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State Attorneys General Practice

Acting and advising before investigations turn into litigation.

The modern State Attorney General (AG) bears little resemblance to his or her predecessors of 30 years ago. While past State AGs were largely focused on activities within their respective jurisdictions, today these officials are engaged in a wide variety of enforcement, investigatory, and advocacy activities nationally. They are political actors, public policy advocates, and regulators with significant punitive, injunctive, and other powers that can substantially disrupt how a company does business. What’s more, State AGs are increasingly coordinating their activities against targeted industries and specific organizations. When AGs decide to focus attention on an organization, it can be very costly and time-consuming. 

Husch Blackwell has an active national practice before State AGs. This practice has grown in response to clients’ needs as they face increasing challenges at the state level. We support clients in sensitive litigation, antitrust matters, and investigations. We help to educate State AGs and advocate for our clients on important public policy positions and on cases of national importance in the federal district courts, appellate courts, and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Collectively, our professionals have decades of experience working in and with State AG offices and federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Our team includes a former U.S. Attorney, former State Deputy Solicitor General, former State Assistant AG, and litigators and investigators with decades of experience. We have the knowledge and relationships to successfully present clients’ issues from their business perspective and coordinate to act before investigations turn into litigation. 

Husch Blackwell’s State AG team combines its broad set of relationships with State AGs nationwide with sophisticated litigation skills honed by bet-the-company civil litigation, high profile white collar representation, and sensitive internal investigations. Our AG practice is fully integrated with our government solutions and litigation practice groups, providing clients with a full spectrum of strategic options when facing investigatory and enforcement challenges. 

Antitrust

Our attorneys routinely handle investigation and litigation of high-profile merger, price-fixing and wage-fixing cases in healthcare, technology, telecom, media, finance, and transportation, among other industries. As just one example, we have collaborated on some of the nation’s most significant recent healthcare antitrust matters, including FTC and State of Idaho v. St. Luke’s Health System, which addressed integration and consolidation of healthcare providers in the wake of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Consumer protection

Our attorneys advise clients on a broad array of issues, including advertising practices, consumer disclosures, and compliance with myriad laws regulating consumer interactions. We routinely appear before the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on consumer protection matters and have litigated complex consumer protection disputes involving a diverse range of industries. In one recent example, our attorneys defended a prominent mobile phone company executive accused of civil consumer fraud by the FTC and charged criminally in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Financial services

Our attorneys have significant experience with regulatory and enforcement issues in the financial services industry. With myriad federal laws and agencies—the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is one prominent example—increasingly authorizing and encouraging State AGs to act against deceptive abuses or practices, Husch Blackwell’s deep bench in its Financial Services & Capital Markets team stands poised to defend its clients.

Healthcare & pharmaceuticals

Our attorneys offer comprehensive counsel and solution-driven services to combat increased investigation and enforcement of, among other things, Medicaid fraud allegations, healthcare false claims actions, and State AG review of health-care-related mergers.  

Amicus briefs

Our attorneys, including a former State Solicitor General, have the experience to position, draft, and gain amici support from State AGs. Just recently, our attorneys advocated successfully for a multi-office State AG brief filed before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals arguing for the reversal of a jury verdict in excess of $25 million.

Federalism

As industries come under increasing regulation on the federal and state levels, our attorneys have engaged State AGs on significant constitutional matters addressing preemption, the sovereignty of the states to enforce their own laws, and the proper roles of the federal government and the states.

Legislative & regulatory actions

We have experience persuading State AGs to engage in regulatory decision-making and legislative processes, using their legal position to influence policy outcomes. Our attorneys have had success engaging trade associations, interest groups and media to achieve results in this arena for our clients.

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