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The Litigation Unit defends and prosecutes the state’s civil matters. The unit also works to recover monies wrongfully taken from the state and supports litigation on behalf of the state in every county and jurisdiction.
Since 1985, the Attorney General and the Litigation Section have had the responsibility of defending the state against suits and claims prosecuted under the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act, 51 O.S. 2001, §§ 151 et seq.
The Office of the Attorney General defends state employees when sued for civil rights actions taken during their official duties. A majority of the more complicated and costly trials come from allegations surrounding the hiring, firing and promotion of state employees.
The Litigation Section also has the responsibility to handle and direct the major class action litigation filed against institutions, including the challenges to the juvenile justice system. The unit represents state judicial officers, District Attorneys, Legislators, and the executive branch of state government when sued in both their official and individual capacities.
The Litigation Section is also responsible for tracking the hiring of private attorneys by other state agencies and reporting the costs to state agencies for services provided by private attorneys. The forms used in this process can be found below.
Agency and Attorney Forms for Contracting Legal Representation (20i)
Contracting for Legal Representation by Private Attorneys. 74 O.S. § 20i
House Bill 1917, codified at 74 O.S. § 20i, became effective July 1, 1995. The law sought to track the amount of funds expended for legal services by private attorneys.
State agencies or officials with the authority to hire or retain a private attorney must before entering into a contract with such an attorney, comply with a number of requirements, which are as follows:
1. A private attorney must be selected from a list of attorneys maintained by the Attorney General. To be placed on the list, an attorney must file a completed AG Form 20i-1 with the Attorney General.
2. Private attorneys on the list must perform services in accordance with the schedule of fees filed with the Attorney General as a condition to being on the list. Deviation from the fee schedule is only upon approval of the Attorney General.
3. Before entering into any contract with a private attorney for legal services, a copy of the proposed contract must be furnished to the Attorney General by attaching it to the applicable AG Form and providing certain information required under this statute.
a. If the total amount of the contract will be under $20,000 agencies fill out AG Form 20i-2 “Notice of Proposed Contract for Employment of Private Attorney(s)” and forward, along with a copy of the proposed contract, to the Attorney General for acceptance. If the contract is amended or the cost goes above $20,000, additional permission must be obtained.
b. Contracts for legal services above $20,000, agencies fill out AG Form 20i-3 “Application for Approval of Proposed Contract for Employment of Private Attorney(s)” and forward, along with a copy of the proposed contract, to the Attorney General for approval.
Click here to find an approved attorney.