BULLET St. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 3.10 Law Department

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Chapter 3.10
Law Department


3.10.010 Composition.
3.10.020 City Counselor--Head of Law Department--Appointment of subordinates--Powers and duties generally.
3.10.030 City Counselor--Bond.
3.10.040 City Counselor--Duties.
3.10.050 Special counsel.
3.10.060 Apportionment of salaries of attorneys and employees of Law Department engaged in bond issue projects.
3.10.070 Chief Clerk to be notary public.

Offices in city hall, see 3.56.030

City Counselor Ops: 8178

3.10.010 Composition.

The Law Department shall consist of a City Counselor, a First Associate City Counselor and other associate City Counselors, Assistant City Counselors and employees as may from time to time be authorized.
(1948 C. Ch. 2 32: 1960 C. 14.010.)


Art. X Law Department

Art. VIII 1 Appointment of City Counselor by Mayor.


12.52 Law Department, generally.

3.10.020 City Counselor--Head of Law Department--Appointment of subordinates--Powers and duties generally.

The City Counselor shall be the head of the Law Department. He shall appoint the first associate, and all other associates and assistants and employees in his department. He shall, through the Law Department, direct the management of all of the litigations in which the City is a party, including service in the City Courts. The City Counselor shall represent the City in all legal matters and proceedings in which the City is a party or interested, or in which any of its officers are officially interested. He shall advise the Board of Aldermen, or any committee or member thereof, and the Mayor and the heads of all departments, and through the Mayor and heads of departments all other officers of the City, as to all legal questions affecting the City's interest. The City Counselor shall approve as to form all contracts, deeds, bonds and other documents to be signed in the name of, or made to or with the City. He shall render the police department all legal advice and services required by it.
(1948 C. Ch. 2 33: 1960 C. 14.020.)

To serve on:

Convention and exhibition center commission, see 3.62.020.

Municipal auditorium commission, see 3.56.150.

For representative to serve on traffic commission, see 3.34.040.


City counselor was not required to represent a police officer who was sued in tort, where the petition alleged conduct on the part of the officer amounting to wilful and malicious actions and having transcended his authority as a police officer. Roberts v. City of St. Louis, 242 S. W. 2d 293 (1951).

3.10.030 City Counselor--Bond.

The City Counselor shall, within fifteen days after his appointment, give a bond, to be approved by the Comptroller, in the sum of ten thousand dollars, conditioned for the faithful performance of the duties of the office and that he will pay over all moneys belonging to the City as provided by law.
(1948 C. Ch. 2 34: 1960 C. 14.030.)

3.10.040 City Counselor--Duties.

In addition to the duties prescribed in the Charter and in existing ordinances not inconsistent with the Charter, it shall be the duty of the City Counselor:

A. To initiate and prosecute in the circuit court all proceedings relating to the appropriation of any private property or any easement or use therein for any public use, or arising out of any public improvement or work which will damage private property, as prescribed and required in Article XXI of the Charter;

B. To prepare and cause to be published in the paper doing the City publishing, at least ten days before a recall, initiative or referendum election, a summary of the statements concerning any ordinance or recall proposition to be voted on at the election which may have been presented to him in accordance with the provisions of Article VI 6 of the Charter;

C. To make recommendations to the Board of Aldermen upon all claims for damages submitted to him by the Board on account of alleged injuries to persons or property, in accordance with the provisions of Article IV 26 of the Charter;

D. To keep a record of all legal opinions officially given by him in writing, with the request therefor and an index thereto, and an account book of all claims on behalf of the City or any officer thereof placed in his hands for collection. All moneys received by him on account of the City shall be paid into the City treasury within twenty-four hours after its receipt by him, for which duplicate receipts shall be taken, one of which shall be filed in the Comptroller's office;

E. To keep a book or docket in which he shall enter an abstract of all suits pending in favor of or against the City, in tabular form substantially as follows: names of parties; suits, when brought; in what court; nature of action; names of witnesses; proofs, etc., for the City; amount of judgment, date of judgment and date of execution; which book or docket shall be delivered by him to his successor in office;

F. To prosecute an appeal or writ of error in any case in which the City is concerned, and make proper affidavits thereof, whenever such course is deemed advisable by him;

G. Whenever any committee of the Board of Aldermen or any member of the Board shall submit to him a copy of any bill pending in the Board or draft of any proposed ordinances about to be introduced into the Board by any member thereof, with the request that he make alterations or modifications in the form of the copy of a bill or draft of an ordinance, if any are necessary, as will make the bill or proposed ordinance as altered or modified conform to the proper Charter requirements as to the form of ordinance, to make the alterations or modifications as expeditiously as possible and return the copy of the bill or draft of ordinance so modified to the committee by which, or to the member by whom, the same was presented to him;

H. To prepare all charges and to prosecute and to defend before the City Courts, or Justices of the Peace, or the St. Louis Court of Criminal Correction, all actions on behalf of the City, or emanating from the Board of Police Commissioners, or any department of the City, and defend before such courts all actions against any officer or servant or agent of the City, or the Board of Police Commissioners, on account of his acts, and to attend to appellate courts to all appeals or writs of error in any case originating as aforesaid;

I. To, in addition to his office in the City Hall, maintain an office in the building known as the "municipal courts building."

The duties of the City Counselor as defined in this section shall be either personally performed by him or by any associate or assistant City Counselor or employee of the law department as the City Counselor may from time to time direct.
(1948 C. Ch. 2 35: 1960 C. 14.040.)

For defense of firemen, see 3.24.490.


Art. IV 26 Prohibits board of aldermen to pay damages for alleged injuries to persons or property except upon recommendation of city counselor

Art. VI 6 Duties concerning filing and publication of statements relating to initiative or recall

Art. XVIII 13, 24 Duty of city counselor relative to the collection of unauthorized compensation

Art. XXV 8 Appeals by city in judicial proceedings

3.10.050 Special counsel.

The City Counselor may employ special counsel to represent the City in public utility and interstate commerce proceedings, in patent cases, tax cases and in all other matters requiring the services of special counsel. The compensation of a special counsel shall be fixed by the City Counselor, with the approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, and they shall devote to the service of the City only such portion of their time as shall be necessary for the performance of their duties, as prescribed by the City Counselor.
(1948 C. Ch. 2 36: 1960 C. 14.050.)

3.10.060 Apportionment of salaries of attorneys and employees of Law Department engaged in bond issue projects.

The salaries of attorneys and employees of the law department, part of whose services are in connection with bond issue projects, shall be apportioned as accurately as possible between bond issue projects and general revenue.

The part of salaries apportioned to services pertaining to bond issue projects shall be paid from municipal revenue until money has become available from the sale of bonds so authorized to be issued. Immediately after money has become available and duly applicable to services rendered relative to any project begun in anticipation of, or pursuant to, the sale of bonds, the comptroller is authorized and directed to transfer from such money to municipal revenue the amount of the salaries pertaining to bond issue projects.
(1948 C. Ch. 2 37: 1960 C. 14.060.)

3.10.070 Chief clerk to be notary public.

The chief clerk shall be a notary public and shall perform notarial services as may be required of him by the City Counselor. The City shall pay the necessary fees and expenses for the qualification and the premium on the bond of the chief clerk as notary public. No additional compensation shall be allowed or paid the chief clerk for services rendered the City as notary public.
(1948 C. Ch. 2 38: 1960 C. 14.070.)

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