The Attorney General is the chief legal officer of the State. The Attorney General's Office has general charge, supervision and direction of the legal business of the State, acting as legal advisors and representatives of the major agencies, various boards, commissions, officials and institutions of State Government.
In all matters in which interests of the State of Maryland are involved, the Attorney General and assistant attorneys general represent the State. This includes litigation in the Court of Appeals, the Court of Special Appeals, the Circuit Courts, and the District Court of Maryland, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Court of Appeals, and the United States District Court. Administrative rules and regulations promulgated by most State officers or agencies must be submitted to the Attorney General for review before they may become effective. The Office of the Attorney General also enforces the State's antitrust, consumer protection and securities laws, and conducts criminal prosecutions and appeals.
Clerks of court, registers of wills, sheriffs, and state's attorneys of the counties and Baltimore City are represented by the Attorney General's Office. Yet, the Office does not represent boards or officials of the counties or Baltimore City that employ their own counsel, such as boards of education, or boards of elections (except in Baltimore City).
The Office is comprised of several divisions to best serve the State and its citizens, including:
The Antitrust Division enforces the Maryland Antitrust Act in order to foster fair and honest competition in the State of Maryland. In addition, the Division may represent the State and all Maryland political subdivisions in damage actions brought under federal and state antitrust statutes.
The Civil Litigation Division handles major litigation in which the State, its agencies, or officers, is a party. This includes defending the State and State employees in State and federal trial and appellate courts as well as filing suits on behalf of the State.
The Civil Rights Division
Reviews and responds to constituent complaints directed to the Attorney General involving civil rights issues;
Engages in community outreach activities to educate the public about civil rights;
Reviews and evaluates possible civil rights violations based upon patterns or practices that have a significant impact in Maryland;
Partners with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights and other organizations or government agencies on matters related to discrimination, injustice, etc; and
Monitors legislation and administrative rules that involve civil rights with a view toward making recommendations.
The Consumer Protection Division provides a mediation and arbitration service to consumers to help resolve complaints against businesses and health insurance carriers; registers health clubs and new home builders; and produces a wide array of consumer education materials.
The Contract Litigation Division represents State agencies in litigation over disputes relating to State contracts and the award of State contracts under the State General Procurement Law. The Division also provides advice regarding a variety of procurement issues.
The Correctional Litigation Division provides legal representation for State officials and correctional employees who are sued by prisoners in federal and State courts for acts arising within the scope of their performance of their duties.
The Courts & Judicial Affairs Division represents and advises the Judicial Branch of State Government. In addition, the Division represents select independent agencies, such as the Maryland Tax Court and the Office of Administrative Hearings.
The Criminal Appeals Division represents the State in all criminal matters in the appellate courts of Maryland and in the Federal courts at all levels. The Division also offers advice and counsel to the State's Attorneys' offices in Maryland as well as other State agencies, and reviews legislation relating to criminal law for constitutionality and legal sufficiency.
The Criminal Investigations Division investigates and prosecutes a broad range of criminal activity occurring against and within State government, including cases involving theft, fraudulent misappropriation by a fiduciary, misconduct in office, bribery, perjury, falsifications of public records, and criminal violations of the Maryland tax laws. In addition, the Division investigates and prosecutes white collar crime, health care fraud, gun trafficking, insurance fraud, and multi-jurisdictional crimes.
The Higher Education Division is the legal advisor to all State educational institutions, boards and commissions.
The Securities Division protects Maryland investors from investment fraud and misrepresentation.
The Environmental Crimes Unit, comprised of criminal prosecutors from the Attorney General's Office and investigators from the Maryland State Police, investigates and prosecutes environmental crimes.
Health Decisions Policy develops resources for individuals and health care professionals concerning Maryland's Health Care Decisions Act and related law.
The Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit originated in October 2002 as the Office of the Independent Juvenile Justice Monitor within the Office for Children, Youth, and Families (Chapter 255, Acts of 2002). In February 2006, the Office of the Independent Juvenile Justice Monitor transferred to the Office of Attorney General, and was renamed the Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit (Chapter 12, Acts of 2006). The Unit investigates the needs of children under the jurisdiction of the Department of Juvenile Services and determines whether their needs are being met in compliance with State law. This includes evaluting conditions of facilities housing youth, reporting on treatment of and services to youth, and investigating allegations of child abuse.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit program investigates and prosecutes provider fraud in statewide Medicaid programs.
Opinions and Advice gives legal opinions as to the construction or interpretation of the law as it affects various agencies of the State and gives legal opinions to local subdivisions on questions involving substantial statewide interest.
The People's Insurance Counsel Division reviews homeowners insurance matters and medical professional liability insurance matters pending before the Maryland Insurance Commissioner to determine the impact on consumers. The People's Insurance Counsel may intervene on behalf of consumers before the Commissioner and in court.
The Office also is the legal adviser to virtually every agency in each of the three branches of State Government, including:
Aging, Department of Agriculture, Department of Assessments & Taxation, Department ofBudget and Management, Department of Commerce, Department of Comptroller, StateEnergy Administration Environment, Department of Environmental Services, Maryland Food Center Authority General Assembly General Services, Department of Governor's Office for ChildrenHealth, Department of Health Services Cost Review Commission Higher Education Commission Highway Administration Housing & Community Development, Department of Human Services, Department of Insurance Administration Juvenile Justice, Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation, Department of Lottery and
Gaming Control Agency Maryland Environmental Service Maryland Food Center Authority Maryland State Department of Education Maryland State Police Motor Vehicle Administration Natural Resources, Department of Planning, Department of Port AdministrationPublic Safety & Correctional Services, Department ofRetirement and Pension System Stadium Authority State Treasurer Subsequent Injury Fund Transportation, Department of Transportation Authority Uninsured Employers' Fund
200 St. Paul Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-6300 / En español 410-230-1712 / 1-888-743-0023 toll-free / TTY: Dial 7-1-1 or 800-735-2258