County Counsel

The County Counsel represents the County and its officials in civil litigation, defends the County in administrative law proceedings, provides written and oral legal opinions to County officers, and acts as legal advisor to County boards, commissions and committees. The County Counsel's Office does not provide advice directly to members of the public.

Mission Statement

The mission of County Counsel is to provide quality, timely, and sound legal advice, services and representation in all civil and administrative proceedings to the Board of Supervisors, elected and appointed department heads, County departments, and special districts.

Programs & Services

The Office of County Counsel currently consists of the County Counsel, 5 full time attorneys, and 4 administrative and support staff. As the County's Chief Legal Office, County Counsel serves as the attorney for Butte County, including the Board of Supervisors and all County offices, departments, boards, commissions and the Grand Jury.

County Counsel is a support organization; work is client driven, and there are no independent objectives. County Counsel is dedicated to the principle that thoughtful, credible and ethical legal services lead to fewer lawsuits, lower liability costs, better services and better County government. By interpreting the law in a sound and consistent manner it enables the clients to reach their objectives in accordance with local, state and federal law, thereby avoiding, to the extent possible, challenge and confusion.

County Counsel has primary responsibility for providing legal advice and assistance to the Board of Supervisors and County staff on matters such as:

  • Public policies
  • Land use
  • Human/social services
  • Civil actions
  • Risk management and insurance
  • Municipal and public law
  • Tort law
  • Resources law
  • Environmental law
  • Nuisance abatement
  • Personnel benefits, retirement and labor relations law
  • Construction, facilities and real estate law

The attorneys in the Office of County Counsel:

  • Prepare board reports and recommendations
  • Prepare legal opinions
  • Draft ordinances, resolutions and proposed legislation
  • Represent the county before the legislature as directed
  • Formulate litigation strategies
  • Oversee legal research and investigations
  • Act as trial counsel in state court, federal court, and administrative proceedings
  • Monitor legal developments
  • Retain and manage outside counsel
  • Serve as attorneys for the County in all civil actions