Attorney General Mike Hilgers
The Nebraska Department of Justice/Office of the Attorney General operates, in many respects, as the “State’s law firm.” The office is headed by the Nebraska Attorney General, an independently-elected constitutional officer, and is a diverse organization of highly specialized attorneys and support staff. The Attorney General’s Office is the largest “law firm” in Nebraska outside of Omaha.
- Uphold and defend the Constitution and laws of the State of Nebraska;
- Promote and support strong law enforcement;
- Achieve a higher level of public safety and security by promoting vigorous prosecution of murderers, drug dealers, child abusers and other criminals;
- Provide skilled assistance to local prosecutors in fighting illegal drugs and prosecuting child sexual abuse;
- Prosecute consumer fraud and deceptive trade practices, and protect Nebraskans from fraudulent business activities and scams by educating consumers;
- Advise state officials and agencies on proper legal compliance;
- Defend Nebraska’s interests in disputes with other states over water rights and overreach by Federal agencies;
- Protect the public health and safety of Nebraskans by pursuing disciplinary actions when necessary against health care professionals who endanger the public by violations of health regulations and drug laws;
- Provide professional legal representation in all civil proceedings on behalf of the State.
Divisions of the Office
Civil Litigation Bureau
The Legal Services Bureau provides legal advice and legal services to state agencies, boards, commissions, departments, and officers. In addition, Legal Services Bureau attorneys handle a significant amount of civil litigation involving administrative appeals, state agency defense, probate, election law, escheat, and constitutional litigation, along with Open Meetings/Public Records enforcement. The Legal Services Bureau researches and drafts the bulk of Attorney General Opinions for review by the Attorney General and also reviews agency rules and regulations for statutory authority and constitutionality.
The Transportation Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office serves two main functions. The Bureau represents the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) in its litigation. The Transportation Bureau also serves as in-house counsel to NDOT. This involves assisting NDOT with all legal issues related to the construction, operation, and maintenance of the 10,000-mile State Highway System and handling all legal work related to an organization with 2,000 employees. The types of law handled by the Transportation Bureau include contracts, construction, eminent domain, property, employment, environmental, workers’ compensation, personal injury defense, procurement, regulatory, and transportation. The Transportation Bureau is housed within the NDOT. This allows Bureau attorneys to work as a team with NDOT to find practical legal solutions for issues that are unique to the transportation industry. This close working relationship enhances the ability of the Bureau to represent the best interests of the State and NDOT for the benefit of the people of Nebraska.
Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources
The Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources (AENR) Bureau of the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office supervises the litigation support and enforcement of State statutes and regulations for Nebraska state agencies and boards representing the interests of agriculture, the environment, and natural resources. These agencies include the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Environment and Energy, the Department of Agriculture, the Game and Parks Commission, the Environmental Trust Board, and State commodity boards. The AENR Bureau also protects the State’s interests in the waters of interstate rivers with respect to interstate water allocations set by Compact or U.S. Supreme Court Decree.