Municipal Attorney - Town of Byhalia

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Municipal Attorney - Town of Byhalia

Municipal Attorney - Town of Byhalia

August 25, 2023

The candidate under the direction of the Mayor, the Town Attorney is the legal adviser and attorney for all officials, officers, and departments of the Town and represents the Town in litigation. Work involves drafting and reviewing ordinances, resolutions, policies and procedures, and contracts prior to consideration by the Board of Alderman to ensure compliance with state, federal, and local laws. Emphasis is placed on municipal law, civil code enforcement, land use, zoning, labor relations, and legislative interpretation. Duties include coordinating with outside counsel regarding litigation on behalf of the Town, researching/preparing oral and written legal opinions for the Board of Alderman, City Clerk, Department Heads, staff, committees, commissions and boards, and preparing town ordinances, resolutions, contracts and other legal documents involving the Town. The candidate reports to the Board of Alderman and provides legal counsel to the Mayor, the Board, Department Heads and staff. Candidate may provide coaching to improve staff performance and understanding/applying Town policies and procedures.

The candidate should be able to evaluate controversial situations and present options in a clear and concise fashion. It is essential the new Town Attorney holds a solid understanding of a broad array of legal matters related to labor and employee relations including union agreements, grievances, Skelly Hearings, land use and planning, water rights, public finance, personnel, public works, public contracts and bidding, as well as the drafting of ordinances and resolutions.


Job Requirements

Candidate must have a Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited law school, active membership in the State Bar of Mississippi, and 5 years increasingly responsible experience in the practice of municipal law. Candidate must have knowledge of labor relations, civil litigation, collective bargaining and municipal, state, federal and constitutional law affecting municipal government. Candidate must be skillful in managing situations requiring diplomacy, fairness, firmness and sound judgment, extensive professional legal experience, knowledge of municipal law.




Position Overview

Under general direction, performs a variety of legal duties supporting the Town Attorney's office including drafting resolutions, ordinances, contracts, leases, permits, and related documents, prepares for and participants in court hearings, arbitration and trials on behalf of the Town; rendering legal opinions as well as serving as legal advisor to various department heads.


Essential Job Functions

Other related duties may be assigned.

Receive and review claims and lawsuits filed against the City, assist

the Town in its defense.

  • Prepare and draft a variety of correspondence including letters,

memos and pleadings regarding litigation, settlements and


  • Prepares resolutions and drafts ordinances for review and

submission to the Mayor and Board of Alderman.

  • Participate in court appearances including hearing, arbitration and


  • Attend public meetings; provide legal support and advice to

department heads.

  • Conduct legal research, provide legal advice and provide written

and verbal opinions on a variety of legal issues and matters.

. Provide written and oral legal opinions as requested by the Mayor and Board of Alderman. • Provides legal advice and handle requests under the Public

Information Act.

  • Conducts legal research and fact finding including the use of

computer databases for case and statutory research.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Must posses required knowledge, skills, abilities and experience and be able to explain and demonstrate, with or without reasonable accommodations, that the essential functions of the job can be performed.

  • Considerable knowledge of municipal, state and federal laws, rules

and regulations.

  • Considerable knowledge of Civil Law.
  • Considerable knowledge of specialized or substantive areas of law relevant to municipal practice.
  • Knowledge of statutes and codes applicable to civil proceedings.
  • Knowledge and skill in developing related reports and documents. . Skill in researching and analyzing facts, legal problems and strategizing with the Mayor and staff.
  • Ability to draft, negotiate and interpret contracts.
  • Ability to research and interpret municipal, state, and federal laws, rules and regulations.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both verbally and written.
  • Ability to maintain effective relationships with other attorneys and town staff.
  • Ability to read and understand legal documents, technical

materials, reports and journals

  Ability to effectively communicate with Board of Alderman and other officials, attorneys, citizens, and employees in order to provide information related to legal issues.

  • Ability to effectively, tactfully, and professionally discuss issues and complaints with the public.
  • Ability to prepare and prosecute civil cases.
  • Ability to use multiple pieces of office equipment including:

personal computer, fax, etc.

  • Ability to work under deadlines and within regulations and


' Considerable knowledge of town/city, state, and federal rules, policies, ordinances, and laws.

  • Ability to work with citizens in stressful situations and circumstances.

Education and Experience

Must hold a Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited law school. Three to five years of increasing responsible experience practicing municipal law and litigation.

Licenses or Certificates

Must successfully pass the Mississippi Bar Examination and hold a current license to practice before State, Federal District and Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals


The Town Attorney is appointed by Town Board and directs the functions of the Town Attorney's Office. The Town Attorney is responsible for serving as the chief legal advisor and representative of the Town and advises the Town Board and Mayor, Town Manager, Town departments, and Town Boards and Commissions in matters relating to their official powers and duties. The Town Attorney will perform such other duties as the Board may prescribe.


