Kara K. Ueda



Tel: (916) 551-2822


At a Glance

Kara advises municipal clients in conflicts of interest, elections, land use and CEQA matters.
She has extensive experience working as city attorney or assistant city attorney.
Kara is an adjunct professor, teaching local government law at University of California, Davis School of Law.

Kara K. Ueda is a partner in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Municipal Law practice group. She has served as city attorney or assistant city attorney to a number of California municipalities. Kara is a trusted advisor and litigator on a variety of issues cities regularly confront, including drafting and updating local laws, board governance, ethics, and environmental regulations regarding development and conservation.
Municipal Law Experience
Kara is city attorney for the cities of Woodland and St. Helena and previously served as city attorney for the City of Rio Vista. She was the assistant city attorney for the cities of Davis, Marysville, Paso Robles and Winters. Kara also serves as general counsel for the El Dorado County LAFCO and Murphys Sanitary District, and has done so since 2013.
Kara provides a wide range of services to public agencies, including assisting with crafting ordinances, drafting resolutions, providing advice on land use matters, helping clients navigate the Fair Political Practices Commission’s conflict of interest laws and other regulations, and writing conflict of interest opinions. She also regularly provides advice and counsel on elections, including initiative, referenda and city-sponsored ballot measures and assists clients with legal challenges under the California Voting Rights Act, and through the process of converting from at-large to by-district or by-division elections. Kara regularly provides ethics training for public officials to comply with AB 1234. She also regularly provides advice and counsel on California Environmental Quality Act matters, including reviewing environmental documents, assisting with determining CEQA compliance and reviewing findings for adoption.
Kara also negotiates and drafts a variety of agreements, including purchase and sale agreements consultant contracts, open space acquisitions and conservation easements. She has guided municipal clients through contentious Proposition 218 rate-setting processes for sewer and water rate increases and is working on a large general plan update for a city client. Kara routinely provides advice and training on the Public Records Act and the Brown Act, with a particular focus on email and social media. Kara is admitted to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California and the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She is admitted to practice law in the State of California.
Municipal Litigation
Kara litigates in both state and federal courts. Her recent matters include:

  • Representing the City of Hayward in a CEQA case in the First District Court of Appeal against the California State University Board of Trustees.
  • Representing the Mills-Peninsula Health Care District in a case alleging violations of a ground lease and special election campaign expenditures. (Peninsula Guardians, Inc. v. Peninsula Health Care District, 168 Cal. App. 4th 75 (2008)).
  • Successfully represented the City of Paso Robles in a CEQA case brought against the City over the preparation of a mitigated declaration. The case resulted in a dismissal and a denial of an award of attorneys’ fees to the petitioner.
  • Prevailed on a motion for summary adjudication on legal issues involving a Section 8 Housing Choice voucher contractual dispute. (Redevelopment Agency of the City of Roseville v. Maidu Village III, LP).

Experience and Background
Prior to joining BB&K, Kara practiced at the law firm of McDonough Holland & Allen PC. She began her legal career at the League of California Cities as a fellow, and became the deputy general counsel. Even after entering private practice, Kara remained active with the LCC, having served on the LCC City Attorneys’ Department ad hoc committee that recently updated a publication entitled “Providing Conflict of Interest Advice.” Additionally, Kara has served on the LCC City Attorneys’ Department FPPC Committee, on the Municipal Law Handbook Committee and on the LCC Environmental Quality and Administrative Services Policy committees.
Kara is an adjunct law professor, teaching local government law at the University of California, Davis School of Law, where she is also a frequent guest lecturer and volunteer. 

  • University of California School of Law, Davis, J.D.
  • University of California, Davis, B.S.


  • California


  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Land Use and Zoning Law, 2019-2020
  • Sacramento Magazine Top Lawyers, State, Local & Municipal, 2015-2018
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, 2017-2018
  • Sacramento Business Journal Best of the Bar, 2014-2016
  • Super Lawyers Top Women Attorneys in Northern California, 2014
  • Super Lawyers Northern California Rising Star, 2012-2014
  • Sacramento Business Journal 40 Under 40, 2011

City of Santa Monica Successfully Defends its At-Large Voting System
Legal Alerts Jul 10, 2020

City of Santa Monica Successfully Defends its At-Large Voting System

California Appellate Court Holds Plaintiffs Must Establish “Dilution” to Successfully Challenge At-Large Voting Systems Under CVRA

  • “FPPC Revises Regulations Regarding Conflicts of Interest Involving Real Property,” BBKnowledge, July 14, 2014
  • “Senator Wright Convicted of Perjury and Voter Fraud,” BBKnowledge, Jan. 31, 2014
  • “Best Practices For Compliance With SB 751,” BB&K Legal Alert, Jan. 29, 2014
  • “[Video] Ethics Laws and the Importance of Transparency for Public Officials,” BBKnowledge, Jan. 2, 2014
  • “New Laws Affecting Public Agencies in California,” Riverside Press-Enterprise, Nov. 25, 2013
  • “New Law Requires Public Report on Action and Vote of Each Member in Open Sessions,” BB&K Legal Alert, Nov. 25, 2013
  • “FPPC to Establish Electronic Filing and Public Disclosure System for Statements of Economic Interests,” BB&K Legal Alert, Oct. 14, 2013
  • “New California Law Authorizes FPPC to Provide Advice or Opinions, Investigate and Enforce Violations of Government Code Section 1090,” BB&K Legal Alert, Oct. 10, 2013


Contact Kara K. Ueda

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