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Department Sections


The Administration Section develops and implements office policies and procedures, monitors overall office performance, prepares and administers the office budget, handles all personnel hiring and other personnel matters, assembles and analyzes office productivity data, including production of an annual report, and engages in long-range planning. The administration and general support functions of the office are performed under the direction of the City Attorney. The structure of the office includes two Assistant City Attorneys, one of whom monitors the performances of the Advisory Section while the other monitors the performance of the Litigation and Neighborhood Safety & Nuisance Abatement Sections; four Supervising Deputy City Attorneys who oversee the three operating sections of the office; an Office Administrator who supervises support staff; and a Special Assistant who provides direct administrative support to the City Attorney.


    The Advisory Section provides counsel day-to-day strategic support to the City's policymaking function by responding to requests for legal advice from the City Council, the Charter Officers, and the City departments and divisions. It also consists of a diverse group whose responsibilities encompasses various special projects. The support and types of assignments include:

    • Drafting and reviewing ordinances and other legislation
    • Preparation and review of contractual documents
    • Providing legal representation and advice at meetings of the Council and City boards and commissions
    • Educating City staff in relevant areas of the law, and keeping the Council and City staff informed on recent changes or developments in the law
    • Debt Financing
    • Intellectual Property
    • Elections
    • Campaign Finance
    • Collections


    The Human Resources and Special Projects Section provides advisory and litigation support primarily to the varied divisions in the City’s Human Resources and Community Development Departments. On the litigation side, Human Resources and Special Projects attorneys handle civil discrimination lawsuits, administrative personnel and labor matters, and writ litigation involving land use and CEQA issues. The Section also provides advisory services to all both the Human Resources and Community Development Departments. Common assignments include:

        Human Resources:

    • Preparation and review of contracts
    • Participation in, and support for, bargaining with the City’s labor unions
    • Review of the City’s policies and implementation of investigations into internal claims of harassment and discrimination        
    • Advice on OSHA compliance
    • Advice on disciplinary matters
    • Advice on benefits and compliance with union contracts

        Community Development:

    • Draft and review of land use ordinances
    • Participation in the negotiation and drafting of Development Agreements
    • Review of environmental documents, including Environmental Impact Reports
    • Draft and review of the City's General Plan and area Specific Plans
    • Advise and staff the Planning and Development Commission and Preservation Commission
    • Advise on project compliance with the City Code



    The Litigation Section is responsible for handling all civil litigation for the City of Sacramento and its employees. Attorneys in the Litigation Section handle lawsuits where the City or staff is the plaintiff or defendant, in matters that encompass the entire spectrum of municipal law.

    Typical cases handled by the Litigation Section include:

    • Torts
    • Civil Rights
    • Eminent Domain
    • Environmental
    • Real Estate
    • Employment and Labor
    • Administrative Hearings
    • Writs
    • Discipline Appeals
    • Retirement Appeals
    • Subrogation

    In addition, the Litigation Section provides pre-litigation and risk management advice to City departments on an as-needed basis.

    Public Safety  

    The Public Safety Section works collaboratively with the Community Development Department, Police, and other departments regarding City code enforcement, social nuisance abatement, public safety challenges, including prosecuting code violations through administrative, civil or criminal proceedings. Through lawsuits and other civil actions, the Public Safety Section advocates for neighbors through the Justice for Neighbors program with a focus on absentee landlords, substandard housing, sales of illegal narcotics, gang activity, and social and physical nuisances.  

    The assignment workload is generally divided into the following categories:

    • Administrative Proceedings: Represent and advocate on behalf of City staff at administrative hearings.
    • Civil Proceedings: Filing court actions to abate physical and social nuisances, enforcement of administrative orders, obtain injunctions and other court orders, including pursuit of contempt proceedings, destruction of weapons and limiting the disclosure of peace officer personnel records in opposition to Pitchess motions.
    • Criminal Prosecution: Prosecute criminal violations of the City Code as misdemeanors and infractions.
    • Police Advisor: Provide legal advice to the police department and handle all transactional assignments from this department.