The California Chamber of Commerce and the Civil Justice Association of California are among the local organizations that have banded together to oppose a bill that would grant city attorneys the power to subpoena before formally filing suit.  

“The organizations strongly oppose Assembly Bill 814,” CJAC vice president of government affairs Faith Conley said in a statement on behalf of the coalition made available to the Northern California Record. “Our coalition has offered amendments to the author and sponsor of AB-814 several times; those amendments would the devastating effects of these subpoenas on the privacy of customers and clients.”

Among the amendments proposed by the coalition is a “motion to amend the scope of the subpoena, a report of  its use by the additional government officials included in the bill and  an amendment to require the three levels of government to coordinate  rather than each issuing its own pre-litigation subpoenas.”

Introduced by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), AB-814 would add city attorneys to the list of lawmakers in the city afforded the power of issuing subpoenas, joining the California attorney general and district attorneys.  

After stalling in the Appropriations Committee, the bill was recently granted reconsideration in the Senate. Business leaders representing the telecom, construction, broadcasting, manufacturers, banking and oil industries have joined the other organizations in expressing strong opposition to the bill.

Armed with both houses, Democratic lawmakers in California have proven to be a thorn in the side of the Trump administration, aggressively going out of their way to defy his lead on such critical issues as immigration.

In this instance, Conley contends the “provisions of AB14 are unconstitutional as the office and powers of the city attorney of a charter city must be done through an amendment of the charter, not by state law.”  

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