State Attorney General Practice

The increasingly prominent role of state Attorney General in bringing civil enforcement and criminal actions presents a host of challenges and opportunities for companies in virtually every industry.  With broad authority to launch investigations and bring actions on behalf of states or consumers, state attorneys general can have a profound impact on corporations, foundations, individuals and investors.  The rise of coordinated, multistate investigations and enforcement actions, often in conjunction with federal agencies like the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission, poses substantial dangers to larger companies that operate regionally or nationally.  Moreover, Attorneys General are popularly elected, with direct electoral accountability for their actions, unlike nonelected federal prosecutors or regulators, which has to be taken into account when dealing with them.  Navigating this landscape requires a deep understanding of the political, legal, and governmental factors influencing state Attorneys General investigations and litigation.

Cadwalader’s state Attorney General practice is led by Doug Gansler, who served for two terms as the Attorney General of Maryland and is a past president of the National Association of Attorneys General.  Doug also is the former State Attorney for Montgomery County, the largest county in Maryland, and a former Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia.  Doug brings his more than 20 years of experience in these and other positions to bear on behalf of a wide variety of clients.

He and other members of the Global Litigation Group handle complex matters for clients across a range of industries, including financial services, insurance, data privacy, technology/telecoms, pharmaceutical, automotive, health, hospitality and other consumer industries.  The firm combines the depth of its Global Litigation Group, including numerous former federal prosecutors in its White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice, with its experience and access to state Attorneys General across the US.  This unique combination of experience, relationships and depth enables Cadwalader to achieve favorable outcomes for its clients when confronted with investigations by state Attorneys General.

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  • Represented a client in an investigation by the Missouri Attorney General related to search engine advertising of pharmaceutical products.
  • Dealt with fifty state Attorneys General in connection with the Sabre reservations system data breach for a client in the hospitality industry.
  • Won an antitrust trial in a case brought by the New York Attorney General challenging the legality of exclusive distribution territories; handled an antitrust investigation by the California Attorney General which cleared the acquisition of two wholesalers in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Successfully represented a hotel in an investigation by the CA AG into alleged price fixing of room rates; successfully represented a member of a deposit collection and recycling consortium in litigation brought by the MA AG alleging price fixing and deposit law violations.
  • Represented a book publisher in price fixing investigation commenced by the Texas Attorney General. The investigation led to a civil antitrust action brought by 31 states, led by the Attorneys General of Texas and New York, as well as co-plaintiffs DOJ and class action counsel.
  • Represented a national furniture manufacturer in a resale price maintenance investigation commenced by the Attorneys General of New York and Illinois. The investigation resulted in a consent decree between New York and the Company.
  • Represented the leading contact lens manufacturer in a resale price maintenance investigation led by the FTC and the New York Attorney General, later joined by the Attorneys General of Florida and Maryland. The investigation resulted in a lawsuit brought only by the state of Maryland, which was favorably settled.
  • Successfully represented an insurance industry executive threatened with indictment in a high profile investigation conducted by the New York Attorney General. Sean replaced prior counsel and persuaded the Attorney General's office not to indict.
  • Represented Bear Stearns in connection with regulatory investigations concerning IPOs and research analysts, which included the Attorneys General for most, if not all, fifty states.
  • Served as a legal intern for Leslie Rutledge, the current Arkansas Attorney General.


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10 Attorneys

Avergun, Jodi L. Senior Counsel Washington
T. +1 202 862 2456
Breen, Kenneth M. Partner New York
T. +1 212 504 6240
Devereux, Amanda Partner New York
T. +1 212 504 5767
Gansler, Douglas Partner Washington
T. +1 202 862 2300
Guberman, Phara A. Partner New York
T. +1 212 504 6241
Halper, Jason M. Partner New York
T. +1 212 504 6300
Holloman, Ellen V. Partner New York
T. +1 212 504 6200
O'Shea, Sean F. Partner New York
T. +1 212 504 5700
Petrella, Michael Partner New York
T. +1 212 504 5551
Wallach, Brian Partner Washington
T. +1 202 862 2332