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In a ruling cheered by cities and counties around the state, the California Supreme Court on Monday held that government contractors must give local agencies a chance to settle their legal beefs before suing for breach of contract.

The court’s unanimous decision in City of Stockton v. Superior Court (Civic Partners Stockton LLC), 07 C.D.O.S. 13723, clarifies the path public contractors must follow in seeking damages. The state’s appellate courts have offered conflicting rulings on the issue since the Legislature enacted laws governing claims against local entities in 1963.

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