Mike Hilgers

Nebraska Attorney General


Attorney General Mike Hilgers

Mike Hilgers became Nebraska's 33rd Attorney General in 2022. As Attorney General, Mike works to keep Nebraskans and their families safe, protect their rights, ensure the integrity of our constitutional structure, help our law enforcement officials around the state, and protect our natural resources, including our water supplies.  
Before taking office, Mike was an experienced private practice attorney, successful entrepreneur, and legislator. 
Mike was in private practice for over fifteen years, handling complex litigation and discovery disputes in state and federal court. After practicing at a large law firm, Mike founded his own litigation law firm. Mike built that firm from nothing into one of the fastest growing practices in the country. Before leaving his practice to take office as Nebraska’s Attorney General, the firm had over 100 professionals and handled cases around the country. Mike started his private practice after clerking for Judge Edith Clement on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Mike graduated from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the law review.
Before taking office as Attorney General, Mike spent six years serving the people of Northwest Lincoln and Lancaster County in the Legislature (District 21), serving his last two as the Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature. In the Legislature Mike introduced and passed a wide variety of legislation to help Nebraskans around the state, from legislation to protect constitutional rights, to protecting our water, to supporting law enforcement. 
Mike and his wife, Heather, are raising their four children Alice, Elsie, Clara Jane, and Michael Jr. in Lincoln.

Office Overview

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.

Major Duties

  • 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

Criminal Bureau

The Criminal Bureau's responsibilities include investigative, prosecutorial, appellate, post-conviction, crime victim advocacy, sex offender commitment, and other functions related to criminal law. These responsibilities are divided between sections contained within the Bureau.
The Bureau’s Investigative Section is regularly contacted by a large number of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to assist in a wide variety of investigations, particularly cases of the abuse, assault, or death of children.
The Bureau also provides significant expertise and training to law enforcement officers and county attorneys regarding best practices for criminal investigation, trial procedure, victim-witness advocacy, and human trafficking.  The Criminal Bureau has expanded its services over the past biennium with emphasis on victim-witness services and leadership of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force.
The Prosecution Section, housed within the Criminal Bureau, handles cases including, but not limited to, homicide, sexual assault, drug trafficking, crimes against children, domestic violence, and official misconduct. The Prosecution Section also provides direct assistance to county attorneys throughout Nebraska.
The Appellate Section, housed within the Criminal Bureau, handles all direct appeals and postconviction appeals filed by criminal defendants in the Nebraska Supreme Court and Court of Appeals as well as habeas corpus cases in the federal courts.

Solicitor General

The Solicitor General is the chief civil appellate lawyer for the State of Nebraska, serving as the chief litigator for all civil appeals to the Nebraska Court of Appeals, the Nebraska Supreme Court, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States. Moreover, the Solicitor General has responsibility for drafting and reviewing amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs on behalf of the State of Nebraska to federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Possessing a wide breadth of legal knowledge and experience, the Solicitor General also acts as the primary legal counsel from the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office to the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Civil Litigation Bureau

The Civil Litigation Bureau defends all civil lawsuits filed against the State, its agencies, and state officials and employees, and also brings complaints to enforce provisions of Nebraska law. 
The types of lawsuits defended include torts, federal and state civil rights, employment litigation, inmate lawsuits, worker’s compensation, mandamus, public record disputes, and challenges to the constitutionality of laws enacted by the Unicameral and to the Nebraska Constitution itself. Examples of lawsuits brought include declaratory judgment actions, mandamus, and actions for injunctive relief under the Securities Act. The Civil Litigation Bureau’s duties also include advising the State Tort Claims Board on pending litigation, claims, settlements, and judgments.  
It is common that Civil Litigation Bureau attorneys provide the state’s representation in lawsuits filed or defended by national law firms or national organizations that provide a large team of attorneys devoted to a single case.
The Civil Litigation Bureau defends over 300 lawsuits filed per year against the State and appears in every level of the state and federal court system, from trial court to the United States Supreme Court.

Legal Services

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.

Health Licensure

The Health Licensure Bureau enforces the Uniform Credentialing Act through administrative prosecution of licensed healthcare professionals. The Bureau reviews complaints against licensed health care professionals for violations of the Uniform Credentialing Act and advises the Department of Health and Human Services regarding investigations of alleged violations. The Bureau participates in board meetings and advises twenty-five professional health boards on disciplinary matters, licensure applications, and interpretation of statutes and regulations governing the provision of health services in Nebraska. The Bureau represents the Department of Health and Human Services in administrative actions involving the denial, refusal to renew, or refusal to reinstate individual licenses, certificates, or registrations, including any court appeals in such matters.
When requested, the Bureau participates in review of regulations pertaining to the practice of health care professions with individual boards and participates in review of legislative bills pertaining to health care professions.
The Health Licensure Bureau reviews and prosecutes approximately 500 cases per year in administrative and appellate proceedings.

Consumer Protection

The Consumer Protection Bureau enforces state and federal laws that safeguard against deceptive, fraudulent, and unfair business practices. The Division also has enforcement powers over antitrust and monopolistic activities and is responsible for oversight of charitable institutions and assets, including nonprofit corporations, charitable trusts, and endowment funds. Furthermore, the Division oversees and enforces compliance with the civil statutes, regulations, and settlement terms governing the use, manufacture, and sale of tobacco/nicotine products within the State.  


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.

Medicaid Fraud

The Nebraska Medicaid Fraud and Patient Abuse Unit (MFPAU) investigates and prosecutes Medicaid provider fraud and patient abuse and neglect. Medicaid is a program that provides health coverage to low-income Nebraskans.
The MFPAU is responsible for investigating and prosecuting Medicaid fraud and violations of state laws relating to the provision of Medicaid services. The MFPAU has state-wide criminal jurisdiction over Medicaid provider fraud investigations and prosecutions. Additionally, the MFPAU has the authority to file civil actions under the False Medicaid Claims Act.
The MFPAU also reviews and can act on complaints of abuse and neglect of patients at health care facilities that receive Medicaid payments. This includes both physical abuse or neglect and financial exploitation of a patient.

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.

The AENR Bureau provides full legal support for its represented agencies, which includes representation in litigation, general legal counsel and advice, the review of contracts, approval of rules and regulations, the drafting of legal opinions, and enforcement of agency administrative orders.