Every day, counties across Wisconsin face issues that require a legal expert. Maybe there’s a zoning ordinance violation or an individual has a mental health crisis and needs help. Other times, a department may need advice on a specific labor law. That’s where corporation counsel comes into play. You may have heard the term “corporation counsel” but don’t know what it means. Keep reading to learn what corporation counsel is, what it does, and how counsel can help your Wisconsin county.

corporation counsel

What Does a Corporation Counsel Do?

Corporation counsel serves the routine legal needs of a city or county, including its elected officials, boards, offices, and departments. Wisconsin is one of several states that uses corporation counsel to handle issues like litigation defense, open records requests, county mental health issues, and general legal advice. Each county in Wisconsin is able to retain its own counsel to consult in times of need. The corporation counsel helps counties come to solutions that best serve the county and its residents. Since each county has different needs and faces unique challenges, they need attorneys with specialized knowledge that they can turn to for a variety of topics. 

Many think that corporate counsel and corporation counsel are the same, but they are not. While corporate counsel is well-versed in areas such as business law, corporation counsel are specialists in legal matters faced by counties. Corporation counsel serves as the primary source for all legal questions for counties in certain states, including Wisconsin. 

How Does Corporation Counsel Help Counties in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin law can vary from county to county, and many public servants want an expert to turn to for legal advice on various issues. Corporation counsel stays up to date on all laws and regulations to provide location-specific answers for all manner of legal questions and issues, including:

  • Labor/Employment
  • Contracts, Policies, and Procedures
  • Governance
  • Environment/Land Use
  • Civil Litigation
  • Finances
  • Human Services

For example, the team at Atolles Law, S.C. recently provided corporation counsel to counties in Wisconsin regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. As counties struggled to handle an unprecedented public health crisis, corporation counsel was able to help them navigate a complex issue. Corporation counsel can also play an administrative role within the county by drafting and reviewing contracts. 

Their role can vary day to day from routine advice to handling complicated problems. One day a corporation council will advise on the validity of an employment contract and the next will file a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies for their part in causing a local opioid crisis. No two days may be the same, but the goal is always to serve the citizens and employees of the county.

Corporation Counsel in Wisconsin

Is your county looking for an expert in Wisconsin law? At Atolles Law, S.C., we’ve helped counties through countless legal issues, both large and small. We’re here to serve as a resource to all officials and citizens in your county to make it a great place to work and live. Our team can also work with your existing corporation counsel to give you a well-rounded pool from which to draw information. Schedule a consultation to learn how we can help your county with all its legal needs.