Legal Corner: Q and A with Steven Moore

By Joni Hoffman, League General Counsel

City of Yuma Attorney Steven W. Moore has begun his presidency of the leading international organization serving municipal lawyers, becoming the first person from Yuma and only the second from Arizona to serve in that capacity in the organization's 77-year history. After serving as president-elect for a year, Moore officially became president of the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) in September 2012.

How long have you been a city attorney in Arizona? What is your professional background? How did you get interested in municipal law?
I have been the Yuma city attorney since 1986. I previously worked as a deputy county attorney for Mohave County, Arizona, and for almost 10 years I engaged in private practice representing municipal, private and corporate clients. I became interested in municipal law when Maureen George, former city attorney for Yuma, and later city attorney of Chandler and Lake Havasu City, invited me to join the city.

Are you a native Arizonan? Where were you educated?
I moved to Arizona from Colorado at age 10. I attend school in Hayden and received my B.A. from the University of Arizona and J.D. from the University of Arizona School of Law.

You are the current president of the International Municipal Lawyers Association. Could you tell me about IMLA and its importance to cities and towns in Arizona?
IMLA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional organization that has been an advocate and resource for local government attorneys since 1935. IMLA serves as an international clearinghouse of legal information and cooperation on municipal legal matters. Every year, IMLA's legal staff provides accurate, up-to-date information and counsel to hundreds of requests from members. IMLA also provides a variety of services, publications and programs to help members who are facing legal challenges. This organization is comprised largely of a few thousand city attorneys of the United States and Canada.

How did you rise through the ranks of IMLA to become its president?
I was an Arizona state chair, a regional vice president, a board member, treasurer and then president-elect.

I understand you are not the only Arizona city attorney currently serving in a leadership capacity in IMLA?
There are many Arizona city attorneys currently serving in a leadership capacity in IMLA including:

Gary Verburg (Phoenix city attorney)-Large Population Committee
Deborah Spinner (Mesa city attorney)-Ethics Committee Chair, Nominations Committee
Glen Gimbut (San Luis city attorney)-General Government Section Vice Chair
Mike Rankin (Tucson city attorney)-Legal Advocacy Committee
Stephen Kemp (Peoria city attorney)-Regional Vice President 9th Circuit South, Awards Committee and Membership Committee
Bruce Washburn (Scottsdale city attorney)-Arizona State Chair
Michael Bailey (Surprise city attorney)-Land Use Section Chair
Stephen Burg (Peoria deputy city attorney)-Local Government Fellows Committee
Barry Uhrman (Phoenix assistant city attorney)-Personnel Section Vice Chair

Thank you very much and congratulations!

For more information on the International Municipal Lawyers Association, please visit

League of Arizona Cities and Towns
1820 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ  85007
Phone: 602-258-5786
Fax: 602-253-3874

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