Case Details


Common Law Powers, Control Of Litigation

Filing State



Arizona Court of Appeals




Fund Manager, Public Safety Personnel Retirement System v. Corbin, 778 P.2d 1244 (Ariz. Ct. Apps. 1989)


Although attorney general could not prevent the hiring of outside counsel, attorney general could challenge the constitutionality of a statute that permitted such hiring, because he has a duty to uphold the state constitution even though he has no common law powers.

Case Description

Arizona Court of Appeal held that although “the attorney general has a duty to uphold the constitutionality of enactments of the Arizona legislature. . . . as “chief legal officer of the state,” the Attorney General also has a duty to uphold the Arizona and United States Constitutions. The court also held, “We are aware of nothing that would disable the Attorney General from attacking the constitutionality of an Arizona statute in the process of exercising his specific statutory powers.” In this case, the attorney general had the power to bring an action in the name of the state to enjoin the illegal payment of public monies, “In our opinion, the Attorney General’s discretionary power under A.R.S. § 35-212(A) necessarily includes the authority to press any ethically permissible argument he deems appropriate to aid him in preventing the allegedly illegal payment of public monies or in recovering public monies alleged to have been illegally paid.”