The Department of Justice's Litigation Case Management System

Audit Report 09-22
March 2009
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix II
Litigating Division Functions
Source:  Department of Justice Organization, Mission and Functions Manual

Division Functions
Antitrust Division The major functions of the Antitrust Division are to:
  • Seek to prevent or terminate private anti-competitive conduct, which is subject to criminal and civil action under the Sherman and Clayton Acts and related statutes.

  • Review proposed mergers and acquisitions to assess their competitive effect and challenge those that threaten to harm competition.

  • Investigate and prosecute violations of criminal law that affect the integrity of the investigatory process, and enforce various criminal statutes related to Sherman Act violations.

  • Investigate possible violations of the federal antitrust laws, conduct grand jury proceedings, issue and enforce civil investigative demands, and handle all litigation that arises out of these criminal and civil investigations.

  • Develop and present legislative proposals of the Department relating to the antitrust laws and competition generally, and respond to requests for advice and comments on such matters from the Congress and from other agencies.

  • Through participation in the executive branch regulatory and legislative processes, seek to ensure that government action is pro-competitive or not unnecessarily anti-competitive.

  • Assemble information and prepare reports required or requested by the Congress or the Attorney General as to the effect upon the maintenance and preservation of competition under the free enterprise system of various federal laws or programs.
  • Advise the President and the departments and agencies of the executive branch on the competitive implications of governmental action.
Civil Division The major functions of the Civil Division are to:
  • Defend or assert the laws, programs, and policies of the United States, including defending new laws implementing the President's domestic and foreign agenda against constitutional challenges.

  • Recover monies owed to the United States and victims as the result of fraud, loan default, bankruptcy, injury, damage to federal property, violation of consumer laws, or unsatisfied judgments.

  • Defend the interests of the United States Treasury, prevailing against unwarranted monetary claims, while resolving fairly those claims with merit.

  • Fight terrorism through litigation to detain and remove alien terrorists; defend immigration laws and policies, including determinations to expel criminal aliens.

  • Enforce consumer protection laws and defend agency policies affecting public health and safety.

  • Defend the government and its officers and employees in lawsuits seeking damages from the United States Treasury or from individuals personally.

  • Implement compensation programs, such as the Childhood Vaccine and Radiation Exposure programs, and support viable alternatives to litigation when appropriate.

  • Represent the United States in foreign courts through foreign counsel supervised and instructed by attorney staff in Washington and London.

  • Represent the interests of the United States in civil and criminal litigation in foreign courts.
Civil Rights Division The major functions of the Civil Rights Division are to:
  • Investigate and, when warranted by the findings, initiate legal proceedings seeking injunctive and other relief in cases involving discrimination in the areas of education, credit, employment, housing, public accommodations and facilities, federally funded programs, voting, and the rights of prisoners, mentally and physically disabled persons, and senior citizens.

  • Prosecute violations of criminal statutes that prohibit specified acts of interference with federally protected rights and activities, such as conspiracies to interfere with or deny a certain individual or group of individuals the exercise of these rights.

  • Prosecute violations of anti-trafficking statutes, including the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, and play a strong role in identifying, protecting, and assisting victims of human trafficking.

  • Rule on voting changes and recommend observer and examiner activities authorized by the special provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended.

  • Implement Executive Order 12250 by studying, reviewing and approving regulatory changes proposed by all federal executive branch agencies as they pertain to civil rights, including Titles VI and IX and Section 5 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

  • Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, coordinate the technical assistance activities of other federal agencies and provide technical assistance to places of public accommodation and state and local governments.
  • Serve as the principal advisor to the Attorney General on all matters pertaining to civil rights.
  • Provide Department representation to, and maintain close liaison and cooperation with, officials and representatives of other divisions, federal agencies, state and municipal governments and private organizations on civil rights issues.
Criminal Division The major functions of the Criminal Division are to:
  • Develop, enforce, and supervise the application of all federal criminal laws, except those specifically assigned to other divisions.

  • Litigate and coordinate a wide range of prosecutions and criminal investigations, including those targeting:  individuals and organizations that commit or attempt to commit terrorist acts at home or against United States persons or interests abroad or assist in the financing of or providing support to those acts; international and national drug trafficking and money laundering systems or organizations; and organized crime groups.

  • Formulate and implement criminal enforcement policy and provide advice and assistance to all levels of the law enforcement community.

