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The City Attorney is appointed by the City Council. The City contracts with the Law Firm of William D. Ross (Palo Alto, CA for City Attorney services. The City Attorney serves as the principal legal advisor for the City. However, the City also contracts with Libert Cassidy Whitmore (Sacramento, CA) for legal advice in personnel matters. In addition, the City contracts with a variety of other firms for their expertise on certain matters, such as property acquisition, permitting, and litigation. The City Attorney Division oversees the following:

  • Advises the City Council, commissions and staff on a broad range of legal issues, including land use, public safety, personnel, code enforcement, public records, ethics, and the Brown Act
  • Furnishes legal services at all meetings of the City Council, and gives advice or opinions on the legality of all matters under consideration by the Council or by any of the Boards and Commissions or Officers of the City
  • Prepares and/or approves all ordinances, resolutions, agreements, contracts, leases, and other legal instruments required to conduct the business of the City, and approves the form of all contracts, agreements, and bonds given to the City
  • Minimizes the City’s exposure to litigation and associated costs
  • Is the City’s legal representative including the filing of lawsuits on behalf of the City or defending the City against lawsuits
  • The City Attorney prosecutes on behalf of the people including cases for violation of city ordinances when not otherwise prosecuted by the District Attorney of Napa County; he may contract out certain legal matters out to other lawyers
  • Performs such other legal duties as may be required by the City Council or as may be necessary to complete the performance of the foregoing functions