2015 ORS 180.060¹
Powers and duties of Attorney General

(1) The Attorney General shall:

(a) Appear for the state in the trial of all civil and criminal causes in the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals in which the state may be directly or indirectly interested.

(b) Appear for the state, when required by the Governor or the legislature, in any court or tribunal in any cause in which the state is a party or in which the state is directly interested.

(c) Appear, commence, prosecute or defend for the state all causes or proceedings in the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals in which the state is a party or interested.

(d) Appear, commence, prosecute or defend any action, suit, matter, cause or proceeding in any court when requested by any state officer, board or commission when, in the discretion of the Attorney General, the same may be necessary or advisable to protect the interests of the state.

(2) The Attorney General shall give opinion in writing, when requested, upon any question of law in which the State of Oregon or any public subdivision of the state may have an interest, submitted to the Attorney General by the Governor, any officer, agency, department, board or commission of the state or any member of the legislature.

(3)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection and subsection (4) of this section, the Attorney General may not render opinions or give legal advice to persons other than the state officers listed in subsection (2) of this section.

(b) The Attorney General may, at the request of a state officer listed in subsection (2) of this section, render an opinion to an officer, agency or instrumentality of the federal government if the Attorney General determines that providing the opinion is necessary to meet a condition for assumption by the state of administrative or enforcement responsibilities under federal law.

(4) The Attorney General may represent the state or any agency or officer of the state who appears as the lead plaintiff or a representative party in a class action involving a claim relating to a security, as defined in ORS 59.015 (Definitions for Oregon Securities Law), even if one or more members are persons that the Attorney General may not otherwise represent or advise pursuant to this section.

(5) The Attorney General shall consult with, advise and direct the district attorneys in all criminal causes and matters relating to state affairs in their respective counties. The Attorney General may require their aid and assistance in all matters pertaining to the duties of the Attorney General in their respective counties and may, in any case brought to the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals from their respective counties, demand and receive assistance of the district attorney from whose county such case or matter is brought.

(6) The Attorney General shall, when requested, perform all legal services for the state or any department or officer of the state.

(7) The Attorney General shall have all the power and authority usually appertaining to such office and shall perform the duties otherwise required of the Attorney General by law.

(8) The Attorney General shall assign to each agency, department, board or commission an assistant who shall be the counsel responsible for ensuring the performance of the legal services requested by the agency, department, board or commission. The counsel shall be a person trained in the law concerning such agency, department, board or commission and shall be approved by the chief administrator of the agency, department, board or commission. The chief administrator may not unreasonably withhold approval of the assistant. If the chief administrator withdraws approval, the Attorney General shall assign replacement counsel to the agency, department, board or commission.

(9) The Attorney General may not appear in an action, suit, matter, cause or proceeding in a court or before a regulatory body on behalf of an officer, agency, department, board or commission without the consent of the officer, agency, department, board or commission.

(10) The responsibility for establishing policies for each agency, department, board or commission shall rest upon the chief administrator of the agency, department, board or commission. [Amended by 1971 c.418 §1; 1999 c.142 §1; 2007 c.153 §1]

Notes of Decisions

Where state of­fi­cer was real party in interest, Attorney General could properly appear on behalf of named party not otherwise qualifying for such representa­tion. State ex rel Hood v. Purcell, 8 Or App 532, 494 P2d 461 (1972), Sup Ct review denied, cert. denied, 409 US 1061

Prohibi­tion against Attorney General representing agency unless requested does not impliedly authorize agency to hire own counsel. Frohnmayer v. SAIF, 294 Or 570, 660 P2d 1061 (1983)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Responsibility for opinion on unauthorized practice of law, (1972) Vol 35, p 1088; reliance upon an opinion of the Attorney General, (1976) Vol 38, p 304; legal business of Oregon Medical Insurance Pool is not part of state's legal affairs and Attorney General may not provide advice or legal assistance to pool or its board of directors except at request of state of­fi­cer or agency, (1989) Vol 46, p 155

Chapter 180

Notes of Decisions

State Accident Insurance Fund Corpora­tion is subject to the pro­vi­sions of this chapter relating to legal representa­tion. Frohnmayer v. SAIF, 61 Or App 147, 655 P2d 1098 (1982), aff'd 294 Or 570, 660 P2d 1061 (1983)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Legal business of Oregon Medical Insurance Pool is not part of state's legal affairs and Attorney General may not provide advice or legal assistance to pool or its board of directors except at request of state of­fi­cer or agency, (1989) Vol 46, p 155


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 180—Attorney General; Department of Justice, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors180.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2015, Chapter 180, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano180.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.