Sacramento City Attorney s Office

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1 Sacramento City Attorney s Office Annual Report

2 City Attorney s Staff Interim City Attorney s Message It is an honor to serve as your Interim City Attorney. I am pleased to present the City Attorney s Annual Report for fiscal year This report is published each year to show the citizens of our community how public resources are spent on legal services in the City of Sacramento. Mission Statement: The mission of the Sacramento City Attorney s Office is to provide the highest quality legal services to the City of Sacramento. In this report, you will find a review of our current resources, and a comparison of changes in use of and demand for these resources over time. The city continues to face significant challenges in returning to a long-term structurally balanced General Fund budget. As part of this process, the City Attorney s Office has been challenged to reduce its budget further each year. Since our budget is primarily salary, this typically results in a reduction in staffing. In fiscal year , this challenge was addressed through mandatory furloughs, elimination of two FTE s, and a $100k reduction to the litigation fund. We continue to make difficult decisions regarding the continued operation of non-mandatory services. The dedicated staff of the City Attorney s Office has worked hard to provide timely and competent legal advice and is committed to providing our client, the City of Sacramento, with quality legal services. 2

3 Administration Team City Attorney s Clients and Roles: The Office of the City Attorney provides legal counsel to the Mayor and City Council. In addition, the office is legal counsel to those persons such as the City Manager, City Treasurer, City Clerk, City Auditor, and Department Heads empowered by the City Council, the City Charter, or state law, to act on the city s behalf. The City Attorney s Office does not represent citizens in private matters. The City Attorney s Office also serves as the City Prosecutor for misdemeanor and infraction violations of the city code. Violations of the California Penal Code and other state laws remain the prosecutorial responsibility of the District Attorney. (From left to right) Gustavo L. Martinez, Matthew D. Ruyak, Angela Kolak, Brett M. Witter, Gerald C. Hicks, Sandra G. Talbott, Kathy Montgomery New Assignments/Cases by Clients FY FY FY City Attorney's Office City Auditor City Clerk City Manager City Treasurer Community Development Conv., Culture & Leisure Development Services Economic Development Finance Fire General Services Human Resources Information Technology Library Authority Mayor and Council Outside Agency Referral Parks and Recreation Police Public Works Utilities Boards & Commissions, Other Jurisdiction Agency TOTALS The above chart reflects the City's new organiza onal structure. 3

4 Budget The operating budget in fiscal year was $6,440,585, of which $3,810,142 was derived from the city s general fund. Fiscal Year Budget Funding Sources 3% 1% 7% 30% 59% General Fund Interdepartmental Service Fund Risk Management Fund Water Fund General Revenue General Revenue collected offsets the General Fund contribution Approximately 94% of the City Attorney s Office annual budget is for personnel-related costs. In , the City Attorney s Office achieved a budget reduction of $422,000 through staffing reductions, mandatory furloughs, and permanent reductions to the litigation fund. 58 City Attorney FTEs Attorneys Support Staff Totals / / / / /2012 Additional net savings of $450,876 were recognized at year end and returned to the general fund. Savings were achieved through the following proactive measures: Conscious effort toward fiscal conservatism Year End Savings YEAR TOTAL Organizational reallocation of resources that reduced support staff in the offices Neighborhood Safety and Nuisance Abatement section FY FY $410,840 $436,595 Acquiring new services and supplies only when crucial Better utilization of technology FY $554,400 FY $534,082 FY $450,876 Aggressively negotiating discounts for services and supplies with existing vendors 4

