City Attorney, Michael E. Gates

Mission

To provide the best representation to the City in all legal matters and before administrative bodies, and to provide excellent, effective legal counsel and services to the City Council and to all officers of the City, and provide superior representation for the City in court litigation and prosecutions on behalf of the people, violations of the City Charter and Municipal Code.

Responsibilities

The Office of the City Attorney represents and advises the City Council and all City officials in matters of law pertaining to the business of the City of Huntington Beach. Among other things, the City Attorney prepares and/or reviews all City ordinances, resolutions, contracts and other legal documents; attends City Council, Planning Commission, City Staff and other meetings.  The City Attorney also prosecutes on behalf of the people criminal cases arising from violation of the provisions of the City Charter or Huntington Beach Municipal Code, and such state misdemeanors as the City has the power to prosecute.  This office also administers the Administrative Citation Program, see Frequently Asked Questions.

Personnel

The City Attorney’s Office consists of an elected City Attorney, a Chief Assistant City Attorney, two Assistant City Attorneys, two Sr. Deputy City Attorneys, a Deputy City Attorney, and four support staff.  The City Attorney’s Office has two divisions: Litigation Services and Municipal Services.

Mike Vigliotta

Practice Areas, Background and Experience
Mr. Vigliotta presently serves as the Chief Assistant City Attorney for the City of Huntington Beach. He directly assists the City Attorney in supervising and overseeing the operations of the City Attorney’s office.  In the absence of the City Attorney, Mr. Vigliotta assumes all of the responsibilities of the City Attorney, including advising City Council and City Administration.  He is charged with overseeing legal matters for Planning and Building, City Clerk's Office, Community Services, Finance, Public Works and Library departments.

Prior to becoming Chief Assistant, Mr. Vigliotta’s near fifteen year practice has focused exclusively on municipal law .  His most recent positions included counsel to the Huntington Beach Planning Commission and Planning and Building Department, in which he advised on various land use and environmental legal issues, and prepared necessary legislation, among other tasks.  Prior to serving as counsel to the Planning Commission and Department, Mr. Vigliotta’s practice included the area of labor and employment law, where he advised all city departments on issues relating to employee discipline, discrimination, harassment, wages and hours, family and medical leave, disability, and labor law. He also participated in the negotiation of memorandums of understanding with employee unions, as well as the drafting of employee contracts and providing training to city management and staff on various employment related issues.

Prior to joining the City Attorney's office in 2005, Mr. Vigliotta was employed by the City of Santa Ana a Deputy City Attorney. In Santa Ana, Mr. Vigliotta provided general counsel to various city departments on such issues as utility user and hotel visitor tax and fees, election matters, open meeting laws, conflict of interest and ethics regulations. In addition, Mr. Vigliotta prosecuted code enforcement matters and provided litigation support regarding law and motion for specialized litigation matters.

Professional Affiliations
Mr. Vigliotta is admitted to practice law in California and before the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Education
Mr. Vigliotta is a graduate of the Chapman University School of Law (J.D.), and Gannon University (B.A., Political Science).

Scott Field

Practice Areas, Background and Experience
Mr. Field presently serves as the Assistant City Attorney supervising the Litigation Division of the City Attorney's Office. The Litigation Division handles all phases of all civil litigation matters involving the City and Redevelopment Agency, including pre-trial discovery, law and motion, trial, and appeal.

Mr. Field joined the City Attorney's Office as a Deputy City Attorney in 1995. Prior to joining the City Attorney's Office, Mr. Field was a partner at Burke, Williams & Sorensen, a law firm specializing in the representation of public agencies throughout California, where he served as City Attorney for the Cities of Temecula (1989-94) and Mission Viejo (1988-90).

Professional Affiliations
Mr. Field is admitted to practice law in California, and before the United States District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Education
Mr. Field is a graduate of UCLA School of Law (J.D.), and the University of California, Berkeley (B.A., Economics).

Brian L. Williams

Practice Areas, Background and Experience

Mr. Williams serves as Senior Trial Counsel making him responsible for handling and overseeing all Civil lawsuits brought against, and on behalf of, the City. Prior to joining the City, Mr. Williams was a Shareholder at Sullivan Ballog & Williams, LLP. Throughout his entire career, Mr. Williams has focused on the defense of lawsuits involving Catastrophic Injury, Wrongful Death, Police Practices, and Employment Litigation. He was previously designated as Regional Trial Counsel by several insurance companies, and has thus handled trials throughout the State of California, in both State and Federal Courts.

Professional Affiliations
Mr. Williams is a member and active participant in many professional organizations, including the Federal of Defense and Corporate Counsel, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, and the Orange County Bar Association. He has participated as an invited speaker in the areas of trial practice and litigation handling at various attorney gatherings and continuing education seminars. He is admitted to practice law in California, as well as before the United States District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Education
Mr. Williams obtained his law degree from Chapman University School of Law, where he graduated Cum Laude. During law school, Mr. Williams was a Member of the Chapman Law Review and the Appellate Moot Court Honors Board. He also served as a full-time Judicial Extern for the Honorable Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Notable Links

Shenkma v. City of Huntington Beach City Letter Response to Violation of CVRA

Kennedy Commission v. City of Huntington Beach Court of Appeal Final Descision

City's Letter to SCAG re RHNA

City of Huntington Beach v. The State of California ref SB54

Briscoe v. City of HB Court of Appeal City's Petition for Extraordinary Writ of Mandamus

Kennedy Commission CA Supreme Court City's Response Kennedy's Petition for Review

The Kennedy Commission V. City of Huntington Beach



 

P.O. Box 190
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach, California 92648
Telephone (714) 536-5555 Fax (714) 374-1590

Did you know?

The Planning Division offers Second Opinion Services should you feel you need further clarification or additional confirmation regarding your zoning matter.


Contact Information

City of Huntington Beach
City Attorney Office
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA
Phone: (714) 536-5555
Fax: (714) 374-1590
Email:
Staff Directory

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