100 North Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Telephone: 954-828-5940 - Facsimile : 954-828-5915
The City Attorney's Office is the legal advisor and counselor to the City, its elected and appointed officials, boards, offices, departments, and agencies. As the City's legal advisor the office not only assists its clients in understanding its role and function but also provides competent counsel on a number of issues. While a comprehensive review of the office's functions are impracticable, the following is some of its common tasks and responsibilities:
- Transactional. The transactional portion of our practice focuses on the application of law to the various business transactions of the City with the most familiar aspects being contracts and agreements. Assuring that the terms of these agreements are in the best interests of the City is paramount when expending public funds. We also prepare numerous ordinances and resolutions indicating the position of the City Commission with respect to legislation or a particular local, state or federal action.
- Code of Ethics. Our office responds to City Commission, offices, departments, employees, and advisory board members' questions pertaining to standards of conduct for public officers and employees pursuant to Florida Statutes, Chapter 112. Such issues generally involve conditions of employment, travel expenses, retirement and pensions, voting conflicts, disclosure of financial interests and gifts. Legal opinions are prepared in response to these inquiries.
- The Sunshine Law. Government-in-the-Sunshine Law, commonly referred to as the "Sunshine Law", works in tandem with the Public Records law to ensure the openness of government. Our office advises staff, administration, advisory boards, and the City Commission on Government-in-the-Sunshine issues, including matters pertaining to legal requirements for open meetings, notice of meetings, and closed-door sessions in which labor negotiations and litigation is discussed.
- Departmental Issues. Our staff responds to a wide variety of legal issues and requests. Some of these matters are related to the function of the requesting entity and others are related to the operation of the government. There are many tasks that are handled by our office on behalf of City departments, including advising staff and preparing legal opinions and memoranda, review of Commission agenda items, preparation of resolutions and ordinances affecting the department, conducting legal research, attending meetings and telephone conferences, site visits and preparation and review of agreements, contracts, and proposals.
- Litigation and Litigation Support. Due to the large number of services provided to our residents, the numerous agreements and contracts entered into, and ordinances to enforce, the City is often involved in litigation. Our office represents the City in civil court, administrative actions and municipal criminal prosecutions. The types of civil actions include, but are not limited to, matters pertaining to breach of contracts and leases, foreclosures, declaratory actions, Writs of Mandamus, Board of Adjustment actions, constitutional issues, employment issues, ADEA, ADA, civil rights, violations of the public records laws, injunctions, environmental concerns, special assessments, garnishments, bankruptcy and appeals.
The City Attorney’s Office is not authorized to provide legal advice to the general public. Please see our community legal resources page for suggested sites of entities that may be able to assist with your legal needs.