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North Carolina Attorney General: Wikis


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The Attorney General of North Carolina is the head of the state's Department of Justice and provides legal representation and advice to all state agencies. He or she does not have the authority to prosecute specific crimes unless requested to do so by a local district attorney. [1] In the public interest, the Attorney General may intervene in proceedings before any courts, regulatory officers, agencies or bodies — either state or federal — on behalf of the consuming public of the state. The Attorney General also renders legal opinions, either formally or informally, upon all questions of law submitted by the General Assembly, the Governor or any other state officer.

The current Attorney General is Roy A. Cooper.

The Attorney General is elected by the people to a four-year term. There is no limit on the number of terms a person may serve in the office.


The title "Attorney General" was used in colonial North Carolina as early as 1677, when George Durant was appointed by Governor John Jenkins. In theory, colonial Attorneys General represented the British Attorney General, who represented the Crown.

The first North Carolina Constitution (1776) established the office of state Attorney General. Like the state Governor, the Attorney General was at that time elected by the legislature, the North Carolina General Assembly. The first Attorney General for the independent state of North Carolina was Waightstill Avery, who served from 1777 to 1779. Two of Avery's successors, James Iredell and Alfred Moore, both served on the United States Supreme Court. Since 1868, the Attorney General has been elected by the people. The state Department of Justice was created by the legislature in the early 1970s. At the same time, the Attorney General became a voting member of the Council of State, rather than the legal advisor to the council.

Before being elected the state's Governor, Mike Easley was Attorney General of North Carolina from 1993 to 2001. Occupants of the office often run for Governor of North Carolina or United States Senator, but few have been successful, with notable exceptions including Easley and Senator Robert B. Morgan.

List of Attorneys General of North Carolina

External links



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