The mission of the City of Portland's Corporation Counsel's Office is to provide the highest quality legal services to the City Council, City Manager, City departments and staff, and the various boards, commissions and offices that comprise the City of Portland's government. We are committed to guiding the City in achieving its objectives legally, ethically, and effectively.
Corporation Counsel's office strives to work collaboratively with all of the various departments, boards, committees, staff, and administrative officers who help to carry out the City Council's policy objectives and whose work is critical to the conduct of City affairs.
In general terms, Corporation Counsel's role is to serve as our municipal government’s lawyer. Corporation Counsel attorneys provide legal counsel to City officials on a wide range of issues. The office practices civil law—meaning it doesn’t handle criminal matters. Corporation Counsel's duties are primarily addressed in Portland's Charter and Code of Ordinances, though many other provisions of local and state law add other responsibilities to the office’s portfolio.
The office is charged with:
Providing advice or written opinions to the City Council, its committees and to the City's boards, commissions, and administrative officers on any subject relating to City affairs;
Representing the City in all legal proceedings including in the investigation and prosecution of violations of the City's Code of Ordinances.
Making recommendations to the City Council for or against the settlement or dismissal of legal proceedings;
Preparing all legal instruments, including orders, ordinances, resolves, bonds, deeds, contracts, leases and agreements, which may be required in the conduct of City affairs.