City Attorney, Michael E. Gates

Mission

To provide the best representation to the City in all legal matters and before administrative bodies, and to provide excellent, effective legal counsel and services to the City Council and to all officers of the City, and provide superior representation for the City in court litigation and prosecutions on behalf of the people, violations of the City Charter and Municipal Code.

Responsibilities

The Office of the City Attorney represents and advises the City Council and all City officials in matters of law pertaining to the business of the City of Huntington Beach. Among other things, the City Attorney prepares and/or reviews all City ordinances, resolutions, contracts and other legal documents; attends City Council, Planning Commission, City Staff and other meetings.  The City Attorney also prosecutes on behalf of the people criminal cases arising from violation of the provisions of the City Charter or Huntington Beach Municipal Code, and such state misdemeanors as the City has the power to prosecute.  This office also administers the Administrative Citation Program, see Frequently Asked Questions.

Personnel

The City Attorney’s Office consists of an elected City Attorney, a Chief Assistant City Attorney, two Assistant City Attorneys, two Sr. Deputy City Attorneys, a Deputy City Attorney, and four support staff.  The City Attorney’s Office has two divisions: Litigation Services and Municipal Services.

Mike Vigliotta

Practice Areas, Background and Experience
Mr. Vigliotta presently serves as the Chief Assistant City Attorney for the City of Huntington Beach. He directly assists the City Attorney in supervising and overseeing the operations of the City Attorney’s office.  In the absence of the City Attorney, Mr. Vigliotta assumes all of the responsibilities of the City Attorney, including advising City Council and City Administration.  He is charged with overseeing legal matters for Planning and Building, City Clerk's Office, Community Services, Finance, Public Works and Library departments.

Prior to becoming Chief Assistant, Mr. Vigliotta’s near fifteen year practice has focused exclusively on municipal law .  His most recent positions included counsel to the Huntington Beach Planning Commission and Planning and Building Department, in which he advised on various land use and environmental legal issues, and prepared necessary legislation, among other tasks.  Prior to serving as counsel to the Planning Commission and Department, Mr. Vigliotta’s practice included the area of labor and employment law, where he advised all city departments on issues relating to employee discipline, discrimination, harassment, wages and hours, family and medical leave, disability, and labor law. He also participated in the negotiation of memorandums of understanding with employee unions, as well as the drafting of employee contracts and providing training to city management and staff on various employment related issues.

Prior to joining the City Attorney's office in 2005, Mr. Vigliotta was employed by the City of Santa Ana a Deputy City Attorney. In Santa Ana, Mr. Vigliotta provided general counsel to various city departments on such issues as utility user and hotel visitor tax and fees, election matters, open meeting laws, conflict of interest and ethics regulations. In addition, Mr. Vigliotta prosecuted code enforcement matters and provided litigation support regarding law and motion for specialized litigation matters.

Professional Affiliations
Mr. Vigliotta is admitted to practice law in California and before the United States District Court for the Central District of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Education
Mr. Vigliotta is a graduate of the Chapman University School of Law (J.D.), and Gannon University (B.A., Political Science).

Scott Field

Practice Areas, Background and Experience
Mr. Field presently serves as the Assistant City Attorney supervising the Litigation Division of the City Attorney's Office. The Litigation Division handles all phases of all civil litigation matters involving the City and Redevelopment Agency, including pre-trial discovery, law and motion, trial, and appeal.

Mr. Field joined the City Attorney's Office as a Deputy City Attorney in 1995. Prior to joining the City Attorney's Office, Mr. Field was a partner at Burke, Williams & Sorensen, a law firm specializing in the representation of public agencies throughout California, where he served as City Attorney for the Cities of Temecula (1989-94) and Mission Viejo (1988-90).

Professional Affiliations
Mr. Field is admitted to practice law in California, and before the United States District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Education
Mr. Field is a graduate of UCLA School of Law (J.D.), and the University of California, Berkeley (B.A., Economics).

Neal Moore

Practice Areas, Background and Experience
Mr. Moore presently serves as the Senior Deputy City Attorney in the Litigation Division of the City Attorney's Office. Mr. Moore is the senior trial attorney, and handles a wide range of civil litigation matters involving the City and Redevelopment Agency.

Mr. Moore joined the City Attorney's Office in 2004. From 1976 to 2004, Mr. Moore was in private practice, specializing in the defense of public entities and public employees. He has completed approximately 100 civil jury trials. From 1971 to 1976, Mr. Moore was employed by the County of Los Angeles as a Deputy County Counsel. He holds the rank of Advocate from the American Board of Trial Advocates, and was a member of the Executive Committee for the Litigation Section of the State Bar of California for the years of 2008-2011.

Professional Affiliations
Mr. Moore is admitted to practice law in California, and before the United States District Court for the Central District of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court.

