Mr. Bernard became San Antonio’s City Attorney in October 2005. As provided by the City Charter, the City Attorney is the chief legal advisor to the City Council, City management, and all City departments. As the City’s lead lawyer, Mr. Bernard oversees a budget of 7.5 million and directs a team of 58 attorneys and 40 support staff that provide legal services to the City, including the prosecution of misdemeanors in Municipal Court, handling civil litigation on behalf of the City in state and federal courts, drafting and reviewing ordinances and contracts, and, in general, ensuring that City officials receive sound advice and counsel on legal issues. The City Attorney’s Office also coordinates legal services provided by outside counsel engaged to provide legal services to the City on specific matters.
Before joining the City, Mr. Bernard served as the First Assistant District Attorney for Bexar County for six years, assisting in the day-to-day management of 356 employees, including roughly 160 attorneys, with an $18.5 million annual operating budget. Mr. Bernard began his legal career by establishing his own law firm where he worked for eleven years.
Mr. Bernard is a frequent speaker for the State Bar of Texas’ continuing legal education courses. He also serves as an adjunct professor of law at St. Mary’s Law School, teaching trial advocacy.
Mr. Bernard is a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law. He also earned a Master of Arts in Government and Public Affairs from American University after receiving his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at San Antonio.