Mountain View, CA (May 18, 2017) – Fenwick & West is pleased to announce an important victory for renter protection and affordable housing secured in partnership with the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Stanford Community Law Clinic and the Public Interest Law Project.
Through the advocacy of Fenwick, Law Foundation and their other partner organizations, the City of Mountain View has obtained a complete victory in a lawsuit from the California Apartment Association (CAA) and a number of institutional landlords that challenged Measure V, the city’s new rent stabilization and just cause eviction measure.
Shortly after voters passed Measure V in November 2016, CAA sued to block the law from taking effect. Fenwick, along with the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, the Stanford Community Law Clinic, and the Public Interest Law Project, stepped in to represent a group of Mountain View voters, tenants, and organizations.
“As a member of the Mountain View community, Fenwick believes it is important to protect the city where we work—and where many of our employees and clients live—from being subjected to unreasonable rent increases and unjust evictions,” said Patrick Premo, litigation partner and chair of Fenwick’s Pro Bono Program. “We were honored to help secure this victory, an important step toward ensuring all have access to affordable housing.”
“This is a complete victory for the City of Mountain View and a critical win for Mountain View residents, including the most marginalized in our community,” said Nadia Aziz, Senior Attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. “We were thankful to have Fenwick’s excellent support in ensuring Mountain View tenants do not have to live in fear of unfair rent increases and evictions.”
The Fenwick team successfully opposed CAA and the institutional landlord-intervenors’ motion for preliminary injunction. Together, the CAA and the landlord-intervenors had raised well over fifty challenges to Measure V, including many claims under the U.S. and California Constitutions.
The Fenwick team argued against these claims, highlighting that rent control had been upheld by both the California and U.S. Supreme Courts. They also stressed the potential harm to Mountain View residents should the measure be enjoined pending a resolution on the merits.
On April 5, 2017, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Elfving denied the preliminary injunction, preserving Mountain View’s new rent control laws.
On May 5, 2017, the CAA dropped the lawsuit (and a similar challenge to rent control in the City of Richmond), informing members to comply with Measure V, and the landlord-intervenors followed in also dismissing their complaint. The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley is monitoring ongoing compliance with Measure V, and is responding to questions and complaints from tenants in Mountain View.
The Fenwick team handling the case included Armen Nercessian, who argued on behalf of the Mountain View voters, tenants, and organizations at the preliminary injunction hearing, as well as Rodger Cole, Carly Bittman, Marti Guidoux, Valerie Schmitt, Donna Skarloken and Adrienne Wilson. The litigation team also includes Nadia Aziz and Thomas Zito with the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Juliet Brodie with the Stanford Community Law Clinic, and Mike Rawson and Craig Castellanet of the Public Interest Law Firm.
About Fenwick & West
Fenwick & West LLP provides comprehensive legal services to ground-breaking technology and life sciences companies—at every stage of their lifecycle—and the investors that partner with them. We craft innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions on issues ranging from venture capital, public offerings, joint ventures, M&A and strategic relationships, to intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, taxation, antitrust, and employment and labor law. For more than four decades, Fenwick has helped some of the world's most recognized companies become and remain market leaders. For more information, please visit fenwick.com.
About Law Foundation of Silicon Valley
The Law Foundation of Silicon Valley uses the law as a tool for change to address problems linked to social injustices like poverty, discrimination, and child abuse and neglect. Every day, our attorneys, social workers and advocates craft inventive solutions to the life-changing legal issues facing low-income families in Silicon Valley. We serve more than 10,000 individuals and families each year through five key programs: Fair Housing Law Project, Health Legal Services, Legal Advocates for Children & Youth, Mental Health Advocacy Project and Public Interest Law Firm. For more information, please visit lawfoundation.org.