August 03, 2020 State & Local Government Law

Hot Topics in State & Local Government Law

Antitrust

  • 02.13.20T-Mobile's Acquisition of Sprint Cleared by Federal Court
    The acquisition of Sprint Corporation by T-Mobile US, Inc. and its parent company (collectively, “T-Mobile”), which was challenged by a coalition of 14 AGs, has been cleared by a federal court.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.12.19California Settles Another Auto Parts Price-Fixing Suit, Bringing the Total to 52
    California AG Xavier Becerra reached a settlement with auto parts manufacturer DENSO Corporation and related companies (collectively, “DENSO”), resolving a lawsuit alleging illegal bid rigging in violation of the Clayton Act, the Sherman Act, and California’s unfair competition law.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.05.19T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Clears Another Hurdle with Texas Agreement
    Texas AG Ken Paxton reached an agreement with mobile wireless telecommunications service providers Sprint Corporation and T-Mobile US, Inc. (“T-Mobile”), resolving antitrust concerns relating to the providers’ proposed merger.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.17.19Mississippi Attorney General Reaches Agreement with Wireless Network Provider Over Merger
    Mississippi AG Jim Hood reached an agreement with T-Mobile US, Inc. (“T-Mobile”) and Sprint Corporation (“Sprint”) to resolve antitrust concerns related to the companies’ merger.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.12.1950 Attorneys General to Investigate Tech Company Over Advertising and Search Engine Practices
    50 AGs, led by Texas AG Ken Paxton, announced an investigation into Google over allegedly anticompetitive behavior in violation of state and federal antitrust laws.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.05.19FTC Settles with Investment Advisor and Funds Over Alleged Violation of Premerger Notification and Waiting Period Requirements
    The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") settled with investment advisor Third Point LLC and three funds it controls—Third Point Partners Qualified L.P., Third Point Ultra Ltd., and Third Point Offshore Fund, Ltd.—(collectively, "Third Point") over allegations that it failed to file premerger notifications and observe waiting period requirements in violation of the federal Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 ("HSR Act").
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 05.31.19Justice Dept. is preparing an antitrust investigation of Google, people familiar with the matter say
    The probe is likely to examine Google's search and advertising businesses, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because such inquiries are confidential.
    Read more from The Washington Post

Cannabis

  • 04.23.20House Bill Would Unlock COVID Relief for Cannabis Industry
    A pair of Democratic congressmen on Thursday introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would allow cannabis companies to tap COVID-19 disaster relief funds, the first effort by lawmakers to include the industry in pandemic bailouts. The bill, introduced by Reps. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, is intended for a possible fourth COVID-19 relief package that could hit the House floor in the coming weeks. It was not included in an up-or-down vote Thursday approving a Senate-passed interim relief package totalling roughly $480 billion.
    Read more from Law360

  • 10.24.19FTC and FDA Issue Joint Warning Letter to CBD Retailer about Allegedly Unsubstantiated Health Claims
    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a joint warning letter to Rooted Apothecary, LLC (“Rooted Apothecary”) for allegedly violating the FTC Act by advertising its cannabidiol (“CBD”) products with unsubstantiated health claims and for allegedly violating the federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act by misbranding the same products.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.26.19Bipartisan Coalition of 21 Attorneys General Pen Letter to Congress in Support of Cannabis Banking Bill
    A bipartisan coalition of 21 AGs, led by District of Columbia AG Karl Racine, sent a letter to congressional leaders in support of the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (“STATES”) Act, S.B. 1028/H.R. 2093, or similar legislation, to allow cannabis-related businesses access to the banking system.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 07.25.19Bipartisan Coalition of 37 Attorneys General Submits Comment to FDA Regarding Cannabis Products
    The National Association of Attorneys General ("NAAG") submitted a comment to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), signed by a bipartisan coalition of 37 AGs led by District of Columbia AG Karl Racine and Oklahoma AG Mike Hunter, in response to the FDA's request for comments on the safety, manufacturing, and sale of products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.
    Source: State AG Report

  • 07.14.19Iowa Attorney General Issues Statement on Legality of Hemp and Cannabidiol Products
    Iowa AG Tom Miller issued a statement regarding the legality of hemp and cannabidiol ("CBD") products under state law after Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 legalizing CBD derived from industrial hemp with a tetrahydrocannabinol ("THC") concentration of not more than .3%, and the Iowa legislature enacted the Iowa Hemp Act, which will allow for the production of hemp in the state after the state's plan receives U.S. Department of Agriculture ("USDA") approval.

Charities

  • 09.26.19California Attorney General Obtains Orders Against Charities to Cease and Desist Allegedly Deceptive Solicitations
    California AG Xavier Becerra obtained administrative orders against charities Catholic Medical Mission Board, Inc., Food for the Poor, Inc., and MAP International over allegedly deceptive solicitation tactics in violation of state charities laws.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 06.07.19California Attorney General Sues International Assistance Charity Over Allegedly Misleading Reporting Scheme and Deceptive Solicitations
    California AG Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit against international assistance charity Aid for Starving Children and related individuals (collectively, “ASC”) to resolve allegations that it filed misleading public reports and deceived donors about the intended use of charitable donations in violation of state laws governing reporting by charities.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 05.30.19New York Attorney General Settles With Fraternal Order Over Allegedly Misusing Charitable Funds
    New York AG Letitia James reached a settlement with Oneonta Lodge No. 1312 Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, Inc. (“Oneonta Elks”) to resolve allegations that it misused charitable funds in violation of state laws governing charities.
    Read more from The State AG Report

Consumer Financial Protection

  • 02.06.20Bank in CFPB Crosshairs for Allegedly Failing to Properly Manage and Respond to Customer Credit Card Disputes
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) sued Citizens Bank, N.A. (“Citizens Bank”) for allegedly failing to properly manage and respond to credit card disputes and billing errors in violation of the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Credit Billing Act, the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”).
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 02.06.20Bipartisan Coalition of 23 Attorneys General Files an Amicus Brief in Support of FTC's Ability to Seek Restitution for Victims of Deceptive Trade Practices
    A bipartisan coalition of 23 AGs, led by Illinois AG Kwame Raoul, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the FTC’s position in Federal Trade Commission v. Credit Bureau Center, LLC, 19-825, where the FTC argued that it should be allowed to seek restitution for consumers in its enforcement actions under the FTC Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 01.30.20Bipartisan Coalition of 23 Attorneys General Argue Against Rule Alleged to Weaken States' Ability to Enforce Usury Laws
    A bipartisan coalition of 23 AGs, led by California AG Xavier Becerra, New York AG Letitia James, and Illinois AG Kwame Raoul, submitted a comment letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) in opposition to a proposed rule, “Permissible Interest on Loans That Are Sold, Assigned, or Otherwise Transferred” (“Proposed Rule”), which would establish that when a bank sells, assigns, or otherwise transfers a loan, the interest permissible prior to the transfer remains in effect following the transfer.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.17.19CFPB Announces Formation of Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) is forming a “Taskforce on Federal Consumer Financial Law” (“Taskforce”), which will examine the current federal laws and regulations facing consumers and providers of financial services, in order to provide recommendations to Director Kathleen Kraninger for the modernization and harmonization of such laws.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.26.1928 Attorneys General Submit Comment Regarding CFPB Proposed Debt Collection Practices Rule
    Twenty-eight Attorneys General, led by California AG Xavier Becerra, submitted a comment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) in response to the CFPB’s proposed rule regarding debt collection practices (“Debt Collection Practices Rule”).
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 08.05.19Attorney General James Leads 25 State Attorneys General In Fighting Against Debit Card Overdraft Fees
    Twenty-five attorneys general opposed any effort by the CFPB to roll back or limit its Overdraft Rule.
    Source: NY Attorney General

Consumer Protection

  • 04.07.20Attorney General James Secures Full Refunds for All Fantasy Island Consumers as Western New Yorkers Battle Coronavirus
    New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that she has negotiated a settlement guaranteeing that all consumers who purchased season passes, meal plans, and associated goods and services at the Western New York theme park Fantasy Island will be fully reimbursed for all advance purchases made for the 2020 season. After the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) issued subpoenas to Fantasy Island's owner and individuals associated with the company last month, the OAG negotiated an agreement to ensure full restitution for all consumers, totaling nearly $425,000.
    Read more from NY Attorney General

  • 04.07.20AG Ferguson Lunches "See It, Snap It, Send It" Campaign Encouraging Washingtonians to Report Price Gouging
    Attorney General Bob Ferguson today launched an awareness campaign encouraging Washingtonians to report price gouging in three easy steps: "See It, Snap It, Send It."
    Read more from WA Attorney General

  • 04.07.20AG Nessel's Office Sends Cease and Desist Letters to Online Sellers for Price-Gouging
    Amazon Storefronts Taking Advantage of Consumers' COVID-19 Fears
    Four online sellers conducting business through Amazon were told to stop taking advantage of consumers by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel after her office found credible reports of price-gouging in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (MCPA).
    Read more from MI Attorney General

  • 04/07.20Attorney General Becerra and Commissioner of Business Oversight Alvarez Issue Investor Alert About Investment Scams Related to COVID-19
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and California Commissioner of Business Oversight Manuel P. Alvarez today issued an alert about investment scams related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Investors should be wary of claims that companies have developed cures or vaccines for coronavirus or can supply medical equipment which is in short supply, like masks, gloves, or ventilators. These are red flags that an investment could be a scam. For example, the FBI recently arrested an individual for soliciting investments and claiming to have a cure for coronavirus. Investors should carefully research companies and claims, as well as broker-dealers and investment advisors, before investing any money.
    Read more from CA Attorney General

  • 04.07.20VIDEO: Attorney General Moody’s Rapid Response Team Acts Quickly to Deter Price Gouging
    It’s an all hands on deck approach as Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office continues to fight price gouging. Since Attorney General Moody activated the Price Gouging Hotline following the Governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration, the Attorney General’s Rapid Response Team has been working diligently and getting results for Floridians concerned about price gouging and COVID-19 related scams.
    Read more from FL Attorney Genearl

  • 03.30.20Student Loan Debt Relief Offer with Steep Upfront Fees? That’s a Red Flag
    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a settlement with student loan debt relief companies SLAC, Inc., Navloan, Inc., and Student Loan Assistance Center, LLC and their owner (collectively “SLAC”) to resolve allegations that they engaged in deceptive or abusive marketing by falsely promising to lower or eliminate consumers’ student loans in return for illegal fees, and by using misleading consumer testimonials, in violation of the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 03.23.20Attorney General Moody Launches Investigation into Norwegian Cruise Lines Over Allegations of Dangerous COVID-19 Sales Pitches
    Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody opened a Consumer Protection investigation alleging misleading and potentially dangerous sales pitches by Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL). Information about the misleading sales pitches was first brought to light by media reports in Miami, where NCL's corporate headquarters is located. According to reports, NCL provided its sales force with inaccurate one-liners to respond to customer concerns about COVID-19. The misleading sales scripts allegedly downplayed the severity and highly contagious nature of the novel coronavirus in an attempt to close cruise package sales.
    Read more from FL Attorney General

  • 02.06.20Bipartisan Coalition of 23 Attorneys General Files an Amicus Brief in Support of FTC’s Ability to Seek Restitution for Victims of Deceptive Trade Practices
    A bipartisan coalition of 23 AGs, led by Illinois AG Kwame Raoul, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the FTC’s position in Federal Trade Commission v. Credit Bureau Center, LLC, 19-825, where the FTC argued that it should be allowed to seek restitution for consumers in its enforcement actions under the FTC Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 01.06.20Oregon Attorney General Drops the Hammer on CenturyLink for Allegedly Misleading Sales Tactics and Surprise Bills
    Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum settled with international telecommunications company CenturyLink, Inc. and related companies (collectively “CenturyLink”) to resolve allegations of deceptive advertising and billing practices in violation of Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 01.06.20New Mexico Attorney General Enters the Talcum Powder Wars
    New Mexico AG Hector Balderas, following the footsteps of a number of private lawsuits, has sued talcum powder manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and related companies (collectively “J&J”) for allegedly misleading consumers about the safety of talcum powder in violation of New Mexico’s Unfair Practices Act, Medicare Fraud Act, and Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.19.19Phantom Debts Result in Real Liability for Allegedly Crooked Debt Collectors
    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a settlement with debt collection company Global Asset Financial Services Group, LLC and related individuals (collectively “GAFS”) to resolve allegations of using illicit debt collection tactics in violation of the FTC Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.19.19New York Attorney General Wins $16 Million Court Decision Over Fraudulent Magazine Subscription Solicitations
    New York AG Letitia James won a lawsuit against marketing company Orbital Publishing Group, Inc. and related companies (collectively “Orbital Publishing”) in the New York State Supreme Court over allegedly fraudulent mailings of unauthorized subscription notices in violation of New York’s consumer protection law, which prohibits deceptive business practices and false advertising, and which also requires magazine renewal solicitations to disclose the month and year that the consumer’s subscription expires.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.12.19University of Phoenix's Wings Clipped with $191 Million Settlement Over Allegedly Deceptive Marketing
    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a settlement with the University of Phoenix and its parent company, Apollo Education Group (collectively, “Phoenix”), to resolve allegations of deceptive advertising in violation of the FTC Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.12.19Oregon Attorney General Stands Up for Women’s Health, Sues J&J over Allegedly Unsafe Surgical Mesh Medical Devices
    Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum sued Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiaries (collectively “J&J”) for allegedly deceptive marketing of surgical mesh medical devices in violation of Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.05.19Want to Get on the FTC’s Bad Side? Falsely Claim Participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework
    The FTC reached settlements with Click Labs, Inc., a website and mobile app services provider (“Click Labs”); Incentive Services, Inc., a developer of award and incentives programs (“Incentive Services”); Global Data Vault, LLC, a data storage and recovery services provider (“Global Data”); and TDARX, Inc., an information technology services provider (“TDARX”). The settlements resolved allegations that, among other things, each company falsely claimed to participate in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework – a stringent international data privacy standard designed to allow companies to transfer data from the European Union to the United States while adhering to the EU’s data privacy laws – in violation of the FTC Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 11.21.19Massachusetts Attorney General to Used Car Dealerships: Play Fair or It’ll Cost You
    Massachusetts AG Maura Healy has reached a settlement with a used car dealership AutoMax Inc., as well as associated companies and their owner (collectively “AutoMax”), resolving allegations that it misrepresented important information about the used cars it sold and the add-on service contracts it promoted, in violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 11.14.19FTC Obtains Preliminary Injunction, Stops Student Debt Relief Scheme Allegedly Costing Consumers Millions
    The FTC sued debt relief company Arete Financial Group d/b/a Arete Financial Freedom along with several related companies and individuals (collectively “Arete Financial”) for allegedly operating an illegal student debt relief scheme in violation of the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and the FTC Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 11.07.19Missouri Attorney General Sues Telemarketer for Allegedly Calling No-Call List Registrants
    Missouri AG Eric Schmitt filed suit against a telemarketing company Allied Health Supply LLC and its president (collectively “Allied”) for allegedly calling Missouri residents who were on the state’s No-Call list in violation of Missouri’s No-Call Law.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.24.1942 Attorneys General Reach Settlement with Medical Device Company Over Allegedly Deceptive Advertising of Transvaginal Mesh Devices
    Forty-two AGs, including Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro, reached a settlement with Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ethicon, Inc. (collectively “Ethicon”) to resolve allegations that they engaged in deceptive marketing regarding its transvaginal surgical mesh devices in violation of state consumer protection laws.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 11.07.19FTC Sues Multi-Level Marketer for Allegedly Operating as an Illegal Pyramid Scheme and Falsely Marketing Supplements
    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) filed suit against supplement and skincare multi-level marketing company Neora, LLC and its CEO (collectively, “Neora”) and related companies Signum Biosciences, Inc. and Signum Nutralogix (collectively, “Signum”) alleging that Neora violated the FTC Act by operating as an illegal pyramid scheme and all parties violated the same law by falsely marketing brain health supplements.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.24.1930 Attorneys General Pen Letter to Secretary of Education Urging Relief for Student Borrowers of Closed Schools
    A bipartisan coalition of 30 AGs, led by Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum and Minnesota AG Keith Ellison, sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to request that she take immediate action to extend the time available for student borrowers who were enrolled in schools operated by Dream Center Education Holdings, LLC (“DCEH”) to discharge their federal student loans under the “closed school discharge” rule, which allows student borrowers to discharge 100% of certain federal student loans if they were unable to complete their programs because their schools closed.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.24.19FTC Settles with Marketing and Cosmetics Companies Over Allegedly Deceptive Online Marketing Practices
    The FTC reached separate settlements with Devumi LLC and its owner (collectively, “Devumi”) and Sunday Riley Modern Skincare, LLC and its CEO (collectively, “Sunday Riley”) relating to the alleged use of deceptive and untrue information in online marketing.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.03.19FTC Files Lawsuit Against Online Dating Service Operator Over Alleged Fraud
    The Federal Trade Commission filed suit against Match Group, Inc.—which operates Match.com, Tinder, OKCupid, PlentyOfFish, and other online dating services—over alleged deceptive advertising, consumer exposure to fraud, and other unfair practices in violation of the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA”).
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.26.19California Attorney General Settles with Nutrition Company Over Alleged Failure to Warn of Harmful Ingredients
    California AG Xavier Becerra reached a settlement with nutrition company Grass Advantage, LLC d/b/a Amazing Grass, over allegations that it sold and distributed products without required warnings for products containing excessive levels of chemicals known to cause reproductive harm or cancer in violation of the state’s Proposition 65 law, Unfair Competition Law, and False Advertising Law.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.26.19New York Attorney General Issues Cease and Desist Letters to “Ghost Gun” Sellers and Manufacturers
    New York AG Letitia James issued cease and desist letters to 16 sellers of “ghost guns”—partially assembled guns that are sold with the parts needed to create a fully-operational firearm—in violation of the state assault weapon ban and consumer protection laws.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.26.19FTC Settles with Organic Retailer Over Allegedly Deceptive Advertising
    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a settlement with Truly Organic Inc. and its founder (collectively, “Truly Organic”) over allegations that it deceptively marketed products as organic and vegan in violation of the FTC Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.12.19FTC Obtains Preliminary Injunction Against Cosmetic and Dietary Supplement Company Over Allegedly Deceptive Free Trial Offers and Subscriptions
    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) obtained a preliminary injunction AH Media Group, LLC and its owners (collectively, “AH Media”) over allegations that it sold cosmetics and dietary supplements online through deceptive “free trial” offers and ongoing monthly subscriptions in violation of the FTC Act, the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (“ROSCA”), and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 08.29.1951 Attorneys General Submit Comments to FCC Supporting Proposed Enhanced Caller ID Rules, Partner with 12 Telecommunications Companies to Issue Anti-Robocall Principles
    51 AGs, led by North Carolina AG Josh Stein, New Hampshire AG Gordon MacDonald, and Indiana AG Curtis Hill, partnered with 12 telecommunications companies who agreed to adopt eight principles to address illegal robocalls.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 08.29.19New York Attorney General Settles with Retail Chains Over Alleged Sale of Expired Products and Violation of Bottle Deposit Law
    New York AG Letitia James reached settlements with retail chains Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Dollar Tree's subsidiary Family Dollar, over allegations that the stores sold expired products in violation of state law regulating sale of over-the-counter drugs and that Dollar Tree and Family Dollar violated the New York bottle deposit law.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 07.29.19U.S. Attorney's Office Continues to Promote Elder Justice Initiative by Partnering with Meals on Wheels
    The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina continues to promote the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Elder Justice Initiative (EJI) throughout the Wake County area. On July 22, 2019, the Eastern District partnered with Meals on Wheels in Wake County to conduct Phase II of its outreach to approximately 1,300 seniors in the area to raise awareness about DOJ's Elder Justice Initiative and provide facts about financial exploitation and how seniors can protect themselves from falling victim.
    Source: Justice.gov

