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Lance H. Olson
Lance H. Olson is the founder and senior partner of Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP. He specializes in the practice of election and political law.
He founded the law firm in 1977. The firm's clientele includes candidates, elected officials, PACs, ballot measure committees, lobbyists, lobbyist employers and major donors, as well as individuals, labor organizations, trade associations and government agencies involved in the political process.
Mr. Olson serves as counsel to many major labor unions active in California, as well as elected officials, including members of the California Congressional Delegation and California Legislature. He has provided legal advice to the California Democratic Party since 1982 and regularly advises the President pro Tem of the Senate. At the request of the State Legislature, Mr. Olson drafted Proposition 34, the comprehensive campaign finance reform measure adopted by the voters in November 2000. In 2010 he drafted the successful Proposition 25 promoted by labor unions and the Democratic Party which reduced the Legislative vote requirement to pass a budget in California from 2/3rds to a majority. Mr. Olson also drafted Proposition 28, modifying Legislative term limits, adopted by voters in 2012.
Mr. Olson routinely lectures and conducts training on campaign and political law developments. He served as an adjunct professor of law at McGeorge School of Law from 1995 to 2003 where he taught election law. He is also a consultant to the CEB publication, Advising California Nonprofit Corporations.
His other credits include co-founder and past president of the California Political Attorney's Association. He has served on many government bodies, including the California Bipartisan Commission on the Political Reform Act of 1974. Beginning in 2002 he served three years as a Lawyer Representative for the Eastern District of California to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference.
Mr. Olson earned a B.A. degree in political science from California State University, Sacramento. Mr. Olson received his law degree from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law in 1977.
Diane M. Fishburn
Diane M. Fishburn is a partner at Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP, with over 25 years of experience in political, administrative, and election law.
Ms. Fishburn advises private, public and nonprofit clients on federal and state campaign reporting obligations as well as financial disclosure, ethics, lobbying and conflicts-of-interest requirements. She has expertise and experience in state and local ballot measure campaigns, and she also defends enforcement cases before the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
Ms. Fishburn oversees the firm's practice in advising and assisting major donor contributors with compliance with federal and state contribution limitations and reporting requirements.
She regularly presents seminars on various aspects of political and ethics laws before unions, trade associations and other tax exempt organizations as well as associations of public officials and candidates. She is co-author of two publications addressing the involvement of public charities and private foundations in the California ballot initiative process.
Ms. Fishburn is past President of the California Political Attorneys Association.
Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Fishburn was an attorney with the Fair Political Practices Commission, and also served as staff counsel in the California Air Resources Board.
She received both her B.A. and law degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. She clerked with the New Mexico State Supreme Court.
Deborah B. Caplan
Deborah B. Caplan is the managing partner with Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP and is certified by the California State Bar as an appellate specialist. Ms. Caplan currently manages the litigation practice area of the firm, although she also plays a role in political advising, particularly in the area of conflicts of interest. She argued the constitutionality of the "McCain-Feingold" campaign finance law before a three-judge panel of federal judges in Washington, D.C. and briefed the matter before the U.S. Supreme Court. She has also been involved in litigation on issues including state-mandated local costs, campaign finance and other campaign regulation, education audits, the permissible uses of initiative and referendum, and the State's obligation to make payments to the State's teacher retirement system. She has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals (District of Columbia), the U.S. District Court (Eastern District of California), the California Supreme Court, the District of Columbia Court of Appeal and several California Courts of Appeal.
Ms. Caplan received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola Marymount University and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. in 1979. Ms. Caplan was a Professor of Clinical Law at George Washington University Law School until 1992, specializing in administrative law and general civil practice. She relocated to Sacramento in 1992 and clerked for the Honorable David Russell, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District. She subsequently served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law until she joined Olson Hagel & Fishburn in 1998.
She is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the California Political Attorneys Association and the Sacramento County Bar.
