I first joined the state Attorney General consumer protection world in 2010. I lived in Delaware and, after six years in private practice focused on litigation involving corporate governance disputes, I joined the Fraud & Consumer Protection Division of the Delaware Department of Justice. After a little more than a year on the job, however, my wife (also a corporate attorney at the time) was offered a tenure-track teaching position at the University of Oklahoma’s College of Law. While this was a wonderful opportunity for her, it was bittersweet for me, since I had only recently embarked on what I found to be such a meaningful change in career.
Fortunately, the consumer protection community is a close-knit one, and an email from my then-chief in Delaware landed me an interview—and ultimately a position—in the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit (CPU) in October 2011. I spent the next six years working on many of the same issues I had been working on in Delaware – multistate investigations of pharmaceutical marketing practices, home repair fraud, and telemarketing, to name a few.
In 2017, I took a four-year hiatus from the CPU to serve as the office’s Deputy General Counsel with primary responsibility for drafting Attorney General Opinions and assisting with specialized litigation. But while I enjoyed the change in responsibilities that came with the new position, the consumer protection work that our offices undertake is so important, and it is ultimately what drew me back. In October 2021, I was appointed to lead the CPU.
What has resonated with me most in working in two different AG offices is the common objectives of consumer protection work in most every state. Put simply, obtaining meaningful changes in business practices or recovering restitution for consumers who don’t have anywhere else to turn is a consistent theme regardless of political affiliation. For me, this was best illustrated by how little my responsibilities changed when I moved from working under then-Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden to then-Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. To be sure, they were on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but that fact rarely affected my day-to-day work investigating unfair or deceptive conduct in the marketplace and enforcing the consumer protection statutes under each office’s jurisdiction.
Away from the office, most of my time is spent chasing around my two sons, ages 9 and 4, and my 7-year-old daughter. As with most parents, this involves seemingly endless trips to soccer fields, basketball courts, playgrounds, etc., etc. At the end of the weekend, I’m usually looking forward to getting back to the office Monday morning so I can finally catch my breath.
Other articles in this edition include:
- New Jersey Issues Guidelines for Retailers on Gift Card Fraud
- Attorney General Consumer Protection News: May 2022
- Federal Consumer Protection News: May 2022