James M. Donich, Director

James M. Donich
Phone: (714) 415-1015
Fax: (714) 415-1115
Email: jdonich@woodruff.law
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Practice Areas

Practice Description

James Donich’s practices focus almost exclusively on transportation law.  He has over 20 years of experience representing and advising public transportation clients on the entire scope of issues related to public transportation, including, but not limited to, bus operations, paratransit, commuter rail, light rail, toll roads, taxi operations, airport issues, freeway construction and megaprojects.

Mr. Donich handles a wide range of issues that confront public transportation agencies, including compliance with federal/state transportation laws and regulations; federal grant requirements, including New Starts; drafting procurement documents; proposal review and consideration; bid protests; the negotiation of contracts and resolution of disputes; advising agencies regarding all aspects of passenger rail service including quiet zones, rail stations and shared use agreements; bus operations including paratransit and contracted fixed route services; transit fare issues and collective bargaining agreements.  In addition, Mr. Donich has a wealth of experience in the public construction field, including, but not limited to, the drafting of Invitations for Bid for both traditional design-bid-build and design-build projects, project management, claims avoidance, bond and surety issues, contract and claim mediation, financing, and subcontractor issues.

Mr. Donich also has experience addressing transportation issues related to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Title VI Compliance, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) requirements, the California Public Utilities Code and the California Public Contract Code.

Mr. Donich also has expertise in addressing legal issues common to public entities in general, such as the Ralph M. Brown Act, the Political Reform Act and the Public Records Act.

Professional Activities

Mr. Donich is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Legal Affairs Committee and has spoken at the Committee’s conferences on a wide range of topics including Section 13(c) labor issues, rolling stock procurements and rail issues.

Representative Matters

Mr. Donich currently serves as General Counsel to the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor Agency.


  • University of Connecticut School of Law (J.D., 2001)
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (B.A., 1996)