Assignment Of Responsibility

Assignment Of Responsibility-53
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.

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.

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The Office of the Attorney General was established by the Judiciary Act of 1789. The AG's statutory authority to conduct litigation to which the United States, its departments or agencies is a party was expanded and more fully developed by Congress in 1870 in the same legislation that provided for the creation of the Department of Justice Act of June 22, 1870, 16 Stat. Among other things, the Act forbade the Secretaries of the Executive Departments to employ other attorneys or outside counsel at government expense, and required them to call upon the Department of Justice ... unless hereafter authorized by law, and then only on the certificate of the Attorney-General that such services could not be performed by the Attorney-General ... Disposition of delegated cases, like the disposition of nondelegated cases, must be accurately reported on the Department's statistical reporting system.

Section 35 of that Act vested the Attorney General (AG) with plenary authority to "prosecute and conduct all suits in the Supreme Court in which the United States shall be concerned" and to give advice and opinions upon questions of law when requested by the President or the heads of various Departments. for services in such capacity to the United States ... Other objectives of the legislation advanced in the congressional debates were to ensure the presentation of uniform positions with respect to the laws of the United States ("a unity of decision, a unity of jurisprudence in the executive law of the United States"), and to provide the AG with authority over lower court proceedings involving the United States so that litigation would be better handled on appeal, and before the Supreme Court. If the United States Attorney has had a previous communication on a particular case or on a general problem, the file numbers and initials or names appearing in the upper corner of the Civil Division's last communication should be used when writing the Department again.

Agency counsel shall participate in the trial preparation as needed.

[new March 2016] If the litigation proceeds to trial, agency counsel is responsible for coordinating the appearance and travel, if necessary, of agency witnesses.

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.

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.

1049 (1978); Key, "The Legal Work of the Federal Government," 25 Va. Also, with regard to qui tam False Claims Act cases, the Fraud Section of the Commercial Litigation Branch should be notified of (1) a decision whether the government has intervened, or declined to intervene, in the case, (2) any legal or procedural issues that arise concerning the qui tam provisions, (3) settlement proposals by the parties and (4) the resolution of the case.

The Branch is also responsible for the government's affirmative civil claims arising from fraud and bribery and other official misconduct, as well as for the collection of civil fines and penalties in the areas assigned to the Civil Division. Such attorneys are asked to apprise the United States Attorney in advance of their visit to his/her district. The Civil Division should be promptly advised of any case in which the United States Attorney learns that the pleadings challenge the constitutionality of an Act of Congress, a regulation or any other federal action. United States Attorney's should not attempt to execute foreign evidence requests in civil cases without obtaining the approval of the Office of Foreign Litigation. As the litigation proceeds, the agency shall memorialize the efforts undertaken to preserve documents and ESI in native format along with metadata and to suspend all routine destruction of relevant documents and data.

The work of this Branch encompasses contract actions, whether brought by or against the government; most affirmative monetary and property claims (including foreclosures, reclamation claims, and actions to recover damages for conversion of government property) arising from government loan, grant, subsidy, and insurance programs; all non-tax bankruptcy litigation; and a broad variety of other monetary litigation, including patent or copyright infringement suits. From time to time, Civil Division attorneys involved in the handling of litigation, including litigation before specialized courts, may need to perform their duties at places within various judicial districts. It is the responsibility of agency counsel, in consultation with DOJ, to (1) provide written notice to all agency employees (and contractors, if necessary) who are likely to have documents or electronically stored information (ESI) relevant to any potential claim or defense of their obligation to preserve such documents and information, (2) obtain certification from every such employee (or contractor) that he or she understands these obligations and will comply, and (3) coordinate with the agency’s information technology personnel in instituting and maintaining the litigation hold.

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