Mission: The National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School is a legal research, education, and policy center that examines the implications of the jurisprudence of state attorneys general. Working closely with attorneys general, academics, and other members of the legal community, the program is active in the development and dissemination of legal information used by state prosecutors in carrying out their civil and criminal responsibilities.
Each year, attorneys general, their staffs, federal officials, advocacy representatives and academics visit Columbia Law School to share their ideas and vision for high quality, state-based law enforcement and thereby contribute greatly to the Law School's commitment to serving the public interest.
On October 30, 2014, 1011 TV of Lincoln, Nebraska ran an excellent special report that contains an insightful in depth interview with Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, in which he describes the functions of his office.
This newsletter is the twelfth of a monthly circulation that describes consumer protection activity announced by state attorneys general. This information was gathered solely from attorney general press releases. It makes no effort to prioritize or analyze the impact of any of these cases and initiatives.
The press releases are organized by state and multistate activity. In addition, certain Medicaid fraud cases that touch on consumer protection and advocacy initiatives have been included.
In a discussion with National State Attorney General Program’s Director James Tierney, General Suthers reflected on his career as a prosecutor , first as a District Attorney, then US Attorney and now in this tenth and final year as Attorney General. AG Suthers encouraged students to consider tenure in an Attorney General’s office. “Attorneys Generals office is a tremendous view of public law and presents all kinds opportunities…It’s just an amazing opportunity.”
The National Association of Attorneys General (“NAAG”) has published a list of all state and territorial elections for Attorney General this election cycle. The document provides links to candidate websites, respective state election agencies and also notes Governor elections in states where attorneys general are appointed by the Governor.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel returned to the National State Attorneys General Program on March 27, 2014. In a discussion with National State Attorney General Program Director James Tierney, General McDaniel highlighted issues facing both consumers and businesses, including the evolving mortgage fraud crisis and the Target data breach. He also discussed state and federal partnership, including his office’s partnership with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
When asked about the value of working in state government as opposed to working at the local and federal level, McDaniel said “I recommend public service at all levels.” McDaniel believes “As far as AGs are concerned, state government is where the rubber meets the road….and where so much good can be done.”
The Charities Regulation and Oversight Project ("Charities Project") is pleased to announce the publication, through Columbia University’s Academic Commons, of two dozen solicited papers addressing the future of state charities regulation. This collection of state-focused articles is the first of its kind in the literature, addressing regulation and enforcement in the charitable sector. The collection features articles from nationally recognized academics, regulators and practitioners who participated in the Charities Project’s unprecedented policy conference, which took place at Columbia Law School in 2013. These twenty-five articles are openly accessible and publicly searchable through Columbia University’s Academic Commons.
To access the complete list of conference topics and links to the papers, please clickHERE
The Hon. Steve Bullock, '94, the Governor and Former Attorney General of Montana, visited Columbia Law School on November 7, 2013 where he delivered an address and met with students, faculty and staff.
Below is a link to a half hour interview General Bullock gave to students in 2009.
As state attorneys general face new challenges presented by health care reform, the Health Project at the National State Attorneys General Program has compiled resources and material to aid offices meet those challenge.
Below is a link to the resource page that includes a document outlining key areas in health reform that will affect attorney general offices. It will be updated regularly.
Director Tierney Visits Seven AG Offices in April and May, 2013
During the months of April and May, Program Director James Tierney visited attorneys general and their staffs in a variety of settings. In addition to personally visiting offices in Iowa, Illinois, California, and Washington, he also spoke at the University of Iowa College of Law, and, prior to the attorneys general offices visits, he attended the NAAG’s Southern Region Meeting on March 21 to 22 in Nashville, Tennessee. On May 21, he presented at the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI) Career Course in Portland, Oregon that was attended by the Attorney General of Oregon. On April 9, Tierney presented at the NAAG Chief Deputies Conference in Charleston, S.C., and on June 19 he presented at the NAAG Summer Meeting that was held in Boston, Massachusetts.
These visits were a continuation of the program’s on-site visits. These visits by Director Tierney enhance the program's ability to create meaningful resources in order to assist attorneys general in the performance of their important duties.
