United States Attorneys are the main attorneys representing the federal government in district and appellate courts. There are 93 United States attorneys that cover 94 districts. United States Attorneys serve as prosecution in criminal cases and both prosecution and defense for the federal government in civil cases. They serve under the oversight of the U.S. Attorney General and the Executive Office of United States Attorneys (EOUSA), but they retain a significant level of independence. Other attorneys, under the guidance of the United States Attorney in each district, also represent the federal government in cases. The United States Attorneys can employ the aid of federal law enforcement agencies such as the F.B.I. in fulfilling their statutory duties.
The President appoints United States Attorneys subject to consent by the Senate for terms of four years. While infrequent, Presidents can request resignations of United States Attorneys sooner. If there is a vacancy, the Attorney General can appoint an interim United States Attorney for up to 120 days.
[Last updated in May of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]