Office of City Attorney
The City Attorney is the chief legal advisor for the City of Atlanta and is the director of the Department of Law. As chief legal advisor for the City of Atlanta, the City Attorney is responsible for providing legal counsel to the Mayor and to the Atlanta City Council. The Department of Law is vested with exclusive authority and jurisdiction in all matters of law relating to the executive branch of the city government and every department, bureau, office, institution, commission, committee, board and other agency thereof. The Department of Law litigates all civil matters on behalf of the City of Atlanta; provides for the defense of city officers and employees in certain situations involving civil litigation arising out of the performance of official duties of the officer or employee; provides written legal opinions on questions of law connected with the interest of the City of Atlanta to the Mayor, any department head, and president or member of the Atlanta City Council; attends all meetings of the Atlanta City Council and meetings of the committees of the council as requested; supervises, administers and performs all claims work under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1, et seq., and performs any other services as are consistent with the usual and customary duties of municipal corporation counsel.
The Department of Law does not provide legal advice to members of the public. The Department of Law is limited to providing legal advice, counsel and representation to the Mayor, City Council members, City officials and departments in all civil matters regarding the City of Atlanta, Georgia.
The Department is comprised of four major units:
The City Attorney Groupsupports the City Attorney with the administration of the Department of Law, including strategic planning, human resource functions, budget and financial analysis, IT support, invoicing and vendor maintenance, among other things. Also seated within the City Attorney Group is the Compliance & Technology Unit, which provides support to Atlanta Information Management and other City entities with respect to technology agreements. It is also responsible for proactively evaluating, reviewing and improving compliance standards and processes within the City of Atlanta, with a centralized focus on preventing and reducing liability related to the City of Atlanta’s compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations. This Unit is responsible for conducting thorough and impartial investigations into the affairs of any City of Atlanta department, board, office, commission, institution, authority, retirement system or any other instrumentality or agency thereof.
Filtered by the City Attorney, the Law Department provides legal support to both the Atlanta City Council and the Mayor’s Executive Offices.
The Litigation Divisionhandles lawsuits in which the City of Atlanta, any of its employees, elected officials or its agents are named as defendants. This Group handles both tort litigation and constitutional claims filed in federal or state court. In addition, this Group provides substantive legal advice with respect to employment matters, pension, and workers’ compensation, and on behalf of the public safety entities which include Police, Fire, Corrections and Courts. This Group also supervises the Claims Department which manages claims filed against the City of Atlanta and pursues lawful recovery of revenue on behalf of the City of Atlanta.
The Operations Divisionserves as Counsel to the following:
The City of Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management. This Group also provides legal counsel to the Department of Watershed Management with legal counsel on billing and customer service issues and Watershed’s construction program;
The City of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The members of this Group represent the City of Atlanta in a broad variety of matters, including transactions with airlines, vendors, its construction program and contractors doing business with or at the Airport;
The City of Atlanta’s Department of Public Works, Department of Parks and Recreation, Atlanta Police Department, Atlanta Fire Department, Department of Corrections and Department of Human Resources, providing legal advice and support regarding the operations of these and several other departments, boards and agencies throughout the City.The Transactions Divisionprovides legal counsel to the Mayor, City Council, Office of Contract Compliance, Office of Enterprise Assets Management, Department of Finance, Department of Procurement, Office of Contract Compliance, Office of Enterprise Assets Management, the Renew Atlanta Bond Program, the License Review Board and other boards and authorities. This Group also provides legal counsel on commercial transactions, including bond transactions, municipal financings, and tax matters city-wide. It also provides legal advice and telecommunication and real estate matters. In addition, this Group serves as the legal liaison with the City of Atlanta’s Invest Atlanta, the Atlanta Beltline and three Community Improvement Districts.