Connecticut AG George Jepsen and Labor Leader Andy Stern Discuss "The Changing Nature of the Employment Relationship" at Labor Project Event
On November 20, 2011, the Labor Project of the National State Attorneys General Program hosted a special public event, The Changing Nature of the Employment Relationship, featuring George Jepsen, Attorney General of Connecticut, and Andrew L. Stern, Ronald O. Perelman Senior Fellow at the Richman Paul Center for Business, Law and Public Policy. Mr. Stern and Attorney General Jepsen discussed the breakdown of the traditional employer-employee relationship and the role that state regulators, employers, and workers can play in resisting or influencing these changes to ensure that: workers receive the wages and benefits to which they are entitled by law; businesses compete on a level playing field; and states can establish and sustain healthy workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance programs and collect tax revenue properly arising out of the employment relationship. This topic lies at the heart of the social and economic fabric of the country, affecting the state of trust, sustainability, and competitiveness at every level.
Program Director Tierney and Senior Counsel Lott Give Presentation on Health Care and Consumer Protection to NAAG
On October 29, 2012, Program Director James Tierney and Senior Counsel Cindy Lott were on a panel at the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Fall Consumer Protection Seminar with Sharon Clark, Insurance Commissioner of Kentucky, to discuss the role of attorneys general under the affordable care act. The discussion focused on the increased need for interdivision and interagency coordination within states to meet the impending challenges. Below is a list of resources and a memo highlighting specific issues attorneys general should be aware of within consumer protection and how they will interact with areas such as antitrust and charities.
Program Director James E. Tierney was quoted in two recent newspaper articles on the job of state attorneys general. In the Richmond Times Dispatch, Director Tierney noted that the job of state attorneys general is independent of the other branches of state government: “That's why attorneys general are independent,” he said. “That’s why they're separate; that's why they're elected,” Tierney went on to say. “They make sure the rest of the executive branch obeys the law.” In a Seattle Times article, Tierney commented on why he thinks the independent and nonpartisan office of the state AG is changing due to national political influence in local AG races. “Washington shows up for every significant fight,” Tierney says.
The Attorney General/Federal Mortgage Settlement and its Implications for Housing Finance
(February 23, 2012)
James Tierney, Director of the National State Attorney General Program, Professor Robert Jackson, Associate Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, and James Millstein, CEO of Millstein & Co., LLC (Formerly Chief Restructuring Officer at the Department of the Treasury) discussed the recent mortgage-finance settlement and its implications for housing-finance policy going forward.
Attorneys General of Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New Hampshire Discuss Human Trafficking on Podcast
(November 10, 2011)
Attorneys General Pam Bondi of Florida, Martha Coakley of Massachusetts, Mike Delaney of New Hampshire, Paula Dow of New Jersey, George Jepsen of Connecticut, Eric Schneiderman of New York, and Bill Sorrell of Vermont were among a diverse group of state and federal officials and members of the advocacy and academic communities who convened at Columbia Law School on October 21, 2011 for the Eastern Region Meeting on Human Trafficking, sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).
U.S. Ambassador Luis CdeBaca Addresses NAAG Meeting on Human Trafficking at Columbia Law School
(October 17, 2011)
The National State Attorneys General Program hosted a forum on human trafficking featuring Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, director of the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Attorneys General of seven states (New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont) attended the October 21 event along with senior staff from another dozen offices of attorneys general.
Arkansas Attorney General Visits Program, Records Podcast on Payday Lending
(September 27, 2011)
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel visited the National State Attorneys General Program on September 23 for meetings with Director James Tierney, program staff, and Columbia Law students. In a discussion with Tierney for the AG Program Podcast, the former police officer from Jonesboro, Arkansas detailed his educational and professional experiences prior to his election as state attorney general. "Your state attorney general's office is absolutely extraordinary in the variety of work that is available," McDaniel said, discussing potential career opportunities for current students. "The notion that good lawyers are only found in high-paying corporate gigs is simply not accurate."
United States Department of Labor, State Labor Regulators, and Other Stakeholders Meet at Columbia Law School to Discuss Best Practices and Information Sharing to Prevent Unlawful Labor Practices
(September 19, 2011)
On August 17, 2011 and August 18, 2011, the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School convened an informal meeting of state and federal regulators, academics, and advocates to discuss improving law enforcement at both the state and federal levels regarding payroll fraud and misclassification.
The key goal of the meeting was to enhance cooperation between the federal government, states, worker advocates, and employers. The meeting was convened a month prior to the United States Department of Labor’s signing of memorandums of understanding with the IRS and with a number of state regulators to provide for information-sharing with the goal of leveling the playing field between employers who follow the law and those who do not.