The civil section of the County prosecutor's office serves as the County's law firm.
It provides advice to the County Council, boards and commissions, other elected
officials and some school districts. When the County is named in a lawsuit, the
civil section represents the County and the elected officials. This is how the prosecutor
protects our islands and the quality of life that our elected officials seek to
enhance on behalf of their constituents.
In a small county such as San Juan, the prosecutors working on civil
matters must be "generalists" in every sense of the word. From moment to moment
they may be working on subjects such as litigation, land use, code enforcement,
environmental, employment, public contract, real estate, tax, bankruptcy, ethics,
and general municipal law. The prosecutors may also supervise "outside counsel"
- attorneys hired to represent the County on specialized matters such as appeals,
bonding, special districts and tort or federal litigation.
The San Juan County Prosecutor's Office has an "open-door" policy to encourage prompt
discussion of emerging issues and problems. With this approach, the office strives
to prevent problems before they arise. Consistent with state law, the prosecutors
maintain a certain degree of allegiance to the majority of the County Council, for
they exercise County powers and adopt the official County position on civil legal