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 president, and department representative on the Cal Cities Board of Directors.
The Cal Cities' Legal Department staff, including the general counsel, the assistant general counsel, the deputy general counsel, and the legal services manager, 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.
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 - David Ruderman (City Attorney, Lakeport)
- Environmental Quality - Gillian van Muyden (Chief Assistant City Attorney, Glendale)
- Governance, Transparency, and Labor Relations - Erica Vega (City Attorney, Eastvale)
- Housing, Community, and Economic Development - Susan Cola (Senior Special Projects Deputy City Attorney, Santa Monica)
- Public Safety - Timothy Davis (Partner, Burke, Williams & Sorensen LLP)
- Revenue and Taxation - Holly Whatley (Assistant City Attorney, South Pasadena, Ojai and Sierra Madre, Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley)
- Transportation, Communication, and Public Works - Robert Schultz (Town Attorney, Los Gatos)
- Attorney Development and Succession Committee
- Brown Act Committee
- California Public Records Act Committee
- Cannabis Regulation Committee
- Emergency Response Committee
- FPPC Committee
- Legal Advocacy Committee
- Municipal Finance Committee
- Municipal Law Handbook Committee
- Municipal Law Institute Committee
- Nominating Committee
- Search for City Attorneys Papers and Amicus Filings
- City Attorney Continuing Legal Education – Conferences
- Avoiding Total Disaster: The Law and Emergencies
- City Attorney Continuing Legal Education
- Nov. 5 Essential Hour: Your First Public Meeting – Brown Act Basics
- Aug. 13 Essential Hour: Your First Public Records Request Response
- Feb. 25: Turning the Tide: Successful Challenges of Municipal Storm Water Permit Requirements - (Webinar video) (Webinar slides)
- City Attorney Publications
- Seed to Sale: A Guide to Regulating Cannabis in California Cities (September 2021)
- Practicing Ethics: A Handbook for Municipal Lawyers (Revised 2nd Edition, 2020)
- The People's Business: A Guide to the California Public Records Act (April 2017)
- Counsel and Council: A Guide for Building a Productive Employment Relationship
- Open & Public V: A Guide to the Ralph M Brown Act (2016)
- Ralph M. Brown Act (as of January 1, 2016)
- LCC Technical Assistance Memorandum - Funding Stormwater Programs Under Proposition 218 (May 22, 2014)
- Ballot Measure Advocacy and the Law: Legal Issues Associated with Use of Public Resources for Ballot Measure Activities
- Rosenberg's Rules of Order: Simple Parliamentary Procedures for the 21st Century
- The California Municipal Law Handbook
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
September 22, 2021
Legal advocacy committee meeting
Essential Hour: Your First Public Meeting – Brown Act Basics
November 5, 2021 10:30 AM — 12:00 PMRegister Now
Presented by Cal Cities’ City Attorneys Department Attorney Development and Succession and Brown Act Committee
Overseeing your first public meeting as a municipal attorney can be a daunting experience. You might have read the Brown Act in preparation, but providing legal guidance in real time when you are in front of the public and media requires alertness to potential pitfalls, political astuteness, and confidence.
us for a presentation during which we will discuss Brown Act basics, offer tips
and suggestions through hypotheticals, and provide some suggested best
practices. This is a joint effort of the Brown Act Committee and the
Attorney Development and Succession Committee (Substantive Law Subcommittee) of
the City Attorneys Department.
The League of California Cities is a State Bar of California minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) approved provider. Cal Cities certified that this webinar meets the standards for participatory MCLE credit for registered attendees in the amount of 1 hour. Please note that participatory MCLE credit is only available to those who are registered to participate in the “live” webinar and Cal Cities is unable to provide credit to those who choose to view the webinar recording.
- Tracy Noonan, City Attorney, City of Thousand Oaks
- Noel Doran, Assistant City Attorney, City of Palmdale
- Thomas Jex, Burke Williams and Sorensen, LLP
- Cara Silver, Jorgenson, Siegel, McClure & Flegel
Registration is $50 for Cal Cities Members. Non-member cities and all others will be charged $150. Please note that registration is limited.
Register by Thursday, November 4 at 12 p.m. For questions, please contact Megan Dunn at email@example.com.