What We Do
We provide accurate and accessible legal services to the Wauwatosa city government in a fiscally responsible manner.
Our legal services include:
- Providing and coordinating all legal representation of the city
- Reviewing and processing claims against the city
- Liability defense and other litigation
- Ordinance and licensing prosecution in Municipal Court
- Providing counsel to the Common Council, various city boards, commissions, and committees as well as all city departments
- Advising and training officials in the areas of ethics, public records, and open meetings
- Drafting ordinances and resolutions to be considered by the Common Council
- Contract preparation and approval of all contracts entered into by the City of Wauwatosa
- Collections and representing the city's interest in bankruptcy proceedings
- Coordinating land acquisitions, easements, and other property transactions
- Managing zoning and economic development projects, including Tax Incremental Financing
- Coordinating the work of all outside counsel hired to represent the city
- Supervising labor negotiations, employee benefits, and employment litigation in courts and before administrative agencies and labor arbitrators
The City Attorney's Office does not:
- Represent individual citizens or taxpayers in any legal action
- Provide legal advice to any private individual
- Prosecute or defend criminal cases
How the City Selects Its City Attorney
- A panel of three attorneys, all residents of Wauwatosa with at least 10 years experience in the practice of law, is selected in consultation with the Milwaukee Bar Association to review all applicants for the position.
- The panel recommends two or three individuals who, in its opinion, are eligible and qualified to hold the position for the position.
- The Mayor appoints one person from the final list, who must be approved by a three-fourths vote of the members-elect of the Common Council.
- The City Attorney is appointed for a four-year term.
- At the end of the four-year term, the Mayor may reappoint the City Attorney without the necessity of the panel interview process, although three-fourths of the Common Council must approve the reappointment.
The Wauwatosa Common Council's process for appointment of the City Attorney can be found in Section 20.071 of the Charter Ordinances of the City of Wauwatosa.
The Wauwatosa City Attorney is not permitted to engage in the private practice of the law, and must be a resident of the City of Wauwatosa. If the individual is not a resident when appointed, the City Attorney must move to a residence in the city within one year after an initial probationary period.