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Litigation Support

Legally-Compliant Rates and Charges

HF&H helps agencies verify that the rates or assessments they are paying or charging are compliant with the California Constitution and that each rate reflects the cost to provide such service.  Our expert opinions and testimonies have resulted in million dollar settlements for agencies that have challenged the accuracy of rate or assessments they are being charged.

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Expert Testimony

We provide our expert witness testimony services in cases relating to wholesale and retail water rates, groundwater replenishment assessments, groundwater extraction charges, sewer rates, and storm drain fees and charges.  More specifically, we support the attorneys of public agencies by providing advisory opinions on the accuracy and reasonableness of their clients’ rate-setting methodologies and assumptions.

Rate and Fee Litigation Support

Our core business is setting Proposition 218-compliant retail water and sewer rates for public agencies throughout California.  As such, HF&H provides support to public agencies and their legal counsel, when faced with legal challenges to the agencies’ rates.  Additionally, we conduct peer reviews of rates set by staff or other consultants or perform additional analyses of rates set by our own rate studies.

HF&H never hides our methodology through the use of “black box” spreadsheets that only allow input/output of certain information, but whose internal formulas and methodologies remain hidden from the end user. Instead, our approach ensures clear, concise, and unbiased findings, which are easily understood and well documented, allow the presiding judge to make a well-informed decision.

Contract Negotiations and Compliance

The wholesale cost of water is typically the largest expense facing water agencies throughout California.  HF&H provides negotiation support for agencies’ water supply contracts. Our focus is on supply and cost allocations – ensuring that the agency receives a fair allocation of water at a reasonable price.

Do You Have Tiered Water Rates?  Are You Facing Potential Litigation?

The dozens of water rate studies we have conducted have never been successfully challenged in court.  Our studies develop tiered water rates, which reflect the actual cost of service for the incremental levels of water use. When you hire HF&H, you can rest assured that you will have a well-established administrative record should your agency’s rates ever be called into question or legally challenged.

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Client Success Stories