  • 07.29.19CONSUMER ALERT: Tech Support Scammers Target Seniors
    Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert with tips to help consumers identify, avoid and report online tech support scams.
    Source: FL Attorney General

  • 07.24.19AG Shapiro Announces Relief for 80,000 Pennsylvanians Targeted by Online Payday Loan Scheme
    Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced a settlement with Think Finance, a national online payday lender, and an associated private equity firm for allegedly engineering a $133 million illegal online payday loan scheme that targeted as many as 80,000 Pennsylvania consumers.
    Source: PA Attorney General

  • 07.23.19Consumer Protection Unit Reaches Settlement Over Foreclosure Rescue Scam
    Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced that the Department of Justice's Consumer Protection Unit has reached a settlement with two California-based companies requiring them to stop advertising and selling mortgage loan modification and debt relief services in Delaware and to provide restitution to Delaware consumers.
    Source: State of Delaware

  • 07.23.19AG Peterson Sues Hilton on Behalf of Nebraska Consumers
    Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson filed a lawsuit against Hilton, a multinational hotel company, for allegedly hiding the true price of hotel rooms from consumers and charging hidden resort fees to increase profits. The Attorney General alleges that Hilton's deceptive and misleading pricing practices and failure to disclose fees harmed consumers and violated Nebraska's consumer protection laws.
    Source: NE Attorney General

  • 07.18.19AG Grewal, NJ Bureau of Securities Announce Cryptocurrency Lawsuit Against Princeton-Based Business for Allegedly Violating Securities Law in Sale of Tokens
    New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the New Jersey Bureau of Securities within the Division of Consumer Affairs announced that the State has filed a three-count lawsuit against Pocketinns, Inc., a Princeton-based blockchain-driven online rental marketplace, and its president Sarvajnya G. Mada. The lawsuit alleges that Pocketinns and Mada offered and sold more than $400,000 of unregistered securities from New Jersey in the form of a cryptocurrency called "PINNS Tokens."
    Source: NJ Attorney General

  • 07.17.19Consumer Protection Division recovers $16 million in 2018
    Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced that the attorney general's Consumer Protection Division recovered more than $16 million for Kansas consumers and taxpayers last year.
    Source: KS Attorney General

  • 07.12.19AG Yost Launches New Tool to Help Ohio Consumers
    Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced the launch of a new online tool to help Ohioans gauge the reputations of businesses and steer clear of those with problematic pasts. In other Ohio news, General Yost announced a consumer protection lawsuit against a central Ohio concrete contractor accused of performing shoddy work and failing to complete home improvement projects. Additionally, General Yost and the FTC worked together to shut down a telemarketing scheme.
    Source: OH Attorney General

  • 07.11.19Salter College to Provide $1.6 Million in Debt Relief to Students
    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that the for-profit education company Salter College and its parent, Premier Education Group, will provide over $1.6 million in debt relief to resolve allegations that the company did not provide its students with critical information on program job placement, loan repayment and graduation rates as required by state law.
    Source: MA Attorney General

  • 07.10.19Attorney General James Announces Settlement With Ticket Resale Companies For Selling Tickets They Never Owned
    New York Attorney General Letitia James announced a settlement resolving a lawsuit against TicketNetwork, Inc., Ticket Galaxy, and their owner Donald Vaccaro for tricking tens of thousands of unsuspecting customers into purchasing tickets to concerts, shows, and other live events that the sellers did not actually own. In other New York news, General James announced a settlement banning Buffalo-based debt collection kingpin Douglas MacKinnon, and his companies Northern Resolution Group, LLC and Enhanced Acquisitions, LLC, as well as Mark Gray and his company Delray Capital, LLC, from the debt collection industry, and requiring defendants to pay more than $66 million in restitution and penalties. MacKinnon, Gray, and their companies routinely inflated debts to try to collect more than consumers were legally obligated to pay. Collection offices working at the behest of MacKinnon and Gray used a variety of illegal tactics to obtain payments, such as threatening consumers with arrest. Additionally, General James and the FTC announced court orders stopping a scheme to distribute and collect on millions of dollars in "phantom debts," fake debts that consumers did not owe.

  • 07.10.19Attorney General Josh Stein Wins $8 Million Judgment Against Out-of-State Event Producers
    North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein was granted a default judgment against Utah-based event production companies Lantern Fest Productions and Sack Lunch Productions in a lawsuit he filed last year alleging unfair and deceptive business practices.
    Source: NC Attorney General

  • 07.09.19AG Racine Sues Marriott for Charging Deceptive Resort Fees and Misleading Tens of Thousands of District Consumers
    District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine filed a lawsuit against Marriott International, Inc., a multinational hotel company, for allegedly hiding the true price of hotel rooms from consumers and charging hidden resort fees to increase profits.
    Source: DC Attorney General

  • 07.08.19How T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Fight Robocalls on Their Network
    AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are working to curtail robocalls on their platforms.
    Source: USA Today

  • 07.05.19Rutledge Obtains Over $600,000 Judgment Against The Resort Place
    Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge obtained a judgment valued at more than $600,000 against The Resort Place LLC and owners Jay Allen Edmonson and Dora Ann Edmonson. Based on allegations in the complaint, The Resort Place failed to book pre-paid vacation and used consumers' credit card information to pay for other consumers' vacations.
    Source: Arkansas Attorney General

  • 07.08.19Attorney General Morrisey Wins $76K Judgment Shutting Down Contractor
    West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won a $76,000 judgment that also orders a home improvement contractor cease any work as a contractor. The court determined Thomas Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning; its operator, Oscar Thomas; and his wife and fellow participant, April Thomas; each repeatedly and willfully violated the state's consumer protection laws.
    Source: WV Attorney General

  • 07.05.194 More Attorneys General Join Lawsuit to Enjoin Merger of Major Wireless Phone Companies
    Hawaii AG Clare Connors, Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, Minnesota AG Keith Ellison, and Nevada AG Aaron Ford joined a lawsuit to enjoin T-Mobile US, Inc. and its parent company (collectively, "T-Mobile") from acquiring Sprint Corporation over allegations that the acquisition would substantially lessen competition in violation of the Clayton Act.
    Source: The State AG Report

  • 07.03.19AG Schmitt Announces Lawsuit Against Cass County Roofing Company for Fraud
    Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced his office filed a lawsuit against Apex Contracting & Roofing, a roofing company in Cass County, Missouri and its owner Jason Stewart. The lawsuit was brought as a result of multiple complaints filed by Missouri consumers. The lawsuit alleges that Apex and Stewart violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by requiring consumers to pay certain amounts of money prior to beginning work, promising substantive completion by certain dates, and failing to provide the promised roofing and construction services in sufficient quality or on time.
    Source: MO Attorney General

  • 07.02.1925 Democratic Attorneys General Warn CFPB that Weakening Debit Card Overdraft Fee Rule Will Harm Consumers
    25 Democratic AGs, led by New York AG Letitia James, submitted a comment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") in response to the CFPB's Notice of Section 610 Review and Request for Comments on its Overdraft Rule, which currently limits the ability of financial institutions to assess overdraft fees for ATM and one-time debit card transactions that overdraw consumers' accounts.
    Source: NY Attorney General

  • 07.02.19Attorney General bars ‘pyramid scheme’ that cost Iowans $51,000
    Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced that a Florida man accused of operating a "pure pyramid scheme" and taking more than $51,000 from older Iowans must make refunds to the victims and stop his solicitations under a settlement with the Iowa Attorney General's Office.
    Source: IA Attorney General

  • 07.01.19New York Attorney General, FTC Settle with Debt Broker and Collection Agency for Allegedly Brokering and Collecting on Fake Debts
    New York AG Letitia James and the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") reached settlements with debt broker Hylan Asset Management, LLC, its owners, and related entities (collectively, "Hylan"), and collection agency Worldwide Processing Group, LLC and its owner (collectively, "Worldwide") to resolve allegations that they brokered and collected on fake debts in violation of the FTC Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), and state laws against deceptive business practices and illegal debt collection practices.
    Source: NY Attorney General

  • 07.01.19AG Hill asks Hoosiers to watch for car dealers posing as private sellers on Craigslist
    Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill asked Hoosiers to watch for car dealers posing as private sellers on Craigslist and to alert the Office of the Attorney General when they come across such listings.
    Source: IN Attorney General

  • 06.11.19Attorney General Frosh Joins Suit to Block T-Mobile and Sprint Megamerger
    BALTIMORE, MD – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined 9 states in filing a multi-state lawsuit to halt the proposed merger of telecom giants T-Mobile and Sprint. The complaint alleges that the merger of two of the four national mobile network operators would deprive consumers of the benefits of competition and drive up prices for cellphone services. T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. are the third and fourth largest mobile wireless networks in the U.S., respectively, and are the lower-cost carriers among the "Big Four." Verizon Wireless and AT&T - the two largest wireless networks - round out the market. Intense competition, spurred in particular by T-Mobile and Sprint, has meant declining prices, increased coverage, and better quality for all mobile phone subscribers. Since 2009, the average cost of mobile service has fallen by roughly 28 percent, according to the Labor Department, while mobile data consumption has grown rapidly. But the merger would put an end to that fierce competition, which has delivered so many benefits to consumers.
    Read more from the Maryland Attorney General Press Release

  • 05.30.19Attorney General Becerra Obtains $1.5 Million in Judgments Against Telemarketers Who Scammed Vulnerable Investors
    SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced today judgments totaling $1,498,574 in a lawsuit against telemarketers who scammed investors. The company, Consumer Rights Legal Services (CRLS), and four individuals, including CRLS's president and owner, James Davitt, cheated more than 150 victims by offering bogus "investment recovery services" that they claimed would recover money victims had lost from previous investments. Many of the victims were elderly and had already lost hundreds of thousands of dollars from previous schemes.
    Read more from the State of California Department of Justice

  • 05.30.19California Attorney General Obtains Judgments Against Telemarketers Over Allegedly Offering Deceptive Investment Recovery Services
    California AG Xavier Becerra obtained judgments against telemarketing company The Davitt Corporation d/b/a Consumer Rights Legal Services and related individuals (collectively, “CRLS”) over allegations that they offered deceptive investment recovery services in violation of the state’s telephonic sales, false advertising, and unfair competition laws.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 05.30.19Colorado Enacts Bill Amending Consumer Protection Act
    Colorado AG Phil Weiser joined Governor Jared Polis as he signed legislation that amended the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (“CCPA”) to further deter unfair business practices.
    Read more from The State AG Report

COVID-19 Coronavirus

  • 07.21.20Black Mayors Call For Governors To Let Them Enforce Rules To Fight COVID-19
    Black mayors in many of the nation's largest cities on Tuesday formally called on governors to repeal orders prohibiting them from enacting strategies that reduce the spread of COVID-19.
    Read more from NPR

  • 07.07.20Travelers Take Note: City of Chicago Issues Emergency Travel Order
    If you, your colleagues, your employees, or your clients have travel plans to or from a COVID-19 hotspot, the City of Chicago is requiring a two-week quarantine. On July 2, 2020, the City of Chicago issued an Emergency Travel Order directing travelers either coming into Chicago or returning to Chicago from a state experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases to quarantine for 14 days. The emergency order took effect on July 6, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. To date, this emergency order only applies to individuals arriving in Chicago. The State of Illinois has not taken similar action.
    Read more from Much Law

  • 06.24.20NY, NJ and CT Require Travelers from States with High Coronavirus Rates to Quarantine for Two Weeks
    New York, New Jersey and Connecticut issued a travel advisory Wednesday that requires people arriving from states with high coronavirus rates to quarantine for 14 days. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said the travel advisory applies to anyone coming from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
    Read more from CNN

  • 06.09.20This Nurse is Leading the Fight for Safer Hospitals
    Bonnie Castillo, head of National Nurses United, raised the alarm over shortages of personal protective equipment long before others recognized the scale of the pandemic. She’s still fighting.
    Read more from The New York Times

  • 05.21.20Officials in the Largest County in Ohio Say Racism is a Public Health Crisis
    Racism has officially been declared a public health crisis in Ohio's largest county. Commissioners in Franklin County, which encompasses the state's capital of Columbus, passed a resolution on Tuesday that asserts racism "rises to the definition of a public health crisis proposed by Dr. Sandro Galea."
    Read more from CNN

  • 05.19.20Harvard Law School Report: How States & Localities Can Protect Workplace Safety & Health
    Find outlines of key elements of the OSHA; a legal analysis of when OSHA does and does not preempt state or local legislation or action; and specific examples of how states and localities can protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Read more from Harvard Law School

  • 05.18.20Updated Executive Order Offers Some Clarification on Scope of Civil Immunity Related to COVID-19
    [Illinois] Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a new Executive Order on May 13, 2020 providing hospitals and health care facilities some additional guidance on the scope of his prior grant of immunity from civil liability to hospitals and health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Read more from Much

  • 05.11.20Which States Are Reopening? A State-by-State Guide
    Every U.S. state has implemented restrictions designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. Businesses reduced or ceased operations, people transitioned into working and learning remotely, and nonessential activities were paused. At least temporarily, much of the country was under strict orders to stay home.
    Read more from NPR

  • 05.11.20Tribal Nations Face Most Severe Crisis in Decades as the Coronavirus Closes Casinos
    Nearly 500 tribal casinos remain shut down during the pandemic, causing job losses to spike. The economic damage is spreading quickly, wreaking havoc on fragile tribal finances.
    Read more from The New York Times

  • 05.09.20Navajo Nation Residents Face Coronavirus without Running Water
    Margie Barton unfolded a map of Dilkon in Navajo Nation and pointed to the clusters of households representing 90% of its residents living without running water. Barton is the coordinator of the Dilkon Chapter House, the local administrative and communal center, and is involved in almost all aspects of keeping services up and running for the community — including access to clean water.
    Read more from MSN

  • 05.09.20South Dakota Governor Gives Native American Tribes 48 Hours to Remove Checkpoints which Aim to Bar Non-Essential Visitors Entering
    South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem on Friday told Native American tribes they have 48 hours to take down road checkpoints they had set up to keep out unnecessary visitors because of concerns over the coronavirus.
    Read more from MSN

  • 05.07.20Diné receive $600 million in CV-19 relief
    On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced that it will begin to distribute $4.8 billion (60%) of the $8 billion Congress allocated for tribal governments in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27.
    Read more from Navajo Times

  • 04.27.20FEMA Releases "Streamlined" Project Application in 33-Page Guidance Document
    The President has now approved 56 major disaster declarations under the Stafford Act, one for each of the 50 states, five territories, and Washington, D.C., giving FEMA the authority to reimburse eligible applicants for costs incurred related to the COVID-19 pandemic. FEMA has now issued its Streamlined Project Application that will form the basis for how these entities apply for funding under FEMA's Public Assistance Program. The "simplified" application includes four sections and six supplemental schedules, the applicability of which can be determined using a table provided in FEMA's guidance document. This alert provides a summary of the application process.
    Read more from Baker Donelson

  • 04.24.20Coronavirus: The Latest Court Closures & Restrictions
    As courts across the country take measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, some are restricting access and altering their procedures. Here is a roundup of changes. This list will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
    Read more from Law360

  • 04.23.20EEOC Gives Employers A Green Light To Test For COVID-19
    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Thursday that employers will be allowed to test employees for COVID-19 before they enter a work site without running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but some employment law experts noted that the agency’s new guidance doesn't shed any light on the legality of businesses using antibody tests.
    Read more from Law 360

  • 04.22.20Legal Pitfalls Loom for Employers Reopening Post-Pandemic
    As states edge toward reopening their economies, experts say businesses that restart operations will face a slew of legal dangers and logistical challenges as they bring back employees who have been teleworking or sitting idle during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
    Read more from Law360

  • 04.22.20When Your Essential Employees Are Afraid To Come To Work
    As the lockdowns, the stay-at-home orders and the seemingly endless stream of bad news about the COVID-19 pandemic now stretch into a second month, many essential businesses are finding themselves squeezed and faced with mounting staffing challenges.
    Read more from Law360

  • 04.22.20Contracts Clause Unlikely To Impede Biz Interruption Laws
    In the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, governments across the country, state and local, have issued orders that affect contractual relationships. These rules include restrictions on landlords’ ability to evict residential tenants for nonpayment of rent.
    Read more from Law360

  • 04.22.20Can Trump End Immigration? Wording Matters, Scholars Say
    President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to temporarily block green card seekers from entering the U.S., but his authority to do so may be constrained by other immigration laws.
    Read more from Law360

  • 04.22.20Texas Court Pioneers Trial by Zoom in Atty Fee Dispute
    A Texas state court judge charted a new path for trials during the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday when he held a one-day bench trial through videoconferencing service Zoom, overcoming technical difficulties to hear a dispute over roughly $96,000 in attorney fees stemming from an insurance case.
    Read more from Law360

  • 04.22.20Texas Court Pioneers Trial by Zoom in Atty Fee Dispute
    A Texas state court judge charted a new path for trials during the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday when he held a one-day bench trial through videoconferencing service Zoom, overcoming technical difficulties to hear a dispute over roughly $96,000 in attorney fees stemming from an insurance case.
    Read more from Law360

  • 04.22.20America Weighs Health Versus Economy, As Divide Grows On When To Reopen
    The tension in America between the national government and states' rights is as old as the republic itself. That tension is about to play out in a starkly political way and on a grand scale over the next several weeks, as states consider how to reopen their states in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
    Read more from NPR