Education
Mr. Moore is a graduate of University Southern of California School of Law (J.D.), and the University of Southern California (B.A., History).

Daniel K. Ohl

Practice Areas, Background and Experience
Mr. Ohl presently serves as a Deputy City Attorney in the advisory division of the City Attorney’s Office. He practices primarily in the areas of police legal advisor, “Pitchess” motions, code enforcement, building and public works, and public records. Mr. Ohl also prosecutes violations of the City’s municipal code.

Prior to joining the City Attorney’s Office, Mr. Ohl was a Deputy City Attorney with the City of Newport Beach from 1994-2007. He handled all phases of civil litigation, including pre-trial discovery, law and motion, trial and appeal. He provided advisory services to the police and fire departments, city lifeguards, code enforcement, building, planning, community services and general services departments.

Professional Affiliations
Mr. Ohl is admitted to practice law in California, the United States District Courts for the Southern, Central, Eastern and Northern Districts, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Education
Mr. Ohl is a graduate of McGeorge School of Law (J.D.) and California State University at Long Beach (B.A.Political Science).

Brian L. Williams

Practice Areas, Background and Experience

Mr. Williams serves as Senior Trial Counsel making him responsible for handling and overseeing all Civil lawsuits brought against, and on behalf of, the City. Prior to joining the City, Mr. Williams was a Shareholder at Sullivan Ballog & Williams, LLP. Throughout his entire career, Mr. Williams has focused on the defense of lawsuits involving Catastrophic Injury, Wrongful Death, Police Practices, and Employment Litigation. He was previously designated as Regional Trial Counsel by several insurance companies, and has thus handled trials throughout the State of California, in both State and Federal Courts.

Professional Affiliations
Mr. Williams is a member and active participant in many professional organizations, including the Federal of Defense and Corporate Counsel, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, and the Orange County Bar Association. He has participated as an invited speaker in the areas of trial practice and litigation handling at various attorney gatherings and continuing education seminars. He is admitted to practice law in California, as well as before the United States District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Education
Mr. Williams obtained his law degree from Chapman University School of Law, where he graduated Cum Laude. During law school, Mr. Williams was a Member of the Chapman Law Review and the Appellate Moot Court Honors Board. He also served as a full-time Judicial Extern for the Honorable Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Michelle Ditzhazy

Practice Areas, Background and Experience
Ms. Ditzhazy presently serves as the Deputy Community Prosecutor for the City of Huntington Beach. At the direction of the City Attorney, Ms. Ditzhazy leads the city's prosecutorial efforts for Penal Code and Municipal Law violations that occur in the city. She works closely with the Huntington Beach Police Department, the Orange County District Attorney's Office, and the community to represent the People in a variety of criminal misdemeanor cases. Ms. Ditzhazy conducts legal research, reviews and drafts motions, interviews victims and witnesses, and represents the People in all court proceedings from arraignment through trial. Additionally, Ms. Ditzhazy provides legal advice and training to law enforcement personnel.

Prior to becoming the Deputy Community Prosecutor, Ms. Ditzhazy served as a Prosecutor in the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, Jersey City, New Jersey (HCPO) (2012-2017). From 2013 - 2017, Ms. Ditzhazy was assigned to the Special Victims Unit. In that position, she carried a high volume caseload of aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, physical and sexual abuse against children and adults, domestic violence, and stalking cases that she prosecuted from inception to trial. Ms. Ditzhazy remained active in the community, serving in the countywide Domestic Violence Working Group and Community Relations Committee. Prior to this, Ms. Ditzhazy was assigned to the Appellate Division, where she represented the State in direct appeals, municipal appeals, and motions for post-conviction relief. From 2011-2012, Ms. Ditzhazy was a law clerk for the Honorable Joseph P. Donoghue, Superior Court, Criminal Division.

Professional Affiliations
Ms. Ditzhazy is admitted to practice law in California, New York and New Jersey. She has been actively involved in the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals (ATAP) since 2006. Ms. Ditzhazy is also a volunteer with the Mustard Seed orphanages in Nicaragua.

Education
Ms. Ditzhazy is a graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D.) and the University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A., English and Law & Society). While attending UCSB, Ms. Ditzhazy served as an Honors Intern for the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA and, subsequently, the Ventura Resident Agency.

 

 

P.O. Box 190
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach, California 92648
Telephone (714) 536-5555 Fax (714) 374-1590

Did you know?

A home solar panel system consists of several solar panels, an inverter, a battery, a charge regulator, wiring, and support materials. Sunlight is absorbed by the solar panels and is converted to electricity by the installed system. The battery stores electricity that can be used at a later time, like cloudy days or during the evening.  Learn more about solar.


Contact Information

City of Huntington Beach
City Attorney Office
2000 Main Street
Huntington Beach, CA
Phone: (714) 536-5555
Fax: (714) 374-1590
Email:
Staff Directory

Back to Top  up-arrow