The Primacy of Private Attorney General Enforcement in the United States
Lewis & Clark Law School
August 10, 2011
Indian Journal of Alternative Dispute Resolution, Forthcoming
Lewis & Clark Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-22
Several previous articles by Professor Brunet characterize our American civil litigation system as a comprehensive scheme of private attorney general enforcement. This essay develops this theme and compares the alternative model that relies on public attorney enforcement. Although Brunet clearly prefers the zeal and incentives to succeed that help the private A.G. create effective norm enforcement, he acknowledges and fleshes out several definite positive features of public enforcement. Administration of rules by public officials relies upon professionalism and specialization. Public enforcement also can be grounded in neutrality. Nevertheless, private enforcement sharpens the public interest and uses superior proximity to a real client to reap informational advantages. The essay concludes that the private attorney general model remains superior to its alternatives.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Keywords: Public Interest, Private Attorney General Enforcment, Public Attorney General Enforcement, Litigation is a Public Good, Who is the Client of a State Agency?
Date posted: August 10, 2011 ; Last revised: September 7, 2011