Office of the City Attorney
After graduating from law school in 1980, George Schaefer enrolled in the Volunteer in Service to America (“VISTA”) and was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska. During his VISTA tenure, he provided pro bono legal services for indigent persons, many of whom resided in Alaskan Native villages. Schaefer describes his VISTA service as the most satisfying of his legal career.
Upon completion of his VISTA service, he became an Assistant District Attorney and was promoted to District Attorney. After serving as a prosecutor in Alaska, he practiced criminal defense as an Assistant Public Defender and then in private practice in Florida. His cases included several high-profile death penalty cases in Florida.
Ultimately Schaefer settled upon a private civil practice in San Diego in 2001and joined the City Attorney’s Office in 2006. While working at the City Attorney’s Office, he successfully defended the City in numerous civil cases. Following a defense jury verdict in a high-profile sexual harassment case brought against the City and a former Mayor, Schaefer’s peers voted him Deputy of the Quarter (January to March 2016). During his 35 years of practicing law, his experience includes 116 jury trials and 127 appeals.
He previously served as President of the Deputy City Attorneys Association and Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Appellate Court Committee. The American Registry recently recognized him as among the “top 5% of American professionals.” In 2016 and 2017, Martindale-Hubbell awarded Schaefer a “Very High Rating in Both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards.”