The Mayor and City Council appoint the Cedar Rapids City Attorney. The City Attorney is legal counsel to the City of Cedar Rapids, and the City is the sole client. The City Attorney provides full legal services to the Mayor and City Council acting as a body, as well as to those persons or entities empowered by law to act on the City’s behalf, for example, the City Manager, Department Directors, and all of the City’s Boards and Commissions. As a result, the City Attorney can not respond to requests for legal services from the general public.
The City Attorney renders general and specific legal advice and counsel to the various constituent parts of the City of Cedar Rapids through written opinions. The opinions by the City Attorney’s Office are premised upon extensive institutional experience within the Office and rigorous legal research and contract drafting.
The City Attorney and their Assistants also carry a full litigation caseload. With rare exceptions, all litigation involving the City, including administrative and judicial, trial and appellate, is handled in-house by the City Attorney’s Office. Such cases include tort and personal injury cases, worker’s compensation claims, civil rights actions in state and federal courts, constitutional litigation, zoning matters, and eminent domain proceedings.
The City Attorney’s Office also prosecutes violations of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Code, including violations of the City’s criminal misdemeanors and civil infractions of the City’s codes, such as those regulating buildings, housing, zoning, and the various trades.
The City Attorney’s Office consists of the City Attorney, three Assistant City Attorneys, and two Legal Secretaries. The City Attorney’s Office provides legal services to the City while adhering to the highest standards of personal and professional ethics.