The City Attorneys Department is comprised of the attorneys that represent Cal Cities’ member cities. The department president is generally responsible for the department’s work, assisted by the first vice president, second vice presidents, and department representative on the Cal Cities Board of Directors.  


Department Goals and Activities

The Cal Cities' Legal Department staff, including the general counsel, the assistant general counsel, the senior deputy general counsel, and the executive assistant, legal services, assists the officers in implementing the department’s goals:  

  • Advance the purposes and goals of Cal Cities;
  • Support and encourage high-quality legal advice to and representation of California cities by producing conferences, continuing education programs, and other works of interest in the field of municipal law;
  • Foster the professional development and enrichment of Department members by providing the opportunity to exchange ideas, consult with one another and meet with persons in or associated with municipal law;
  • Encourage the continued advancement of city attorneys by supporting professional accomplishment and adherence to high ethical standards;
  • Serve as a technical and advisory department to Cal Cities, including analysis of pending legislation and litigation; and
  • Advance the interest of cities by helping to improve, shape and develop municipal law through Cal Cities' Legal Advocacy Program and legislative advocacy efforts.
Department Officers
President - Joseph Montes, City Attorney, Alhambra, San Marino, and Santa Clarita
First Vice President - Susana Alcala Wood, City Attorney, Sacramento
Second Vice President - Roxanne Diaz, City Attorney, Hidden Hills, Maywood and South Pasadena
Second Vice President - Prasanna Rasiah, City Attorney, San Mateo
Department Director - Christine Dietrick, City Attorney, San Luis Obispo
Policy Committee Representatives

Appointed by the department president, the City Attorneys Department has at least one representative on each of Cal Cities' policy committees. Representatives provide technical information to the committee, ensure that the department has a voice in the decision-making process, and help make recommendations to the board of directors on legislative and policy issues. 

  • Community Services - Benjamin Jones (Assistant City Attorney, Carson) 
  • Environmental Quality - Candice Lee (City Attorney, Agoura Hills and Covina) 
  • Governance, Transparency, and Labor Relations - Katherine Mirassou (Deputy City Attorney, Livermore)
  • Housing, Community, and Economic Development - Walter Chung (City Attorney, Vista)
  • Public Safety - Brigid Martin (Deputy City Attorney, Oakland) 
  • Revenue and Taxation - Kendall DeMatteo Levan (Senior Principal Attorney, Kane, Ballmer & Berkman)  
  • Transportation, Communication, and Public Works - Brian Pierik (City Attorney, Atascadero, the City of Carmel by-the-Sea, and the City of Pacific Grove)
City Attorney Community
The California City Attorneys Community is a web-based community for the use of eligible attorneys who represent cities that are members of the League of California Cities (Cal Cities). Eligible users can login or signup to access the Community here.

To confirm eligibility, please review the User Agreement for the Community. If you have questions about the Community or your account, please send an email to
Department Resources
  • Search for City Attorneys Papers and Amicus Filings
  • City Attorney Bylaws
  • City Attorney Continuing Legal Education –  Conferences
  • City Attorney Continuing Legal Education 
  • City Attorney Publications

  • Legal Advocacy

    Laws affecting cities are made in the courts, as well as in the Legislature. Consequently, Cal Cities advocacy efforts extend to the appellate courts. The organization weighs in on legal issues where its participation is likely to help advance the legal interests of all California cities. Learn more about our Legal Advocacy efforts and committee or request amicus support.

    Upcoming Department Meetings

    October 17, 2024

    Department Business Meeting
    Annual Conference & Expo, Long Beach

    Upcoming Events


    October 16-18, 2024
    Annual Conference and Expo


    May 7-9, 2025
    City Attorneys Spring Conference

    View All >

    Contact Staff

    Sheri Chapman
    General Counsel

    Emily Taylor
    Senior Deputy General Counsel

    Kurt Wendlenner
    Assistant General Counsel

    Leonard, Janet
    Janet Leonard
    Executive Assistant, Legal Services
    (916) 658-8276