Michael Roush

Of Counsel

t: 415-678-3800
f: 415-678-3838


Mr. Roush advises and represents public agency clients on public agency law, land use, and employment litigation issues.  Mr. Roush brings to his clients 38 years of diverse public agency experience and creative solutions to complex public issues and public private partnerships.  Mr. Roush currently serves as City Attorney for the City of Brisbane; he also served as City Attorney for the City of Pleasanton for 21 years.  In addition to representing the Cities of Brisbane and Pleasanton, Mr. Roush has represented many elected city councils and appointed commissions in diverse cities such as Stockton, Alameda, San Ramon, San Luis Obispo and Vallejo.

In addition, Mr. Roush has served as general counsel for joint powers authorities and oversight boards.  He routinely advises public agency staff on planning and land use matters, human resources, public safety, public works and engineering, water and wastewater, parks/recreation and finance.  In that context, Mr. Roush provides timely and relevant advice on CEQA, the Brown Act, the California Public Records Act, conflict or interest regulations, the Public Safety Officers Bill of Rights (PSOBR) and the Firefighters’ Bill of Rights (FBOR).  Mr. Roush likewise has substantial litigation experience, including complex administrative law matters and interest/grievance arbitrations.  Some of the issues and cases on which Mr. Roush has provided advice and representation include:

  • Advising City Councils for 21 years as City Attorney.
  • Representing public agencies in numerous land use and CEQA related litigation.
  • Drafting a development agreement for a mixed use project involving several hundred acres that resulted in the agency’s acquiring, at no cost to it, 300 acres for open space and a community park.
  • Revising a development agreement to facilitate the development of one of the largest business parks in Northern California.
  • Representing a public agency in the agency’s acquiring, and then developing, land for a municipal golf course.
  • Drafting a multi-jurisdiction agreement to address unrestrained growth in the communities involved by significantly limiting wastewater flows into a treatment plant.
  • Serving as a public agency’s representative on risk sharing pools concerning tort and employment practices liability.
  • Defending public agencies concerning claims of discrimination and retaliation in administrative proceedings, arbitrations, trial and appellate courts.
  • Providing legal advice on citizen generated initiatives and referenda and preparing impartial analyses for the voters’ consideration.
  • Routinely reviewing and editing, or writing, the more difficult, and often politically sensitive, agenda staff reports.

Related Experience

Prior to joining Renne Sloan Holtzman Sakai, Mr. Roush was City Attorney for the City of Pleasanton for 21 years, retiring in 2009.  Since that time, Mr. Roush has provided legal services for a number of public agencies, including the cities of Stockton, Alameda, San Ramon and San Luis Obispo.  Prior to his appointment as City Attorney in Pleasanton in 1988, he was the Assistant City Attorney for the City of Vallejo for 11 years.

Professional Activities

  • League of California Cities, City Attorneys Department, President (2004-2005)
  • League of California Cities, City Attorneys Department, Legal Advocacy Committee (1993/1994; Chair, 1994)
  • League of California Cities, City Attorneys Department, Nominating Committee (2006)
  • Bay Cities Joint Powers Insurance Authority (risk sharing pool for tort liability), President (2000/2001)
  • Employment Risk Management Authority (risk sharing pool for employment practices liability), Vice-President (1999-2009)
  • Pleasanton Playhouse (now known as Tri-Valley Repertory Theater), President (1995-1998)

Practice Areas

Public Agency Law
Land Use and CEQA
Employment Litigation
Public Safety (Police and Fire)


Golden Gate University School of Law, JD

University of California, Berkeley, BA

Bar Admissions