City Attorney

Nancy Kerns, City Attorney, advises the City Council, Departments, staff, commissions, boards and the Pendleton Urban Renewal District.  She served as Assistant City Attorney from 2006-2011 and the Interim City Attorney from 2011 to 2013.  She is a former Deputy District Attorney for Umatilla County and was engaged in private practice with emphasis on estates, real property and criminal law. She is an Oregon native graduating from Oregon State University in 1978 and the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1981.  She is a member of the Oregon City Attorneys Association and currently serves on its executive committee.

Notice:  The City Attorney only represents the City of Pendleton, its Mayor, City Council, City Departments and City employee in the course of official City business for the City if Pendleton.  The City Attorney and legal staff cannot provide legal advice to private citizens.


Potential sources for legal assistance to community members include:

Oregon State Bar Referral Service:  800-452-7636 (www.osbar.org)

Legal Aid Services of Oregon:  541-276-6685

Intermountain Public Defenders:  541-276-0244


The City Attorney is the legal advisor to the City Council, City Commissions, and City staff. The City Attorney provides legal and staff assistance to many City of Pendleton committees including the Airport Commission, Legislative Committee, Business License Committee, Planning Commission, Sanitary Regulatory Board, and Transient Room Tax Review Committee. The Legal Department is also responsible for the preparation and review of the City's ordinances, resolutions and contracts. The City Attorney represents the City before courts, including the City's Municipal Court, Circuit and Appellate Courts, and Federal District and Bankruptcy Courts. The City Attorney also assists City staff in dealings with the State and Federal government administrative agencies. The Legal Department also assists with labor negotiations as needed. The Legal Department is the City prosecutor for violations of City ordinances, and assists and advises the City's Police Department.  The City prosecutor is an independent contractor who maintains City Hall office hours on Municipal Court days.

Attorney General's Citizen's Guide to Public Records and Meetings (external link)