Massachusetts Attorney General Files Long-Awaited Climate Change Lawsuit Against Exxon

On October 24, 2019, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey filed a 200-page complaint against Exxon in Suffolk Superior Court, alleging violations of G.L. c. 93A, the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act.  The lawsuit is the culmination of a three-year long investigation that has been contested in state and federal courts in both Texas and Massachusetts.

The core legal theories espoused in the complaint resemble and also build upon allegations made by the New York Attorney General,… More

Kentucky and Mississippi to Swear In New Attorneys General

The fraternity of state Attorneys General will be getting two new members in 2020. In November 2019, Kentucky elected Daniel Cameron as its next Attorney General, and Lynn Fitch was elected as Attorney General of Mississippi. Both will be sworn into office in January. The elections are both pick-ups for the Republican Party, as Cameron and Fitch both won open-seats previously held by Democrats. Attorney General Andy Beshear was elected Governor of Kentucky,… More

Massachusetts and Other States Challenge Trump’s Move to Bar State Vehicle Emissions Regulations

Led by California, 23 states, including Massachusetts, have sued the Trump administration challenging new federal regulations that strip the states’ authority to set their own vehicle emissions standards.  On December 3, 2019, the administration moved to dismiss on procedural grounds, arguing that the D.C. District Court was the wrong venue, and that the case should have been brought before the D.C. Circuit for its direct review.… More

Top 3 State AG Trends to Watch in 2020

Out of all governmental agencies, state attorneys general are likely to have the greatest impact on privacy enforcement in 2020 for the average business.  Over the past few years, state AGs have taken an increasingly active role in privacy and data security matters, using their broad consumer protection authority to enforce rapidly evolving state laws and investigate data security lapses.  Even more recently, state AGs have begun to step out of their typical enforcement roles to pursue policy and legislative initiatives.… More

Ballot Question Fights Looming in 2020

As a quick glance at any news outlet makes clear, the 2020 Election cycle is in full swing. While the early press coverage is already focusing on the large field of aspiring presidential nominees barnstorming in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, by August 2019 Massachusetts voters will also get an early look at which state ballot questions will be seeking a spot on the November 2020 Massachusetts ballot.… More

Partner Colin Zick Discusses Why Law Firms Are Building State Privacy Practices as Enforcement Heats Up with Bloomberg Law

Partner Colin Zick speaks to Bloomberg Law about how big law firms are expanding their state-focused practices to help clients deal with heavy state fines for alleged privacy violations.

Companies are turning to state-centric practices “because they see the threats from individual state enforcers,” Zick said. They want expertise from former officials, like former Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who know the proper approach to limit enforcement risks,… More

New Attorney General Spotlight: Nevada AG Aaron Ford

Aaron Ford will bring a wide array of legal and political experiences, as well as consumer protection zeal, to the Nevada Attorney General’s Office in his coming four year term.  Ford has been a political force in Nevada since his election to the Nevada State Senate in 2012, after which he served as Minority Leader from 2014 – 2016, and Majority Leader from 2016 – 2018, following Nevada Democrats’ re-taking of the Senate chamber in 2016.… More

Exxon Mobil Loses at Supreme Court; Massachusetts Investigation Will Proceed

Last April, I predicted that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision to allow Attorney General Maura Healey’s civil investigative demand regarding Exxon’s knowledge of climate change to proceed had “ended a significant chapter in [the] long-running dispute.”  In fact, that chapter managed to continue through January 7, 2019, when the United States Supreme Court rejected Exxon’s petition to review the SJC’s decision.

Exxon’s certiorari petition accuses the Massachusetts courts of “a breathtaking assertion of personal jurisdiction” that “flouts core notions of due process,” arguing that Exxon’s ability to control the advertising of its licensees in Massachusetts did not constitute sufficient contact with Massachusetts to be subject to a CID. … More

Cybersecurity 2019 — The Year in Preview: New Attorneys General and Trends in State Data Privacy Laws

Whether it was a Blue Wave or a “Big Victory,” the midterm elections unequivocally transformed state regulatory and enforcement landscapes by sweeping in four new Democratic Attorneys General and earning Democrats a majority of those key policymaking positions.  The Democrats flipped four offices with Aaron Ford (NV), Phil Weiser (CO), Dana Nessel (MI) and Josh Kaul (WI) each claiming victory over GOP opponents. … More

New Attorney General Spotlight: Colorado AG-elect Phil Weiser

This blog post is one of a series of posts highlighting newly elected Attorneys General, and commenting on how their priorities may differ from their predecessors’. Click here to read the full series.

Democratic AG-elect Phil Weiser will bring a strong academic and policy background to the Colorado AG’s office in 2019, following his defeat of Republican George Brauchler by a 51.60% to 45.13% margin. … More