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Bid Number: 04162021
Bid Title: Legal Services - City Attorney
Category: Commissioners of Cambridge
Status: Open


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.


Background 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 activities.  The 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.  


Scope of Services:

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.

·         Drafts, 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.

·         Represents the City in litigation – primarily code enforcement and coordinates the work of outside legal counsel for specified litigation matters including labor matters.

·         Coordinating the work of outside legal counsel, as directed by the City Commission or the City Manager.

·         Represents and/or participates in intergovernmental projects and other matters, as requested.

·         Advises 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 disciplinary actions.

·         Conducts legal work pertaining to property acquisition, property disposal, public improvements, public rights of way and easements, and matters relating to public utilities.

·         Prepares correspondence and other legal documents on behalf of the City as directed.

·         Performing other duties as directed by the City Commission and as requested by the City Manager.

·         Represents and advises the City Commission, city officers, boards and commissions in all matters of law pertaining to their offices.

·         Attends 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 the meeting.

·         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.   



The attorney 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 also preferred.



It 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.

RFP Requirements:

A.   Your Qualifications to Provide Services:

Please 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 limited to:


1.    Name of individual(s) with resume;

2.    Length of employment with firm;

3.    Specialization;

4.    Legal training;

5.    Scholastic honors and professional affiliations;

6.    Date of admittance to Maryland Bar;

7.    Years of practice;

8.    Years of municipal or other public sector experience;

9.    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 relations;

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.


B.   Your Approach to Providing Legal Services. Please include a written response which includes answers to the following questions:


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.


C.   Your Current Practices/Conflicts of Interest


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


Please 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 reference.


E. Your Proposal for Compensation to Provide Services


Proposals 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 Timeline

  • The City Commission reserves the rights and options to:
  • Reject any or all the submittals.
  • Waive any of the provisions in the Request for Proposals.
  • Issue subsequent Requests for Proposals.
  • Cancel the Request for Proposal process.
  • Waive any technical error in the responses it receives.
  • Negotiate 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.

Submittal Deadline

Interested individuals and firms are required to submit two (2) unbound originals in a sealed envelope, marked on the outside as




·         by Wednesday, 2:00 PM on June 10, 2021

·         to the City Manager’s office, 410 Academy Street, Cambridge, MD 21613


NOTE:  Electronic submissions will NOT be accepted.

Publication Date/Time:
4/16/2021 12:00 AM
Closing Date/Time:
Open Until Contracted
Related Documents:

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