Gene Livingston founded Livingston & Mattesich in 1982 to represent clients in their interactions with the State of California. Gene was among the first attorneys in Sacramento to provide experienced and effective advocacy in all forums of public decision-making: the Legislature, regulatory agencies, and the courts. In February 1998, California Lawyer magazine named Gene one of the ten most "powerful lawyer-lobbyists in Sacramento" and noted, "Livingston was appointed by the Governor as the first director of California's Office of Administrative Law. The Office was created in 1980 to review all state agency regulations, to reduce their number and improve their quality. The experience gave Livingston an insider's view of every state agency." Gene has effectively combined his insider's knowledge of state government, litigation experience, knowledge of the Legislature, state agencies, and the courts to the full advantage of his clients. His philosophy of tailoring services to the exact needs of each client remains a central theme.
Today, Gene is recognized as a go-to-person to address relationships and legislation in the California Legislature, to affect proposed regulations, and to challenge agency actions in court. In addition to being an authority on the rule-making process, he is front and center, representing individual clients and business associations, on the implementation of California’s green chemistry law, also known as the safer consumer products regulation, and continues to be heavily involved in Proposition 65, a practice he began in 1986, the year the initiative passed.
Further, Gene advises and represents his business and trade association clients on legislation affecting business, other environmental regulatory issues at Cal-EPA, such as VOCs in consumer products, insurance legislation and regulations, and public contracts.
While Gene works hard to achieve public policy results favorable to his clients, litigation is necessary at times. He handles court challenges to legislation on constitutional grounds, to regulations lacking legal authority, to administrative actions without a scientific, factual or legal basis, and to public contracts for procedural violations. His reputation and experience as a litigator furthers his credibility as a public policy advocate.
Prior to founding the firm, Gene held a number of governmental and academic appointments. He served in two gubernatorial-appointed and state senate-confirmed positions in California state government. As the first director of the California Office of Administrative Law from 1980 to 1982, he organized the office charged with reviewing all state agency regulations. Under Gene's leadership, new regulations adopted by the 124 state agencies were cut by 50%, over 11,000 pages of existing regulations were evaluated with 24% targeted for elimination, and another 33% changed to conform to the law. The Legislature and the business community hailed the Office of Administrative Law as a unique success in state government.
For five years before organizing the Office of Administrative Law, Gene served as Chief Deputy Director and then acting Director of the California Employment Development Department, an agency with 15,000 employees and a budget of $2.5 billion. He operated several major programs, including the collection of unemployment, disability insurance and state income taxes and the payment of unemployment and disability insurance benefits.