Jury Convicts Pennsylvania Attorney General of Perjury and Other Official Misconduct

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

In the late evening on August 15, 2016, a 12-person jury in Norristown, Pennsylvania, unanimously convicted state Attorney General Kathleen Kane of two counts of felony perjury as well as a host of misdemeanor charges, including official oppression, obstruction, false swearing and conspiracy.  Kane faces a maximum sentence of 28 years in prison, although Pennsylvania’s sentencing guidelines recommend a more lenient sentence.

Prosecutors charged Kane based on allegations that she leaked secret grand jury… More

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rejects Embattled Attorney General’s Eleventh Hour Request to Postpone Perjury Trial

In a two-sentence per curiam order, Pennsylvania’s high court has denied Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s emergency application to postpone her impending criminal trial on charges of perjury, false swearing, obstruction and official oppression.  On August 1st, Kane petitioned the court to dismiss the charges against her, arguing that the judge supervising the grand jury from Montgomery County had no authority to appoint a special prosecutor.  Although Kane may ask the Court to reconsider its decision, further reprieve is unlikely.

Kane has served as Pennsylvania’s Attorney General since 2013.  In May 2014, a special prosecutor was appointed to investigate allegations that… More

Illinois AG Targets Non-Compete Agreements for Sandwich Makers

Sandwich with prosciuttoNon-competition agreements are common — and commonly litigated — throughout several fields, such as sales, technology, and medicine.  Protection of trade secrets and the maintenance of long-term customer relationships are commonly cited as justifications for such agreements.  In a lawsuit filed on June 8, 2016 in Illinois state court, Illinois AG Lisa Madigan alleged that, by signing non-competition agreements with sandwich makers and delivery persons, the popular sandwich shop Jimmy John’s was “locking low-wage workers into their jobs and… More

Exxon Sues Massachusetts AG to Block Civil Investigative Demand

On June 15, 2016, Exxon sued Massachusetts AG Maura Healey in federal court in Texas, seeking to bar the enforcement of AG Healey’s April 19, 2016 civil investigative demand, issued pursuant to M.G.L. c. 93A, the Commonwealth’s unfair and deceptive practice statute.  Under c. 93A, § 6, the AG may issue investigative demands “whenever [s]he believes a person has engaged in or is engaging in any method, act or practice” prohibited by c. 93A.  The April CID states that Exxon’s “marketing… More

Texas and Alabama AGs Join the Exxon Fray

As we reported in April, the Attorney Generals of New York, California, Massachusetts, and the Virgin Islands have joined in a multistate investigation into Exxon’s knowledge of the relationship between fossil fuels and climate change as far back as 1977.  Part of that investigation includes a subpoena from the Attorney General of the Virgin Islands, seeking roughly forty years of records from Exxon related to alleged violations of Virgin Islands law.  Exxon has sought to quash this subpoena in Texas state court.

On May 16, 2016, the AGs of Texas and Alabama moved to intervene in the… More

SJC Appears Likely to Provide Guidance on Appropriate Timing for Filing Challenges to Ballot Initiatives

In a departure from its typical schedule — hearing oral arguments during the first full week of every month from September through May — the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will hear challenges to two proposed ballot initiatives on June 8, 2016. The first case, Hensley v. Attorney General, concerns Petition 15-27 which would permit those 21 and older to possess, use, distribute, and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana without criminal penalty, and would allow licensed retailers to sell marijuana… More

Update: NY AG Continues War on Ticket-Buying Bots

iStock_000074830015_SmallAs we wrote in February, NY AG Eric Schneiderman has made New York’s ticketing industry a prime target, beginning with a blistering report on ticketing practices in January.  The NY AG also announced settlements with six ticket brokers on April 26, 2016, worth approximately $2.8 million.

The latest salvo came on April 28, 2016, when the NY AG announced that he would propose legislation to toughen New York’s anti-ticket bot law.  A “bot” is a computer program designed… More

State Attorneys General Send Requests for Information on Retailers’ Use of On-Call Shifts

In a continued effort to end the practice of using “on-call shifts,” several state attorneys general, including Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, sent letters last week to 15 national retailers requesting information about their use of “on-call shifts” to staff their businesses.

As we reported last June, AG Schneiderman sent letters seeking similar information about the use of “on-call shifts” to 14 major retailers last year. In response, the targeted retailers… More

Massachusetts, Virgin Islands Join Exxon Investigation

What began with an investigation by NY AG Eric Schneiderman, later joined by California AG Kamala Harris, has become a multistate AG investigation into Exxon’s knowledge of the contributions of fossil fuels to climate change going back as far as 1977. On March 29, 2016, AGs from Massachusetts and the Virgin Islands announced that they were joining with the NY and CA AGs.  Significantly, the announcement came at a press conference in which the AGs of fifteen… More

The Future of Data Privacy Regulation in Massachusetts? AG’s Office Foreshadows State Action on Consumer Data in First-of-its Kind Conference

What is the future of data privacy regulation in Massachusetts?

On March 24, 2016, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office gave us a glimpse. In collaboration with Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and MIT’s Internet Policy Research Initiative and Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the AG’s Office convened a “Forum on Data Privacy.”  In this first-of-its-kind conference, stakeholders from government, academia, business, and consumer groups assembled to discuss the inherent problems with… More