On the Horizon
Partner and Former Maryland Attorney General

The big issues of the day are increasingly ending up on the desks of state Attorneys General.

Artificial Intelligence

As artificial intelligence continues to take hold across many industries, state Attorneys General will monitor issues of accuracies, bias, discrimination and privacy.

Crypto Exchange Collapse

California Attorney General Rob Bonta, along with many other states, will be looking into the FTX crypto exchange collapse as well as many other mediums of cryptocurrency under the state Consumer Protection Acts and state UDAP (Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices) laws that will purport to recoup monies for a large swath of investors as well as work with federal agencies to adopt practices to protect investors in cryptocurrency.

Internet Betting

As more and more states implement on-line sports betting, state Attorneys General will play a crucial role in enforcement and consumer protection. In most states, the lawyers for the gaming authority are assistant Attorneys General. State Attorneys General will implement their state Consumer Protection Acts as well as UDAP statutes to attempt to protect consumers from inadequate disclosures and perceived lack of transparency.  

Student Loans

In the wake of President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan, Republican state Attorneys General brought lawsuits against the policy, noting that presidential powers do not extend to cancelling billions of dollars of student debt without authorization from Congress. The Supreme Court will resolve this conflict and will likely side with the Republican state Attorneys General, which is expected to provoke Democratic state Attorneys General to continue their scrutiny of student loan services and companies offering student loan debt relief.


Attorneys General from North Carolina, Illinois, Wisconsin, California and others brought PFAS lawsuits against manufacturers in 2022, and we expect that other states will bring lawsuits against PFAS-related companies in 2023.

ESG (environmental, social, and governance-focused investing)

In 2022, 14 Republican Attorneys General, led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, announced an investigation into the climate mitigation strategies of a handful of the biggest banks alleging that the banks are illegally blocking fossil fuel companies from accessing financial services. We expect there to be more investigations/litigation into ESG practices by financial institutions. Larger investment and private equity firms are likely to be scrutinized by Republican Attorneys General regarding the juxtaposition of ESG-focused asset management and fiduciary duties, while Democratic state Attorneys General will ramp up their insistence on corporate implementation of ESG policies.

Big Tech and Minors

State Attorneys General will continue their seemingly quixotic quest to regulate Big Tech. While Big Tech companies publicly request stronger regulation, the difficulty remains in how to navigate First Amendment protections, privacy concerns and technological limitations. More recently, focus has shifted toward online safety for minors. While Meta and other Big Tech companies pour enormous resources into protecting minors, state Attorneys General will continue to probe TikTok, Twitter and other tech companies that have flown under the enforcement radar. 

February 7, 2023
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