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03.25.21

State AG enforcement under the Biden Administration

BY , , , Michal E. Ovadia

With new and shifting priorities under the Biden administration and enhanced collaboration between state and federal authorities, vast sectors of the American economy are poised to come into the crosshairs of state AGs in 2021.

In a roundtable virtual discussion on March 24, 2021, Nixon Peabody’s State Attorneys General practice team shared critical takeaways and best practices to consider:

Build strategic regulatory and internal compliance measures and programs to avoid state AG exposure, particularly in these areas: consumer protection, financial and tech fraud, health care, environmental, civil rights, real estate securities, antitrust and price gouging, False Claims Act, and cybersecurity and data privacy.

  • Take proactive steps now in these areas to maintain trust and confidence in your brand. 
  • Expect continued state AG special investigations.
  • Regulation and enforcement in the real estate industry, particularly in New York, are on the rise.
  • With recent appointments, it appears President Biden is signaling a hard line on antitrust, particularly in the Big Tech industry. These new federal appointments will likely also impact enforcement priorities at the state level. 
  • Environmental protections are topping the new administration’s list of enforcement priorities. Expect some increased state alignment with the federal agenda and shifts in state cooperation with the federal government.
  • Prepare for both challenges and opportunities in the year ahead with regard to the cannabis legal and regulatory landscape.
  • State AGs may not be doing many face-to-face meetings given the pandemic, but that doesn’t change the current heightened enforcement landscape.
  • Train staff on state AG requirements and processes.
  • Involve legal counsel in the process.

For more information, we recommend watching our recent virtual session.

Nixon Peabody advises clients on enforcement actions and challenges brought by state AGs and works with others who are preparing to respond to inquiries. We absolutely recommend clients seek legal advice if they receive inquiries from state AGs. This is critical because there may be limited opportunities to include information, which clients need to use in their own defense, into the record for consideration. In addition, NP helps clients position and prepare their organizations as advantageously as possible in the current climate, before any inquiry.

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Erica F. Buckley

Partner

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Robert Fisher

Partner

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Travis Hill

Partner

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Michal E. Ovadia

Associate

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