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Attorneys general (AGs) are not only lawyers for their states; they are enforcers, regulators, and even public policy advocates. With a broad consumer protection mandate, a state AG is able to reach a wide range of industries that have a consumer touch. When joining in multi-state actions, and even more so those with public policy implications, AGs have a significant voice nationally to affect interests of business. We attended a series of multi-state AG meetings…
Senators, governors and state attorneys general are racing their campaigns toward election. While appealing to voters, attorney general candidates will inevitably target industries with positions and promises of using their state enforcement powers. How AGs will fare is partly a question of public policy, as seen, for example, with issues of data privacy, opioids and consumer finance. And businesses should consider the proactive engagement of state AGs on both legal and political levels.…
2018 is, once again, an election year! State attorney general campaigns will be in full swing with 31 elections, of which 10 are open seats, including big-state races in Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and the most competitive per-capita primary in South Dakota. In addition, next year triggers up to three gubernatorial appointments among Alaska, Wyoming and Hawaii, where the attorney general is running for Congress on the heels of his Trump travel ban lawsuit. And…
A dozen bipartisan State Attorneys General and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently instigated a medieval siege dubbed “Operation Game of Loans” against alleged student loan relief scams.  This coordinated nationwide enforcement effort targets companies charging upfront fees to consumers for promises  of relief from student loan debt – currently estimated to involve $95 million in claimed illegal fees. While this enforcement action is focused on apparent student loan debt relief scammers, there…
“Top Cop” is how every state Attorney General wants to be known. In reality, state AGs have far more authority for civil enforcement than they do for criminal prosecution.  Their civil authority can be vast when partnering with federal agencies, utilizing federal enforcement statutes, and coordinating U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) criminal investigations.…
Headlines for state attorneys general (AGs) have been dominated by tangles with the Trump administration — from the travel ban case going to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenges to legacy regulations at federal agencies. Less visible are actions by state AGs to push forward their interests and influence in technology-oriented consumer products, particularly driverless cars.…
Headlines for state Attorneys General have been dominated by pursuits with the Trump Administration – whether the travel ban case going to the U.S. Supreme Court or challenges to legacy regulations at federal agencies. Less visible, state AGs are pushing forward on their interests and influence in technology-oriented consumer products, as highlighted in panel topics at various Attorney General meetings this summer.  What is discussion now among state AGs can often result in legal action,…
With the incoming Trump Administration, regulatory and enforcement priorities for federal agencies are expected to change, and in response state Attorneys General will surely step into perceived gaps. Over the past eight years, state AGs have joined in significant joint federal-state enforcement often following the lead of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  But if federal agencies scale back their efforts in key consumer protection areas,…
Within the sharing economy, consumers participate in an entirely new marketplace and are empowered as part of the historic shift of leverage from traditional businesses. It’s not just a different venue for delivering existing products and services. It’s a new commerce where consumers can obtain the experience and exactness of products and services they desire: how they want them, when they want them, and at the price they want them.…
In its reply brief in Spokeo v. Robins, petitioner Spokeo comes out of the gate with the consequential argument that for Robins to prevail, the Supreme Court must accept his position that every violation of a statutory right qualifies as an injury-in-fact. Indeed, the case is much larger than Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) inaccuracies at issue; the case implicates any federal statute in which a violation triggers automatic penalties including the Real Estate…