The Civil and Criminal Appeals Divisions are under the direction of the Solicitor General.
The role of the expert appellate lawyers in Civil Appeals is to either defend the State’s victory from challenge on appeal or obtain a reversal by the appellate court of an erroneous, adverse decision below. In appeals that involve complex substantive matters–for instance tax, employment, or environmental law–the appellate lawyers work together with the other assistant attorneys general on the appeals.
The mission of Criminal Appeals is to defend just convictions, promote fair treatment for victims and defendants, and foster justice for the people of Utah. To this end, the division’s attorneys represent the State of Utah in all appeals statewide from capital and felony convictions and juvenile delinquency adjudications. They also represent the State of Utah in all state post-conviction and federal habeas proceedings, including all death penalty challenges.
In addition, the Criminal Appeals Division advises county prosecutors statewide on issues of criminal law and procedure, particularly in capital cases and cases presenting complex search and seizure issues.