City Attorney

The City contracts with the law firm of Rutan and Tucker, LLP, for the provision of City Attorney services. The City Attorney’s Office provides legal support and advice to the City Council, boards and commissions, and City staff. The City Attorney’s office functions generally fall into the categories of general counsel, prosecution, and litigation. 

Departmental Functions

General Counsel

The City Attorney is the chief legal officer of the City and is responsible to the City Council for the proper administration and coordination of all City legal affairs. The City Attorney:

  • Prepares and/or reviews all City ordinances, resolutions, contracts, and other legal documents
  • Attends City Council, Planning Commission, and other meetings
  • Conducts legal research and renders opinions on a variety of City issues
  • Provides legal advice to City officials and employees


The City contracts with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for the prosecution of most local municipal code violations (infractions and misdemeanors). The City Attorney coordinates with the District Attorney’s Office and may personally represent the City in prosecution when appropriate.


The City Attorney generally represents the City in litigation. In some cases, the City Attorney may recommend the engagement of other law firms to assist the City on certain cases. The City Attorney also monitors the performance of other agencies and special counsel (i.e., California Joint Powers Insurance Authority) in the handling of liability and other claims and lawsuits against the City.