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Office Description

Currently, the Office of the Corporation Counsel consists of the following divisions: Appellate Division, which represents the District government in most appeals arising out of civil cases handled by the Office. Child Support Enforcement Division, which performs all legal and programmatic functions associated with the District government's child support program. This Division provides services to assist District families by establishing paternity, locating absent parents, establishing child and medical support orders, reviewing and modifying child support orders, and enforcing delinquent child support orders. In addition, the Child Support Enforcement Division recoups Temporary Assistance for Needy Family payments made to families when a non-custodial parent is not paying child support, Title IV-E foster care payments, or Medicaid payments. Enforcement Division, which initiates affirmative civil and criminal litigation in areas within the Office's jurisdiction and handles appeals in the forfeiture, juvenile, and criminal cases prosecuted by OCC attorneys. Family Services Division, which prosecutes civil child abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights, and adult protective services cases for the District government. It also assists victims of intra-family violence by securing civil protection orders and litigating contempt proceedings when these orders are violated. General Litigation Division, which represents the District and its agencies and employees in civil claims and lawsuits, both jury and non-jury. Government Operations Division, which provided legal advice and support to the government in the areas of tax and finance, community and economic development, contracting, land transactions, the government's workforce, public works, and land use. Legal Counsel Division, which provides advice, opinions, drafting and other assistance on legal issues, legislation, and rulemaking to the Mayor, Department heads, and other agencies of the government. Management Division, which provided administrative support services to the OCC in the areas of financial, personnel, facilities, and information management. Mental Health Division, which provides litigation and advice support services to the Commission on Mental Health Services and the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Administration. Special Litigation Division, which focused on the litigation of cases that had the potential for significantly affecting government operations and programs. These cases included: all class action lawsuits against the government; all lawsuits involving environmental claims; major civil rights lawsuits; special education cases; and major commercial litigation. To accomplish all of these tasks, the Office of the Corporation is structured much like a private law firm, with sections devoted to legal specialties. The legal staff includes the Principal Deputy Corporation Counsel, Senior Counsels, Senior Deputy Corporation Counsels, Deputy Corporation Counsels, and Assistant Corporation Counsels, numbering approximately 200 lawyers in total. Some 230 employees serve as legal assistants, secretaries, investigators, and other professional staff. By operation of a recently enacted law, attorneys in other District agencies were brought under the supervision and control of the Corporation Counsel. Currently, there are twelve agencies (other than the Office of the Corporation Counsel) subject to this new law, which affected approximately 60 attorneys. The agencies are: Office of Banking and Financial Institutions Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Office of Contracting and Procurement Department of Employment Services Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department Department of Health Department of Human Services Department of Insurance and Securities Regulation Metropolitan Police Department Department of Public Works Taxicab Commission