Civil Litigation Unit


The Civil Litigation Unit handles a wide variety of matters on behalf of the State of Wisconsin, its agencies, the University of Wisconsin System, and individual state employees. The Civil Litigation Unit is divided into the following practice sections. 


Administrative Law


The Administrative Law Section:


  • Defends Division of Hearings and Appeals’ decisions in the areas of probation, parole, and extended supervision revocation. 
  • Defends state agency decisions, such as licensing decisions of the Department of Safety and Professional Services.


Civil Rights


The Civil Rights Section defends against lawsuits that allege violations of civil rights, including, but not limited to, the following:


  • Search, seizure, and use of force by State law enforcement agencies.
  • Conditions of confinement in State correctional and health service institutions.
  • Infringement of First Amendment rights.
  • Infringement of Due Process and Equal Protection rights.
  • Challenges to Department of Corrections’ administrative decisions in the areas of discipline, classification, parole, and seizure of property.


Open Government & Employment


The Open Government & Employment Section:


  • Provides information and resources to members of the public, local governments, state agencies, and officials in the interpretation and enforcement of Wisconsin’s open meetings and public records laws.
  • Defends the State and its agents in cases challenging their public records and open meeting decisions.
  • Provides legal defense in employment discrimination actions brought against the State, its agencies, the university system, and State employees.
  • Represents State agencies in worker’s compensation matters.


Property & Torts


The Property & Torts Section provides a broad range of legal services to the State of Wisconsin, its agencies, its university system, and state and university employees acting in their official capacities. Among the services provided, the Property & Torts Section:


  • Handles all litigation with respect to the acquisition of property and property rights under the State’s eminent domain authority.
  • Represents university medical school physicians in malpractice cases.
  • Provides legal representation to the state, the university and their employees in tort cases including, but not limited to, personal injury, automobile accidents, defamation, and property damage.
  • Protects and pursues the State’s subrogation interests with respect to benefits paid from the State’s funds.


Sexual Predator Commitments


The Sexual Predator Commitments Section has a primary role in prosecuting sexual predator commitments in counties across the state and handles post-commitment proceedings in those cases.


Frequently Requested Resource



Wisconsin law does not authorize the Attorney General and employees of the Department of Justice to provide legal advice to private individuals. If you need legal advice or representation you may want to contact a private attorney. The State Bar of Wisconsin Lawyer Referral and Information Service can help you determine if you need a lawyer, and how to proceed if you do.