listed on this page are in Adobe
Acrobat Reader format.
Official opinions will be posted as they are issued, generally within 24 to 48 hours. Please check this page at regular intervals to determine whether additional opinions have been issued.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Official opinions represent the attorney general’s analysis of current law based on his thorough research of existing statutes, the Virginia and United States constitutions, and relevant court decisions. They are not "rulings" and do not create new law, nor do they change existing law. Creating and amending laws are the responsibility of the General Assembly, not the attorney general.
Official opinions are legal advice, not personal opinions, and do not reflect the attorney general’s personal views about what the law should be. Such advice is provided to ensure clients/the requester are in compliance with the law. While the opinions may be given deference by the courts, they are not binding on the courts.
The official opinions issued by the attorney general are part of the duties of the office (see Code § 2.2-505). A person authorized by statute, such as the governor, a member of the General Assembly, a constitutional officer, or the head of a state agency, can ask the attorney general for an official opinion on the law. Members of the general public are not authorized to ask for opinions.
Opinions prior to 1996 may be accessed via online searchable databases, including CaseFinder, LexisNexis, and Westlaw (subscriptions required). Some public libraries provide access to LexisNexis or Westlaw for a nominal fee. Law school libraries generally have copies of the annual report as do county constitutional officers, e.g., circuit court clerks and commissioners of the revenue. The Library of Virginia also maintains copies of the annual reports.