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WVC 5-3-1 §5-3-1. Written opinions and advice and other legal services; expenditures by state officers, boards and commissions for legal services prohibited.
The attorney general shall give written opinions and advice upon questions of law, and shall prosecute and defend suits, actions, and other legal proceedings, and generally render and perform all other legal services, whenever required to do so, in writing, by the governor, the secretary of state, the auditor, the state superintendent of free schools, the treasurer, the commissioner of agriculture, the board of public works, the tax commissioner, the state archivist and historian, the commissioner of banking, the adjutant general, the director of the division of environmental protection, the superintendent of public safety, the state commissioner of public institutions, the commissioner of the division of highways, the commissioner of the bureau of employment programs, the public service commission, or any other state officer, board or commission, or the head of any state educational, correctional, penal or eleemosynary institution; and it is unlawful from and after the time this section becomes effective for any of the public officers, commissions, or other persons above mentioned to expend any public funds of the state of West Virginia for the purpose of paying any person, firm, or corporation for the performance of any legal services: Provided, That nothing contained in this section impairs or affects any existing valid contracts of employment for the performance of legal services heretofore made.

It is also the duty of the attorney general to render to the president of the Senate and/or the speaker of the House of Delegates a written opinion or advice upon any questions submitted to the attorney general by them or either of them whenever he or she is requested in writing so to do.

WVC 5-3-2 §5-3-2. Act as counsel for state; duties and powers as to prosecuting attorneys; defense of national guardsmen.
The attorney general shall appear as counsel for the state in all causes pending in the supreme court of appeals, or in any federal court, in which the state is interested; he shall appear in any cause in which the state is interested that is pending in any other court in the state, on the written request of the governor, and when such appearance is entered he shall take charge of and have control of such cause; he shall defend all actions and proceedings against any state officer in his official capacity in any of the courts of this state or any of the federal courts when the state is not interested in such cause against such officer, but should the state be interested against such officer, he shall appear for the state; he shall institute and prosecute all civil actions and proceedings in favor of or for the use of the state which may be necessary in the execution of the official duties of any state officer, board or commission on the written request of such officer, board or commission; he shall, when requested by the prosecuting attorney of a county wherein a state institution of correction is located, provide attorneys for appointment as special prosecuting attorneys to assist the prosecuting attorney of said county in the prosecution of criminal proceedings when, in the opinion of the circuit judge of said county, or a justice of the West Virginia supreme court of appeals, extraordinary circumstances exist at said institution which render the financial resources of the office of the prosecuting attorney inadequate to prosecute said cases; he may consult with and advise the several prosecuting attorneys in matters relating to the official duties of their office, and may require a written report from them of the state and condition of the several causes, in which the state is a party, pending in the courts of their respective counties; he may require the several prosecuting attorneys to perform, within the respective counties in which they are elected, any of the legal duties required to be performed by the attorney general which are not inconsistent with the duties of the prosecuting attorneys as the legal representatives of their respective counties; when the performance of any such duties by the prosecuting attorney conflicts with his duties as the legal representative of his county, or for any reason any prosecuting attorney is disqualified from performing such duties, the attorney general may require the prosecuting attorney of any other county to perform such duties in any county other than that in which such prosecuting attorney is elected and for the performance of which duties outside of the county in which he is elected the prosecuting attorney shall be paid his actual traveling and other expenses out of the appropriation for contingent expenses for the department for which such services are rendered; the attorney general shall keep in proper books, a register of all causes prosecuted or defended by him in behalf of the state or its officers and of the proceedings had in relation thereto, and deliver the same to his successor in office; and he shall preserve in his office all his official opinions and publish the same in his biennial report.

Upon request of any member of the West Virginia national guard who has been named defendant in any civil action arising out of that guardsman's action while under orders from the governor relating to national guard assistance in disasters and civil disorders, the attorney general shall appear as counsel for and represent such guardsman.

WVC 5-3-2A §5-3-2a. Consent judgments in actions against an agency of government; notice of proposed consent judgment.
(a) It is hereby established as the policy of this state to consent to a proposed judgment in an action against an agency of government or its officers or employees only after or on condition that an opportunity is afforded persons (natural or corporate) who are not named as parties to the action to comment on the proposed judgment prior to its entry by the court.

(1) For the purposes of this section, "agency of government" means:

(A) A department, division, bureau, board, commission or other agency or instrumentality within the executive branch of state government which may sue or be sued; or

(B) A political subdivision of this state or any board, department, commission, district or special district, council or other agency or instrumentality thereof whose liability or potential liability arises from a claim which is covered by property or liability insurance provided by the state board of risk and insurance management of West Virginia pursuant to the provisions of article twelve, chapter twenty-nine of this code.

