The overarching mission of the Office of the Attorney General, as set forth in the West Virginia Constitution and the West Virginia Code, is to serve as the chief legal officer for the State of West Virginia. The Attorney General Speaks for the legal interests of the State.
Pursuant to the Attorney General's broad mission, the Office is responsible for providing skilled legal counsel and representation to the State, its officers, agencies, and boards on a wide range of legal matters. More specifically, the Office of the Attorney General is responsible for prosecuting and defending legal actions on behalf of the State, and for ensuring that the rights of the State and its citizens are protected in matters before the circuit courts of this State, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, and all federal courts. The Attorney General also is entrusted with enforcing the laws of the State as they related to consumer protection, unfair trade practices, civil rights, and other important areas. Additionally, the Office of the Attorney General may appoint outside attorneys to serve as special assistant attorneys general on certain legal matters.
Finally, the Office of the Attorney General plays a critical role with regard to state criminal law. In addition to providing advice and consultation to county prosecuting attorneys, the Office of the Attorney General has the exclusive responsibility for representing the state in all criminal appeals and in all habeas corpus proceedings filed by prisoners within the State.