A&A: County Bar Association and the CPRA and Brown Act

Q: I am reading the Attorney General opinion concerning the private cable company that must comply with open meeting and records requests — would this apply to a local County Bar Association which has been delegated certain county functions.  It would seem to me that it would; but they are taking a very aggressive stance with me as I try to ask these questions.

A: It sounds like you are talking about the 2002 AG opinion that held that the requirements of the Brown Act and PRA apply to the meetings and records of a private, nonprofit corporation formed for the purpose of providing programming for a cable television channel set aside for educational use by a cable operator pursuant to its franchise agreement with a city and subsequently designated by the city to provide the programming services.  85 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 55.
As noted in that opinion, the Brown Act defines “legislative body” to include:
A board, commission, committee, or other multimember body that governs a private corporation or entity that either:
(A) Is created by the elected legislative body in order to exercise authority that may lawfully be delegated by the elected governing body to a private corporation or entity.
(B) Receives funds from a local agency and the membership of whose governing body includes a member of the legislative body of the local agency appointed to that governing body as a full voting member by the legislative body of the local agency.
Cal. Govt. Code Section 54952(c)(1).  The PRA explicitly provides that “nonprofit entities that are legislative bodies of a local agency” pursuant to Section 54952(c) are “local agencies” subject to the PRA.

Accordingly, a local county bar association may be subject to both the PRA and Brown Act if it was (1) created by an elected legislative body to exercise authority that the body could have exercised or (2) receives funds from a local agency and has as a member of its legislative body a member of the local agency’s legislative body as a full voting member.  If you already know that a local agency has delegated certain of its functions to the bar association, it would be useful to know whether the agency created the bar association in order to exercise those functions.