Assignment Of Responsibility

The present statutory authority vesting plenary litigating authority with the Attorney General, including 28 U. Significant matters of policy, important questions of first impression, serious differences of views with client agencies, and adverse court decisions, should be brought to the attention of the Civil Division, regardless of the amounts involved, the method of referral, or whether the case is delegated or nondelegated. Non-fraud referrals for the recovery of money should comply with the Federal Claims Collection Standards ( 4 C. Most civil cases, claims, and judgments have been delegated to the United States Attorney's for handling, though the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division remains responsible for their effective handling. However, the Civil Division remains ready to advise and assist on these cases upon request. Bell, "The Attorney General: The Federal Government's Chief Lawyer and Chief Litigator, Or One Among Many? The Division generally has no individual files on delegated cases.

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The agency shall make its employees available for consultation, witness preparation, discovery document review, and depositions as needed throughout the course of the litigation.

The completeness of the Attorney General's authority is further illustrated by the fact that once a matter has been referred to the Department of Justice, the referring agency ceases to have control over it. Such draft pleadings and other documents may be incorporated in the DOJ final product for filing.

Unless DOJ indicates otherwise, the litigation report should include all the information necessary for the "initial disclosures" required by Fed. [new March 2016] Agency counsel has primary responsibility throughout the course of the litigation to investigate the facts, draft responses to interrogatories, provide written responses to requests for admissions, and provide draft written responses to requests for production of documents, and if appropriate, provide information that may limit the scope of discovery permitted against the agency on proportionality grounds. DOJ will make legal objections; negotiate protective orders, claw-back agreements, and Fed. The agency shall timely provide all documents responsive to any discovery request, including any privileged documents, along with all information required to show the applicability of any privilege it suggests should be asserted. There can be more than one agency representative for these purposes, depending on the circumstances.

Most of the defensive litigation seeks injunctive or declaratory relief. The agency shall provide a timely litigation report that, in addition to the draft answer, provides details of the events alleged in the complaint and identifies any relevant statutes, regulations, or agency policies or procedures that might affect the course of litigation. Copies of any litigation reports should also be furnished to any USAO or DOJ Civil Division component that requests them. 26(g) and to confirm, in writing if requested, that every response is accurate and complete. 502(d) orders where appropriate; edit the draft discovery responses; and serve and file appropriate responses. Similarly, if requested, the agency will sign the final version of the responses to the requests for admissions, any document request certifications, or declarations and affidavits.

Agency counsel should be alert to apprise the Department of anticipated defenses, their strengths, and the best rebuttal to them. §§ 101.1 to 105.5) implementing the Debt Collection Act, 31 U. [cited in USAM 4-6.200] The degree of liaison which should be maintained with the Civil Division varies substantially from one type of case to another.

