Honoring IMLA Members during Black History Month

Honoring IMLA Members during Black History Month

Since 1976, every United States President has officially recognized and designated February as Black History Month.  As our society and legal profession have become increasingly aware of historic inequities that still impact people of color and in particular—Black Americans and Canadians—IMLA is committed to providing our members resources that highlight those inequities through our Diversity and Inclusion Section.

To celebrate Black History Month, IMLA would like to honor all black lawyers and legal professionals in our membership.  Among our members, IMLA would like to feature some attorneys, nominated by their peers, who serve as powerful examples of leadership in our legal communities.

Cassandra Jackson

City Attorney, Tallahassee, Florida

Cassandra K. Jackson took office on February 28, 2018 as the City of Tallahassee’s City Attorney.  Prior to her appointment, Mrs. Jackson served as Deputy City Attorney for the past two years.  Since being admitted to The Florida Bar in 1987, Mrs. Jackson has devoted her career to working as a public servant for local and state governments.  She has served as an Assistant City Attorney for the Cities of St. Petersburg, Lakeland, and Tallahassee, and Assistant County Attorney for Leon County, specializing in labor relations, personnel, and employment discrimination matters.

She is an active member of the Tallahassee Women Lawyers and the Tallahassee Bar Association.  In 2015, Mrs. Jackson joined a unique group of Florida attorneys when she became a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in City, County, and Local Government Law.  Members of this Board represent less than 1% of all licensed attorneys in Florida.  Among other honors, Mrs. Jackson was the 1993 recipient of the Florida Association of County Attorneys President’s Award.  Mrs. Jackson received Bachelor and Juris Doctorate degrees with high honors from Stetson University.

Kristen Coons McRae, Assistant City Attorney, City of Tallahassee nominated Cassandra.  Kristen wrote, “Her broad experience provides her excellent perspectives in her role as City Attorney – and no one in the office complains when she brings in homemade pound cake – she is a true asset to the City!”

Arthur “Art” L. Pertile, III

Partner, Olson & Olson LLP

Art serves as General Counsel representing cities, counties, special districts, other local governmental entities and public officials across the State of Texas in areas of litigation and special projects. He also serves as advisor to governmental clients in a variety of subject matter areas including annexation, zoning and land use regulation, subdivision regulation, economic development, employment, home-rule charters, utility franchising, land acquisition and eminent domain, building and construction regulations, and municipal incorporation. He provides legal advice to city councils, staff, and board and commission members on all areas of municipal law. He also negotiates and drafts development agreements, contracts, resolutions, releases, and ordinances.

Art began his career as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Waco and later served as Assistant Harris County District Attorney, Assistant City Attorney for the City of Houston, and City Attorney for the City of Waco.  Art is past President of the International Municipal Lawyers Association, has served on the Texas Municipal League and Texas State Bar Government Lawyers Board of Directors, and is past president of the Texas City Attorneys Association.

Art earned his law degree at the University of Texas School of Law in 1986, and has devoted more than three decades of his legal career to the practice of public and municipal law, focusing on representing local government entities.

Kimberly Rehberg

City Attorney, Durham, North Carolina

Kim is the first African American woman to lead the Durham City Attorney’s Office.  Rehberg served as a senior assistant city attorney for the City and has nearly 20 years of experience in legal issues for local governments, including 14 years with our City Attorney’s Office. [1]  Prior to joining our City Attorney’s Office, Rehberg was an assistant professor of Public Law and Government at the School of Government with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; an assistant county attorney for the Office of the County Attorney with the County of Durham; and assistant general counsel to the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.[2]  Rehberg received her Juris Doctor from the Duke University School of Law as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[3]

Sofia Hernandez, Senior Assistant City Attorney of Durham, nominated Kim.  Hernandez added, “[Kim] has a clear commitment to public service and engaging others, especially law students, to learn more about the public sector practice.  Her commitment to our community serves as an example to us all.  Rotary, chamber of commerce, NC Bar Association judicial review committee, voter rights issues.”

