County Counsel: County Counsel (1600B)

Program Outcome Statement

The County Counsel’s Office provides quality and timely legal services to the County Board of Supervisors, the County Manager's Office, elected County officials, all County departments and boards and commissions. We also provide services to school districts, special districts, and other public agencies operating within the county, allowing them to carry out their responsibilities in a manner fully consistent with the law.

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 2017-18 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 94 percent of our clients report being “Very Satisfied” or “Mostly Satisfied” with the department’s legal services. To achieve this outcome, we work closely with our clients to effectively represent them before courts and administrative agencies.


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

For FY 2017-18, 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 2017-19 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
  • Increase efficiency of the ProLaw case management system 
  • Digitize legal records

Author: Heather Hardy, Administrative Services Manager     Contact Email: SMC-CountyCounsel@smcgov.org
Last Updated: 3/11/2019