The City Attorney is appointed by the City Council to provide, among other things, legal assistance concerning city operations and procedures; and to represent the City in litigation. In addition to providing legal counsel to the Mayor and City Council, the City Attorney’s office advises City's boards, commissions, and employees. Office responsibilities include the review and preparation of ordinances, resolutions, contracts, leases, and related legal documents. Specific areas of the law that are addressed by the attorneys in the office include: land use/real estate, environmental, constitutional, administrative, employment and code enforcement.
Although the office is part of a governmental entity that provides services to the public, its client is the City, as an organization, and the attorneys are precluded from providing legal advice to members of the community. In addition, State law prevents the attorneys from prosecuting most violations of the California Penal Code, California Vehicle Code, or other violations of State Law.