City Attorney

Terri Highsmith is the City Attorney of Sierra Madre; Interim City Attorney of the City of Barstow and Interim General Counsel of the Barstow Redevelopment Agency; General Counsel to the South East Los Angeles County Work Force Investment Board and the SELACO WIB’s Policy Board (a 5-city JPA which appoints member of the WIB); and General Counsel to West Cities Communication Center (Westcomm) — a JPA that provides emergency dispatch services.  Terri has specialized in municipal law since 1991.  She has a broad range of experience in areas of concern to local governments, including land use regulation, redevelopment, contracts, affordable housing, personnel and labor matters, open meetings law, Public Records Act requests, and conflicts of interest.

Prior to joining Colantuono & Levin as Senior Counsel, Terri served the City of Alameda as its City Attorney (2006 – 2011) and Assistant City Attorney (1997- 2006) and was General Counsel to the Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority, a joint powers authority created to acquire and redevelop the former Naval Air Station, Alameda.    Prior to her 14 years with the City of Alameda, Terri represented the cities of Lafayette, Moraga Orinda, and Pittsburg Assistant City Attorney and Deputy City Attorney, handling their litigation matters, and provided Special Counsel and litigation services to the cities of Fremont, Livermore and Livingston on a contract basis.

Terri graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of Nevada, Reno, in 1977.  Several years and three children later, she attended law school at John F. Kennedy University, graduating with honors in 1991 and joined the California Bar that same year.  While she was at law school, she taught contracts and legal research & writing to first-year students while juggling the duties of a “soccer mom.”

Practice Areas:

  • Public Law
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Redevelopment & Affordable Housing
  • Land Use
  • Contracts and Agreements
  • Public Works Contracting
  • Joint Powers Authority Formation and Representation
  • Military Base Conversion & Reuse (under Federal BRAC)