Richard C. Miadich
Richard C. Miadich is a partner in the litigation unit with Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP. Mr. Miadich's practice focuses on litigation matters involving election and campaign finance law, education law, government and administrative law, and constitutional law. He also assists in the firm's political advising, primarily in areas of elections and initiatives.
A member of the California State Bar, Mr. Miadich has litigated matters at the trial and appellate levels in California, including the California Supreme Court, and has represented clients before state administrative agencies. He has also participated in matters before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits, and the United States District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of California. Representing appellant pro bono, Mr. Miadich successfully briefed and argued Lee v. Keith (7th. Cir. 2006) 463 F.3d 763, which resulted in several Illinois ballot access laws being declared unconstitutional.
Mr. Miadich is an At-Large Director on the Sacramento County Bar Association Board of Directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Law Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves as the charitable arm of the Sacramento County Bar Association. Previously, Mr. Miadich served on the Executive Committee of the Public Law Section of the California State Bar, where he served as the assistant editor of the State Bar's Public Law Journal. His article When to Run, Walk or Crawl to the Courthouse: Proper Timing of Legal Challenges to Initiative Measures, (co-authored with William B. Tunick), was published in the Spring 2007 Public Law Journal.
Mr. Miadich earned his law degree from the University of California at Davis in 2002. While there, he served as a member of the U.C. Davis Law Review, externed with the California State Assembly Judiciary Committee, and participated in the school's trial practice program. He received bachelor's degrees in political science and history from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1998.
His professional memberships include: the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Sacramento County Bar Association and the California Political Attorneys Association.
Richard R. Rios
Richard R. Rios is a Partner with Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP's political compliance unit which assists clients in navigating the complex laws that govern the political process. He advises clients on state and federal campaign finance, election, ethics, and other laws affecting electoral, campaign, and legislative activity.
Mr. Rios' clients include state and federal candidates and political committees, professional associations, labor unions, nonprofit organizations, political parties, individuals and businesses. Mr. Rios also counsels lobbyists, lobbyist employers, and lobbying firms regarding compliance with disclosure and gift laws.
Mr. Rios was recently elected by his peers to serve as a member of the Executive Board of the California Political Attorneys Association. He is a member of the Association's Legislation and Regulatory Committee which comments on and assists in drafting proposed statutory and regulatory changes to the California Political Reform Act.
Before joining Olson Hagel & Fishburn, Mr. Rios served as a senior advisor to Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson and other state legislators and was a field coordinator for several legislative campaigns. Mr. Rios earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Redlands and his law degree from the University of California at Davis School of Law.
Bruce J. Hagel
Bruce J. Hagel, a former partner at Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, LLP, is now of Counsel to Olson, Hagel & Fishburn and has more than twenty years of experience handling Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claims. Mr. Hagel's practice is limited exclusively to SSDI and SSI claims.
Mr. Hagel was co-counsel in a successful Ninth Circuit-wide class action challenging the severity step of the sequential evaluation. He is a founding member of the Sacramento Association of Social Security Claimant's representatives (SOSSCR), and a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR). He is the former President of the Mental Health Association of Sacramento and El Dorado Counties and a member of Fair Oaks Rotary Club.
Mr. Hagel received his B.A. from California State University at San Francisco and his law degree from the University of California at Davis. A former Vista volunteer, staff attorney at the Sacramento Legal Center for the Elderly and Disabled, and Legal Services Developer for the California Department of Aging, he was a partner at Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, LLP, from 1983-2011.
N. Eugene Hill
N. Eugene Hill is a member of the litigation section of Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP. He joined the firm in 1995, after 33 years in the Office of the State Attorney General, where he served as Deputy Attorney General, Senior Assistant Attorney General and Chief Assistant Attorney General. He was Senior Assistant in charge of the Government Section for about 10 years, and has participated in issues involving ballot measures on virtually every statewide election since 1983, including litigation involving such measures as Propositions 13, 68/73 (Campaign Finance), 99 (Tobacco Tax), 140 (Term Limits), 209 (Affirmative Action) and 218 (Taxation), representing both government and non-government parties.
