By Katherine J. Hart

On August 16, 2013, CEQA attorney Tina Thomas filed a depublication request with the California Supreme Court over the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Citizens for Ceres v. Ceres v. Superior Court 217 Cal.App.4th 889 (Citizens for Ceres).  For a copy of the depublication letter, click here.

In Citizens for Ceres, the Fifth Appellate District held that while Public Resources Code section 21167.6(e)(10) does not abrogate the attorney-client and attorney work-product privileges, “the common interest privilege does not protect otherwise privileged communications disclosed by the developer to the city or by the city to the developer prior to project approval.” Such a ruling not only conflicts with the implied holding of the California Oak Foundation v. County of Tehama (2009) 174 Cal.App.4th1217 (California Oak) ruling on this issue, but could change the way some lead agencies process environmental documents for larger, controversial projects. To read my article on the Citizens for Ceres case posted on July 23, 2013, click here.

Neither the City of Ceres nor the Real Party in Interest Wal-Mart filed a petition for review or otherwise sought depublication of the case.

Interested persons have until August 29, 2013 to submit comments in support or opposition of the Infill Builders’ request. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.112(b)(1).)

Katherine J. Hart is senior counsel at Abbott & Kindermann, LLP.  For questions relating to this article or any other California land use, real estate, environmental and/or planning issues contact Abbott & Kindermann, LLP at (916) 456-9595.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Abbott & Kindermann, LLP, or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.