In hiring the law firm Lozano Smith to provide interim City Attorney services, the Santa Clara City Council chose veteran public agency attorneys with exceptional breadth and depth of experience. Partner Steven Ngo and Senior Council James Sanchez will jointly support the City’s legal needs.
Ngo has extensive experience representing public agencies, including in financial disputes, prosecuting disciplinary charges against employees and public agency litigation. He is also an expert in Public Records Act litigation and a recognized authority on the Brown Act, open government policies and labor issues.
A member Bay Area Asian American Bar Association, Ngo serves on the California Student Aid Commission and the Hastings College of Law Board of Governors. In addition, he’s an active supporter of the Asian Women’s Shelter and received the Next Generation Champion Award from Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth as well as the Policy Innovation Award from the San Francisco Family Support Network.
Ngo earned his Juris Doctor at UC Hastings College of the Law and clerked for the California Attorney General’s Energy Task Force. He has a Master of Science in Public Policy from Georgetown and a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA. Following graduation, he received a Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship and served as a staffer to the State Assembly Budget Committee and is a certified Civil Rights investigator.
Jim Sanchez has served Sacramento, Fresno and Salinas as City Attorney, and Fresno County as Deputy County Counsel. He was a Legal Extern* to California Justice Cruz Reynoso in the firm’s local government practice. Sanchez received his Bachelor of Arts from Pepperdine University and his Juris Doctor from UC Hastings School of Law.
One of Sanchez’s most notable accomplishments in Sacramento was his successful navigation of a series of complex legal wrangles that threatened to derail development of the Golden 1 Center arena. Since its opening, it’s estimated Golden 1 Center has generated $6.5 billion worth of investment in Sacramento’s downtown.
Over his more than 30 years working in local government, Sanchez has also led legal teams dealing with housing, infrastructure financing, environmental, “quality of life” issues, labor negotiations, public works contracts and personnel investigations.
Sanchez has also been an active member of the [legal community] He’s a past president of the Fresno La Raza Lawyers Association, served on the Editorial Committee of the League of California Cities Municipal Law Handbook, and represented Monterey Bay and South San Joaquim Valley on the League of California Cities statewide Legal Advocacy Committee and the National League of Cities. He was also invited by the National League of Cities to advocate for cities in addressing environmental liabilities with the EPA.
When he joined Lozano Smith in 2017, Sanchez said his “mission and passion is to serve local communities and their officials in resolving complex social and economic challenges.”
*Similar to an internship