Executive Staff

Chief Deputy Attorney General.  The chief deputy manages the office and coordinates and oversees the office’s legal work.

Lacey E. Mase, Chief Deputy Attorney General

Lacey E. Mase, Chief Deputy Attorney General

Lacey Mase joined the Office in January 2021 as Executive Counsel, monitoring the Office’s most significant legal matters and executing workflow and oversight-improvement projects at the direction of the Attorney General.  Prior to this, she spent more than nine years at the Texas Attorney General’s Office as a civil litigator and in various executive leadership positions.  Before attending law school, Lacey was a first-grade teacher in Austin, Texas.  She is a graduate of Baylor University School of Law and the University of Texas at Austin.

Solicitor General. The Office of the Solicitor General oversees all appellate litigation in the Tennessee Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals, the United States Supreme Court, and the federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, primarily in the Sixth Circuit, which includes Tennessee.  OSG also oversees all published opinions issued by the attorney general.

J. Matthew Rice

J. Matthew Rice, Solicitor General

Matt Rice joined the Office of the Solicitor General in June 2022.  Prior to this, Matt worked in private practice at Williams & Connolly LLP.  Matt clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas on the United States Supreme Court as well as Judge Sandra Ikuta on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before his legal career, Matt played professional baseball in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. 

Chief of Staff.  The chief of staff manages external relations, including communication and legislative strategy, and coordinates with other AG offices across the country.

Brandon J. Smith, Chief of Staff

Brandon J. Smith, Chief of Staff

Brandon James Smith joined the Office in 2019 as an Assistant Solicitor General, where he handled appellate matters and lead efforts related to policy and federalism. Prior to coming to Tennessee, He served as a senior policy advisor and counsel to the Governors of Kansas and Kentucky. He previously worked at a non-profit organization in Washington D.C. where he was also an adjunct professor and ran a volunteer legal aid clinic. He graduated from Abilene Christian University, the University of Kansas, and the George Washington University Law School. 

Chief Operating Officer.  The chief operating officer manages administrative matters including talent management, organizational development, IT, fiscal, and facilities management.

Kelly K. Smith, Chief Operating Officer

Kelly K. Smith, Chief Operating Officer

Kelly Smith joined the Office in February 2017 serving as Senior Advisor overseeing people management. Prior to this, Kelly worked as an Assistant Commissioner for Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Kelly began her career with the George W. Bush Administration, followed by positions with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Realtors. Kelly received an International Business degree from Mississippi State University. She resides in Nashville, TN with her husband and three children.

Office of the Solicitor General

The Office of the Solicitor General oversees all appellate litigation in the Tennessee Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals, the United States Supreme Court, and the federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, primarily in the Sixth Circuit, which includes Tennessee.   OSG also oversees all published opinions issued by the attorney general.

Strategic Litigation Unit

The Strategic Litigation Unit handles complex affirmative litigation and defends the separation of powers and constitutional rights of Tennesseans. 

Civil Litigation Section

  • Civil Law Division:   The Civil Law Division handles personal injury and tort litigation involving the State in the Tennessee Claims Commission and state court; civil rights actions brought against state employees sued individually for monetary damages in federal or state court; and workers’ compensation actions filed by state employees.
  • Environmental Division:  The Environmental Division represents the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission, and the Tennessee Historical Commission in both civil enforcement and defensive capacities.
  • Human Services Division:  The Human Services Division represents most of the State’s agencies responsible for protecting Tennessee’s most vulnerable populations. Its primary clients include the Department of Children’s Services, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Labor, the Department of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, and the Department of Mental Health.
  • Real Property and Transportation Division:  The Real Property and Transportation Division primarily represents the Tennessee Department of Transportation in the eminent domain acquisition of property and property rights for public use and in defense of those rights. The Division has offices in Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Jackson.

Criminal Justice Section

  • Criminal Appeals Division:  The Criminal Appeals Division handles all appellate matters in procuring and defending criminal judgments in the state courts. Division attorneys are responsible for interlocutory, extraordinary, direct and post-conviction appeals, defending state criminal judgments in state habeas corpus proceedings, and advising local prosecutors on complex legal issues. The Division has a team of attorneys who work with the Governor’s legal counsel and Department of Correction attorneys in dealing with extradition and detainer matters.
  • Federal Habeas Corpus Division:  The Federal Habeas Corpus Division defends state criminal judgments against collateral attacks in federal court. Because federal habeas corpus is the last stage in the three-tier review process for criminal judgments, Division attorneys also handle end-stage capital litigation in death penalty cases.

Financial and Regulatory Section

  • Consumer Advocate Division:  The Consumer Advocate Division represents the interests of Tennessee consumers of investor-owned-utility services (or “public utilities”) when a public utility wants to raise rates or has service problems. Virtually all public utilities are government-sanctioned monopolies. The Tennessee Public Utility Commission regulates public utilities, but there remains an imbalance between the consumers and the utilities. The Legislature, therefore, created the Consumer Advocate to give consumers a legitimate voice before TPUC.  
  • Financial Division:  The Financial Division provides legal services for many of the State’s business-related activities, representing numerous agencies that deal with issues of government financing, banking, economic development, legal gambling, insurance and securities regulation, and contracting. The Division also defends the Department of Revenue and the State Board of Equalization in state tax matters.
  • Public Interest Division: The Public Interest Division advises on and defends state agencies in matters related to open meetings and public records; handles the Office’s oversight of nonprofit corporations, charitable trusts, and charitable solicitations; and enforces the Tennessee False Claims Act. Its primary clients are the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Charitable Solicitations and Gaming Division and Elections Division and the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance.

Public Protection Section

  • Bankruptcy Division:  The Bankruptcy Division represents state agencies in bankruptcy courts across the country. Specifically, it represents the State’s interest by filing proofs of claim and administrative claims in bankruptcy cases where a state entity is owed a debt. The Division also collects penalties and other debts owed to state departments and agencies.
  • Consumer Protection Division:  The Consumer Protection Division protects consumers and businesses from unfair and deceptive trade practices, enforces state and federal antitrust laws, and enforces the Unauthorized Practice of Law statutes. The Division of Consumer Affairs is part of the Consumer Protection Division, and it (1) serves as Tennessee’s central coordinating agency and clearinghouse for consumer complaints alleging unfair and deceptive practices; (2) provides an informal complaint mediation program to help consumers and businesses resolve disputes and potentially avoid the need for litigation; and (3) conducts statewide educational presentations and other outreach initiatives to help Tennesseans avoid scams and protect their identities.
  • Tobacco Enforcement Division:  The Tobacco Enforcement Division enforces the provisions of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement and handles other tobacco-related matters..

State Services and Litigation Section

  • Education and Employment Division: The Education and Employment Division defends the State and its agencies and employees in employment-related litigation in both state and federal court. The Division also advises and represents the State’s education agencies and institutions of higher education.
  • Healthcare Division.: The Healthcare Division defends the Bureau of TennCare’s implementation of the State’s Medicaid program in both state and federal trial and appellate courts. The Division also advises and defends the Department of Health, its health-related regulatory boards, and its Office of Vital Statistics in constitutional challenges and petitions for judicial review of administrative decisions. The Division’s Civil Medicaid Fraud Unit is responsible for the State’s civil enforcement of healthcare-provider Medicaid fraud.
  • Law Enforcement and Special Prosecutions Division:  The Law Enforcement and Special Prosecutions Division represents the State, various state agencies—including the State’s law enforcement agencies—and state employees in state and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as the Tennessee Claims Commission. The Division defends civil rights cases, tort claims, and the constitutionality of state statutes. It also handles a limited number of criminal prosecutions.