The Founder of the Firm, Julia Sylva, is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell ((Very High to Preeminent in Ability and Ethics–Lawyer has reached the height of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity).
Julia Sylva was born in East Los Angeles and grew up in the City of Hawaiian Gardens, CA, located in Southern California, where she attended local grammar school, middle and high schools.
Ms. Sylva, a graduate of Loyola Law School (1983, scholarship recipient) and California State University, Long Beach, wherein she earned a B.A. in Political Science, with a minor in Public Administration (1978). She has practiced law in California since 1983.
Ms. Sylva is a member of the State Bar of California and is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeal, Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
Ms. Sylva serves as Of Counsel to other firms in Southern California as needed for litigation support.
Public Policy Expertise
Julia Sylva is an accomplished professional due to the many opportunities and successes she has had in her long career in politics and the law. Her achievements and accomplishments are remarkable and outstanding.
Ms. Sylva’s political career began in 1976 when she elected to the City Council, City of Hawaiian Gardens. At the age of 20 years old; she is the youngest and first Latina elected to the City Council (Source: U.S. Conference of Mayors).
She brings over thirty (30) years’ experience as an elected public official and public policy-maker. She continues to be active in the community and works to maintain close working relationships with current and past elected public officials and policy makers. This level of expertise and access is helpful to many of her clients who seek to process land use entitlements and the granting of government contracts. On behalf of clients, she regularly attends due process hearings and meets and confers with staff and elected public officials.
Pro Bono and Non-Profit Activities
Despite a busy professional and personal schedule as a working mother, Ms. Sylva continues to be active in the community and provides pro bono services to many associations and nonprofit organizations that seek to empower the community.
Public Policy and Political Experience
Elected to the City Council, City of Hawaiian Gardens; served as Mayor (two terms); Mayor Pro Tempore; and Member of the City Council; the youngest and first woman ever elected to a city council (elected with the highest voter turnout in the City’s history). Ms. Sylva is the first Latina Mayor in the United States (Source: U.S. Conference of Mayors). Served as Member of the Redevelopment Agency, City of Hawaiian Gardens; served as Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Member of the Board of Directors (1976-1980)
- High Time: Continuation of the Obama Administration’s ‘Hands-Off’ Policy Toward California’s Regime under the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act is Not Guaranteed, Los Angeles Lawyer at p. 15 (Mar. 2017), available at https://www.lacba.org/docs/default-source/lal-back-issues/2017-issues/march-2017.pdf.
- A Summary of Ethics Laws in California (2009, The Beachcomber);
- Take the Initiative: An Overview of the Referendum, Initiative and Recall Process in California (2008, The Beachcomber).
- Democracy Benefits from City Councils with Open Meetings (L. A. Daily Journal, 2005);
- The Importance of Being Earnest: Ethics and Public Officials (2008, The Beachcomber)
- The Fundamentals of Municipal Finance for the Elected Official (Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project);
- Redevelopment and Disclosure and SEC Rule 15c2-12; The Power of Kings, Powers of Eminent Domain;
- The Machinations of a Sale, Re-Purchase Sale of RDA property (CRA Newsletters); and
- Brown Act for the Public Official (Public Law Journal, State Bar, 2006).
- Marijuana and California Real Estate, Los Angeles County Bar Association, (Los Angeles, CA, May, 2017)
- Weeds on Chronic Marijuana Policy Issues, Moderator, California Contract Cities Association, Annual Municipal Seminar (Indian Wells, CA, May 2017)
- Cannabis Law and Practice, PincusProEd (Los Angeles, CA, June 2017)
- Advanced Zoning and Land Use (Lorman Group, August 2007);
- Land Use and Entitlements (Los Angeles County Bar, 2005);
- Ethics in Government (June 2004);
- Free Open Government Forum, Co-Sponsored by CalAware.org and Los Angeles Press Club (January 8, 2005);
- The Brown Act (Lorman Group, 2003 -2007);
- Public Records Act & Open Meetings (Lorman Group, 2003-2007);
- Broadband Access and Privacy (Latinos in Technology Conference, 2002 and 2003);
- The Fundamentals of Redevelopment Law (California Contract Cities Association, 1993)
Professional and Community Involvement:
- Healthy Home Options Inc., Founder.
- Loyola Law School Alumni Board of Governors (2010 to current);
- Judicial Profile Project Committee, L.A. County Bar Association (2008 to current);
- Latino Community Advisory Committee, California State University, Long Beach (appointed by the President, CSULB) 2007;
- California Law Revision Commission (appointed by Governor Davis, 2002-2004);
- Commission on Technology in Learning, State of California; drafted Statewide Master Plan re Technology K-14 (appointed by Senate Rules Committee, 1999-2002);
- Los Angeles County Citizen’s Economy and Efficiency (“Government Accountability”) Commission, served as Chair, Economic Development Task Force and Member of Executive Committee (appointed by Supervisor Gloria Molina, 1993-2005);
- Women in Public Finance, Los Angeles Chapter (Founding Member and Vice President);
- National Women’s Political Caucus, LA Metro, President and Founding Member;
- Mexican American Bar Association, Political Action Committee, (Founding Member);
- California Redevelopment Association (Member); Brownfields Subcommittee (Member);
- California State Bar, Executive Committee, Public Law Section, Member of Outreach Subcommittee and Interagency Securities Law Enforcement Task Force (Term: 1995-1998); and
- Local Government Political Action (Federal) Commission, Appointed by Former President Carter, served as Vice-Chair under Maynard Jackson, Chair (1978-1980).