1

The tax payer foots their bill, so I would think if there was a dispute between an AAG and a citizen and a body the AAG represented, some consideration would be given by the AAG to the argument of the citizen. Government bodies shouldn't be able to "lawyer up" if they're doing something wrong. Of course "wrong" is sometimes a matter of interpretation. The AAG also has his attorney's oath to consider. Do they swear loyalty to the law, to the government official they represent, to the people? To the governor? To the Attorney General?

  • What does AAG stand for? Which government are you talking about? – Nate Eldredge Nov 11 '15 at 14:41
  • Assistant Attorney General. State Governments. – Mr. A Nov 11 '15 at 15:58
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In almost all states of the US, the Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer of the jurisdiction as well as being the government's chief lawyer. Assistant attorney generals occupy the next rung down and have generally been delegated all or a subset of the powers of the Attorney General.

I would think if there was a dispute between an AAG and a citizen and a body the AAG represented, some consideration would be given by the AAG to the argument of the citizen.

So would I. In fact lets extend this, if person A makes a complaint to person B about the organisation person B represents then I would expect that person B would give due consideration to that complaint and, if they believe the complaint is justified, take the appropriate action. In any event, they should respond to person A's complaint in a polite and considered manner.

Government bodies shouldn't be able to "lawyer up" if they're doing something wrong.

Well, the AAG is probably a lawyer to start with so them applying their legal training to the complaint is hardly "lawering up" but I get the point.

If the government is doing something wrong then they should, like everybody else, stop doing it.

Of course "wrong" is sometimes a matter of interpretation.

Here I disagree with you. "Wrong" is always a matter of interpretation. Sometimes the interpretation is easy: genocide is wrong, 2x3=5 is wrong, child abuse is wrong. Sometimes it is not easy: is the granting of this particular mining lease wrong, is homosexual marriage wrong, is representative democracy wrong?

Do they swear loyalty to the law, to the government official they represent, to the people? To the governor? To the Attorney General?

Most AAG will be lawyers and will be obliged to follow that ethical code. They are employee's of the Department of Justice for their state and are obliged to obey their employer's directions like all other employees. They are officers of the court and are obliged to follow the law. They have the state as their client and are obliged to defend their client's interests to the best of their ability.

Do these obligations sometimes create ethical and legal dilemmas? Of course.

  • Technically you did give an answer, and probably it is the correct answer, but since you inserted ancillary arguments of a subjective nature, I am not inclined to accept the answer. Here's one problem I have. Say an AAG is representing the board of real estate agents licensing. Which board member does he listen to? No single person represents what the board is. So who is the AAG's client? Why doesn't the AAG serve "the idea of the board"? If he does, then why doesn't that mean he serves an "objective view of what the law stands for"? – Mr. A Nov 12 '15 at 19:07
  • If he is serving a board then he follows the instructions of the board, not the board members; that is, what the board resolves in accordance with the rules governing it. – Dale M Nov 12 '15 at 19:23
  • At the end of the day, every organisation is just the people who comprise it. – Dale M Nov 12 '15 at 19:24
  • Oh, and all arguments are subjective, that's because they are made by people and people are inherently incapable of being absolutely objective. – Dale M Nov 12 '15 at 19:26
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The Attorney General's Office mandate varies by jurisdiction (state) but usually it is concerned with representing the state, not individuals. Simple look up your AG's website and look for their about/mission/mandate. As for the Assistant AG, their loyalties will be to the organization that writes their checks.

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