rwgPeter M. Thorson
Peter M. ThorsonShareholderLos Angeles







Peter M. Thorson is a shareholder in the Public Law Department at Richards, Watson & Gershon and serves as Chair of the Firm's Public Law Department. Mr. Thorson specializes in general municipal law and land use law. He currently serves as City Attorney for the Cities of Temecula and Jurupa Valley. Mr. Thorson also served as the City Attorney for the Cities of Azusa, Downey, and Mission Viejo, and as Assistant City Attorney for the Cities of Alhambra and Camarillo.

Mr. Thorson has over 38 years of experience in municipal law representing a diverse group of clients throughout California and assisting those clients in managing complex municipal issues. Mr. Thorson has extensive experience in the entitlement process for large complex planned developments. His land development work includes the preparation of development agreements, specific plans, CEQA documents, development fee ordinances, and infrastructure financing, as well as litigation involving land use projects. In addition to his experience as a City Attorney, Mr. Thorson also has extensive litigation experience in civil rights, land use, police practices, public works, and personal injury cases. He has argued numerous cases in the courts of appeal and a First Amendment case before the California Supreme Court.

In 2000-2002 and again in 2009-10, Mr. Thorson served on the Legal Advocacy Committee of the League of California Cities. In 2000-2002 and again in 2010-2011, Mr. Thorson served on the Editorial Board of the Municipal Law Handbook. In 2004, Mr. Thorson served as President of the Orange County City Attorney's Association, and for the previous two years on its Executive Board. In 1991-92, Mr. Thorson served as Chair of the Governmental Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and served for several years prior to that on the Section's Executive Board. Mr. Thorson has lectured extensively on a variety of public law issues before the League of California Cities Annual meetings.


J.D., Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, 1978
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1974

Practice Areas

Land Use
Planning, Zoning and Subdivision Map Act
Public Agency and Municipal Law