State Attorney General Practice
Berger Singerman attorneys are experienced in representing companies and their management under the scrutiny of State Attorneys General (State AGs) throughout the United States. Our team members are skilled in crafting and executing settlement and litigation strategies and in assisting our clients in evaluating the potential ramifications of the State AGs investigation of or litigation against their companies. We leverage the experience of a broad spectrum of our lawyers, several of whom previously served as former state and federal government officials, corporate general counsel, government regulators, and white-collar crime prosecutors, and we draw on our class action defense experience in developing broad-based responsive strategies.
On behalf of our clients, we:
- Conduct internal investigations
- Coordinate crisis management teams
- Evaluate civil and criminal exposure
- Prepare proactive strategies to respond to state and federal regulatory investigations
- Develop compliance programs to avoid business model deficiencies
- Defend against criminal charges, civil State AG claims, and regulatory complaints
- Develop uniform strategies for defending the resulting civil litigation
In recent times, the powers and roles of State AGs with respect to federally regulated industries have increased significantly. The Dodd-Frank Act grants authority to State AGs to enforce certain financial industry rules promulgated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A federal financial fraud task force is co-chaired by a State Attorney General. State solicitors general, usually acting under the authority of the State AG, are arguing a far greater number of federal law issues before the nation's Supreme Court. News headlines reveal an increase in joint state and federal investigations and prosecutions, along with parallel civil actions in state courts filed by State AGs. Some State AGs have even hired private class action lawyers to assist them in their civil enforcement actions.
Consequently, State AGs are increasingly taking a lead role in reshaping business activity that may affect the consumers in their states as well as consumers throughout the country, by relying on state as well as federal statutes and regulations. They regularly unite with their counterparts throughout the country and in the federal system to investigate businesses, enforce consumer regulations, and prosecute violations. News media headlines report aggressive enforcement action in numerous industries, including but certainly not limited to, financial services, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, internet, food & beverage, private universities, retail, insurance, and real estate.
As State AGs forge ahead in expanding their involvement in these areas, Berger Singerman attorneys have the experience to work with directors of compliance, corporate counsel, and company executives to plan for, and minimize the impact of, State AG actions, and to respond on behalf of the company to demands for records, grand jury or other subpoenas to key employees, and civil or criminal charges by State AGs and resulting civil litigation.