The Bucks County Law Department serves as the general counsel for the Board of Commissioners and all divisions and departments serving under their direction. The Law Department also represents the County and its subdivisions and employees in litigation and other proceedings.
In 2020, the Board of Commissioners revamped the Law Department (formerly known as the Solicitor’s Office) to reflect the Board’s commitment to integrity, efficiency, and good government. Under the leadership of County Solicitor Joe Khan, the County’s first fulltime Solicitor, the Law Department is now staffed by dedicated attorneys who take a constitutional oath of office upon their appointment and fulltime paralegals with diverse and substantial portfolios.
Since the Department’s reorganization, these professionals have helped the County accomplish several key goals, including:
- Counseling County officials in responsibly abating the COVID-19 pandemic
- Drafting and enforcing the Bucks County False Claims Ordinance and updated whistleblower policy to combat fraud, waste and abuse
- Drafting Bucks County’s Fair Chance and Equal Pay hiring policies to redress inequality
- Negotiating a historic settlement in a class action described by the court as “a case that could not settle”
- Obtaining court-ordered extensions on mail-in voting to protect voter rights
- Proposing and implementing prison reforms to protect inmates, workers, and the general public
- Providing the public with online access to all County ordinances to promote transparency
- Substantially reducing the County’s spending on outside counsel
The Law Department closely supervises all attorneys working on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, including department solicitors, bond counsel, and other outside counsel engaged by the County. The Law Department reviews and helps negotiate contracts within the County’s $450 million budget as well as those supported by $100 million in CARES Act funding. The Department also ensures the County’s compliance with a wide array of laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law and Sunshine Act, and the Bucks County Responsible Contractor Ordinance. The Departments’ attorneys participate in various public meetings, including the Board of Commissioner meetings, at which the County Solicitor attends, presents, and provides counsel.