Meet Our Attorneys
The primary role of the City Attorney is to act as the legal adviser to, and attorney and counselor for, the municipality and all of its officers in matters relating to their official duties. Along with the City Manager and City Clerk, City Attorney is one of three positions filled by the City Commission.
Isabelle Lopez, who was appointed City Attorney in 2014, first joined the city in 2011 as Assistant City Attorney, where she was primary counsel to the Planning & Zoning Board, Historic Architectural Review Board and the Code Enforcement Adjustments & Appeals Board, as well as, litigation counsel on matters regarding land use and permitting.
As the City Attorney, Ms. Lopez provides the City Commission, its boards and committees, as well as City staff, with a wide range of legal representation on issues ranging from contracts to constitutional law. Ms. Lopez attends all meetings of the City Commission, Historic Architectural Review Board, Planning and Zoning Board, and the Corridor Review Committee. Ms. Lopez also prosecutes criminal and non-criminal City ordinance violations in the County Court system.
Her expertise in all aspects of municipal law includes a broad range of practices, from public hearings, constitutional claims and eminent domain, to compliance, code enforcement, special assessments, zoning and permitting. In addition, Ms. Lopez is experienced in the subjects of:
- Contracts and procurement
- Interlocal agreements
- Land use
- Ordinance drafting
- Prosecution of local ordinance citations
Certifications & Previous Positions
Board Certified in City, County, and Local Government Law since 2004, Ms. Lopez is a Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator, and Certified County and Circuit Civil Mediator. She is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell peer review, and has been listed in numerous publications including Florida Trend Magazine’s Florida Legal Elite, Jacksonville Magazine, and 904 Magazine.
Prior to her positions with the city, she was a partner at two statewide law firms and worked with the Florida Department of Transportation and St. Johns County. She is a graduate of McGill University and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Florida.
Ms. Alston graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Charleston Southern University in 2016. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor at Florida Coastal School of Law in 2019, where she received the Phyllis Stansell Ethics and Professionalism Award.
Prior to joining the City, Ms. Alston worked as an Assistant State Attorney in Florida’s Seventh Judicial Circuit serving the Daytona Beach area. She also worked private practice as a tax attorney working on tax controversy matters at the Federal and State levels and as an associate attorney working on construction and transportation matters.
Board Advisor & Other Responsibilities
In addition to assisting the City Attorney in all assigned matters, Ms. Alston serves as the primary advisor to the St. Augustine Police Department, Code Enforcement, Adjustments, and Appeals Board, the General Employees' Retirement Board, the Police Officers' Retirement Fund Board, the Lincolnville CRA Steering Committee, and the Street Tree Advisory Committee.
Ms. Alston prosecutes all municipal code violations as well as coordinates and assists outside counsel in multiple litigation matters involving the City.