Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP
California State Capitol Building Attorneys

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Lance H. Olson


Lance H. OlsonLance 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.

Mr. Olson has played a major role in the drafting and passage of many of California's major laws through the initiative and ballot measure process. At the request of the State Legislature, Mr. Olson drafted Proposition 34, the comprehensive campaign finance reform ballot measure adopted by the voters in November 2000. In 2010 he drafted the successful Proposition 25 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. In 2016 Mr. Olson drafted Proposition 56, an initiative passed by voters to increase the tax on tobacco products. Also in 2016, he co-wrote successful measures to extend California's income tax on wealthy tax payers (Proposition 55) and legalize cannabis under California law (Proposition 64).

Mr. Olson served as an adjunct professor of law at the UOP 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. 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.

Richard C. Miadich


Richard C. MiadichRichard C. Miadich is the managing partner 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 Bachelors 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. RiosRichard 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.

Lacey E. Keys


Lacey E. KeysLacey E. Keys, a partner with Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP, is a member of the firm's political counseling unit. Ms. Keys counsels clients, including nonprofits and other organizations, on compliance with federal, state and local campaign finance, election, lobbying, and governmental ethics laws. Ms. Keys also regularly advises clients on legislative and regulatory language.

Ms. Keys has experience providing compliance trainings and representing clients in enforcement actions by government agencies in these areas of the law, and is a contributing author of the CEB publication Advising California Nonprofit Corporations, Third Edition.

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 and Women Lawyers of Sacramento.

Deborah B. Caplan


Deborah B. CaplanDeborah B. Caplan was a partner at Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP until December 31, 2016, and served as the Firm's Managing Partner for a number of years.

On January 1, 2017, Ms. Caplan became "of counsel" with the firm.

Ms. Caplan is certified by the California State Bar as an appellate specialist. Ms. Caplan's practice focuses on litigation matters, although she also plays a role in political advising, particularly in the area of conflicts of interest. She has extensive experience in ballot litigation and pre-election review of initiatives and referenda and has been successful in removing several proposed measures from the ballot. She has been involved in litigation on state mandates and other state regulatory matters, campaign finance, public pensions, and a number of education-related issues, including education finance and challenges to State Board of Education action. She represented the California Democratic Party in the constitutional challenge to the McCain-Feingold law before a federal three-judge panel and the U.S. Supreme Court, and 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, 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. She 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.

Bruce J. Hagel

Bruce J. HagelBruce 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.

Diane M. Fishburn (Ret.)


Diane M. FishburnDiane M. Fishburn was a partner at Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP until April 2014, when she became “of counsel.” Ms. Fishburn practiced law for over 35 years in the areas of political, administrative, and election law. Ms. Fishburn retired from the Firm and from the practice of law on October 31, 2017.

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 advises and assists major donor contributors with compliance with federal and state contribution limitations and reporting requirements. She also has an extensive practice in advising clients on state and local lobby disclosure requirements in California and assisting with their registration and reporting obligations.

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.

Christopher W. Waddell


Chris WaddellChris W. Waddell, joined Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, LLP as a Senior Attorney in December, 2008, where he heads the firm's Public Retirement Law practice. Before joining our firm, 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.

Chris currently serves as the outside General Counsel to the San Luis Obispo County Pension Trust, as the outside counsel for the CalSTRS Appeals Committee, and as fiduciary counsel to SDCERS, the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association and the three City of Los Angeles retirement systems. He has also worked with the San Diego County Employees' Retirement Association and the City of Oakland Police and Fire Retirement System.

Previously at SDCERS, Chris worked with the Board in their adoption of cutting edge governance policies in the areas of ethics, conflicts of interest, system independence and Board member core competencies. While at CalSTRS, Chris 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, and worked with the CalSTRS Board in its adoption of significant enhancements to its governance and conflicts of interest policies, including "pay to play" policies and regulations that received national attention. In addition to legal services, he 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, Chris 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, he served as the Department's representative on the CalSTRS Board. At both departments, Chris worked on a number of significant pension issues affecting CalSTRS and CalPERS.

