About the Division
The Civil Division is responsible for providing legal services to the offices, departments, boards, agencies, commissions, and instrumentalities of state government. The State Solicitor leads this Division and is supported by two Deputy State Solicitors. The Civil Division is organized statewide into eight units: Departments & Agencies, Fiscal Integrity and Protection, Administrative Law & Education, Environmental, Affirmative Litigation, Health Law, Public Safety and Defensive Litigation.
Units of the Civil Division
Administrative Law & Education Unit
Team ALE covers general counsel representation of the Delaware Department of Education and the Delaware Department of Insurance as well as representation of the boards created by Title 24 of the Delaware Code. This work includes advising on applicable legal standards, drafting and reviewing legislation and regulations, advising on Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) compliance, attending public meetings, and handling litigation and administrative proceedings. Team ALE also includes the Department of Justice’s FOIA team which handles requests from the public and drafts opinions in accordance with 29 Del. C. Ch. 100.
Affirmative Litigation Unit
The Affirmative Litigation Unit administratively prosecutes a variety of cases and serves as legal counsel for some state entities. The Unit engages in administrative prosecution of professionals who violate Delaware licensing standards, public welfare recipients who fraudulently use EBT benefits, and Delaware Department of Agriculture enforcement actions. The Unit serves as legal counsel to Delaware Division of Public Advocate who represents consumer interests in public utility rate change cases, Delaware Division of Human and Civil Rights which administers and enforces Delaware’s fair housing and equal accommodation laws, and various boards and commissions tasked with upholding state laws, including the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, Harness Racing Commission, Lottery Commission, Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Stewards, and the Victims’ Compensation Assistance Appeal Board. The Unit also has an appellate practice that includes representing agencies, boards, and commissions in appeals filed with Delaware Superior and Supreme Courts.
Defensive Litigation Unit
The Defensive Litigation Unit represents the State of Delaware, its agencies, officials, and employees in all civil litigation brought against them in a wide variety of proceedings in federal and state court, including civil rights, employment, social services, law enforcement, corrections, and other litigated matters arising out of State operations and legislation. This Unit frequently determines, among other issues, questions of administrative law, federal and state constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. The Unit also renders advice to State agencies, officials, and employees regarding civil litigation and handles all of its own appellate work.
Departments & Agencies Unit
Departments and Agencies provides legal counsel to a variety of clients throughout Delaware. Among those clients are the Delaware Department of State, Delaware Department of Labor, Delaware Transit Corporation, Delaware Department of Human Resources and Delaware Department of Agriculture. There are also various boards that this unit supports. Most client representation is that of general counsel, which includes but is not limited to assisting with FOIA requests, contract review including procurement issues, employment law support, and administrative enforcement support.
The Environmental Unit represents the State’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). The Unit represents DNREC in enforcement, in other litigation and quasi-judicial matters, and advises DNREC on a host of legal issues, including general counsel matters, legislation, regulation, and policy matters. The Deputy Attorneys General assigned to the Environmental Unit represent DNREC in state court, federal court, and in administrative matters before the Environmental Appeals Board, the Public Service Commission, and the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board. The DAGs work with DNREC staff to enforce laws that deal with air emissions, solid and hazardous waste, pollution of rivers, lakes, and the ocean, and other threats to the environment. The Unit also works with Impact Litigation on certain issues of significance to both DNREC and the Attorney General. DAGs work with DNREC engineers, scientists and other personnel on a wide variety of legal matters, including general counsel type issues, such as contracting and employment; development of legislation and regulations; the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites; protection of the State’s Coastal Zone; preservation of open spaces and natural resources for use by all Delawareans; the State’s response to climate change and sea level rise; and the transition of our energy and transportation systems through electrification and alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal, to name but a few.
Fiscal Integrity and Protection Unit
The Fiscal Integrity and Protection Unit is comprised primarily of Deputy Attorneys General who provide legal advice to State agencies (and their officials and staff) with responsibility for, or charged with oversight of, the State’s finances, budget, auditing, banking and investments, and other operations tied to the State’s fiscal health. Those State entities include the Department of Finance, the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of the State Treasurer and Cash Management Policy Board, the Office of Pensions and Board of Pensions Trustees, the Office of the Auditor of Accounts, and the Office of the State Bank Commissioner. The Fiscal Integrity and Protection Unit also represents the Department of Elections and the Delaware National Guard.
Health Law Unit
The Health Law Unit is responsible for providing legal services to the State of Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services and Department of Technology and Information. The HLU is comprised of eight attorneys and three paralegals. The DTI is the State of Delaware’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. The DHSS is comprised of eleven Divisions: the Division of Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities, which includes Adult Protective Services, the Division of Child Support Services, the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, the Division of Health Care Quality, the Office of the Secretary-Administration, the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance, the Division of Public Health, the Division of Social Services, the Division of State Service Centers, the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, and the Division for the Visually Impaired. In addition, attorneys in the HLU represent the following boards, commissions, and committees: Behavioral Health Consortium, the Adult Corrections Health Care Review Committee, the Drug Overdose Fatality Review Commission, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, and the Delaware Health Care Commission. The HLU also handles Guardianships for DHSS, Civil Commitment Hearings, Lethal Violence Protection Hearings, and Weapons Relinquishment Hearings statewide.
Public Safety Unit
The Public Safety Unit specializes in providing legal advice and representation to public safety agencies within our State, including the Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security and Delaware State Police, the Department of Correction, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families.
Related Topics: Administrative Law & Education, Affirmative Litigation, Civil, Civil Division, Defensive Litigation, Departments and Agencies, Environmental Unit, Government Services, Health and Public Safety, Units of the Division