City of Palmdale


Come help us build a city. The City of Palmdale wants a leader who wants to translate legal expertise into a lasting legacy in a city that is hitting its stride. We are a fast-growing, open-minded city of 160,000, poised to become a model for how local government builds an interconnected, forward-thinking community, rich with options for visitors, businesses and residents. Our City Attorney will help us get there.

The City Attorney has the expertise to keep us on a path that is ethically and legally sound. This person shares our vision for the future and has the collaborative leadership style to make sure it includes all sorts of stakeholders. If you’re an innovative leader ready to unite a community bound for greatness, the City of Palmdale is the place for you. Come help us build the future.

The vision for how you will help build the future

The City of Palmdale’s City Attorney is a servant leader with stellar integrity, excellent communication skills, sound managerial experience, and the ability to solve problems with creative solutions.

This is a leader who can work collaboratively and transparently with stakeholders, ensuring our City’s legal protections and ethical standards are not compromised. We need a professional who will boldly advocate for what is best for the City, and energetically help us build a fruitful future for our residents, businesses and stakeholders.

As our chief legal advisor, the City Attorney represents and advises the City Council, city staff and several regional organizations — including the airport, housing and civic authorities. This typically includes: open meeting and public records laws; conflicts of interests; land use and environmental laws; claims and litigation; municipal elections; employment and labor relations; municipal utilities; procurement and other internal services; code enforcement; and resolutions, ordinances, and other legal documents.

The City Attorney represents the City of Palmdale with the utmost professionalism — and understands and embraces our vision for the future. The City Attorney is excited to lay the foundation today for the city we want tomorrow.

Where you fit in

The City Attorney is appointed by a majority of the City Council. The City Attorney oversees a team of approximately four employees, composed of an Assistant City Attorney, professional experts, and supportive clerical staff.

For questions, please contact Senior Resources Analyst, Garrett Rickert at

Examples of essential duties

Empower informed decisions: Attend all City Council meetings and other city meetings as needed, weighing in with ethical guidance as City Council and staff have questions; interpret past court rulings to help City Council and staff understand legal implications; offer solutions and viable options based on legal expertise; lead research to form legal opinions for City Council and staff.

Advocate for Palmdale: Protect and champion the City, its agencies, officials, and employees on matters of public business and interest; represent the City at legal proceedings and meetings as needed; supervise insurance and risk management matters for the City; ensure that all city laws are enforced; work to protect and minimize the City’s liability both proactively and when claims and/or lawsuits are filed; and defend the City in litigation and recoup losses when required.

Ensure legal integrity: Prepare, review and revise all city ordinances, contracts, agreements, and other legally binding documents; review and respond to City staff requests for civil legal advice; review and respond to City Council or City Manager requests for legal advice or services; supervise and coordinate the provision of legal services to the City by outside counsel; and review City Council and other committee and commission agendas to insure compliance with Open Meeting law.

Drive excellence: Work closely with the City Manager and agency leaders to define and accomplish strategic goals and objectives; oversee the preparation of annual department budget, ensuring it is in line with agency standards and expectations; and sets direction, goals, objectives, and priorities for the City Attorney’s Office.

Foster team performance: Select, train, and motivate team members for exceptional performance; evaluate and review work in alignment with department and City standards; coach staff, provide counsel, and/or implement progressive discipline and termination procedures if necessary; respond to questions and concerns; support staff development; and inspire excellence.

Be responsive: Address complaints and inquiries by the media and the public concerning the City’s legal procedures and position in pending legal matters; remains available at all times for consultation, and advises on legal matters by the City Council, City Manager or City staff.

Experience & Training

Any combination of experience and training that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the required knowledge and abilities would be:


  • Ten years of experience in the practice of law; five or more years of practice in California municipal or public sector law is desirable.


  • Juris Doctorate from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association.

License or Certificate

  • Active membership in the State Bar of California.
  • Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid California driver’s license and legally required vehicle insurance. Must also be able to meet driving record standards set by the city’s driving policy.

Minimum Qualifications

Expertise in municipal law: The City Attorney will have an expert legal principles and practices, including civil, criminal, constitutional, and administrative law and procedures. The City Attorney will be versed in tort law and liability insurance litigation, judicial procedures and rules of evidence. The City Attorney will also conduct legal research and prepare sound legal opinions and will therefore need to be well versed in the methods of legal research.

Foundational knowledge of local government: The City Attorney must know the duties, powers, limitations, and authority of City government and the City Attorney’s Office. The ideal candidate will have experience in drafting and negotiating contracts and other documents in a variety of subject matter areas related to utilities, transportation, inter-governmental transactions, and/or procurement. To be successful, the City Attorney will need to understand the City’s political environment and sensitivities, and function effectively within that environment.

Exceptional communication skills. The City Attorney must convey issues and recommendations on major issues requiring policy direction to appropriate advisory bodies and to the City Council. This position will require a high degree of skill in delivering effective oral presentations and arguments in a public setting.

Proven management ability. Experienced in team management, running the day-to-day operations of a municipal attorney’s office and supervising the work of outside counsel. Able to provide supervision, leadership, mentoring, and growth opportunities for the staff in the City Attorney’s office.

Working Conditions

The City Attorney works in a temperature-controlled office environment with typical office noise. The position requires occasional overtime; however, weekend work and travel are rare.

Physical and mental requirements


  • Frequent use of keyboard; frequent sitting for long periods of time; occasional climbing, bending and squatting – and the ability to balance legal counsel and public need simultaneously.


Frequently up to 10 pounds; occasionally up to 40 pounds – and always holding the city up to the highest ethical standards.


  • Constant use of overall vision; frequent reading and close-up work; occasional color and depth vision – and a strong vision for the future.


  • Frequent repetitive motion; frequent writing; frequent grasping, holding, and reaching – and the flexibility keen powers of observation.


  • Frequent decision-making and concentration; frequent public and/or coworker contact; occasional working alone – and the emotional intelligence needed to apply the law fairly and with the public good in mind.


  • Frequent exposure to noise – and the ability to cut through noise to deliver the city of the future.
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