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
Category Archives: New York Attorney General
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
AGs Crackdown on COVID-19 Related Price Gouging
Attorneys General across the United States are cracking down on individuals and businesses that are selling hand-sanitizer, face masks, disinfectants, and other products at a substantial mark-up, taking advantage of product shortages related to COVID-19.
Over the weekend, a New York Times article, which was widely circulated across social media platforms, reported that two Tennessee men, Matt and Noah Colvin,… More
ExxonMobil’s AG Claims Are Dismissed — What a Shock!
Yesterday, Judge Valerie Caproni dismissed claims brought by ExxonMobil against New York Attorney General Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Healey. Boiled down to their essence, ExxonMobil’s claims were that investigations by Schneiderman and Healey into the possibility that ExxonMobil had committed fraud by misleading investors regarding the risks that climate change poses to ExxonMobil’s business were politically motivated and in bad faith.
The decision was not difficult. … More
Democratic State AGs Want Greater Power to Supervise Banking, Doubt Federal Efforts
In the last week of December 2017, Democratic senators introduced the “Accountability for Wall Street Executives Act of 2017,” which would amend the National Banking Act to allow state AGs to request a wide variety of information from nationally-chartered banks. As the Supreme Court explained in Cuomo v. Clearing House Ass’n, L.L.C., 557 U.S. 519 (2009), the National Banking Act distinguishes between “visitorial powers” – such as examination of a bank’s accounts or inspection of its records – and law enforcement,… More
Exxon Faces Skepticism in New York as SJC Arguments Loom
U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni on Thursday, November 30, 2017 heard argument on Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s motions to dismiss Exxon’s federal court challenge to their ongoing climate investigations. Law360 has reported that Exxon faced considerable skepticism, particularly of its arguments that the investigations impinged on Exxon’s freedom to participate in the climate change debate: “You don’t have the right to lie in your securities filings,… More
NY AG Subpoena Cut Back on Constitutional Grounds
In a rare departure from the typically-deferential court treatment of AG investigations, a New York appeals court allowed in part a motion to quash a document subpoena from the New York Attorney General, citing constitutional concerns, in Matter of Evergreen Assn., Inc. v. Schneiderman, 54 N.Y.S.3d 135 (2017).
The subpoena, issued in 2013, arose from investigations by the NY AG begun in 2010 of “crisis pregnancy centers.” Evergreen,… More
Attorneys General Continue to Battle the Trump Administration Over Environmental Regulations
Democratic Attorneys General have continued their efforts to combat the Trump administration’s attempts to roll back environmental regulations developed under the Obama administration in two recent actions. Thirteen AGs, including Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, sent a letter last week to Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, threatening legal action if the agency takes steps to weaken or delay the greenhouse gas emissions standards that were established in 2012 for cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2022-2025.… More
MA AG Joins with Other States to Defend Critical Aspect of ACA
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that her office would join with Attorneys General from 14 other states and D.C. in an attempt to intervene in House v. Price, now pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The motion was filed on May 18, 2017. The lead states are California and New York.
House v. Price concerns a lawsuit filed by House Republicans in 2014 that attempted to erode certain aspects of Obamacare. … More
Exxon Case Against AGs Transferred to New York: Judge Kinkeade Fires a Parting Shot
On Wednesday, Judge Ed Kinkeade ordered that Exxon Mobil’s suit against NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey be transferred to the Southern District of New York. The AGs must be breathing sighs of relief this morning.
It’s a very curious order. It’s 12 pages long, yet contains just one sentence explaining why the case is being transferred:
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is the proper venue for this case because “a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred” in New York City,… More
“Fourth Branch”? Hawaii Wins Nationwide TRO against the President’s Revised Immigration Ban
Once again, a State AG lawsuit has put the brakes on the President’s immigration ban. This one comes from Hawaii. Last week, Hawaii challenged the new ban in district court and moved for a temporary restraining order. On Wednesday, March 15, the court granted the motion.
