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San Fernando : City Approves New Attorney, Law Firm

The city of San Fernando has hired a new law firm and a new city attorney to advise the municipality in legal matters.

This week, San Fernando’s City Council voted to approve the selection of the Los Angeles law firm Richards, Watson & Gershon, and selected Michael Estrada as the city’s new legal counsel.

The city’s previous attorney, C. Edward Dilkes, had been with San Fernando since January.

Dilkes’ hiring earlier this year caused a minor flap on the City Council because two council members, Rosa Chacon and Raul Godinez, did not participate in the selection process. Chacon said at the time that she declined to participate, and Godinez was called out of the country on a family emergency during the selection period.

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When he returned, Godinez said that he believed the city’s previous attorney, Julia Sylva of the law firm Ochoa & Sillas, had been unfairly terminated.

City Administrator Mary Strenn said part of what led to Monday’s vote to select a new city attorney was Dilkes’ departure from his former law firm, Alvarez-Glasman & Colvin, to the new firm hired by the city.

Richards, Watson & Gershon represents many municipalities in the Los Angeles area, including Agoura Hills, Beverly Hills, Palmdale, Malibu and Compton, Strenn said.

In addition to representing the City Council, Estrada will provide legal counsel to the city’s Redevelopment Agency, Parking Authority and Public Financing Authority.

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