Office of the Attorney General



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Attorney General
Karl A. Racine
Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia

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Commercial Division

The Commercial Division consists of five Sections:

  • Land Acquisition & Bankruptcy
  • Land Use & Public Works
  • Procurement
  • Real Estate Transactions
  • Tax & Finance

The Land Acquisition & Bankruptcy Section acquires land through condemnation proceedings and judicial foreclosure of District tax liens, for use by the District for public purposes ranging from rehabilitation of blighted properties and creation of affordable housing to construction of government office buildings, public stadiums, conference centers, and other economic development projects. The Section also provides representation to all District agencies in bankruptcy court in personal and commercial bankruptcies in which the District may have an interest.

The Land Use & Public Works Section advises on land use issues involving zoning, historic preservation, and the use of public rights-of-way.

The Procurement Section reviews for legal sufficiency all proposed contract actions that the Council must approve pursuant to the Home Rule Charter. The Section also provides legal advice to the District’s Chief Procurement Officer, and contracting officers, regarding procurement law and regulations as they apply to the award of District contracts and other related procurement issues. The Procurement Section represents the District before the Contract Appeals Board in challenges to terms of a solicitation or proposed awards of contracts by District agencies.

The Real Estate Transactions Section is responsible for all real estate development activities involving District-owned land. The Section negotiates and drafts complex transactional documents relating to the acquisition and disposition of land in support of economic development and other municipal uses.

The Tax & Finance Section advises the District with respect to the issuance of bonds and notes in order to finance various capital projects of the District government, nonprofit entities, and for-profit entities located in areas specifically targeted by the District for economic and commercial development. The Section also defends real property tax assessment appeals, and represents the District as a statutory defendant in tax sale foreclosure actions filed in Superior Court.

The Division provides legal advice to 10 agency directors whose activities include driver licensing, motor vehicle registration, city parks, street sweeping and trash collection, assistance to small and local businesses, street paving and traffic signals, bridge construction and maintenance, the District’s cable television stations and its emergency 911 and non-emergency 311 call activities, the District’s comprehensive suite of information technology and telecommunications systems and services, the acquisition of goods and services for District agencies to conduct their business, maintenance of all District real and personal property, the negotiation of documents for the out leasing of District-owned property, as well as the in leasing of commercially owned property for District use, affordable housing, economic development, community development programs, and the modernization of the District’s public school infrastructure.