In 1937, the County Board of Supervisors authorized the creation of a law department under the direction of the already existing position of county attorney. The statutory mandate of the Law Department is to "have charge of and conduct all of the civil law business of the County of Westchester and its departments;" the county attorney is appointed by the county executive, with the approval of the County Board of Legislators. Today, the Law Department is comprised of four bureaus: Contracts and Real Estate; Appeals, Opinions and Legislation; Family Court; and Litigation.
The Law Department “Historical” Records reflect the Department’s mandate to "have charge of and conduct all of the civil law business of the County of Westchester and its departments". Ten record center cartons from the Litigation Bureau were transferred to storage in 1996 and permanently preserved in the County Archives in 2000. The files were designated by the Department as “historical records” or “early records, A-Z” but had no discernible order. Two additional records center cartons dating from 1915-1939 have also been included in this collection and can be described as the working papers of County Attorney William Davidson (1915-1947). Due to their similar nature, Davidson’s records were interfiled alphabetically with the other historical records. [Note: due to different box sizes used during processing, the collection as now housed is 15 cubic feet.]
Topics covered in this collection include taxes; county agreements and contracts; easements and exchange of lands; opinions for county departments; litigation matters; and drafts of laws and legislation for review by the County Board of Supervisors. The types of materials in this collection are copies and drafts of correspondence and memoranda, appeals briefs, New York State Senate Acts and circulars, proceedings and final reports, property deeds, pleadings, depositions, decisions, court dockets, bonds, bulletins, excerpts from the New York Law Journal, news prints and news clippings, inspection reports, telegrams, blueprints, photographs, and maps.