Santa Clara Still Looking for a City Attorney Two Plus Months After Firing Brian Doyle for No Cause

By Robert Haugh

As almost everyone in Santa Clara knows, the 49er Five fired former City Attorney Brian Doyle for “no cause” at the end of August.

It’s mid-November and we still don’t have a City Attorney or an Interim City Attorney. Seriously. No kidding.

We received an unusual City press release yesterday. The City needs the help of an “Executive Recruiter to find a City Attorney and Interim City Attorney. Here’s the language from the release:

“The City of Santa Clara is seeking proposals from full-service law firms and individuals with experience in advising and representing California cities for full city attorney services in response to the City’s present need for an Interim City Attorney, to serve while the City conducts its recruitment for a long-term City Attorney.”

So the Council terminated Doyle with no plans for replacing him? Seriously. No kidding.

The word in the legal community is that it may be hard to find a City Attorney. Or an Interim City Attorney. After what happened to Doyle, who would want the job?

And the rumor is that 49er Five will order the new City Attorney to fire the Hanson Bridgett law firm because they’ve whooped the team in court.

In 2018, the City  gave Hanson Bridgett a special recognition for winning a $180 million in arbitration for the Mission City.

They stopped the 49ers from reducing their own rent by $170 million. And the arbitrator actually increased the rent by $10 million over the next 40 years. Wow.

It would be considered a dumb move to get rid a law firm a few years after a big win and award. 

But it would also be a dumb move to fire a City Attorney for no cause and not have anyone willing to take the job.


  1. When I saw this notice I expected to see it here. The 49er five are not the sharpest tools in the shed, just the most numerous.
    Not only is it a dumb move but as you point out, also expensive. What do head hunters charge these days? I recall it was expensive, will we hear the eventual amount?
    With the niners running the show it really will be hard to get a well qualified atty with integrity to apply that does not have ties to the niners.

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