  • 04.21.20Missouri Sues China, Communist Party Over The Coronavirus Pandemic
    The state of Missouri is suing China for that country's handling of the coronavirus outbreak. It's the first such lawsuit brought by a state, and it relies on an unusual interpretation of federal law.
    Read more from NPR

  • 04.20.20This Is Where All 50 States Stand on Reopening
    More than 97% of the US population is currently under a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order as the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend life as we know it. But worries for the economy — and people's mental health — are raising the question: When will things go back to normal?
    Read more from CNN

  • 04.16.20Midwest Governors Announce Partnership to Reopen Regional Economy
    Today, Governors Gretchen Whitmer (MI), Mike DeWine (OH), Tony Evers (WI), Tim Walz (MN), JB Pritzker (IL), Eric Holcomb (IN), and Andy Beshear (KY) announced that they will work in close coordination to reopen the economy in the Midwest region.The governors said, “We are doing everything we can to protect the people of our states and slow the spread of COVID-19, and we are eager to work together to mitigate the economic crisis this virus has caused in our region. Here in the Midwest, we are bound by our commitment to our people and the community. We recognize that our economies are all reliant on each other, and we must work together to safely reopen them so hardworking people can get back to work and businesses can get back on their feet.
    Read more from MI Governor

  • 04.16.20New Jersey AG Opens Probe of Nursing Home Deaths after Finding 17 Bodies in Facility Hit by Coronavirus
    New Jersey has opened an investigation into nursing home deaths across the state after officials discovered 17 bodies piled into a makeshift morgue and more than 100 residents infected with Covid-19 at a long-term care facility, state officials said Thursday.
    Read more from CNBC

  • 04.15.20Universities Begin Considering the Possibility of Canceling In-Person Classes Until 2021
    A number of universities are beginning to consider the possibility that in-person classes may not resume until 2021. Boston University has already canceled all "in-person summer activities" on its primary campus. But the school's coronavirus recovery plan includes protocols should officials deem it not safe to return in-person for the fall semester, and says classes would continue to be held remotely through the fall semester.
    Read more from CNN

  • 04.13.20Millions of Public School Students Will Suffer from School Closures, Education Leaders Have Concluded
    Only weeks after the coronavirus pandemic forced American schools online, education leaders across the country have concluded that millions of children’s learning will be severely stunted and are planning unprecedented steps to help them catch up.
    Read more from The Washington Post

  • 04.09.20The Park District is Making its Own Hand Sanitizer, Thanks to Illinois Soybean Farmers
    The Chicago Park District has had no more luck tracking down hand sanitizer than anyone else. So it’s making its own, with an assist from the state’s farmers. The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) has helped secure the raw materials needed for the sanitizer, as recommended by the World Health Organization, including isopropyl alcohol, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide and purified water. If you’re wondering how the ISA fits into this, glycerin is the main byproduct derived from the production of biodiesel, itself made from soybeans grown in Illinois.
    Read more from WTTW

  • 04.08.20Coronavirus State-By-State Projections: When Will Each State Peak?
    As COVID-19 surges in places throughout the country, Americans are left to wonder, "When will my state hit its worst point?" A widely cited model offers some predictions. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's COVID-19 projections were cited in recent White House briefings and take into account how the pandemic is playing out in several countries around the world. They incorporate the current trend line of deaths in U.S. states and the estimated impact of social distancing measures to predict when each state might reach peak daily deaths and hospital usage.
    Read more from NPR

  • 04.08.20Attorney General James Fights Trump Admin. Efforts to Strip Women of their Right to Birth Control Coverage Under the ACA
    New York Attorney General Letitia James today continued her leadership in the national fight to ensure women’s reproductive health care is not stifled or infringed upon in any way by the Trump Administration. Attorney General James and a coalition of 20 additional attorneys general from around the nation filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey in their lawsuit defending the contraceptive coverage and counseling requirement mandated as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
    Read more from NY Attorney General

  • 04.07.20Attorney General James Secures Full Refunds for All Fantasy Island Consumers as Western New Yorkers Battle Coronavirus
    New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that she has negotiated a settlement guaranteeing that all consumers who purchased season passes, meal plans, and associated goods and services at the Western New York theme park Fantasy Island will be fully reimbursed for all advance purchases made for the 2020 season. After the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) issued subpoenas to Fantasy Island's owner and individuals associated with the company last month, the OAG negotiated an agreement to ensure full restitution for all consumers, totaling nearly $425,000.
    Read more from NY Attorney General

  • 04.07.20AG Ferguson Lunches "See It, Snap It, Send It" Campaign Encouraging Washingtonians to Report Price Gouging
    Attorney General Bob Ferguson today launched an awareness campaign encouraging Washingtonians to report price gouging in three easy steps: "See It, Snap It, Send It."
    Read more from WA Attorney General

  • 04.07.20AG Nessel's Office Sends Cease and Desist Letters to Online Sellers for Price-Gouging
    Amazon Storefronts Taking Advantage of Consumers' COVID-19 Fears
    Four online sellers conducting business through Amazon were told to stop taking advantage of consumers by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel after her office found credible reports of price-gouging in violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (MCPA).
    Read more from MI Attorney General

  • 04/07.20Attorney General Becerra and Commissioner of Business Oversight Alvarez Issue Investor Alert About Investment Scams Related to COVID-19
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and California Commissioner of Business Oversight Manuel P. Alvarez today issued an alert about investment scams related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Investors should be wary of claims that companies have developed cures or vaccines for coronavirus or can supply medical equipment which is in short supply, like masks, gloves, or ventilators. These are red flags that an investment could be a scam. For example, the FBI recently arrested an individual for soliciting investments and claiming to have a cure for coronavirus. Investors should carefully research companies and claims, as well as broker-dealers and investment advisors, before investing any money.
    Read more from CA Attorney General

  • 04.07.20VIDEO: Attorney General Moody’s Rapid Response Team Acts Quickly to Deter Price Gouging
    It’s an all hands on deck approach as Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office continues to fight price gouging. Since Attorney General Moody activated the Price Gouging Hotline following the Governor’s COVID-19 emergency declaration, the Attorney General’s Rapid Response Team has been working diligently and getting results for Floridians concerned about price gouging and COVID-19 related scams.
    Read more from FL Attorney Genearl

  • 04.07.20Juror Zero: How COVID-19 Spread Through the Dougherty County Courthouse
    Twenty-three courthouse employees have tested positive for the novel coronavirus after an infected juror sat on a murder trial.
    Read more from law.com

  • 04.06.20Hospitals Are Sourcing Masks from Auto Body Shops, HHS Inspector General Finds
    Hospitals are trying to make their own disinfectant from in-house chemicals, running low on toilet paper and food, and trying to source face masks from nail salons. Those are some of the findings from a snapshot survey of how America's hospitals are handling the coronavirus crisis. The survey was done over five days — during the week of March 23 — by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General. Ann Maxwell, who oversaw the report as assistant inspector general for evaluation and inspections, says it's "the first objective, independent, national look at how hospitals are addressing the COVID-19 response."
    Read more from NPR

  • 04.06.20AG Nessel Urges Federal Government to Stop Discouraging People from Accessing Health Coverage During Pandemic
    While the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health crisis continues, the Trump administration refuses to confirm that accessing health coverage will not impair lawful immigrants' abilities to stay in the country, asserts a recent letter from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and 17 other attorneys general.
    Read more from WA Attorney General

  • 04.06.20VIDEO CONSUMER ALERT: Protect Your Private Meetings from Zoombombing
    With more Floridians than ever before working from home and holding virtual meetings, a new trend called Zoombombing is emerging. Zoombombing occurs when hackers hijack internet video conferences, like those offered by the fast-growing platform Zoom. These hackers often present inappropriate, offensive material or otherwise disrupt the conference. It is not a joke, and what is even more concerning is more children are susceptible to this privacy hack as students are now using video conferencing to learn virtually to obey the statewide stay-at-home order issued to stop the spread of COVID-19.
    Read more from FL Attorney General

  • 04.06.20Barr says Bail Decisions Should Consider Virus Risks
    Attorney General Bill Barr is taking another step to adjust the federal criminal justice system to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, encouraging prosecutors to consider the dangers posed by sending a defendant to await trial in jail as the virus sweeps into such facilities.
    Read more from POLITICO

  • 04.04.20Indian Country Faces Higher Risks, Lack of Resources in COVID-19 Fight
    As the death toll from coronavirus rises in Navajo nation, experts closest to the crisis are tragically finding themselves the least surprised. More and more conversations have circled back to warnings laid out nearly a decade ago, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked into the reasons the H1N1 flu killed four times the number of Native Americans compared to the rest of the population.
    Read more from MSN

  • 04.03.20Coalition of Attorneys General Sends Letter Urging Trump Administration to Open Special Enrollment Periods on Healthcare.gov to Help Millions of Consumers with COVID-19 Costs
    Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), urging them to reconsider their decision to deny a special enrollment period on HealthCare.Gov during the current worldwide pandemic. In the letter, the attorneys general argue that the federal government should take action to make it possible for Americans across the country – who are facing uncertainty as a result of COVID-19 – to obtain the healthcare coverage they need during this critical time.
    Read more from MD Attorney General

  • 04.02.20Pritzker Grants Health Care Facilities Civil Liability Immunity During COVID-19 Crisis Absent Gross Negligence or Willful Misconduct
    Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an executive order on April 1 granting "health care providers" under the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act immunity from civil liability for any injury or death that occurs while they provide health care services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, unless the provider acts in a grossly negligent manner or engages in willful misconduct.
    Read more from Much Law

  • 04.02.20Reproductive Care in the Face of a Pandemic
    With Americans ordered to stay home and families facing new child care and financial constraints, COVID-19 has posed new hurdles to abortion access for many patients. Twenty-one state attorneys general urged the FDA to allow certified prescribers to use telehealth for prescribing Mifepristone.
    Read more from NY Attorney General

  • 04.02.20Attorneys General Move to Limit Debt Collection in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
    AGs across the country are taking action to limit or cease debt collection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 04.02.20States Initatives to Combat COVID-19 Fraud

    • DOJ And States Creatively Respond to Fraud Amid COVID-19
      Both federal and state agencies and courts have adopted myriad actions in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
      Read more from Law360
    • US Attorney Carpenito, AG Grewal, Acting Comptroller Walsh, Announce Federal-State COVID-19 Fraud Task Force
      US Attorney Craig Carpenito, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, and New Jersey Acting State Comptroller Kevin D. Walsh today announced the formation of a joint federal-state task force to investigate and prosecute a wide range of misconduct arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, including the unlawful hoarding of medical supplies, price gouging, charity scams, procurement fraud, insurance fraud, phishing schemes, and false and misleading investment opportunities.
      Read more from US Department of Justice
    • Prosecutors Form Western Pa. Task Force to Investigate COVID-19 Fraud
      Describing the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity for fraudsters to solicit donations for nonexistent charities and pursue new schemes, federal and state officials said on Thursday they’re forming a regional task force to combat scams related to the illness.
      Read more from the Observer-Reporter
    • Nessel's Office Tells Businesses to Stop Selling Fake COVID-19 Test Kits
      In continuing efforts to protect residents from scams and price-gouging related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office on Wednesday contacted two related businesses demanding they stop marketing and selling fake at-home COVID-19 test kits to Michigan consumers.
      Read more from MI Attorney General
    • Consumer Alert (COVID-19): PEPCO Scam
      During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, District residents should be on high alert for scammers, fraudsters, and predatory business practices. OAG has recently learned that some residents have received calls and texts purportedly on behalf of Pepco, offering an opportunity to sign up for a reduced service fee. Beware: This is a scam. The perpetrators are using Caller ID "spoofing" to disguise a phone number as a line connected to the utility.
      Read more from DC Mayor
    • Watch for Potential CARES Act Payments Scams
      Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is warning Missourians of potential scams that could target possible payments from the federal government to some Missourians as part of the recently passed CARES Act. While the money has not yet been disbursed to those who are eligible and won't be for several weeks, federal agencies and the Missouri Attorney General's Office are monitoring potential scams that may try to take advantage of those payments.
      Read more from MO Attorney Genereal
    • Attorney General Fox Reminds Consumers To Be Vigilant For Pandemic Scams, Frauds
      Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is warning consumers to beware of frauds exploiting the outbreak of COVID-19 and the economic stimulus checks that will be distributed across the country.
      Read more from MT Attorney General
    • Attorney General Balderas Warns New Mexican Families About Stimulus Check Scams
      Attorney General Balderas issued a safety advisory to all New Mexicans about scams related to the federal economic stimulus package. The federal government will soon be sending money by check or direct deposit to most New Mexicans, but anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is likely operating a scam. "Unfortunately our current state of emergency creates a ripe environment for scams and people trying to take advantage of vulnerable New Mexicans," said Attorney General Balderas. "We must continue to protect and educate families, and my office will prosecute any person who tries to harm them."
      Read more from NM Attorney General
    • Don’t Be Fooled by a Coronavirus Scam
      Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem reminds North Dakota residents to check the facts to avoid being fooled by a coronavirus-related scam. "Scam artists are using the current pandemic situation to exploit our fears. We can stop them by getting the facts and using a common sense approach when dealing with those offering what seem to be too-good-to-be-true opportunities," said Stenehjem.
      Read more from ND Attorney General
    • AG Shapiro Issues Alert: Watch Out For Unemployment Scams
      Attorney General Josh Shapiro today warned Pennsylvanians that scammers are trying to take advantage of the historic rise in unemployment across the Commonwealth by using fake unemployment filing websites in order to steal personal information or to harvest the data to sell to others for uses not properly disclosed to the user.
      Read more from PA Attorney General
    • FBI, AG investigating pop-up coronavirus test sites in Louisville as possible scams
      The FBI and Kentucky attorney general are investigating several mobile coronavirus test sites accused of being scams that have popped up around Louisville this week.
      Read more from the Courier Journal
    • Social Security Scam Demands Arkansans' Information for Continued Payments
      Scam artists thrive on fear, and the COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed their illegal schemes. They are now using today's financial uncertainty to trick Social Security beneficiaries into thinking their payments will be suspended unless they provide personal information to the scammer by phone, email or text. The Social Security Office of the Inspector General has confirmed, however, that beneficiaries will continue to receive scheduled payments during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Any letters, texts, emails or phone calls stating otherwise are a scam.
      Read more from AR Attorney General

     

  • 04.01.20A Facebook Group Matches RVs that Are Sitting Idle with Health Care Workers Who Need a Place to Isolate After Long Hospital Shifts
    For Mark Quale, an emergency room physician in Burlington, North Carolina, coming home after a long day at the hospital was as stressful as work itself. With two young boys, a wife and elderly mother-in-law at home, he knew that if he wasn't cautious, he could spread the novel coronavirus to his own family.
    Read more from CNN

  • 04.01.20Joint Statement from Federal Trade Commission & Department of Justice — Expedited Antitrust Procedure & Guidance for Collaborations of Businesses Working to Protect the Health and Safety of Americans during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“the Division”) and the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission (the “Bureau,” and collectively the “Agencies”) wish to make clear to the public that there are many ways firms, including competitors, can engage in procompetitive collaboration that does not violate the antitrust laws.
    Read more from the Federal Trade Commission

  • 04.01.20Justice Department Files Its First Enforcement Action Against COVID-19 Fraud — Federal Court Issues Temporary Restraining Order Against Website Offering Fraudulent Coronavirus Vaccine
    The Department of Justice announced today that it has taken its first action in federal court to combat fraud related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The enforcement action filed today in Austin against operators of a fraudulent website follows Attorney General William Barr’s recent direction for the department to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of illegal conduct related to the pandemic.
    Read more from the U.S. Department of Justice

  • 03.31.20Governors Fight Back Against Coronavirus Chaos: ‘It’s Like Being on eBay With 50 Other States’
    A chorus of governors from across the political spectrum is challenging the Trump administration’s assertion that the United States is well-stocked to test and care for coronavirus patients.
    Read more from The New York Times

  • 03.31.20AG Nessel Joins Call for Feds to Prioritize COVID-Related Rulemaking and Freeze Non-Urgent Rules
    States, Businesses and Individuals Focused on Public Health Emergency Have Little Time to Respond to Non-urgent Federal Rules, Which May Have Unintended Effects Due to COVID-19.
    Read more from MI Attorney General

  • 03.31.20MI AG Nessel Says Protecting First Responders is Critical — and Legal
    With the heightened fear of being exposed to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) combined with a general belief that HIPAA laws prevent disclosing certain protected information, Michigan’s first responders can be assured that the critical health information needed to protect them can and will be shared.
    Read more from MI Attorney General

  • 03.31.20Kentucky Coronavirus Fraud Task Force Alerts Kentuckians about Scams Involving Federal COVID-19 Stimulus Checks
    State and Federal law enforcement officials from the Kentucky Coronavirus Fraud Task Force today alerted Kentuckians about potential scams involving payments from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress last week.
    Read more from KY Attorney General

  • 03.31.20Don’t Let Thieves Snatch Your COVID-19 Stimulus Money
    Attorney General Dave Yost today urged Ohioans to watch out for thieves as stimulus payments arrive from the federal government. “Thieves are drooling at the thought of getting their hands on your stimulus money,” Yost said. “Use these tips to send them home with nothing but the bitter taste of defeat.”
    Read more from OH Attorney General

  • 03.30.20New York Attorney General Looks Into Zoom’s Privacy Practices
    As the videoconferencing platform’s popularity has surged, Zoom has scrambled to address a series of data privacy and security problems.
    Read more from The New York Times

  • 03.30.20Oak Park River Forest High School Staff Donates More than 20,000 Gloves, Goggles to Hospitals Serving COVID-19 Patients
    When she put out a call for donations of personal protective equipment on social medial, Oak Park resident Evie Kavinsky had no idea it would be met so quickly, and in such a big way. Kavinsky, whose husband Clifford works as a cardiologist at Rush University Medical Center, heard of a need for protective eyewear from a number of healthcare worker friends and colleagues who are treating COVID-19 patients. This led her to ask for PPE donations through a Facebook post on March 23.
    Read more from the Chicago Tribune

  • 03.30.20COVID-19 Resources
    The National Association of Attorneys General is actively monitoring new developments on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impacts on state and territory attorneys general and their constituents. This page will be updated regularly to reflect the most current news on how attorneys general are responding to the crisis, online resources, policy updates, and training opportunities related to COVID-19.
    Read more from NAAG

