Learn about the Attorney General's Government Bureau

The Government Bureau represents Massachusetts, the state’s agencies, and public officials in many types of civil litigation. The Government Bureau also initiates affirmative litigation in the public interest on behalf of Massachusetts and its residents.

Divisions within the Government Bureau include:

The Administrative Law Division

The Administrative Law Division protects the public interest by representing state agencies and state officials in certain cases of civil litigation. The division defends against legal challenges to state statutes, regulations, policies, programs, and agency decisions, and brings litigation on behalf of state agencies on matters such as statutory interpretation, constitutional principles, and claims of authority and jurisdiction.

The Division of Open Government

The Division of Open Government upholds the Open Meeting Law. The Open Meeting Law requires that most meetings of public bodies be held in public.

The Trial Division

The Trial Division defends state agencies, officials, and employees who are sued in the context of their agency duties. The division also protects the public interest by filing litigation on behalf of state agencies. As required by statute, the Trial Division reviews and approves all pre-litigation settlements of tort claims against the state or its agencies of $2,500 or more.

If you have questions or would like to file a suit, please call (617) 963-2350.

The Municipal Law Unit

The Municipal Law Unit is responsible for reviewing proposed amendments to town general by-laws or zoning by-laws. The Municipal Law Unit must review the proposed amendments to make sure they are consistent with state law, and accordingly issue approval or disapproval.

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