LAW 696

The Legal & Political Importance of State Attorneys General

This three-credit course offers an overview of key constitutional, statutory, and regulatory doctrines used by state attorneys general in the enforcement of their respective state powers, especially as a check on the authority of other state officeholders. While key foundational elements will be covered, such as the authority and structure of the Office and traditional areas of focus, the course will also review the reasons behind the growing assertion of national power by state AGs vis-à-vis federal and state officeholders and targeted corporations and individuals.  During class sessions, students will be expected to engage in several hypothetical exercises involving real-world jurisdictional battles fought by various state AGs.  To understand these aspects of doctrine and practice, we will read judicial opinions, briefs and other litigation materials, and scholarly work, as well as discuss the personal experience and observations of the instructor and other current and former AGs.  We will also analyze the “rise of multistate litigation” – esp. relevant to students at a national law school like UCLA. Jeff Modisett is a former state attorney general, who was one of the leaders of the $206B settlement with Big Tobacco.

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