Attorneys general of states, commonwealths, territories and the District of Columbia serve as chief legal officers and representatives for their governments’ agencies and legislatures as well as for public interest. Their duties include protecting consumers against fraud or abuse; advocating economic and social justice; combatting crime; managing various programs and protecting consumers.
As the People’s Lawyer, the Attorney General serves to defend individuals and groups of people against fraud and abuse; enforces state laws; represents the Governor and other public officials before trial courts, appeals courts and supreme courts in civil and criminal matters; provides legal counsel to state agencies, boards and commissions; sits on several Cabinet-level committees which deal with state lands matters such as financial issues and insurance regulation – among many other duties.
The Attorney General oversees various bureaus that uphold state laws and policies at a state-wide level, such as the Division of Criminal Justice which prosecutes criminal cases and investigates allegations of public corruption; Victims Compensation Office provides financial assistance to crime victims incurred expenses by criminal acts; while working towards decreasing youth incarceration by creating alternatives such as residential community homes, counseling services and substance abuse treatment programs.
In addition to overseeing criminal prosecution bureaus, the Attorney General’s office oversees other departments as well, such as the Division of Consumer Affairs which investigates and takes actions to protect consumers against unfair or deceptive business practices; regulates charities; educates donors how to identify reputable and trustworthy charitable organizations; works to ensure workers in the state have fair working environments through its Labor Bureau; regulates combative sports exhibitions like boxing or martial arts through its State Athletic Control Board – among many others.
The Attorney General’s office maintains 13 regional offices across New York that perform essential defensive, regulatory and affirmative justice functions across New York State. Staff from these regional offices are deeply engaged with their local communities through outreach presentations and educational outreach initiatives as well as responding to complaints from New Yorkers regarding key social and economic justice issues such as identity theft, mortgage-related fraud and landlord-tenant issues.
Webcheck locations of the office process more than 1.5 million background checks annually to assist schools, hospitals, and daycare centers make quick hiring decisions quickly and confidently. Each location features computer terminals which enable individuals to submit fingerprints electronically for background check through BCI – the state agency responsible for checking criminal records – or by upgrading its system in accordance with FBI standards.
The Attorney General serves as the State’s primary law enforcement official and prosecutes criminal cases when necessary, in addition to upholding laws which protect consumers, tenants, workers, investors, charitable donors and our natural resources. He or she also assists local governments and police departments by offering forensic science services; crime scene identification management support as well as telecommunicating assistance services.
The Office of the Attorney General maintains 13 regional offices to fulfill its defensive, regulatory, and affirmative justice functions throughout New York State. Each regional office is overseen by an Attorney in Charge who works alongside Assistant Attorneys General in carrying out their tasks. Regional attorneys represent New York state agencies, officers and employees in civil matters brought before courts throughout New York as well as taking enforcement actions against companies that violate its civil rights, environmental, consumer protection, labor health care securities laws as well as any others that breach New York laws in all regions.
Additionally, the Office of the Attorney General represents the State in federal court cases brought by private parties challenging state statutes or constitutional provisions; and administers several state programs like Victims of Crime Compensation Program which provides grants to victims of certain offenses or crimes.
The Office of the Attorney General oversees not only New Jersey State Police operations but also three specialized prosecution units: Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutions (OIFP), Consumer Protection Unit and Public Integrity and Accountability unit as well as Law Enforcement Assistance Administration of Department of Justice’s Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funds used for crime victim assistance.
Attorney Generals serve an essential function. Beyond prosecuting criminal and civil cases, they also protect consumers, tenants, patients, workers, charitable donors and the environment from abuse and injustice. Furthermore, the Attorney General oversees public service and education programs throughout the state — from court-ordered child support collections to administering Crime Victims Compensation Fund. Furthermore, the AG prosecutes organized crime, leads statewide investigations and coordinates various programs as part of its duties.
Attorneys General act as advocates and law enforcers for their state governments, upholding state laws while defending actions taken by executive branches before trial courts and appellate courts of both states and the United States. Furthermore, attorneys general also serve as advisors to government agencies and legislatures and act as representatives for local communities within their jurisdictions.
The Attorney General’s Office represents the interests of all New Yorkers in matters affecting their daily lives, enforcing laws to protect consumers, tenants, charitable donations and the environment from harm. Additionally, it investigates and prosecutes fraud, illegal business practices and consumer abuse – investigating and prosecuting cases where applicable; investigating harm-reducing public health strategies, protecting New York State natural resources as well as overseeing civil and criminal investigations across New York State are some of its core functions.
As the state’s chief law enforcement official, the Attorney General oversees various law enforcement agencies. This includes the Department of Law (DOL), which defends against lawsuits brought by private parties against state laws while simultaneously prosecuting violators civilly or criminally. Furthermore, she supervises Division of Civil Rights and two agencies working closely with DOL: Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).
The New Jersey Attorney General also supervises several professional licensing boards that regulate nearly 750,000 individuals in New Jersey. His goal is to prevent licensees from engaging in fraud while upholding the integrity of their professions, and prosecute those found engaging in Medicaid fraud, identity theft, mortgage-related fraudulent activity and securities and complex financial fraud crimes.
The Attorney General serves as New Yorkers’ legal defender. State attorneys general advise the executive branch of government on legal matters while acting as chief legal officers for their citizens’ legal protection and defending actions and proceedings brought on their behalf. Furthermore, state attorneys general oversee certain criminal prosecutions as well as oversee the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Furthermore, their Office serves as the largest law firm in New York State by representing many state agencies, departments, boards and commissions, in addition to private individuals, businesses and governments alike.
This office works on various policy matters related to children and women’s issues, economic protection, cybersecurity and environmental safety as well as providing training. Furthermore, staffing committees and task forces, conducting advocacy efforts and outreach campaigns and providing advocacy support are also included in its scope of responsibilities.
The Office of the Attorney General comprises six divisions, which include Administration, Environmental and Public Protection (EPP), General Counsel and Administrative Law (GCAL), Civil, Juvenile, and Criminal. Each of these departments is led by an Assistant Attorney General; together they work towards protecting public interests while seeking justice for all. 151 attorneys serve the office, along with over 500 professional and support staff dedicated to its mission.
Letitia “Tish” James is the 67th Attorney General of New York and an accomplished lawyer and public servant with decades of experience. Her commitment is fighting for all, particularly vulnerable New Yorkers; she attended Burr & Burton Academy, University of Vermont and Boston College Law School – she first held office as Public Advocate of NYC from 2013 – 2015 before being elected AG and continuing her fight for all New Yorkers’ rights in her current capacity.