Ronald W. Beals

Ronald W. Beals
Firm: California Department of Transportation
Address: 1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95807
Phone: (916) 654-5266
Web site:

Position Litigation Percentage Bar Admissions
Education Published Works Affiliations
Representative Clients Representative Cases
Lawyer Profile:

RONALD W. BEALS is the Chief Counsel of the Caltrans Legal Division, managing a staff of 140 attorneys and 100 investigators, paralegals, secretaries, claims officers and administrative personnel.

Caltrans Legal was formed by a Governor’s Order in 1911, and is the only state office that handles all its own legal affairs including all litigation and transactional work.  The office is regarded as the nation’s premier government transportation legal office.

Ron has an extensive background both at Caltrans and in the private sector.  Beginning as a “junior attorney” fresh out of law school, he spent over 5 years with the Department, primarily handling eminent domain, outdoor advertising, and airspace lease matters.  After handling over 200 outdoor advertising matters, he was hired by Gannett Outdoor Advertising, eventually being appointed Vice President/Legal Counsel for Gannett Outdoor of California.  After Gannett sold its outdoor advertising division, he returned to Caltrans, where he played a major role in developing the state’s successful telecommunication facility license program and handled eminent domain and personnel actions.

In 2002 he was promoted to Assistant Chief Counsel for Transportation and Personnel Law, heading the Legal’s Division’s efforts in legislation, personnel, outdoor advertising, aeronautics, mass transportation, and railroad matters.  He was appointed to his present position in January, 2009.

A nationally recognized expert in outdoor advertising regulation and valuation, he has spoken at numerous national conferences and seminars and is the attorney of record in numerous published appellate decisions.

Ron graduated from the College of San Mateo (A. A.), the University of California at Santa Barbara (B. A. History, Phi Beta Kappa) and the University of California at Berkeley (J. D., John Woodward Ayer Fellowship).  He and his wife Shelley live in Sacramento.

Current Employment Position(s):
Legal Chief Counsel, since 2009

Litigation Percentage:
5% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Bar Admissions:
California, 1972
U.S. Supreme Court, 1976
University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California, 1972
J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence
Honors: John Woodward Ayer Fellowship

University of California, Santa Barbara, California, 1969
A.B., Bachelor of Arts
Honors: With High Honors
Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
Major: History

College of San Mateo
A. A.

Published Works:
Highway Bids Public Law News, Summer, 1983

From Monterey to San Diego Public Law News, Fall, 1982

If You Go To Court Signs of Our Times, December, 1978

Billboards - A Unique Appraisal Problem Compensable Business Loss Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, July/Aug., 1992

Representative Cases:
Metromedia, Inc. v. City of San Diego, 592 P.2d 728 (Cal. 1979)
People ex rel. Dept. Public Works v. Golden Rule Church Ass'n, 122 Cal.Rptr. 596 (Cal.App. 1 Dist. 1975)
People ex rel. Dept. of Public Works v. Ryan Outdoor Advertising, Inc., 114 Cal.Rptr. 499 (Cal.App. 5 Dist. 1974)
People ex rel. Dept. of Transp. v. Desert Outdoor Advertising, Inc., 137 Cal.Rptr. 221 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 1977)
People By and Through Dept. of Transp. v. Hadley Fruit Orchards, Inc., 130 Cal.Rptr. 287 (Cal.App. 4 Dist. 1976)
Representative Clients:
California State Outdoor Advertising Association
Gannett Outdoor Co.
Professional Associations and Memberships:
State Bar, 1981 - 1984
Public Law Section, Executive Committee

State Bar, 1980 - 1981
Public Law Section, Chair, Land Use Committee

California State University, Sacramento, Instructor, 1983 - 1985
Communication Law

Past Employment Positions:
Gannett Outdoor of California, Vice President/Legal Counsel

California Department of Transportation, Assistant Chief Counsel

Phi Beta Kappa
Birth Information:
1947, San Francisco, California, United States of America

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