DAGA Summer Policy Conference, September 4-6, 2019, Manchester, Vermont

On September 4-6, the Democratic state Attorneys General convened in Manchester, Vermont, hosted by the affable Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan. While the panel topics included "Ending the Sexual Assault Kit Backlog," hosted by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, and "State Approaches to Healthcare," hosted by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, most of the buzz focused on the impending multistate antitrust investigation of Big Tech, including Facebook, Apple, Google and Amazon. Of interest, much of the dialogue in the hallways and outdoor decks raised the very profound concerns of why Democrats are now taking on Silicon Valley. In addition, much of the pushback addressed the very flimsy legal theories of state Attorneys General seemingly attacking privacy concerns through state antitrust statutes. Finally, the issue that has dominated the state Attorney General sphere for the past few years – opioid litigation – emerged again following the extraordinarily surprising verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a bench trial in Oklahoma based on a novel public nuisance theory. While the verdict emboldens the Democratic state Attorneys General, caution was voiced by many since the state Attorneys General are bringing their claims under state consumer protection and unfair and deceptive practices acts.

September 17, 2019 | Issue No. 1
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