Chris is the author of a study released in 2009 by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees entitled "Enhancing Public Retiree Plan Security: Best Practice Policies for Trustees and Pension Systems." Chris was the lead author for the Clapman 2.0 Report, an update and expansion of the original 2007 Clapman report on pension fund governance best practices, issued by the Committee on Fund Governance of the Stanford Institutional Investors' Forum. He also authored a chapter entitled "Fulfilling Fiduciary Duties in an Imperfect World—Governance Recommendations from the Stanford Institutional Investors' Forum" for the Cambridge Handbook of Institutional Investment and Fiduciary Duty, published in 2014 by Cambridge Press.

Chris is a member of the California Association of Public Retirement Systems, the State Association of County Retirement Systems, and the National Association of Public Pension Plan Attorneys (NAPPA), where he served as the Chair of the Investment Section and Co-Chair of the Fiduciary Section. He has spoken frequently on fiduciary duty, pension governance, conflicts of interest, and securities litigation issues before the National Council on Teacher Retirement, NAPPA, CALAPRS, 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.

Chris 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.

Betty Ann Downing


Betty Ann Downing

Betty Ann Downing joined Olson, Hagel & Fishburn, LLP as a Senior Attorney on October 1, 2015. Most recently, Betty Ann was the President of California Political Law, Inc. from 2009 to 2015.

Betty Ann has extensive expertise in politics, legislative process, elections, campaign finance and governmental ethics matters. Her clients include elected and appointed government officials, candidates, PACs, ballot measure and recall campaigns, and government agencies.

Betty Ann's law firm, government agency, and non-profit organization professional background include positions in Sacramento and Southern California. She has served as the Ethics Program Consultant for the Metropolitan Water District, as a Senior Policy Analyst with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, as the Field & Legislative Director for the ACLU of Southern California, and as the Legislative Assistant for the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges. Prior to founding California Political Law, Inc., Betty Ann was a partner in another political law firm based in Los Angeles and specialized in all aspects of political law.

Betty Ann received her law degree from the University of Southern California and her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Davis. In 2005, her Guide to California State Lobbying Laws was published by CEB in its California Business Law Practitioner. Betty Ann is a frequent guest speaker for State Bar, political clubs and other organizations on a wide range of campaign finance, governmental ethics, lobbying and election laws topics.

Betty Ann is a past President of the California Political Attorneys Association and is a member of the California Political Treasurers Association. She is a past Chair of the State Bar Public Law Section Executive Committee and served as the Public Law Section representative to the Council of State Bar Sections. In 2001 and 2002, as an appointee of the Mayor and City Council, Betty Ann served on the City of Long Beach Ethics Review Task Force which was charged with developing an ethics code and program for the City of Long Beach.

Betty Ann has been a volunteer with the California YMCA Model Legislature & Court for more than 35 years and received the organization's Outstanding Service to Youth award in 1985. She also serves on the Board of her family's synagogue, Temple Beth Shalom of Long Beach. She lives in Long Beach with husband Larry Fell, and daughter Shoshana.

Emily A. Andrews


Emily AndrewsEmily 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 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.

Erika M. Boyd


Erika BoydErika M. Boyd is an associate with the firm's political compliance unit. She advises clients on compliance with state and federal campaign and election laws. Her clients include state and federal candidates and political committees, labor unions, nonprofit organizations, corporations and major donors.

Prior to joining Olson Hagel & Fishburn, Ms. Boyd practiced political law in the Bay Area. A veteran of numerous state and federal campaigns, she most recently served as the Deputy Finance Director for the 'No on Proposition 8' gay marriage initiative in 2008 and as a consultant on the 'Yes on 34' anti-death penalty initiative in 2012.

Ms. Boyd received her law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. While in law school she interned with the California State Senate, serving as a Committee Consultant for the Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee. Additionally, Ms. Boyd worked for the UC Center Sacramento, developing undergraduate coursework in law and public policy.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Cal Alumni Association.

Ms. Boyd is admitted to practice in California and New York and is a member of the California Political Attorneys Association.