This is the third part of a series discussing the important question – what is an attorney? (See parts 1 and 2, on jillclarkspeaks, and on jillclarkcontinues).
Private Attorney General. The “private attorney general” concept holds that a successful private party plaintiff is entitled to recovery of his legal expenses, included attorney fees, if he has advanced the policy inherent in public interest legislation on behalf of a significant class of persons.
The above definition is from Black’s Law Dictionary (Sixth Ed., West Publishing Co. 1990). A private attorney general is different from The Attorney General (of the US, or of a state).
A private attorney general is a member of the public, otherwise known as a private person or – private attorney general. A number of state statutes authorize plaintiffs to bring claims in the public interest.
One example is the Minnesota Consumer Fraud act at Minn. Chap. 325F. Another example is the Minnesota Unlawful Trade Practices Act at Minn. Chap. 325D. There are other examples, including examples in the federal law.
The idea is that one person who has experienced a wrong can be a voice for the public, to help protect the public from consumer fraud.
So a private attorney general can help to protect the public from fraud. (Check out my other series being developed at this time, What is Fraud?)
May 11, 2013. No derivative works are authorized by copyright holder(s).