County Attorney
R.A. Cuevas Jr.

County Attorney's Office
111 NW 1st Street, Suite 2810
Miami, Florida 33128



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Attorney Profile

Jess McCarty

Practice Areas

  • Governmental Affairs


  • University of Illinois, J.D., 1993, Magna Cum Laude
  • Undergraduate Northwestern University, B.A.
    with honors in Urban Planning and
    Political Science, 1988


  • Hon. Rosemary Barkett, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 1995-96
  • Hon. Norman C. Roettger, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 1993-95

Court Admissions

  • The Florida Bar, 1996
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 1996

Jess McCarty

Joined the Office in 1996
Assistant County Attorney
Chief, Government Affairs Section 305-375-1634

Jess McCarty is chief of the Governmental Affairs Section.  Jess has advocated on behalf of Miami-Dade County before the Florida Legislature in Tallahassee for more than 15 years, and has led the County’s Tallahassee lobbying effort the last four years.  Jess also prepares and reviews ordinances and resolutions and provides legal advice to County Commissioners, the Mayor’s Office and various County Departments, including the County’s Budget Office, Commission Auditor and PortMiami.

Working closely with the Miami-Dade Delegation and County Commissioners, Jess has played a key role in advocating for the County’s legislative priorities in Tallahassee, including the extension of the Miami-Dade Affordable Housing Surtax from 2011 to 2031, which generates tens of millions of dollars each year for affordable housing in Miami-Dade County; securing funding for the Port of Miami Tunnel project; providing a dedicated annual funding source for the Children’s Courthouse through a traffic ticket surcharge generating $6-8 million per year; protecting the County’s interests during Article V court funding implementation; & ensuring that property tax relief legislation did not compromise important County services such as Fire/Rescue, Police and Jackson Memorial Hospital.

During the annual 60-day session and 7 committee weeks leading up to it, Jess has developed an expertise in quickly identifying issues that impact Miami-Dade County among the thousands of bills, amendments and appropriations considered every year.  Jess also has earned a preeminent AV peer review rating (5.0 out of 5.0) from Martindale-Hubbell.

Selected Cases & Matters

  • City of Miami v. McGrath, 824 So.2d 143 (Florida Supreme Court, 2002) (invalidating City of Miami Parking surcharge).  

Prior Experience

  • Policy Aide, Illinois Governor James R. Thompson, 1988-1991. 

Community Involvement, Awards, & Recognition

  • President, Florida Association for Intergovernmental Relations (FAIR), a statewide organization made up of advocates for cities, counties and special districts, 2001-2002.
  • Recipient “Theresa Lintz Memorial Award” for excellence in local government advocacy, FAIR, 2004;
  • Named “Most Effective Lawyer in Lobbying”, South Florida Daily Business Review, 2008;
  • Recipient “Elaine Gordon ‘You Made a Difference’ Award”, Miami-Dade County Days, Tallahassee, 2011.