City Attorney

Sonia R. Carvalho, City AttorneySonia R. Carvalho is the City Attorney.

As general counsel to the City and its affiliated entities, Ms. Carvalho advises on all aspects of municipal law and specializes in land use, ethics, open government laws and elections law.

Sonia has served as a city attorney to several cities across Southern California during a 20-year legal career. 
Sonia R. Carvalho is a partner in the Municipal & Redevelopment Law practice group of Best Best & Krieger LLP.  Ms. Carvalho is also the Co-Chair of the firm's Public Policy and Ethics sub-practice group.

Ms. Carvalho attended the University of California at Irvine and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude. She received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law where she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Chicano-Latino Law Review. Ms. Carvalho was admitted to the California Bar in 1992. 

Ms. Carvalho has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by Southern California Super Lawyer magazine in 2009 and 2011, and as one of Orange County’s top lawyers by OC Metro magazine in 2009.  In addition, she is a frequent speaker on topics related to ethics, the Brown Act and land use issues.  Ms. Carvalho has been an instructor for various Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) land use and real estate courses and most recently has written and spoken on the topic of medical marijuana and land use regulation.