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City Attorney Karen M. McDonald


Karen M. McDonald
City Attorney



Karen is the City Attorney for the City of Fayetteville, where she has worked since August 2002.  Karen grew up in Fayetteville and graduated from Pine Forest High School.  She earned her B.A. in English and a minor in Biology from Wake Forest University in 1990 and her law degree in 1993. Subsequently, Karen returned to her hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina, to practice law. In 1995, she began her career in municipal law as the first Assistant City Attorney.

At that time, her duties included the enforcement of City Code violations. From 1998 to 2000 she worked as a Staff Attorney for the Cumberland County Attorney’s office. After a two-year stay in Little Rock, Arkansas, she once again returned to the City of Fayetteville where she was appointed City Attorney by the Fayetteville City Council. As City Attorney she is responsible for providing legal advice and counsel to the City Council and City employees regarding matters that arise during the course and scope of their employment.  

Karen is a member of several legal and civic organizations and is licensed to practice law in the states of North Carolina, Georgia, and Arkansas.


The mission of the City Attorney's Office is to provide high quality legal support services to the City Council and City departments in a timely and efficient manner. 

Program Descriptions

Legal Reviews, Advice and Opinions

Legal Reviews, Advice and Opinions provides services to the City Council, City Manager's Office, City departments and boards and commissions in the form of contract reviews and approvals; enforcement of ordinance violations; drafting and approval of legal documents; ordinance, resolution and legislative drafting and reviews; and any other reviews that may be required under this program. These services are provided in a timely and effective manner and form the basis for many City initiatives and actions. The City Council, City Manager's Office, City departments and boards and commissions depend upon the advice and opinions provided by this program.


Litigation provides litigation services in State and Federal courts for suits initiated for or against the City. These suits are typically initiated in the areas of contracts, code enforcement, zoning and personal injury. The program also provides litigation services for employment claims initiated by present and past employees and environmental court cases for code violations. The program provides high quality professional representation, typically resulting in favorable results. The avoidance of litigation through the negotiation of claims and disputes is often as successful and important to the City as is litigation. Litigation is handled by in-house counsel and outside counsel as the need arises.


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McDonald, Karen M.City AttorneyCity Attorney's Office(910) 433-1985