Emmanuelle (Emma) Soichet is Of Counsel in the Municipal and Special District Law Practice Group. She brings an extensive background in government service to the municipalities, special districts, and public agencies of all types that she serves at Meyers Nave.
Prior to joining Meyers Nave, Emma served as Deputy City Attorney for the City of Berkeley and Deputy Attorney General in the Government Law Section in the California Department of Justice, which she joined after clerking for the Honorable Gilbert Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the Honorable John T. Nixon of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Before becoming a lawyer, Emma served as Communications Director for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board President and as a Press Deputy and Speechwriter for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Emma’s comprehensive scope of public law expertise includes Public Records Act, Brown Act, Political Reform Act, ethics and conflicts of interest, drafting regulations and ordinances, constitutional law, public contracting, general municipal liability and litigation, elections and ballot initiatives.
- Served as lead in-house advice attorney for a major Bay Area city on the Public Records Act, Brown Act, and conflicts of interest.
- Served as staff to City commissions that enforce local election and open government laws, including providing legal advice, investigating complaints, and handling public meetings.
- Advised a City health department on a wide range of issues, from contract review to HIPAA compliance.
- Drafted titles and summaries for statewide ballot initiatives.
- Represented statewide elected officers and executive agencies in trial, appellate, and writ proceedings in state and federal court, primarily defending state laws from constitutional challenge, including (1) defending the constitutionality of a law authorizing local governments to enact public-financing programs for elections, (2) a First Amendment challenge to a donor-disclosure requirement for registered charities, (3) defending against claims that an administrative-hearing process violated due process and (4) a National Voter Registration Act lawsuit challenging local voter-list maintenance practices.
- Filed and argued workplace violence restraining orders protecting a city mayor and city employees.
Honors and Awards
- California Bar Foundation Public Interest Award
- University of California, Irvine School of Law — Faculty award in Election Law, Dean’s award in Civil Rights Litigation, Dean’s award in Immigration Law
Presentations and Publications
- Update Coauthor, California Land Use Practice, Chapters 7 and 11, CEB, 2020
- Presenter, “Legal Powers and Obligations,” League of California Cities Planning Commissioners Academy, 2020
- Commissioner, City of Berkeley’s Fair Campaign Practices & Open Government Commissions (2015-2018, volunteer)
- Commissioner, City of Berkeley Community Health Commission (2014-2015)
- University of California, Irvine School of LawJD, 2012
- Princeton UniversityAB, Politics, 2002