Elena Gerli is the City Attorney for the City of Suisun City, and the Assistant City Attorney for the Cities of Rancho Palos Verdes and La Cañada Flintridge. She provides legal services for the Puente Hills Habitat Preservation Authority, and special counsel services for the City of Culver City. Ms. Gerli is the current Treasurer for the City Attorneys Association of Los Angeles County.
Ms. Gerli has spent her entire legal career representing public entities. Her areas of expertise include zoning and land use, CEQA, ordinance drafting, general plan amendments, constitutional law, contract negotiation and drafting, marijuana regulation and control, short term rentals regulation, and guiding local governments through complex quality of life issues. Ms. Gerli also advises her municipal clients regarding the Political Reform Act (conflicts of interest), Brown Act (public meeting laws), Public Records Act, elections laws, revenue measures and Proposition 218.
Ms. Gerli has litigation and enforcement experience. In enforcement, she has worked with code enforcement and police departments, and the judicial system, to ensure compliance with local municipal codes. Her experience includes criminal and civil remedies, including abatement warrants, injunctions, and receiverships. Her civil litigation experience includes public nuisance abatement, writs and appeals, and litigating constitutional rights and fair housing claims in both State and Federal courts.
Ms. Gerli is a First Amendment expert, having drafted a number of sign codes, and addressed a variety of free speech and RLUIPA issues faced by city clients, such as rules relating to picketing, special events, and demonstrations, billboard regulations, commercial speech regulations, donations boxes, and informational kiosks in the public right-of-way, and many other issues.
Ms. Gerli also has expertise in the regulation of group homes, including the complex state and federal housing laws affecting such regulation, Natural Community Conservation Plans/Habitat Conservation Plans, and the use of Community Development Block Grant funds and other state and federal grant funds, and the property use restrictions that such grants may require.
Ms. Gerli obtained her JD from the UCLA School of Law in 2003, and her undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1990. Ms. Gerli is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer for her alumni class, and founded the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Brown University Association of Class Leaders. In November of 2020, she obtained the Diversity & Inclusion Certificate from Cornell, and is the founder and co-chair of the firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.