[1] City of Durham, NC Government, FACEBOOK (June 20, 2019), https://www.facebook.com/CityofDurhamNC/posts/congratulations-to-kimberly-rehberg-who-was-sworn-in-as-our-new-city-attorney-du/2494498097283100/
[2] Id.
[3] Id.

Bryan Scott

City Attorney, Las Vegas, Nevada

On June 17, 2020, Bryan was unanimously ratified by the Las Vegas City Council as the 23rd and first African American City Attorney for the City of Las Vegas in the city’s history (119 years).  Bryan was also the first African American President of the State Bar of Nevada (2016-2017): the first African American President of the Clark County Law Foundation in 2006; the first African American President of the Clark County Bar Association in 2005 and President of the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association (1996-1999).

An attorney since October 11, 1991, Bryan has worked for the City of Las Vegas since August 5, 1996.  During his time with the City of Las Vegas, Bryan has practiced in the areas of General Civil Litigation, Special Improvement Districts, Condemnations, Land Use, Zoning and Planning, Ethics, Marijuana Regulation, Public Records, and the Open Meeting Law. From 1996 to 2005 he served as a Deputy City Attorney.  From 2005 to 2016 he served as the Assistant City Attorney.  From 2016 to 2020 he served as the Senior Assistant City Attorney.

Scott is the past Chairman of the State Bar of Nevada’s Diversity Committee and served on the Nevada Supreme Court’s Bench-Bar Committee for three years. He has won a number of awards and accolades for his community service work. Scott sits on the Board of the Justice Michael L. Douglas Pre-Law Fellowship Program which seeks to introduce students from underrepresented communities to the rigors of law school and the benefits of having a legal education. In May 2019, he was awarded the James M. Bartley Distinguished Public Lawyer Award by the Public Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Nevada. Additionally in 2019 he was named as the Trailblazer of the Year by the Nevada Association of Real Estate Brokers. In September 2018, he was recognized by the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association as The Attorney of the Year and by the Asian American Advocacy Clinic as an “Unsung Hero”. Scott was honored by the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association in 2019 by the establishment of the Bryan K. Scott Book Scholarship. He was the Keynote Speaker and awarded the Educational Pioneer Award by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ Center for Academic Enrichment and Outreach in 2017. He has been recognized as a “Legal Elite: Nevada’s Top Attorneys (Government) by Nevada Business Magazine in 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Scott was honored by the Las Vegas Chapter of the National Bar Association during its 2006 annual Scholarship Gala.  In 2005, he received the Martin P. Dowling Volunteer of the Year award from the Clark County Bar Association and the Clark County Bar Association’s Circle of Support Award in 2002.

Elizabeth D. Theobalds

Deputy County Attorney, Charles County, Maryland

Prior to joining the County Attorney’s Office, Ms. Theobalds was a supervising prosecutor in the State’s Attorney’s Office Child Support Division.  Currently, Ms. Theobalds provides legal representation and advice to Departments within the Charles County Government including Procurement, Human Resources, Community Services, Department of Emergency Services, and the Planning Commission.  She has provided guidance on issues including government contracting, Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) initiatives, small business loans, economic development, employment law, contract drafting, document review, research and writing.  Ms. Theobalds enjoys her service as a local government attorney and is a long-time member of IMLA.

Most recently, Ms. Theobalds was recognized as a “Top Performer of the Year” for the Charles County Government based on her leadership in organizing a team of lawyers and legal professionals that remotely facilitated and closed business loans and grants for local businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Ms. Theobalds has served as an adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland University College and the College of Southern Maryland and has served various community organizations including the American Red Cross of Southern Maryland, Hospice of Charles County, the Annual High School Mock Trial Competition, the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee, the Port Tobacco Players and various local bar associations.

Ms. Theobalds has served the southern Maryland legal community with distinction for more than 25 years.  She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law, her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Baltimore School of Business and her Bachelor of Arts from the Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University.