RACE FOR THE CITY ATTORNEY
Name: Ron Davis
Occupation: Attorney at law
Family: Married to Karen; two adult children by prior marriage;
four grandchildren and one on the way
Community activities: Previously very involved with Downtown
issues and the Downtown Subcommittee; drafted ordinances, licenses
agreements, enforcement memos to the police department, represented
four council members in AES litigation, all as a volunteer; member
Chamber of Commerce and American Legion.
Education: Bachelor's with high honors from Cal State Los Angeles;
doctorate from UCLA.
Favorite leader: Winston Churchill.
Contact information: (714) 969-1239; fax 960-8998
* Saving money in the City Attorney's Office
Create and train a trial department so that the office does not
have to rely on costly outside attorneys. To the extent that outside
attorneys have to be employed, the office still needs to limit their
involvement to essential tasks -- i.e., there are basic court
appearances and fundamental motions and filings that can be done
through the City Attorney's Office to save fees while still employing
outside counsel. Further, outside counsel's billings and approach
needs to be supervised by an experienced litigator to determine the
appropriateness of their work and their billing.
Better legal advice, and at times proactive legal advice, can
prevent lawsuits. Better, appropriate research would have
demonstrated that the city would lose the Jarvis litigation, the
Brindle-Thomas lawsuit and countless others. A proactive approach
would have warned the council that they could not allow sewage to
leak into the ground in the Downtown.
Further, reviewing the city's energy contract would have disclosed
that the city could not get out of the contract for five years after
notice of termination was given. The council should have been warned
that they would probably only seek to terminate the contract once
they had been repeatedly interrupted and when there was a prospect of
future interruptions. Because of the five-year requirement, the city
would be exposed to five years of interruptions and penalties.
* Running the City Attorney's Office more efficiently
There must be accountability and performance standards set for the
deputies. While it is the rule in government attorney's offices that
lawyers do not keep timesheets, there still is an indirect method of
monitoring how long it takes a given lawyer to produce the work
product. I intend to have work assigned with a budget of hours. Thus,
10 assignments each with a budget of 4 hours, should take a lawyer 40
work hours to complete. I would expect a professional, competent work
product within the allotted hours, or some very, very good "why not"
* The biggest challenge that faces the new city attorney
Overcoming the complacency and government work ethic that
permeates the office. Developing an effective trial department will
also take time.
* The most important lawsuits facing the city
Since City Atty. Gail Hutton does not readily disclose all
litigation pending against the city, that is difficult to answer. We
have been sued regarding the banner-towing ordinance, and because it
involves serious 1st Amendment issues, I consider the lawsuit