5 Office Overview Litigation Attorneys Brett M. Witter, Supervising DCA Sheri Chapman Sari Myers-Dierking Michael Fry Kathleen Rogan Chance Trimm Paralegals Norma Florendo Lynette Fuson Legal Secretaries Jamie Gifford, Supervising LS Colleen Clay Erica Dillard Paula Lockard Cleo Morris Litigation Section attorneys represent the city, the city council, and city staff in all litigated matters brought by or against the city. In fiscal year , the City Attorney s Office remained committed to maintaining a strong litigation unit capable of practicing in all areas of the law with sustained success. As in years past, the litigation section continued to assume litigation responsibility for cases involving tort, civil rights, employment, labor, environmental, subrogation, collections, contract, and strictly municipal issues, such as writs under the Public Records Act. As is typically the case, no litigation matters were sent to outside counsel in fiscal year except those handled at the expense of another party. Some benefits of a strong in-house litigation unit include the following: A budget savings over the cost of paying outside attorneys. In fiscal year , the city paid nothing in 63% of the closed cases in which the primary remedy sought was money. New Li ga on Ma ers FY FY FY Bankruptcy Civil Rights Contract Employment Labor Property Li ga on Review Subpoena Subroga on Collec on Tax TRO/ Injunc on Tort/Appeal Writ TOTALS Regular contact with city staff allows attorneys to handle cases more efficiently, as they are familiar with city policies and practices and know where to locate information needed for successful outcomes. Familiarity with the various city departments and their staff builds a comfortable relationship between staff and counsel. Payouts for the year also remained consistent with prior years, as is indicated in the table. City Payouts on All Litigated Risk Cases Year Cases Closed Payouts FY $3,328,319* FY $1,487,720 FY $1,346,438 FY $1,864,069 FY $3,184,220* *The table does not include the full payout for one case settled in fiscal year and an adverse verdict in In both cases, one handled by outside counsel and the other by the litigation section, the amount paid exceeded the city s self-insured retention of $2,000,000. The table includes only the $2,000,000 paid by the city in these two cases. 5

6 Neighborhood Safety and Nuisance Abatement Attorneys Gustavo L. Martinez, Supervising DCA Michael Benner Gary Lindsey Susan Hayes Steven Itagaki David Womack Legal Secretaries Phyllis Zakrajsek, Supervising LS Tammara Cheung Desiree Stockton Paralegals Norma Florendo Lynette Fuson Diligent and comprehensive enforcement of the Sacramento City Code is essential to achieving the city council s goal of making Sacramento the most livable community in the country. The Neighborhood Safety and Nuisance Abatement (NSNA) Section advances that goal by improving both public safety and the quality of life in our city. Through the Justice for Neighbors (JFN) Program and the Problem Oriented Policing and Legal Action Workforce (POPLAW) Program, NSNA attorneys partner with police officers, enforcement officers from various city departments (e.g., park rangers, solid waste code officers, zoning investigator), and the community to address crime and nuisance problems proactively and to implement innovative and comprehensive legal actions that create safer, stronger neighborhoods. New NSNA Assignments/Matters FY Code Enforcement and Community Development Building and Code Police All Departments New NSNA Assignments/Matters FY Community Development Police All Departments Investigator David Dunlevy New NSNA Ma ers FY FY FY Administra ve Assignments Administra ve Appeals Advice Collec ons Criminal Defacement of Vehicle Iden fica on Drug Evic ons Gun Evic ons Ordinance Physical Nuisance Abatement Pitchess Mo ons Public Records Act Request Social Nuisance (Li ga on) Subpoena Warrants Weapons Cases Writ (Li ga on) TOTALS

7 Transactional/ Advisory The Transactional/Advisory Section provides comprehensive legal advice and service to the city council; to city boards, commissions, and committees; and to city departments and personnel. The 12 attorneys of the Transactional/Advisory Section have a combined 246 years of practice and 132 years of practice in the City Attorney s Office. This experience reflects both the breadth and depth of knowledge required of an attorney practicing municipal law. Each attorney must possess a significant amount of both generalized legal knowledge (e.g., torts, contracts, constitutional law, real property, etc.) and specialized knowledge of areas of municipal law (e.g., water law, land use, zoning and planning; elections, and redistricting, bonds, taxes, assessments, and fees) in order to serve their respective clients. Attorneys Matthew D. Ruyak, Assistant CA Gerald C. Hicks, Supervising DCA Grace Arupo Kourtney Burdick Joseph Cerullo Paul Gale Sabina Gilbert Jeffrey Heeren Sheryl Patterson Joe Robinson Janeth San Pedro Michael Sparks Lan Wang The myriad services provided by the section s attorneys include providing written and oral legal opinions; preparing and assisting with the preparation of ordinances and administrative policies; negotiating, drafting, and reviewing contracts; reviewing staff reports; aiding staff in responding to subpoenas and requests under the Public Records Act; and staffing the numerous city boards and commissions. Legal Secretaries Phyllis Zakrajsek, Supervising LS Tammara Cheung Cleo Morris Desiree Stockton Di Walters New Transac onal/advisory Ma ers FY FY FY Paralegal Cindy Head *General Advisory Assignments Staff Report Review/Approval Contract Review/Approval Ordinances Public Records Act **Subpoenas TOTALS *Contains all other ma ers not individually listed below **Police department ma ers including subpoenas were reassigned to NSNA during FY

