Background - Practices (Details)

State Attorneys General

Contacts

Members of our State Attorneys General practice are widely recognized for handling high-stakes State AG enforcement matters.

State and federal agencies are becoming increasingly active in areas of law that impact companies engaged in advertising and marketing. Knowing if your company will be the next target of an investigation can be difficult, creating an unexpected crisis situation. When a Civil Investigative Demand or subpoena arrives, we provide clients with the legal guidance they need to proceed. Our State AG practice has strong relationships with state and federal regulators. These relationships add instant credibility and allow us to act quickly to analyze each situation. With an eye towards narrowing the scope of the investigation, we get in front of regulators early and often in order to contain the matter, achieve a resolution, and avoid litigation.

Four key areas in which our State Attorneys General practice provides guidance to clients are:

Enforcement actions. We regularly assist clients with matters that involve State Attorneys General, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and various local and county DA offices. This includes defending claims of unfair and deceptive trade practices in the marketing and advertising of products and services, including false advertising and unfair competition cases brought by the FTC or the State Attorneys General, and consumer class action litigation.

Government relations. Throughout the year, we attend meetings of the various Attorneys General associations including the Republican and Democratic Attorneys General Associations, Attorney General Alliance, (f/k/a Conference of Western Attorneys General) and the National Association of Attorneys General. Through attendance at these meetings, and the enforcement matters mentioned above, we have developed close relationships with most of the State Attorneys General and their senior staff members. 

Day-to-day advice. We routinely advise clients on a variety of consumer protection regulatory issues including those related to advertising, Internet marketing (including use of social media), telemarketing, consumer finance, auto-renewal and continuous billing plans, promotional marketing, and laws that impact specific industries such as automotive and network marketing. 

Regulatory audits. Clients retain us to perform “regulatory check-ups” to ensure their practices are compliant with the various regulatory laws. These include audits of network marketing companies, automotive repair chains, and online lead generation companies. In addition, we have lent our regulatory knowledge to help conduct internal investigations.

Click to see the full list of State AG Association meetings.

In the case that litigation is unavoidable, we are uniquely equipped to represent our clients. We have several members of our practice who have worked in State AG offices, including a former Deputy Attorney General for the District of Columbia and a former First Assistant Attorney General in New Jersey.

Follow the State Attorneys General Blog to state up-to-date on AG office news and actions.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a department store in connection with a civil investigative demand from the Washington State Attorney General related to an alleged violation of the Children’s Safe Products Act.
  • Represented an e-commerce company in a Washington State Attorney General investigation into children’s product chemical issues.
  • Representing a chemical company in litigation brought by the Michigan Attorney General over per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
  • Represented a retailer in investigations by state attorneys general regarding product disclosures and qualification of customers.
  • Defending several major oil companies in a state attorneys general litigation over product liability claims for the use of a chemical known as MTBE in gasoline, which a number of states allege rendered gasoline a defective product.
  • Represented a national retailer in an investigation by the New York Attorney General's Office in connection with the importation and sale of certain children's products containing levels of lead in excess of limits established under the Consumer Product Safety Act.
  • Represented a national manufacturer in a voluntary disclosure of a product-related issue to the FTC and related voluntary remediation action.
  • Represented a managed care company in a state attorneys general investigation into potential violations of state and federal mental health parity laws.
  • Advised two affiliate marketing networks in responding to third-party subpoenas issued by the Arizona Attorney General.
  • Represented a chemical company in a matter by the California Attorney General concerning ground water contamination. The California Attorney General agreed to close its investigation concerning our client.
  • Defended executives and other professionals of financial institutions in connection with simultaneous DOJ, SEC, and state attorneys general investigations regarding mortgage-backed securities.
  • Defended a securities-rating agency in multiple state attorneys general actions alleging unfair trade practices related to its ratings on structured finance securities.
  • Defended one of the world's largest generic drug manufacturers in the nationwide Average Wholesale Price litigation, coordinating the defense of more than 15 separate lawsuits pending in state and federal courts around the country, including a qui tam action under the Federal False Claims Act and numerous civil enforcement actions brought by state attorneys general alleging violations of a variety of state statutes, including state false claims acts.
  • Represented financial institutions in connection with state attorneys general investigations regarding residential mortgage-backed securities.