The City Attorney’s Office is committed to doing excellent legal work, efficiently and cost-effectively. As advisors to City officials and staff, the Office seeks to provide timely, strategic and complete advice. As advocates, the Office represents the City and its employees vigorously and fairly. As prosecutors, the Office diligently and justly enforces the law on behalf of the People of California.
Summary of Key Functions:
The Municipal Advisory function of the Office provides advice to the City Council, the City’s Boards & Commissions, and City staff. The Office drafts ordinances, resolutions, contracts, leases and other legal documents, and it reviews documents prepared by City departments. The Office further oversees personnel investigations in collaboration with the Human Resources Department and review Public Records Act requests in collaboration with the City Clerk’s Office.
The Litigation function of the Office defends the City in state and federal court either with in house resources or through the supervision of outside counsel. The Office’s caseload is diverse and includes personal injury cases, employment litigation, civil rights suits, contract disputes, as well as land use, constitutional and other specialized litigation.
Prosecution and Public Rights Unit
The Prosecution and Public Rights Unit function of the Office represents the People of the State of California in misdemeanor criminal matters. City prosecutors are dedicated to promoting and improving public safety and the quality of life in Alameda. The Office prosecutes a wide variety of cases, ranging from Penal Code violations, such as battery, theft, and vandalism, to local infractions. Many cases are referred by the Alameda Police Department, but cases may also come from other City departments and public agencies, including the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The Office is further charged with bringing affirmative litigation in response to violations of consumer protection and fair housing laws, and protecting consumers against fraud and unfair business practices.
The Risk Management function of the Office works with Departments to eliminate or mitigate potential risk and preserve public property, as well as manage the City’s Workers’ Compensation program.
The Alameda Rent Program was created to implement the City’s Rent Ordinance. Program staff strives to promote equity and stability in the rental housing market, prevent unnecessary displacement of residents, and preserve the City’s housing supply, through education, community engagement and collaboration with landlords, tenants and the broader community.
The City Attorney’s Office does not provide legal advice to private citizens.
Note: Alameda City Government is open and transparent. Any written correspondence sent to the City may be deemed a public record which could be disclosed.
City Attorney's Office Leadership Team:
--Yibin Shen, City Attorney
--Bill Chapin, Director of Rent Program
--Elizabeth Mackenzie, Chief Assistant City Attorney
--Wesley Cheung, Chief Assistant City Prosecutor