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Ms. Viviane H. Ernstes

DeKalb County Law Department

Viviane H. Ernstes (she/her) is the Chief Legal Officer for DeKalb County. She represents and provides legal advice to County departments and elected officials, including the Chief Executive Officer, Board of Commissioners, Sheriff, and Tax Commissioner. She is responsible for the operation of the County's Law Department comprised of over 30 staff members and she supervises and manages all civil litigation handled by the law department and its outside counsel. 

Ms. Ernstes has practiced law for 30 years and has served DeKalb County for the last 20 years. Prior to joining the County's Law Department, she supervised all litigation for the Fulton County Law Department and served as a part-time municipal court judge for the City of Decatur, where she also served as President of the State of Georgia Counseil of Municipal Court Judges. Ms. Ernstes earned her bachelor's degree from Agnes Scott College, having been accepted to the early admissions program at the age of sixteen, and earned her law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she received the American Jurisprudence Award for Constitutional Litigation. Ms. Ernstes has also received the AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.