A little over a year after the Texas Appeals Court rejected Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s argument that the state’s Whistleblower Act does not apply to whistleblowers reporting violations of law committed elected officials, AG Paxton has agreed to a tentative settlement that will leave the Appeals Court’s ruling in place and provide monetary compensation to four former AG employees. The settlement was revealed in a Texas Supreme Court filing on February 10,… More
State Attorneys General on the Abortion Frontlines
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, state attorneys general are, not surprisingly, joining the frontlines of the ensuing state-by-state debate on abortion rights. Consider two opposing examples from recent weeks. In early July, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued a broad consumer advisory regarding so-called crisis pregnancy centers in Massachusetts, arguing that such facilities are frequently not licensed medical facilities and may offer advice that is inaccurate or misleading. … More
California AG Launches Investigation into Fossil Fuel and Petrochemical Industries for Plastic Pollution
On April 28, 2022, the California Attorney General launched an investigation into the “fossil fuel and petrochemical industries for their role in causing and exacerbating the global plastics pollution crisis.” As a first step, the CA AG issued a subpoena to ExxonMobil, “a major source of global plastic pollution, seeking information relating to the company’s role in deceiving the public.” The stated purpose of the investigation is to “target companies that have caused and exacerbated the global plastics pollution crisis,… More
Losses Continue to Mount For ExxonMobil in its Fight to Prevent State Attorney General Climate Investigations
On March 15, 2022, the Second Circuit rejected an appeal brought by ExxonMobil attempting to block investigations by the New York and Massachusetts Attorneys General into historical claims made by Exxon regarding climate change. These cases have a long procedural history in both state and federal courts as Exxon has employed multiple procedural vehicles to attempt to halt the investigations. Generally, both investigations relate to whether Exxon intentionally mislead investors and the public regarding its knowledge and the risks of climate change. … More
Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General – 2022 Preview
This is the fourth post in this year’s series examining important trends in white collar law and investigations. Our previous post discussed trends in tax enforcement. Up next: trends in sanctions & export controls enforcement.
2022 is shaping up to be an interesting year for the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. It marks Maura Healey’s final year as AG as she gears up for her run for governor. … More
New York Proposes Broad New Pre-Merger Notification Requirement
The American Bar Association is hosting a panel discussion on New York’s 21st Century Antitrust Act and the pre-merger regime it could create moderated by Austin A.B. Ownbey on March 4. For more information and to register please click here.
The New York Attorney General would like to review your next transaction before you close.
The 21st Century Antitrust Act has primarily been described as an effort to strengthen the anti-monopoly provisions of Section 340 of New York’s General Business Law.… More
Appeals Court Rejects Argument That Whistleblower Protections Do Not Apply to Reporters of Texas AG Paxton’s Alleged Misconduct
The Texas Appeals Court has recently confirmed that employees of elected officials are protected under the Texas Whistleblower Act. In September 2020, high-ranking officials at the Texas Attorney General’s Office (the “OAG”) reported what they believed to be criminal misconduct by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to the FBI, the Texas Rangers, and other law enforcement agencies. In particular, the officials reported that Paxton used his official position to benefit Nate Paul,… More
Health Care Entities May Challenge MassHealth Financial Withholdings
The Massachusetts Appeals Court has issued an important ruling for health care entities who are being investigated by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Division and facing financial withholding, often without recourse while the AGO takes its time to resolve a matter.
The case, Rizkallah v. Attorney General, involved the following relevant facts: In March 2017, the AGO sent Mouhab Rizkallah,… More
Four State AGs Launch Consumer Protection Investigation of Major Republican and Democratic Fundraising Platforms, Congressional Effort Underway to Head Off Future Related Incidents
This blog post was written by Foley Hoag Summer Associate, Joshua Rosen
Major national media sources including The Hill, New York Times, Washington Post, and others, recently reported that four attorneys general have launched a consumer protection investigation of two popular political fundraising websites, WinRed and ActBlue. WinRed and ActBlue are primary fundraising platforms used by the Republican and Democratic parties,… More
WinRed Fights Back Against State Attorneys General Investigations
This blog post was written by Foley Hoag Summer Associate, Nicholas Hanel
Does federal election law preempt state AG investigations against Political Action Committees? WinRed believes so – the GOP fundraising platform has recently filed suit in the District of Minnesota seeking declaratory relief stating that only the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has enforcement power over the organization. A favorable court decision holding that federal law preempts the AGs’ investigations here could create a serious obstacle to future state investigations.… More