Special Districts & Other Special-Purpose Agencies


Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC has a deep and experienced team of public lawyers who have advised a wide range of special districts as general counsel and special counsel advisors and litigators for decades.

Depth of experience. Michael G. Colantuono, Terri Highsmith, Holly Whatley and Scott Howard lead our special district practice and have represented a wide variety of government agencies for as many as 38 years. As you can see from the discussion below, they have served as general and special counsel to a variety of districts on a variety of issues.

Breadth of experience. In addition to serving as City Attorneys of six cities in Northern and Southern California, the firm serves as general counsel to First Five Yuba; North Yuba Water District; Garden Valley, Ophir Hill, Rough & Ready, and North San Juan Fire Districts; the Orangeline Development Authority; the Oak Tree Park & Recreation District; the SELACO Workforce Investment Board; and the Calaveras and Yuba County LAFCOs.

We have represented the following kinds of special districts in litigation, elections, rate-making, LAFCO, and other advisory topics in recent years:

  • Business Improvement District Operating Non-Profit Corporations
  • Community Services Districts providing a wide range of services
  • County Library JPAs
  • County Law Libraries
  • Fire Protection Districts
  • First Five Commissions
  • Flood Control & Water Conservation Districts
  • Healthcare and Hospital Districts
  • Geologic Hazard Abatement Districts
  • Joint Powers Authorities
  • Port Districts
  • Resource Conservation Districts
  • Sanitation Districts & Other Wastewater Agencies
  • School Districts
  • Solid Waste Management Authorities
  • Tourism Marketing District Corporations
  • Transportation Districts
  • Water Districts (retail, water conservation, irrigation, State Water Project contractors, groundwater management agencies, etc.)
  • Workforce Investment Boards

Efficiency. Prior to forming Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC, Michael and Holly practiced at large, well regarded firms. Terri was in-house City Attorney of a large, complex City with a current budget of $136 million (excluding its electric utility) and more than 400 employees. We formed CH&W to combine the efficiency of a small firm that works hard to keep its overhead low with the top-notch lawyers and first-rate legal advocacy that is equal to or better than that provided by our larger, more expensive rivals. We specialize in this area and can rely on our previous work and experience to find quick and efficient solutions for many problems without delay or expense, or charging for “reinvented wheels.”

A representative listing of present and recent clients is here.