[new March 2016] Agency referrals for litigation should be accompanied by sufficient information, whether in the form of a litigation report or otherwise, to permit an intelligent evaluation of the factual and legal merits of the case. Referrals of cases in excess of the United States Attorneys' authority should be made through the Civil Division. Copies of pleadings and other communications on delegated cases are not to be furnished to the Civil Division routinely, except that the Torts Branch should always be advised of the date and method of disposition of suits under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and be furnished copies of the order, opinion, or stipulation which resulted in the disposition of the suit, and that the Office of Immigration Litigation should always be similarly advised of the disposition of suits under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended. Communications regarding delegated cases should be directed to the section or unit in the Civil Division bearing responsibility for the particular type of case. The compromise and closing authority exercised by the Assistant Attorney General and subordinate Civil Division officials is described in USAM 4-3.110 through 4-3.140. Four Staffs are responsible for the Torts Branch's litigative responsibilities as follows: Aviation and Admiralty Post Office Box 14271 Benjamin Franklin Station Washington, D. 20044-4271 (202) 616-4000 Constitutional and Specialized Torts Post Office Box 7146 Benjamin Franklin Station Washington, D. 20044 (202) 616-4140 Environmental Torts (formerly Environmental & Occupational Disease Litigation) Staff Post Office Box 340 Benjamin Franklin Station Washington, D. 20044 (202) 616-4200 FTCA Staff Post Office Box 888 Benjamin Franklin Station Washington, D. 20044 (202) 616-4400 NOTE: Federal Torts Claims Act matters pertaining to aviation or environmental issues are within the responsibilities of the Aviation and Admiralty and Environmental Torts staffs, respectively. Because of the transfer from the Criminal Division (48 Fed. 9522 (1983)) of certain litigation arising under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Civil Division has established an Office of Immigration Litigation. The limitations of section 1(e) of the Directive (discussed below at USAM 4-3.130) also remain applicable in any case or claim delegated under section 4(b). 17456 (1995), and regardless of the amount in controversy, the following matters will normally not be delegated to the United States Attorney's for handling but will be personally or jointly handled or monitored by the appropriate branch or office within the Civil Division: In connection with the distribution of funds deposited in court, the United States Attorney may be asked to assist the court as amicus curiae. §§ 626 to 628, copies of the petition should be served on the United States Attorney, the Attorney General, and the United States Shipping Commissioner. Non-fraud claims should normally be reported to the affected administrative agency. Any tort claim arising from any USAO's employee's acts or omissions should be forwarded to EOUSA. In rare cases a statute may provide continuing settlement or other authority in the referring agency. [Updated March 2016] Agency counsel shall impose, monitor, and manage an appropriate litigation hold once litigation is reasonably anticipated. The specific matters assigned to each component, insofar as they may be significant to the United States Attorney's, are summarized in USAM 4-1.211 through 4-1.217. The Torts Branch also handles some contract matters in the environmental area. Pertinent statutes include the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, Federal Trade Commission Act, the Disclosure of Automobile Information Act, the odometer requirements section of the Motor Vehicle Information and Costs Savings Act, the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and the Consumer Product Safety Act. All delegations pursuant to section 4(b) must be in writing, and no United States Attorney has authority to compromise or close any such delegated case or claim except as is specified in the required written delegation or in section 1(e) of the Directive (discussed below at USAM 4-3.120). In cases involving serious personal injuries, death, or major property damage, as to which a claim may possibly be asserted against the Department of Justice under the Federal Tort Claims Act, the responsible component should be notified as soon as possible after the accident and asked to cause an investigation to be commenced. Thus, it is the policy of the Department of Justice—in particular that of the United States Attorney’s Offices and the civil litigating components of the Department that defend the United States or its agencies, officials, or employees in subject litigation (referred to herein as “DOJ”)—that the involved agencies provide litigation support as outlined below. Counsel for other government agencies may not be heard in opposition. At the conclusion of the trial, the agency counsel shall consult with the Assistant United States Attorney or Trial Attorney about any post-trial proceedings and, in the case of an adverse judgment, provide the agency’s appeal recommendation. Where they involve amounts coming within the United States Attorneys' authority, the referrals should be made by the agencies directly to the National Central Intake Facility. Except as otherwise authorized by law, only attorneys of the Department of Justice under the supervision of the Attorney General may represent the United States or its agencies or officers in litigation. When required by any court or by the DOJ, an agency representative shall be available to attend the trial.and no counsel or attorney fees shall hereafter be allowed to any person ... In particular, all money and property collected for the government should be reported. The initial motivation for this legislation was the desire to centralize the conduct and supervision of all litigation in which the government was involved, as well as to eliminate the need for highly-paid outside counsel when government-trained attorneys could perform the same function. Therefore, inquiries directed to the Division on these cases should be accompanied with sufficient background, copies of pleadings, and briefs, to permit an informed appraisal of the nature and posture of the case and the problem. The agency shall identify a representative who will sign the final interrogatory answers under oath as required by Fed. Agency counsel may offer or be asked to draft other pleadings and documents, but they are not required to provide this assistance. With respect to information, documents, and discoverable things within the legal possession, custody, or control of the agency, it remains the obligation of agency counsel, in consultation with DOJ, to conduct the inquiry required by Fed. DOJ will take the agency’s position into consideration in making the final determination regarding which privileges, if any, will be asserted. In suchcircumstances, agency counsel should seek guidance from the DOJ.

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