The Office of the Attorney General and Reporter is established by Article VI, Section 5 of the Tennessee Constitution . The attorney general is appointed by justices of the Tennessee Supreme Court for an eight-year term. The attorney general is the chief legal officer of the state. Through his staff, he represents the interests of the state in a variety of areas. Officers and agencies of the state are represented by the attorney general in all civil litigation before state and federal courts.
The district attorneys prosecute most criminal cases at the trial level. The attorney general prosecutes all criminal cases in the appellate courts and exercises original prosecutorial powers in the areas of securities and state contract fraud. The attorney general has the authority to institute ouster proceedings and civil actions for antitrust violations, consumer fraud and environmental enforcement. In addition to courtroom duties, the attorney general provides legal advice to state departments and agencies and the General Assembly .
Formal opinions of the attorney general on legal issues are rendered to state officials upon request. The attorney general also approves all administrative regulations and leases as to form and legality. Finally, in the exercise of his reporter function, the attorney general reports the opinions of the Tennessee Supreme Court and Court of Appeals . The attorney general is assisted by a chief deputy, who is responsible for coordinating and supervising the work of the office, including review of substantive work, general management of the office, and participating in policy formation.
The attorney general is also assisted by the solicitor general who is responsible for review of opinions before submission to the attorney general and supervision and coordination of the appellate work of the office. Organizationally, the office of the attorney general is divided into 16 divisions headed by their respective deputies.
Contact Attorney General Paul G. Summers
|Opinion Request Line||(615)741-2518|
|Public Information Officer||(615)741-5860|
|Tobacco Unit Hotline||(615)532-9480 or 1-800-890-8366|
|Victim Information Services||(615)532-1971|