Medical and Public Health Law Site
Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsent - DOJ

U.S. Department of Justice

Office of Legal Counsel


The Attorney General has directed the Office of Legal Counsel to publish selected opinions for the convenience of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government, and of the professional bar and the general public. The authority of the Office of Legal Counsel to render legal opinions is derived from the authority of the Attorney General. Under the Judiciary Act of 1789, the Attorney General was authorized to render opinions on questions of law when requested by the President and the heads of executive departments. This authority is now codified at 28 U.S.C. 511-513. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 510 the Attorney General has delegated to the Office of Legal Counsel responsibility for preparing the formal opinions of the Attorney General, rendering opinions to the various federal agencies, assisting the Attorney General in the performance of his function as legal adviser to the President, and rendering opinions to the Attorney General and the heads of the various organizational units of the Department of Justice. 28 C.F.R. 0.25.

This web site includes opinions that have previously been released to the public, opinions as to which the addressee has agreed to publication, and opinions to Department of Justice officials that the Department has determined may be released. Volumes 1-20 of the published Opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel contain the official versions of opinions for the years 1977-1996. Those opinions are also available on Westlaw and LEXIS. Additional volumes containing opinions for subsequent years will continue to be published on a regular basis.

The opinions on this web site are arranged -- but not necessarily added to the site -- in the order that they were sent to their addressees by OLC. Thus, despite the presence of opinions issued in 2003, opinions issued in earlier years may still be added to the site in the future.

Memoranda and Opinions By Year

For additional information please contact the Office of Legal Counsel at the following address:

Office of Legal Counsel
United States Department of Justice
Washington, DC 20530
(202) 514-2051

Last Updated 5/29/03