This first week explores the nature of the authority and the culture that pervades offices of attorney general.  The first chapter of Walter Mondale's The Good Fight, which covers Mondale's time as the Attorney General of Minnesota over 50 years ago, serves as an introduction to the Role of the Attorney General.  Used with the permission (and to the personal delight) of the author, this edited chapter combines almost all aspects of the office of attorney general, e.g., the common law, statutory authority, conflicting legal and policy demands, resource restriction, the role of academics and outside counsel, hard core partisan politics and personal ambition. The chapter is also testimony that for all of the changes in the legal and political world, some things remain remarkably the same.

Also included in this first week are edited sections of Paul Wilson's "A Time to Lose, Representing Kansas in Brown v. Board of Education," that depict a very different side of state attorney general authority that is also covered in the course.

The first week also contains readings that describe state "parens patriae" and the duty of state attorneys general to represent all the people of their states and not be limited to representing a specific state agency.  Finally, it contains the reflections of two attorneys general who left office at the end of 2014.

  1. Walter Mondale, The Good Fight (2010) (Chapter 1, Edited)

  2. Wilson, Paul E. A Time To Lose, Representing Kansas In Brown v. Board Of Education. Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1995 (Edited)

  3. State v. Lead Industries Association, Inc. 951 A.2d 428, (R.I. 2008)(Track III, A and B)(Edited)

  4. Memorandum of Former Members of the New Hampshire Attorney General Office on HB 89, Docket No. 2011-0319, May 23, 2011 (Amici to the NH Supreme Court on an Opinion of the Justices.)

  5. Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen Says Scrutiny From Media And Partisans Contributed To His "Burn Out" As Attorney General in TV Interview. (December 18, 2014) View the Video HERE

  6. Maureen Hayden, “State of the Statehouse: Zoeller leaves attorney general role with legacy in public health,” Tribune Star, Dec. 25, 2016.

  7. “Hearing the States,” Anthony Johnstone, University of Montana Law School – Abstract and Pages  9-11

  8. Idaho Free Press, "More legal cases than Idaho AG's office can handle," February 2, 2018

  9. State Attorney General Actions, the Tobacco Litigation, and the Doctrine of Parens Patriae," Tulane Law Review, June, 2000.

  10. State of Florida v. Exxon Corporation, March 10, 1976