  • Approve or monitor sensitive areas of law enforcement such as participation in the Witness Security Program and the use of electronic surveillance.

  • Advise the Attorney General, the Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the White House on matters of criminal law.

  • Provide legal advice, assistance, and training to federal, state, and local prosecutors and investigative agencies.
  • Provide leadership for coordinating international and national law enforcement matters.
  • Provide training and development assistance to foreign criminal justice systems.
Executive Office for United States Attorneys The major functions of the EOUSA are to:
  • Facilitate coordination between the USAOs and other organizational units of the Department.

  • Evaluate the performance of the USAOs, making appropriate reports and inspections and taking corrective action and providing management assistance where indicated.

  • Publish and maintain a United States Attorneys’ Manual and a United States Attorneys’ Bulletin for the internal guidance of the USAOs and those other organizational units of the Department concerned with litigation.

  • Supervise the operation of the Office of Legal Education, which develops, conducts, and assists in the training of all Department legal personnel and other federal legal personnel.

  • Provide the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys and its subcommittees with such staff assistance and funds as are reasonably necessary to carry out the Committee’s responsibilities. Provide support to the Deputy Attorney General regarding United States Attorney appointments.

  • Plan and execute United States Attorneys’ conferences and other conferences in the direct support of the United States Attorneys’ management of their offices.
  • Provide general direction and supervision of the management and policy activities of the United States Attorneys’ programs, including debt collection, health care fraud, affirmative civil enforcement, asset forfeiture, bank fraud, bankruptcy litigation, and money laundering.

  • Provide litigating and technical support, training, coordination, and implementation of legislative initiatives. This includes the tracking and analysis of areas designated by the Attorney General as national priorities.

  • Establish, coordinate, and interpret policy, guidelines, and procedures on criminal fine collection issues.

  • Provide advice and representation to United States Attorneys and other managers in the USAOs on discipline, grievances, labor relations and equal employment opportunity, ethics, standards of conduct, recusals, outside activities, and an array of administrative, civil, and criminal legal issues.

  • Provide general support to the United States Attorneys in matters involving Assistant United States Attorney and Special Assistant United States Attorney appointments.

  • Promote, facilitate, and monitor programs with the USAOs designated by the Attorney General as priorities of the Department.
  • Provide overall administrative management oversight, technical, and direct support to the United States Attorneys in the program areas of facilities management (to include acquisition of real property/space, construction, renovation, repair, and relocation); and support service programs (to include personal property management, simplified acquisition, motor vehicle support, records disposition, forms management, audio visual, graphics, printing, metered mailing, and telephone systems).

  • Provide management oversight, technical, and direct support to the United States Attorneys in the planning, development, implementation, and administration of comprehensive security programs encompassing all aspects of physical, communication, information, personnel, and computer security.

  • Analyze, design, and provide automated services and systems in support of the litigation mission and of selected administrative functions of the USAOs, including development, implementation, and monitoring of policies and programs for automated systems, information security, and application maintenance.

  • Arrange for the acquisition and installation of integrated information technology systems and software applications in the USAOs.

  • Analyze user requirements, design, develop, deploy, and support the operations of the automated systems for caseload and collections systems and administrative/litigative applications in the districts and in the EOUSA; provide technical assistance and user training; produce the annual Statistical Report; and monitor the quality of the data from the USAOs.
  • Formulate, implement, and administer bureau-level human resource management policies and programs for the 94 USAOs located nationwide.  Programs affect Assistant United States Attorneys appointed under Title 28 and compensated under a separate pay system as well as support staff appointed under Title 5, United States Code.  Provide technical oversight of the USAOs delegated personnel authorities, and provide operating personnel and pre-employment security services to the other USAOs.

  • Support the USAOs in the conduct of their Law Enforcement Coordination Programs as directed by the Attorney General–provide training and guidance; assist in providing speakers, materials, and any other technical assistance for the Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (LECC)-related functions; act as liaison with the LECC-Victim Witness Subcommittee of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee; and assist in the promotion of the LECC Program throughout the federal government and to local governments.

  • Serve as liaison on Victim-Witness assistance activities within the USAOs, supporting the United States Attorneys in their efforts to ensure compliance with the Attorney General’s Guidelines in relation to victim and witness assistance.

