NPR Morning Edition, December 29
Director Tierney responded to the decision of Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager to personally represent the state in the trial of Chai Vang, accused of killing six hunters. Tierney stated that it is rare for attorneys general to try cases in court themselves, "because the risks are too great. Trial is warfare. The juries react differently to different pieces of information. Sometimes they like the idea of an elected official trying a case and sometimes they lean over backwards to discount it." Use the module below to listen to the story:
Roll Call, September 16
Roll Call interviewed James Tierney on the success of national parties in attorney general races and the ability of AGs to move on to other elected offices.
"'There was blood in the hallways - most AGs couldn't even get out of the primaries,' recalls James Tierney, who was Maine's attorney general from 1980 to 1990 and who now directs the state attorneys general program at Columbia Law School.
"The problem, Tierney says, is that 'when you're an AG, you walk on a razor blade every day.' The smallest oversight, or an unpopular stance taken to fulfill the office's mission, can torpedo a candidacy, he says."
Washington Post, June 3
A lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer against GlaxoSmithKline PLC alleged that the drug manufacturer "misled consumers and committed fraud by suppressing clinical studies that raised doubts about the safety and effectiveness of its top-selling antidepressant Paxil when used to treat children and adolescents." While the FDA had not approved Paxil for use by children, "off-label" prescriptions were common. Director James Tierney defended the lawsuit, saying "It is not unusual for state attorneys general to be involved in pharmaceutical cases, and it is not unusual for them to bring cases against unfair and deceptive practices."
The New York Times, March 31
Program director James E. Tierney was quoted in a New York Times piece discussing the recent case legalizing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. In response to requests made by Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly for a stay in enacting the court's ruling for two years in order for the state's legislature to consider a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, Program Director James E. Tierney "said Mr. Reilly would be jeopardizing the credibility of his office if he sought a stay when he did not believe it was legally justified.
'The court will see instantly what this is and they won't like it,' Mr. Tierney said. ''This would kind of cheapen all the other cases that the office of the attorney general has in front of that court."