Attorney General, Offices of; employment of special counsel. (SB447)

Introduced By

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) with support from co-patron Sen. John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Office of the Attorney General; employment of special counsel. Provides that when entering into a contract with special counsel, the Office of the Governor or Office of the Attorney General, as applicable, must make a copy of the contract available to the public on the website of the Governor or the Attorney General. However, the Attorney General may temporarily not disclose such information upon making a written determination that such action is necessary to protect attorney-client or otherwise privileged information or that immediate disclosure of the existence of special counsel, or any other sensitive information, could compromise the initiation, handling, or conclusion of any investigation or case matter handled by the Attorney General or special counsel and might put the Commonwealth and its citizens at a disadvantage. The bill also provides that prior to entering into a contract with special counsel, the Attorney General must make a written determination that the representation is both cost effective and in the public interest. In addition, the bill (i) requires the Governor and the Attorney General to submit an annual report to the General Assembly describing the use of contracts for special counsel; (ii) provides that the Attorney General, or counsel to the Governor in cases in which the Attorney General has a conflict, shall retain control over special counsel; and (iii) limits the contingency fee that may be charged by special counsel depending on the amount recovered. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/12/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16101750D
01/12/2016Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
01/18/2016Reported from General Laws and Technology (9-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
01/20/2016Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/21/2016Read second time and engrossed
01/25/2016Passed by for the day
01/26/2016Read third time and passed Senate (21-Y 18-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
02/03/2016Placed on Calendar
02/03/2016Read first time
02/03/2016Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/12/2016Impact statement from DPB (SB447)
02/16/2016Assigned Courts sub: Civil Law
02/22/2016Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 2-N)
03/02/2016Reported from Courts of Justice (15-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
03/02/2016Referred to Committee on Appropriations
03/03/2016Assigned App. sub: General Government & Capital Outlay
03/07/2016Continued to 2017 in Appropriations
12/01/2016Left in Appropriations