Office of the City Attorney

We serve Palo Alto and its policy makers by providing legal representation of the highest quality.


Welcome to the Office of the City Attorney for the City of Palo Alto.

The City Attorney serves as chief legal counsel to Palo Alto’s city government, including the City Council, City Manager and operating departments, and all appointed boards and commissions. The City Attorney’s Office focuses on the legal risks and options associated with City actions, and investigates and administers all liability claims against the City. The City Attorney also has the authority to enforce the Palo Alto Municipal Code and to defend and resolve litigation against the City.


Molly S. Stump was appointed City Attorney in April 2011. Ms. Stump is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and Pomona College in Claremont, California. Ms. Stump joined the City of Palo Alto after 15 years in the San Francisco City Attorney's Office. During her tenure there, she served most recently as general counsel for San Francisco International Airport. Previously, she was supervisor for San Francisco's public protection team, working as chief counsel to the Police Commission and the chief of police. She also worked on the general governmental team and the labor and employment team, defending San Francisco in employment litigation and negotiating labor agreements.

The City Attorney reports directly to the City Council, and appoints the Chief Assistant, Assistant and Deputy City Attorneys.



Molly S. Stump, City Attorney

Terence Howzell, Chief Assistant City Attorney

Amy Bartell, Assistant City Attorney

Cassie Coleman, Assistant City Attorney

Sandy Lee, Assistant City Attorney

Albert Yang, Assistant City Attorney

Aylin Bilir, Deputy City Attorney

Timothy Shimizu, Deputy City Attorney

Tricia Hoover, Legal Administrator

Katherine Ramirez Vargas, Senior Legal Secretary

Bella Wu, Senior Legal Secretary

Office of the City Attorney
City Hall, 8th Floor
250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Phone: 650-329-2171 
Fax: 650-329-2646