The Legal Division:
1) Provides essential legal advice to the Office and manages legal strategy in all Office litigation.
2) Represents the Office in state and federal court, drafts and reviews legislation, teaches procurement law and provides guidance on public procurement matters to state and local officials.
3) Investigates and pursues civil actions seeking potential monetary recovery.
Attorneys in the Legal Division assist the Office’s investigatory divisions by:
- Taking testimony
- Analyzing evidence
- Conducting legal research
- Coordinating responses to and enforcing summonses
- Liaising with state, municipal and private entities on legal issues that may arise during an investigation or review
The Legal Division plays a key role in compliance and internal controls within the Office, including on-boarding new employees and regularly providing in-house training on topics such as confidentiality, state ethics requirements and conflicts of interest.
I. Civil Recovery Unit
In 2018, the Office created the Civil Recovery Unit (“CRU”) within the Legal Division. The CRU formally commenced operations in January 2019, following an extensive search for its Lead Counsel that began in July 2018.
The CRU is charged with investigating and pursuing civil actions seeking potential monetary recoveries, in coordination with the Office of the Attorney General.
The attorneys in the CRU investigate and develop matters for potential civil recovery pursuant to M.G.L. c. 12A, § 11.
These attorneys work closely with the other investigative units within the Office, frequently partnering on investigations that may be appropriate for civil recovery. The CRU works closely with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office when developing matters for litigation or preparing for settlement.
During its first full year in operation, the CRU focused on building relationships with the Attorney General’s Office, other state agencies and local governments.
Through small group meetings and presentations to larger audiences, these efforts have been designed to raise awareness of the CRU and its mission, and to educate constituent audiences about civil recovery and ways that the CRU can assist them.
In particular, members of the CRU have presented at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s Fall Conference and led classes for the Office’s MCPPO program on fraud prevention and detection. CRU staff have also participated in the creation of the Office’s online classes.
The CRU’s initial investigations have a wide-ranging focus that touch all corners of the Commonwealth.
They have included fraud and other unlawful conduct implicating the Massachusetts False Claims Act and the Consumer Protection Law. These investigations have generally been undertaken in collaboration with other divisions within the Office and in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office. The CRU’s initial investigations touch on areas such as transportation, local services and public safety.