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State Attorneys General Opinions

April 24, 2012

Trying to find an interpretation of a state statute?  Looking for a definition of the powers of a state agency?  Opinions issued by state attorneys general can provide guidance.  Opinions may not be binding but they are persuasive when determining the duties or responsibilities of public officials or state agencies.  Opinions are usually issued in response to an inquiry by a public official; some state attorneys general confine their opinions to the state level, but others may issue opinions on the county or local level as well.

State attorneys general opinions are now available through “State Attorney General Reports and Opinions” on HeinOnline.  The database includes all issuing states, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  Coverage varies; California, New York, Wyoming and Washington include full coverage from inception.  The database also includes the Opinions of the Attorneys General of the United States and the Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice. 

In addition, many state offices of the attorney general maintain web sites that offer copies of published opinions.  Check individual state web sites for information about the scope of opinions, their authority and availability.

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