A Message from the Corporation Counsel

Welcome to the City of Buffalo’s new and improved website.  The Corporation Counsel is responsible for supervising over thirty legal professionals, including nineteen attorneys, charged with prosecuting and defending all actions involving the City of Buffalo and drafting, editing and approving as to form all local laws, ordinances and contracts, which the City adopts or to which the City is a party.  This work has become increasingly complex as society has evolved and become more regulated.  

Given the ever-expanding role of local government in delivering services to residents, now more than ever, the City Law Department’s charge in ensuring that the City is properly represented in all matters is crucial.  The demand for professional representation is also heightened by the unprecedented growth we see in a City with over $6 billion of economic development activity underway, a reinvigorated arts and cultural scene bursting at the seams and a renewed focus on creating new opportunities and social justice for all City residents to have a high quality of life and the freedom to make their dreams become a reality.

Unlike many legal departments and firms, the City Law Department does not define “successful outcomes” as positive verdicts, motions granted or cases settled favorably.  While these benchmarks are an important part of our professional obligations to our clients, we take our responsibility as public servants seriously and strive to provide forward-thinking and proactive advice and counsel to the Mayor, the Common Council and the Department Heads charged with providing essential public services.  Against this backdrop, we find true success in accidents avoided, conflicts averted and discussions that provide positive outcomes without manifesting themselves into formal legal disputes.  It is in viewing our civic responsibility in this way that we best fulfill our often competing responsibilities to both zealously represent our clients, while also advising our clients on how best to advance goals of social justice and community improvement.    

While our section of the City website is direct and understated, we’d like all City residents to know that our dedicated team is always working in the background to provide City leaders with the very best advice and counsel we can, in fulfillment of our shared goal of making the City of Buffalo the greatest place to live, work and visit in the entire world.

                                                                                                                 Respectfully yours,

                                                                                                                 Timothy A. Ball                                                                                 Corporation Counsel