the final decision or order of an administrative agency. These petitions are brought under California Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.5 and involve multiple steps and tests that are unique versus other types of pleadings or writs. This program is designed guide the attendee through filing and opposing a petition for writ of administrative mandamus, including strategies and practical tips for practitioners.

Joining Mr. Simas will be several other prominent legal minds in the area of Administrative Law. For more information, check-out Pincus Professional Education’s seminar page.
Client/Vendor of the Month
The Birth Center
5440 Laurel Hills Drive
Sacramento, CA 958414
P: (916) 344-1860
F: (916) 344-1862
Since 2000, The Birth Center offers a place for families who choose a birth experience in the comfort of a home-like atmosphere with professional, experienced staff. It minimizes technological interventions while monitoring the physical, psychological, and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle. 

The Birth Center's mission is to create a place for listening and relationship building, where control belongs to the families, and where choices are honored—to create a place where safety for those served is the highest priority. It provides mothers with individualized education, counseling, and prenatal care, continuous hands-on assistance during labor and delivery, and postpartum support.

As the only Nationally Accredited and State Licensed freestanding, midwifery-operated clinic in the Sacramento-area, The Birth Center offers women a home-like place to birth their babies naturally, in safety and confidence. The Birth Center follows the Midwives Model of Care™, which is based on the philosophy that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes.

The Birth Center is having a fundraiser this March 18, 2017 at 5:30 to 9:00 PM. Come to a fun family night with great food, wonderful music, activities for the kids, some great auction items…. all with some amazing people!

Simas & Associates, Ltd. appreciates the opportunity to serve as The Birth Center's counsel since 2011. If you would like to be featured as our law firm’s “Client/Vendor of the Month,” please contact us at
Featured Agency Announcement

Single-User Restrooms Must be Gender-Neutral

Sacramento, CA — All single-user toilet facilities in any California business establishment, place of public accommodation, or state or local government agency must be identified as all-gender toilet facilities. Effective March 1, 2017, a single-user toilet is defined “a toilet facility with no more than one water closet and one urinal with a locking mechanism controlled by the user.”  Essentially, single-user restrooms – restrooms with one toilet and/or urinal and sink – must now have a sign that states the restroom is for all genders. 

AB 1732, California’s Equal Restroom Access Act, effective date was yesterday. Statewide legislation was signed into law by Governor Brown on September 29, 2016. Assemblyman Phil Ting, the author of the bill, stated:  “Restricting access to single-user restrooms by gender defies common sense and disproportionately burdens the LGBT community, women, and parents or caretakers of dependents of the opposite gender.  Bathroom access is a biological need.  This law will ensure more safety, fairness, and convenience … for everyone.”

The signage must comply with Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations, including the required gender-neutral geometric sign (a triangle within a circle). For example, if your business establishment has two restrooms that are both single-user toilets, then both restrooms must be all-gender toilet facilities. The new law will be enforced by inspectors, building officials, and other local officials who may perform inspections to ensure compliance.
Featured Blog Entry

California Board Bars Veterinarians from Using Cannabis in Practice

Current California law makes it legal for human patients and their designated primary caregivers to possess and cultivate marijuana for their personal medical use with the recommendation or approval of a California-licensed physician or surgeon. In addition, the recently passed Proposition 64, “Legalizes marijuana under state law, for use by adults 21 or older.” 

And more and more pet owners are, similarly, turning to cannabis-based products to help their animals with anxiety, arthritis, seizures, cancer and other ailments. And the passage of state Proposition 64 will likely lead to even more pet and animal owners turning to marijuana to dose their pets.

However, there is nothing in California law that allows a veterinarian to participate. Specifically, veterinarians have never been permitted to prescribe, recommend, or approve marijuana or medical cannabis for purposes of treating animals. 

To keep reading this entry, please click here:
California Board Bars Veterinarians from Using Cannabis in Practice. For more blog entries from our attorneys and legal staff, please visit our law firm’s official blog – Wit of Mandate.
Word of the Month

Underground Regulation

When a state agency issues, uses, enforces, or attempts to enforce a guideline, criterion, bulletin, manual, instruction, order, standard, or any other rule without following the procedures established in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the "rule" is called an "underground regulation." And a state agency is prohibited from enforcing such an "underground regulation." That is becase compliance with the rulemaking requirements of the APA is mandatory; all regulations are subject to it unless expressly exempted by statute. If a rule looks like a regulation, reads like a regulation, and acts like a regulation, it will be treated as one by the courts, whether or not the issuing agency has so labeled it.  

For more terms related to our practice areas, please visit our law firm’s glossary at - Glossary.
Upcoming Calendar

March 3 - Employee Appreciation Day. Also, CCTLA presents, "Don't Eat the Bruises & the Trojan Horse Method."

March 6 - Happy Dentists' Day!

March 7 - World Baseball Classic Begins.

March 8 - International Women's Day.

March 9 -
ABAS Law Foundation Presents An Evening with Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

March 12 - Daylight Savings Time Begins.

March 14 -
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Begins. Also, National π Day!

March 15 - Ides of March.

March 16 -
SLO Bar Presents, "150 Days Before Trial."

March 17 - 🍀 Happy St. Patrick's Day! 🍀 Also, NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Begins. And the
SDCBA presents, "PAGA - Overview of Procedural Issues and Recent Developments."

March 18 - The Birth Center is having a fundraiser. Also, 
Sonoma County Bar Association presents, "Evidence "How-To" at Trial."

March 20 - Spring begins.

March 23 - National Puppy Day.

March 29 -
SCBA Public Law Section Presents, "Emerging Issues in the California Public Records Act."

March 30 - Happy National Doctors' Day!

April 1 - April Fool's Day.
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