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State Attorneys General

Practice Overview

State attorneys general (AGs) drive single and multi-state investigations, inquiries, litigation, and legislative initiatives that impact practically every U.S. industry imaginable. Whether an AG acts alone, in tandem with other state AGs, or in conjunction with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), another state regulator or federal government agency, or even just the press, companies and individuals can immediately feel the lasting impact such actions have on their reputation and bottom line.

Buckley Sandler’s State Attorneys General practice provides comprehensive representation regarding all aspects of state enforcement activities. Our team is spearheaded by Douglas Gansler, a former two-term Maryland Attorney General, two-term State’s Attorney, past President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), and a former Assistant U.S. Attorney. We represent businesses, financial institutions, and individuals in investigations and enforcement matters across a wide range of industries, including financial services, hospitality, digital commerce, payments and data risk, cybersecurity, energy, healthcare, vitamin and herbal supplements, telecommunications, insurance, and other consumer-centric industries.

Our experience allows us to leverage a thorough knowledge of the law with an understanding of the personality and policy challenges that affect AG decisions. With that in mind, our goal is to anticipate and design innovative strategies before difficulties can arise, and to be efficient and creative problem-solvers when they do. We offer solutions that help our clients mitigate the potential for costly investigations and litigation, as well as to quickly disentangle our client from attorney general — and often public — scrutiny. In the event a problem cannot be resolved and litigation ensues, our team effectively and aggressively defends against such claims, including qui tam actions and multistate and federal enforcement investigations, as well as actions pertaining to consumer protection, data privacy, advertising, consumer finance, and environmental and energy concerns.

We also stay abreast of broader and emerging relevant industry issues that are being discussed in the state AG space, and closely monitor and track AG trends and developments that have the potential to affect our clients. To that end, our team also represents corporate clients participating in NAAG conferences and meetings, as well as those involved in the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) and Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) conferences.

Our work in this area includes:

  • Represented Verizon Wireless in a multistate, multi-agency investigation and settlement against alleging that Verizon Wireless permitted “cramming” by allowing third parties to place unauthorized charges on consumers’ wireless phone bills
     
  • Represented JPMorgan Chase Bank in a joint CFPB and Maryland Attorney General investigation and settlement concerning allegations that loan officers accepted leads and marketing assistance from a now-defunct title company in exchange for referrals to the title company
     
  • Appointed by the Pennsylvania Attorney General to conduct an independent investigation of any crimes arising from the improper use of the state's email communications system by prosecutors, judges, and other public officials
     
  • Represented a national tax preparation service in an investigation initiated by the Maryland AG and state comptroller, which closed 23 Maryland-based franchises. We conducted an extensive internal review and prepared a report on the client’s processes and operations, resulting in the reopening of the franchises and no assessment of penalties or fines
     
  • Representing numerous mortgage servicing and origination companies in joint investigations involving state AGs, federal agencies, and state regulators
     
  • Represented a national homebuilder in a lawsuit alleging violations of the state Consumer Fraud Act related to lending sales and practices, as well as represented our client in an affirmative lawsuit against the AG claiming the state had violated its due process rights related to its retention of outside counsel
     
  • Represented various insurance companies in Hurricane Katrina-related matters involving the Road Home Program
     
  • Representing national hospitality companies in multi-state investigation and pre-litigation matters involving advertising practices
     
  • Representing an online mobile photo-sharing site, a solar energy company, and two national dietary supplement associations in educating state AGs on consumer-friendly corporate and industry developments
     
  • Representing an online education company with alleged Consumer Protection Act violations before multiple state AG's offices

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