The State Attorneys General

SLN #: 87497
Course Prefix: LAW-691
Course Section: 017
Credit Hours: 2
Instructor(s): Goddard;Segal

Course Description:
Understanding the differences that separate state attorneys general and the 13,000 lawyers practicing in their offices across the country from the rest of the legal profession is important, not only for lawyers who wish to someday work for a state AG, but for all who will be called on to negotiate or litigate either in coordination with or against a state attorney general's office. In other words, almost everyone who practices law needs to understand the state attorneys general!

The roots of the Office of State Attorney General run deep in American jurisprudence. All thirteen American colonies had an attorney general and today all fifty states provide legal services to state government through an office of state attorney general that possesses extraordinarily broad jurisdiction. In all states but Hawaii, New Jersey, Wyoming and Alaska, the Office is independent of the governor.

This combination of sweeping jurisdiction and constitutional independence has produced a unique American legal institution of growing importance. Although most often discussed in the context of the largest and most controversial of legal issues, the real task of attorneys general and their staffs is to deliver high quality legal advice that will guide state government in a constitutional and ethical manner. Although each state is unique, there is a remarkable similarity between state attorneys general when addressing similar challenges and issues.

This course will examine the unique nature of the office of state attorney general, the limits of jurisdiction, unique powers under consumer protection laws, the ethical implications of representing the public instead of an identifiable client, Supreme Court practice, multistate advocacy, the decision not to defend a state action, relations with private attorneys, public corruption prosecutions, nonprofit governance and other areas of interest (such as border crime, polygamy, mortgage prosecutions, the states’ role in immigration reform, and marijuana and tobacco) as time permits.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 2
Grading Option: Letter Grade Only
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: Yes
Skills Requirement: No
Experiential Learning: No
Special Withdrawal Course: No
Limited Enrollment Number: 15
Final Exam Given: No
Attendance Policy: Per Statement Of Student Policies

* The law school has a policy that Is used To calculate credit hours. Please see the Statement of Student Policies.