(2) For the purposes of this section, "action" means a civil proceeding initiated in a court of general jurisdiction and shall not mean a proceeding initiated in or before, or an appeal taken to, an administrative agency, board or commission and shall not mean an appeal taken to a court from such an administrative proceeding or appeal.

(3) For the purposes of this section, "judgment" means a judgment, order or decree of a court the entry of which would require or otherwise mandate:

(A) An expansion of, increase in, or addition to the services, duties or responsibilities of an agency of government;

(B) An increase in the expenditures of an agency of government above the level of expenditures approved or authorized before the entry of the proposed judgment;

(C) The employment or other hiring of, or the contracting with, personnel or other entities by an agency of government in addition to the personnel or other entities employed or otherwise hired by, or contracted with or by the agency of government; or

(D) Payment of a claim based upon tort or contract by an agency of government as defined in paragraph (B), subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(b) To effectuate this policy, each proposed judgment which is within the scope of paragraph (a) of this section shall be lodged with the court as early as feasible but at least sixty days before the judgment is entered by the court, and true copies of the proposed order shall be served upon the attorney general of the state, the president of the West Virginia Senate and the speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates. When an agency of government proposes to consent to a judgment, it shall file with the secretary of state, for publication in the state register, a notice of the proposed order and include therein a request for comment on the proposed order. The notice shall fix a date, time and place for the receipt of written statements and documents bearing on the appropriateness, propriety or adequacy of the proposed consent order. At the time of filing the notice of its action, the agency of government shall also file with the secretary of state a true copy of the proposed order. If alternative draft proposals are being considered, the full text of the additional draft proposals shall also be filed with the secretary of state. The agency of government proposing to consent to the entry of judgment shall also file with the secretary of state an estimate of the cost of implementing the proposed judgment as the cost relates to this state and to persons affected by the proposed judgment.

(c) Prior to entry of the judgment, or some earlier specified date, the attorney general will receive and consider and file with the court any written comments, views or allegations relating to the proposed judgment.

(d) The attorney general shall reserve the right (1) to withdraw or withhold his or her consent to the proposed judgment if the comments, views and allegations received concerning the proposed judgment disclose facts or considerations which indicate that the proposed judgment is inappropriate, improper or inadequate or (2) to support or oppose an attempt by any person to intervene in the action. If action which could be taken by the attorney general pursuant to the provisions of this subsection may be materially adverse to the interests of an agency of government or an officer or employee thereof whom the attorney general has previously represented in the same or a substantially related matter, the attorney general shall not proceed to act without the written consent of the agency of government or the affected officer or employee. In the absence of such consent, the attorney general shall provide for an independent special assistant attorney general to be retained to consider the comments, views and allegations received concerning the proposed judgment, and to pursue such action as may be deemed appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of this subsection.

(e) The attorney general may establish procedures for implementing the policy established by this section. Where it is clear that the public interest in the policy hereby established is not compromised, the attorney general may permit an exception to this policy in a specific case where extraordinary circumstances require a period shorter than sixty days or a procedure other than stated herein.

(f) Any agency of government which agrees to a consent judgment after the thirtieth day of June, one thousand nine hundred ninety-five, shall thereafter file an annual report, on or before the first day of November, setting forth the status of the action, the fiscal impact of the consent judgment upon the resources of the state, and the manner in which any cost to the state is met or will be met by appropriations authorized in the state budget. Such report shall be filed with the president of the West Virginia Senate and the speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

WVC 5-3-3 §5-3-3. Assistants to attorney general.
The attorney general may appoint such assistant attorneys general as may be necessary to properly perform the duties of his office. The total compensation of all such assistants shall be within the limits of the amounts appropriated by the Legislature for personal services. All assistant attorneys general so appointed shall serve at the pleasure of the attorney general and shall perform such duties as he may require of them.

All laws or parts of laws inconsistent with the provisions hereof are hereby amended to be in harmony with the provisions of this section.

WVC 5-3-4 §5-3-4. Annual report to governor.
The attorney general shall annually, on or before the first day of November, deliver to the governor a report of the state and condition of the several causes, in which the state is a party, pending in courts mentioned in section two of this article.

WVC 5-3-5 §5-3-5. Fees to be paid into state treasury.
On the final determination of any cause in any of the courts mentioned in the second section of this article, in which the attorney general appeared for the state, the clerk thereof shall certify to the auditor the fee of the attorney general which was taxed in the bill of costs against the defendant, and when such fee shall be collected it shall be paid into the state treasury and placed to the credit of the state fund.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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