8 Notable Achievements For Client Departments Mayor and Council Public Records Act Writ: The Sacramento County Superior Court agreed with the city s argument that s between council members regarding redistricting are exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act, recognizing, without explicit precedent, that the deliberative-process principle applies in the public-records context. Redistricting: The city drew new council-district boundaries in 2011, as a result of the 2010 decennial census. The City Attorney s Office staffed the Sacramento Citizens Redistricting Advisory Committee, which submitted boundary recommendations to the city council. The office also drafted the redistricting ordinance adopted by the city council. Proposed Charter Changes: For the third time in as many years, the city council debated proposed charter changes. In late 2011, the city council received the proposed Sacramento Checks and Balances Act of In January and February 2012, our office made presentations at city council meetings analyzing the proposal and presenting various options for specific charter provisions. Charter Commission: Our office presented to the city council a primer on the creation, operation, and other details of an elected charter commission. The city council approved the placement of a question on the November 2012 ballot regarding the election of a charter commission only the third time in state history that this has been done. City Auditor Audit Review: The City Auditor annually conducts numerous internal-operation audits. As in past years, our office staffs the Audit Committee and frequently provides comments and input on draft audits before publication. City Clerk Landowners Election: Our office revised the city s assessment-ballot ordinance to bring the procedure for verification of the party authorized to cast a ballot in line with best the practices of other cities in the state. Public Records: The City Clerk hosted the California City Clerk s Association conference in Sacramento. As part of the multi-day conference, the City Attorney s Office presented: Learning to Love the California Public Records Act, or Want to Ease Your Public Records Act Workload? Start with Better Records Management. 8

9 Elections: In election year 2012, our office assisted the City Clerk with the myriad issues that arise before the primary and general elections, including writing initiative ballot titles and summaries, reviewing ballot designations and candidate statements, and preparing electionrelated resolutions. City Manager Monetizing City Parking Assets: Exploration of making the most of city assets gave our office the opportunity to advise on the legal and practical issues with monetizing city parking assets, the legal distinctions between on-street parking and off-street parking facilities and revenue, and the drafting of an Request For Quotation (RFQ) targeting private companies with experience administering municipal parking systems. Understanding these issues helped decision-makers make informed and legally defensible choices on parking monetization. Railyards Track Relocation: Our office helped negotiate and draft multiple agreements necessary to relocate Union Pacific Railroad Company s tracks within the downtown Railyards. Relocating the tracks serves as a catalyst for development of the Railyards. Railyards Pedestrian Tunnel: To complete the pedestrian tunnel that will connect Old Sacramento and the Central Shops in the Railyards, our office assisted in acquiring the necessary property rights. Railyards Electric Power Cabinets: Our office assisted in negotiating and drafting an agreement with the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority to help it secure $320,000 in grant funding for purchasing electric-power cabinets to supply energy to Amtrak train cars while they idle at the new passenger platforms in the Railyards. Replacing power from diesel locomotives with electrical power improves the quality of life in Sacramento by reducing air City Treasurer Special Taxes and Assessments: Delinquency of special taxes and assessments spiked in the city with the economic downturn. Our office responded by helping update administrative procedures and giving focused advice on the strict requirements for collection and the legal complexities added when there are bankruptcy proceedings. This is necessary work for the city to fulfill its bond-payment obligations, protect its credit rating, and ensure adherence to the rule of law Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes: Our office assisted the City Treasurer s Office in selling short-term notes in the principal amount of $36,585,000. The proceeds from the sale are used to finance cash-flow deficits that result during the year. Those deficits occur because the city s expenditures tend to be fairly constant month to month whereas its receipt of revenue tends to be uneven. In particular, property taxes are paid twice a year, in December and April, and reimbursements from state and federal agencies have no fixed schedule. 9

