Organization & Legal Authority
The county attorney is appointed by the county mayor with the approval of the county commissioners. The office of the county attorney was created by Section 3.08 A(1) and (2) of the Shelby County Charter. The staff consists of 17 full-time and 4 part-time assistant county attorneys.
The powers and duties of the county attorney are laid out in the County Charter and in various county ordinances. From January 1, 2014 to current year, the Office of the Shelby County Attorney has received more than 68 New Opinion requests, handled approximately 1,879 New Contract Approvals, was involved in the litigation of over 539 cases and processed approximately 605 Public Records Requests which are governed by the Tennessee Public Records Act, Tennessee Code Annotated § 10-7-503, et seq.
The office of the county attorney assumes the following responsibilities:
- Approve the form of county contracts
- Determine whether a proposed policy meets applicable laws
- Oversees Shelby County's public defender and the county's divorce referees
- Provide legal advice to the county mayor, county commissioners, other elected county officials, as well as all departments, divisions, and offices of county government
- Provide oversight to the claims department
- Represent Shelby County in lawsuits
- Review and/or draft all ordinances, resolutions, and state legislation applicable to Shelby County government
The office of the county attorney is located on the ninth floor of the County Administration Building. View the department's staff directory to contact specific county attorneys.