  • 03.30.20COVID-19-Related Investment Schemes Anticipated South Carolina Office of the Attorney General Outlines What to Expect and Offers Guidance on How to Protect Yourself
    Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Securities Division of the South Carolina Office of the Attorney General is alerting investors to be on guard against an anticipated surge of fraudulent investment schemes.
    Read more from SC Attorney General

  • 03.30.20Legislatures Meet Remotely, Limit Public as Virus Spreads
    Concerns about the coronavirus are changing the way democracy works in the U.S. In state capitols across the country, lawmakers have ditched decorum and sidestepped traditional public meeting requirements to abide by “social distancing" directives.
    Read more from ABC News

  • 03.30.20States Introduce Emergency Laws Seeking to Retroactively Expand Business Interruption Insurance for Small Businesses to Include Claims Related to COVID-19 Despite Policy Exclusions Providing Otherwise
    New Jersey, Ohio, and Massachusetts have proposed legislation to provide a means for businesses to recover losses related to the coronavirus if the business is of a certain size and had business interruption insurance at the time each state declared a state of emergency. This is despite the fact that global virus transmission and pandemic are generally excluded from the list of covered losses under most existing business interruption coverage.
    Read more from Carlton Fields

  • 03.30.20What You Need to Know About the Federal Stimulus Package: The CARES Act
    On March 27, 2020, the United States government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus Act (CARES Act). The unprecedented legislation is a $2 trillion-dollar economic stabilization and assistance act to help lessen the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on individuals, employers, and both nonprofit and for-profit business. It is comprehensive and wide reaching, and there is a lot to unpack.
    Read more from Dalton & Tomich

  • 03.29.20Suffolk University Dorm Transformed into Shelter for Homeless during Coronavirus Crisis
    Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the creation Sunday of hundreds of additional beds to house the city's homeless population.
    Read more from WCVB

  • 03.29.20Two Centuries of Law Guide Legal Approach to Modern Pandemic
    As COVID-19 continues its assault on the country, never have state and federal powers to act in a national health emergency been tested to the extent that we are seeing today.
    Read more from the American Bar Association

  • 03.27.20Attorneys General Step Up Enforcement Efforts Against Price Gouging

    • California AG Xavier Becerra sent letters to multiple online commerce platforms, including Alibaba Group, Shopify, eBay, Inc., and Overstock expressing concern about third-party sellers engaging in price gouging on these platforms and urging heightened vigilance.
    • Florida AG Ashley Moody issued more than 40 subpoenas to third-party sellers on Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon") in her investigation of unlawful price increases on essential goods, including face masks and sanitizers. At the same time, AG Moody also sent a letter to Amazon commending the company's cooperation in working to combat price gouging.
    • Massachusetts AG Maura Healey issued an emergency regulation to prohibit price gouging of essential goods and services necessary for public health and safety during a declared statewide or national emergency.
    • Missouri AG Eric Schmitt warned potential bad actors that his office will take legal action on reports and complaints of price gouging related to the medical supply chain.
    • Texas AG Ken Paxton warned retail suppliers, including grocery stores and pharmacies, that state law prohibits price gouging after a disaster declaration. Under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the AG may seek reimbursement and civil penalties, including a penalty of up to $250,000 if the affected consumers are elderly.
    • New York Attorney General Letitia James sent a letter to TV host Wayne Allen Root ordering him to immediately cease and desist marketing products as cures, treatments, or preventative measures for coronavirus, which he has been doing on his television show and through www.MyDoctorSuggests.com.
    Read more from The State AG Report

     

  • 03.27.20AG's Office Takes Action Against Health Care Industry Supplier For Reported Price-Gouging
    As reports of price-gouging related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) near 2,000, the Michigan Department of Attorney General has sent a cease and desist letter to a health care industry supplier for marketing face masks at exceptionally high prices.
    Read more from MI Attorney General

  • 03.26.20Thirty States Have Laws that Bar Price-Gouging During States of Emergency
    On Monday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that will allow the Justice Department to investigate and bring cases to prevent hoarding. Attorney General William Barr has set up a task force, headed by New Jersey U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, to take on hoarding and price-gouging. See list of state-by-state price-gouging laws.
    Source: Politico

  • 03.26.20The FTC Could Also Bring Cases Over Price-Gouging
    Under its authority to challenge unfair practices, former FTC Chairman Bill Kovacic told POLITICO, though the agency has never done so. House Democrats proposed giving the FTC and states additional power to target price-gouging in their version of the coronavirus bill, though the language didn't make the Senate version. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) have also introduced two bills that would let the FTC tackle price-gouging.
    Source: Politico

  • 03.26.20Nessel Joins Attorneys General in Calling on Amazon, Whole Foods to Provide Paid Leave to Employees During COVID-19 Emergency
    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined a group of attorneys general Wednesday in calling on Amazon and Whole Foods to provide paid sick and family leave to their employees during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency.
    Read more from MI Attorney General

  • 03.26.30Companies Respond to Price Gouging
    Amazon said that as of Monday it had pulled down about 500,000 items off its marketplace and banned 3,900 sellers for price-gouging. EBay has banned listings for health care masks, sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to prevent price-gouging, and is removing listings that specifically reference coronavirus or Covid-19. "eBay is taking significant measures to block or quickly remove items on our marketplace that make false health claims," the company said. "We are making every effort to ensure that anyone who sells on our platform follows local laws and eBay policies." Walmart said its pricing policy forbids price-gouging and the company automatically depublishes listings that price items substantially in excess of other listings. Facebook said it is also removing listings for masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and Covid-19 testing kits. "While enforcement is not perfect, we have put several automated detection mechanisms in place to block or remove this material from our platform," a Facebook spokesperson said. Craigslist didn't respond to requests about its price-gouging efforts.
    Source: Politico

  • 03.26.20New York Court of Appeals Delivers Win to Attorney General, Gig Worker Over Unemployment Benefits
    New York AG Letitia James obtained a favorable ruling from the New York State Court of Appeals against the food-delivery company Postmates, Inc., holding that workers for the company are considered employees for the purposes of unemployment benefits.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 03.26.20Attorney General Cameron Issues Subpoenas to Amazon Third-Party Sellers For Price Gouging During COVID-19 Pandemic
    Attorney General Daniel Cameron today issued subpoenas to six third-party sellers in Kentucky who used Amazon’s online platform to engage in suspected price gouging during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
    Read more from KY Attorney General

  • 03.26.20MI Attorney General Dana Nessel Issues Urgent Consumer Alert Following Reports of Federal Stimulus Scams
    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today issued an urgent consumer alert urging Michiganders to be on high alert for bad actors aiming to coerce them out of their personal information in a new federal stimulus payment scam. Read more from MI Attorney General

  • 03.26.20Attorney General Nessel Supports Equal COVID-19 Relief Funding for the District of Columbia
    Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 36 attorneys general in sending a letter to President Trump and House and Senate leaders Thursday expressing concern over the proposed funding allocation for the District of Columbia in the Coronavirus Relief Fund passed by the Senate on March 26.
    Read more from MI Attorney General

  • 03.26.20Updated Tribal Docs on COVID-19 Page
    Read more from Turtle Talk

  • 03.25.20'Stop Price Gouging,' 33 Attorneys General Tell Amazon, Walmart, Others
    Online platforms have "an ethical obligation" to root out price gouging on hand sanitizer and other high-demand products during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, top law enforcement officials from across the country say.
    In letters to Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Facebook and Craigslist on Wednesday, 33 attorneys general say these companies' efforts to crack down on overpriced items on their selling platforms have so far "failed to remove unconscionably priced critical supplies."
    Read more from NPR

  • 03.25.20States Are Taking Many Approaches to the Coronavirus. Here's a Look at Each
    As the coronavirus has spread to every state in the U.S., governors are taking a range of escalating steps to try to stop the spread. A number of state leaders have issued sweeping restrictions, including stay-at-home orders. Others have issued directives focusing on counties in which cases are thought to be spreading through communities.
    Read more from NPR

  • 03.25.20United Center to Become Coronavirus Logistics Hub
    Officials say the West Side arena will transform into a central site to help with food distribution, first responder staging and collecting critically needed medical supplies.
    Read more from Crain's Chicago Business

  • 03.25.20AG Nessel Provides Guidance on Executive Orders Violations
    After her Consumer Protection intake lines were flooded with phone calls related to violations of the state’s new rules implemented as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is providing guidance on how to file complaints about individuals and businesses that aren’t complying with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders.
    Read more from MI Attorney General

  • 03.25.20Attorney General Cameron Warns Kentuckians of New Charity, Medicaid Scams Related to COVID-19 Pandemic
    Attorney General Daniel Cameron today warned Kentuckians of new charity and Medicaid scams related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and shared best practices to avoid the financial loss associated with these scams.
    Read more from KY Attorney General

  • 03.25.20Who Is in Charge? A Pandemic Primer on Government Authority
    In times of emergency, the functions of different levels of government can often become cloudy. Figuring out which governmental unit has the authority to take a particular action can be confusing at such times. While this alert applies to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is equally applicable to other more common disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes.
    Read more from Carlton Fields

  • 03.24.20Families First Coronavirus Response Act Increases Duties of Employers
    Last week, the President signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) in response to COVID-19. The Act implements three parts: The Emergency Family Medical Leave Act, Paid Leave Act, and Tax Credits for Employers providing such leave. These take effect April 2, 2020.
    Read more from Dalton & Tomich

  • 03.24.20Coronavirus Informational Resources — Carlton Fields
    Carlton Fields is closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus. We stand ready to advise on issues arising from COVID-19 and to provide proactive business guidance for affected clients.
    Find resources from Carlton Fields

  • 03.24.20Mag Mile hotel among first to be converted to shelter coronavirus patients, vulnerable populations
    CHICAGO (WLS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot convened housing and social service commissioners to announce Monday that the city will rent vacant hotel rooms for Chicagoans who are either waiting for test results or experiencing a mild case of the disease.
    Read more from Chicago's ABC 7

  • 03.24.20Coronavirus: FEMA Simplifying the Public Assistance Process to Expedite Payment
    While communities that regularly experience natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes are familiar with FEMA's Public Assistance process, the President's recent declaration of a nationwide emergency under the Stafford Act encompasses every state, including tens of thousands of eligible applicants (if not more) for disaster assistance, many of which are navigating unfamiliar territory.
    Read more from Baker Donelson

  • 03.23.20Coronavirus Cases To Be Isolated At Former Metro South Hospital
    BLUE ISLAND, IL — The shuttered MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, could begin receiving quarantined coronavirus patients as early as this Thursday after the City of Chicago struck an agreement with the current operators to reopen the hospital.
    Read more from Patch

  • 03.23.20Governor’s Order Assists Tenants, Homeowners and Borrowers Affected by COVID-19
    As the widespread economic impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) worsen, Governor Gavin Newsom has issued Executive Order N-28-20 to assist Californians experiencing financial hardship. The order implements measures specifically aimed at helping homeowners, tenants, borrowers and others that have lost their source of income due to business closures or layoffs in the wake of COVID-19. It includes removal of statutory restrictions in order to allow local governments to impose eviction restrictions, including a suspension on residential or commercial evictions, for tenants unable to pay their rent because of COVID-19.
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 03.20.20Coronavirus: FEMA Guidance on Eligible "Emergency Protective Measures" and Sheltering
    Building upon our prior alert summarizing the effects of the President's March 13 nationwide emergency declaration, we now provide an update on the type of assistance potentially available pursuant to FEMA's Public Assistance Program. States and local governmental entities and certain private non-profits can now apply for funding for "eligible emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency at the direction or guidance of public health officials." FEMA has now published a fact sheet providing guidance as to what emergency protective measures may be considered eligible and a separate fact sheet on eligible sheltering costs.
    Read more from Baker Donelson

  • 03.20.20Attorney General Frosh Discusses COVID-19 and Price Gouging
    Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh discussed new developments regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis and price gouging here in Maryland.
    Watch YouTube Video

  • 03.20.20KY Attorney General Cameron Sends Letters to Gov. Beshear, DOCJT Regarding COVID-19 Health Crisis
    Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron today issued two letters to Executive Branch agencies regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The first letter, sent to Governor Andy Beshear, requested that the Governor renew his executive order activating Kentucky's price gouging laws. The second letter, sent to Nicolai Jilek, Commissioner of the Department for Criminal Justice Training ("DOCJT"), requested that the department extend the deadlines that peace officers must complete trainings because of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 health crisis.
    Read letter to governor and letter to commissioner.

  • 03.19.20HHS Authorized to Direct Production and Distribution of National Health Supply Chain After invoking the Defense Production Act for the COVID19 pandemic, President Trump issued an "Executive Order on Prioritizing and Allocating Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of Covid-19" on March 18, 2020. The Executive Order includes the finding that personal protective equipment and ventilators meet criteria to be considered "scarce and critical material essential to the national defense" under the DPA, which has previously been applied to emergencies and critical infrastructure matters.
    Read more from Baker Donelson

  • 03.19.20Coronavirus: Impact on Office, Retail and Industrial Leases
    The intensity with which the COVID-19 outbreak and the response to it has escalated continues to impact both landlords and tenants under commercial leases. It is safe to say that landlords and tenants will be viewing certain routine boilerplate language in leases differently in the future.
    Read more from Baker Donelson

  • 03.18.20President Signs the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into Law
    On March 14, 2020, the House passed HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The Act, among other things, would amend the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide paid emergency leave to eligible employees and would require covered employers to provide paid sick leave to employees in need of such leave due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Act also provides reimbursable tax credits to covered employers for the costs associated with providing this paid leave and sick time.
    Read more from Baker Donelson

  • 03.17.20Coronavirus: Nationwide Emergency Declaration – Access to Disaster Relief Fund
    On Friday, March 13, 2020, President Donald J. Trump declared a nationwide emergency under the Stafford Act. This unprecedented action allows Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide funding to state and local governments and eligible non-profit entities in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). These entities, including non-profit hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes (among others), may receive Disaster Relief Funds appropriated by Congress to reimburse the cost of emergency measures to protect the public health and safety.
    Read more from Baker Donelson

  • 03.14.20Health Care Providers: President's Emergency Declaration Paves Way for Additional Regulatory Flexibility
    With the emergency declaration under the National Emergencies Act related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) on March 13, 2020, President Trump paved the way for CMS to temporarily waive certain Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements. The President's declaration is intended to provide much needed regulatory relief to our nation's hospitals and other care providers who treat government program beneficiaries.
    Read more from Baker Donelson

Data Privacy & Security

  • 03.30.20New York Attorney General Looks Into Zoom’s Privacy Practices
    As the videoconferencing platform’s popularity has surged, Zoom has scrambled to address a series of data privacy and security problems.
    Read more from The New York Times

  • 02.13.20California AG Offers Clarifying Tweaks to Proposed CCPA Regulations
    California AG Xavier Becerra issued revised proposed regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), which went into effect January 1, 2020.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.12.19FTC Raps Defunct Cambridge Analytica Over Its Deceptive Data Collection Practices
    The FTC issued an opinion and order that the data analytics company Cambridge Analytica, LLC used deceptive practices to harvest personal information and that it falsely claimed that it participated in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, a stringent data privacy framework in violation of the FTC Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 11.14.19How Did A Hacker Allegedly Access A Million Customers’ Personal Data? Let the FTC Count the Ways.
    The FTC has reached a settlement with technology company InfoTrax Systems, L.C. and its CEO (collectively, “InfoTrax”), resolving allegations that InfoTrax failed to implement reasonable security safeguards, in violation of the FTC Act, thereby allowing a hacker to access the personal data of one million consumers.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 11.14.19FTC Sues Data Storage Company for Allegedly Misleading Consumers About Compliance with International Privacy Standard
    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued an administrative complaint against data storage company RagingWire Data Centers, Inc. (“RagingWire”) for allegedly misleading consumers about participating in and complying with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework (“Privacy Shield”) in violation of the FTC Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.31.19FTC Staff Comments on NIST’s Proposed Privacy Framework
    Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) staff submitted a comment on the preliminary draft of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (“NIST”) Privacy Framework: A Tool for Improving Privacy through Enterprise Risk Management (“Framework”).
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.24.19FTC Reaches Agreement with Developer of “Stalker” Applications
    The FTC entered into an agreement with application developer Retina-X Studios, LLC and its owner (collectively, “Retina-X”) to resolve allegations that it violated the FTC Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act by developing and marketing three mobile device “stalking” applications that allowed purchasers to monitor the mobile devices on which they were installed, without the knowledge or permission of the device’s users.
    Read more on The State AG Report

  • 10.17.19California Attorney General Releases Proposed Regulations Under New Privacy Law
    California AG Xavier Becerra released proposed regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) for public review and comment which, as previously reported, will expand both consumer privacy protections and the types of information that are considered protectable personal information.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.03.19New York Attorney General Sues National Donut Chain Over Alleged Data Breach
    New York AG Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., the franchisor of Dunkin’ Donuts, over allegations that it failed to secure data connected to store-branded value cards in violation of state consumer protection law and data breach notification statute.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.05.19New York Attorney General and FTC Settle with Web Companies Over Alleged Violations of Children’s Online Privacy
    New York AG Letitia James and the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") reached a settlement with Google LLC and its subsidiary YouTube, LLC to resolve allegations that the website operators tracked and targeted advertisements to children on YouTube in violation of the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) and the FTC Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 07.30.19One hack, 106 million people: Capital One ensnared by breach
    A data breach of Capital One may have affected the personal information of 106 million Capital One credit card holders or credit card applicants in the U.S. and Canada. Attorneys General of Connecticut, Illinois, and New York announced investigations into the Capital One data breach.

  • 07.22.1950 Attorneys General, FTC, and CFPB Settle with Consumer Credit Reporting Agency Over Data Breach
    50 AGs, the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") reached settlements with consumer credit reporting agency Equifax Inc. over allegations that it failed to secure personal information stored on its network in violation of state consumer protection and data privacy laws, the FTC Act, the Safeguards Rule of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, and federal consumer protection laws.
    Source: State AG Report

  • 06.28.19New York Attorney General Settles With Dating Application Over Failure to Secure Private Photos
    New York AG Letitia James reached a settlement with Online Buddies, Inc. to resolve allegations that it failed to protect private photos of users of its dating app Jack'd.
    Source: NY Attorney General

  • 06.25.19Illinois Legislature Passes, Texas Enacts Data Breach Notification Laws
    Illinois has passed legislation and Texas has enacted a bill that expand their respective data breach notification laws.