10 Community Development Medical Marijuana: Our office continued to adapt to new case law in response to evolving medical-marijuana laws and helped draft ordinance amendments to protect the city from legal challenges and find neutral ground where the city is able to restrict unregulated dispensaries while at the same time providing a safe and secure place for qualified patients to obtain their medicine. Climate Action Plan: The adoption of the Climate Action Plan in February 2012 was the culmination of a multi-year effort to adopt a comprehensive plan for reducing greenhouse gases and adapting to climate change. The office advised staff on the legal aspects and scope of the plan, as well as on associated environmental issues. Green Development Code Project: This project is a comprehensive, multi-phased update of the zoning and subdivision titles of the city code, aimed at facilitating sustainable infill development as envisioned by the 2030 General Plan. Our office assisted with the development and drafting of a completely reorganized zoning title, including new permitting and processing procedures and updated development standards. Hearing Examiners: The city recently appointed three new hearing examiners to consider appeals of property owners, businesses, and animal owners who received citations for violation of the city code. Our office drafted a new manual for these hearing examiners to explain dueprocess hearing procedures and their authority to set aside citations, reduce the proposed fines, and order appellants to take actions to come into compliance with the code requirements. Code Enforcement: The Code Enforcement division ordered a substandard and dangerous mobile home removed from a property and the cessation of all unauthorized commercial activity at the property. The owner filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging liability against the city and several employees in the Code Enforcement and Police Departments. The city filed a motion for summary judgment to have the matter dismissed, but while the motion was pending the court ordered the case dismissed because of the owner s failure to cooperate and participate in good faith in the action. Recovery of Development Fees: As a result of our office s filing of a lawsuit, a developer executed a promissory note to pay the city $19,000 in delinquent development fees. Convention, Culture, and Leisure California State Bar Claim: The claim by the California State Bar over alleged interruption of the bar exam at the Convention Center was resolved with the assistance from our office. Crocker Café by Supper Club: Our office assisted in the preparation of an operating agreement for the re-opening of the café. 10

11 Operation of City s Golf Courses: Our office helped draft and negotiate a ten-year agreement authorizing Morton Golf to operate Haggin Oaks, Bing Maloney, and Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Courses. The arrangement will ultimately save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. Dangerous Condition Defense Verdict: The plaintiff sustained severe injuries as a result of being struck by a large limb that fell from an oak tree at Alister McKenzie Golf Course. The plaintiff claimed that the tree was a dangerous condition and sought damages in the sevenfigure range for medical expenses, loss of past and future income, and pain and suffering. Following a three-week jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the city. Economic Development Local Business Enterprise (LBE) Program: Our office drafted an ordinance authorizing adoption of a LBE Program and assisted city staff in implementation of the program, including development of the LBE Preference Program Requirements. The program reflects the importance of promoting and bolstering the local economy. Township 9: The industrial area north of downtown has been underutilized and in need of redevelopment. The city was successful in receiving a $30 million grant from the state to fund infrastructure improvements and affordable housing at Township 9, which is a 65-acre site planned for 2,350 residential units and over a million square feet of office and retail uses. Our office drafted multiple agreements to help obtain this funding, which the developer needs to construct streets, parks, a light-rail station, and a parking garage. Powerhouse Science Center: The city-owned site along the Sacramento River near downtown contains the historic PG&E powerhouse building. The Discovery Science Museum will be located on this site. Predevelopment work has been on-going. Our office assisted this project in preparing agreements with state agencies regarding the residual soil contamination and rehabilitation of the building, as well as with Native American tribes concerned about cultural and prehistoric resources being unearthed during construction. Redevelopment Agency Dissolution: State legislation required the city to manage the dissolution of the city s redevelopment agency and to manage the payment of debts and the implementing of contracts affecting 11 projects areas. Our office provided opinions interpreting the new law and agency agreements to assist staff in meeting their obligations. Our office also prepared a conflict-of-interest code and rules of procedure for the new Oversight Board, and assisted in selecting independent counsel for the Board. Finance Tax Exempt Property: Our office advised staff on handling ad valorem tax-exempt property within city property and business improvement districts. 11

12 Fire Fire Code Update: Our office drafted an ordinance adopting by reference the 2010 California Fire Code, with local amendments. The ordinance is an integral part of local efforts to provide a reasonable level of life-safety and property protection. Wrongful Death Defense Verdict: The plaintiff filed wrongful death claim on behalf of her daughter who was killed in an auto accident with a city fire truck in downtown Sacramento. She argued both that the driver of the truck was negligent and that the intersection where the accident occurred was a dangerous condition of public property. Following a four-week jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of both the city and the driver of the fire truck. General Services Sutter s Landing Park: Our office provided legal support in connection with the tree -restoration project at the former 28th Street Landfill, now part of Sutter s Landing Park. Collection Services: Staff and our office worked in developing a business-plan strategy for the way the city handles and delivers garbage, recycling, and yard-waste collection services. Recovery for Breach of Contract: The city obtained a judgment in excess of $200,000 against a company that failed to remit the proceeds from sales of surplus vehicles. Human Resources Denial of Labor Grievance: A group of supervisors in the Solid Waste Department filed a grievance claiming certain job functions they were performing were in a higher job classification and required out-of-class pay. The tasks had in fact previously been performed by staff in a higher classification, and, when initially called upon to perform the tasks, the supervisors received out of class pay for several months. The city argued that the responsibilities being performed overlapped and were included in several job classifications and that the work did not involve any supervision of other supervisors within the affected class. The matter was arbitrated, and the arbitrator denied the supervisors grievance. Restraining Order: The office obtained a restraining order to protect an employee from workplace violence. Unfair Labor Charge: Our office defended an unfair-labor-practice charge before the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB), successfully preventing an injunction against layoffs. Human Resources 12

