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Who We Are

LAURA BORDON

Paralegal 

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Laura Bordon joined the Santa Barbara City Attorney’s Office in 2005.  Ms. Bordon is responsible for assisting with civil and criminal trials, jury selection, drafting pleadings civil and criminal, communicating with clients and overseeing aspects of file management and organization.  Ms. Bordon works as a paralegal primarily assisting Deputy City Attorney John Doimas.   Ms. Bordon is a Santa Barbara native, and has served numerous public departments including the Police, Human Resources, Building and Safety, Public Works, Community Development, and the Waterfront.       

 

ARIEL CALONNE  (pronounced "R-E-L KA-LAWN")

City Attorney

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Mr. Calonne received his law degree at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.  He received his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of California at Riverside.  Before coming to Santa Barbara in March 2014, Mr. Calonne spent 7 years as the city attorney of Ventura, 4 years as the city attorney of Boulder, Colorado, and 13 years as the city attorney of Palo Alto.

 

Mr. Calonne served as President of the City Attorneys Department of the League of California Cities in 1998-1999 and was named Public Lawyer of the Year in 2003 by the Public Law Section of the State Bar of California.  In 2006, the Colorado Metro City Attorneys Association honored him with the Outstanding City Attorney award. 

 

Mr. Calonne has authored numerous articles and amicus curiae briefs on public records, First Amendment governmental immunity, and open government issues.  He was the founding chairperson of the League of California Cities’ Public Records Act Committee from 1994 until January 1998.  He was a member of the advisory committee to the Joint Senate-Assembly Task Force on Personal Information and Privacy chaired by California State Senator Steve Peace.  In 1996 and 1997, Mr. Calonne participated on the Electronic Access to Public Records Task Force formed under the Senate Select Committee on Information Services in State Government.

 

Before serving in Palo Alto, he was with the Los Angeles law firm of Richards, Watson & Gershon where he served as city attorney for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes.  He began his career as an associate with Best, Best & Krieger in Riverside, California.

 

LISA CLENDENEN

Litigation Paralegal

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Ms. Clendenen is part of the Litigation team, working primarily with Assistant City Attorney Tom R. Shapiro defending the City in litigation matters pending in both state and federal courts.  Lisa joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2011.  Before coming to the City Attorney's Office, Lisa had 20+ years of litigation experience working in private law firms in Santa Monica and Los Angeles primarily representing public sector employees in the areas of tort and employment law.  Lisa is a graduate of Westmont College with her Bachelor’s degree in English and Sociology.  In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, hiking and spending time with family.

 

JOHN DOIMAS

Deputy City Attorney 

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Mr. Doimas joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2011.  He serves as the advisor to the Police, Human Resources, and Building and Safety Department.  John also prosecutes criminal and civil violations of the City’s Municipal Code and provides staff support to the City's administrative code compliance program.  In addition, he handles Pitchess Motions, administrative hearings, civil service hearings, serves as a back-up on civil litigation matters, and also drafts and reviews ordinances.

Originally from Chicago, John received his law degree from Loyola University Chicago and earned bachelor degrees in Political Science and History and a minor in economics from DePaul University.

SARAH KNECHT

Assistant City Attorney 

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Ms. Knecht received her law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She graduated as a member of the Order of the Coif and in the top 5 graduates of her class. Prior to joining the City Attorney’s Office in 2004 as an Assistant City Attorney, Ms. Knecht worked for the Santa Barbara law firm of Hatch & Parent where she served as deputy city attorney for the city of Carpinteria and special counsel for several special districts including Goleta West Sanitary District and the Central Coast Water Authority in additional to private real estate developers.  She began her public law career working at the Orange County law firm of Rutan & Tucker where she served as deputy city attorney for the cities of Yorba Linda and Villa Park and special counsel for several redevelopment agencies.

Ms. Knecht began her public service career as a city planner working for several jurisdictions including Riverside County, and the cities of San Bernardino and Hermosa Beach.  Prior to moving to Santa Barbara in 1996, Sarah pursued her passion for adventure and photography and lived in East Africa for four years.

Ms. Knecht represents the Water, Wastewater, Airport, Waterfront, and Housing departments within the City.  

