As Attorney General of RI, we have a lot of important responsibilities. Among these are upholding the laws of our state and providing legal representation to citizens. We also work to improve public safety and keep our communities safe. In this article, we will provide a list of all the attorneys general of Rhode Island as well as some of the most important responsibilities they carry out. Take a look and learn more about what an attorney general does in Rhode Island!
G. David Brinkley
G. David Brinkley, a Democrat, was the 58th Attorney General of Rhode Island, serving from 1991 until his death in 2006. He was succeeded by Peter Kilmartin.
Brinkley was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on October 4, 1937. He graduated from Brown University in 1959 and from the University of Michigan Law School in 1961.
Brinkley taught law at the University of Rhode Island School of Law from 1964 to 1965. He practiced law in Providence from 1965 to 1991, including stints as a partner at the law firm of Hale and Dorr and as the state’s Attorney General.
In 1991, Brinkley was elected Attorney General of Rhode Island, defeating Republican candidate Lawrence W. Tobin. As Attorney General, he played a central role in the state’s response to the September 11 attacks. In 2003, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Commission on Federalism.
Brinkley died of leukemia on March 21, 2006, at age 70. He was survived by his wife, Barbara; two daughters; and three grandchildren.
Donald J. Carcieri
Donald J. Carcieri was elected attorney general of Rhode Island in November 2006, and was re-elected in November 2010. He is a partner at the Boston law firm of Foley Hoag LLP and has been involved in a wide range of legal work, including defense of companies and individuals in civil and criminal litigation. In addition, he has served as chair of the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rhode Island, chair of the state Board of Elections, and a member of the boards of directors for both the Providence Journal Company and Narragansett Bay Resort. Mr. Carcieri also served as counsel to Governor Lincoln Chafee from 2002 to 2004.
Steven P. Brown
Steven P. Brown is the attorney general of Rhode Island. He was elected to office in November 2010 and re-elected in November 2014. Prior to becoming the attorney general, Brown served as a state representative from 2002 to 2010.
Brown received his J.D. from the University of Rhode Island School of Law in 1997.
James M. Cole
James M. Cole was elected as the 57th Attorney General of RI on November 3, 2018. Cole is a partner at the law firm Goodwin Procter LLP and has been practicing law in Rhode Island since 1997. He previously served as Deputy Attorney General and Counsel to the Governor from January 2013 to November 2018. Prior to that, he was a Deputy Public Defender for the District of RI from 2005 to 2009 and an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island from 2002 to 2005. Cole also served as a Naval officer in the Marine Corps from 1991 to 1998, achieving the rank of captain.
Peter F. Connors
Peter F. Connors was the Attorney General of RI from 1988 to 1992. He is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School.
Connors was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1942. He is married to the former Kathryn B. Ginsburg and they have three children.
Catherine E. Coyle
Catherine E. Coyle was appointed Attorney General of Rhode Island on October 1, 2018 by Governor Gina Raimondo. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Deputy Attorney General for Legal Affairs in the Office of the Attorney General since January 2017.
She has also practiced law since 2001. She is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Georgetown University Law Center where she served as an editor of the Georgetown Journal of International Law.
Coyle previously served as a law clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court.
In recognition of her service to the legal community, Coyle was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine in 2018.
If you are in need of legal assistance and are located in the state of Rhode Island, be sure to contact one of the attorneys general listed below. Each attorney general is licensed to practice law in their respective state, and many offer free consultations to individuals who may be experiencing legal difficulties. It is always a good idea to speak with an attorney before taking any legal action, as they can provide advice on the most appropriate course of action for your situation.