Yesterday, a petition for review was filed in County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (Atlantic Richfield Co.), no. S163681. Many thanks to the blog reader who notified me of this and forwarded copies of the petition for review and the accompanying motion for judicial notice.
In County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (Atlantic Richfield Co.), 161 Cal.App.4th 1140 (2008), the Court of Appeal (Sixth Appellate District) held that public entities may hire outside counsel to represent them on a contingency-fee basis in "ordinary civil cases," so long as the contingency-fee agreements do not purport to delegate the public entities' discretionary decision-making power to private attorneys with a financial stake. For a more detailed discussion of the Santa Clara decision, see this blog post.