city attorney

Endorsement: Hydee Feldstein Soto for Los Angeles city attorney

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

Read the rest

San Diego sues former lawyer, law firm after losing $3.9 million wrongful-termination case

Months after losing a wrongful-termination lawsuit filed by one of its longtime prosecutors, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office has sued the outside law firm and one of its then-lawyers for malpractice and other alleged lapses.

City Attorney Mara Elliott is suing lawyer William Price and Burke, Williams & Sorensen, the firm she hired to defend against a case brought by former assistant city attorney Marlea Dell’Anno.

The lawsuit, filed last week in San Diego Superior Court, accuses the firm and its former partner of mishandling the case, which earlier this year ended with a $3.9 million jury verdict against the city.

“Defendants breached the duty of an attorney to discharge duties faithfully to the best of their knowledge and ability,” the suit says. “As a direct, foreseeable and proximate result of defendants’ conduct, the city has suffered substantial economic losses.”

Neither Burke nor Price responded to requests for comment on the allegations.

According to the suit, Price was defending the city in

Read the rest

Former Rep. John Lesch apologizes to St. Paul City Attorney Lyndsey Olson after legal settlement – Twin Cities

A four-year legal defamation case between St. Paul City Attorney Lyndsey Olson and former St. Paul lawmaker has been settled out of court. Terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, but John Lesch, a former state representative, has written Olson a letter of apology and shared it with St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s office.

Olson will receive an undisclosed amount of money from Lesch as well.

“I appreciate the closure the letter brings,” said Olson on Friday. “Receiving an apology is the right result.”

The lawsuit centered around allegedly disparaging remarks that Lesch made about Olson in January 2018, in a wide-ranging letter to then newly-elected St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter listing reasons why Olson would be a bad choice for city attorney.

Lesch, who had previously served in the city attorney’s office and alongside Olson in the Minnesota National Guard, called into question her reputation within the MN Guard’s Judge Advocate General corps. He also asked the mayor for Olson’s disciplinary history within the Guard.

Carter ignored Lesch’s advice and, a few weeks later, Olson sued Lesch for defamation. She argued that he had gone too far in both contacting her employer and raising unsubstantiated claims about

Read the rest