  • 06.07.19State AGs announce lab breach investigation
    The Connecticut and Illinois state attorneys general announced today that they are investigating a data breach that affected as many as 20 million patients' records at LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics.
    Source: POLITICIO Pro

  • 05.30.1916 Attorneys General Settle With Electronic Health Records Company Over Alleged Data Breach
    16 AGs, led by Indiana AG Curtis Hill, reached a settlement with web-based electronic health records company Medical Informatics Engineering Inc. d/b/a Enterprise Health, LLC, K&L Holdings, and NoMoreClipboard, LLC (collectively, “MIE”) to resolve allegations that it failed to adequately protect patients’ electronic personal health information (“ePHI”) or respond to unauthorized access to its systems in violation of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and state consumer protection, personal information protection, and data breach notification laws.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 05.30.19Vermont Attorney General Settles With Software Supplier Over Alleged Failure to Secure Municipal Employees’ Information
    Vermont AG T.J. Donovan reached a settlement with software supplier New England Municipal Resource Center, Ltd. (“NEMRC”) to resolve allegations that it failed to secure municipal employees’ information in violation of the state Consumer Protection Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

Diversity

  • 06.24.20Slavery as a Punishment for Crimes is in the Books in Ohio and Lawmakers Have Been Trying to Change that for Years
    Over 150 years ago, the federal government put an end to practically all forms of slavery, but the 13th Amendment allowed an exception — slavery as a punishment for crimes. And while many states have made moves to abolish that clause altogether, Ohio, along with several other states, still have this exception in their constitutions.
    Read more from CNN

  • 06.09.20This City Disbanded Its Police Department 7 Years Ago. Here's What Happened Next
    Last week, Minneapolis officials confirmed they were considering a fairly rare course of action: disbanding the city police department. It's not the first locale to break up a department, but no cities as populous have ever attempted it. Minneapolis City Council members haven't specified what or who will replace it if the department disbands.
    Read more from CNN

  • 06.08.20Former Chief of Reformed Camden, N.J., Force: Police Need 'Consent of the People'
    Activists across the country are calling for radical reforms to policing in the U.S., including abolishing the police entirely. Camden, N.J., took its own big step in 2013. The city was in a public safety crisis, with murder rates 18 times the national average and scores of excessive-force complaints, when the mayor and City Council dissolved the existing police department and created a countywide force in its place.
    Read more from NPR

  • 06.04.20The City That Remade Its Police Department
    Camden, N.J.’s detailed rules on use of force are a model for reform but not a panacea. Across the U.S., protesters have taken to the streets to express rage after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. The demonstrations themselves have led to more police shows of force. In Brooklyn, two cops rammed their New York City Police Department SUVs into a crowd of protesters. In Philadelphia, officers sprayed tear gas at demonstrators who were penned in between a highway and a fence.
    Read more from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • 05.27.20Harlem Senator's Bill Adds False Reporting To Hate Crimes List
    Brian Benjamin is introducing the bill in the wake of viral video of a white woman calling the cops on a black man in Central Park.
    Read more from Patch

  • 05.21.20Officials in the Largest County in Ohio Say Racism is a Public Health Crisis
    Racism has officially been declared a public health crisis in Ohio's largest county. Commissioners in Franklin County, which encompasses the state's capital of Columbus, passed a resolution on Tuesday that asserts racism "rises to the definition of a public health crisis proposed by Dr. Sandro Galea."
    Read more from CNN

  • 02.27.20Illinois Lawmakers Have Introduced a Bill to Ban Native American Mascots
    Sports mascots that invoke Native American imagery and traditions have long been considered offensive by tribal nations. Two Illinois lawmakers want to ban them.
    Read more from CNN

  • 10.14.19Virginia Law Requiring Couples to Disclose Race Is Unconstitutional, Judge Says
    A federal judge ruled that a Virginia law requiring couples to reveal their race in applying for a marriage license is unconstitutional. The lawsuit against the Virginia State Registrar and others was filed after three couples said they were denied marriage licenses in the state after they refused to check a box disclosing their race on their applications.
    Read more from CNN

  • 07.07.19Commentary: Why the debate about equal pay for U.S. women's soccer isn't that clear-cut
    Now that the United States has again won the Women's World Cup, the call for equal pay has turned into a national obsession, as Americans abruptly noticed the pool of prize money available to their champions was less than 10% of what FIFA offers the men.
    Read more from the Chicago Tribune

  • 05.17.19Maine to Become First State to Prohibit Native American Mascots at All Public Schools
    Maine banned Native mascots in its public schools in 2019. Skowhegan, the last town holding out, gave up its "Indians" name, at the beginning of last year and right now is having an open call for suggestions for a new mascot.
    Read more from the Washington Post

E-Cigarettes

  • 11.21.19How to Stop Kids from Vaping? California and New York Sue E-Cigarette Manufacturer for Allegedly Enticing Minors Through Deceptive Advertising
    California AG Xavier Becerra and New York AG Letitia James each sued e-cigarette maker JUUL Labs Inc. (“JUUL”) for allegedly deceptive marketing practices targeting minors. The California complaint alleges that JUUL’s actions violated the Stop Tobacco Access to Kids Enforcement Act, among other things, while the New York complaint alleges that JUUL’s actions violated New York’s General Business Law and Executive Law and constitute a common law public nuisance.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.17.19Arkansas Attorney General Sues Three E-Cigarette Retailers for Alleged Sales to Minors
    Arkansas AG Leslie Rutledge sued vaping retailers BuyVapor.com LLC, Gladiator Distribution Inc. d/b/a The Vape Co., Mystic Juice USA, LLC, and related individuals for allegedly selling vaping products to minors in violation of Arkansas’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.17.19Florida Attorney General Launches Investigation Into Marketing and Sales Practices of 22 E-Cigarette Companies
    Florida AG Ashley Moody launched an investigation into the marketing and online sales strategies of 22 e-cigarette companies to determine whether they have violated state consumer protection laws.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.16.19New York Set To Join Michigan In Banning Some Electronic Cigarettes
    Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will issue an emergency regulation banning certain flavored products. The move comes amid advances toward a similar federal ban.
    Read more from NPR

  • 09.05.19Colorado Attorney General to Investigate E-Cigarette Manufacturer Over Marketing Practices
    According to reports, Colorado AG Phil Weiser has announced an investigation into e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL Labs, Inc. ("JUUL") over allegedly deceptive marketing by the company.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 08.29.19North Carolina Attorney General Sues Eight E-Cigarette Companies Over Allegedly Advertising to Minors and Misrepresenting Product Risks
    North Carolina AG Josh Stein filed lawsuits against e-cigarette companies Eonsmoke LLC, Juice Man LLC, The Electronic Tobacconist LLC, Tinted Brew Liquid Co., LLC, VapeCo Distribution LLC, Beard Vape Co., Direct eLiquid LLC, and Electric Lotus LLC over allegations they marketed and sold e-cigarette products designed to appeal to youth in violation of the state Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 06.07.19Massachusetts Attorney General Sues E-Cigarette Retailer Over Allegedly Advertising and Selling E-Cigarettes to Minors
    Massachusetts AG Maura Healey filed a lawsuit against e-cigarette retailer Eonsmoke, LLC over allegations that it failed to prevent underage individuals from purchasing its e-cigarette products in violation of the state’s Consumer Protection Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

Education

  • 07.31.20What the 15 Biggest US School Districts Are Planning for Reopening
    Of the 15 biggest school districts in the country, only one is offering schools the option of in-person instruction, and 10 of them have opted to begin the school year with online learning only. Three have opted for a hybrid: New York City, Chicago and Hawaii Public Schools.
    Read more from CNN

  • 07.20.20Florida Educators File Lawsuit to Stop Reopening of School Buildings
    The Florida Education Association have filed a lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis, Comissioner Richard Corcoran, and the Florida Department of Education to stop the reopening of school buildings.
    Read more from WKRG Channel 5

  • 07.13.20Several Big US School Districts are Extending Remote Classes into the Fall
    School districts across the country are being forced to reconsider their reopening plans and even reverse course for the upcoming school year, as coronavirus infection rates continue to spike and new hot spots emerge. With conflicting opinions and contradictory plans continuing to emerge, here is where school reopening plans stand in big cities across the country.
    Read more from CNN

  • 05.17.20Maine to Become First State to Prohibit Native American Mascots in All Public Schools
    Twenty years ago, Maulian Dana was watching a Maine high school basketball game between two teams called the “Indians” and the “Warriors.” Her gaze drifted toward the student sections, where she saw kids chanting and dancing with fake feathers and war paint on their bodies. It was the first time she saw things she knew as “sacred and religious” to thePenobscot Nation being “mocked and degraded.”
    Read more from The Washington Post

  • 04.15.20Universities Begin Considering the Possibility of Canceling In-Person Classes Until 2021
    A number of universities are beginning to consider the possibility that in-person classes may not resume until 2021. Boston University has already canceled all "in-person summer activities" on its primary campus. But the school's coronavirus recovery plan includes protocols should officials deem it not safe to return in-person for the fall semester, and says classes would continue to be held remotely through the fall semester.
    Read more from CNN

  • 04.13.20Millions of Public School Students Will Suffer from School Closures, Education Leaders Have Concluded
    Only weeks after the coronavirus pandemic forced American schools online, education leaders across the country have concluded that millions of children’s learning will be severely stunted and are planning unprecedented steps to help them catch up.
    Read more from The Washington Post

Environment

  • 07.07.20Judge Orders Dakota Access Pipeline Shut Down Pending Review
    A federal judge has ordered the Dakota Access pipeline to shut down pending further environmental review, a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
    Read more from MSN

  • 06.18.20EIR Improperly Deferred Formulation and Implementation of Mitigation Measures for New Oil and Gas Drilling
    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal found multiple defects in a Kern County EIR for a proposed ordinance streamlining the permitting process for new oil and gas wells. King and Gardiner Farms, LLC v. County Kern 45 Cal.App.5th 814 (2020).
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 02.20.20Democratic AGs Decry EPA's Proposed Changes to the Lead and Copper Rule
    A coalition of 10 Democratic AGs, led by California AG Xavier Becerra, sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) commenting on the EPA's proposed amendments to the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (“NPDWR”) for lead and copper under the authority of the Safe Drinking Water Act, commonly referred to as the Lead and Copper Rule (“LCR”), which sets nationwide standards for drinking water.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 02.06.20Cleanup in Michigan: Attorney General Announces Proposed Settlement for Remediation of Drinking Water Contaminated by Alleged Activity of Footwear Manufacturer
    Michigan AG Dana Nessel announced a proposed settlement with footwear manufacturer Wolverine Worldwide Inc. (“Wolverine”) to resolve allegations that Wolverine contaminated residential drinking water with “forever” chemicals in violation of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 02.13.20Who Controls When State and Federal Regulators Disagree on Whether a Chemical Is a Carcinogen?
    California AG Xavier Becerra filed an amicus brief in the California Court of Appeal in support of the plaintiff’s position in Johnson v. Monsanto Co., Nos. A155940 & A156706, arguing that the designation of certain chemicals as carcinogens and the requirement to include warnings about them under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (“Proposition 65”) is not preempted by federal law.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 01.06.20Vaping Isn’t Going to Be Quite So Tasty Anymore
    The Federal Food and Drug Agency (“FDA”) announced its finalized enforcement policy regarding flavored e-cigarette products, prioritizing enforcement against unauthorized e-cigarette products with flavors like fruit and mint, which allegedly appeal to under-age users.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.12.19Exxon Prevails in New York Suit Testing Novel Theory of Climate Change-Related Liability
    Exxon Mobil Corporation (“Exxon”) prevailed in a suit brought by New York AG Letitia James over allegations that Exxon violated the Martin Act by misleading investors about the risks associated with fossil fuel-related climate change.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.31.19Massachusetts Attorney General Sues Exxon for Allegedly Misleading Consumers and Investors Regarding Risks of Climate Change
    Massachusetts AG Maura Healey sued Exxon Mobil Corporation (“Exxon”) for allegedly misleading consumers and investors about the risks that fossil fuel-driven climate change poses to Exxon’s business, in violation of the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act and related regulations.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.19.19Illinois Attorney General Settles with Chemical Company Over Alleged Chemical Releases and Permit Violations
    Illinois AG Kwame Raoul reached a settlement with chemical manufacturer Flint Hills Resources Peru, LLC (“Flint Hills”) over allegations that the company released and dumped chemicals in violation of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act and was noncompliant with certain permit and reporting requirements under Illinois Pollution Control Board regulations.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.17.19Trump Says California's Ability To Set Its Own Emissions Standards Will Be Revoked
    The end of the state's Obama-era waiver is seen by many as the latest move to undo a years-long push to produce more fuel efficient cars.
    Read more from NPR

  • 09.12.19EPA Makes Rollback Of Clean Water Rules Official, Repealing 2015 Protections
    The change ends an "egregious power grab," Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler says.
    Read more from NPR
  • 08.08.19Six AGs Sue EPA Over Decision to Allow Dangerous Neurotoxin in Food
    The Trump administration has declined to place a ban chlorpyrifos, a toxic pesticide that is dangerous for infants and young children. The EPA is unlawfully continuing its "years-long pattern of delay" in addressing the dangers posed by chlorpyrifos, a known neurotoxin with decades of documented health risks. New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of six state attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) challenging the agency's refusal to ban the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops. Chlorpyrifos is a toxic pesticide used on more than 80 food crops, and has been shown to negatively impact brain development and the functioning of the central nervous system.

  • 08.08.19EPA Continues to Allow Levels of Toxic Chlorpyrifos on Food Even Though Agency Has Not Determined Contamination Is Safe
    BALTIMORE, MD — Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a coalition of six state attorneys general in filing a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for continuing to allow chlorpyrifos — a widely used pesticide with well-documented harms to infants' and children's neurological development — to continue to contaminate common foods. The coalition is challenging EPA's decision to continue to allow chlorpyrifos in food, even though it has not made a current finding, as required by law, that this pesticide contamination is safe. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
    Source: Maryland Attorney General

  • 07.25.19Eight Attorneys General, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Environmental Groups Settle with Power Company Over Alleged Air Pollution
    Eight AGs, led by Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal, and New York AG Letitia James; the U.S. Environment Protection Agency; and environmental groups reached a settlement with American Electric Power ("AEP") to revise a 2007 consent decree governing AEP's emissions.
    Source: State AG Report

  • 07.25.19Coalition of Twelve State AGs Again Call on Trump Administration to Withdraw Arbitrary Proposed Rollback of National Clean Car Standards
    On July 23, New York Attorney General Letitia James led a multi-state coalition of 12 state attorneys general in submitting a supplementary comment letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rebuking the Trump administration for violating state consultation requirements as part of its rollback of national Clean Car Standards. The AGs reiterated their previous call for the Trump administration to drop its arbitrary and capricious proposed rollback, which relies on flawed analyses, violates procedural and substantive requirements of several statutes, and impedes the rights of states to move forward in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.
    Source: NYU School of Law

  • 07.25.19Maryland AG Brian Frosh Leads Coalition of Fourteen State AGs in Filing Amicus Brief on Groundwater Pollution
    Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh led a multi-state coalition of 14 state attorneys general in submitting an amicus brief in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, a Supreme Court case with major implications for the future of the Clean Water Act. In their brief, the attorneys general rejected the Trump administration's position that the Clean Water Act provides an exception for discharged pollutants reaching protected navigable waters through groundwater. The AGs also noted that their states rely on the Clean Water Act's cooperative federalism framework to regulate pollution discharges into navigable waters, and that a decision to weaken the Act's protections against contamination via groundwater would jeopardize their ability to continue to protect critical waters, as current state and federal laws are unable to cover the gap that would be created by such a decision. In a press release announcing the brief, AG Frosh noted that a ruling in favor of the administration would provide polluters with a road map for evading Clean Water Act protections, putting our nation's rivers, streams, lakes and other critical waterways at risk.
    Source: NYU School of Law

  • 07.25.19California AG Xavier Becerra Blasts EPA Over its Incomplete Risk Assessment for Toxic Herbicide
    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra submitted a comment letter to the EPA on July 12 rebuking the agency's failure to adequately evaluate the risks associated with 2,4-DP-p, a weed killer commonly used in residential and commercial landscaping, as well as on golf courses and along public roadsides and sidewalks. In his comment letter, AG Becerra noted that the EPA failed to consider the cumulative impacts to human health and the environment of exposure to 2,4-DP-p along with related herbicides, including a group of highly similar compounds called 2,4-D and 2,4-DB. Over a million pounds of 2,4-D and other herbicides related to 2,4-DP-p were sold in California last year, and monitoring data show that these substances are the most frequently detected herbicide in urban waterways in Northern California and the second most detected herbicide in Southern California. Prior studies indicate that 2,4-DP-p may be highly toxic for larval honey bees, a keystone species in ecosystems throughout California-a significant cause for concern given that 2,4-D has also been found to harm bees. According to the AG's letter, any sufficient analysis of the impacts of 2,4-DP-p must consider the cumulative impacts of all herbicides that may have additive toxicities.
    Source: NYU School of Law

  • 07.05.19Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia Demand that PJM's Next CEO Work With States on Clean Energy Goals
    On July 5, Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine sent a letter to PJM Interconnection regarding its search for its next president and chief executive officer, stating that the next leader should be "an enthusiastic partner in states and localities' efforts to address climate change, protect consumers, and promote green economic development." PJM is the regional transmission organization that operates wholesale electricity markets and manages the transmission grid across all or part of thirteen states and the District of Columbia. PJM has struggled with allowing clean energy resources supported by state policies to compete in its markets.

  • 07.01.19Washington AG Bob Ferguson Blasts Army Corps' Pebble Mine Impact Statement
    On July 1, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed comments criticizing the Army Corps of Engineers' draft environmental impact statement(DEIS) for a massive proposed mining project in the Bristol Bay watershed in southwestern Alaska. In his comments, AG Ferguson described in detail his state's economic, cultural and academic ties to Bristol Bay, and in particular to the region's world-class wild salmon fisheries, which could be significantly degraded if the proposed "Pebble Mine" project is allowed to proceed. As AG Ferguson noted, "Alaska's seafood industry generates 23,900 jobs and $1.3 billion in labor earnings in the Puget Sound region of Washington alone."

  • 06.28.19Eleven AGs Sue Trump Administration Over EPA's Refusal to Fulfill Asbestos Data Reporting Obligations
    A coalition of 11 state attorneys general led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 28 over the agency's denial of the states' January 2019 petition to close loopholes in the EPA's data reporting requirements for asbestos. In their lawsuit, the attorneys general note that the Trump administration's decision to deny their petition violates the EPA's statutory obligations as established by the Toxic Substances Control Act's (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting rule. This rule requires the EPA to fully evaluate and mitigate the risks associated with toxic substances that pose a known danger to human health and the environment. Asbestos is a highly toxic mineral that is known to cause life-threatening diseases including mesothelioma and lung cancer, and kills 15,000 people each year.

