Office of the Charlottesville City Attorney

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The Office of the City Attorney provides legal advice and representation to the City Council, City Manager, and other city officials and employees. The City Attorney is appointed by the City Manager, with the advice and consent of the City Council and reports to the City Council to be the chief legal advisor of the Council, City Manager and all departments, boards, commissions and agencies of the City in all matters affecting the interests of the City.[1]

Lisa Robertson became City Attorney on May 3, 2021 after serving as interim since October 2020. [2]


The City Attorney's Office gives advice to and represents the City as a corporate entity, its City Council, the City Manager, the Airport Authority, the Charlottesville Industrial Development Authority, the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the Planning Commission, the Retirement Commission, and all City departments and employees.[3]


The City Attorney's Office is currently managed and supervised by department head Lisa Robertson, current[4] city attorney.

City attorney's office personnel

The city manager, with the advice and consent of the city council, appoints the attorney for the city. The city attorney can be removable at any time by the city manager with the concurrence of the city council pursuant to section §6. of the City Code ARTICLE V. - CITY ATTORNEY, Sec. 2-211. - Appointment; qualifications; removal.

Staff members

As of October 1, 2021

  • Lisa Robertson, Charlottesville City Attorney
  • Allyson Manson-Davies, Attorney
  • Javier Gomez-Jacome, Attorney
  • Katrina Callsen, Attorney
  • Debra Willard, Legal Assistant
  • Ellonde Smith, Legal Assistant


Responsibilities of the City Attorney’s Office include:

  • Draft resolutions and ordinances for City Council consideration.
  • Draft and review public contracts.
  • Issue legal opinions on zoning, real estate, procurement, employment and other matters pertaining to the City's local government services.
  • Provide advice and training to the City's FOIA Officer, for responses to records requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
  • Advise and represent the City, its officials and employees in litigation and risk management matters.

The Office of the City Attorney does not prosecute criminal offenses. Matters involving criminal prosecution for violations of state code, including most misdemeanors and all felony offenses, are handled through the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney.

Citizen advice

The City Attorney's Office does not provide legal advice to private citizens. The City Attorney's Office only represents the City of Charlottesville, and its various boards, commissions, agencies, officials, and employees on matters of public business. The Office of the City Attorney can answer legal questions related to City activities, including interpretation of the City Code.[5]


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List of previous city attorneys


  2. Web. City Council takes step toward removal of Confederate statues, Virginia Bixby, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, May 4, 2021, retrieved May 18, 2021.
  6. Web. Now what? As the Landmark lies dormant, what's next?, Dave McNair & Lindsay Barnes, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, April 30, 2009, retrieved November 20, 2012. Print. April 30, 2009 , 817, .
  7. Web. Council Enacts Tax Ordinance, Staff Reports, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, March 2, 1949, retrieved December 10, 2016 from University of Virginia Library.

External Links

Official site