The Tracy City Council is holding a closed session meeting Monday to discuss its city attorney after learning that she was not eligible to practice law in California for a month this summer.
Bijal Patel was named as Tracy’s city attorney in April 2022 and the press release announcing her hire cited her long career in Bay Area government, including having served as special counsel with Oakland’s City Attorney’s Office, where she served as lead counsel for the city in its negotiations over an Oakland A’s ballpark proposal at the waterfront Howard Terminal.
However, the State Bar of California suspended her license to practice law in the state as of July 1, citing non-compliance with a Minimum Continuing Legal Education requirement of practicing attorneys.
The State Bar’s website notes that Patel’s license to practice law became active again as of Tuesday, exactly a month after it went inactive. She was first admitted to the State Bar of California in 1997.
Patel and the city attorney’s office were not immediately available to comment on the issue of her law license.
Tracy city spokesperson Carissa Lucas said, “The Tracy City Council has been made aware of the recent changes to City Attorney Bijal Patel’s State Bar of California license status.”
The council’s meeting Monday will be in closed session, “due to this being a confidential personnel matter between the City Council and their appointee,” Lucas said.
Any action taken during the council during the closed session meeting, which is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at City Hall at 333 Civic Center Plaza in Tracy, will be made publicly available prior to the meeting’s adjournment.