National Association of Attorneys General

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Video Presentations

Introduction to Attorneys General

AG “101” A Brief Introduction to the World of Attorneys General

The following is a video of the National State Attorneys General Program Director James E. Tierney, former Attorney General of Maine, providing an introduction to the office of state attorneys general. The remarks are directed to lawyers and non-lawyers who are interested in the history, culture, jurisdiction and operations of state attorneys general offices and are not designed to give legal or policy advice, but to provide an overview of this unique governmental institution.

Discussion with former Vermont AG Bill Sorrell (1997-2017) and former Indiana AG Greg Zoeller (2009-2017)

Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell (left) and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller (right) visited the Program on October 6, 2009 to discuss their widely varying experiences as attorneys in public life on their path to becoming attorneys general. The discussion is introduced by Ellen Chapnick, Dean of Social Justice Initiatives at Columbia Law School, and James E. Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program and former Attorney General of Maine. View the discussion below:

Ethics & the Attorney General

In March and June 2008, National State Attorneys General Program Director James E. Tierney conducted interactive ethics presentations at the Spring and Summer Meetings of the National Association of Attorneys General. Tierney’s presentations involve substantial discussion from attorneys general, senior assistant attorneys general and former attorneys general.

Proceeding from the observation that the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility were drafted to provide a comprehensive set of ethical rules for private sector lawyers, Tierney notes that the underlying theme of these private sector Rules – zealous advocacy for easily identified clients – has never been an easy fit for state attorneys general whose responsibilities exist under state constitutions, state and federal law and, in the majority of states, the common law. The sessions explore various ethical dilemmas faced daily by state attorneys general and their staffs. He also discusses how the private sector, in light of Sarbannes-Oxley, is grappling with parallel issues in the corporate world.

June 2011 Ethics Update – Chicago, IL – NAAG Summer Meeting

June 2009 Ethics Update – Colorado Springs, CO – NAAG Summer Meeting

June 2008 Ethics Update – Providence, RI – NAAG Summer Meeting

March 2008 Ethics Presentation – Washington, D.C. – NAAG Spring Meeting

Read Prof. Tierney’s citations and talking points.

Summer 2009 Guest Speaker Series

The National State Attorneys General Program was privileged to host a series of guest speakers at Columbia Law School. Guests included the former Attorney General of Montana, Steve Bullock, former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods, former New York Attorney General Robert Abrams, former New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey, former New Hampshire Attorney General and Governor Stephen Merrill, and former Deputy White House Counsel and Ohio Solicitor General Professor Bill Marshall.

Powers & Duties

In this brief overview video, Prof. Jim Tierney discusses the fundamental powers and duties of the state attorney general, the attorney general’s role in state government, and contrasts the state and federal attorneys general.

Watch the video below:

Consumer Protection

Prof. Tierney explains the role of state attorneys general in protecting consumers. He discusses both the historical pattern of cooperation between state and federal government in consumer protection as well as the current tension between state and federal government over the role of government in this arena.

Watch the video below:

For additional information, please visit:

Consumer Federation of America

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Federal Trade Commission

Institution for Legal Reform

National Consumer Law Center 

Environmental Protection

The Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. EPA demonstrates the critical role of state attorneys general in protecting our environment and enforcing federal regulation. In this video, Prof. Tierney explains the role of state attorneys general in advising state agencies on environmental regulations, enforcing environmental rules, and prosecuting violators.

Watch the video below:

Who's My AG?

Find the attorney general who represents you.

Meetings & Trainings

Stay informed of NAAG meetings and the NAGTRI trainings we offer.

AG Spotlight

Doug Peterson, Nebraska Attorney General

Doug Peterson is the attorney general of Nebraska.