Cyber and Technology

State attorneys general play an increasingly important role in the cyberspace and technology realm.  Through their civil and criminal investigative and enforcement authority, advocacy, and education and outreach to the public at-large, America’s attorneys general are working collaboratively to ensure their states’ residents are protected online. Areas of focus for state attorneys general include:  Investigating and prosecuting cybercrimes…

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Powers and Duties

In most states, an attorney general’s power and authority come from the common law (custom and judicial precedent) rather than statutes. Under common law precedent, attorneys general have the authority to represent, defend, and enforce the legal interests of both the state itself and of the public. The jurisdiction’s constitution and statutes also establish the…

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Veterans and Military

Active military personnel, their families, and veterans are unfortunately often targeted by scam artists and unscrupulous businesses who try to take advantage of the military consumers. Servicemembers are targeted for many reasons including their stable income, inexperience in financial matters, and the desire to solve their own problems, some out of fear that the problems may jeopardize their security clearance and careers.  …

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Tobacco

Tobacco emerged as an attorney general issue in the 1990s, when several attorneys general filed lawsuits seeking reimbursement from tobacco companies for money spent treating illnesses caused by smoking. In 1998, they reached a historic agreement with those tobacco companies, resulting in the largest settlement in U.S. history, the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). Learn more…

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Public Health

CEA Winslow, founder of the Yale School of Public Health, defined public health as “The science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private communities, and individuals.” Attorneys general use their positions to address public health challenges in several ways….

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The U.S. Supreme Court

United States Supreme Court decisions directly affect attorney general offices’ ability to enforce state laws and defend government officials’ conduct. Attorney general offices therefore play an active role before the Supreme Court. Collectively, they are the second most active litigant before the Court, behind only the U.S. government.   Two issues relevant to many cases brought before the Court by…

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Civil Law

The attorney general holds a unique position in state government. Although in most states the attorney general does not act as the local prosecutor, the attorney general, as the chief legal officer, is in charge of all civil legal business for the state. As the chief legal officer of the state, commonwealth, or territory, the…

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Elder Justice

Attorneys general play a significant role in keeping the most vulnerable members of our society safe, including older adults who are often targeted by scammers and other bad actors. Scams and Fraud  Individuals over the age of 60 are often targeted by scammers as older adults tend to have more accumulated wealth, are more likely to live alone, and may have medical conditions that make them…

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Ethics

The public expects and deserves the highest level of professional conduct from the government lawyers who represent their interests. Government attorneys are subject to professional rules that govern all attorneys, as well as constitutional, statutory, and regulatory requirements that protect the public’s trust. Government attorneys are, like all lawyers, required to follow the rules of…

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Criminal Law

The role of attorneys general with respect to the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses varies in each state and territory, ranging from complete criminal jurisdiction to no criminal jurisdiction. Regardless of responsibility, most attorneys general have a part in forming criminal justice policy and drafting criminal legislation. Although there are seven types of criminal…

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