Manuela Albuqueque

Ms. Albuquerque served as the Berkeley City Attorney for twenty-two years – the longest tenure of any city attorney in Berkeley’s history, garnering numerous awards for her outstanding work. She advised the Berkeley City Council, Housing Authority, City Manager and staff, and over forty, nine-member City boards and commissions, while also litigating cases at every level of state and federal courts. She personally litigated some of Berkeley’s most significant cases and filed amicus briefs on behalf of cities and counties in many important cases. In 2007, Albuquerque received the California Lawyer of the Year award in the landmark civil rights decision of Evans v. City of Berkeley 38 Cal.4th 1 (2006) – the California Supreme Court found that Berkeley’s non-discrimination condition on Marina berthing subsidies did not violate the subsidy recipient’s freedom of expression. The same year, Ms. Albuquerque also won the Top Women Litigator’s award for her skilled advocacy in the Evans case. In 2004, Albuquerque won a landmark decision, RUI One Corporation v. City of Berkeley 371 F.3d 1137 (9th Circuit 2004) in which the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit upheld Berkeley’s Living Wage ordinance governing large businesses at the Berkeley Marina, concluding that the ordinance neither constituted an unconstitutional impairment of the plaintiff restaurant’s ground lease with the City nor denied it equal protection. In 2005, Ms. Albuquerque was named the Public Lawyer of the Year by the California State Bar’s Public Law Section for her many years writing papers on public lawyer ethics, including coauthoring the city attorneys ethics guide entitled “Practicing Ethics” and the city attorney guidelines, “Ethical Principles.” Ms. Albuquerque served as President of the City Attorneys’ Department of the League of California Cities, from 1994 to 1995 and was a member of the League Board of Directors representing city attorneys from 2003 to 2005. She has also been a member of many important city attorney committees and task forces grappling with urgent and complex issues facing cities.

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