ROBIN L. LEWIS

Assistant City Attorney 

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Ms. Lewis joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2009.  She works on civil litigation matters pending in state and federal courts.

Before joining the City Attorney’s Office, Ms. Lewis was a partner with Hatch & Parent, which later merged with Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Schreck.  Subsequently, she joined Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton as special counsel.  The focus of her private practice was civil litigation in real estate, land use, water law and environmental matters.

Ms. Lewis received her law degree from Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Prior to graduating from law school, she was a psychotherapist for fourteen years, earning her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  She also received an undergraduate degree in social work from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and remains a loyal Husker football fan.

LINDSAY MACDONALD

Legal Secretary 

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Lindsay MacDonald is a Santa Barbara native who joined the City Attorney’s office in January 2009.  Ms. MacDonald primarily assists Assistant City Attorney Tom R. Shapiro with litigation matters pending in state and federal courts.  Before coming to the City Attorney's Office, Ms. MacDonald worked in a private law firm focusing on family law in San Diego, California.

 

Ms. MacDonald  received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Legal Studies from the University of San Francisco in 2005 and went on to obtain her Paralegal Certificate at the University of San Diego in 2006.

 

TAVA OSTRENGER

Assistant City Attorney 

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Tava Ostrenger joined the Santa Barbara City Attorney’s Office in 2007.  Ms. Ostrenger began her career with the City Attorney’s Office handling civil and misdemeanor code enforcement litigation.  In 2011 Ms. Ostrenger was assigned as the advisor to the Public Works Department.  As the attorney for the Public Works Department she provides legal counsel on issues relating to land use, public infrastructure, and public contracting.  Ms. Ostrenger also provides advice to the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, Parks & Recreation Department and litigates cases brought against the City.

Ms. Ostrenger received her law degree from Santa Barbara College of Law and her bachelor degree in Sociology, with a minor in History, from the University of California at Santa Barbara.  Ms. Ostrenger also serves as a volunteer judge for the Santa Barbara County Teen Court Program.

LEANNA PENCEK

Legal Office Supervisor

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Leanna Pencek joined the City Attorney’s Office as a Legal Secretary in 1994 and became Legal Office Supervisor in 2003.  She currently assists Assistant City Attorney Scott Vincent and City Attorney Ariel Calonne, as well as supervising all support staff.  Ms. Pencek also supports the City Attorney with the office budget and other financial matters.  A graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and devoted Husker fan, she enjoys time with her family and playing soccer.

 

TOM R. SHAPIRO

Assistant City Attorney

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Mr. Shapiro is an experienced trial lawyer specializing in civil litigation involving municipalities with an emphasis on civil rights and police liability cases.   Mr. Shapiro has tried over fifty civil jury trials in state and federal court.  He has argued cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the California appellate courts resulting in a number of published opinions.

Prior to joining the City in 2005, Mr. Shapiro practiced in his own law firm representing the SCUBA diving industry and other maritime clients.  In 2003, the National Law Journal selected one of Mr. Shapiro’s trial verdicts, Bolour v. Santa Barbara Aquatics, as one of the top ten defense verdicts in the country.  From 1987 to 1996, Mr. Shapiro worked for the Los Angeles law firm Morris Polich & Purdy, primarily representing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in civil litigation.  He has been Martindale-Hubble AV rated since 2001.

Mr. Shapiro graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor’s of Science degree, and received his J.D. from the Catholic University of America, in Washington D.C.  Mr. Shapiro currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Police Activities League and is a Master Member of the William L. Gordon American Inns of Court.  He plays tournament poker and watches Jeopardy. 

CARY STEVENS

Legal Secretary

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Cary Stevens has been with City Attorney's Office as a Legal Secretary since May 2001. Previously, she was employed for 15 years both in-house and in private Los Angeles law firms, primarily in civil litigation.  In addition to being a Connecticut native and die-hard animal lover, Cary has various outside interests such as culinary studies, music, and volunteer work which has included membership in the Channel Islands Naturalist Corps.  Cary is the assistant to Sarah J. Knecht and Tava Ostrenger. 

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2016