  • 06.20.19Ten AGs Praise House Subcommittees' Hearing on Clean Car Standards
    On June 20, a coalition of 10 state attorneys general led by New York Attorney General Letitia James sent a letter to the chairs and ranking members of two subcommittees of the House Energy & Commerce Committee praising their decision to hold a joint hearing on the importance of preserving national Clean Car Standards. The AGs emphasized that the rollback proposed by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is "antithetical to EPA's and NHTSA's respective missions" and runs "directly contrary to the fundamental commands of the Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy and Conservation Act." The AGs, whose states account for more than one-third of the U.S. auto market, also condemned the agencies' failure to conduct mandatory consultation with state and local governments while developing the proposal — a fact that the agencies misrepresented in the proposed rule.

  • 06.19.19State Attorneys General Vow to Sue Trump Administration Over Clean Power Plan Repeal
    Led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a total of 13 state attorneys general released statements on June 19 promising to take aggressive legal action in response to the Trump administration's decision to finalize its repeal of the Clean Power Plan. As part of her statement announcing her intent to sue, Attorney General James noted that the EPA's so-called "Affordable Clean Energy" rule is another attempt by the Trump administration to deny the reality of climate change, and that the rule will impose tremendous public health, environmental and economic costs on the American people. New York previously led a coalition of 19 state attorneys general in submitting comments opposing the administration's proposed rule in October 2018.

  • 06.12.19Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney Remind the Public to Be Aware of Fraud When Disaster Strikes and Report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud
    As severe weather continues across the United States and this year's hurricane season begins, the Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney Trent Shores remind the public to be on the lookout for fraud against natural disaster victims and to report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF).
    Source: Department of Justice. To learn more about the NCDF please visit its website.

  • 06.12.19Real Estate Property Owner Sentenced in Connection with Clean Water Act Violation in Florida Keys Following Hurricane Irma
    Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Andy Castro, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division (EPA-CID), Atlanta Area Office, Colonel Andrew Kelly, District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Jacksonville District, and Frank Robey, Director, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, announced that Bonefish Holdings, LLC pled guilty and was sentenced today, before U.S. District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez, in connection with the illegal filling of federally regulated wetlands without a federal permit from USACE following Hurricane Irma in 2017.
    Source: Department of Justice

  • 06.10.19California AG Xavier Becerra and New Mexico AG Hector Balderas Ask Court to Vacate Rollback of Methane Waste Prevention Rule
    Washington, D.C. — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a motion for summary judgement in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Friday calling on the court to vacate the Trump administration's rollback of a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulation addressing the excessive venting and flaring of natural gas by oil and gas companies operating on public lands. The attorneys' general lawsuit comes at a time when global emissions of methane gas are spiking, and when the venting and flaring of natural gas has reached crisis levels in BLM managed areas such as New Mexico's Permian Basin and the Bakken Shale Formation in North Dakota.
    Source: New York University School of Law

  • 06.10.19Eleven AGs Urge EPA to Maintain Longstanding Clean Water Act Protections against Discharges through Groundwater
    Washington, D.C. — A coalition of 11 state attorneys general led by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) objecting to the agency's April 2019 Interpretative Statement eliminating the Clean Water Act's jurisdiction over pollutants that reach federally protected navigable waters through groundwater connections. The attorneys general noted that the agency's Interpretive Statement violates the Administrative Procedure Act and the Clean Water Act, and requested its withdrawal
    Source: New York University School of Law

  • 06.07.19State AGs Step Up Efforts to Address the Emerging PFAS Contamination Crisis
    State attorneys general have become increasingly aggressive in their efforts to confront drinking water contamination caused by per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS), demonstrating the continued importance of state leadership on this unfolding crisis in the face of federal inaction. At least four state AGs have filed lawsuits in 2019 over ongoing PFAS contamination, while other attorneys general such as Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel have promised to begin stepping up enforcement activities of their own.
    New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a lawsuit in March 2019 against the U.S. Air Force for contamination of drinking water near Cannon Air Force Base and Holloman Air Force Base, stemming from decades of use of firefighting foam containing PFAS in training exercises and live firefighting activities.
    New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal filed two lawsuits in March 2019 and a third in May 2019 against DuPont, Chemours, 3M and other manufacturers and sellers of firefighting foam and non-stick consumer products containing PFAS. AG Grewal's lawsuits seek natural resource damages, payment for testing and remediation efforts and other penalties.
    Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced in May 2019 a state court's approval of a settlement with Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics under which the company will fund the extension of municipal water lines to deliver clean water to 470 homes that are currently served by wells contaminated with PFAS.
    New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald filed a lawsuit in May 2019 against eight chemical companies over PFAS contamination resulting from the manufacture and sale of firefighting foam. AG MacDonald filed an additional lawsuit against DuPont, Chemours and 3M over the manufacture and sale of other products containing PFAS.
    Source: New York University School of Law

  • 06.07.19California Attorney General Xavier Becerra Asks Court to Vacate Trump Administration's Unlawful Repeal of Fracking Rule
    On June 3, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a motion for summary judgment asking the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to vacate the Interior Department's final repeal of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) updated regulations for hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") on public lands. In his brief, AG Becerra noted that the BLM's March 2015 "Fracking Rule" provided a key update to outmoded rules that the BLM had issued in 1988 before fracking practices were prevalent and before their potential environmental impacts were understood. The 2015 Fracking Rule was designed to ensure the integrity of well construction and to address major environmental concerns caused by fracking, including drinking water contamination caused by surface spills and the failure of some well operators to safely dispose of hazardous chemical fluids.
    Source: New York University School of Law

  • 06.07.19Sixteen State Attorneys General Object to Trump Administration's Proposal to Limit States' Authority Under the Clean Water Act
    New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 16 state attorneys general in a comment letter denouncing the EPA's proposal to issue new guidance and regulations limiting state authority to deny permits for fossil fuel infrastructure projects under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. The EPA's proposal comes in response to an April 10 Executive Order by President Trump directing the agency to change its current Section 401 guidance. During the announcement of his executive order, President Trump specifically criticized states such as New York and Washington over their decision to deny permits for fossil fuel infrastructure projects that would jeopardize water quality in their states. In their comment letter, the AGs noted that any action by the EPA that would restrict states' statutory authority under Section 401 would be unlawful and contrary to cooperative federalism principles.

    Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined the New York-led coalition, while also submitting a separate comment letter characterizing the Trump administration's claims that the EPA's current Section 401 guidelines are causing industry confusion as "fabricated." In his letter, AG Ferguson noted that he would take "all steps necessary" to defend Washington's rights under the law. In addition to New York and Washington, the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont also joined the coalition opposing the Trump administration's proposed rollback of state authority under the Clean Water Act.
    Source: New York University School of Law

  • 06.07.19ICYMI — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein Asks North Carolina Supreme Court to Stop Duke Energy's Plan to Profit From Its Own Coal Ash Pollution
    On April 26, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein filed a brief in the North Carolina Supreme Court asking the court to overturn a decision by the North Carolina Utilities Commission allowing Duke Energy to pass cleanup costs associated with the company's coal ash pollution onto the state's electricity consumers. Duke Energy estimates that cleanup costs could total up to $5 billion. In his brief, AG Stein noted that the Utilities Commission had "strayed far from the law" when it allowed Duke Energy to pass these costs onto consumers, noting that the company had knowingly violated the law for years when it chose to continue storing its coal ash in unlined ponds. AG Stein also criticized the Utilities Commission's decision to allow Duke Energy to collect profits from its ratepayers, in addition to the cleanup costs themselves, for undertaking required cleanups.
    Read legal brief

  • 06.05.19Attorney General Tong: Long Island Sound dredging Challenge Lacks Merit
    Hartford, CT — Attorney General William Tong has filed a memorandum of law in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York describing the exhaustive administrative record, economic need, and environmental safeguards that clearly support the lawful selection of the Eastern Long Island Sound Disposal Site for dredged materials.
    Read more from the State of Connecticut Attorney General

Ethics

  • 06.30.20Special Report: Thousands of U.S. judges who broke laws, oaths remained on the bench
    Judge Les Hayes once sentenced a single mother to 496 days behind bars for failing to pay traffic tickets. The sentence was so stiff it exceeded the jail time Alabama allows for negligent homicide. Marquita Johnson, who was locked up in April 2012, says the impact of her time in jail endures today. Johnson’s three children were cast into foster care while she was incarcerated. One daughter was molested, state records show. Another was physically abused.
    Read more from Yahoo! News

False Claims

  • 01.23.20ResMed on the Hook for $39.5 Million for Alleged Kickbacks
    Forty-four AGs, including Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron, North Carolina AG Josh Stein, and Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice (“U.S. DOJ”), reached a settlement with medical equipment manufacturer ResMed Corp. (“ResMed”) to resolve allegations that the company provided illegal kickbacks to medical equipment suppliers and health care providers in violation of state and federal false claims statutes.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 11.21.19New York AG Takes Up Whistleblower’s Allegation that All May Not Be Picture-Perfect with B&H Foto & Electronics
    New York AG Letitia James sued photo and video equipment retailer B&H Foto & Electronics Corp. (“B&H”) for allegedly knowingly failing to pay sales taxes in violation of New York’s Tax Law, False Claims Act, and Executive Law.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 07.27.19Connecticut Attorney General Sues Therapy Treatment Company for Alleged False Claims
    Connecticut AG William Tongfiled a lawsuit against Therapy Unlimited, LLC and its owner (collectively, "Therapy Unlimited") over allegations that it submitted false claims for reimbursement to the state Medicaid program and State Employee Health and Retirement Plan ("State Plan") in violation of the Connecticut False Claims Act.
    Source: The State AG Report

  • 07.02.19Five Attorneys General, City of Baltimore Settle With Data Company Over Allegedly Defrauding State Law Enforcement Agencies
    5 Attorneys General and the City of Baltimore reached a settlement with data company LexisNexis Risk Solutions and its affiliates (collectively, "LexisNexis") to resolve allegations that it defrauded state law enforcement agencies out of over $2.8 million in violation of the states' False Claims Acts.

Gaming/ Gambling

  • 08.29.19New Jersey Attorney General Settles with Online Fantasy Sports Website Operator Over Allegedly Operating Without a Permit Under New Law
    New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal reached a settlement with SportsHub Games Network, Inc. (“SportsHub”) over allegations that it operated an online fantasy sports site without a permit in violation of the state Fantasy Sports Act (“FSA”) and failed to clearly disclose data privacy practices in violation of the state Consumer Fraud Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 06.07.19Arizona Attorney General Settles with Game Machine Company Over Allegedly Selling and Leasing Machines With Auto-Percentaging Systems
    Arizona AG Mark Brnovich reached a settlement with merchandiser game machine company Betson Coin-Op Distributing Company, Inc. d/b/a Betson West ("Betson") to resolve allegations that it sold and leased machines with auto-percentaging systems-which can be set to ensure that a certain number of players lose the game before the machine pays a prize-in violation of the state's Consumer Fraud Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

Government Operations

  • 08.03.20States Are Broke & Many Are Eyeing Massive Cuts. Here's How Yours is Doing
    The COVID-19 pandemic could swipe roughly $200 billion from state coffers by June of next year, according to an analysis by the Urban Institute's State and Local Finance Initiative.
    Read more from NPR

  • 07.20.20'They Just Started Waling On Me': Violence In Portland As U.S. Agents Clamp Down
    Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit Friday against the DHS and other federal agencies and alleged that they have "engaged in unlawful law enforcement in violation of the civil rights of Oregonians by seizing and detaining them without probable cause."
    Read more from NPR

  • 07.20.20Florida Educators File Lawsuit to Stop Reopening of School Buildings
    The Florida Education Association have filed a lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis, Comissioner Richard Corcoran, and the Florida Department of Education to stop the reopening of school buildings.
    Read more from WKRG Channel 5

  • 07.16.20Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Felons from Voting in Florida
    The Supreme Court refused Thursday to let Florida felons who completed their sentences vote in a primary without first paying fees, fines and restitution, as the state requires.
    Read more from USA Today

  • 07.07.20Travelers Take Note: City of Chicago Issues Emergency Travel Order
    If you, your colleagues, your employees, or your clients have travel plans to or from a COVID-19 hotspot, the City of Chicago is requiring a two-week quarantine. On July 2, 2020, the City of Chicago issued an Emergency Travel Order directing travelers either coming into Chicago or returning to Chicago from a state experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases to quarantine for 14 days. The emergency order took effect on July 6, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. To date, this emergency order only applies to individuals arriving in Chicago. The State of Illinois has not taken similar action.
    Read more from Much Law

  • 07.05.20This town of 170,000 replaced some cops with medics and mental health workers. It's worked for over 30 years.
    Around 30 years ago, a town in Oregon retrofitted an old van, staffed it with young medics and mental health counselors and sent them out to respond to the kinds of 911 calls that wouldn't necessarily require police intervention. In the town of 172,000, they were the first responders for mental health crises, homelessness, substance abuse, threats of suicide -- the problems for which there are no easy fixes. The problems that, in the hands of police, have often turned violent.
    Read more from CNN

  • 06.24.20NY, NJ and CT Require Travelers from States with High Coronavirus Rates to Quarantine for Two Weeks
    New York, New Jersey and Connecticut issued a travel advisory Wednesday that requires people arriving from states with high coronavirus rates to quarantine for 14 days. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said the travel advisory applies to anyone coming from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
    Read more from CNN

  • 06.24.20Slavery as a Punishment for Crimes is in the Books in Ohio and Lawmakers Have Been Trying to Change that for Years
    Over 150 years ago, the federal government put an end to practically all forms of slavery, but the 13th Amendment allowed an exception — slavery as a punishment for crimes. And while many states have made moves to abolish that clause altogether, Ohio, along with several other states, still have this exception in their constitutions.
    Read more from CNN

  • 06.09.20This City Disbanded Its Police Department 7 Years Ago. Here's What Happened Next
    Last week, Minneapolis officials confirmed they were considering a fairly rare course of action: disbanding the city police department. It's not the first locale to break up a department, but no cities as populous have ever attempted it. Minneapolis City Council members haven't specified what or who will replace it if the department disbands.
    Read more from CNN

  • 06.08.20Former Chief of Reformed Camden, N.J., Force: Police Need 'Consent of the People'
    Activists across the country are calling for radical reforms to policing in the U.S., including abolishing the police entirely. Camden, N.J., took its own big step in 2013. The city was in a public safety crisis, with murder rates 18 times the national average and scores of excessive-force complaints, when the mayor and City Council dissolved the existing police department and created a countywide force in its place.
    Read more from NPR

  • 06.05.20Native American Voting Rights — Report: Obstacles at Every Turn
    In 2017 and 2018, the Native American Voting Rights Coalition — founded by the Native American Rights Fund — held nine public hearings to better understand how Native Americans are systemically and culturally kept from fully exercising their franchise. More than 120 witnesses testified from dozens of tribes across the country.
    Read more from Native American Rights Fund

  • 06.04.20The City That Remade Its Police Department
    Camden, N.J.’s detailed rules on use of force are a model for reform but not a panacea. Across the U.S., protesters have taken to the streets to express rage after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. The demonstrations themselves have led to more police shows of force. In Brooklyn, two cops rammed their New York City Police Department SUVs into a crowd of protesters. In Philadelphia, officers sprayed tear gas at demonstrators who were penned in between a highway and a fence.
    Read more from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • 05.27.20Harlem Senator's Bill Adds False Reporting To Hate Crimes List
    Brian Benjamin is introducing the bill in the wake of viral video of a white woman calling the cops on a black man in Central Park.
    Read more from Patch

  • 05.26.20Montana Court Temporarily Blocks Montana Law that Restricts Native American Voting Rights
    A Montana court has issued a temporary restraining order blocking a state law that severely restricts Native Americans’ right to vote. The Montana Ballot Interference Prevention ACT (BIPA) imposed severe restrictions on ballot collection efforts that are critical to Native American voters, particularly those living on rural reservations. The TRO means the law is blocked pending the outcome of a hearing scheduled for May 29. The primary is June 2.
    Read more from Turtle Talk

  • 05.21.20Officials in the Largest County in Ohio Say Racism is a Public Health Crisis
    Racism has officially been declared a public health crisis in Ohio's largest county. Commissioners in Franklin County, which encompasses the state's capital of Columbus, passed a resolution on Tuesday that asserts racism "rises to the definition of a public health crisis proposed by Dr. Sandro Galea."
    Read more from CNN

  • 04.24.20Coronavirus: The Latest Court Closures & Restrictions
    As courts across the country take measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, some are restricting access and altering their procedures. Here is a roundup of changes. This list will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
    Read more from Law360

  • 04.22.20Legal Pitfalls Loom for Employers Reopening Post-Pandemic
    As states edge toward reopening their economies, experts say businesses that restart operations will face a slew of legal dangers and logistical challenges as they bring back employees who have been teleworking or sitting idle during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
    Read more from Law360

  • 04.22.20Can Trump End Immigration? Wording Matters, Scholars Say
    President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to temporarily block green card seekers from entering the U.S., but his authority to do so may be constrained by other immigration laws.
    Read more from Law360

  • 04.22.20Texas Court Pioneers Trial by Zoom in Atty Fee Dispute
    A Texas state court judge charted a new path for trials during the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday when he held a one-day bench trial through videoconferencing service Zoom, overcoming technical difficulties to hear a dispute over roughly $96,000 in attorney fees stemming from an insurance case.
    Read more from Law360

  • 02.26.20New Mexico's Governor Signed a Red Flag Gun Measure into Law and Urged Sheriffs to Enforce It or Resign
    New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law Tuesday legislation that will allow courts to order the temporary seizure of firearms from individuals deemed a danger to themselves or others.
    Read more on CNN

Healthcare

  • 05.21.20Officials in the Largest County in Ohio Say Racism is a Public Health Crisis
    Racism has officially been declared a public health crisis in Ohio's largest county. Commissioners in Franklin County, which encompasses the state's capital of Columbus, passed a resolution on Tuesday that asserts racism "rises to the definition of a public health crisis proposed by Dr. Sandro Galea."
    Read more from CNN

  • 04.08.20Attorney General James Fights Trump Admin. Efforts to Strip Women of their Right to Birth Control Coverage Under the ACA
    New York Attorney General Letitia James today continued her leadership in the national fight to ensure women’s reproductive health care is not stifled or infringed upon in any way by the Trump Administration. Attorney General James and a coalition of 20 additional attorneys general from around the nation filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey in their lawsuit defending the contraceptive coverage and counseling requirement mandated as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
    Read more from NY Attorney General

