Meet Our Attorneys
Isabelle Lopez, City Attorney
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 and Zoning Board, Historic Architectural Review Board and Code Enforcement Board, as well as, litigation counsel on matters regarding land use and permitting.
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 land use, contracts and procurement, prosecution of local ordinance citations, interlocal agreements, and ordinance drafting.
Board Certified in City, County & 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.
Denise May, Assistant City Attorney
Ms. May received her Bachelors of Science degree from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. She received her Juris Doctor from Barry University School of Law graduating cum laude in 2013. While there she served as Editor-in-Chief (2012-2013) and Managing Editor (2011-2012) of the Environmental & Earth Law Journal.
Ms. May began her career in the Information Technology industry. In 2009, after 15 years as a professional database administrator and systems analyst, she chose to pursue her passion for the law and returned to complete her education at Barry University Schoold of Law as part of their night time program while maintaining her career in the IT industry.
Ms. May began her legal career with the Office of the State Attorney for the 7th Circuit as an Assistant State Attorney working with first appearance and bond hearings as well as post-conviction motions and hearings. During her tenure Ms. May successfully handled many cases including juvenile, misdemeanor and felony trials. Ms. May joined the City Attorney’s office in 2014.
In addition to assisting the City Attorney in all assigned matters, Ms. May serves as advisor to the Code Enforcement, Adjustments and Appeals Board, the Lincolnville Community Redevelopment Agency, the Civil Service Board and as police advisor to the St. Augustine Police Department. Ms. May prosecutes all municipal code violations as well as coordinates and assists outside counsel in multiple litigation matters involving the City and represents the City in all Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution petitions.
Ms. May is a member of the Florida Bar and the St. Johns County Bar Associations. She is also a member of the Environmental and Land-Use Law Section, the Young Lawyers Division, and the City, County & Local Government Law Section of the Florida Bar Association. Ms. May currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Earth Jurisprudence.