Mr. Hill has considerable litigation experience representing public entities in mandate, declaratory relief and injunction proceedings. During his tenure with the Attorney General—and particularly during his 12 years in the Attorney General's Government Law Section—he represented public agencies on a wide range of issues. He acted as the statewide chief of that section for over ten years.
Mr. Hill has analyzed and prepared titles and summaries for proposed initiatives and ballot measures for every election since 1983. His expertise in state election law, constitutional and fiscal matters developed over the 33 years he practiced with the Attorney General.
Mr. Hill, as a member of the litigation section of the firm, has represented both public and private entities on matters involving application of state law to particular circumstances and advised them on the steps needed to comply with statutory criteria. His advice and representation has covered many issues concerning the application of state and local government provisions of the California Constitution and statutes implementing such provisions. In public and private practice, he has participated in over 100 appellate cases construing application of California constitutional and statutory provisions. Many include inter-governmental relationships and state fiscal policies. He also has considerable experience advising public and private entities on the application of the state Administrative Procedure Act, Public Records Act, open meeting requirements of the Brown and Bagley-Keene Acts, conflict of interest provisions, such as Government Code section 1090, and the application of the reimbursement requirements for state mandated local programs set forth in California Constitution Article XIII B. In addition, he has provided advice and representation to public and private entities concerning implementation of newly enacted initiative measures, and he has represented both public and private entities in constitutional challenges to such provisions.
Mr. Hill received the Attorney General's Award for Outstanding Achievement in 1992. He was also named "Public Lawyer of the Year" by the State Bar of California in 1994. Mr. Hill earned his law degree from Hastings College of the Law (L.L.B. 1961).
Christopher W. Waddell
Chris W. Waddell, joined Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, LLP as a Senior Attorney in December, 2008, where he heads the firm's newly created Public Retirement Law practice. Most recently, he served as General Counsel for two California public retirement systems; first at the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), the second largest public pension fund in the country, and later at the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS). He has extensive experience in advising public pension trustees and staff on fiduciary obligations, Article XVI, Section 17 of the California Constitution (Proposition 162), the Political Reform Act, Government Code 1090, the Brown and Bagley-Keene open meetings acts, and the Public Records Act.
Under Mr. Waddell's leadership, SDCERS adopted a number of cutting edge board governance policies in the areas of ethics, conflicts of interest, independence and Board member core competencies.
While at CalSTRS, Mr. Waddell worked with the Olson, Hagel litigation team and oversaw the strategy that recovered $700 million in unpaid pension contributions plus interest from the State of California in the Teachers Retirement Board v. Genest case. He also developed and administered an innovative securities litigation policy that recouped approximately $200 million in CalSTRS investment losses.
At CalSTRS, Mr. Waddell developed for Board adoption significant enhancements to governance and policy, including "pay to play" policies and regulations that received national attention. In addition to legal services, Mr. Waddell was also responsible for the compliance, privacy, contracts and audit functions and developed a framework for a strong, independent Audit committee based upon private sector best practices.
Prior to joining CalSTRS, Mr. Waddell was the Chief Counsel for the California Department of Finance and before that was the Chief Counsel for the California Department of Personnel Administration. During a portion of his tenure at Finance, Mr. Waddell served as the Department's representative on the CalSTRS Board. At both departments, Waddell worked on a number of significant pension issues affecting CalSTRS and CalPERS.
Mr. Waddell is a Corporate Governance Fellow at the Stanford Law School, where he is Co-Director of the Fiduciary College, which provides education to pension trustees and staff. He is a member of the National Association of Public Pension Plan Attorneys (NAPPA) and has served as the Chair of the Investment Section and Co-Chair of the Fiduciary Section. He has spoken frequently on pension governance, conflicts of interest, and securities litigation issues before the National Council on Teacher Retirement, NAPPA, the California Association of Public Retirement Systems, and the Stanford Fiduciary College. He has also testified before Congress, the California Legislature, the San Diego City Council, and the San Diego Charter Revision Commission.
