Legal Services Introduction
The League employs a full-time General Counsel who provides legal advice to the League Executive Committee and League staff and assists the legislative team with legal research and analysis and bill and amendment drafting for legislation affecting cities and towns. Additionally, the General Counsel assists municipal attorneys with research on various issues and provides staff support to the Arizona City Attorneys Association. Duties also include reviewing contracts, responding to general inquiries from cities and towns, updating League publications, and conducting trainings to elected officials and municipal staff on elections, open meeting law, public records, ethics, and conflict of interest. The General Counsel is also responsible for writing amicus briefs and model ordinances and supervises a legal extern from Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
As a benefit of membership, the League's General Counsel is available to assist members with questions about best practices, statutory requirements such as the open meeting law, and general guidance to assist cities and towns facing challenges in their community. Before making an inquiry, please check the League's website for resources and information on common issues. View available publications.
Legal Assistance for Cities and Towns
The League welcomes requests from members for general information. However, the League does not represent the city or town and cannot provide legal advice. The League's service is not a substitute for seeking legal advice. The League General Counsel works collaboratively with city and town attorneys. Any guidance provided to an official or municipal employee is provided in deference to the member's city or town attorney who has ultimate responsibility for assuring that the legal matters are properly and professionally addressed pursuant to the code of ethics from the State Bar of Arizona. As a member organization, the League cannot advise one member against the interests of another, or a municipal official against the interests of another city or town official.
Overview of the League's Legal Resources
The following is an overview of the legal resources that the League offers to its members and the terms and conditions under which they are provided.
Trainings and Webinars
Topics of interest are raised throughout the year and presentations are given in person or via the League website. Please view our Event and Training page for more details.
Disclaimer: The information provided through the League's General Counsel or the League conferences, trainings or webinars is not specific legal advice. The League specifically disclaims any intent to create an attorney-client relationship in connection with any legal service it may be requested to provide. The information shared by and with the League at these events may not be presumed to be confidential. Members are advised to consult their own legal counsel for specific legal advice before taking any action having potential legal consequences or liability.
Arizona City Attorneys Association (ACAA) Summer Conference
The ACAA is an association of municipal attorneys. An early summer conference is open to municipal attorneys (rotating locations). This annual conference provides 10 to 12 continuing legal education credits focused on Arizona municipal law and is only open to municipal attorneys. The selection of the conference location is determined by the ACAA President and details for the summer conference are shared with attorneys in the Spring.
For information about various legal topics impacting municipalities, view the Legal Corner articles in the monthly publication, AZ League Connection.
General Counsel Opinions
Since 1959, the League has issued a number of legal opinions about specific matters affecting cities and towns on the following issues: These opinions are provided as a benefit for League members and can be requested by emailing the General Counsel. By requesting an opinion, you affirm that you are a League member (elected/appointed official or municipal staff) and will not distribute this information to unauthorized persons. The opinions are not legal advice or a substitute for the guidance or opinion of your city or town attorney. If you have a specific question about the interpretation of one of these opinions in your municipality, please contact your city or town attorney.
- Conflicts of Interest
- Open Meeting Law (including executive session)
- Public Officials (resign to run, term limits, etc.)
- Public Works
Amicus Requests and Briefs
The League files "friend of the court" briefs on behalf of member municipalities when participation is likely to advance the collective legal interests of municipalities. Court rule requires an amicus provide information, perspective or argument that can help the appellate court beyond the help that the parties provide. It cannot mirror the same arguments as the parties.
Amicus briefs are resource-intensive requests and the League Amicus Committee encourages requests to be made as early as possible in any litigation. Late requests are less likely to be approved. The requesting city or town must allot sufficient time for League staff and the Amicus Committee to review the request and provide all the relevant filings in the case. The request must include the nature of the case and the issues presented, why this appeal is of particular importance to Arizona municipalities statewide, the procedural status of the appeal, including the briefing schedule, if known, and the name, title and contact information for the person or persons representing the municipality in the appeal.
Whenever possible, and to maximize the effective use of resources, the League will collaborate with other interested organizations to achieve mutually desired legal outcomes that benefit the municipalities. Please contact the General Counsel via email to request a copy of a filed amicus brief.
The following amicus briefs were filed by the League from 2011 to present:
- Bonito Partners v. City of Flagstaff, March 10, 2011
- State of Arizona v. City of Tucson, November 23, 2011
- Town of Queen Creek v. Astrue, December 28, 2011
- Coleman v. City of Mesa, January 27, 2012
- Sedona Grand, LLC v. City of Sedona, April 26, 2012
- Town of Marana v. Pima County, September 20, 2012
- Fields v. Elected Officials Retirement Plan, December 14, 2012
- Stagecoach Trails v. City of Benson, January 4, 2013
- City of Phoenix v. Garretson, July 23, 2013
- Ponderosa Fire District v. Coconino County, March 2014
- Glazer v. State of Arizona, June 23, 2014
- Rollings v. City of Tucson, February 24, 2015
- Peoria Committee v. City of Peoria, Melcor, September 17, 2015
- RUCO v. Arizona Corporation Commission, December 14, 2015
- City of Phoenix v. Glenayre Electronics, Inc., October 6, 2016
- Boruch v. State of Arizona, City of Mesa, October 11, 2017
- Surprise v. Arizona Corporation Commission, June 11, 2018
- McDonald v. Napier, January 12, 2018
- Schires v. Carlat, et al., December 21, 2018
- Humphrey v. State, February 7, 2019
- Mountainside v. Flagstaff, July 6, 2021
- James v. Peoria (Arizona Supreme Court), October 20, 2021
- Adame v. Surprise (Ninth Circuit), October 27, 2021
- Arizona Republican Party v. Hobbs (Arizona Supreme Court), March 15, 2022
- Southern Arizona Home Builders Association v. Marana (Arizona Supreme Court), May 27, 2022
- Laurence v. Salt River Project (Arizona Supreme Court), November 22, 2022
- Johnson v. City of Grants Pass (Ninth Circuit), Nov. 25, 2022