Law Firm Replacing Former Santa Clara City Attorney Brian Doyle Charged City Triple His Salary and Wants $900,000

By Robert Haugh

The Lozano Smith law firm was hired after the 49er Five fired former City Attorney Brian Doyle for no cause.

The law firm’s contract was signed in early to mid-April 2022. They’ve billed Santa Clara $300,000 in less than 3 months. Wow.

Tonight, Lozano Smith wants the Santa Clara City Council to increase its contract from $300,000 to $900,000. Double wow.

But they don’t even say why they need more money.

Here’s the language in the contract they’re providing the City:

Firm was originally provided a Three Hundred Thousand Dollars and Zero Cents ($300,000) maximum contract amount in the Agreement. In no event shall the total amount paid to the Firm for services, including all fees, costs and/or expenses, under this Amendment exceed an additional Six Hundred Thousand Dollars and Zero Cents ($600,000.00) subject to budgetary appropriations. Further authorization beyond this amount must be approved by City Council and memorialized as a written amendment to this Agreement.

Yup. That’s it.

And there’s no staff report even though Acting City Attorney Su Reuter is responsible for monitoring the contract and approving bills.

Doyle was paid $345,596 in salary and $405,539 in total compensation according to Transparent California.

As City Attorney, Doyle cost the City less than $34,000 per month in salary and benefits. 

By month, the Lozano Smith law firm cost three times Doyle’s total compensation. Triple wow. (No pun intended).

But that’s not the only legal cost to replace Doyle.

Reuter said she could not advise the City on the firing of former City Manager Deanna Santana.

So the City has had to pay extra legal fees for the Santana dismissal, too. Those legal costs are ongoing. 

Looks like Doyle was not only a good City Attorney but a good deal for Santa Clara taxpayers, too.

Or the Lozano Smith deal is a real jabroni and they’re taking advantage of the Mission City.

There’s a good chance that some people will see it that way.

Editor’s Note: The 49er Five are Councilmembers Anthony Becker, Raj Chahal, Suds Jain, Karen Hardy and Kevin Park.

Jed York spent $3 million in November 2020 to elect Becker, Jain and Park. They were previously 0-6 in Santa Clara elections. Chahal and Hardy have received gifts from the team recently without reporting them.

The 49er Five meet with the team on an almost weekly basis and have voted to help the team win millions of dollars in concessions from the City since December 2020.


  1. They fire the city manager because she makes too much money and fire the atty because he spent too much fighting the 49ers. But they can’t hire replacements because no one will work under these conditions. So we get a previous acting city manager to be a part time acting city manager, that wasn’t effective last time. And a law firm that turns out to cost 3x what jed’s 5 said it would, so far. And what legal advice are they giving for this price tag? What will it cost to defend the city in the expected law suit? We should be sending jed the bill for this crap he caused us.

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