About the Office
The Office of the City Attorney does not provide legal advice to private citizens. If you are currently represented by an attorney, please contact your attorney directly. If you need representation, please call the Lawyer Referral Service of the South Bay Bar Association at (310) 543-8777 for a list of local attorneys.
The Office of the City Attorney advises and represents the City Council and City departments on all legal matters in which they are involved. To accomplish this goal, the office is divided into three divisions: General Advice, Civil Litigation and Criminal Prosecution. City Attorney John Fellows, Assistant City Attorney Patrick Sullivan and Administrator Alice Rusa manage the office. Five deputy city attorneys, four legal secretaries and a systems analyst complete the office's staffing.
General Advice Division
The General Advice Division provides a broad range of general legal advice and services. It drafts and defends local laws as required by the City Council and city departments. The Division provides advisory and transactional work for the City and represents the City in civil cases involving planning, land use, housing, environmental issues, contracts, and business disputes.
Civil Litigation Division
The Civil Litigation Division represents the City of Torrance in lawsuits where the City is a party to the lawsuit. Claims filed against the City must be filed with the City Clerk.
Criminal Prosecution Division
The Criminal Prosecution Division prosecutes, on behalf of the People of the State of California, state law misdemeanors that occur within the City of Torrance. Such crimes typically include domestic violence, drunk driving, drug possession, and theft related violations. In addition, the Division prosecutes violations of the Torrance Municipal Code.
The Criminal Prosecution Division hosts a Loss Prevention Workshop once a year. The purpose of the Loss Prevention Workshop is to enhance communication and promote knowledge to our local retail business establishments through training and education.