The General Counsel Division provides legal services that address the full spectrum of municipal affairs and transactions. The General Counsel Division drafts ordinances and resolutions; negotiates complex contracts, including information technology, utility, aviation, and franchise agreements; provides legal advice to city council and more than fifty city departments on housing and economic development, sanitation, aviation, water utilities, and procurement; finance, bonds, tax, budget, retirement, benefits, elections, land use, building codes, ethics and conflicts of interest, transportation, construction, as well as police, fire, and emergency services policies, procedures, and practices; and represents the city council, city council committees, and a variety of boards and commissions, including city plan commission, park and recreation board, civil service board, and board of adjustment. The General Council Division is organized into six practice areas with responsibilities based on the governmental and proprietary functions of the city and city council policy priorities.
Provides legal advice and counsel to the city council and a variety of city departments on real estate and construction matters, park and recreation, including acquisitions, sale of surplus property, land exchanges, abandonments, close and vacate transactions, leases, relocations, resale of tax strike-offs, and conveyance instruments, including easements. The Real Estate and Construction Section drafts abandonments and license ordinances, conveyance instruments, including easements related to streets, water, wastewater, drainage, sidewalk, utilities, floodways, covenant agreements and backflow releases, leases, lease amendments, multiple use agreements, concession and use agreements, rights of entry, encroachment agreements, development agrees with non-profit groups for development, operation and maintenance of park facilities, management and maintenance agreements, trail agreements, construction contracts related to city infrastructure, public buildings and facilities, transportation, engineering, and architects, city landscaping, and a variety of other contracts related to real estate, construction and city assets. The Real Estate and Construction Section also advises the Dallas convention center hotel development corporation/Omni hotel board, the City’s local government corporation, the park and recreation department board, and the trinity river local government corporation.
Provides legal advice and counsel to the city council and a variety of city departments on all financing and city incentives, fair housing and compliance, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) obligations for economic development programs and incentives, paving assessments, and Open Records Matters. The Economic and Community Development Section drafts development agreements, tax abatement agreements, grants and loans, including security instruments, management and operating agreements, and public service contracts; drafts agreements related to housing opportunities for persons with AIDS (HOPWA), community development block grants (CDBG), home investment partnership program (HOME), home improvement and preservation program (HIPP), as well as recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding; reviews requests for all special districts, including tax increment financing (TIFs) districts, public improvement districts (PIDs), municipal management districts (MMDs), enterprise zones, and neighborhood empowerment zones (NEZs); drafts contracts for cultural affairs and convention and event services, including leases, and long term operating and management contracts; drafts requests for Attorney General decisions for non-Dallas Police Department (DPD) open records requests regarding whether information may or must be withheld; assists the litigation division with open records litigation; and serves as the general counsel for the Housing Finance Corporation, arts and culture advisory commission, senior affairs commission, citizen homelessness commission, Martin Luther King board, South Dallas/Fair Park opportunity board (SDFPOB), Dallas Housing Acquisition and Development Corporation (HADC), and advises TIF boards on legal issues.
Provides ongoing legal advice and counsel to the city council and city departments on various legal issues, including, procurement, emergency management, utility regulations and franchising issues, right-of-way management issues, small cell and distributed antenna systems in the public right-of-way, sanitation, aviation, technology and cybersecurity, credit processing services, benefits, deferred compensation, and water utilities. The Government Services Section drafts and negotiates complex contracts for engineering services, consultant services, software, staffing, radio advertising for the city’s radio station, the public library system, municipal courts, technology and cybersecurity, Dallas Water Utilities, waste hauling, garbage and recycling related materials, professional services, risk management, interlocal agreements, and many other contracts relating to government services; drafts ordinances related to solid waste franchises; and serves as general counsel to the City’s deferred compensation committee regarding administration of the Deferred Compensation Program.
Provides legal advice and counsel to the city council, city secretary, city auditor, and city departments on various legal issues, including zoning, land use, comprehensive plan amendments annexation, boundary adjustments, Open Meetings Act, City Council Rules of Procedure, flood plain regulations, thoroughfare amendments, street and bridge name changes, subdivision and sign regulations, gas drilling regulations, building code issues, Alcoholic Beverage Code matters, elections, including appointment of election and presiding central counting station judges, tax code, budget, ethics, Roberts Rules of Order, and board and commission conflicts. The Municipal Regulatory Section also drafts ordinances and code amendments for all three volumes of the city code, resolutions, bylaws, and numerous legal and advisory opinions for the city council, city departments, and board and commission members; serves as general counsel to numerous boards and commissions, including the building inspection and advisory board, board of adjustment, city plan commission, civil service board, community police oversight board, landmark commission; and permit, license, and appeal board, and city council committees.
Provides legal advice and counsel to the Dallas Police Department (DPD) and the Public Safety Committee on various legal issues, including the daily operations, legislative updates, personnel, Public Information Act, expunction and non-disclosure law, and the U.S. and Texas Constitutions, including search and seizure. The Police Legal Liaison Section researches and drafts legal opinions related to DPD operations; instructs DPD recruits at the police academy on the criminal justice system, U.S. and Texas Constitutions, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Texas Penal Code, arrest, search and seizure, and force options law; drafts requests for letter ruling from the Attorney General on exempted open record requests; attends monthly property magistrate hearings; reviews petitions for expunction and non-disclosure; reviews ID and Dallas Fire Rescue third party discover requests (subpoenas) and draft motions objecting to disclosure of confidential information; review seizure forms and draft motions and orders to transfer seized property to the appropriate federal agency; and attend DPD Chief’s weekly command staff meetings to advise command staff on legal issues related to operations or projects presented during weekly meetings; provides 24 hour emergency legal assistance to DPD officers.
Dallas and Fort Worth jointly own the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and , both Cities' Attorney's Offices provide legal advice and representation to the D/FW Airport Board with three attorneys from Dallas and two attorneys from Fort Worth office at the D/FW Airport, for which the Cities are reimbursed from airport revenues. The D/FW Airport Legal Liaison provides legal advice and counsel on federal regulatory matters, legal relationships with user airlines, commercial real estate, environmental law, procurement and construction contracting, ground transportation regulation and labor law, and sue and defend lawsuits relating to the D/FW Airport.