The City Attorney's Office provides legal support and advice to the City Council, Commissions and City staff. Office functions generally fall into the categories of general counsel, prosecution and litigation. The City of Laguna Niguel contracts with the law firm of Best Best & Krieger, LLP for legal services.
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. Among other things, the City Attorney prepares and/or reviews all City ordinances, resolutions, contracts and other legal documents, attends City Council, Planning Commission, Environmental Review Board, City Staff and other meetings, conducts legal research and renders opinions on a variety of City issues, and 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.