Program Updates - 2008
NATIONAL LEGAL EXPERT ON ATTORNEYS GENERAL DISCUSSES POWER OF ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO FILE SUIT FOR REMOVAL OF GOVERNOR (DECEMBER 2008)
Program Director and former Maine Attorney General James Tierney issued a statement regarding the role of Illinois AG Lisa Madigan in removing Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has been charged with federal corruption.
"Most people don’t know that the attorney general can sue his or her own governor," Tierney said. "But a state attorney general is the lawyer for the people of the state – not just for the office holders or the bureaucracy. If an elected official fails in his or her duties and the fundamental integrity of the government is at risk, an attorney general has the discretion to act independently to protect the public from ongoing harm."
Full statement (PDF)
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL (NAAG) - WINTER MEETING, FT. LAUDERDALE, FL (DECEMBER 2008)
James Tierney served on the faculty of the NAAG-sponsored New AG Training sessions.
In addition, Tierney moderated a panel called "Preemption and Multistates: Advocating In An Era Of Preemption" on Wednesday, December 3, featuring four current Attorneys General. He also conducted a presentation called "Ethical Issues in AG Regulatory Issues" during a plenary session on Thursday, December 4.
CHARITIES PROJECT UPDATE & OVERVIEW (OCTOBER 2008)
This report an overview of the Charities Project's mission as well as its recent activities and accomplishments.
Full report (PDF)
ETHICS AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (JUNE 2008)
In March and June 2008, James Tierney conducted interactive ethical presentations at NAAG's Spring and Summer Meetings. Tierney’s presentations involve substantial discussion from attorneys general, sr. assistant attorneys general and former attorneys general.
Watch the updated video:
June 2008 – Providence, RI – NAAG Summer Meeting
March 2008 – Washington, D.C. – NAAG Spring Meeting
To view other video lessons on the role of attorneys general, click here.
CHARITIES LAW CONFERENCE (MARCH 27-29, 2008)
The National State Attorneys General Program's Charities Law Conference at Columbia Law School featured over 150 attendees, including representatives from 37 state offices of attorneys general along with academics, students, and members of the charitable and non-profit sector.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CLARIFICATION ACT OF 2007 (JANUARY 28, 2008)
James Tierney Testifies for Reform
On January 28, 2008, James E. Tierney, Director of the Attorneys General Program testified for ninety minutes before the Washington, D.C. Council’s Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary in favor of Bill 17-548, “The Attorney General of the District of Columbia Clarification Act of 2007.” The Attorney General of the District of Columbia is currently appointed by the Mayor and serves at his pleasure. The legislation, proposed by Committee Chairperson Philip Mendelson, changes this “at will” status by providing a series of reforms that would increase the Attorney General’s independence. Tierney testified that it is absolutely necessary that the Mayor not be allowed to remove an Attorney General without showing cause. He also recommended that, once confirmed, an Attorney General serve for a defined period of years.
“No jurisdiction has had turnover that approaches the District of Columbia,” Tierney testified. “48 states provide protection and independence to their AG’s and the men and women who hold these positions would not have it any other way. The District of Columbia has a big problem and it should address it. The lack of independence saps the office of talent and resources, driving legal work that should be handled by the AG into the costly private sector. The citizens of the District deserve better.”
Tierney praised many of the former Attorneys General of the District of Columbia and the staff who currently work in the Department, but nonetheless called for prompt attention to the issue by District policy makers.
Click Here to view a video of the testimony.