While the entire Office of the Attorney General (OAG) serves as a resource to the Treasurer, three assistant attorneys general have been assigned to the State Treasurer's Office to provide direct, full time legal support on a full range of services including:
- Legal advice and opinions
- Contract preparation and review
- Preparing and editing rules, regulations, and policies
- Drafting and review of legislation
- Overseeing and coordinating the State's legal representation under the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA)
- Representation in various types of litigation, administrative and regulatory proceedings
- Responding to citizen inquiries, and
- Provide legal training to the staff as appropriate
The Division Director and Principal Counsel
- Advise the Treasurer and Office staff on a variety of issues affecting the Office and its interaction with federal, State and local government agencies, contractors and the public;
- Serve as in-house counsel for the issuance of General Obligation bonds, frequent capital equipment and energy lease financings, and periodic Build America Bonds, Qualified School Construction Bonds, and Qualified Zone Academy Bonds;
- Act as a legal resource for other State agencies regarding their proposed uses of tax-exempt bond money for capital projects;
- At the request of the Treasurer, provide advice, counsel and legal analysis of the Treasurer's constitutional and statutory powers and responsibilities;
- Provide advice, counsel and legal analysis on matters before various boards and commissions on which the Treasurer serves, principally the Board of Public Works;
- Serve as counsel regarding administration, procurement, and personnel matters in the State Treasurer's Office;
- Provide advice and assistance on the procurement and administration of a wide variety of financial service contracts for the Office, as well as for other State agencies, including banking, finance, investment and related information technology services;
- Provide analysis and advice to the Insurance Division on procurement and administration of commercial insurance policies and on general insurance issues;
- Provide advice and counsel to the Treasurer and Office management on personnel matters, including disciplinary matters, and represent the Office in personnel proceedings.
The Deputy Counsel, Tort Claims Litigation Unit
The goal of the TCLU is to bring consistency to the defense and resolution of cases brought against the State and its agencies under the Maryland Tort Claims Act by employing effective defense strategies, controlling State risk and containing litigation costs.
Primary Functions of the OAG
General Legal Advice
The OAG serves as counsel to the Treasurer and Office staff on many varied issues affecting the State Treasurer's Office including legislative, administration, litigation and personnel matters.
The Office of the Attorney General participates in the issuance of all State of Maryland General Obligation Bonds and in the capital lease financing of equipment acquisitions and energy performance contracts.
The OAG's involvement with bond sales begins with review and comment to both the Department of Budget and Management and to the staff of the General Assembly on annual enabling legislation and individual bond bills. The OAG participates in the preparation and review of official statements and other offering documents, including authorizing resolutions of the Board of Public Works. For all loans authorized since 1989, the OAG researches and writes bond counsel opinions for joint signature with the Attorney General.
Ongoing legal advice is provided, as needed, to various State agencies that receive General Obligation Bond funding concerning federal tax code restrictions on use of bond proceeds. Of particular concern are changes in use, and private business use of facilities that have been financed with the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds.
Two law firms are under contract with the Attorney General to provide bond counsel services for the State Treasurer's Office: Ballard Spahr LLP and Kutak Rock, LLP.
Board of Public Works
At the request of the Treasurer, the OAG attorneys review all agenda items that come before the Board of Public Works, including proposed legal settlements and insurance matters, provide suggested questions and comments to a Deputy Treasurer concerning legal, procurement and funding issues, and attend Board of Public Works meetings to be available to the Treasurer for legal advice.
Contracts and Procurement
As a Primary Procurement Unit, the State Treasurer's Office is generally responsible for the procurement of all State banking, finance and insurance contracts. The Treasurer's Office is responsible for contract administration of its own contracts and agreements for banking, finance, investments, insurance and information technology, as well as for banking and finance contracts for other agencies. The OAG is engaged in all contract and procurement issues, including Request for Proposals, Invitations for Bids, contract modifications, claims, protests and appeals.
Under the supervision of the Deputy Counsel, the TCLU:
- Drafts and reviews MTCA-related legislation and regulations,
- Advises the Treasurer's Office Insurance Division on many of the approximately 4,000 tort and auto claims filed each year under the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA).
- Provides legal representation to the State, its agencies and employees in Federal and State Courts in the defense of cases brought under the MTCA.
- Provides litigation support to the Assistant Attorneys General
throughout State agencies who also defend cases brought under the
- Training attorneys and serving as a resource for developing trial strategies,
- Recommending and approving the use of expert witnesses,
- Writing and reviewing briefs, memoranda, and motions, and
- Reviewing and advising on the litigation and settlement of these cases
- Participates in all appellate litigation in cases involving the MTCA.