Larry Nokes

Laguna Beach City Council


  • I was born in Kansas and grew up in Salt Lake Valley, Utah. The arts were a major part of my childhood and I focused on music, becoming a proficient string instrumentalist. I also became fluent in Italian after living in Italy for two years.
  • I graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in political science and a minor in psychology.
  • I graduated from UOP McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento in 1982.
  • I began my legal career in Newport Beach becoming a partner at Cummins & White in 1987 and then becoming a partner at McDermott, Will & Emory. In 1993, I created my law firm, Nokes & Quinn, moving it to Laguna in 1995. My focus in the law is in land use, serving both residential and commercial clients. As a trial lawyer, I have tried and resolved hundreds of cases. I am frequently sought out to mediate private disputes, a part of my practice that I find personally rewarding. I have worked easily with Laguna Beach’s City Manager, property development staff, the Design Review Board, Planning Commission, and City Council. I have also worked with Laguna’s police department, for example – helping resolve issues with the ABC Board before Laguna’s Hospitality Night of 2017.
  • I married my wife, Cathy, and we are proud parents of daughter McKenna Nokes, who recently received a law degree from the University of South Carolina, specializing in environmental law.


  • Served 2 years as Chairman of the Board of Managers for the South Coast YMCA, which serves Laguna.
  • Served for 6 years on the Board of Directors of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce; 2 years as Chairman.
  • My successful work in the City prompted former Mayor Kelly Boyd to recommend to the City Council that I be appointed to chair a committee related to a controversial View Preservation and Restoration Ordinance, which after re-working, is today, operating successfully and fairly.
  • In 2015, I argued to the City that the manner in which the City’s Historic Resources Inventory Ordinance was being applied was not consistent with State law. After working with a talented committee of other residents for several years, a significant new ordinance, making it voluntary and incentive-based (encouraging more preservation), was written by the committee and me. The new Ordinance received approval by the City Council in August 2020 and is being given to the Coastal Commission for final approval.


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Paid for by Liberate Laguna PAC
ID # 1405838

T: 949-208-9108
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