Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On the Use of Outside Counsel


Live Blogging  #oakdebates
7:35pm -- Use of Outside Counsel
The City Attorney’s office is criticized for excessive use of outside counsel. The candidates were asked if this excessive use of outside counsel critique is fair and if so, what should be done about it? Parker responded that the City Council makes the policy decisions (such as cutting the OCA office’s budget by over one third), and thus puts the pressure on the use of outside counsel. Parker said that she has been arguing for years that hiring more staff (i.e. a journeyman attorney) would easily offset the cost of ($250K was cited) for one summary judgment from an outside hired counsel.
Brunner would rather be “employing police” and acknowledged that everyone has to “do more with less.” She cited that Fresno spends only $8m compared to the City of Oakland $20M on their OCA, and if elected she would try to shoot for this.

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