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 Prosecuting Attorney 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