Collectively, the attorneys in the State Services Section provide representation to eight of sixteen executive branch state agencies, as well as Colorado’s five statewide elected public officials: the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Treasurer. The Section also represents the Judiciary and the Public Utilities Commission. The legal work of the Section is diverse, ranging from providing advice on transactions and general operations to defending the constitutionality of state laws in both state and federal court. In general, the State Services Section protects children, people at risk, and represents the public at large. The Section also conserves the state’s fiscal system by reviewing hundreds of state contracts and defending the State against claims typically involving the inadequacy of funding of various programs.
Human Services Unit
The Human Services Unit represents the State Department of Human Services in administrative courts, District courts and federal courts in actions involving county findings of child abuse or neglect, the revocation or suspension of child care licenses, its transactional and procurement disputes, and representation of the Division of Youth Corrections, the Mental Health Institutes in Pueblo and at Fort Logan, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Food Assistance, and the State Long Term Care Ombudsman.
Public Utilities Commission Unit
This Unit provides legal advice and representation to the Public Utilities Commission and their advisory staff members. Areas of representation include electricity, gas, telecommunications, transportation, and other regulated public utility matters. This Unit evaluates the law supporting the public interest in adjudications, rulemakings, and other administrative proceedings; and drafts and reviews written decisions constituting the official actions of the Commission. This Unit also represents the Commission in judicial appeals of its decisions and advises on proposed legislation and matters before federal regulatory agencies.
Health Care Unit
The Health Care Unit represents the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing which administers the Medicaid program, the Children’s Health Plan and Colorado Indigent Care Program. The unit also represents the health programs within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment which includes health facilities, emergency medical services, the medical marijuana registry, disease control and epidemiology, vital records, and the state laboratory. Representation of these agencies also includes providing counsel to the Medical Services Board and the State Board of Health.
Public Officials Unit
The Public Officials Unit represents the statewide elected officials as well as the Judicial Department, the Department of Local Affairs, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the State Auditor, the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the Office of Information Technology, and the License Plate Auction Group. The Unit primarily handles litigation and appeals in complex civil cases that frequently involve legal questions of first impression and public policy matters of statewide or national importance. Other duties include handling escheat and unclaimed property review, drafting formal and informal Attorney General Opinions, and contract reviews for client agencies.
The Labor Unit provides legal advice and representation to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and its eight divisions, and to the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration and its five divisions and the Colorado Board of Assessment and Appeals in the Department of Local Affairs. The Unit represents the State Controller and reviews or provides legal advice on hundreds of state contracts involving expenditures of millions of dollars, and it represents DPA in many administrative and judicial disputes over state purchasing. Enforcement of Worker Compensation Insurance statutes and Oil and Public Safety statutes covers hundreds of cases each year, along with general oversight of the state classified employment system and state archives.
K-12 Education Unit
The K-12 Education Unit represents the subdivisions of Colorado government responsible for K-12 education, including the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Board of Education, the Teacher Licensure Division, the Colorado State Charter School Institute, the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, and the BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) Board. The Unit provides general advice to clients, including: board representation, transactional matters, open meetings and open records, drafting formal and informal opinions on education issues, and rule and policy drafting. The Unit handles litigation in state, federal and administrative courts, in matters ranging from administrative hearings on teacher licensure matters, to complex constitutional challenges to education-related statutes, with an emphasis on school finance issues.
Higher Education Unit
The Higher Education Unit represents all of the state’s public colleges and universities, the community college system, the Department of Higher Education, including the Division of Private Occupational Schools, the Colorado Historical Society, and the Commission on Higher Education. The Unit’s advice covers a wide range of state and federal compliance issues, board governance, transactional matters, open meetings, open records, formal and informal opinions, rule and policy drafting, and federal regulatory compliance including ADA, FERPA, and Title IX. The Unit handles litigation in state, federal and administrative courts.
Deputy Attorney General Melody Mirbaba
Colorado Office of the Attorney General
Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center
1300 Broadway, 6th Floor
Denver, CO 80203