CITY ATTORNEY CARMEN A. TRUTANICH BIOGRAPHY
Carmen A. Trutanich was elected City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles on May 19, 2009, and assumed office July 1, 2009. Carmen, who was born and raised in the South Los Angeles neighborhood of San Pedro, attended local schools, earning both his undergraduate degree and MBA at the University of Southern California. After working alongside his father at San Pedro’s StarKist tuna cannery and teaching at local community colleges, Carmen decided to pursue a law degree.
Upon completing his law degree at the South Bay University College of Law in 1978, Carmen joined the L.A. County District Attorney's Office, where he cut his teeth in the "Hard Core Gang Division" before playing an instrumental role in the formation and success of the Environmental Crimes/OSHA Division. Determined to complete an ongoing gang prosecution, Carmen became the first and only Deputy D.A. to secure a death verdict while assigned to the Environmental Crimes/ OSHA Unit. Carmen was also the first prosecutor in California to obtain a felony conviction for illegal disposal of hazardous waste and the first to draft a set of court-approved jury instructions for environmental crimes.
Carmen left the District Attorney’s Office in 1988 to work in private practice. In 1998 he formed Trutanich-Michel, LLP, where he continued to focus on environmental litigation. Carmen has been lead trial counsel in more than 300 trials, including more than 100 jury trials. California Lawyer magazine chose him as one of the top 10 in the field of environmental law and land use in his roles as practitioner and instructor. Carmen has been named a Southern California “Superlawyer” for the past four years in a row, and has received an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubell, the highest possible rating, in the areas of legal ability and ethical standards.
Since taking office, Carmen has made it a leading priority to defend and provide outstanding legal representation on behalf of the City of Los Angeles. In one year alone, City Attorney litigators saved the City more than $200 million in civil damages in lawsuits filed against City Departments. In addition to defending the City Treasury, a top priority for Carmen has been to aggressively pursue monies owed to the City. Since July 2009, City Attorney litigators have collected nearly $14.4 million in delinquent business taxes.
Despite suffering a staggering loss of more than 10% of City Attorney staff and a reduction of approximately 30% of its budget in the first two years, Carmen has balanced the City Attorney’s budget, often with a surplus at the end of each fiscal year. In the Fall of 2009, in an effort to address the glaring shortage of prosecutors, Carmen initiated a Reserve Deputy Program that annually provides nearly $2 million in services to the City. Under Carmen’s direction, the City Attorney’s Office has also reduced the use of and fees charged by outside counsel by nearly 50%
Carmen, and his wife Noreen, have four children: Kristin is a Deputy D.A. currently assigned to Long Beach Juvenile; Nicholas serves as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California; Kimberly is an educator; and Caitlin is studying at Santa Clara University.
• Born and raised in San Pedro neighborhood of South Los Angeles
• Married to Noreen
• Has four children, Kristin, a Deputy D.A., Nicholas, an Assistant United States Attorney for
the Central District of California, Kimberly, an educator, and Caitlin, a student at Santa Clara
• University of Southern California
• Graduated with a business administration degree with an emphasis in Accounting and
• Earned Master’s Degree in Business Administration, also at USC, in 1974
• South Bay University College o f Law, Class of 1978
Career and Public Service
• Procurement Department, StarKist Tuna Cannery, San Pedro
• Teacher, Business Management, Business Law, Real Estate Law, and Supervision
Management at L.A. Harbor and Marymount Junior Colleges
• Deputy District Attorney, Hardcore Gangs/ Environmental Crimes/ CalOSHA Divisions,
County of Los Angeles, 1978-1988
• Attorney in private practice, 1988-1998
• Attorney, Trutanich-Michel, LLP, 1998-2009
• City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles, May 2009-Present
· 2009 Metropolitan News Enterprise Man of the Year
· 2009 Police Protective League Eagle and Badge Foundation Courage Award
· 2011 Association of Prosecuting Attorney’s (APA) Innovations in Criminal Justice Award
· 2011 Justice Armand Arabian Leaders in Public Service Award