Patricia Ursea serves as a partner in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Municipal Law practice group. She has 19 years of litigation experience, 8 of which she spent exclusively serving public agency clients both in-house and as outside counsel, with a specific focus on constitutional torts involving free speech, searches and seizures and due process, class actions and writs of mandamus. Her background in serving private clients on business matters, including insurance coverage defense, mass torts, antitrust and healthcare, complements her municipal practice by providing Patricia with an overarching understanding of corporate priorities as they intersect with municipal challenges and interests. She advises clients with a big-picture understanding of their needs, practices and policies, while working to minimize risk and solve problems outside of the courtroom.
Patricia currently advises the cities of Long Beach, St. Helena, Avalon, Upland and others on a myriad of municipality challenges, including matters involving CERCLA contamination liability, prevailing wage law, water rights and novel disputes involving social media property interests. She most recently served as deputy city attorney for the City of Los Angeles, handling high-profile disputes involving constitutional challenges to ordinances, policies and practices, class actions, disability suits under the ADA, Unruh Civil Rights Act and California Disabled Persons Act, qui tam actions, election challenges and public works contract disputes.
Patricia is passionate about her role as a board member of the Volunteers of America Los Angeles, where she chairs the Governance Committee. This work provides her with the opportunity to oversee efforts related to gang rehabilitation, persons suffering from homelessness and women struggling with intimate partner violence. She has also handled pro bono matters involving the rights of veterans and abuse victims, and assisted low-income families with adoptions.
Patricia, a native of Poland, enjoys camping and hiking with her husband, daughter and two rescue dogs.
- As deputy city attorney for Los Angeles, Patricia handled a pivotal matter involving challenges to the city’s homelessness policy. Patricia led the effort in seeking an interlocutory writ in the California Courts of Appeal after the trial court denied the City’s motion for summary judgment. The writ was granted and summary judgment was entered in favor of the City. This was a monumental achievement, given that only 6 percent of interlocutory writs are accepted for review in California, and only a small subset of those are granted.
- Also in her role as deputy city attorney for Los Angeles, Patricia won a motion to dismiss a qui tam action by a former CFO who alleged that the city was improperly handling City taxpayer dollars.
- Patricia successfully defended the City of Los Angeles in an action alleging that the City’s policy of restricting postings in a government-owned golf course violated the First Amendment.
- During her years in private practice, Patricia played a key role in one of the largest antitrust matters in history, obtaining a $1.25 billion settlement for a micro devices company in antitrust action against a technology company.
- Patricia was responsible for pre- and post-trial briefing, trial oversight and appellate work in defense of a pharmaceutical company in a case involving hundreds of lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation alleging injuries from a recalled prescription drug.
- Patricia successfully represented a higher education client in a high-profile Title IX investigation by the Office for Civil Rights and assisted in revising the school’s policies and procedures on preventing and adjudicating sexual misconduct on campus.
- Volunteers of America Los Angeles, Chair of Governance Committee, 2018-present
- Uncommon Good, Board Member, 2015-2016
- Los Angeles County Bar Foundation, Board Member, 2013-2014
- “Case Study: California v. Continental Insurance,” Law360, August 2012
- “FDAAA: A New Phase of Pharmaceutical Regulation,” DRI Reporter, July 2008
- “New FDA Rules Leave Drug Makers Unsure of How Much Testing is Enough,” Andrews Litigation Reporter, February 2008
- "Writs," California Lawyers Association Public Law 101 Conference, Nov. 15, 2023