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Matthew D. Ruyak, Assistant City Attorney

Practice Areas

Mr. Ruyak’s assignments include the following City offices and issues: City Auditor; City Clerk; Mayor/Council; Media & Communications Office; Brown Act; Conflicts of Interest; Elections; Entertainment and Sports Center; Ethics; First Amendment; Public Records Act; Redistricting; and Second Amendment. He oversees the office’s Advisory Section, which includes one Supervising Deputy City Attorney and 11 Deputy City Attorneys. He also 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.

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 contract, real property, employment, and other matters.

For his first six years with the office, Mr. Ruyak represented 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. For the last seven years, he has provided advice and counsel on municipal legal matters to the full range of City departments, officers, and council members. 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.

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.


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.