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Matthew D. Ruyak, Assistant City Attorney

Practice Areas

Mr. Ruyak oversees two office divisions: Strategic Projects & Research; and Litigation. His principal assignments include the following City offices and issues: City Clerk; Mayor/Council; City Manager; the Sacramento Independent Redistricting Commission; the Brown Act; Political Reform Act; governance; elections, initiatives, and ballot measures; conflicts of interest; ethics; campaign finance; taxation; and the First and Second Amendments. He also advises the council’s Budget and Audit Committee, and serves on the office’s Draft Ordinance Review Committee.  

Background and Experience

Matthew Ruyak has served the Sacramento City Attorney’s Office since May 2000.

Mr. Ruyak spent his early years in the office representing the City in all aspects of litigation, including court and jury trials, appeals, writs, employee disciplines, labor arbitrations, judicial arbitrations, and mediation. He handled high-profile and high-exposure litigation, such as cases involving the First Amendment, Section 1983 (civil rights), employment discrimination, inverse condemnation, and wrongful death. Since 2006, he has provided advice and counsel on municipal legal matters to the full range of City departments, officers, and council members. He was the point person in the office for the development of the Golden 1 Center. Mr. Ruyak has also served as Authority Counsel for the Sacramento Public Library Authority, and he staffed the 2009 Charter Review Committee and the 2011 Sacramento Citizens Redistricting Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining the City Attorney’s Office, Mr. Ruyak practiced with the law firms Hyde, Miller, Owen & Trost (Sacramento), and Jory, Peterson, Watkins, & Smith (Fresno). During those years of private practice, Mr. Ruyak represented government, non-profit, and business clients in contracts, real property, employment, and other matters.

Professional Affiliations

Mr. Ruyak is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court; United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit; United States Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit; United States District Court, Eastern District of California; and all California state courts.

He enjoyed three years (2006-2009) in the Anthony M. Kennedy Inn of Court; has served two years as a chapter chair on the League of California Cities' Municipal Law Handbook Editorial Committee; and occasionally serves as an adjunct professor at McGeorge School of Law, teaching Local Agency Practice. 


Mr. Ruyak received his B.A. (magna cum laude) from Boston University in 1991, and his J.D. from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1996.