For Immediate Release - July 30, 2013

AG Coakley Establishes State Solicitor’s Office, Appoints First State Solicitor

Peter Sacks to Lead Office Focused on Appellate Advocacy

BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley today announced the creation of the Office of the State Solicitor within her office and appointed the state’s first State Solicitor, Peter Sacks. Sacks most recently served as the Deputy Chief of the AG’s Government Bureau.

“Establishing the Office of the State Solicitor has long been a goal of mine and I am honored today to announce that Peter Sacks will be taking on this new role,” AG Coakley said. “Peter is an outstanding attorney and dedicated public servant with over 25 years of experience in this office. He has argued over 60 appeals and has the leadership abilities needed to take our already well-regarded appellate advocacy to even greater heights.”

More than 35 states have established State Solicitor or Solicitor General Offices, which focus on appellate advocacy. The Massachusetts State Solicitor’s primary role will be to help develop appellate strategy, to review briefs and to help prepare for oral argument in selected cases handled by Assistant Attorneys General throughout the office. The State Solicitor will also track the office’s appeals to ensure consistent legal positions, advise the Attorney General regarding multi-state amicus briefs, and handle some appeals. 

Sacks, a Brookline resident, most recently served as the Deputy Chief of the AG’s Government Bureau, which represents the Commonwealth, its agencies and officials in many types of civil litigation. Over the years, Sacks has focused his work primarily in the appellate courts with a special emphasis on election law and cases involving separation of powers, appropriations, and other state constitutional issues.

Sacks first joined the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in 1988 as an Assistant Attorney General in the Administrative Law Division. He later served as the Opinions Coordinator and as Elections Counsel within the Government Bureau. In 1995, he was appointed Deputy Chief of the Government Bureau. He served as Chief of the Government Bureau from 1998-99 and again from 2009-2010. 

In addition to his supervisory and management duties as Deputy Bureau Chief, Sacks has also handled civil elections, ballot question, and campaign finance matters for the AG’s Office for many years. He is a graduate of Harvard College, and Harvard Law School where he was a member of the Law Review. Following law school, Sacks clerked for the Honorable Frank Coffin, U.S. Circuit Judge for the First Circuit, and the Honorable Edward Gignoux, U.S. District Judge, both in Portland, Maine. Sacks is a member of the Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure and a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

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