Amy Ackerman serves as the head of the firm’s government practice group. Her experience includes general public agency law, open government law, public health, juvenile dependency and appellate law. She currently serves as town counsel for the Town of Corte Madera and general counsel for the San Francisco Downtown Community Benefits District.
Amy was a Senior Deputy City Attorney for 16 years with the City and County of San Francisco. She served as the first Director of Training for the City Attorney’s Office and developed a comprehensive training program for Deputy City Attorneys and paralegals. Training topics included: open government laws, including public records and public meeting laws; drafting and negotiation of contracts; the legislative process and drafting legislation; municipal finance; state preemption; and litigation skills, including appellate advocacy. She drafted legislative, contract and open government handbooks for use by attorneys and officials. She also served as the coordinator for legal advice on open government issues for the City Attorney’s Office and delivered the annual open government training for all city officials. Representative cases include Gillespie v. San Francisco Public Library Commission (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 1165, holding that the Library could properly hold a closed session to nominate candidates for City Librarian and serving as amicus on behalf of fifty cities in City of San Jose v. Superior Court (1999) 74 Cal.App.4th 1008, holding that the City of San Jose could protect the identity of citizens making complaints regarding municipal airport noise.
Amy served as legal counsel to the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, whose governing body is the Board of Supervisors. Amy also served as general counsel, litigating at both the trial and appellate level and drafting legislation, to a wide variety of City departments and agencies, including the Arts Commission, Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, Department of Human Services, First Five Commission, Film Commission, Juvenile Probation Department, Office of Citizens’ Complaints of the San Francisco Police Department, Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, Rent Board, San Francisco Unified School District and Youth Commission. In addition, she drafted amicus briefs on behalf of the League of Cities and the California State Association of Counties.
After leaving the City Attorney’s Office, Amy was a consultant to the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity founded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She worked with communities around the country to enact policy solutions to address chronic health issues. Her work included drafting model legislation and agreements addressing land use, complete streets, healthy housing, code enforcement, shared use of government resources and promoting healthy food. In addition, she represented the counties of Del Norte, Napa, San Francisco and Sonoma in the California Court of Appeal on human services matters.
- Town of Corte Madera. Amy currently serves as Town Counsel.
- San Francisco Downtown Community Benefits District. Amy serves as the General Counsel for this District.
PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
- “How to Stay Out of Trouble-Avoiding Council Chaos,” League of Cities, Annual Conference, September 7, 2022.
- “What Special Districts Need to Know About the California Public Records Act,” California Special Districts Association, February 8, 2022.
- “Fair Process Hearings,” League of Cities, Annual City Attorney Conference, October 23, 2020.
- “Policy Approaches to Support Healthy Communities,” National League of Cities Conference, November 5, 2015.
- “Turning the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) into a City Law,” United Nations Comm
- Reducing the Density and Number of Tobacco Retailers: Policy Solutions and Legal Issues, co-author. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. July 2016.
- Buy Healthy, Buy Local: An Analysis of Potential Legal Challenges to State and Local Government Local Purchase Preferences, The Urban Lawyer, The National Journal on State and Local Government Law. Fall 2011.
- The Good Government Guide, An Overview of the Laws Governing Public Officials,” Part One: Serving on a Board or Commission and Part Three: Overview of Public Records and Public Meetings Laws; an annual City-wide guide to sunshine laws for San Francisco officials, attorneys and employees.
PRESS & AWARDS
- Phi Beta Kappa
- California County Counsels’ Litigation Award for preparing an amicus brief on behalf of the California State Association of Counties in Elisa B. v. Superior Court (2005) 37 Cal.4th 108.
PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS
- San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women
ADMISSIONS AND COURTS
- United States Supreme Court
- United States District Court, Northern District of California
- Stanford University, School of Law, J.D.
- Brown University, magna cum laude, B.A.