Hawaii challenged the President’s first ban in early February. That one barred the entry of citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries—as well as all refugees,… More
With CFPB’s Future in Doubt, State AGs Prepare to Fight
In the first of what are becoming regular clashes between Democratic state attorneys general and the new President, the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia sought to intervene in federal court proceedings to defend the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”), which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”),… More
Update: Six National Retailers Agree to Stop Using On-Call Shift Scheduling
Attorneys general from eight states, including Massachusetts and New York, and the District of Columbia, announced in December that six major retailers—Aeropostale, Carter’s, David’s Tea, Disney, PacSun, and Zumiez—have agreed to stop scheduling employees for on-call shifts. The retailers agreed to end the practice after receiving letters from the AGs last April that sought information about the companies’ utilization of on-call shifts and expressed concern about the negative effects the practice has on employees. … More
Exxon Climate Change Investigation Updates
Exxon’s dispute with Massachusetts AG Maura Healey’s civil investigative demand related to Exxon’s knowledge of climate change both deepened and potentially widened in the last week.
First, on October 13, 2016 United States District Judge Ed Kinkeade handed down an order that will allow Exxon to conduct discovery on Healey’s motives for issuing the CID. The order stems from the AG’s argument, in moving to dismiss, that Exxon’s claim is improperly before the federal court in the Northern District of Texas pursuant to Younger v.… More
Exxon-Healey Dispute Gets Hearing as State AGs Weigh In
This week in the Northern District of Texas, U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade heard oral argument on Exxon Mobil’s motion for preliminary injunction against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s civil investigative demand, issued to Exxon on April 19, 2016, which sought documents from Exxon related to its analysis of research efforts to study climate change. The argument followed two amicus briefs from state attorneys general across the country.
The first brief,… 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,… More
Update: NY AG Continues War on Ticket-Buying Bots
As 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. … 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.… 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. … More
NY Attorney General Tackles Ticketing Practices
Several news outlets are reporting that NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has begun an anti-trust investigation of the National Football League’s ticketing practices. Though AG Schneiderman’s office has not yet confirmed the investigation, such an investigation would fit squarely within the AG’s continued interest in the ticketing industry in New York, as evidenced by his office’s release of the report “Obstructed View: What’s Blocking New Yorkers from Getting Tickets” just last month. … More
Kamala Harris Puts Exxon Under Her Microscope: California AG Reportedly Has Launched Review of Oil Giant’s Statements On Climate Change
Students of history know that fighting a two front war is a hazard to be avoided. According to the L.A. Times, however, that is precisely the dilemma that now faces Exxon Mobil: dual investigations from attorneys general on each coast of the United States.
Several sources are reporting that California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office is examining what Exxon knew about the science of climate change compared with what the company told investors. … More
NY Attorney General Turns Up the Heat on Exxon Mobil; Issues Subpoena to Investigate Climate Change Disclosures to Public and Investors
On November 5, 2015, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office confirmed that it has launched an investigation concerning Exxon Mobil’s statements to the public and investors about the risks of climate change and its potential impact on the company’s operations. As first reported by the New York Times, the Attorney General has subpoenaed extensive financial records, emails and other documents from as far back as 1977.… More
State AGs on Front Lines in Battle over Clean Power Plan
In dismissing as premature a lawsuit brought on July 1, 2015 by Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt against the then-unpromulgated Clean Power Plan, N. D. Oklahoma Judge Claire V. Eagan noted “there is no reason to believe that plaintiffs will have to wait for long before renewing proceedings in the D.C. Circuit if they intend to challenge the final rule.” Judge Eagan was right;… More
Ignorance Is Not Bliss: Nonprofit Trustees Agree To Million Dollar Settlement With New York Attorney General For Lackadaisical Governance
In April 2015, the New York Attorney General entered into a $1.025 million settlement with the trustees of the Victor E. Perley Fund, a nonprofit that serves underprivileged children in New York City. A two-year probe revealed that the Fund’s chairman, along with a fellow trustee, had used its multi-million dollar portfolio as a private slush fund. The duo’s self-dealing and conflict-ridden, high risk investments would have been discovered had their fellow trustees exercised even a modicum of oversight.… More
Several National Retailers Receive Requests for Information from New York Attorney General On Practice of “On-Call Shifts”
In what must have been a bad start to the day, more than 12 of the nation’s retailers recently received requests for information from the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman inquiring into their use of “on-call shifts.” The AG’s letter explains that “on-call shifts” require employees” to call in to work just a few hours in advance, or the night before, to determine whether the worker needs to appear for work that day or the next.” If the employee is not needed,… More