Case Details


Attorney General's Comments On Pending Case Were Protected By Sovereign Immunity

Filing State



Connecticut Superior Court




Hultman v. Blumenthal, 2000 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2774 (Conn. Super. 2000)


Attorney General is authorized to issue press releases to keep public advised of his public conduct, and Rules of Professional Responsibility do not limit Attorney General in making public comments.

Case Description

The Attorney General’s office charged a mother and son who operated a nursing home with defrauding the state Medicaid program of more than $1 million. An ALJ subsequently ordered the defendants to reimburse the State and suspended them from the Medicaid program. The Attorney General’s press release about the case (issued before the ALJ’s decision) characterized the defendants’ behavior as “outrageous and reprehensible,” and the Attorney General made similar statements to a newspaper. The defendants sued the Attorney General, alleging defamation. The court determined that the lawsuit was against the Attorney General in his official capacity. The court next analyzed the authority of the Attorney General to issue press releases and held that “it is in the public interest to permit an Attorney General to keep the public advised of his official acts and conduct where such actions are in the course of and within the scope of his official duties or powers.” The court held that the Rules of Professional Responsibility do not limit the power of the Attorney General to make public comments about a pending case. The court concluded, “In this case, the views of the Attorney General . . . concerning the illegality of the plaintiffs’ conduct have been upheld by a hearing officer and the Superior Court. . . . The adjectives with which this conduct can be described are entirely a matter of opinion.”