Election News

Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell Announces Retirement After Nearly Twenty Years as AG

william-h-sorrellVermont AG Bill Sorrell (D) announced today that he will not run for re-election in 2016. AG Sorrell was first appointed by Governor Howard Dean (D) in 1997 to complete the unexpired term of former AG Jeffrey Amestoy, and has been re-elected to nine two-year terms since 1998.

Under AG Sorrell’s direction, the Vermont AG’s Office has been a national leader on a wide variety of issues, most notably consumer protection, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, and combatting patent “trolls,” and has often served on the Executive Committees directing Multi-state investigations and litigations.  Most recently, AG Sorrell was the first AG to file a lawsuit against an alleged patent troll for allegedly using deceptive and unfair claims of patent infringement to pressure businesses and charities into paying licensing fees, and he later drafted and obtained passage of the nation’s first state law prohibiting such practices.  As a former President of the National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”), AG Sorrell’s presidential initiative focused on the pharmaceutical industry, which contributed to a number of changes to practices across the entire industry.  He also has served as chair and co-chair of the NAAG Tobacco and Consumer Protection committees, respectively.

AG Sorrell has not stated what he plans to do after leaving office.  Prior to holding office, AG Sorrell served as Vermont’s Secretary of Administration and State’s Attorney for Chittenden County, Vermont. From 1978 to 1989, he was in private practice at the law firm McNeil, Murray & Sorrell.

The next Vermont AG election will be in 2016.  T.J. Donovan (D), the current State’s Attorney for Chittenden County (and who challenged AG Sorrell in the 2012 primary), is the only candidate to have filed for the 2016 race so far.