City of Cambridge, Maryland
Request for Proposals
Legal Services – City Attorney
The City Cambridge, Maryland is requesting interested
individuals and full-service law firms with experience advising and
representing local governments to submit proposals to provide legal services to
the City of Cambridge.
on the City:
The City of Cambridge is a full-service city located in the
Choptank River in Dorchester County Maryland. The population of is approx.
12,500. Cambridge is home to an historic downtown Main Street area, a Hyatt
resort, waterfront park and Marina, and annual Iron Man events. Dorchester
County features the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, the Harriet
Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, and extensive outdoor sports
City of Cambridge has 100 full-time permanent employees and offers a full range
of municipal services including street maintenance, public parks, water and sewer
utilities, trash collection, building safety, planning, economic development,
police and volunteer fire services. The 2020 City Budgets total $21 million.
The City currently has a legal services agreement with
MacLeod Law Group. The City Charter
provides for the City Attorney to be appointed by the Commission. The City Attorney takes direction from the
City Commission and is required to closely coordinate his/her activities with
the City Manager.
The City Commission has regular meetings on the second and fourth
Mondays of each month which begin at 6:00 p.m. Closed or Special sessions may
be held prior to regular meetings, generally beginning at 5:00 p.m. The Commission occasionally schedules
additional meetings. The City Attorney attends all Commission meetings. The Planning and Zoning Commission meets
monthly and is staffed by the City Planner and City Attorney.
Note: The final Scope
of Services is subject to change following the selection process and
negotiations with the selected firm or individual attorney. Therefore, the City
reserves the right to make revisions.
Provides clear and concise
legal advice and consultation (oral and written)
as requested or required, to the Mayor,
City Commission, City Manager and staff on a variety of matters
pertaining to all aspects of governance.
Researches and interprets laws, court decisions
and other authorities in order to prepare legal opinions and to advise the Mayor, City Commission, City Manager and staff on legal matters
pertaining to City matters.
reviews, and/or revises documents, including but not limited to memoranda
concerning legal issues, contracts, ordinances, resolutions, license
agreements, city policies, notices, leases, deeds, loans, permits and staff
reports. Clear, concise,
well-organized writing is prerequisite.
the City in litigation – primarily code enforcement and coordinates the work of
outside legal counsel for specified litigation matters including labor matters.
the work of outside legal counsel, as directed by the City Commission or the
and/or participates in intergovernmental projects and other matters, as requested.
City Commission, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Municipal Utilities
Commission, the Ethics Commission, the City Manager, other City boards, and
department directors on issues regarding resolutions, ordinances, application
of City Code and Uniform Development Code, leases, zoning, contracts, sale and
purchase agreements, numerous planning-related matters, code enforcement,
elections, and various agreements relevant to municipal government. Providing
legal advice and assistance to operating departments with regard to employee
Conducts legal work pertaining to property acquisition,
property disposal, public improvements, public rights of way and easements, and
matters relating to public utilities.
correspondence and other legal documents on behalf of the City as directed.
other duties as directed by the City Commission and as requested by the City
and advises the City Commission, city officers, boards and commissions in all
matters of law pertaining to their offices.
regular and special City Commission meetings
(open and closed
sessions) and advises the City
Commission on matters on the agenda as well as procedural matters that may arise during and following
Is available a minimum of 10 hours per week with on-site
presence as required by the City Manager.
Illustrative of the
work of the City Attorney, is a typical month’s work is apportioned
follows: two evenings per month for city
commission meetings, one night a month for planning commission meetings, one
day in Cambridge each month to represent the city in state court regarding code
violations, one evening every other month for the Board of Appeals, one meeting
per quarter with the city ethics commission. The attorney will prepare legal notices and
have them posted in the required publications.
The city will reimburse the attorney for the cost of posting any legal
ads or notices. Also, the attorney will prepare ordinance changes, letters, and
contracts as requested or review the same.
