United States Attorneys serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General of the United States of America. United States Attorneys are appointed by the President of the United States, with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, and serve at the direction of the Attorney General. There are a total of 93 United States Attorneys appointed throughout the United States and its territories, each responsible for a specific judicial district. The Western District of Texas is one of four federal judicial districts in Texas, and one of the largest in the country. Richard L. Durbin, Jr. is the Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas and is the chief federal law enforcement officer of the United States within his district.
The United States Attorney and the Assistant U.S. Attorneys working at his direction conduct most of the trial work in Western District of Texas in which the United States is a party. The United States Attorney is responsible for coordinating multi-agency investigations which involve federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The United States Attorney is responsible for a wide variety of prosecutions consistent with the priorities set by the Attorney General of the United States and exercises wide discretion in the use of his resources to meet the needs of the communities in the Western District of Texas. Assistant U.S. Attorneys working at the direction of the United States Attorney prosecute criminal cases brought by the United States against individuals and organizations who violate criminal laws enacted by the United States Congress. Assistant United States Attorneys working at the direction of the United States Attorney also prosecute and defend civil cases in which the United States is a party and collect debts owed to the Federal Government which are administratively uncollectible. The United States Attorney does not act as an attorney for individuals in their private legal affairs or lawsuits.