Meet Chief Assistant City Attorney Maria Bee
Chief Assistant City Attorney Maria Bee oversees the Affirmative and Defense Litigation Division of our Office. She is a member of the City Attorney’s Executive Team.
“Maria Bee consistently demonstrates superb judgment and sound leadership and is an exemplary attorney as well as an active member of the Oakland community. Maria masterfully oversees our innovative affirmative litigation work and ensures that our Office adeptly represents and defends the City when lawsuits are filed against the City. Maria works tirelessly and is an invaluable member of the Executive Team. It is my distinct honor and pleasure to have worked closely with Maria for nearly ten years.”
– City Attorney Barbara J. Parker
Ms. Bee has 25 years of experience in the legal community, both as a practicing attorney and as a fighter for justice for the most vulnerable populations. Under Ms. Bee’s supervision, the City Attorney’s Affirmative Litigation Division has prosecuted major cases including Oakland’s groundbreaking climate change lawsuit against the five largest publicly owned fossil fuel companies in the world; Oakland’s lawsuit against Monsanto chemical corporation seeking damages for the company’s pollution of Oakland storm water with toxic PCBs; and Oakland’s lawsuit against Wells Fargo Bank for racially discriminatory and predatory mortgage lending practices against African American and Hispanic borrowers. The Division, which includes the City Attorney’s award-winning Neighborhood Law Corps program, also has prioritized litigation and legislation to protect tenants from predatory landlords and to shut down massage parlors that are fronts for sex trafficking.
- Chief Assistant Oakland City Attorney (2018-present): Oversees the City Attorney’s litigation division.
- Supervising Attorney, Oakland City Attorney’s Affirmative Litigation, Innovation & Enforcement Division (2016-2018): Founding lead attorney for this newly established division, which focuses on social, economic and environmental justice for Oakland residents.
- Supervising Attorney, Oakland City Attorney’s Litigation Division (2014-2016)
- Chief of the Victim Services Division, San Francisco District Attorney’s Office (2006-2014): Provided critical services to victims of crime in San Francisco.
- Deputy Oakland City Attorney (2000-2006): Prosecuted civil hate crimes lawsuits and handled litigation matters including dangerous conditions of public property, breach of contract and alleged constitutional violations. Lead counsel in high profile jury trials including a six-week trial in Bari v. City of Oakland.
Ms. Bee graduated from UC Berkeley School of Law and began her legal career as an associate at McCutchen Doyle, Brown & Enerson, where she handled general commercial litigation cases. Ms. Bee is a member of the Charles Houston Bar Association and serves on the board of the Alameda County Bar Association. She formerly chaired the Alameda County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service committee and served as Chairperson of the Board of Directors of La Casa de Las Madres, an advocacy program for survivors of domestic violence.