  • 04.06.20AG Nessel Urges Federal Government to Stop Discouraging People from Accessing Health Coverage During Pandemic
    While the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health crisis continues, the Trump administration refuses to confirm that accessing health coverage will not impair lawful immigrants' abilities to stay in the country, asserts a recent letter from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and 17 other attorneys general.
    Read more from WA Attorney General

  • 04.03.20Coalition of Attorneys General Sends Letter Urging Trump Administration to Open Special Enrollment Periods on Healthcare.gov to Help Millions of Consumers with COVID-19 Costs
    Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), urging them to reconsider their decision to deny a special enrollment period on HealthCare.Gov during the current worldwide pandemic. In the letter, the attorneys general argue that the federal government should take action to make it possible for Americans across the country – who are facing uncertainty as a result of COVID-19 – to obtain the healthcare coverage they need during this critical time.
    Read more from MD Attorney General

  • 04.02.20Reproductive Care in the Face of a Pandemic
    With Americans ordered to stay home and families facing new child care and financial constraints, COVID-19 has posed new hurdles to abortion access for many patients. Twenty-one state attorneys general urged the FDA to allow certified prescribers to use telehealth for prescribing Mifepristone.
    Read more from NY Attorney General

  • 01.09.2021 Democratic Attorneys General Seek Supreme Court Review of ACA Case
    Twenty-one Democratic AGs, including New York AG Letitia James, petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for an expedited review of a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Texas v. U.S., which affirmed a district court’s ruling finding the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) unconstitutional.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 01.08.20Stakes High For Democrats And Republicans In Bid To Rush ACA To Supreme Court
    Last week that a group of Democratic state attorneys general has asked the Supreme Court to hear the case in this term — which ends in June. That would mean a decision could come right in the middle of the 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns. It is not at all clear that the high court will take the case at this point (although it is seeking a response from Republican attorneys general, the plaintiffs in the case, by this Friday [January 10]).
    Read more on NPR

  • 08.05.19Attorney General Ferguson’s investigation into Premera data breach results in Premera paying $10 million over failure to protect sensitive patient data
    Thirty attorneys general entered into a $10 million settlement with Premera Blue Cross for failing to secure sensitive consumer data and for misleading consumers before and after a data breach affecting millions across the country.
    Source: Washington Attorney General

  • 07.12.19Eighteen State AGs Urge Congress to Ban Asbestos, Citing Tens of Thousands of Annual Deaths
    On July 12, a multi-state coalition of 18 state attorneys general led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent a letter to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change calling on Congress to ban the manufacturing, processing, importation and distribution of asbestos in the United States. In their letter the AGs called on Congress to pass the "Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now Act of 2019," which would reinstate a ban on asbestos that the EPA put in place 30 years ago. That regulation was vacated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991.
    Source: NYU School of Law

  • 07.05.19Pennsylvania Attorney General Agrees to Dismiss Litigation Against Non-Profit Health Care System
    Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro agreed to dismiss litigation against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center ("UPMC") seeking an unlimited extension of a consent decree guaranteeing in-network access to customers of insurance provider Highmark, Inc. The court in the case previously issued a ruling that limited the scope of relief that the AG could obtain.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 07.02.19Massachusetts Attorney General Settles With Healthcare Services and IT Provider Over Alleged Data Breach
    Massachusetts AG Maura Healey reached a settlement with healthcare administrative services and IT provider CoPilot Provider Support Services Inc. ("CoPilot") to resolve allegations that it failed to give timely notice of a data breach that affected nearly 1,900 patients in the state in violation of the state's data breach notification law.

  • 06.26.19Connecticut Attorney General, U.S. Attorney's Office, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Settle With Clinical Laboratory Over Alleged Overbilling for Drug Tests
    Connecticut AG William Tong, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reached a settlement with Clinical Science Laboratory, Inc. and its owners (collectively, "CSL") to resolve allegations that it overbilled for urine drug tests in violation of state and federal False Claims Acts and state Medicaid regulations.

  • 06.19.19Colorado Attorney General, FTC Settle With Health Care Companies Over Proposed Acquisition
    Colorado AG Phil Weiser reached a settlement with UnitedHealth Group Incorporated ("United") and DaVita Inc. to resolve allegations that the proposed acquisition of DaVita affiliate DaVita Medical Holdings LLC ("DaVita MH") by United subsidiary Optum would lessen competition in the market for certain insurance plans in violation of state law governing mergers and acquisitions.
    Read more from The State AG Report

Labor & Employment Law

  • 03.26.20New York Court of Appeals Delivers Win to Attorney General, Gig Worker Over Unemployment Benefits
    New York AG Letitia James obtained a favorable ruling from the New York State Court of Appeals against the food-delivery company Postmates, Inc., holding that workers for the company are considered employees for the purposes of unemployment benefits.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 02.20.20Wendy's: All the Goodness, But Hold the Alleged Child Labor Violations
    Massachusetts AG Maura Healey reached a settlement with fast food restaurant chain Wendy’s International LLC (“Wendy’s”) to resolve allegations that Wendy’s labor practices violated Massachusetts child labor laws.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 01.30.20Massachusetts Attorney General Alleges Chipotle Served Up a Side Order of Wage and Hour Violations, Reaches $2 Million Settlement
    Massachusetts AG Maura Healey reached a settlement with casual dining restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (“Chipotle”) to resolve allegations of child labor and non-payment of wages and sick time in violation of the state’s Wage Act, Child Labor Laws, Earned Sick Time Law, and laws requiring the retention of true and accurate payroll records.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.19.19Whistleblower Leads to Shutdown of Infosys' Alleged System for Avoiding California Taxes
    California AG Xavier Becerra reached a settlement with India-based business consulting and outsourcing services company Infosys Limited and its subsidiary to resolve allegations stemming from a whistleblower’s qui tam lawsuit of visa misclassification and tax avoidance in violation of the California False Claims Act and Unfair Competition Law.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.05.19Attorneys General Argue for Limiting the Use of Non-Compete Clauses in Letter to FTC
    Michigan AG Dana Nessel joined 18 other AGs in writing a letter to the FTC, urging it to curb the use of abusive non-compete clauses in employment contracts.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 11.21.19Who’s Getting the Tips? D.C. Attorney General Alleges Food Delivery Service Kept Tips to Help Its Bottom Line
    District of Columbia AG Karl Racine sued food delivery service DoorDash, Inc. (“DoorDash”) for allegedly keeping tips instead of passing them to their workers in violation of the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.31.19Ten Attorneys General File Amicus Brief in Support of Continuing Collection of Employer Pay Data
    Ten AGs and nine state and local civil rights enforcement agencies, led by California AG Xavier Becerra, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the matter of National Women’s Law Center, et al. v. Office of Management and Budget, et al., No. 19-5130, urging the Court to affirm the lower court’s ruling that requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) to continue collecting certain pay data from private employers with over 100 employees as required by Title VII.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.31.19Washington Attorney General Reaches Settlement with Coffee Chain Over Non-Compete Agreements
    Washington AG Bob Ferguson reached a settlement with a local coffee chain, Mercurys Madness Inc. d/b/a Mercurys Coffee (“Mercurys Coffee”), over allegations that Mercurys Coffee’s use of non-compete agreements violated the state Unfair Business Practices-Consumer Protection Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.26.19Washington Attorney General Reaches Agreements with Ten More Franchisors to Eliminate “No-Poach” Provisions
    Washington AG Bob Ferguson reached agreements with franchisors Abbey Carpet Co., Inc., Gosh Enterprises, Inc., Floors to Go, LLC, G & S Frugals, Inc., Gold’s Gym Franchising LLC, KF Tea Franchising LLC, Mattress Depot USA, Inc., Mrs. Fields Franchising, LLC, Tan Republic Franchise Company LLC, and TCBY Systems, LLC to eliminate “no-poach” provisions in their franchise contracts.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.19.19New York Attorney General Settles with Home Health Aide Company Over Alleged Wage and Human Rights Law Violations
    New York AG Letitia James reached a settlement with home health aide company Allcare Homecare Agency, Inc. (“Allcare”) over allegations that Allcare failed to pay aides for all hours worked and failed to offer paid leave in violation of the state Labor Law, Homecare Worker Wage Parity Act, and Earned Sick Time Act, and threatened immigrant workers in violation of the state Labor Law and Human Rights Law.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.12.19Washington Attorney General Reaches Agreements with Eight More Franchisors to Eliminate "No-Poach" Provisions
    Washington AG Bob Ferguson reached agreements with franchisors which incorporated provisions in their contracts with franchise owners that prohibited employees from moving among stores within the same corporate chain.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.05.1913 Attorneys General Oppose U.S. Department of Labor Proposed Rule Amending Apprenticeship Regulations
    13 AGs, led by Washington AG Bob Ferguson, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") opposing a proposed rule that would amend the Labor Standards for the Registration of Apprenticeship Programs, which establishes guidelines for third parties to accredit apprenticeship programs, among other things.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 07.27.19Minnesota Attorney General Announces New Wage Theft Unit
    Minnesota AG Keith Ellison announced the creation of a new Wage Theft Unit within the AG's office that will be dedicated to investigating and enforcing cases of wage theft.
    Source: The State AG Report

  • 07.05.1919 Democratic Attorneys General Oppose U.S. Department of Labor's Proposed Rule to Amend Joint Employer Standard
    19 Democratic AGs, led by Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, New York AG Letitia James, and Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro, submitted a comment in opposition to the U.S. Department of Labor's ("DOL") proposed rule to amend the "joint employer standard," which is used to determine when two or more employers are jointly responsible for the terms and conditions of employment for a group of employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
    Read more from New York Attorney General

  • 05.30.19Massachusetts Attorney General Settles with Energy Company Over Alleged Wage and Hour Violations
    Massachusetts AG Maura Healey reached a settlement with retail energy company Eversource Energy Service Company, Inc. (“Eversource”) to resolve allegations that it failed to make timely and full payments to its employees in violation of state wage and hour laws.
    Read more from The State AG Report

Land Use & Zoning

  • 07.09.20Public Universities Must Comply with CEQA when Deciding to Increase Enrollment
    In Save Berkeley’s Neighborhoods v. Regents of the University of California, No. A157551 (June 25, 2020) the court of appeal rejected the University of California’s argument that it need not have prepared a Supplemental EIR to analyze the effects of its discretionary decisions to increase enrollment on the Berkeley campus. The University had prepared a Program EIR for its UC Berkeley Long Range Development Plan in 2005. The LRDP EIR anticipated enrollment would increase by 1,650 students over the life of the plan. Beginning in 2007, the University made periodic decisions to increase Berkeley enrollment such that, by 2018, enrollment had increased by 8,300 students.
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 07.07.20Agency Notice of Deadline for Filing Suit Was Defective
    An administrative agency must provide the notice required under Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.6(f) specifying when its decision becomes final, and may not add potentially confusing information that undermines the statutory purpose of eliminating doubt as to when the statute of limitations to begins to run. Alford v. County of Los Angeles, No. B293393 (2nd Dist., July 1, 2020).
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 07.01.20Suit Challenging Interpretation of Tentative Map Conditions Was Not Time-Barred
    Nicholas Honchariw’s battles with the County of Stanislaus over his 9-lot subdivision have now resulted in a fourth published appellate decision. (See our prior reports, County Violates California’s Anti-NIMBY Law by Rejecting Housing Project With No Affordable Units; No Affordable Housing, No Attorney’s Fees Under Housing Accountability Act; and If At First You Succeed, Don’t Try, Try, Try Again). In Honchariw IV, the appellate court held that Honchariw’s disagreement with the County’s interpretation of tentative map conditions was not barred by the statute of limitations governing decisions concerning a subdivision because the suit was filed within 90 days after the dispute regarding the proper interpretation of the conditions arose. Honchariw v. County of Stanislaus, No. F077815 (5th Dist., June 25, 2020).
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 06.30.20University Campus Was Not an Illusory Element of Project Under CEQA
    The court of appeal found the EIR for a master planned community sufficient because it adequately described and analyzed impacts of the proposed project, which included a university, and was not required to consider the speculative possibility that the university would never be built. Environmental Council of Sacramento v. County of Sacramento, No. C076888 (3rd Dist., March 2, 2020).
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 06.29.20Judgment Against Prior Owners Fixed Tidelands Boundaries, Barring Plaintiffs' Quiet Title and Inverse Condemnation Claims
    The court of appeal held that plaintiffs' inverse condemnation and damages claims based on dredging in the bay adjacent to their properties was barred under the doctrine of res judicata based on a 1931 judgment conclusively establishing that the property alleged to have been taken or damaged was not owned by plaintiffs. SLPR, LLC v. San Diego Unified Port District, No. D074958 (4th Dist., May 22, 2020).
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 06.26.20Brown Act Violation Did Not Require Nullification of Project Approval Where No Prejudice Was Shown
    The City of Lafayette violated the Brown Act by not including a litigation threat discussed in closed session in the agenda packet made publicly available before the meeting, but plaintiffs failed to show any prejudice resulting from the violation. Fowler v. City of Lafayette, 46 Cal. App. 5th 360 (2020).
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 06.18.20Suit for Breach of Development Agreement Should Be Treated as a Breach-of-Contract Action, Not an Administrative Law Proceeding
    The City of Oakland entered into a statutory development agreement with the plaintiff to redevelop a portion of the decommissioned Oakland Army Base as a commercial shipping terminal. While development agreements generally freeze existing regulations in place, this agreement provided that the city could adopt and apply new regulations if the City determined “based on substantial evidence and after a public hearing that a failure to do so would place existing or future occupants or users . . . neighbors, in a condition substantially dangerous to health or safety.”
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 06.18.20EIR Improperly Deferred Formulation and Implementation of Mitigation Measures for New Oil and Gas Drilling
    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal found multiple defects in a Kern County EIR for a proposed ordinance streamlining the permitting process for new oil and gas wells. King and Gardiner Farms, LLC v. County Kern 45 Cal.App.5th 814 (2020).
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 06.16.20Judicial Council Shortens Tolling Period for Statutes of Limitations
    As we previously reported, on April 6, 2020, the California Judicial Council adopted an emergency rule suspending (or “tolling”) the running of statutes of limitations on civil claims during the state of emergency declared by Governor Newsom on March 4, 2020. The emergency rule tolled all civil statutes of limitations from April 6 until 90 days after the Governor declares the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic to be over.
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 06.15.20Reclassification of Land From Urban to Agricultural Did Not Result in Unconstitutional Regulatory Taking
    The State of Hawaii Land Use Commission’s reversion of 1,060 acres from a conditional urban land use classification to the prior agricultural use classification was not an unconstitutional taking because the landowner could still reap economic benefits from the property, the reclassification did not substantially affect the overall valuation or any potential sales, and the landowner should have anticipated reversion for failure to satisfy certain conditions. Bridge Aina Le’a, LLC v. State of Hawaii Land Use Commission, 950 F.3d 610 (2020).
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 06.05.20Agency Actions to Implement an Already-Approved Project Are Not Subsequent Discretionary Approvals Requiring Supplemental Environmental Review
    After a public agency approves a project, the agency’s actions to implement the project—in this case, applying for and accepting a streambed alteration agreement from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife—are not subsequent discretionary approvals that require supplemental environmental review under CEQA. Willow Glen Trestle Conservancy v. City of San Jose, No. H047068 (6th Dist., May 18, 2020).
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 05.29.20Refinery EIR Upheld Against Challenge to Baseline
    A court of appeal has upheld an air district’s EIR for an oil refinery modernization project. Communities for a Better Environment v. South Coast Air Quality Management District, 47 Cal. App. 5th 588 (2020).
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 05.22.20California Courts May Shorten Tolling of Limitations Periods in Land Use Cases Under Emergency Rule
    On April 6, 2020, the California Judicial Council adopted Emergency Rule 9, which tolled statutes of limitations on civil causes of action for the duration of the state of emergency declared by Governor Newsom on March 4, 2020, and for 90 days thereafter. The effect of the emergency rule was to suspend the running of all statutes of limitations from April 6 until 90 days after the Governor declares the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic to be over. For example, if the Governor ended the state of emergency on June 30, 2020, any statute of limitations would have been suspended from April 6 through September 28, 2020 (i.e., for 175 days).
    Read more from Perkins Coie

  • 07.09.19Law Prof Richard Epstein to Lead Challenge of Obama Center in Jackson Park
    The legal scholar notes a recent shift in federal courts in favor of the arguments he will likely make in the appeal.
    Read more from the Chicago Tribune

  • 07.08.19Affordable Housing Design Contest in Chicago
    Imagine a small family that earns a modest income, say $75,000. If they want to buy a house in Chicago, new construction is probably out of the question. Neighborhood Housing Services and a half dozen other affordable housing groups, lenders and the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects are trying to change that. This week, they're wrapping up a contest they kicked off late last year to find Chicago's next starter home, challenging architects to come up with a modern version of the Chicago bungalow, a new single-family home that's affordable to the masses.
    Read more from WBEZ.org

  • 07.05.19Oregon Legislature Votes To Essentially Ban Single-Family Zoning
    Oregon's Legislature has approved legislation that would require cities with more than 10,000 people to permit two-family homes in single-family zones. This is the first state legislation in the growing YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) movement.
    Read more from NPR.org

  • 07.05.1910th Circuit upholds Utah city's 'sit, stand' prohibition on sidewalks
    In 2016, the Sandy City, Utah city council adopted an ordinance making it illegal for any person "to sit or stand, in or on any unpaved median, or any median of less than 36 inches for any period of time." Sandy City Traffic Code, Article 16, Section 299.1 (the Ordinance). After the Sandy City council adopted the Ordinance, Plaintiff-Appellant Steve Ray Evans received four citations for violating the Ordinance when he stood on narrow or unpaved medians. Evans filed suit against the City and many of its officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the district court of Utah, alleging the Ordinance is facially invalid because it violates the First Amendment right to free speech.
    Read more

  • 07.02.19Viewpoint: Senator is Wrong About 'Knick' Ruling
    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in his recent National Law Journal broadside, "'Knick'-Picking: Why a Recent SCOTUS Ruling Signals a New Day," goes off the rails in claiming the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Knick v. Township of Scott is the product of five conservative justices ganging up to ignore legal precedent so as to impose their agenda and of “dark money” funding a shadowy coalition of groups bent on remaking the court and influencing it to their ends.
    Read more from the Connecticut Law Tribune

