What Spurred These Firms To Build State AG Practices?
Public Policy attorneys Jim Schultz and Stephen Cobb were quoted in a Law360 article about Holland & Knight's State Attorneys General practice. As state attorneys general become increasingly active in pursuing investigations, enforcement actions, litigation and coordinating their efforts to exert nationwide pressure on companies, a number of Big Law firms are pulling together resources to bulk up their defense teams. Mr. Schultz and Mr. Cobb explain how they have been building up the firm's state attorneys general practice in preparation for the work ahead.
While some state agencies may have more authority than others, Mr. Schultz agreed that more of them have been taking on big policy issues, where the state officials "band together" on lawsuits and send letters to various industries. "You're seeing AGs moving more and more into the policy realm, and as they move into that policy realm, they need folks not only that have a legal background to be able to handle investigations but also a policy background to understand what's the driving force behind the issue that they're taking off," he said.
"In the past, decades ago, the AGs were maybe second to their federal counterparts, and I think it's harder and harder to say the state attorneys general are second to any regulatory agency," Mr. Cobb said. "I think most would agree that they are really on the front foot and leading on regulatory enforcement issues perhaps even more than their federal counterparts."
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