This Article provides a guide to government attorneys and practitioners as to how to handle lawsuits against government employees from start to finish, based on the premise that it is beneficial to the government, the public, the parties, and the justice system for government employees to receive the full benefit of representation by government attorneys.
The Author begins by asserting that there is a moral imperative to represent government employees, because not only do these employees rely on the government to represent them if they are sued for conducting the public’s business, but they also serve the interest of the public and provide essential government functions. The Author then analyzes the legal authority to represent government employees and the decision of whether to represent an employee coupled with the legal and ethical considerations that must be confronted in making that decision. The Author recommends advanced planning to develop a uniform representation policy with government bodies in order to avoid decisions based on individual personalities or politics.
The Article concludes by discussing government policy and strategy when representing government employees, including the different immunities and defenses that are uniquely available to government employees and ways to defend those particular methods of defense, handling trials of government employees, and the analysis and appeals of judgments against the employees.