13 Subrogation Recovery: Our office recovered $14,000 in a subrogation action for workerscompensation benefits paid to a city employee as a result of an auto accident. Collective Bargaining Agreements: Our office assisted staff in the negotiation and drafting of new collective-bargaining agreements with five of the unions that represent city employees. Information Technology 311 Mobile Application: This project will provide more self-service web and mobileapplication tools for citizens to report non-emergency issues to the city s 311 call center. The city s 311 call center handles approximately 1,300 calls each day and processes an average of 1,400 s monthly. Because of limited staff resources, approximately 100,000 calls are dropped annually. The office provided legal support to staff in developing this project designed to improve efficiency and customer service. Information Technology PeopleSoft System Upgrade: This system for ecaps is to ensure that the city maintains the level of support required for the finance, payroll, human resources, benefits, and budget systems and continues to comply with reporting requirements that include processing federal and state payroll changes, direct deposits and paychecks, and accounts payable/receivable transactions. Our office worked with staff in formulating, negotiating, and drafting an agreement with the contractor to implement the system upgrade. Parks and Recreation Special Event Ordinance: Our office drafted a comprehensive ordinance to address the permit requirements for parades, concerts, marathons, and other types of special events, including free-speech assemblies, held in city streets and parks. The new ordinance will allow for better enforcement of permit requirements, and encourage more community events. Community Centers: Because of budget constraints, the city had to close some of its community centers. Citizens were concerned over the loss of the recreation, enrichment, and education programs that the city previously offered at such centers. Our office drafted agreements to allow non-profit organizations to assume operation of the centers so that the centers could remain open to the public for some portions of the day or week for programs and rental. 13

14 Pools: This summer the city was facing closure of almost all of its swimming pools because of funding cuts. The City Council s Sponsorship Program and Advertising Policy, adopted in 2010, was implemented this past year through agreements drafted by the office with Save Mart, YMCA, and neighborhood groups to conduct campaigns and solicit donations to keep the pools open. Shasta Park Shade Structure: Without initiating litigation, our office brought five outside vendors to the table to resolve design and construction deficiencies that resulted in the failure of the shade structure. Under the resulting settlement agreement, the parties will repair the shade structure and pay for those repairs. The city will pay only $2,500 toward the $50,000 repair Police Dismissal of Personal Injury Claim: The plaintiff sued to recover for personal injuries following an intersection accident with a police officer on patrol. The plaintiff dismissed the action in response to the city s demurrer to the complaint based on the statute of limitations. Summary Judgment in Civil Rights Case: The plaintiff sued the city and members of the police department, alleging wrongful arrest and constitutional violations arising from his arrest for theft. The court granted the city s motion for summary judgment, resulting in judgment being entered in favor of the city and staff. Drug and Gun Evictions: The office is authorized to evict tenants in possession of illegal firearms and persons possessing illegal narcotics. In calendar year 2011 the office successfully prosecuted nine gun and 26 drug evictions. The chart below reflects the activity level of all authorized jurisdictions Drug and Gun Evictions in California during Los Angeles Long Beach Sacramento Oakland Palmdale San Diego GUN DRUG California Welfare and Institutions Code section 8102 requires that whenever lawenforcement officers detain persons because they have a mental condition that makes them a danger to themselves or others, the officers must confiscate any firearms or other deadly weapons. It further provides a procedure for the office to petition the court for destruction or disposal of the firearms if returning them is likely to endanger anyone. Our office filed 15 petitions resulting in at least 49 firearms removed from mentally unstable individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others. 14

