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TURNING A LEGAL DEPARTMENT INTO A LAW FIRM. Prepared and Presented by: David M. Feldman City Attorney December 8, 2010. City Attorney Goals for Legal Department. Turn Legal Department into self sufficient Law Firm Increase quality, responsiveness and efficiency of Legal Department

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turning a legal department into a law firm

TURNING A LEGAL DEPARTMENT INTO A LAW FIRM

Prepared and Presented by:

David M. Feldman

City Attorney

December 8, 2010

city attorney goals for legal department
City Attorney Goals for Legal Department
  • Turn Legal Department into self sufficient Law Firm
  • Increase quality, responsiveness and efficiency of Legal Department
  • Produce quality legal product at reduced cost
  • Increase Continuing Legal Education courses for better trained lawyers
  • Dedicate legal practice to client Departments’ interests
  • Reduce reliance on outside Legal Counsel
  • Increase Pro Bono work by local Law Firms
legal department organization chart
LEGAL DEPARTMENT ORGANIZATION CHART

Arturo G. Michel

City Attorney

Susan T. Taylor

Deputy City Attorney

Tom P. Allen

First Assistant City Attorney

James Cargas

Sr. Assistant City Attorney IV

Business Litigation

(Randy Pourteau,

Div. Chief)

(Fund 1000)

Contracts

(Jo Wiginton,

Div. Chief)

(Fund 1000)

Defense

Litigation

(Robert Cambrice,

Div. Chief)

(Fund 1004)

Governmental

Regulations

(Don Cheatham,

Div. Chief)

(Fund 1000)

Land Use

(Deborah McAbee,

Div. Chief)

(Fund 1000)

Real Estate

(Vacant,

Div. Chief)

(Fund 1000)

Claims/Subrogation

(Harlan Heilman,

Div. Chief)

(Fund 1004)

Criminal

Law

(Randy Zamora,

Div. Chief)

(Fund 1000)

General

Counsel

(Vacant,

Div. Chief)

(Fund 1000)

Labor

(Vacant,

Div. Chief)

(Fund 1000)

Neighborhood

Services

(Donna Edmundson,

Div. Chief)

(Fund 1000)

Staff - Finance

(Henri Merceron,

Div. Mgr.)

Staff -

Administration

(Dennis Yaksich,

Admin. Mgr.)

(Fund 1000)

As of December 2009

legal department organization chart4
LEGAL DEPARTMENT ORGANIZATION CHART

David M. Feldman

City Attorney

Robert Doguim

Office of Inspector General

(Fund 1000)

Tom P. Allen

Special Counsel

Risk Management

Lynette K. Fons

First Assistant City Attorney

Litigation

Harlan D. Heilman

Chief Administrative Officer

Carolyn Hanahan

First Assistant City Attorney

Transactional/Governmental Affairs

Claims/Subrogation

(Harlan Heilman,

Section Chief)

(Fund 1004)

General Litigation

(Randy Pourteau,

Section Chief)

(Funds 1000 & 1004)

Staff Administration

(Fund 1000)

Contracts

(Jo Wiginton,

Section Chief)

(Fund 1000)

General Counsel

(Don Cheatham,

Section Chief)

(Fund 1000)

Labor, Employment

& Civil Rights

(Don Fleming,

Section Chief)

(Funds 1000 & 1004)

Municipal

Prosecution

(Randy Zamora,

Section Chief)

(Fund 1000)

Real Estate

(Deborah McAbee,

Section Chief)

(Fund 1000)

Neighborhood

Services

(Donna Edmundson,

Section Chief)

(Fund 1000)

As of December, 2010

payroll staff reduction
Payroll/Staff Reduction
  • Projected FY11 payroll savings of $1,094,830 or 5.8% reduction from Adopted Budget
  • 4% reduction in Assistant City Attorney FTE’s
outside legal counsel
Outside Legal Counsel
  • Published Request for Proposals for Legal Services
  • Reduced maximum hourly attorney legal service fees from $750 to $400
  • Reduced maximum hourly paralegal fees from $250 to $125
  • Mandatory pro bono continuing legal education for City Attorney’s Office – Each Firm to provide 3 hours including 1 hour ethics
  • Reduced Legal Services contracts dollar value by $705,278 (December 2010 vs. December 2009)
  • Project FY11 Legal Services savings of $2,365,227 or 82.4% reduction from Adopted Budget
office of inspector general
Office of Inspector General
  • Inspector General responsibilities transferred to Legal Department
  • Reduced OIG personnel by 80%
  • Returned 18 HPD officers to law enforcement function
  • Returned 6 HFD arson investigators
miscellaneous cost saving initiatives
Miscellaneous Cost Saving Initiatives
  • 25.6% projected reduction in CLE expenditures from previous year
  • 29.6% reduction in Thomson West contract
  • Various local law firms have provided increased pro bono legal services as well as onsite CLE
  • Established intergovernmental working relationship with County Attorney’s Office
  • Ordinance Initiatives
    • Administrative Hearing Ordinance
  • Litigation Initiatives
    • Texas Local Government Code Sections 54 and 125
    • Collection of delinquent accounts
  • Municipal Court Prosecution