Lane Dilg has officially begun her tenure as City Attorney and the Santa Monica resident said she is ready for the challenges of working in a city like Santa Monica.
Dilg was hired in June following the retirement of longtime City Attorney Marsha Moutrie. She formerly served as Senior Counsel to UCLA, spent four years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Central District Office in California and served as Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Her experience also includes time as a civil litigator at the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation and Susman Godfrey, LLP.
She said there are differences when representing institutions over individuals.
“As a litigator, I acted primarily as an advocate,” she said. “My role was to represent my client’s interests fiercely against competing interests. As an attorney for large public institutions, I spend more time as an advisor. I spend my days ensuring fair process and helping clients to solve problems ethically, creatively, and effectively.”
However, Dilg said her entire career has been guided by the same set of values.
“I can’t point to a particular moment when I chose my career path,” she said. “I was raised with strong values – to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly. I am fortunate that my career has followed naturally from those core commitments.”
She said her role in Santa Monica would be to provide ethical and legal guidance to the city’s leadership.
“The City Charter calls on the City Attorney to advise the City Council and City officers; to represent the City and its officers in actions and proceedings; to prepare ordinances; and to prosecute criminal cases,” she said. “More generally, I view the City Attorney as an ethical compass and a proactive partner to help the City Council and City officers serve the community ethically and effectively.”
In addition to her work providing advice and service inside the city, she said the position also has a communications aspect.
“… the City Attorney’s Office also has an obligation to communicate with the community about the benefits that our work brings – whether that work is protecting tenants and consumer rights, prosecuting crimes, or representing the City in litigation,” she said. “We are always looking for ways to engage with the community regarding the work that we do.”
Dilg is a Santa Monica resident and said she was eager to be part of a cutting-edge city that has a strong reputation.
“The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office has a reputation for first-rate legal work and high integrity,” she said. “I intend to continue that. I am also supportive of the Office’s ongoing commitments to provide forward-looking, insightful legal advice, to represent the City vigorously in litigation and enforcement proceedings, and to work proactively to protect the rights of consumers, tenants, and community members.”
Dilg is a Santa Monica resident and said she understands the reality of working in the city
“Santa Monica is a complex political environment, which is a testament to its vibrant citizenry. That means that I won’t please everyone all the time,” she said. “It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the job.”