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Annual Reports

History

With some exceptions, the Attorney General has published Annual Reports each year from 1836 to the present.  Particular exceptions include certain years during the Civil War and early Reconstruction. 

Annual Reports have evolved over time from a simple list of litigation handled to their current form, which includes not only litigation, but also all official opinions issued during the year, a list of personnel of the office, and a summary of the significant activities of the office.  The Annual Report in its current form is published pursuant to the directives in
§ 2.2-516 of the Code of Virginia.

The practice of issuing opinions predates the publication of the first Annual Report, with some opinions having been issued during the colonial period when the Attorney General was an officer of the Crown.  Although opinions were not initially included in the Annual Reports, they eventually became a primary component of the Reports.  Readers interested in the early history of Annual Reports and opinions published by Virginia Attorneys General may refer to the article Historical Outline and Bibliography of Attorneys General Reports and Opinions—From Their Beginning Through 1936 by Lewis W. Morse, 30 Law Libr. J. 39, 226-34 (1937).  

 

Annual Reports Now Accessible in PDF Form

We are pleased to now offer digital copies of Annual Reports from the late 1800s to the present (in Adobe Acrobat Reader format) below.  The Annual Report for 1894 should be posted in the near future.

  • Please note that individual opinions issued in recent years also may be found on the Official Opinions page.  This includes all opinions published in the current year, which are awaiting publication in the upcoming Annual Report.  Readers seeking the latest opinions of the Attorney General are directed to that page.

 

Instructions For Locating Opinions in Annual Reports

1.  How To Locate an Opinion by Citation

If you have the legal citation to a particular opinion, it will direct you to where that opinion appears within the Annual Report in which it was published. 

Below is an example of a legal citation to an opinion:

Graphic of a normal opinion citation.

2.  How to Search for Opinions Generally

Opinions published between July 1, 1987 and December 31, 2016

You may search opinions that were published between these dates by using the indexes found at the end of each Annual Report.  These indexes are organized by topic and by a list of statutes and other legal provisions cited.  Some indexes also contain a list of individuals who requested opinions during the relevant year.

Opinions published prior to July 1, 1987

To search for opinions published prior to July 1, 1987, please refer to the cumulative indexes found above.  Together, these indexes cover all opinions issued between July 1, 1930, and June 30, 1987.  Each index is organized by topic and by a list of statutes and other legal provisions cited.  Additionally, a “digest” was published for opinions issued between 1883 and 1915.  The digest is organized by a list of statutes and features a summary of opinions.  A link to the digest also is found above.

We are actively working to develop a search function that will enable users to conduct a universal search of all Annual Reports posted on this page.  Online subscription databases such as HeinOnline, CaseFinder, LexisNexis, and Westlaw—some of which may be accessed at public libraries—may be helpful to users in the meantime.