Meeting Date:

July 21, 2008





Darby Fuerst,




General Manager

Line Item No.:  Services & Supplies – Legal Services


Prepared By:


Rick Dickhaut

Cost Estimate:

$425,000 in FY 2008-09

General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  The Administrative Committee considered this item on July 16, 2008 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:  N/A


SUMMARY:  Since March 1979, the Board has utilized the services of De Lay & Laredo to provide legal services to the District.  The current two-year agreement expired on June 30, 2008. As provided, in the absence of a written renewal, this contract has continued on a monthly basis.  Exhibit 6-A is memorandum dated May 20, 2008 from David Laredo of De Lay & Laredo to General Manager Fuerst outlining the proposed changes to a contract for Fiscal Years 2008-09 and 2009-10.  Exhibit 6-B is a draft of the proposed contract.  The proposed contract includes a rate increase of $10 per hour in each fiscal year.  The table below summarizes current and proposed rates.


Fiscal Year

Retained Hours (45)

Hours in Excess of 45

Current 2007-08       



Proposed 2008-09



Proposed 2009-10




Mr. Laredo will maintain professional errors and omissions insurance coverage of $1,000,000 during the term of the new agreement.  As in previous agreements, the legal services agreement may be terminated at any time during its term, without cause, by the affirmative vote of five members of the Board.  The proposed contract contains no other changes from the current contract.


RECOMMENDATION:  Authorize the General Manager to execute a contract for legal services with De Lay & Laredo for fiscal years 2008-09 and 2009-10.  The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on July 16, 2008 and voted 2 to 0 to recommend approval.  


IMPACT ON STAFF AND RESOURCES: The proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2008-09 includes $425,000 to cover the costs for legal services to be provided by De Lay & Laredo, and limited services from other special counsel, if required.  It is anticipated that the budgeted amount is also sufficient to cover the proposed rate increase by De Lay & Laredo.


BACKGROUND:  The law firm of De Lay & Laredo has provided legal services to the District since March 1979.  The most recent contract for services, for the period July 1, 2006 – June 30, 2008, was executed on June 29, 2006.  For the current fiscal year, the contract provides for retained services of 45 hours per month at $185 per hour, with all services provided beyond the retained amount being compensated at $190 per hour.  The contract also provided that retained hours not used in any month be carried forward, but not beyond the end of any fiscal year.  The contract contains a provision that, in absence of a written renewal, the contract shall continue on a monthly basis as of July 1, 2008.  The Administrative Committee reviewed this item at its June 5, 2008 meeting and voted 3-0 to recommend approval to the full Board.  However, at the June 16, 2008 Board meeting, the item was pulled and referred back to the Administrative Committee by Board Chair Lehman, so that Mr. Laredo could respond to additional questions that had arisen after the Committee’s initial approval.



6-A Letter from David Laredo dated May 20, 2008

6-B Draft Agreement for Legal Services for July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2010