  • 07.01.19'Knick'-Picking: Why a nRecent SCOTUS Ruling Signals a New Day
    For years, back to when I argued the U.S. Supreme Court case Palazzolo v. Rhode Island as Rhode Island’s attorney general, big-money developers and regulated industries and the lawyer groups that front for them have been trying to turn the Constitution’s takings clause into a weapon against the government. The court’s decision in Knick v. Township of Scott just gave them a big prize — and showed how much control those interests now have.
    Read more from the Connecticut Law Tribune

  • 06.25.19New Report Shows US Housing Supply Falls Far Short of What Is Needed
    CAMBRIDGE, MA — With the nation's economy on sound footing and incomes on the rise, the number of people forming households in the United States has finally returned to a more normal pace. Housing production, however, has not. The 2019 State of the Nation’s Housing report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies documents how the housing shortfall is keeping pressure on house prices and rents, eroding affordability for modest-income households in many markets. The report will be released in a live webcast today at 12 pm ET from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    Read more from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

  •  

Native American Tribal Law

  • 08.01.20After 250 Years, Esselen Tribe Regains a Piece of its Ancestral Homeland
    After 250 years, the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County is returning home. A $4.5-million land deal, brokered by Portland-based environmental group Western Rivers Conservancy, will return a 1,199-acre parcel of wilderness along the Little Sur River to the tribe in the name of conservation and cultural resilience.
    Read more from MSN

  • 07.10.20U.S. Supreme Court deems half of Oklahoma a Native American reservation
    The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday recognized about half of Oklahoma as Native American reservation land and overturned a tribe member's rape conviction because the location where the crime was committed should have been considered outside the reach of state criminal law.
    Read more from MSN

  • 07.07.20Judge Orders Dakota Access Pipeline Shut Down Pending Review
    A federal judge has ordered the Dakota Access pipeline to shut down pending further environmental review, a victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
    Read more from MSN

  • 06.05.20Native American Voting Rights — Report: Obstacles at Every Turn
    In 2017 and 2018, the Native American Voting Rights Coalition — founded by the Native American Rights Fund — held nine public hearings to better understand how Native Americans are systemically and culturally kept from fully exercising their franchise. More than 120 witnesses testified from dozens of tribes across the country.
    Read more from Native American Rights Fund

  • 05.26.20Montana Court Temporarily Blocks Montana Law that Restricts Native American Voting Rights
    A Montana court has issued a temporary restraining order blocking a state law that severely restricts Native Americans’ right to vote. The Montana Ballot Interference Prevention ACT (BIPA) imposed severe restrictions on ballot collection efforts that are critical to Native American voters, particularly those living on rural reservations. The TRO means the law is blocked pending the outcome of a hearing scheduled for May 29. The primary is June 2.
    Read more from Turtle Talk

  • 05.17.20Maine to Become First State to Prohibit Native American Mascots in All Public Schools
    Twenty years ago, Maulian Dana was watching a Maine high school basketball game between two teams called the “Indians” and the “Warriors.” Her gaze drifted toward the student sections, where she saw kids chanting and dancing with fake feathers and war paint on their bodies. It was the first time she saw things she knew as “sacred and religious” to thePenobscot Nation being “mocked and degraded.”
    Read more from The Washington Post

  • 05.11.20Tribal Nations Face Most Severe Crisis in Decades as the Coronavirus Closes Casinos
    Nearly 500 tribal casinos remain shut down during the pandemic, causing job losses to spike. The economic damage is spreading quickly, wreaking havoc on fragile tribal finances.
    Read more from The New York Times

  • 05.09.20Navajo Nation Residents Face Coronavirus without Running Water
    Margie Barton unfolded a map of Dilkon in Navajo Nation and pointed to the clusters of households representing 90% of its residents living without running water. Barton is the coordinator of the Dilkon Chapter House, the local administrative and communal center, and is involved in almost all aspects of keeping services up and running for the community — including access to clean water.
    Read more from MSN

  • 05.09.20South Dakota Governor Gives Native American Tribes 48 Hours to Remove Checkpoints which Aim to Bar Non-Essential Visitors Entering
    South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem on Friday told Native American tribes they have 48 hours to take down road checkpoints they had set up to keep out unnecessary visitors because of concerns over the coronavirus.
    Read more from MSN

  • 05.07.20Diné receive $600 million in CV-19 relief
    On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced that it will begin to distribute $4.8 billion (60%) of the $8 billion Congress allocated for tribal governments in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27.
    Read more from Navajo Times

  • 04.21.20Tribes Sue to Halt Trump Plan for Channeling Emergency Funds to Alaska Native Corporations
    Tribal leaders from across the country are calling for the U.S. Departments of Interior and Treasury to halt a proposed plan that could give as much as half of $8 billion in emergency relief funds earmarked for the nation's tribal governments to private Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs). The corporations collectively generate more than $10 billion in revenue from a diverse array of industries, including significant oil and gas developments.
    Read more from InsideClimate News

  • 02.27.20Illinois Lawmakers Have Introduced a Bill to Ban Native American Mascots
    Sports mascots that invoke Native American imagery and traditions have long been considered offensive by tribal nations. Two Illinois lawmakers want to ban them.
    Read more from CNN

  • 08.25.19The Cherokee Nation wants a representative in Congress, taking the US government up on a promise it made nearly 200 years ago
    The Cherokee Nation announced Thursday that it intends to appoint a delegate to the US House of Representatives, asserting for the first time a right promised to the tribe in a nearly 200-year-old treaty with the federal government.
    Read more from CNN

Pharmaceuticals

  • 01.30.20“Pharma Bro” Back in Hot Water: FTC, New York Attorney General Sue Vyera Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli for Allegedly Monopolizing Critical Medication and Raising Its Price by 4000%
    The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and New York AG Letitia James jointly sued pharmaceutical manufacturer Vyera Pharmaceuticals LLC and its former executive, Martin Shkreli, along with two other related defendants (collectively, “Vyera”) for allegedly stifling competition and engaging in a monopolistic pricing scheme for a life-saving medication in violation of the FTC Act, the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act, and New York’s antitrust laws.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 12.19.19There’s No Daylight Among Attorneys General When It Comes to Their Opinions About Fentanyl
    In a rare show of unanimity, all 56 AGs from every state, territory, and the District of Columbia, led by Michigan AG Dana Nessel and Ohio AG Dave Yost, sent a letter to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in support of the Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act, which seeks to permanently classify fentanyl and related compounds as Schedule I drugs—defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and possess a high potential for abuse.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 10.31.19Kentucky Attorney General Settles with Bayer Over Alleged Failure to Disclose Risks Associated with Oral Contraceptives
    Kentucky AG Andy Beshear reached a settlement with Bayer Corporation (“Bayer”) to resolve allegations that Bayer misled consumers about risks associated with certain birth control products in violation of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.16.19Purdue Pharma, Accused Of Fueling Opioid Crisis, Files For Chapter 11
    The bankruptcy follows the Sackler family, which owns Purdue, agreeing to surrender control of the company and offering $3 billion in cash to opioid-hit communities.
    Read more from NPR

  • 09.13.19New York AG Says Sacklers Transferred $1B From Pharma Accounts To Themselves
    The revelation comes after almost two dozen states reached a tentative settlement with the maker of OxyContin.
    Read more from NPR

  • 09.12.19Texas Attorney General Sues Opioid Manufacturer Over Alleged Medicaid Fraud
    Texas AG Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and related entities (collectively, "J&J") over allegations that it made misrepresentations regarding an opioid drug to the state Medicaid program in violation of state Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 08.29.19Oklahoma Attorney General Obtains Favorable Judgment in Opioid Trial
    Oklahoma AG Mike Hunter obtained a favorable judgment against opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries (collectively, “J&J”) over allegations that J&J created a public nuisance by contributing to the ongoing opioid epidemic in Oklahoma.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 08.05.19AG Brnovich Files New Consumer Fraud Lawsuit Against Insys Founder and Former Executives
    Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed an Arizona Consumer Fraud Act lawsuit against three former executives of opioid manufacturer Insys Therapeutics Inc., which is based in Chandler. The lawsuit alleges that the three named defendants, including the founder of the company, engaged in a fraudulent marketing scheme designed to increase the sales of Insy's flagship drug, Subsys, a highly addictive opioid prescription drug that contains fentanyl.

  • 08.05.19Michigan to Join $700 Million Multi-state Settlement With Opioid Drug Manufacturer
    Thirty-three attorneys general have reached an agreement in principle to settle allegations that pharmaceutical manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser Group (Reckitt) improperly marketed and promoted the drug Suboxone, resulting in improper expenditures of state Medicaid funds. Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine (an opioid) and naloxone (blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief and feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse). The drug was approved to suppress opioid withdrawal symptoms as part of a complete withdrawal treatment plan that would include counseling and psychosocial support.
    Source: State of Michigan

  • 07.16.1976 Billion Opioid Pills: Newly Released Federal Data Unmasks the Epidemic
    Newly released federal data showed 76 billion opioids were distributed between 2006 and 2012.
    Source: The Washington Post

  • 07.15.19Opioid ‘Negotiation Class Action’ Under Consideration in Cleveland Court Should be Rejected: Perry Zinn Rowthorn and George Jepsen (Opinion)
    Former Connecticut Attorney General George Jepson contends that the opioid "negotiation class action" under consideration in a Cleveland, Ohio court should be rejected, while others claim the proposed negotiating class would be beneficial to communities nationwide.

  • 05.31.19Leader Of Opioid Distribution Ring Sentenced To 15 Years In Federal Prison
    Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Paul Byron has sentenced Trevor John (39, Palm Bay) to 15 years and 8 months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, hydromorphone, and heroin.
    Read more from The United States Department of Justice

  • 05.31.19Pharmaceutical Company Admits to Price Fixing in Violation of Antitrust Law, Resolves Related False Claims Act Violations
    Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc., a generic pharmaceutical company headquartered in Eatontown, New Jersey, was charged for conspiring with its competitors to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers, the Department of Justice announced today.
    Read more from The United States Department of Justice

  • 05.30.19Oklahoma Attorney General Settles With Another Opioid Manufacturer
    Oklahoma AG Mike Hunter announced a settlement with opioid manufacturer Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and its subsidiaries Cephalon, Inc., Watson Laboratories, Inc., Actavis, LLC, and Actavis Pharma, Inc. f/k/a Watson Pharma, Inc. (collectively, “Teva”) to resolve allegations that it engaged in deceptive marketing and misrepresented the risks of prescription opioid use in violation of the state’s Medicaid False Claims Act, Medicaid Program Integrity Act, Consumer Protection Act, and the common law.
    Read more from The State AG Report

Police Reform

  • 07.05.20This town of 170,000 replaced some cops with medics and mental health workers. It's worked for over 30 years.
    Around 30 years ago, a town in Oregon retrofitted an old van, staffed it with young medics and mental health counselors and sent them out to respond to the kinds of 911 calls that wouldn't necessarily require police intervention. In the town of 172,000, they were the first responders for mental health crises, homelessness, substance abuse, threats of suicide -- the problems for which there are no easy fixes. The problems that, in the hands of police, have often turned violent.
    Read more from CNN

  • 06.18.20St. Paul Mayor: We Need This in Our Toolkit for Policing
    For too long, Americans have bought into the myth that public safety is a simple function of police, prisons and prosecutors. Consequently, we spend nearly $200 billion on enforecement and corrections annually.
    Read more from CNN

  • 06.09.20This City Disbanded Its Police Department 7 Years Ago. Here's What Happened Next
    Last week, Minneapolis officials confirmed they were considering a fairly rare course of action: disbanding the city police department. It's not the first locale to break up a department, but no cities as populous have ever attempted it. Minneapolis City Council members haven't specified what or who will replace it if the department disbands.
    Read more from CNN

  • 06.08.20Former Chief of Reformed Camden, N.J., Force: Police Need 'Consent of the People'
    Activists across the country are calling for radical reforms to policing in the U.S., including abolishing the police entirely. Camden, N.J., took its own big step in 2013. The city was in a public safety crisis, with murder rates 18 times the national average and scores of excessive-force complaints, when the mayor and City Council dissolved the existing police department and created a countywide force in its place.
    Read more from NPR

  • 06.04.20The City That Remade Its Police Department
    Camden, N.J.’s detailed rules on use of force are a model for reform but not a panacea. Across the U.S., protesters have taken to the streets to express rage after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. The demonstrations themselves have led to more police shows of force. In Brooklyn, two cops rammed their New York City Police Department SUVs into a crowd of protesters. In Philadelphia, officers sprayed tear gas at demonstrators who were penned in between a highway and a fence.
    Read more from Bloomberg Businessweek

Securities

  • 01.30.20Bipartisan Coalition of 24 Attorneys General Files an Amicus Brief in Support of SEC’s Ability to Seek Disgorgement from Fraudsters
    A bipartisan coalition of 24 AGs, led by Illinois AG Kwame Raoul, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) position in Liu v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 18-1501, that it should be allowed to seek the remedy of disgorgement in civil enforcement actions against fraudulent actors.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 06.28.19Attorneys General Settle With Brokerage Firm for Allegedly Selling Unregistered Securities
    A multistate coalition coordinated by the North American Securities Administrators Association and led by Massachusetts and Alabama reached a settlement with brokerage firm LPL Financial LLC ("LPL") to resolve allegations that it sold unregistered securities in violation of the states' securities laws.
    Read more from the New York Attorney General

  • 06.27.19Massachusetts Attorney General, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Settle With Financial Services Provider for Allegedly Overcharging Clients
    Massachusetts AG Maura Healey and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") reached a settlement with financial services provider State Street Bank and Trust Company ("State Street") to resolve allegations that it overcharged clients.

State Attorneys General

  • 07.20.20'They Just Started Waling On Me': Violence In Portland As U.S. Agents Clamp Down
    Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed a lawsuit Friday against the DHS and other federal agencies and alleged that they have "engaged in unlawful law enforcement in violation of the civil rights of Oregonians by seizing and detaining them without probable cause."
    Read more from NPR

  • 07.16.20Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Felons from Voting in Florida
    The Supreme Court refused Thursday to let Florida felons who completed their sentences vote in a primary without first paying fees, fines and restitution, as the state requires.
    Read more from USA Today

  • 02.26.20New Mexico's Governor Signed a Red Flag Gun Measure into Law and Urged Sheriffs to Enforce It or Resign
    New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law Tuesday legislation that will allow courts to order the temporary seizure of firearms from individuals deemed a danger to themselves or others.
    Read more on CNN

  • 05.30.19Oklahoma Enacts Bill Requiring Attorney General Settlement Funds Be Paid Directly to State Treasury
    Oklahoma has enacted a law, Enrolled H.B. 2751, that requires any settlement funds from lawsuits in which the AG represents the interests of the state to be paid directly to the state treasury so that state legislators can decide how the funds are spent.
    Read more from The State AG Report

State v. Federal

  • 10.03.19Court Upholds FCC Repeal of Net Neutrality Rule, Rejects Preemption of State Action
    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit partially upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC”) authority to repeal its 2015 net neutrality rule—a rule intended to prevent internet service providers form imposing content-based restrictions or pricing on internet traffic.
    Read more from The State AG Report

  • 09.19.1917 Attorneys General Oppose Department of Education Policy; New Jersey Attorney General Seeks to Compel Student Loan and Other Information from Department of Education
    A coalition of 17 AGs, led by New Jersey AG Gurbir Grewal, wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Education (“ED”) expressing concerns regarding ED’s recent decision to restrict state law enforcement agencies’ access to ED records and the National Student Loan Data System (“NSLDS”).

  • 05.31.19Bipartisan Coalition of 52 Attorneys General Urge U.S. Department of Education to Discharge Student Loans for Disabled Veterans
    The National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”) sent a letter, signed by a bipartisan coalition of 52 AGs, to the U.S. Department of Education (“ED”) urging it to automatically discharge the student loans of veterans who are eligible for total and permanent disability (“TPD”) discharge.
    Read more from The State AG Report

Transportation

  • 07.31.19Dealing With the Dockless Scooter
    They are a big business, a big problem, and they both aid and impede transportation. The challenge is to put them in their place, and there is a solution.
    Read more from the Connecticut Law Tribune

Utilities

  • 09.19.19Washington Attorney General Seeks Consumer Refunds from Electric and Gas Supplier
    The office of Washington AG Bob Ferguson is seeking customer refunds from electric and gas supplier Avista Corporation (“Avista”) for allegedly overcharging consumers.
    Read more from The State AG Report

Violent Crime

  • 07.31.19U.S. Attorney's Office to Take Part in 36th Annual National Night Out
    Roanoke, Virginia — United States Attorney Thomas T. Cullen will join law enforcement, community leaders, and residents on Tuesday, August 6th in Bristol, Virginia, to celebrate the 36th annual National Night Out crime and drug-prevention event. Officials from the U.S. Attorney's Office will also attend events in Roanoke, Roanoke County, Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Lynchburg, Bedford County, Tazewell County, Albemarle County, Pulaski, Marion, Waynesboro, Winchester, Salem, and Abingdon.
    Source: United State's Department of Justice

  • 06.04.19Justice Department Announces Addition of Ten Cities and Counties as Part of the National Public Safety Partnership to Combat Violent Crime
    United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that as the Department of Justice continues its efforts to fulfill President Donald J. Trump's commitment to reducing violent crime in America, Attorney General William P. Barr announced Baton Rouge as one of 10 new National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) sites in areas with elevated crime rates. The partnership provides a framework for enhancing federal support of state, local and tribal law enforcement officials and prosecutors as they aggressively investigate and pursue violent criminals, specifically those involved in gun crime, drug trafficking and gang violence.
    Read more from The United States Department of Justice

Voting

  • 07.16.20Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Felons from Voting in Florida
    The Supreme Court refused Thursday to let Florida felons who completed their sentences vote in a primary without first paying fees, fines and restitution, as the state requires.
    Read more from USA Today

  • 07.13.20Signed, Sealed, Undelivered: Thousands Of Mail-In Ballots Rejected For Tardiness
    Mail-in voting, which tens of millions of Americans are expected to use this November, is fraught with potential problems. Hundreds of thousands of ballots go uncounted each year because people make mistakes, such as forgetting to sign the form or sending it in too late.
    Read more from NPR

  • 06.05.20Native American Voting Rights — Report: Obstacles at Every Turn
    In 2017 and 2018, the Native American Voting Rights Coalition — founded by the Native American Rights Fund — held nine public hearings to better understand how Native Americans are systemically and culturally kept from fully exercising their franchise. More than 120 witnesses testified from dozens of tribes across the country.
    Read more from Native American Rights Fund