Jennifer Farrell specializes in a wide range of litigation and transactional matters relating to municipal governments and special districts.
Jennifer currently serves as Assistant City Attorney for the cities of Dana Point, Twentynine Palms, and Fontana and Assistant General Counsel for the Morongo Basin Transit Authority as well as served as Special Counsel for Morongo Basin Water District. She also previously served as Interim Assistant City Attorney for the City of Calexico. In these roles, she regularly attends planning commission, city council, and district meetings and advises these entities on a host of legal issues ranging from the Brown Act to the Public Records Act to the California Environmental Quality Act. Jennifer has also acted as special counsel for a number of government entities including but not limited to the cities of Costa Mesa, Novato, Loma Linda, the County of Fresno and Mesa Water District. In this capacity, she has not only handled litigation matters, but also has advised the entities on a variety of different areas of the law.
In addition, Jennifer has successfully handled numerous complex litigation matters on behalf of government entities. These cases include litigation relating to election challenges, land use and zoning laws, medical marijuana dispensaries, the scope and jurisdiction of the California Coastal Commission, the dissolution of redevelopment agencies post AB 1×26, housing element law, and property tax allocations. She regularly handles cases before the California Court of Appeal, and in 2011, appeared before the California Supreme Court in a case involving the proper method by which to appeal a city council issued legislative subpoena. She has also handled several cases involving the appointment of a receiver to oversee the rehabilitation of substandard properties. (City of Dana Point v. Finnegan (Case No. G05115500); City of Dana Point v. Stahl (Case No. 30-2012-00588176.) Not only did she successfully persuade the court to appoint receivers in both cases, but she also was able to recover the full amount of attorneys’ fees spent by the City in seeking those appointments. Recently, among other matters, Jennifer is assisting the City of Twentynine Palms in using former redevelopment agency bond proceeds to acquire property as well as other financing sources to construct a revitalized downtown area, commonly referred to as “Project Phoenix.” As part of her work with the City, she helped guide the City through a complex Local Agency Formation Commission process, whereby the fire protection authority was transferred from the Twentynine Palms Water District to the County, in order to ensure a sustainable funding mechanism for ongoing fire protection service in the region.
Jennifer also serves as Chairwoman of the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Raise Foundation, Coast Community College District Foundation, and Costa Mesa High School Foundation.
Areas of Expertise
- Litigation & Transactional Matters
- Education Law
- Municipal & Government Agency Law
- Water Law
- City of Dana Point v. Beach Cities Collective (2014; Docket No. G047839).
- City of Dana Point v. California Coastal Com. (2013) 217 Cal. App. 4th 170.
- Traudt v. City of Dana Point, (Calif. Court of Appeal, 4th Dist. Div. 3) 199 Cal. App. 4th 886; Sept. 30, 2011 (Review granted).
- Dana Point Safe Harbor Collective v. Superior Court (Supreme Court of California) 51 Cal. 4th 1; December 9, 2010.,
News & Insights
Awards & Affiliations
Awards & Honors
- Orange County Business Journal, 2020 Women in Law
- Southern California Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Edition, 2013-2021
Memberships & Associations
- Orange County Bar Association
- Member, Board of Directors for Raise Foundation
- Member, Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce
- Member, Coast Community College Foundation District