State Attorney General Investigations

In recent years, state attorneys general won high-profile, multi-billion dollar settlements with the tobacco and mortgage loan services industries. Today, they’re looking into issues as disparate as nutritional supplement claims, customer data breaches and environmental protection. As the stakes of individual and multi-state investigations grow, all businesses should take notice of the targets and be positioned to defend your interests in the face of an actual or potential investigation.

Key Contacts

Christopher N. Weiss Partner Seattle, WA
Joel A. Mullin Partner Portland, OR
Overview

State attorneys general play a significant role overseeing consumer protection, antitrust enforcement, environmental protection, fair credit practices and neutralization of false claims and advertising.  In this role, they can have a tremendous impact on how a company, or an entire industry, operates. 

Our State Attorney General Investigations team has the experience to guide your company through  an investigation, whether it be brought solely by one AG office or as part of a multi-state investigation.  Our attorneys include a number of former U.S. attorneys, several former state assistant attorneys general, a deputy attorney general who worked in a civil litigation division, a senior attorney with a state ecology division and a special assistant attorney general for the State of Alaska.  We provide you with the strategic insights needed to anticipate and appropriately respond to attorney general inquiries. 

Investigation representation

  • Consumer protection: False advertising, false claims
  • Data collection, breach and privacy
  • Environmental enforcement
  • Antitrust and merger review
  • Unfair trade practices
  • Credit reporting
  • Anti-kickback allegations and false claims
  • False advertising
  • Consumer fraud
  • Civil rights
  • Wage and hour investigations
  • Securities investigations

State attorneys general increasingly coordinate on multistate investigations and team up with the FTC, DOJ or Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Their targets are often specific industries, such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices, big data, technology, food, health care, or education. We have deep teams of attorneys in each of these industry verticals, available to contribute valuable insights in support of your response or defense strategy.

Given our experience as former members of AG offices, we understand the necessity to strike the right balance between cooperation, negotiation and litigation when facing an investigation.  It’s important for businesses to be proactive, both in auditing your processes and policies when we learn an investigation is on the horizon and in proactively engaging with state attorneys to understand what they’re targeting. 

We help you develop and execute your strategy for creating lines of communication with investigators and represent you in all interactions from initial administrative meetings through courtroom proceedings should they occur.  If the circumstances call for it, we have the experience to confidently try these cases on your behalf. We possess the resources to respond to all levels of investigation and have access to additional assets as needed if media attention threatens to negatively impact your business or reputation.  

Team
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