Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has named Steve Otera as General Counsel to the City of Los Angeles Harbor Department. Otera will oversee the legal team advising on Port of Los Angeles operations and serve as in-house counsel to Port management and the Los Angeles Harbor Commission.
Otera has worked nearly two decades at the Harbor Department, most recently as an Assistant City Attorney. He replaces Janna Sidley, who retired earlier this year.
“With his depth of experience, as well as strong relationships with Port staff and the Board of Harbor Commissioners, Steve is fully prepared to serve as General Counsel during this pivotal time in the Port’s history,” said Feuer. “Steve’s work over the past decade has centered on transactional matters related to Port container terminals and operations, a background that makes him ideally qualified for this leadership position.”
As an Assistant City Attorney, Otera supervised staff providing in-house legal services at the Port, handled and oversaw major matters such as container terminal leasing, and advised Port management and Harbor Commission on a variety of other Port legal matters, including municipal governance, land use, and development, contracting and negotiation, litigation management, among other areas.
Prior to working in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Otera spent more than a decade in private practice, including as director of legal compliance and education at LRN (formerly the Legal Research Network), where he managed the development of a web-based, multimedia workplace ethics and legal compliance training modules for clients such as Ford Motor Co., Johnson & Johnson, and Boeing. Previous to that, he served as an associate attorney for several local area law firms.
Otera earned his bachelor’s degree from UCLA, and Juris Doctor degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
The busiest seaport in the Western Hemisphere, the Port of Los Angeles is North America’s leading trade gateway and has ranked as the number one container port in the United States for 22 consecutive years. In 2021, the Port facilitated $294 billion in trade and handled a total of 10.7 million container units, the busiest calendar year in the Port’s 115-year history. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs across the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura.