Law Department

Law Department



The City Prosecutor’s Office is responsible for prosecuting all misdemeanors, including all traffic and criminal cases brought before the Municipal Court for violation of criminal offenses occurring within the City. The Prosecution Division employs part-time Domestic Violence Victim Advocate to assist domestic violence victims.  In addition, the City Prosecutor’s Office hears appeals of public vehicle license denials and is responsible for nuisance abatement initiatives. The Prosecutor’s office also provides training and legal counsel to the Police Department and related agencies.

The Community Prosecution Section coordinates issues among City departments actively involved in addressing safety and quality of life issues critical to the stability of the community. Community Prosecution focuses on aggressively addressing blight in neighborhoods and prosecuting negligent property owners in Housing Court for building code, safety, and health violations that negatively impact their surrounding area. This section also handles all matters regarding liquor permits within the City before the Ohio Division of Liquor Control and the Liquor Control Commission.

Economic and Community Development Section

The Economic and Community Development Division provides City agencies with legal services associated with residential, commercial, and mixed-use development projects in the City that involve public funding, including the acquisition and disposition of real estate associated with such projects.  Attorneys in Economic and Community Development also draft professional service contracts for the funding of human services, as well as a wide variety of contracts and other legal documents involving housing, transportation, real estate, and management of City-owned parking facilities, recreational facilities, and other City-owned properties.  Economic and Community Development attorneys staff the City Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals and assist the attorneys in the Civil Litigation Division with disputes that involve development issues, zoning, and other real property and land use matters.

Property Management/Real Estate

The Property Management Section is responsible for the inventory, management, and disposal of all City-owned or City-leased real property. Property Management is also responsible for issuing Revocable Street Privileges and the payment of all City Real Estate Tax bills. 

The Real Estate Section is responsible for the appraisal, negotiation, and acquisition of all real property needed by the City. This includes all property needed for economic development and transportation projects and all easements needed for the Greater Cincinnati Water Works.

General Counsel

The General Counsel Division is responsible for implementing City Council and City Administration policy directives through drafting necessary legislation.  Its attorneys protect the City from adverse legal consequences by providing appropriate legal advice to City Council, the City Administration, to all departments under the City Manager, and to City Boards and Commissions. The General Counsel Division proactively ensures that City elected and appointed officials and employees are aware of their obligations under state law by providing training on the requirements of Ohio’s public records, open meetings, and ethics laws.  Attorneys in the division also review and/or negotiate the majority of all contracts for the City except those related to economic development projects.  General Counsel attorneys regularly assist City Boards, Commissions, and various ad hoc task forces and working groups by providing legal advice and drafting necessary legislation to effect the recommendations of those groups, thereby improving the quality of life for Cincinnati residents.  The General Counsel attorneys regularly interface with City Council, City departments, the news media, and the public in relation to monitoring and streamlining the City’s responses to public records requests.

Labor & Employment

The Labor and Employment Division provides legal representation for City Departments for all labor and employment matters. This includes representation before the Civil Service Commission, labor arbitration panels, administrative agencies, and suits filed in State and Federal court. This section also handles all Workers’ Compensation suits, as well as Workers’ Compensation subrogation claims.


The Litigation Division represents the City in civil litigation in Federal and State courts, defends against and prosecutes claims on behalf of the City, its officials, and employees, and provides representation at various hearings.

Litigation’s Claims Section is responsible for the collection of debts owed the City.

Under the auspices of the Litigation Division, the Department’s chronic nuisance lawyer coordinates with the Police Department to identify properties that are chronic nuisance sites throughout the City, work with property owners to resolve the nuisance problems, and enforce violations of the ordinance.

Zoning Hearing Examiner

The Zoning Hearing Examiner considers and decides applications for relief from the strict requirements of the zoning code. The application review process includes visiting sites, conducting public hearings, timely notifying all interested parties of the hearings, and issuing written decisions. The position ensures that development in the City strikes a careful balance between private and public interests.