ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINION
Cite as: AGO 1997 No. 7
[October 17, 1997]
cities and towns - lawyers - Manner by which optional municipal code city
provides for legal services to the city government.
1. Under RCW 35A.12.020, a mayor-council city operation under the
optional municipal code may, by charter provision or ordinance, opt
either to appoint a city attorney or to procure legal services by
2. Where a code city has determined to obtain legal services by
contract, the contract for professional services may specify the
term of the contract and may define who will have authority to amend
or terminate the agreement, provided that the contract is consistent
with any charter provisions or ordinances on the subject.
3. A city council, in entering into a contract with a law firm to
provide legal services for the city, may not require that the city
council exclusively direct how legal services will be provided; the
mayor and other administrative city offices are entitled to obtain
legal services as needed for the performances of their duties.
The Honorable Mary Margaret Haugen
State Senator, District 10
435 John A. Cherberg Building
PO Box 40482
Olympia, Washington 98504-0482