The city attorney will be responsible for ensuring that any ordinance,
charter, or other changes approved by the city commission are properly posted
with any required state or other report receiving entity.
representing the City of Cambridge shall be a member in good standing of the
Maryland Bar and the Maryland Court of Appeals. Substantial experience in a broad range of local
government law practice areas with emphasis on contracts, planning and land use
is preferred. Five (5) experience years representing a Maryland municipality is
is expected that the City Attorney will work part-time – a minimum of 10 hours
per week, inclusive of attendance at meetings of city commission, planning and zoning
commission, ethics commission, board of appeals, attendance in state court and other
boards and committee meetings on an as needed basis. All work undertaken by the
city attorney must be approved first by either the mayor or the city
manager. Travel time is not considered
as an additional
The City Attorney will
have the City of Cambridge as her/his primary and only client in any matter
involving the City of Cambridge. The
city attorney may not represent any party or organization that contracts with
or has any business coming before the city commission or city planning
commission. The city shall provide a
workstation at city hall for the city attorney to utilize on state court days
and when the attorney is in town.
Your Qualifications to Provide Services:
describe the firm’s qualifications for providing City legal services. Include
in your response the overall capabilities, qualifications, training, and areas
of expertise of the individual attorney offeror or the partner/principal in an
offering firm who would be the designated city attorney, including but not
Name of individual(s) with resume;
Length of employment with firm;
Scholastic honors and professional affiliations;
Date of admittance to Maryland Bar;
Years of practice;
Years of municipal or other public sector experience;
Years of experience as a City Attorney, with cities
represented, and references for each city;
10. Knowledge of, and
experience with Maryland Municipal Law, what percentage of practice represents
municipal law, and statement of other types of clientele represented;
11. Litigation experience
and track record;
12. Knowledge and practice
of law relating to land use and planning, Maryland and federal environmental
law, real estate, code enforcement, other related law;
13. Experience in the areas
of personnel, LEOBR, workers’ compensation, general liability and employee
14. Experience in the area
of contracts and franchises;
15. Experience in the
preparation and review of ordinances and resolutions;
16. Experience in the area
of the Maryland open meeting laws, public information laws conflicts of
interest, and the elections code;
17. Experience in
negotiating agreements and disputes;
18. Whether the individual
attorney or partner/principal have ever been successfully sued for malpractice,
been the subject of complaints filed with the State Bar, or had discipline
imposed by the State Bar. Please provide
information on the nature of the incident, the dates on which the matter began
and was concluded, and the results of the situation.
Your Approach to Providing Legal
Please include a written response which includes answers to the following
19. Describe the standard
time frames for response by the City Attorney to direction and/or inquiry from
the city commission, mayor, or city manager.
20. The City will require evidence
of appropriate professional liability insurance, errors and omissions
insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance coverage as needed prior to
commencement of work.
21. Confirmation of
availability for City of Cambridge work, including on-site availability and
attendance of City Commission and Planning & Zoning Commission meetings. A
description of the pertinent information regarding the general liability and
malpractice insurance maintained by the firm, including the amount of coverage
under such insurance.
Your Current Practices/Conflicts of
22. Please list any
political contributions of money, in-kind services, or loans made to any member
of the Cambridge City Commission, including the Mayor, within the last five
years by the applicant individual attorney or the law firm and all its
attorneys (including the attorney being proposed as City Attorney).
23. Please list all public
clients for which your firm currently provides legal services over the last
five (5) years.
24. For the proposed City
Attorney, please specify current or known future professional commitments in
order that the City may evaluate your continuing availability for providing
legal services to the City.
D. Your Professional References
provide three professional references for the individual recommended for
appointment as the City Attorney and the proposed senior deputy. Include with
each the name, address, email address, and work telephone number of the
E. Your Proposal for Compensation to Provide
shall describe how the offeror intends to bill for the legal services provided,
either on a flat monthly retainer, or on a different basis. The City prefers a
flat monthly retainer. If it is proposed
that general municipal services will be paid for through a retainer with
additional charges for special services, the proposals should clearly define
what would be considered within the scope of general municipal services covered
by the retainer and what services would be considered special services subject
to additional charges, and the rates that would be charged for those special
services. Travel time will not be billed to the city.
Selection Process and
City Commission reserves the rights and options to:
any or all the submittals.
any of the provisions in the Request for Proposals.
subsequent Requests for Proposals.
the Request for Proposal process.
any technical error in the responses it receives.
with any, all, or none of the respondents to the Request for Proposals regarding
costs or to further refine the scope of services to be provided.
individuals and firms are required to submit two (2) unbound originals in a
sealed envelope, marked on the outside as
“RESPONSE TO REQUEST
FOR PROPOSALS – CITY ATTORNEY SERVICES”
Wednesday, 2:00 PM on June 10, 2021
the City Manager’s office, 410 Academy Street, Cambridge, MD 21613
NOTE: Electronic submissions will NOT be accepted.