County Counsel: County Counsel (1600B)

Program Outcome Statement

The County Counsel’s Office provides high quality and timely legal services to the County Board of Supervisors, elected County officials, all County departments, as well as various boards, commissions, school districts, and special districts within the county. The services include the provision of legal advice and legal representation in disputes before courts and administrative agencies. By providing these services, the County Counsel's Office enables its clients to carry out their responsibilities in a manner fully consistent with the law and it shelters them from undue losses and risks.

Program Services

  • Provide general legal services to the Board of Supervisors, County Manager, County departments, boards, and commissions regarding compliance with laws, regulations, ordinances, contracts, and other County policies and directives
  • Defend and/or prosecute civil actions involving the County, its Supervisors, and other elected officials and employees
  • Provide mandated legal representation of agencies for protection of vulnerable populations
  • Advise the Grand Jury

Overview

The County Counsel's Office provides a full range of general legal services such as: advising; advocating; representing; and training clients regarding compliance with laws; regulations; ordinances; contracts; policies; and directives. The Office also defends an/or prosecutes civil actions on behalf of its clients.

Percent of Post-Litigation Client Satisfaction Ratings Listed as "Very Satisfied" or "Mostly Satisfied" Exceeds Target

Department's Budget as a Percent of the County's Total Budget Below Target and Benchmark

FY 2015-16 Year End Story Behind Performance

Percentage of Post-litigation Client Satisfaction Ratings Listed as "Very Satisfied" or "Mostly Satisfied"

In 2014, we began surveying our clients at the conclusion of all litigation. Since then, more than 92 percent of our clients report being “Very Satisfied” or “Mostly Satisfied” with the department’s legal services. To achieve this, we work closely with our clients to effectively represent them before courts and administrative agencies.

Percentage of General Litigation Cases Won or Resolved with Client Approval

The County Counsel’s Office won or resolved, with client approval, all general litigation cases for FY 2015-16. This was the result of our our strong client relations and the application of practical and effective legal solutions. It also reflects the legal talents and work ethic of all County Counsel employees.

Department's Budget as a Percentage of the County's Total Budget

For FY 2015-16, our budget grew by less than one percent compared to the County’s total budget. This represents an increase in the department’s total expenditures, but one that was expected given growing demand for the department’s legal services. Nevertheless, the size of the department’s budget is still below the regional benchmark, which is the weighted average for the County Counsel Offices for the Bay Area's nine counties.

FY 2016-17 Priorities

  • Continue providing responsive, timely, and top-rate legal services given the ever-increasing volume and complexity of legal work
  • Establish several practice teams and committees in order to increase collaboration and share knowledge
  • Digitize records
Author: Mark Hertz, Administrative/Financial Services Manager     Contact Email: SMC-CountyCounsel@smcgov.org
Last Updated: 3/1/2017