The Civil Department represents State agencies, officials, boards and commissions when they are named as defendants in civil lawsuits. These cases include federal civil rights lawsuits filed by inmates against prison officials, employment lawsuits brought by current or former State employees, constitutional challenges against State laws, claims against the State Police and a broad range of other litigation. Civil lawyers also initiate lawsuits to protect the interests of the State. Attorneys serve as counsel representing the State in civil courts and administrative proceedings.
Attorneys in the Criminal Department represents the State of Arkansas in appeals filed by criminals in the Arkansas Court of Appeals, the Arkansas Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Defendants may appeal convictions from Arkansas circuit courts based on a variety of claims.
The Criminal Department assumes the case from the local prosecutor and represents the interests of the State in the entire appellate process. After the State appellate process is complete, many prisoners pursue review of their convictions and sentences through federal courts, and the Criminal Department represents the State’s interests in these federal proceedings.
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
Law enforcement officers and attorneys investigate and prosecute violations of State and federal laws involving Medicaid providers and the abuse or neglect of patients in long-term care facilities. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit also partners with federal and State agencies to investigate Social Security Disability fraud
Attorneys draft legal opinions requested by State officials. The Opinions Department is also responsible for review of interlocal cooperation agreements and responses to requests for opinions concerning the application of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act pertaining to the release of certain employee records.
Public Protection Department
Public Protection consists of four divisions: Consumer Protection, which fights deceptive trade practices, mediates disputes between consumers and businesses, and oversees charities registration; Consumer Utilities Rate Advocacy, which is the voice of consumers as it relates to public utilities; Environmental, which represents the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and the Pollution, Control & Ecology Commission and challenges rules that adversely affect the State; and Tobacco, which administers the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.
The Solicitor General works to ensure that the rights of Arkansans are not hindered by an overreaching federal government and that litigation and counsel provided by the Attorney General’s office is of the highest quality.
From reviewing all briefs and filings in different levels of our court system to building and leading a coalition of states and representing the State of Arkansas at the Arkansas Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court, the Solicitor General takes an active role in leading legal strategy at the Attorney General’s office.
Special Investigations Department
The Special Investigations Department is comprised of certified law enforcement officers and attorneys who operate the Cyber Crimes Unit, Public Integrity Division and Metal Theft Prevention Program.
State Agencies Department
Attorneys in the State Agencies Department provide legal representation to the more than 160 State agencies, boards, commissions and higher education institutions. As legal counsel for these State entities, attorneys provide advice and representation in matters including administrative law, regulatory law, employment law, contract law and property law.
For boards and commissions with licensing authority over professionals such as pharmacists, appraisers, engineers and social workers, the department’s attorneys prosecute citizen complaints against professionals who violate the terms of their license.
When board decisions on such cases are appealed, attorneys represent the boards before the Arkansas Circuit Courts, Court of Appeals and Arkansas Supreme Court.
State Agencies Department attorneys also assist their client agencies with complying with the Freedom of Information Act, resolving disputes with employees and interpreting the laws passed by the Arkansas General Assembly.
State Agency Resources
Additional Legal Resources
National Association of Attorneys General
The Attorney General and staff members receive important training sponsored by the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute, an arm of The National Association of Attorneys General, which facilitates cooperative leadership that helps attorneys general respond effectively – individually and collectively – to emerging State and federal issues.