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New Jersey State House New Jersey State House

N.J.S.A. § 52:17A-4(c) provides that the attorney general, through the Division of Law, “shall exclusively attend to and control all litigation and controversies to which the State is a party or in which its rights and interests are involved.” Despite that facially unambiguous allocation of power, there have been frequent instances in which the state Legislature, through its officers and by its own counsel, has been granted party-intervenor status—with all the attendant rights and prerogatives—in a matter in which the state or a state agency is the defendant, even though the attorney general has entered an appearance and should, according to the statute, “exclusively attend to and control” the litigation on behalf of the state.

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