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Oregon Attorney General Opinions and Letters of Advice

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Non-attorney Oregon legal researchers frequently overlook Oregon attorney-general opinions. Not every legal problem will require a search of attorney general opinions, but you don’t want to miss this research resource when it is relevant. (Other states also have AG opinions, and so does the U.S.)

There are a number of ways to find relevant AG opinions, using the Annotation volume of the ORS, an online legal research database that has the AG opinions, a citator, or by looking at the Oregon Attorney General (AG) Opinions website, which has opinions from 1997 to the present:

The opinions fall into two broad categories, formal and informal opinions. Formal opinions are signed by the Attorney General as chief legal officer of the State and typically respond to questions concerning constitutional issues and other matters of statewide concern. Informal opinions are issued on matters less likely to impact those other than the requestor and are signed by the Chief Counsel of the Department of Justice General Counsel Division. The informal opinions can be distinguished from the formal opinions through their designation. Informal opinions appear in the subject index as, for example, 1997-1. Formal opinions appear as, for example, 8246.” (link to AG website)

Not every library has the full set of print Oregon AG Opinions. My library’s print set, for example, begins with Volume 10 (October 1920 to September 1922). Our print set of the Letters of Advice in print starts in 1983 and ends 1992. Some libraries will have the full set.

If you need Oregon AG opinions from before 1997, you’ll need to look at the print versions or subscribe to a legal research database that has a full digital set. I’ll keep an eye out for free online versions of the older opinions.

See also the Oregon Attorney General entry at Ballotpedia.

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2 responses to “Oregon Attorney General Opinions and Letters of Advice”

  1. Bar Advisor says:

    I wish I could find a blog like this for California. Then I'd have both my jurisdictions covered. Wish I knew about this blog when I was living in Oregon. Great stuff. I especially like (and have just now used) your links to free legal research sites.

  2. Laura says:

    Thank you, Bar Advisor!

    It could be there is a “California Legal Research” blog, but it may be disguised under a different name. Here is a recently compiled list of law library blogs. Some are by California law librarians:

    http://aallcssis.pbworks.com/Law-Library-Blogs

    Laura the (Oregon) Law Lib

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