Modesto’s outsourced City Attorney


How did Adam Lindgren (Meyers Nave) become city attorney?

After the resignation of then city attorney Susana Alcala wood on November 15th 2013, then city manager Greg Nyhoff negotiated and entered into an agreement with Meyers Naves to appoint Adam Lindgren as “interim” city attorney.

The city of Modesto was already paying out big bucks to Meyer Naves years before one of their attorneys, Adam Lindgren (from the Sacramento office) became city attorney

  • 2004 – Meyers Nave interim city attorney
  • 2004 – 2014 –Meyers Nave did special counsel work
  • 2013 – City council considers other firms and settles on Meyers Nave as interim city attorney
  • 2014 – City council votes to appoint Adam Lindgren (Meyers Nave) as city attorney. Adam remains an employee of Meyers Nave

Who is Meyers Nave?

Myer Naves is a large law firm with five offices spanning the state from Sacramento to San Diego. They specialize in extremely large cases such as the $477 million downtown arena for the Sacramento kings.

Who is Adam Lindgren?

City attorney Adam Lindgren is also the city attorney for Rancho Cordova and acts a special counsel to Sacramento, Livingston, Monterey, and other districts and agencies such as the San Bernardino associated governments and geologic hazard abatement districts for Fallon village and Schafer ranch.

Adam Lindgren also represents private parties on complex land use matters.

Adam spends at least 2 days a week in Modesto as part of his contract

John Goulart works under Adam as the Senior Deputy City Attorney

What are the financial terms of the contract?

Base salary of $200,000 plus+

Principal work outside of city attorney scope

  1. Principal work $275-$365 per hour
  2. Of counsel work $275-$300 per  hour
  3. Associate work $225-275 per hour
  4. Paralegal work $150 per hour

What do other cities with similar populations pay (Modesto has 211,000 citizens)

Oxnard California             207,000                                $136,400

Moreno valley                   204,700                                 $129,600

San Bernardino                 216,000                                 $168,000


Large law firms have no firsthand knowledge of the workings of a city like Modesto. Especially with all of the dysfunction the city is undergoing. The city needs a dedicated city attorney.

There are many questions to be answered regarding the city using an attorney from 90 miles away. Isn’t there enough talent within the central valley to advertise for a city attorney that would live in a direct proximity to the city that he would represent?