Case Details


Attorney General Control Of Litigation

Filing State



Alabama Supreme Court




Ex parte Weaver, 570 So.2d 675 (Ala. 1990)


Attorney General had authority to move to dismiss state insurance department’s proceedings in Court of Civil Appeals over objection of commissioner of insurance.

Case Description

Private plaintiffs filed suit against Blue Cross of Alabama, alleging that it had improperly calculated its reserves. Plaintiffs later joined the Commissioner of Insurance as a defendant. The trial court held for the plaintiffs on the issue of reserve calculation. The Insurance Commissioner, as well as Blue Cross, filed an appeal and sought a writ of mandamus to vacate the trial court’s order. The Attorney General filed a motion with the Court of Appeals to dismiss the appeal and writ. The Court of Appeals granted the motion to dismiss, holding that the Attorney General had the power to control all litigation by the state. The Insurance Commisisoner appealed. After a complete review of the law in other states, the court held, ” the attorney general of the State of Alabama has the authority to move to dismiss the State Department of Insurance’s proceedings in the Court of Civil Appeals over the objection of the commissioner of insurance. We recognize that there may be times when the Governor disagrees with the attorney general about matters in litigation. Although we determine that the attorney general is authorized to direct the course of all litigation involving the State and its agencies, the Governor, as “chief magistrate” of the State, may intervene in any such litigation. . . .As an intervenor, the Governor may express his views and take positions contrary to those argued by the attorney general.”