For their next city attorney, Los Angeles voters will choose between two outsiders with very different legal backgrounds and different ideas of how to serve as the city’s lawyer.
Neither Faisal Gill, who took the lead in the June primary, nor second-place finisher Hydee Feldstein Soto have worked in City Hall or held political office in Los Angeles. That’s somewhat unusual. The city attorney’s office has often been seen by politicians as another rung on the ladder to higher office, including mayor, even though it’s an underappreciated and often-misunderstood position.
In the primary, we recommended Feldstein Soto as the best candidate because she would bring deep legal expertise and independence to the job. And we still think she is the right choice in the Nov. 8 general election.
Feldstein Soto was a partner in corporate law firms with specialties in bankruptcy and acquisitions. It was complex work that required collaboration and problem-solving to finalize deals, which is good training for city government. She managed teams of lawyers with different specialties, much like the city attorney’s office of 500-plus lawyers.
Unlike the county’s district attorney, which is primarily a prosecutorial role, the city attorney wears many hats that require