State attorneys general have become an active and influential presence on the law enforcement landscape, raising the stakes for those targeted by their investigations, prosecutions and policymaking. Patterson Belknap draws on considerable experience and insight in representing clients before state attorney generals’ offices across the country in a wide array of matters that can potentially have lasting effects on entire industries as well as individual parties. The Firm has successfully represented clients in matters investigated or prosecuted by state attorneys general in a wide range of industries, including health care, financial services and entertainment, among others. We also advise technology companies, municipal contracting organizations and tax-exempt organizations.
Members of Patterson Belknap’s State Attorneys General group bring direct experience working inside state attorney general offices as well as in the offices of various U.S. Attorneys. Our group is led by Peter C. Harvey, a former New Jersey Attorney General and federal prosecutor, who negotiated the two largest securities settlements in New Jersey history, in cases involving insider trading and market timing. He also acted as one of the lead attorneys general in several multi-state securities fraud settlements and prosecutions under state consumer fraud statutes.
The State Attorneys General group includes five members of the Firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations group who served as Assistant U.S. Attorneys in New York and New Jersey as well as members of the Firm’s elite Litigation practice. Group members bring deep experience with state attorney general investigations and litigations involving alleged financial frauds; antitrust and tax violations; cybercrime; consumer protection statutes; unclaimed property laws, and alleged violations of state false claims acts.
The group also includes members of the Firm’s Tax-Exempt Organizations practice, who have significant experience responding to inquiries by the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau and representing clients in investigations by the Bureau. This includes matters with respect to corporate, real estate and other transactions, investigations and enforcement actions, governance matters, fundraising issues, cy pres and deviation proceedings, and endowment matters. Group members also represent companies in connection with cause-related marketing matters.
Bringing to bear their experience and insight, members of Patterson Belknap’s State Attorneys General group have secured favorable results for our clients. The group’s practical approach focuses on aggressively representing both companies and individuals. The group looks for opportunities to convince state attorneys general to forego prosecutions before matters become public, while making clear that they are prepared to aggressively litigate through trial and appeal, if necessary. Each member of the group has significant trial and appellate experience, which gives the group credibility in their dealings with state attorneys general. Our single-minded focus is always on obtaining the best results for our clients as efficiently as possible.
Some of our significant representations include:
- Representing a pharmaceutical manufacturer in an action brought by 48 state attorneys general for alleged price-fixing and market allocation.
- Representing major pharmaceutical companies in investigations and lawsuits brought under state consumer fraud statutes.
- Representing a leading Internet Service Provider in a multi-year investigation by the New York Attorney General's Internet Bureau into whether ISP's deliver the internet speeds advertised to consumers.
- Representing a credit reporting company in connection with attorney general investigations in a data breach.
- Representing a licensed home health care agency in connection with a New York Attorney General investigation of alleged Medicaid fraud and tax violations.
- Representing a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in multiple actions brought by state attorneys general involving "AWP" issues, including numerous trials.
- Representing a major media company in an investigation by the New York Attorney General into whether the company’s expert network service aided and abetted insider trading. The investigation resulted in no action against the company.
- Representing a CDO banker in an investigation by the New York Attorney General’s office arising out of the financial crisis. At the investigation’s conclusion, no action was taken against our client.
- Representing one of the largest gift card companies in the world in an action brought by the Delaware Attorney General under the Delaware False Claims and Reporting Act alleging violations of the Delaware Unclaimed Property Law.
- Representing a large national charity, a university and others before the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau in connection with governance investigations and restructuring.
- Representing a large national food and beverage corporation before the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau in connection with its cause related marketing campaign.
- Representing a not-for-profit corporation before the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau in connection with accusations that the corporation provided unlawful services in violation of U.S. sanctions, and otherwise acted inconsistently with its charitable purposes.
- Representing a New York charity investigated by the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau for allegedly imprudent investments of charitable assets.
- Representing non-profit organizations in a challenge to the constitutionality of a New York law requiring tax-exempt organizations to disclose certain donors because it violates the First Amendment. The Southern District of New York ruled in our clients’ favor, noting that that the law burdened donors’ rights to free association and privacy.
- Representing an internet ticket company and service provider in a consumer fraud investigation and subsequent affirmative civil suit against the New York Attorney General’s Office relating to the Internet Bureau’s refusal to allow the client certain protections granted by federal law and its demand that the client change its business model.
- Representing an internet service provider in connection with a consumer fraud investigation conducted by the New York State Bureau of Internet and Technology.
- Representing a company in connection with an investigation by the New York State Attorney General into political corruption and no-bid contracts.
- Representing a Fortune 100 company in connection with multiple investigations and actions regarding energy performance contracting.
- Representing a multinational corporation in connection with an investigation into alleged kickbacks, embezzlement and public contracting fraud.
- Representing an infrastructure technology company in connection with investigations and actions involving alleged equal business opportunity/minority business enterprise fraud.
- Representing a firm in connection with a tax fraud investigation conducted by the New York Taxpayer Protection Bureau.