15 Weapons and Pitchess Matters FY FY Weapons Pitchess FY Pitchess Motions: A pitchess motion is for the discovery of peace-officer personnel records. Sometimes the only purpose of these motions is to conduct fishing expeditions into an officer s personnel file, hoping to find anything to smear the officer s reputation. Given the sensitive nature of peace-officer personnel records, NSNA attorneys vigorously oppose unjustified motions, seeking appellate review if necessary. Dismissal of Occupy Lawsuit: When the Occupy Sacramento movement began in October 2011, members of the movement indicated that they planned to occupy Cesar Chavez Plaza continuously. The Police Department advised the members that the parks closed at 11:00 p.m. and warned that arrests would be made of anyone who refused to disperse. The office successfully opposed the group s attempts to obtain a temporary restraining order from both the state and federal courts, which would have prevented the city from enforcing the park closure ordinance. Both courts agreed with the city that the ordinance was a reasonable time, place, and manner regulation of speech. Public Works Various Projects: Our office assisted staff in contract negotiation and preparation for various projects, including the following: Sacramento Valley Depot Retrofit Project; Norwood Avenue Bridge Replacement; West El Camino Bridge Tree Maintenance Project; Guy West Pedestrian Bridge Project; Center Parkway Bridge Project; I & J and Alkali Flat Streetlight Projects; Del Paso Boulevard Streetscape Project; Neighborhood Traffic Management Projects; 4 th and I Street Intersection Modifications; and street overlay and seal projects. Cost Sharing Agreement for Delta Shores: Our office assisted staff in negotiating and drafting an agreement by which the developer of the Delta Shores Project and the city will share the cost, currently estimated to be $95.3 million, of designing and constructing a major freeway interchange at Interstate 5 and Cosumnes River Boulevard. 15

16 Department of Utilities Capital Improvement Financing: Our office assisted the department with development and implementation of a multi-year water and sewer-rate increase and capital-improvement proposals, including compliance with Proposition 218 and legal advice relative to proposed revenue bond financing. Settlement of Clean Water Lawsuit: In conjunction with outside counsel, our office successfully resolved a lawsuit alleging various Clean Water Act violations arising from sanitary sewer overflows (CSOs) from the city s sanitary-sewer system. The consent decree settling this case provides for numerous operational and capital improvements that are expected to reduce the rate of CSOs, including more comprehensive inspection and cleaning programs, increased enforcement of discharge prohibitions, and capital investment in sewer-system facilities. Utility Billing and Collection Update: Our office drafted an ordinance comprehensively revising city code provisions governing utility billing and collection and the termination of utility services to comply with various state laws and update numerous operational provisions. Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP): Our office participated in the development of the department s UWMP update, which the Urban Water Management Planning Act requires the department to prepare for adoption by the City Council and submission to the State Department of Water Resources every 5 years. The UWMP serves as a blueprint for the city s water-supply planning, including demand and supply projections over a 20-year period, planning for water shortages, and water-conservation measures to reduce the demand. Our office provided advice on legal issues relative to the city s water rights and water supply for the UWMP update and departmental responses to comments received on the draft UWMP update. Dismissal of Asbestos Lawsuit: The city was sued for secondary asbestos exposure as a result of the plaintiff s family members working with asbestos-laden products, including sewer/water projects for the city. Plaintiff developed peritoneal mesothelioma and was expected to die within six months. Trial preference was granted due to her illness, but the office was able to obtain an early dismissal from plaintiff before filing a motion for summary judgment. 16

17 Office Programs Law Clerks Over the past five years, the office s intern program has expanded from one summer intern to four interns each semester and over the summer. We have hosted approximately 12 students each year since The students apply from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, the University of California at Davis, and occasionally the University of California at Berkeley. The law clerks are not paid but get a wealth of experience as they work on issues from all three of the office s sections, involving research and writing memoranda, motions, and Revital Braun Michael Smith briefs. They are also able to attend various meetings, ordinance-review sessions, arbitrations, mediations, depositions, hearings, and trials, all of which help them integrate what they learn in school with how their skills may City Attorney s Law Day Event on May 2, 2012: No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom Adopting the American Bar Association theme, the office focused its third annual Law Day program on the importance of maintaining adequate funding for our courts. Keeping courtrooms open ensures access to justice for all Americans and maintains the checks-and-balances role the courts play in our governmental system. This important issue was the cornerstone of the Law Day program this year, which featured a guest speaker, the Honorable Laurie M. Earl, Presiding Judge of the Sacramento Superior Court; a mock trial directed by City Attorney staff and acted out by city employees; and over a dozen vendors from the courts and legal community. Summer at City Hall For the second year, the office mentored four high-school students as summer interns through the Summer at City Hall Program. The students were given tasks that helped them learn skills needed to work in an office environment, such as answering the phones, greeting customers and dealing with the public, selecting proper work attire, entering data into the case-management system, and updating the law library s publications. 17

18 Office of the City Attorney 915 I Street, Fourth Floor Sacramento, CA (916) Ph (916) Fax 18

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