State Attorneys General May Obtain Disgorgement of Profits Obtained Outside the State

A New York district court recently reaffirmed the right of state attorneys general to seek disgorgement on a national level from defendants in antitrust cases brought by the states. The decision  in FTC et al. v. Vyera Pharmaceuticals, No. 20cv00706 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 24, 2021) is particularly noteworthy because the Supreme Court recently limited the FTC’s…

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Investigatory Authority of Hawaii Attorney General Affirmed

The Hawaii attorney general’s subpoena authority was recently upheld by the Hawaii supreme court in In re Investigation of KAHEA, 2021 Haw. LEXIS 213 (Haw. Sept. 20, 2021).  The attorney general issued subpoenas to KAHEA, a community-based environmental justice organization that opposes development of a large telescope on Mauna Kea on the island of Maui….

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Alaska Attorney General’s Common Law Powers Do Not Allow Suit Against Legislature

The reach of the Alaska attorney general’s common law powers was the central focus In Taylor v. Alaska Legislative Affairs Agency, No. 3AN-21-0639ICI (July 29, 2021).  On June 16, 2021, the Alaska Legislature passed an appropriations bill to fund Alaska government for the year. The bill included a provision giving it effect on June 30,…

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New Project Teaches Skills and Builds Community for Those Teaching Law Students About The Role Of State Attorneys General

“Students come to law school wanting to do good, but they leave wanting to do well.” That is what one of my law school professors told me more years ago than I will admit. Fortunately, at this significant time in our nation’s history, the current generation is quite serious about doing good and students are…

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Personal Jurisdiction Over Attorneys General in Out-of-State Federal Courts

Two recent decisions in California and Arkansas reached different conclusions as to the court’s jurisdiction over a state attorney general based on the issuance of civil investigative demands (CIDs). In the more recent case, Twitter, Inc. v. Paxton, No. 21-cv-01644 (N.D. Cal. May 11, 2021), the Texas Attorney General’s Office (AGO) issued a CID to…

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Attorneys General Defeat Removal, Preemption Claims Based on Federal FDCA

In two recent consumer protection cases, the attorneys general of Georgia and Mississippi successfully opposed removal and preemption claims based on the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). A federal court remanded a consumer protection case removed by defendants in Georgia ex rel. Carr v. Elite Integrated Medical, No. 1:20-cv-4946 (N.D. Ga. Apr. 12….

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Cases Discuss Criminal, Charitable, and Common Law Jurisdiction of State Attorneys General

Several recent cases have addressed the jurisdiction of state attorneys general in the areas of criminal law, charitable oversight, and common law powers. In a case involving the criminal jurisdiction of both the federal and the territorial courts in the Virgin Islands, the territorial court (Superior Court) held that the attorney general of the Virgin…

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Attorney General Powers and Duties: Arizona Attorney General May Bring Statutory, but not Constitutional Claims Against State Agency

The Arizona attorney general, like those in a few other states, does not have common law authority, and the Arizona constitution provides that the powers and duties of the attorney general “shall be as prescribed by law.”1 Arizona statutes establish the Department of Law and provide that the department “shall . . . [a]t the…

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Update on CAFA and Attorney General Actions

In 2016, the Supreme Court decided in Hood v. AU Optronics1 that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), which allows defendants in “mass actions” in state court to remove those cases to federal court, does not apply in parens patriae actions brought by the attorney general where the state is the sole named plaintiff. Lower…

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“Admitted to Practice,” “Practicing Lawyer,” “Active Practice”—What Attorney General Qualifications Mean

It is unusual for courts to decide on the qualifications for candidates for state attorney general, but it has happened in three states during the past two election cycles. Although it was the most recently decided, the California case about attorney general qualifications was filed before the 2018 election.  A petition for writ of mandamus…

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