Michele Beal Bagneris, Esq. is the City Attorney/City Prosecutor for the City of Pasadena, California. She is the longest serving City Attorney in the city’s history and is the first African American City Attorney for the city. Ms. Bagneris is responsible for managing all civil and criminal legal matters for the city. She and her staff advise the city council, advisory bodies, commissions and committees, city departments, the Rose Bowl Operating Company, the Pasadena Convention Center, and the Pasadena Community Access Corporation. As City Prosecutor, she oversees prosecution of misdemeanor and infraction violations, and implemented special programs such as the Domestic Violence, Truancy, Reintegration/Alternative Sentencing, and Community Prosecution programs.
At the time she was appointed City Attorney by the Pasadena City Council in 1997, Ms. Bagneris was a partner at the law firm of Richards, Watson & Gershon, where she specialized in public law since joining the firm in 1983. While serving as Pasadena City Attorney, she continued to practice law as a member of the firm, advising public clients in a wide range of areas. While at the firm, she served on the firm’s Hiring and Associates Evaluation Committees and handled and supervised other lawyers in municipal prosecution matters (misdemeanors and infractions) for the firm’s clients. She was the City Attorney for the City of Monrovia from 1992 until she departed from the law firm after 16 years of practice, and also served as Assistant City Attorney for a number of cities throughout Los Angeles County. In 1999, she left the firm to become the full-time, in-house City Attorney for Pasadena.
Ms. Bagneris is a 1976 graduate of Crenshaw High School and received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Stanford University in 1980, where was selected to participate in the International Political Economy program in London, England. She received her Juris Doctorate Degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley in 1983. She has conducted seminars and presented papers throughout the state of California.
Ms. Bagneris is active in professional and community organizations, including: Board Chair, Institute for Local Government, which promotes good government at the local level; first African American City Attorney to serve as a Board Member for the League of California Cities; past President of the Los Angeles County City Prosecutor’s Association; past President of the League of California Cities City Attorney’s Department; past President of the City Attorney’s Association of Los Angeles County; various League of California Cities committees; and the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Urban League and on the State Bar Committee on Human Rights. She was named a Woman Achiever by Business Life Magazine and Woman of Excellence by the YWCA.Some of her other awards include the Medal of Excellence from Women at Work, Humanitarian Award from the Alkebu-lan Cultural Center, and the President’s Award from the Pasadena NAACP. She has also been the keynote speaker before religious and community groups. She has also volunteered in classrooms and participated in panel discussions at U.S.C. Law School. Ms. Bagneris is married to Jules S. Bagneris, III, and they have three adult children, Monet, Jules, IV and Mariana.