Linda Ross

Of Counsel

t: 510.995.5807
f: 415.678.3838


Linda Ross brings a wealth of experience to the Public Law Group after working for 20 years with the City and County of San Francisco and more recently in private law practice. In recent years, Linda has represented public entities, including cities, counties, special districts and, transit agencies, in a wide variety of public law matters, including advice, litigation and appellate work involving landmark pension reform, labor and employment, internal investigations, wage and hour, the public records act, open meetings laws, governance and regulations.

Linda gained a vast knowledge in public law while serving San Francisco as general counsel to the Mayor’s Office, Chief Labor Attorney, and General Counsel for the Police Commission and Police Department.

As General Counsel to the Mayor’s Office, Linda advised the Mayor and coordinated with City department heads on local governance and policy issues including ethics, public meetings laws, public records act, and public contracting, just to name a few. She drafted City Charter measures, ordinances, and policies regarding employee and retiree benefits, public contracting policies, and public safety, among others. While General Counsel, Linda authored a gun control measure upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Jackson v. City and County of San Francisco, 246 F 3d. 953 (9th Cir. 2014) against a second amendment challenge. In 2015, the United States Supreme Court denied review.

As Chief Labor Attorney, Linda was in charge of a 20-person legal team, representing City departments, boards and commissions in employment and labor law issues. Linda represented the City before state and federal courts, mediators and arbitrators, in matters involving City employees as well as in contract negotiations with City employee unions. She successfully defended the City and County before the California Supreme Court in San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 v. City and County of San Francisco (2006) 38 Cal 4th 653 in connection with non-discriminatory testing procedures upheld by the Court.

As General Counsel to the Police Department and Police Commission, Linda advised the Department and Commission on police personnel issues and public safety initiatives, and defended the Department in the state and federal courts. Working with the Police Officers Union and the District Attorney’s Office, she drafted the Department’s Brady policy which was recently upheld by the California Supreme Court in the case of People v. The Superior Court of San Francisco County, 61 Cal 4th 696 (July 6, 2015). In a rare occurrence, the Court appended the policy to its opinion.

Published Decisions

  • San Francisco Firefighters Local 798 v. City and County of San Francisco (2006) 38 Cal. 4th 653
  • Local 21 of the International Federation, et al. v. City and County of San Francisco (1999) 76 Cal. App.4th 213

Presentations and Publications

  • Presenter, “Arbitration Basics,” Washington Public Employer Labor Relations Association (WAPELRA), Annual Training Conference, 2015.
  • Presenter, “How to Navigate Changes in Public Employee Retiree Health Benefits,” Judicial Council of California, Labor Relations Academy II, 2015
  • Presenter, “Navigating Changes to Public Employee Medical Benefits,” Webinar, 2015
  • Presenter, “Mock Arbitration Part One: Preparation, Opening Statement, and Direct Examination,” National Public Employer Labor Relations Association (NPELRA) Annual Training Conference, 2015
  • Author, Searching for Vested Rights, Case By Case,” Daily Journal, May, 2014
  • Speaker, “Vested Rights: What We Can and Cannot Change,” California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (CalPELRA) Annual Conference, 2012
  • Speaker, “Social Media and the Workplace: Recruitment, Background Checks and Personal Use,” International Public Management Association, 2012

Practice Areas

Administrative Hearings & Arbitration

Appeals & Writs

Employment Law & Litigation

Labor Relations & Labor Law

Public Agency Law



Workplace Investigations


University of CA, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, JD

Articles Editor, California Law Review

University of CA, Berkeley, BA

Bar Admissions


New York


Hon. Alfonso J. Zirpoli, Federal District Court, Northern District of California