The Law Department's role is to advise and represent the City and its various departments on a wide range of legal concerns. The Law Department was established by Section 3.09 of the City of Omaha Home Rule Charter under the supervision of the City Attorney.
The Charter authorizes the Law Department to advise the Mayor and the City Council on legal matters and to represent the City in litigation and prosecution. The Charter also authorizes the Law Department to provide written legal opinions when so requested by the Mayor, the Council members, or the various departments. The City Law Department also drafts or reviews ordianances, contracts, franchises, and performs any other duties as may be assigned by the Charter, the Mayor, or the City Council.
The City Attorney oversees the Law Department and it's two divisions.
The Civil Division is located on the eighth floor of the Omaha/Douglas Civic Center and has nine attorneys, a paralegal, and a legal investigator.
This Division provides advice on legal matters to the Mayor, City Council, and over 60 Departments, Boards, Commissions, and Authorities. It also provides written legal opinions and drafts and reviews ordinances, contracts, and other documents.
The City is self-insured, thus the Civil Division is responsible for all insurance-related litigation involving the City. In addition, the Civil Division pursues legal claims for the City and defends claims against the City.
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The Prosecution Division of the Law Department, located on the second floor of the Douglas County Courthouse, is composed of twelve attorneys.
The prosecutors are responsible for enforcing City ordinances and some state laws within the City of Omaha. Through an agreement with the County, this division also prosecutes all misdemeanors within the County.
Accordingly, this division prosecutes or files charges against those persons who violate such ordinances or laws. This includes a wide variety of cases, ranging from traffic citations and zoning violations to misdemeanor drug offenses, prostitution, and drunk driving.
The Prosecution Division also provides opinions and advice regarding criminal and traffic matters.
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