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Mission and Organization of the City Attorney's Office

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Our Mission

The City Attorney's Office is committed to providing the highest quality legal services to the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, San Francisco Unified School District and the 94 departments, boards, commissions and offices of the City and County of San Francisco.

Our responsibilities include:

  • Representing the City and County in legal proceedings
  • Providing advice or written opinions to any officer, department head, board, commission or other unit of local government
  • Making recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for or against the settlement or dismissal of legal proceedings
  • Approving as to form all surety bonds, contracts and ordinances
  • Examining and approving title to all real property to be acquired by the City and County
  • Preparing reviews annually and making available to the public a codification of ordinances of the City and County
  • Investigating, evaluating and recommending disposition of all claims made against the City and County

Our Staff

Our office is organized into four general areas: Administration, Government, Neighborhoods & Community Services; and Litigation, Claims and Investigations.

City Attorney's Office Organizational Chart

Litigation, Claims and Investigations supports the city in handling all claims and litigation filed against the City and County of San Francisco. The litigation team also prosecutes civil actions in which the city is a plaintiff. Trial attorneys handle matters as varied as enforcement of the city's building codes against slumlords and prosecution of fraud and unfair competition actions against corporate defendants. They represent the city in 7,500 actions annually ranging from personal injury and property damage to child custody, welfare fraud, breach of contract, and workers' compensation.

Administration manages the operation of the office. Division staff is responsible for secretarial, clerical, personnel, administrative, and information systems support including management of the law library and coordination of the in-house continuing legal education program. They also handle special projects such as the coordination of the city's sexual harassment prevention workshops.

Government acts as the city's general counsel. Attorneys in this division draft all municipal ordinances and city contracts. They also advise officials and agencies on a wide range of legal issues. Their expertise covers every aspect of municipal government. Areas of specialization within the Government area include:

  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Child Protection and Family Services
  • Construction
  • Contracts and Intellectual Property
  • Environmental Protection
  • Finance and Real Estate
  • Government Ethics
  • Health, Education and Social Services
  • Labor Relations
  • Public Utilities
  • Taxation
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation

Claims and Investigation investigates all claims filed against the city. Division staff also investigates allegations of civil law violations, which may be prosecuted by the office. Learn more about filing a claim here.

Last updated: 7/21/2009 2:50:45 PM