State Attorneys General

The lawyers in our State Attorneys General Practice provide unmatched insight and legal counsel in dealings with all 50 state attorneys general offices. We monitor and anticipate trends and developments that may affect our clients and offer comprehensive representation with respect to all aspects of state attorneys general activities.

State attorneys general increasingly join together in multistate investigations and litigation, and their activities affect nearly every industry and major policy area. By working with a firm that has the necessary relationships and expertise to approach attorneys general early, and proactively, companies can address public policy issues of concern before those concerns result in investigations or litigation. We ensure our clients are aware of and engaged with the right people so that issues can be resolved amicably and, whenever possible, without investigations or litigation.

Our lawyers maintain regular contact with state attorneys general and their key staff through participation in organizations such as the NAAG, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA), the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA), the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) and the Society of Attorneys General Emeritus (SAGE).

Our practice is built upon a strong legal foundation and boasts the direct experience and connections of 12-year Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who also served as the president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), and his Nebraska Attorney General team, which includes: David Cookson, former Chief Deputy Attorney General; Katie Spohn, former Deputy Attorney General; and Holley Bolen, former Chief of Staff. This team draws from their extensive in-office experience, as well as the experience of several other veterans of state attorneys general offices around the country, including:

  • Clark K. Ervin: Former Deputy Attorney General of Texas, former Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), former Inspector General of the Department of State and, simultaneously, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the global media arm of the US government
  • Matt Sagone: Former Assistant Attorney General in the Business and Government Regulation Section of the Office of the Attorney General of Ohio
  • Gary Pasheilich: Former Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, including member of the Environmental Enforcement Division, representing Ohio EPA
  • Karen Winters: Former Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Ohio Attorney General; served as Assistant Chief of the Consumer Fraud Division, member of the Environmental Enforcement Division, member of the Federal Litigation Division, and member of the Chief Counsel’s staff
  • Alex Shumate: Former Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Ohio Attorney General and served as Chief Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of the state of Ohio
  • Rees Alexander: Former Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, including member of the Environmental Enforcement Division, representing both Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management
  • Victor Genecin: Former Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Office of the Attorney General
  • Carolyn McIntosh: Former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Colorado for Superfund and hazardous waste management and served as a Special Assistant Attorney General to the state of Montana, implementing its Superfund program

Our lawyers and professionals approach each matter with unparalleled legal knowledge and a first-hand understanding of the decision-making processes of attorneys general. We also understand that legal issues before a state attorney general often have a multidimensional policy, regulatory and legal component that involves governmental stakeholders beyond the state. Our professionals bring decades of collective experience to these complex matters, gleaned from working in the trenches with federal and state legislative bodies, key regulatory agencies and independent commissions.

When our clients are faced with investigations or litigation, we move quickly and aggressively to protect our clients’ interests. Our legal skill and professional commitment to our clients has been recognized by the American College of Trial Lawyers, Center for Effective Dispute Resolution, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the International Society for Barristers, as well as numerous peer-reviewed publications, including American Lawyer, Best Lawyers, Chambers, Global Arbitration Review and The Legal 500.

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Investigation and Litigation Avoidance

We create customized strategies for our clients to avoid becoming targets of costly investigations and litigation, including building and maintaining strong relationships with state attorneys general and educating them, as necessary, about our clients’ businesses and the relevant facts and law.

Consumer Protection and Antitrust Investigations and Litigation

We offer clients innovative ways to navigate the shifting landscape of complex competition investigations, business combinations and litigation. Many of our lawyers have spent portions of their careers with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, enabling us to offer valuable insight as we support our clients’ businesses through each new challenge. We have experience in all aspects of antitrust litigation, including trials, class action proceedings, multijurisdiction coordination and appellate advocacy.

False Claims Act (FCA) Matters

States are increasingly adopting their own FCA laws and a state’s attorney general is usually the decision-maker on whether their state will intervene in qui tam and related actions. We help clients advocate against states becoming involved in actions against our clients and litigate aggressively on behalf of our clients if they are faced with FCA cases.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Matters

The CFPB, along with state attorneys general, investigates and pursues alleged violations of consumer protection laws. This places businesses in the financial services sector at risk of costly investigations and litigation.

Data Privacy and Information Security

The US has traditionally taken a vertical approach to data protection, with a focus on specific sectors. However, recent developments at both federal and state levels indicate a move toward a more horizontal approach. We can share our expertise to ensure your data protection procedures are in compliance with state and federal requirements, and advise you in case of data breaches involving personally identifiable information. Additionally, we can provide invaluable guidance in how to deal with state attorneys general as they increasingly enforce data privacy and information security laws.

Environmental, Safety & Health Rule Making, Policy Development and Litigation

We have vast experience with all of the major federal environmental, safety and health laws and regulations and their state analogs, which are enforced by state attorneys general. We are also well-versed with respect to both prosecution and defense of claims for environmental cost recovery and defense of claims for natural resources damages. We have been involved with some of the most significant rulemaking and policy development initiatives in the environmental area, including rule challenges before federal and state courts across the country. A number of our lawyers are former assistant attorneys general and we work on a daily basis with various state attorneys general and state environmental protection and natural resource agencies.

Amicus Briefs

We regularly help clients secure amicus curiae support before state and federal appellate bodies, including the US Supreme Court.