The Office of the City Attorney functions as the legal advisor to the City and the council, and is available to all City officials, boards, commissions, officers, and employees with respect to city business. Additionally, the City Attorney provides general oversight to special counsel, whose services may be provided from time to time by other firms. Legal services for the City are provided by contract with the Pacific Grove law firm of De Lay & Laredo.
Article 24 of the City Charter requires: the City Attorney be appointed by the City Council, sets qualifications for that office, and ensures that the City Attorney has had special training for this office and experience in municipal corporation law. The City Attorney is required to prosecute all violations of City ordinances, and to draft ordinances, resolutions, contracts, or other legal documents or proceedings required by the Council or other officials. The City Attorney accepts legal service referrals from the Council, and is required to attend all meetings of the Council. The City Attorney advises on meeting procedures, including the Brown Act, Ethics, Records Retention, and Ex Parte Communications.
The Office of the City Attorney provides oversight and representation in matters regarding litigation or administrative proceedings, including those matters arising from claims by or against the City, and in adversarial proceedings before regional, State or Federal agencies and boards.
Risk Management & Claims
The Office of the City Attorney provides risk management advice, oversight and recommendations, and reviews claims against the City for bodily injury, property damage or incidents alleging City responsibility.