County Attorney

Chesterfield County is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia, located south of Richmond, Virginia. Chesterfield's current population of over 340,000 people represents an increase of nearly 47% over the last 30 years. The County is one of only 25 counties in the country with three AAA credit ratings, the highest available to local governments. The County is also one of a handful of localities in the country to have its water and sewer utility revenue bonds receive three AAA financial ratings. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has characterized Chesterfield as "...one of the leanest local governments in Virginia."

About the County Attorney

The County Attorney is similar to a corporate "in-house" general counsel, but unlike many corporate general counsel offices, the County Attorney’s office generally handles all civil legal matters itself. The County Attorney provides ongoing legal advice to each of the County's 51 departments, and represents the Board of Supervisors, which is the elected governing body of the County, the County Administrator, who is the chief executive officer, as well as all other County boards and commissions, including the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals.

Workload

Approximately 50% of the workload is litigation or litigation-related, with lawyers in the office practicing at all levels of Virginia's state and federal courts and administrative tribunals. The County maintains a self-insurance system which protects the County and its employees against financial losses from all forms of liability risks. The County Attorney defends the assets of the self-insurance fund and is responsible for litigation decisions related to the defense of any action. Civil claims against the County and its employees have increased substantially in the last decade.

The other 50% of the County Attorney's practice involves client counseling, contract negotiation, ordinance drafting and policy analysis. The breadth of legal matters handled by the office includes almost every area of civil law, but is concentrated in the areas of zoning and land use, civil rights, tort defense, environmental, employment, real estate, taxation, contract, construction, constitutional law, workers’ compensation, and aviation. The office's practice also includes areas of the law peculiar to local government, such as eminent domain, public procurement, and the protection of abused and neglected children.

Responsibilities

Attorneys within the office have certain discrete areas of responsibility. However, all attorneys work on a variety of issues and in a variety of different legal areas to ensure that they gain broad knowledge and experience. Assistant, Senior Assistant, and Deputy County Attorneys work both individually and as part of litigation teams. Attorneys also handle their own appellate work before the Virginia Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court, the Federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mission Statement

To provide Chesterfield County and its officials and employees with effective and successful legal representation.