FY 2016 Appropriation

The Contract Attorneys line item tracks costs of outside attorneys and expert witnesses hired by the A.G. in cases where a conflict of interest exists, the Legislature has specifically requested outside legal representation, or the requisite legal expertise on specific issues is not available in the A.G. office.

Funding History
Appropriation Overview

During the 2015 General Session, the Legislature appropriated for Fiscal Year 2016, $300,000 from all sources for Contract Attorneys. This is a 39.1 percent reduction from Fiscal Year 2015 revised estimated amounts from all sources. The total includes $0 from the General/Education Funds, a reduction of 100 percent from revised Fiscal Year 2015 estimates.

Appropriation Adjustments

In addition to statewide compensation and internal service fund cost increases, the following appropriation adjustments were made during the 2015 General Session:

DescriptionOngoingOne-Time Evans Case Settlements$0$50,000
OngoingOne-TimeFinancing Source
$0$50,000General Fund, One-time
The Evans case settlement was the result of the Amendment 3 marriage suit against the State of Utah. $115,000 is the settlement amount that has been paid to the five plaintiffs in the case. In addition, the Office requests $50,000 in appropriations for costs incurred by the Office in defending the case.

Amount paid to contract attorneys by the Attorney General's Office

The dollars paid to outside counsel is a general indicator of how much the Attorney General's office uses private law firms to augment legal work done internally.

Dollars Paid to Outside Counsel


Statutory authority for the Contract Attorney line item is found in UCA 67-5-5. The code states, "Unless he hires such legal counsel from outside his office, the attorney general shall remain the sole legal counsel for that agency. If outside counsel is hired for an agency, then the costs of any services to be rendered by this counsel shall be approved by the attorney general before these costs are incurred."

Intent Language

HB0003: Item 11

Under Section 63J-1-603 of the Utah Code, the Legislature intends that appropriations provided to the Attorney General - Contract Attorneys in Item 23, Chapter 14, Laws of Utah 2014 not lapse at the close of Fiscal Year 2015.

The Contract Attorney line item has only one program. Any General Fund in this line item represents estimates of outside counsel costs for cases of a general statewide nature. Dedicated credits funding represents reimbursements from state agencies that benefit from litigation for which outside counsel is used.

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COBI contains unaudited data as presented to the Legislature by state agencies at the time of publication. For audited financial data see the State of Utah's Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports.