Telephone: (510) 272-6700 Fax: (510) 272-5020
To provide competent, efficient and cost-effective legal representation and advice, thus advancing and protecting the programs and financial resources of the County, its officers, departments, boards, commissions, districts, and courts.
The County Counsel Department is
required by law to provide legal services in civil matters to the County and all
of its departments and agencies. These services are therefore mandated. Certain
other services are made mandatory by court decisions. For example, the courts
would intervene if the interests of the minor were not protected through legal
representation in child welfare dependency and adoption cases, or if lawsuits
against the County were left undefended.
The department provides County officials and departments legal advice and assistance on such matters as conflicts of interest, and personnel and labor relations issues involving the drafting and interpretation of union-county memoranda of understanding, salary and fringe benefit provisions, affirmative action, employment discrimination, personnel officer training, and employee discipline. These legal services are all discretionary in the sense that the County has no legal obligation to provide them. On the other hand, providing these services saves the County far more in reduced exposure to liability and litigation expenses and in reduced employee inefficiency than the cost of County Counsel staff.