Photo of Carol W. Lynch

Carol Lynch

Senior Counsel | Los Angeles


Carol is senior counsel at Richards, Watson & Gershon with more than 35 years of experience representing local public agencies.  Since joining the firm, she has specialized in municipal law, particularly land use issues, planning law, environmental issues, and rent control.  Through a combination of advisory work and litigation victories, Carol has helped to establish landmark precedents for cities in both the United States Supreme Court and in state court.

Work for Clients

Carol served as City Attorney for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes for twenty-five years.  She previously served as City Attorney for the Cities of La Habra Heights and La Puente.  She also has served as Planning Commission Counsel for the Cities of Artesia, Monrovia, and Palmdale, and as Rent Control Board Counsel for the Cities of Palmdale and West Hollywood.

Professional and Community Affiliations

American Bar Association

Los Angeles County Bar Association



  • City of Rancho Palos Verdes v. Abrams (125 S.Ct. 1453 (2005)), Carol co-authored briefs to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes in a lawsuit seeking Civil Rights Act damages and attorney’s fees in connection with the city’s denial of a conditional use permit for a radio antenna tower on a residential property.  The Court ruled in favor of the city and ordered dismissal of the lawsuit.
  • Echevarrieta v. City of Rancho Palos Verdes, (86 Cal.App.4th 472 (2001)). Carol led the City of Rancho Palos Verdes’ successful defense of its view preservation ordinance, an initiative measure that prohibits property owners from allowing foliage to grow in excess of certain height limits.  The California Court of Appeal upheld the ordinance against numerous constitutional challenges. 


  • Palos Verdes Peninsula Protection. Carol advised the City of Rancho Palos Verdes in connection with the development of new homes in fragile, landslide-vulnerable coastal areas.  Additionally, she counseled the city in the acquisition of approximately 1,200 acres of land that have been placed in a nature preserve so that open space on the Palos Verdes Peninsula will be preserved for future generations.  She also assisted the city in connection with the development of an affordable housing project for senior citizens.
  • Marineland Redevelopment Project. Carol advised the City of Rancho Palos Verdes on the redevelopment of the former Marineland site into the five-star Terranea Resort, a residential subdivision, and golf course.


J.D., Loyola University School of Law, Los Angeles

B.A., cum laude, University of California, Los Angeles

{Logo Image}

Richards, Watson & Gershon delivers practical advice and solutions tailored to the unique needs of public entities. Working seamlessly across offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, Temecula, the Central Coast, and Sacramento, and our dedicated team of experts provides the full scope of public law services.

Read More

Helpful links

Client Alerts

RWG consistently monitors developments that impact our private and public agency clients. Our frequent e-alerts serve to provide our unique insights into these developments.