AGC Law Firm
Southern California
13181 Crossroads Pkwy North
Suite 400 - West Tower
City of Industry, CA 91746
tel 562.699.5500 fax 562.692.2244
Northern California
6525 Washington Street Suite 12
P O Box 4016
Yountville, CA 94599
tel 707.944.0540 fax 707.944.0580
Norma Copado
Senior Partner

Norma Copado is a Senior Partner with AGC specializing in all areas of Public Agency and Municipal Law and has extensive experience as a transactional attorney and litigator. Ms. Copado has extensive experience invoking administrative, civil, and criminal remedies on behalf of numerous public agencies throughout the State of California. Ms. Copado currently serves as General Counsel to the Montebello Unified School District; Assistant City Attorney for the Cities of Commerce and Norwalk; Deputy City Attorney for the Cities of Montebello, Chico, Pico Rivera, Lynwood, and Huntington Park; and Deputy Special Counsel for the County of San Bernardino, Long Beach Unified School District, and Long Beach Community College District.

Prior to joining AGC, Ms. Copado worked for a law firm for over twelve years with an "AV" rating by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and quality of its legal service and was listed in the National Bar Register of Pre-eminent Law Firms. Ms. Copado served as an experienced litigator, city prosecutor, code enforcement attorney, and special counsel specializing in municipal law, public agency law, and code enforcement, with a client roster of over 50 cities in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Mateo and San Diego Counties.

Ms. Copado was raised in Maywood, California, and attended Yale University, earning a B.A. in Political Science. Before attending Loyola Law School and earning her Juris Doctorate degree, she worked for the City of Los Angeles Commission for Children, Youth and Their Families, analyzing local, state and federal policy and legislation. During her tenure at Loyola Law School, she was a Certified Law Clerk for the Inner City Law Center and the City of Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. She also was a Judicial Extern for Honorable Justice Carlos R. Moreno in the United States District Court, Central District, in Los Angeles.
Local Government Law Experience
On a daily basis, Ms. Copado advises school district, municipal and public agency clients on general government law matters, as well as, education law, public safety, labor and employment law, constitutional law, land use and zoning law, compliance with CEQA, code enforcement, and business tax and regulatory licensing matters. Ms. Copado further advises clients on a regular basis on topics including the Public Records Act, Ralph M. Brown Act, election law, and conflicts of interest, and drafts legal opinions to superintendents, staff, and offices the city clerk, school district board members and city council members regarding interpretation of these areas. Ms. Copado currently serves as lead counsel during school district board, city council, and planning commission meetings.

Ms. Copado also currently presides over community meetings and city council study sessions over a myriad of issues, including public safety, housing, homelessness, code enforcement, accessory dwelling units, and short-term rentals. She is responsible for, and has extensive experience in, drafting ordinances, resolutions, policy directives, and legal opinions. She is also responsible for drafting, negotiating and interpreting contracts, memorandums of understanding, purchase and sale agreements, and development agreements.

Education Law Experience
Ms. Copado has provided legal advice and counsel, as well as addressed numerous transactions for school districts and community colleges covering all areas of law, including, but not limited to public facilities, contracts, personnel and labor matters, student and education services, business, finance and procurement procedures, discipline procedures, charter school law, and construction issues. As it further relates to K-12 school districts, Ms. Copado also provides interpretation, guidance and counsel on the Education Code, Government Code, California Code of Regulations, and relevant Board Policies and Administrative Regulations.
Brown Act, Public Records Act, and Conflicts of Interest
Ms. Copado regularly advises clients on topics including compliance with open government, transparent governmental decision-making, ethics laws and conflicts of interest, especially as they relate to the Ralph M. Brown Act, the California Public Records Act and Freedom of Information Act, the California Political Reform Act, and common law conflicts of interest. Ms. Copado advises public officials and drafts legal opinions to public agency clients regarding interpretation of these areas, and further advises public officials on Government Code section 1090 conflicts, Fair Political Practices Commission regulations on conflicts of interest, and AB 1234 ethics policies.
Land Use, Zoning Law and Real Estate Development
Ms. Copado provides legal advice to public agency clients on land use, zoning and planning laws, including on matters of land use entitlements, conditions of approval, compliance with CEQA, and provides analysis of zoning and planning law as they relate to proposed land uses, business activities, and development projects. Ms. Copado has served as counsel for Planning Commissions for various public agency clients. Ms. Copado has extensive experience representing her clients' interests before various administrative bodies in this regard, including city councils and planning commissions. Ms. Copado's land use experience also includes drafting local zoning laws, and prosecuting local zoning code violations.

City Prosecutor and Code Enforcement

Ms. Copado has extensive experience prosecuting violations of cities' laws, including, but not limited to: prohibited, non-permitted, or non-compliant land uses, such as unlicensed or non-compliant businesses, including massage establishments, restaurants, bars, motels, and hotels; sign violations; public nuisances, substandard conditions, and prohibited or non-permitted alterations maintained on real property; property and business owners violating conditions and terms of regulatory permits and discretionary entitlements, such as conditional use permits; tenant harassment and rent stabilization violations; failure to report transient occupancy taxes; and citations issued by law enforcement impacting the city's residents' quality of life and public safety violations.

Ms. Copado works closely with, and trains and counsels, client public agency officials throughout all aspects of an investigation or prosecution, including: police officers; Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies; fire, health, building, public works, code enforcement and animal control inspectors and officials; planning staff; business tax and license personnel; and rent stabilization coordinators.

On behalf of public agency clients, Ms. Copado has also secured, and assisted in the execution of, inspection and abatement warrants. Ms. Copado has also drafted petitions and motions for the appointment of a receiver under the state housing laws (Health and Safety Code § 17980.7), working closely with court-appointed receivers to ensure the successful and complete abatement of all public nuisances on real property.


  • Juris Doctor, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (2002)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Yale University, New Haven, CT (1997)
  • California State Bar (2002)
  • United States District Court (2002)
  • Education Law
  • Municipal and Public Agency Law
  • Public Records Act, Ralph M. Brown Act, and Conflicts of Interest
  • Land Use, Zoning Law and Real Estate Development
  • Ordinance Drafting and Implementation 
  • Public Safety
  • Code Enforcement, Municipal Prosecution and Misdemeanor Criminal Appeals
  • Election Law
  • Business Licensing and Regulations, Tax, Fees, Lien and Assessment Law
  • Public Contract Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • General Litigation
  • Health & Safety Receiverships