As the chief appellate lawyer for the State of Texas, the Solicitor General supervises all appellate litigation on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General. The Office of Solicitor General (OSG) approves all civil and criminal appeals in state and federal courts involving the state, its agencies and its officials. OSG also directly handles those appeals determined to be most significant to Texas and to the development of federal and state jurisprudence and appears on occasion in federal and state trial courts on matters implicating the state's most critical interests. In addition, OSG regularly authors amicus curiae briefs for submission to the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts across the nation.
The Solicitor General is the state's chief litigator in the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Supreme Court. In addition, as a member of the Attorney General's executive leadership team, the Solicitor General serves as a top legal advisor to the Attorney General and advises other agency lawyers and state officials on complex constitutional and other legal matters.
Established in January 1999, the Texas OSG is expressly modeled after the Office of the Solicitor General at the U.S. Department of Justice. The federal OSG was created through the Statutory Authorization Act of June 22, 1870, which provides that "[t]here shall be in the Department of Justice an officer learned in the law, to assist the Attorney General in the performance of his duties, to be called the Solicitor General."
The Texas OSG appears regularly before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and the intermediate state courts of appeals. Since 1999, OSG attorneys have presented 15 oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court, 74 in the Texas Supreme Court, and hundreds in other federal and state appellate and trial courts, including arguments before every intermediate court of appeals in Texas as well as three en banc arguments before the Fifth Circuit. OSG has won eight Best Brief Awards from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) for briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Solicitor General of Texas is supported by two deputies, over a dozen assistant solicitors general and a highly dedicated support staff.