Baltimore Charter Decoded

Accessible Law for All People

§ VII-24 Department of Law: powers and duties.

(a) Legal advisor.

The City Solicitor shall be the legal adviser and representative of the City and its several
departments, officers, commissions, boards and authorities, and shall have general supervision
and direction of the legal business of the City. Except as provided in subsection (c), no such
agency or officer or any authority created in connection with municipal affairs shall have
authority to employ or retain counsel other than the City Solicitor.

(b) Legal proceedings; opinions and advice; deeds, contracts, etc.

The City Solicitor shall have sole charge and direction of the preparation and trial of all suits,
actions and proceedings of every kind to which the City, or any municipal officer or agency, shall
be a party.

The City Solicitor shall give advice and opinions in writing upon any legal questions affecting
the interest of the City which may be submitted in writing by the Mayor or the City Council, or
any committee thereof, or the head of any municipal agency.

All deeds, bonds, contracts, releases and other legal instruments involving the interest of the City
or to be executed or approved by the Mayor or other officer of the City before they are executed
or accepted, shall be submitted to the City Solicitor and have endorsed upon them the City
Solicitors opinion as to their legal sufficiency.

The City Solicitor shall keep copies of all written opinions furnished by the Department of Law
to the City or to any department or officer thereof, and also of all abstracts of title furnished to
the City by the Department of Law.

(c) Outside counsel.

The City Council, Comptroller and, with the approval of the Mayor, a department, commission,
board or other authority, may select outside counsel to represent it if:

(1)the City Solicitor gives it written notice that representation of it by the Department of
Law involves an irreconcilable conflict of interest; and

(2)the Board of Estimates authorizes the employment of outside counsel.

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