  • Manage the United States Attorneys’ appropriation, including direct and indirect budget authority and personnel resources.  Provide budget and fiscal assistance and guidance to the 94 USAOs.
  • Analyze and provide data related to the work and resources of the USAOs to assist in litigative, management, and budget priorities.  Assist Department and USAO managers in all aspects of data, trends and management analysis, also serving as a resource and repository for data.  Ensure quality control in the use of data and its interpretation.

  • Respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act (PA) on behalf of the USAOs; coordinate and respond to litigation arising from these matters and provide advice and training to the United States Attorneys’ staffs relating to FOIA/PA.

  • Provide centralized leadership, coordination and evaluation of all equal employment efforts throughout the USAOs – administering both the Affirmative Action and Complaints Processing Programs.

  • Respond to inquiries from members of Congress and private citizens and review and comment on legislative and regulatory proposals relating to the activities of the USAOs.

  • Provide technical, administrative, design, and maintenance support in the areas of voice, data, and video telecommunications to provide efficient communications and to enhance cooperative efforts among the USAOs and the litigating divisions of the Department.

  • Provide information and guidance to USAOs on pending legislation pertinent to the work of the USAOs; prepare testimony and background for congressional oversight and appropriations hearings.
Environment and Natural Resources Division The major functions of the ENRD are to:
  • Conduct litigation under federal statutes enacted to protect the environment; require the cleanup of hazardous waste or recover the costs of cleanup; regulate air and water pollution; control dredging and filling in navigable waters; and control the use of pesticides.

  • Conduct litigation related to the control and abatement of pollution to the nation’s air and water resources, and the regulation and control of toxic substances, pesticides, and solid wastes.

  • Prosecute criminal cases for violations of the criminal provisions of applicable federal statutes.

  • Conduct litigation concerning the management of the fisheries and other living resources of the coastal and marine environments, and the management of the coastal zone.

  • Conduct litigation under numerous federal statutes and laws involving public land matters on behalf of the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Defense, and others.

  • Conduct litigation under the National Environmental Policy Act, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and the Tucker Act (principally in the United States Court of Federal Claims).

  • Prosecute eminent domain (condemnation) proceedings by which lands necessary for congressionally authorized public purposes are acquired on behalf of the United States, its agencies, and its departments.
  • Conduct civil litigation affecting the rights of Indians under treaties, acts of Congress, and executive orders in which the United States is acting as trustee on behalf of the Indians.

  • Defend the United States against monetary claims of tribes, bands, or other identifiable groups of American Indians, primarily before the United States Court of Federal Claims.

  • Conduct the Division’s appellate litigation in federal circuit courts of appeals and state appellate tribunals and assist the Office of the Solicitor General with litigation of our cases or cases of concern in the Supreme Court.

  • Provide policy direction and legislative guidance for all programs in the Division.

  • Provide for management, direction, budget formulation and execution, ensure compliance with the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts, and provide advice on applicable ethical responsibilities.
Tax Division The major functions of the Tax Division are to:
  • Prosecute and defend in all trial courts except the United States Tax Court civil suits arising under the internal revenue laws.  These matters include tax refund suits brought against the United States, bankruptcy cases involving federal tax claims, judicial actions to enforce administrative summonses, affirmative judicial actions to effect tax collection, and tort and damages actions against the United States and/or Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department officials.
  • Enforce federal criminal tax law and related criminal laws by reviewing referrals from the IRS, authorizing investigation and/or prosecution where appropriate, and either conducting or supervising authorized prosecutions. Division attorneys investigate and prosecute individuals and corporations who attempt to evade taxes, willfully fail to file tax returns, submit false tax forms, and otherwise try to defraud the federal Treasury, often focusing on violations involving international activity, such as the use of offshore trusts and foreign bank accounts to evade taxes. They also investigate and prosecute tax violations that occur in the course of other criminal conduct – such as crime linked to international terrorism, illegal drug trafficking, securities fraud, bankruptcy fraud, health-care fraud, organized crime, and public corruption.

  • Represent the United States in the courts of appeals in nearly all federal civil tax cases, including those appealed from the United States Tax Court, and in all federal criminal tax cases prosecuted by Tax Division attorneys. Division attorneys also supervise appeals in criminal tax cases tried by the USAOs around the country.

  • Advise the IRS and the Department of the Treasury concerning proposed legislation, regulations, guidance, procedures, and policy relating to taxes and tax enforcement.  Division attorneys also participate in the negotiation of international tax assistance treaties and agreements.


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