Squire Patton Boggs’ State Attorneys General Practice Group is comprised of lawyers who have served at senior levels in state AG offices around the country and whose practices focus, to one degree or another, on representing clients before these increasingly assertive and powerful, yet often overlooked, government agencies, as explained in detail here.
In these updates, we will call attention to the most noteworthy state AG news or developments emerging in the previous week.
New York AG Eric Schneiderman has announced that a settlement agreement has been reached in the “Trump University case.” According to AG Schneiderman’s announcement, the NY AG’s office sued Donald Trump in 2013 for “swindling thousands of innocent Americans out of millions of dollars through a scheme known as Trump University.” The $25 million settlement is “a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university,” per the announcement. Under the settlement agreement, “every victim will receive restitution and  Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws.”
On November 22, a Texas federal court issued a nationwide injunction against a Department of Labor overtime rule that would require “overtime pay for more than 4 million new workers” (Forbes article). The court determined in part that the Department of Labor rule was “contrary to the statutory text and Congress’s intent” (ruling). The lawsuit challenging the rule was brought by a group of 21 states and more than 50 business groups. In a press release, Texas AG Ken Paxton – who is “co-leading” the lawsuit along with Nevada AG Adam Laxalt – said that the overtime rule would “hurt the American worker. It limits workplace flexibility without a corresponding increase in pay and forces employers to cut their workers hours. . . . Not on my watch.” As a result of the injunction, the rule “will not take effect on December 1, 2016 anywhere in the nation,” according to AG Paxton’s press release.
California AG Kamala Harris issued a press release on November 22 containing consumer safety “tips” for the “Holiday Shopping Season,” including: to “[r]eview your bank and credit card statements frequently for unusual transactions;” to “[b]e wary of e-mails that appear to be from shipping companies that contain an attached file; this is a good indication that you have received a fraudulent e-mail that contains a virus;” that “[p]arents and grandparents should be wary of scam artists who pretend to be a child or friend of a child who has encountered a medical or legal emergency and needs money immediately;” and that “[s]cammers use handheld scanners and counterfeit credit cards to use gift cards that they do not actually have. Only buy gift cards that are kept behind the store’s customer service counter or activated upon checkout;” among other recommendations.
Florida AG Pam Bondi also released a “2016 Holiday Shopping Guide” that “provides Floridians with tips for avoiding charity scams, shopping tips and product recall information, particularly on children’s toys and other products that specifically pose risks for children,” according to a press release.