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Paula C. P. de Sousa serves as general counsel to public agencies, and is particularly experienced and knowledgeable on public contracting matters as well as issues related to Local Agency Formation Commissions in California. A partner in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Special Districts practice group, Paula is based in the firm’s San Diego office.
 
General and Special Counsel 
Paula practices in most areas of public agency representation, including the Political Reform Act, Brown Act, California Public Records Act, public works construction and purchasing issues, real property issues, and the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000. Paula serves as general counsel to public agencies including the LAFCO of San Bernardino County, Metro Wastewater Joint Powers Authority, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, Sweetwater Authority, Fallbrook Public Utility District and Valley Center Municipal Water District. She also provides special counsel services to public agencies throughout California.
 
Local Agency Formation Commissions 
With regard to the Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000, Paula provides general counsel services to LAFCOs and regularly advises other public agency clients with respect to LAFCO-related issues. She advises the California Association of LAFCOs as assistant general counsel, and assists in drafting legislation on their behalf. She also prepared several “white papers” utilized by LAFCOs and public agencies throughout the state on changes in law impacting changes of organization and reorganizations. Additionally, Paula is involved with special district industry organizations such as the California Special Districts Association, where she serves on its Professional Development Committee, Membership Services Committee, CSDA Expert Feedback Teams and other ad hoc committees as appointed.

Community Involvement
Paula is active in the San Diego community, both as a member of professional groups, such as the San Diego County Bar Association and the Lawyers Club, and through community service organizations. She is a former board member and current volunteer of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego Affiliate. She was awarded the YWCA’s TWIN Award in 2004 in recognition of her contributions to the legal industry as a distinguished woman in business. Paula was named a Best Attorney in 2018 by San Diego Metro magazine and, in 2012, she was a finalist for the San Diego Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Award.
 
Paula joined BB&K upon graduating from law school.

Accolades
  • San Diego Business Journal, Leader in Law finalist, 2021
Thought Leadership

Publications

  • "California Adopts Measures Targeting Multifamily Residential Buildings for Water Conservation," PublicCEO, Oct. 26, 2016

Presentations

  • "OK Boomer! Strategies for Creating Dynamic Multi-Generational Teams," League of California Cities City Clerks New Law and Elections Seminar, Dec. 7, 2022
  • "Municipal Service Reviews: It's a Brand New Ballgame," The California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions Annual Conference, Oct. 19, 2022
  • "Building on the Basics of LAFCo (LAFCo 101)," The California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions Annual Conference, Oct. 19, 2022
  • "Forming a Community Services District: Not Your Ordinary Formation," California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions University Virtual Webinar Session, July 14, 2021
  • ‚Äč"Busting the LAFCo Myths: Keys to Understanding and Working with Your LAFCo," Educational Workshop, City Clerks Association of California, Jun. 7-8, 2021
  • "Out of Area Service Agreements," California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions' Staff Workshop, Mar. 27, 2020
  • "The Who, What, Where, When, and How to Form a Community Services District," California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions' Staff Workshop, Mar. 26, 2020
  • "LAFCo 101 – Understanding and Applying the Basics," California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions Annual Conference, Oct. 30, 2019
  • "LAFCo and State Legislative Overrides – What’s That All About Anyway?" California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions Annual Conference, Oct. 28, 2016

Education & Admissions

Education
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
J.D.
University of California, Santa Barbara
B.A., political science
Bar Admissions
California

Languages

English
Portuguese

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