The Town Attorney attends Town Board meetings, advises on ordinance revisions, reviews contracts, advises on liability issues, and provides direct legal support to Town departments.


The Town Attorney is expected to perform duties in a manner consistent with the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct and the Town’s Equal Opportunity Employment policy.



The Town Attorney serves at the pleasure of the Town Board.



The Town Attorney role assumes responsibility for specific assignments, job duties, scope, authority, responsibility, functions, and requirements as necessary to discharge a professional obligation to the Town, its elected and appointed officials, and its employees. The Town Attorney must be able to successfully discharge professional obligation and duties, with or without reasonable accommodation.

The following duties and responsibilities are illustrative of the primary functions of this position and are not intended to be all-inclusive:

  • Maintains confidentiality in accordance with applicable laws. The Town Attorney is responsible for planning, developing, and implementing the professional responsibilities of the Town Attorney's office. This includes: establishing short-term and long-term goals and objectives. Coordinates and balances activities of office with those of the Mayor, Town Board, Town Manager, Town departments, governmental agencies, or community organizations. Maintains competency in federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations of Town Attorney operations.
  • Perform legal research; prepare and review memoranda, ordinances, resolutions, intergovernmental agreements, contracts, easements, dedications of right-of-way, leases, deeds, and other legal documents as required. The Town Attorney prepares for trial and investigates claims and complaints by or against the Town, and tries cases before the State and Federal courts. Prepares legal opinions for the Mayor, Town Board, Town Manager, departments, and various Town Boards and Commissions; prepares briefs and pleadings. Provides legal advice and counsel to the Mayor, Town Manager, Town Board, and department heads. Attends Town Board work sessions and various other meetings to advise on legal problems and questions. Supervises the preparation or prepare cases for hearings, trials and further judicial proceedings and represents Byhalia in such proceedings. Represents the Town of Byhalia in meetings, negotiations, in court, and in the legislature as required. Interprets legal documents and legislation and represents the Town in legal actions. Serves as legal counsel for various Town boards and commissions; may speak as a town representative before different civic, professional, and legislative groups. Directs the preparation and maintenance of necessary records and reports.
  • The Town Attorney prepares a variety of reports and projects as requested by Town Board and the Mayor, the Town Manager, and other town officials.
  • The Town Attorney addresses inquiries and complaints from the public or departments concerning the office's programs and activities. Reviews proposed ordinances and regulations, plans, and technical reports related to Town activities for content, accuracy, and feasibility. Provides assistance to other Town departments as required. The Town Attorney attends offsite meetings and travels to various sites within and outsideByhalia.


Depending on organizational need, additional duties may include the following:

Performs related duties as established by law/ordinance or reasonably required by the Town. Assists other Town departments/divisions, as necessary.


+ Knowledge - Extensive knowledge of the principles and procedures of municipal, civil, business, and constitutional law. Extensive knowledge of judicial procedures. Extensive experience of Mississippi and federal rules of evidence. Thorough understanding of the authority and functions of the Town Attorney's office. Familiarity with and adherence to the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct. Comprehensive knowledge of Mississippi Revised Statutes and pending legislation of the operations1 authorities, and responsibilities of municipal and county government. Thorough understanding of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure, Mississippi Constitution, and the ordinances, policies, and regulations of municipal government. Thorough knowledge of the Town of Byhalia's unique authority and function pursuant to the Mississippi constitution and Byhalia's Home Rule Municipal Charter. Considerable knowledge of legal research materials and rnethods, including expertise in preparing legal opinions and drafting legislation. Significant understanding of criminal and civil standard procedures and pleadings including a high degree of skill in courtroom procedure. Considerable knowledge of municipal and county land use regulation, case laW and legislation. Broad understanding of real estate law relating to acquisitions and financing. eomprehensive understanding of the principles, policies and practices of public administration. Extensive experience of federal laws and constitutional provisions affecting rnunicipal and county operations.

  • Abilities- Ability to exercise considerable initiative and sound judgment; communicate clearly, verbally and in writing; apply legal precepts to factual and hypothetical cases; prepare, present, and argue cases effectively in court; work well with varied people; effectively represent the Town's point of view at all meetings and conferences; establish and maintain effective working relationships with Mayor, Town Board, Town Manager, other Town employees, persons with issues or business before the Town of Byhaiia, other members of the public, and representatives from other agencies; organize information in a clear and logical format; address multiple demands, or meet deadlines.












Lacey Elkins

Town of Byhalia

225 Hwy 309 S.

PH: 662-838-2135

FAX: 662-838-3709