County Attorney
Abigail Price-Williams

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

Public Records Custodian
Tomeka Ladson



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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 17 years, and has led the County's Tallahassee lobbying effort the last six years.  Jess also works with the Board of County Commissioners and staff, the Mayor's Office and various County Departments to provide legal advice and prepare and review ordinances and resolutions to carry out the Board's policy directives.

Working closely with County Commissioners,  the Mayor's Office and the Miami-Dade Legislative Delegation, Jess has played a key role in advocating for the County's state legislative priorities and package as set by the Board of County Commissioners. Such priorities have included:

  • Extending the Miami-Dade Affordable Housing Documentary Stamp Surtax for 20 years, which generates tens of millions of dollars each year for affordable housing in Miami-Dade County;
  • Securing funding for the PortMiami Tunnel project; and
  • Providing a dedicated funding source for the Miami-Dade Children's Courthouse through a traffic ticket surcharge generating $6-8 million per year.

Jess also defends the County from the numerous bills and joint resolutions filed each session that would adversely affect the Miami-Dade County Home Rule Charter, preempt Board ordinances and policies and have a negative fiscal impact on County taxpayers. During the annual 60-day session and 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 line-item appropriations considered each year. Such legislation has included bills that would have preempted the supermajority vote required for development outside the Urban Development Boundary as approved by Miami-Dade County voters; as well as Miami-Dade County's ordinances related to:

  • Wage theft,
  • Local preference in contracting;
  • Living wage requirements for county contracts;
  • Pit bulls;
  • Regulating pain clinics and PIP auto insurance clinics;
  • Regulating wetlands;
  • Regulating limousines and other for-hire vehicles;and
  • Authorizing the use of in-house labor for certain construction projects which results in a cost savings to the taxpayers of Miami-Dade County.

Jess 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

  • Member, Florida Association of Counties - Constitution Revision Commission Steering Committee, 2017-2018
  • Member, Florida Association of County Attorney's - Medical Marijuana Task Force, 2017
  • Legal Leaders, Top Rated Lawyer, 2012
  • Recipient "Elaine Gordon 'You Made a Difference' Award", Miami-Dade County Days, Tallahassee, 2011
  • Named "Most Effective Lawyer in Lobbying", South Florida Daily Business Review, 2008
  • Recipient "Theresa Lintz Memorial Award" for excellence in local government advocacy, FAIR, 2004
  • President, Florida Association for Intergovernmental Relations (FAIR), a statewide organization made up of advocates for cities, counties and special districts, 2001-2002
  • University of Illinois Law Review, Notes & Comments Editor
  • Order of the Coif