The civil client of the City Attorney is the municipal corporation, the City of Los Angeles. The City Attorney shall defend the City in litigation, as well as its officers and employees as provided by ordinance. The City Attorney may initiate civil litigation on behalf of the City or the People of the State of California, and shall initiate civil litigation on behalf of the City when requested to do so by the authority having control over the litigation as set forth below. The City Attorney shall manage all litigation of the City, subject to client direction in accordance with this section, and subject to the City Attorney’s duty to act in the best interests of the City and to conform to professional and ethical obligations. In the course of litigation, client decisions, including a decision to initiate litigation, shall be made by the Mayor, the Council, or boards of commissioners in accordance with this section. However, the decision to settle litigation shall be made in accordance with Section 273.
(a) Council. The Council shall make client decisions in litigation involving matters over which the Charter gives the Council responsibility.
(b) Mayor. The Mayor shall make client decisions in litigation involving matters over which the Charter gives the Mayor responsibility.
(c) Boards. The boards of the Proprietary Departments, the Ethics Commission, the Board of Fire and Police Pension Commissioners, the Board of Administration of the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System, and the Board of Administration of the Water and Power Employees’ Retirement System shall make client decisions in litigation exclusively involving the policies and funds over which the Charter gives those boards control.
(d) Interpretation of Section. The City Attorney shall have the authority to make the determination regarding who is authorized to make client decisions on behalf of the City in accordance with the principles of this section and accepted principles of representation of municipal entities.