HongDao Nguyen assists public clients in transactional and litigation matters concerning municipal government, with a focus on land use and public records law. A partner in the Municipal Law practice group of Best Best & Krieger LLP, she serves as city attorney to the cities of Artesia and Stanton, and assistant city attorney to the cities of Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest and Signal Hill. She also serves in BB&K’s ARC: Advanced Records Center, which provides comprehensive and cost-effective support for records-related matters, including California Public Records Act request processing.
Recognizing that every city has its own political and cultural landscape — whether it be an affluent city looking to develop hundreds of residences or one that must work around a number of properties with historical designations — HongDao works with her clients from the first stages of the permitting process to completion. In addition, she has extensive experience in planning and zoning law, the Subdivision Map Act and many other applicable laws.
With a reputation for being responsive and available to the city staff she works closely with, HongDao adeptly helps municipalities navigate through a variety of legal issues that typically arise in the course of running a public agency, such as the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act. With laws constantly changing to keep up with the issues like medical marijuana dispensaries, the sharing economy, development and blight, HongDao remains up to date on the latest local and state requirements to ensure her clients are in compliance.
As a San Jose Mercury News reporter before attending law school, HongDao earned valuable experience covering Bay Area city councils, elections and police issues. This role gave her a unique opportunity to observe how cities work and interact with the communities they serve. The research and writing skills she honed as a reporter are put to good use as an attorney, as fact-finding and communicating are key aspects of successfully advising her clients.
HongDao received her law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where she was a note and comment editor for the International & Comparative Law Review and a member of the Byrne Trial Advocacy Team. She received her bachelor’s degree in communications from Biola University. She provides pro bono legal services to such organizations as the League of California Cities and the Public Law Center. HongDao is married with three children.
- Asian Leader Worth Watching, Profiles in Diversity Journal, 2021
- Lawyers of Color Western Region Hot List 2014
- "Questions Emerge After High Court Public Records Decision," Daily Journal, Sept. 12, 2018
- “Appellate Court Public Records Act Decision Leaves Questions Unanswered,” BBKnowledge, May 19, 2014
- "By the People, For the People: Local Government for Immigrant and Minority Communities," National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Convention, Nov. 4, 2022
- "Understanding New Legal Developments for Public Sector Social Media," Institute for Local Government Webinar, Oct. 18, 2022
- "Finance Directors: Tips for Working with Your City Clerk and Attorney," League of California Cities Annual Conference, Sept. 24, 2021
- "Social Media Law: Understanding Social Media, the First Amendment and the Brown Act," City Clerks Association of California's Annual Conference, Apr. 8, 2021
- "Social Media and the First Amendment," Virtual Clerk Training Workshop, City Clerks Association of California, Jan. 20 & 27, 2021
- "Comments, Likes and Emojis, Oh My! An Update on Evolving Social Media Law for Public Officials and Agencies," BB&K Webinar, Nov. 18, 2020
- "Update on Other Pending and Recent Cases," Public Records Act Litigation, Law Seminars International, Sept. 17, 2019
- "Update: Social Media Meets the First Amendment," BB&K Webinar, June 18, 2019
- "Social Media Use by Municipalities: Developing and Enforcing Policies for Public Employees and Officials," Strafford Live CLE Webinar, Strafford Publications, May, 2, 2019
- “Social Media and the First Amendment,” CCAC Annual Conference, City Clerks Association of California, Apr. 4, 2019
- "Social Media Meets the First Amendment," BB&K Webinar, July 11, 2018
- "Public Records Practices After the San Jose Decision," League of California Cities Webinar, July 20, 2017
- "The Public Records Act and private Emails," The State Bar of California Public Law Section's California Public Records & open Meetings Conference, May 19, 2017
- "Do You Know the Way from San Jose: The Public Records Act and Private Emails," BB&K Webinar, Mar. 8, 2017