The Office of the Corporation Counsel manages the entire remarkably broad and complex legal function of the Government of the City of Danbury. The office, comprised of seasoned attorneys highly skilled in municipal law and a variety of other legal disciplines, advises the Mayor, City Council, and all City departments, agencies and boards of their legal rights and responsibilities. There are many occasions when the office also assists visitors or constituents who, without knowledge or experience with the system of local government, arrive at our door seeking help with a problem with a home, road, business or other similar matter that involves city input.
Attorney Robert J. Yamin is the Corporation Counsel and Chief Legal Officer of the City of Danbury and Director of Legal Services. He is assisted by Associate Corporation Counsels Dianne E Yamin and Raymond P. Yamin, as well as the entire Law Firm of Yamin and Yamin LLP. Three expert in-house staff attorneys maintain the office, Managing Attorney and Deputy Corporation Counsel Laszlo L. Pinter, Assistant. Corporation Counsel Robin L. Edwards specializing in land use and contracts law, and Assistant. Corporation Counsel Dianne E Rosemark, specializing in labor and FOI law, as well as Legal Secretary, Robin A. Shepard who manages the overall administrative tasks of the offices.
In addition to the Corporation Counsel and in-house legal staff, the City often retains specialized outside legal counsel when needed, in cases dealing with such matters as labor relations, and major or complex litigation.
In general, the Office of the Corporation Counsel begins its work when it receives requests for legal opinions from its City clients, or is apprised of actual or potential legal issues by them. This is followed by a comprehensive review of the law, consultation with affected parties, and, finally, issuance of recommendations or opinions regarding the issue at hand. The Office represents the legal interests of its primary client, the municipal corporation, then also the elected officials who are current occupants of elected offices and departments and related City officials.
The Office is presently engaged in a number of State directed projects and initiatives that involve major construction, environmental reinforcement and compliance, claims and suits associated therewith, which require substantial time, recourses and efforts.
Our story for 2022 and anticipated for beyond 2022 includes post-COVID processes, State regulations and requirements and local health authority issuances and protections. Weather events, as witnessed by past Mayoral City Declarations alerting residents to precautions, requirements and initiatives to protect the public health, safety and welfare are a high priority for officials and residents. New, enhanced protocols are pending. In the course of our duties as legal counsel to the Mayor and City officials and others, we prepared and advised on a number of emergency management initiatives for the present and going forward.
Local declarations affect all aspects of City life, including land use, health measures, labor issues, finance items, construction work, public safety and all other public services. Our client base is large and multi-faceted. These issuances affect people in the community, and we are mindful of the need to balance community protections and the freedoms our laws provide for. Therefore, we need to be nimble, using both our inside legal team and important and critical outside counsel from the local area and Hartford and other regional counsel services to review the steps and processes adopted.
We continue to anticipate the expansion of our in-house team and our facilities in order to fully reach proper levels of legal service to a fast growing, and changing City. One thing we’ve recognized over the years, is that legal advice is not “off the shelf”, takes a proper amount of time to develop and more time to implement through established process. This is an important fact to remember.
Our most successful stories often derive from the ability of the Office to assist our clients in working collaboratively with businesses. These include and involve instances where businesses seeking to relocate or expand in our City seek information and assistance with incentives, State authorized tax or remedial assistance and other programs so that they may better incorporate themselves into our business and community life and financial strength. The City departments work with such firms and individuals to develop ways in which to maximize their legal and practical entitlements to reach a thriving and successful business platform.
We look forward to continuing to approach legal issues and concerns with an eye to not only resolving such issues, but also to improving and supporting the betterment of our entire City and all our residents. To do so, we will continue to advise our clients regarding efforts to protect natural resources, while protecting property rights, and safeguarding public safety while balancing municipal rights and the public interest.
- Robin L. Edwards: Assistant Corporation Counsel
- Dianne Rosemark: Assistant Corporation Counsel