After a three-month search, the Alexandria City Council has appointed James Banks as City Attorney. A former City Council member, Vice Mayor and Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond, Banks will start work Monday, May 4. He replaces Ignacio Pessoa, who stepped down as City Attorney in December 2008.
“We conducted a national search for the right candidate for this position and we are very pleased that Mr. banks will become our new City Attorney,” said Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille at Tuesday night’s meeting.
The City Attorney is the legal advisor to City Council, the City Manager and all departments, boards, commission and agencies for the City. The City Attorney renders opinions on request; is responsible for drafting ordinances, deeds, affidavits, bonds, leases, and other legal papers; represents the City as counsel in civil cases; and institutes and prosecutes legal proceedings on behalf of the City.
“I have enjoyed talking with members of the City Council and look forward to becoming Alexandria’s new City Attorney,” Banks said.
Most recently Banks was a partner with Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He has been named in the “Best Lawyers in America” for its 2006 and 2007 editions. Previously, Banks was a partner for McGuire Woods LLP, and, from 1998 to 2002, served as a substitute judge in Virginia’s Thirteenth Judicial District.
Graduating with honors from Gettysburg College in 1980, Banks earned a law degree from the University of Virginia and a diploma from the Richmond Christian Center School of Ministry.
In addition to a number of board and commission appointments, Banks currently serves as member of the Virginia Law Foundation Board of Directors and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors.