Alameda County
Bar Association

The Oakland City Attorney Office Part IV 
The Oakland City Attorney Office: Law in Service of the Public

The Oakland City Attorney Office: Law in Service of the Public Part IV

Part of the Get to Know Your Local Community Organization Series

This is part IV of our spotlight on the Oakland City Attorney’s Office. Check out Part I, Part II, Part III.

Labor and Employment Division

Oakland City Attorney's OfficeThe Labor & Employment Division advises the City on labor and employment matters with a special focus on advice and counsel to the Oakland Police Department (OPD). The division includes Departmental Counsel for the Oakland Police Department to enhance coordination of the Office’s handling of police matters, including police department policies and personnel/discipline cases.

The Labor and Employment Division includes two units, General Labor & Employment and the Oakland Police Department Counsel.
The General Labor & Employment Unit advises City Administration and numerous City Departments (including Police, Fire, Public Works, Employee Relations, Human Resources, and Equal Opportunity Programs Division) on various personnel and labor issues, including leaves of absence, disability accommodations, workplace threats, drug testing, and workplace discrimination.

For the Oakland Police Department, the City Attorney provides a great deal of support and counsel. Recent examples include:

  • Work with outside law enforcement agencies on MOUs to assist OPD with various crowd management events.
  • Assist OPD in drafting an agreement with an independent expert to review, analyze and interpret OPD’s stop-data.
  • Respond to officer shootings and in custody death incidents, attended debriefings, and coordinated legal consultation meetings with OPD investigators and members of litigation and labor units.
  • Attend as many as 15 OPD Force Review Boards; reviewed investigative files; researched legal issues and provide advice.
  • Assist with the overhaul of procedures for conducting Force Review Boards and attended numerous Force Review Boards to analyze patrol officers’ use of force and recommend training points.
  • Attend and advise OPD in accident/pursuit board hearings.
  • Review and advis OPD on policy updates for force board review policy.

This is only a brief overview of some of the activities that the Oakland City Attorney is involved in. You can also visit their website to learn more about the office at

Originally published in the ACBA Trial Practice Section’s Summer 2017 Newsletter, this article was written by James Treggiari, Executive Director of the Legal Assistance for Seniors, located in Oakland. Read Part IPart II, Part III.