2010 Public Lawyer of the Year: Michael G. Colantuono

Mr. Colantuono accepted his award at an Award Ceremony and Reception during the State Bar Annual Meeting, September 23 - 26, 2010 in Monterey.

Biographical Statement of Michael G. Colantuono

Patricia SturdevantThe California State Bar’s Public Law Section honored the winner of the 2010 Ronald M. George Public Lawyer of the Year Award (PLOY) at a reception during the State Bar’s Annual Meeting Sept. 23-26 in Monterey, California. The 2010 award winner is Michael G. Colantuono, a shareholder with the firm of Colantuono & Levin in Los Angeles and Penn Valley, California. Colantuono has specialized in municipal law since 1989, and he serves as counsel to numerous cities and local government entities. In 2003-04 he served as President of the City Attorneys Department of the League of California Cities. While President he appointed the Department’s first ethics committee, which developed a guidebook on professional ethics for public lawyers, as well as aspirational ethical guidelines for public lawyers.

He currently serves as City Attorney for the cities of Auburn and Calabasas, and as Agency or General Counsel for the Auburn Urban Development Agency, the North Yuba Water District, the Yuba County LAFCO and the Rough & Ready and Ophir Hill Fire Districts. He previously served as City Attorney of Barstow (1997-2004), Cudahy (1994-1999), La Habra Heights (1994-2004), Monrovia (1999-2002), and Sierra Madre (2004-2006), as General Counsel to the Barstow (1997-2004) and Sierra Madre (2004-2006) ReDevelopment Agencies, and as General Counsel of the Big Bear City Community Services District (1994-2001).

Colantuono has taken a leadership role in advocating for local governments in the area of municipal revenues, leading the committee which drafted and negotiated the Proposition 218 Omnibus Implementation Act. He also served on the committee which wrote the League of California Cities Proposition 218 Implementation Guide in 1997, as well as having edited and contributed to updates to the Guide. He has argued before the California Supreme Court on behalf of public entities frequently, including Richmond v. Shasta Community Services District (2004), as well as successfully arguing on behalf of the League of California Cities in an amicus role in Bonander v. Town of Tiburon in 2009. He also recently appeared before the California Supreme Court in Greene v Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.

The Public Lawyer of the Year Award was renamed in 2009 after California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George to recognize the Chief Justice’s exceptional contributions to the public and to further define and exemplify the caliber of the contributions provided to the public by the award recipients.