City Attorney's Practice Areas
The City of Chula Vista City Attorney's Office provides legal counsel
and representation to the City's elected and appointed policy-makers.
It serves the public interest by providing these clients with the
affordable, high quality legal advice and representation that they
need to best achieve their policies and goals. The Office's responsibilities
revolve around seven specialized areas of practice in which attorneys
provide legal counsel as well as representation in litigation at
all levels of state and federal courts and administrative agencies.
Please Note: The City does not
prosecute violations of the California Penal Code, California Vehicle
Code, or other violations of State law. (See Below)
The City enters into a wide variety of contracts involving public works, consulting services and public/private partnerships. The City Attorney's Office provides legal services at all stages of contract formulation, implementation and enforcement, including negotiation, drafting, administration and dispute resolution. The City Attorney develops and maintains standardized City contracts, and actively participates in negotiations and structuring of complex transactions such as the finance and implementation of major capital projects, design/build agreements and energy, telecommunications and solid waste disposal franchises.
The City Attorney's Office provides legal counsel to the City Council, Development Services Department and Planning Commission on a wide range of "Land Use" issues including general plans, zoning, subdivisions, growth management, special use permits, enviornmental impacts, hazardous materials, low income housing, preservation of historic properties, and impact fees, exactions and assessment districts for open space, parks, and other public facilities.
Redevelopment and Real Estate
The City Attorney advises the City Council, City Manager, Redevelopment Agency and various City departments in connection with a wide range of redevelopment and real estate isues. Typical matters include property acquisition and disposition, leasing, development agreements, affordable housing transactions, and redevelopment projects formation and implementation.
With nearly 1,000 full-time City employees, and five established bargaining units, the personnel and labor issues facing the City are complex and diverse. In conjunction with the City's Human Resources Department, the City Attorney is responsible for advising on labor negotiations, employee policy development, federal and state labor laws, disciplinary matters, and dispute resolution, including civil service and arbitration proceedings.
General Municipal Law
The City Attorney proiveds legal advice in diverse areas of local government law such as unicipal finance, budgeting, and taxation. The city Attorney assists with the enactment of local laws by preparing City Council resolutions and ordinances. The City Attorney also advises regarding conflices of interest, open meeting and public records requirements and inter/intra-government relations. The City Attorney is frequently called upon to interpret and appy the rules contained in the City Charter and Municipal Code.
Litigation and Risk Management
The City Attorney is responsible for defending the City in personal injury, property damage and civil rights cases. These can range from minor matters to multi-million dollar lawsuits. The City Attorney also works closely with City Risk Management's team, which handles administrative claims against the City, and with all City Departments to improve policies and procedures that mitigate risk.
The City Attorney assists with the enforcement of City Code provisions related to bilding standards, zoning requirements, neighborhood preservation, and other conditions or conduct affecting public health, safety or welfare. Violations are addressed by employing the various legal enforcement tools available to the City: administrative actions, civil actions and/or criminal prosecution. The City Attorney provides further assistance by obtaining legal orders for the abatement, and/or demolition of substandard properties.
Legal Matters Typically NOT handled by the City Attorney
Currently the City Attorney does not presecute violations of the California Penal Code, California Vehicle Code, or other violations of State law. These matters are handled by the San Diego County District Attorney.
Legal Advice to Citizens
The City Attorney's client is the City itself, not any one citizen. As a result, the City Attorney's Office cannot provide direct legal advice to citizens.