Steve Wolf, Chief Counsel
Steve is the chief counsel of the General Counsel Division, which is responsible for providing legal services to almost all state agencies. Steve joined the Division as an assistant attorney general in 1998 and has served as chief counsel since 2012. Before coming to the Oregon DOJ, Steve was an attorney in SAIF Corporation’s legal services division and was in private practice in Portland. Steve received his B.A. in English from the University of Oregon and his J.D. from Willamette University College of Law in Salem.
Judy Giers, Deputy Chief Counsel
Judy is the deputy chief counsel of the General Counsel Division. After graduating from law school in 1990, she clerked for the Oregon Court of Appeals, before joining a private firm handling big cases - Is Oregon's school funding system unconstitutional? - and little cases - Is it a crime to throw a snowball at a cop? She has taught Constitutional Law and other classes at the University of Oregon Law School. Before joining the Oregon DOJ, she was in-house counsel to Architrave Health and helped to launch Oregon's first Coordinated Care Organization. She joined the Oregon DOJ in July of 2014, just in time to help implement Oregon's new recreational marijuana law.
The General Counsel Division’s work is organized as follows:
Business Activities Section
The Business Activities Section represents more than 50 of Oregon’s professional and occupational licensing and regulatory agencies, including the Department of Consumer and Business Services », Oregon Public Utility Commission » and Teacher Standards and Practices Commission ». Business Activities Section attorneys give those agencies legal advice, and represent them in regulatory and administrative enforcement proceedings.
Business Transactions Section
Business Transactions Section attorneys work with state agencies in the following contracting areas:
- design and construction
- real property
- intellectual property and information technology
- complex general business (including investment, health insurance, guaranty and surety contracts)
The Business Transactions Section assists other attorneys in the Oregon DOJ, and frequently represents state agencies in informal resolution of procurement and contract disputes.
Government Services Section
The Government Services Section provides legal services to a wide range of state agencies. The Section also anticipates legal issues and works with agency personnel to solve them.
Government Services Section clients include:
- Oregon Secretary of State
- Oregon Department of Transportation
- Oregon Department of Corrections
- Oregon Youth Authority
- Oregon State Police
- Oregon Department of Administrative Services
- Higher Education Coordinating Committee
- Oregon Department of Education
Health and Human Services Section
The Health and Human Services Section provides advice and administrative litigation representation to state agencies that help Oregonians live full and healthy lives. Section attorneys help agencies comply with laws and regulations of state and federal health and welfare programs.
Health and Human Services Section clients include:
- Oregon Health Authority
- Oregon Department of Human Services and its divisions
- Child Care Office of the Oregon Department of Education
- Psychiatric Security Review Board
- Oregon Patient Safety Commission
- Oregon Home Care Commission
- Oregon Health Policy Board
Labor and Employment Section
The Labor and Employment Section serves as legal counsel on labor and employment issues related to all of state government, including state agencies and quasi-independent boards and commissions. The Section advises and trains its clients on the broad spectrum of labor and employment law. It also represents them in labor arbitrations and in administrative hearings and proceedings.
The Labor and Employment Section is specifically assigned as counsel to the Human Resources Services Division and Labor Relations Unit of the Department of Administrative Services », the Employment Relations Board » and the Fair Dismissal Appeals Board ».
Natural Resources Section
The Natural Resources Section provides the legal services Oregon’s environmental and natural resource agencies need to help them to carry out their missions and responsibilities.
Natural Resources Section clients include:
- Oregon Department of Agriculture
- Oregon Department of Energy
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
- Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Oregon Department of Forestry
- Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
- Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
- Oregon Department of State Lands
- Oregon Water Resources Department
Tax and Finance Section
The Tax and Finance Section represents clients in administrative hearings and extends its litigation practice to trial and appellate courts.
On the tax side, the Section represents the Department of Revenue in the Oregon Tax Court, the Oregon Supreme Court and in federal courts. Tax advice and litigation encompasses property tax, personal income tax, corporation income and excise taxes, other types of state and local taxes and local budget law procedures. Tax attorneys help other state agencies on tax issues and represent the state in tax matters before the Internal Revenue Service.
On the finance side, the Section advises the Office of the State Treasurer and the Oregon Investment Council on state banking, investment and borrowing activities. Finance attorneys assist other state agencies with loan negotiation, grants or other financial transactions.
In addition, the Tax and Finance Section assists and represents the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) » on issues related to retirement, disability and death benefits.