We are a law firm that has focused its practice on an area some may consider a legal specialty: public agency representation. A number of our attorneys have over 40 years of public service, and collectively our attorneys have worked for a majority of the major municipal law firms in Southern California. Individually and collectively, we love public service. We enjoy the complexity and variety of issues, including unique areas of law such as land use, constitutional and environmental law. We also enjoy the dynamic of the political process and working with elected officials and professional staff who are similarly motivated to serve the public. Above all, we have a deep appreciation for democratic values and processes at the local level. Accordingly, we have developed the following Mission Statement.
Aleshire & Wynder exists to do one thing: to provide the highest possible quality of legal services to public agencies within a fee structure that is below the average in our field. We do this by adhering to the following core values.
We are public law specialists, and our expertise encompasses virtually all areas of law that may be presented to a public agency. For example, we have handled all the legal affairs for full-service cities with their own police and fire departments, their own risk management and code enforcement, and with an airport, convention center, wastewater treatment plant, cogeneration plant and 36-hole golf course facilities.
Accountability means not only achieving a good result, but doing so at a reasonable cost to the client. A case or transaction must be evaluated early. The determination must be made if a litigation matter is winnable and at what cost. If a lawsuit must be settled, then it should be settled early. If the client determines to “litigate,” then we accept responsibility to make sure our advice is clear and strategies are cost effective. Our clients have rarely been surprised by the outcome of a lawsuit or outcome of a negotiation, either by the results or the cost. In short, accountability requires management.
Cost control requires clear mechanisms for receiving and reporting on assignments, supervising the attorney work to prevent excessive time, using paralegals on appropriate assignments, and cost recovery from developers whenever possible. Another even more important measure is preventive counseling: identifying issues which need to be remedied before they turn into litigation and handling disputes so they are resolved early and by informal means.
Focus and Timeliness
We are not a large bureaucracy. Our attorneys enjoy a collaborative working relationship with each other and with the clients of the Firm. Each client is vital to us; we focus on their needs and no one gets “lost in the shuffle.” We believe that, as a medium size law firm, we can offer focus in lieu of bureaucracy, timeliness rather than delay, and a consistent “team” of known attorneys rather than just a group of researchers.
Focus makes us results-oriented. We view our legal services to be a part of a problem-solving team. As members of that team, it is our obligation to be creative and help find winning solutions, not simply give reasons why something can’t be done.
Integrity and Impartiality
As participants in the democratic process and as “officers of the court,” we play a critical role in protecting the integrity of governmental decision making. In many ways city/agency counsel acts as “umpire.” The attorney must remain independent, while at the same time being sensitive to the political process but not controlled by it. The attorney must also make sure that the organization’s procedures are fair for all.
We are passionate about the practice of public law, and committed to working as a member of the management team that assists elected and appointed officials in meeting the needs of each community.
Aleshire & Wynder was created to do what, in our judgment, is not being done in other professional environments: form a collegial group of quality lawyers totally committed to providing high quality legal services to public agencies in cost-effective and long-term relationships. To demonstrate our commitment to our public clients, we have done what no other private firm practicing in this area is willing to do: we do not represent private clients in litigation against municipalities. We have no divided loyalty.