The Office of the New York State Attorney General has earned a national reputation of being one of the most aggressive law enforcement agencies in the country, often pursuing claims against companies by utilizing novel legal theories to effect fundamental change in business practices. In these cases, having an experienced legal team that understands the powers and limitations of the Attorney General, as well as the political and media communications elements of the office has never been more important.
Almost daily, the Office of the New York State Attorney General announces its investigation of, or settlement with, organizations of all sizes and in a variety of industries. Targets include publicly-traded companies with high brand awareness and privately-held, family-owned businesses that are well-known in their communities for their products or services. The Attorney General has broad based powers to initiate investigations stemming from deceptive advertising, charitable organizations’ filings, labor and employment, gaming, public corruption, criminal prosecutions and securities violations (Martin Act). No sector is immune from the Attorney General, including energy, health care, retail, manufacturing, environmental, construction, transportation, and rail to name just a few. Accusations from the Attorney General can have a devastating impact on an organization’s reputation and operation.
Harris Beach offers a team acutely familiar with the Office of the New York State Attorney General. Former senior staff and leaders in that office now counsel and defend businesses and individuals against accusations made by the Attorney General. Our attorneys serve as New York counsel for organizations based elsewhere that maintain a presence in New York and as counsel to businesses headquartered in New York. Our team works with clients from the onset of an investigation to evaluate all aspects of the case, not only developing legal recommendations, but weighing the impact of potential parallel inquiries from other regulators and analyzing the political and public aspects involved in a case. We incorporate this unique knowledge into a comprehensive strategy serving the best interests of our clients.
When necessary, we have employed industry experts to examine issues to ensure that a balanced public narrative is in place, rather than the one-sided version from a government regulator. We are well-connected to the same key media outlets that the Office of the New York State Attorney General uses to tell its story so we can present the client’s position on the issue to the same media in the same news cycle. Our attorneys work effectively with businesses if a company finds itself at the epicenter of an Attorney General investigation to provide full and thoughtful advice to help the client during what may be an otherwise tense decision-making environment.