Responsibilities of the City Attorney
The city attorney and staff are the primary in-house legal counsel for the City Commission, city manager, and city department heads, providing legal representation on all legal matters involving the city. This encompasses prosecution in municipal courts and civil litigation in state and federal court, furnishing legal opinions to the City Commission, city manager, and departments on legal issues, reviewing and approving legal documents, contracts and other legal instruments, and acting as general advocate for the city's legal interests in claims filed against the city.
The legal department of the City of Dothan is comprised of three attorneys and two administrative assistants who are responsible for the proper administration of the legal affairs of the city. The legal department has the supervision and responsibility for the prosecution and defense of all actions and appeals involving the city in all courts, before all boards, commissions, and administrative agencies.
The legal department is responsible for the legal representation of city boards and commissions including, but not limited to, the City of Dothan Planning Commission, City of Dothan Personnel Board, City of Dothan Board of Zoning Adjustment, and City of Dothan Board of Recreation.
The legal department has the supervision and responsibility for the prosecution of all charges of violations of municipal ordinances and regulations in the City of Dothan Municipal Court.
The legal department is responsible for furnishing legal advice, counsel, and assistance to the city governing body, heads of departments and all other city officers in relation to their duties and the business of the city. This includes, but is not limited to, assistance in preparation and review of ordinances, resolutions, policies, deeds, leases, contracts, personnel matters, recommendations for disposition of damage claims against the city, easements, right-of-way procurement, annexation elections, and proposals for state legislation.
Municipal law has changed dramatically over the years evolving into a complex and specialized field of its own. With liability expanding continually for virtually every aspect of governmental operations and compliance and an ever-increasing body of law a necessity, the role of the legal department is important to the City of Dothan's ability to continue to provide effective public service and meet the challenges of the 21st century.