The mission of the City Attorney’s Office is to provide the City with the highest level of legal representation. As advisors to City officials and staff, we provide timely and comprehensive assistance. As advocates, we represent the City and its employees vigorously and fairly. As prosecutors, we diligently and justly enforce the law on behalf of the People of the State of California. In all functions, we ethically and cost-effectively promote the community's interests in equity, justice and fairness.
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 Affirmative Litigation
The Prosecution and Affirmative Litigation 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 City Attorney’s Office does not provide legal advice to private citizens.
--Yibin Shen, City Attorney
--Elizabeth Mackenzie, Chief Assistant City Attorney