The Office of the City Attorney provides legal advice and representation to the Mayor and City Council, the City's various boards and commissions, the City Manager and other City officials and employees on a broad range of issues. The City Attorney is appointed by and reports to City Council.
Led by City Attorney Leigh Paoletti, the Office of the City Attorney has a diverse staff of legal professionals, including full-time assistant attorneys, who prosecute cases in Municipal Court and represent the City in state and federal courts, retaining outside counsel when needed.
The Office of the City Attorney drafts and reviews ordinances and resolutions, contracts, real estate leases, intergovernmental agreements and other documents and legal instruments. The Office monitors risk exposure and advises on policy development and program implementation. City attorneys advocate and negotiate on behalf of the City and provide training to elected officials, City boards and commissions and City employees on a broad spectrum of law-related topics.
The Office also advises City officials in a variety of subject areas, including environmental law; constitutional law; civil rights; employee benefits; public records requests and records management; personnel and labor law issues; tort claims; workers compensation; construction law; land use planning; equity, diversity and affirmative action; revenue and taxation; policing; fire, rescue and emergency services; code enforcement; housing; elections; telecommunications franchises and utilities; and collection of revenues owed to the City.
Employees of the Office of the City Attorney are not permitted to represent or provide legal advice to citizens. Citizens who need legal advice should contact a private attorney or call the South Carolina Bar Association, which provides free legal advice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., at 1-800-868-2284.