Mr. Waddell earned his Bachelor's degree in Political Science/Public Service from the University of California at Davis and his law degree from the McGeorge School of Law, where he was a writer and editor for the Pacific Law Journal.
Lacey E. Keys
Lacey E. Keys, an associate with Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP, is a member of the firm’s political counseling unit. Ms. Keys counsels clients on compliance with state and federal campaign and election laws.
Ms. Keys served as a clerk at Olson Hagel & Fishburn during the summer of 2008 and during her third year of law school. While clerking, she co-authored an article entitled Business Improvement Districts and Proposition 218 After Silicon Valley Taxpayers Association v. Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, which was published in the Fall 2008 volume of the Public Law Journal.
Ms. Keys earned her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 2009. While there, she served as a member of the Hastings Law Journal, participated in the Moot Court program and served on the Moot Court Student Board. Ms. Keys also participated in a student project to assist in re-drafting the Fair Political Practices Commission’s Regulations for clarity and consistency.
Prior to attending law school, Ms. Keys earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Psychology from the University of San Diego in 2006.
Ms. Keys is admitted to practice in California and is a member of the California Political Attorneys Association.
Matthew R. Cody
Matthew R. Cody is an associate in the firm's litigation department. Mr. Cody's primary focus is litigation relating to elections, education finance, state and local government, and constitutional law. His practice also includes drafting and advising clients on statewide and local initiatives.
Mr. Cody earned his law degree with distinction from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. While in law school, he served on the board of editors for the McGeorge Law Review, and he completed an externship with Hon. Morrison C. England, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California. He clerked with Olson, Hagel & Fishburn during the summer of 2008 and joined the firm as an associate attorney in 2009.
Prior to law school, Mr. Cody worked as a staff member for a state senate campaign. He also completed an AmeriCorps fellowship at a non-profit charter high school. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004.
Mr. Cody is admitted to practice in California and is a member of the American Bar Association, the Sacramento County Bar Association, the California Political Attorneys Association, and the California Council of School Attorneys.
Joshua R. Daniels
Joshua R. Daniels is an associate with Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP and a member of the firm's litigation unit. His primary focus is school finance litigation.
Prior to joining Olson Hagel & Fishburn, Mr. Daniels served as a financial advisor to local governments on capital management and financing. He offered advice on cash flow modeling, short- and long-term debt issuances, State aid, federal assistance under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (the Stimulus Act), and capital program oversight and administration. In addition, he provided daily political direction and guidance to campaign committees in connection with local bond measures. Mr. Daniels also has public policy experience in the areas of health care governance, technology literacy, and higher education financing.
Mr. Daniels holds a law degree and a master's degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley as well as a master's degree in mathematics from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
Emily A. Andrews
Emily A. Andrews is an associate with Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP. Ms. Andrews is a member of the firm's political compliance unit, where she advises clients on compliance with state and federal campaign and election laws.
Ms. Andrews is a 2011 graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law. While a student, Ms. Andrews served on the U.S.F. Law Review Editorial Board as the Symposium Editor and organized a symposium on the future of campaign finance law. Additionally, Ms. Andrews completed an externship with the law firm of Cooper, White & Cooper LLC, worked as a research assistant, and spent a summer working in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Ms. Andrews earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communication from Loyola University Chicago, where she graduated cum laude. As a student, she spent a year at studying abroad in Italy at the John Felice Rome Center. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Andrews worked for a political consulting firm in Chicago organizing political fundraisers for local, state and national candidates.
Ms. Andrews is admitted to practice in California and is a member of the California Political Attorneys Association.