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Joe Pannone


Los Angeles

t: (310) 527-6660

d: (310) 527-6663


Joseph W. Pannone, a part-time contract Partner with the Firm, has practiced municipal law for over forty years. Before Mr. Pannone retired as Lompoc and Morro Bay's city attorney, he was an Equity Partner with the Firm for 9 years. During his career, Mr. Pannone has advised city councils, successor/redevelopment agency boards, planning commissions, personnel boards and numerous other city-boards and commissions. He has experience with all aspects of municipal law, including the dissolution of redevelopment agencies, civil and criminal litigation, ordinance, resolution and contract preparation and interpretation, code enforcement, personnel matters, the Brown Act, Public Records Act, Political Reform Act, economic development, public works, municipal utilities, issuance of bonds, General Plan updates & amendments, administrative law and all land use matters.

Representative Transactional Matters:
• Public Works: Water Reclamation Facility – Represented city in the design, contract advertising and awarding, development and construction of a $160,000,000+ state of the art wastewater project and related conveyance infrastructure

• Nuisance Abatement: Homeless Encampment Clean-up – Represented the city through all the steps required for a successful $800,000+ multi-jurisdictional effort to remove a 100+person encampment in the Santa Inez River, with no litigation challenging the project

• Community Development: Downtown Renovation – Represented the city in strategic planning, document preparation, environmental analysis, financing and implementation of a project that revitalized a downtown with theaters, cinemas, restaurants, retail, research and development, public parking and development and movie studios

• Elections: By District – Represented two cities in their reorganizations to have their legislative bodies elected by district rather than at large

• Labor & Employment: City Managers – Represented several cities through the process of advertising, reviewing and hiring city managers

Representative Litigation Matters
• Ehrlich v. Culver City (1996) 12 Cal. 4th 854, in which the California Supreme Court upheld the authority of cities to impose public art programs and development conditions being challenged as unconstitutional takings

• Vela v. Superior Court (1989) 208 Cal. App. 3d 141, a California appellate case that established the attorney-client privilege for police department shooting incident reports

Contract City Attorney:

• City of Morro Bay from 2014 to 2018

• City of Lompoc from 2009 through 2018 and General Counsel for that community’s redevelopment agency for the same time; Special Counsel to that agency from 1992 to 2009

• City of Bellflower from January 2008 to October 2015 as well as Assistant City Attorney from 2003 through 2007, and General Counsel for that community’s redevelopment agency from 2005 through 2015

• City of Baldwin Park from January 2008 to December 2013, as well as Assistant City Attorney from 2003 through 2007, and General Counsel for that community’s redevelopment agency from 2003 through 2013

• City of Palos Verdes Estates from January 2008 to April 2010

• City of South Pasadena and General Counsel for that community’s redevelopment agency from September 1998 to September 2003

In-house City Attorney (and assistant and deputy):
• City of Culver City from 1980 through 1989 (the year when he joined another public law firm).

• State Bar of California

• US Supreme Court

• US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

• US District Court, Central, CA

• Charter member of League of California Cities City Attorney Department's Municipal Law Handbook Editorial Board, as well as the complete re-write in 2003-2004

• Member of that Department's 6-person ad hoc committee responsible for preparing a set of aspirational ethical principles for municipal attorneys and member of the ad hoc committee republishing the League's handbook of ethical guidelines for city attorneys

• Member of that Department's Public Records Committee, when it rewrote the League's Public Records Act guideline, 'The People's Business'

• League of California Cities City Attorney Department – The Art of Ethical Negotiations

• League of California Cities Planning Department – Governmental Ethics: Oxymoron or Achievable Goal

Loyola Law School, JD, 1980

Loyola Marymount University, BA, 1976