City Attorney's Office
City Hall, 710 NW Wall Street
P.O. Box 431
Bend, OR 97709
(541) 385-6676 (fax)

Mary A. Winters Mary A. Winters
City Attorney
(541) 693-2100
Email: mwinters@bendoregon.gov
Gary Firestone

Gary Firestone
Assistant City Attorney
(541) 693-2124
Email: gfirestone@bendoregon.gov

 

 

Ian Leitheiser
Associate City Attorney 
(541) 693-2128
Email: ileitheise@bendoregon.gov

Brenda Mingus
Paralegal / Risk Claims Manager
(541) 693-2129
Email: bmingus@bendoregon.gov  


General Description

The City Attorney's office provides legal services to the City of Bend. Normally, the City Attorney's office provides advice and services to the City Council, the City Manager, Department Heads and other management personnel, but also at times provides legal advice to boards, commissions, agencies and to individual City employees related to their official responsibilities.

The City Attorney's client is the City of Bend. The City Attorney, Assistant City Attorney and Associate City Attorney have an attorney-client relationship with the City.

The office's legal services primarily involve providing legal advice to City Council and staff to assist them in performing their functions consistent with applicable legal standards. While the majority of the City Attorneys' time is spent avoiding disputes, legal disputes occasionally arise. The City Attorney's office proactively tries to resolve disputes when they arise, and often takes the lead for the City in settling disputes, including personnel matters, tort and contract claims, land use matters and other disputes affecting the City.

Most disputes are settled, but some cannot be settled. Most lawsuits against the City are covered by various insurance policies maintained by the City, and those cases are defended by the insurance company and outside defense counsel. The City Attorney's office works with the insurer and insurance defense counsel to manage those cases. Occasionally the City becomes involved in litigation that is not covered by any of its insurance policies. In those cases, the City normally retains outside counsel, and the City Attorney's office is responsible for coordinating with and managing the outside counsel. The City Attorney's office does handle some litigation matters.

The City Attorney's office handles appeals of land use decisions at the Land Use Board of Appeals and in the appellate courts, as well as appeals related to the urban growth boundary expansion to the Land Conservation and Development Commission.

In addition, the office provides various legal opinions and contract document reviews for the City Council and City departments. Most City programs and operations entail some legal staff involvement.