On February 14, Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Andrea Joy Campbell filed a civil lawsuit against Holtec Decommissioning International LLC and its affiliate Holtec Pilgrim LLC (Holtec), alleging the improper handling of asbestos-containing demolition debris in violation of the Commonwealth’s Public Health Law. The Commonwealth is seeking civil penalties of $25,000 for each day of violation, as well as a permanent injunction that would require Holtec to comply with the state’s Air Act and the air regulations that are promulgated under the state’s Public Health Law. Shortly after the filing, the parties announced that they are working toward a settlement that could require Holtec to pay somewhere between $200,000 to $500,000.Continue Reading Massachusetts AG Sues Over Allegedly Mishandled Asbestos Debris From Decommissioned Power Station

Introduction

On February 1, Senior U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado denied Mackie A. Barch (Mackie) and Trellis Holdings Maryland, Inc. (Trellis and together with Mackie, defendants) motion to vacate the original judgment entered into on September 7, 2022, awarding $6.4 million to David J. Bartch (plaintiff) as a result of defendants’ breach of contract. In reaching his ruling, Judge Jackson was unpersuaded by defendants’ argument that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this matter because the plaintiff’s injury is not redressable by a federal court because marijuana is illegal under federal law, and federal courts therefore cannot adjudicate marijuana cases. Judge Jackson further went on to specify that the conduct at the center of this dispute (defendants’ agreement to return plaintiff’s ownership interest upon the successful licensing of Doctor’s Orders Maryland (DOMD)) would not have “affected the amount of cannabis that the company [DOMD] cultivated or distributed” in violation of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The decision to ultimately defend and extend Article III jurisdiction in cases arising out of cannabis business disputes is an interesting shift that highlights the sway of public opinion to the side of the legalization of marijuana on the federal level.Continue Reading Federal Courts and Cannabis Disputes: A New Perspective From Bartch v. Barch

Announced as the 2024 Chairman of the Attorney General Alliance (AGA), Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford has announced an initiative to help consumers navigate today’s consumer landscape. Titled “Empowering Consumers through Education,” this strategy seeks to address consumer challenges through a multipronged approach.Continue Reading Nevada AG Ford Emphasizes Consumer Education as AGA Chair

One of the most interesting aspects of marijuana law and policy in the U.S. is its tendency to strike at our most foundational democratic principles. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in Gonzales v. Raich,[1] that Congress has the power to regulate the purely intrastate cultivation, manufacture, distribution, possession, and use of marijuana under the commerce clause, even if the marijuana never crosses state lines, because marijuana-related activity has a “substantial affect” on interstate commerce. Several challenges have been made to this conclusion since Gonzales was decided, none of which have been successful to date.Continue Reading Lawsuit Highlights the Complexity of Regulating the Intrastate Use of Marijuana

This article was originally published on February 14, 2024 in Reuters and Westlaw Today. It is republished here with permission.

As we discussed in part three of this series, “Navigating the Complexities of Regulatory Data Incident Investigations,” when an organization is the subject of regulatory data incident investigations, it must navigate a tangled regulatory web. Extricating itself from that web is the ultimate goal. But what form does that take?Continue Reading That’s a Wrap…or Not? Regulatory Data Incident Investigation Resolutions and the Path Forward

On January 31, Tennessee Attorney General (AG) Jonathan Skrmetti, joined by Virginia AG Jason Miyares, filed suit against the NCAA in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee for alleged violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act over the association’s restrictions on the ability of current and future student-athletes to benefit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). The lawsuit was filed just one day after the announcement that the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) is investigating the University of Tennessee for NIL violations.

Continue Reading Tennessee and Virginia AGs File Antitrust Suit Against NCAA Over New NIL Policies

On February 6, a bipartisan group of 51 attorney general (AG) sent a warning letter to Life Corporation (Life Corp.) for allegedly engaging in an illegal robocall campaign that they claim was intended to deter New Hampshire voters from participating in the primary on January 23. The calls purportedly used artificial intelligence (AI) to impersonate the voice of President Biden, telling recipients to refrain from voting in the presidential primary.Continue Reading Bipartisan Group of AGs Issue Warning Letter Over Alleged Election Robocalling

On February 7, a coalition of 19 state attorneys general (AG) filed a comment letter supporting the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) proposed Trade Regulation Rule on Unfair or Deceptive Fees (Rule). The state AGs echoed the sentiment that the proposed rule would provide much-needed safeguards for consumers against unfair or deceptive fees that are a “prevalent problem in many different types of industries.”Continue Reading State AGs Support FTC’s Proposed Rule Prohibiting “Junk” Fees

On February 8, New York attorney general (AG) Letisha James announced a $77 million judgment with three merchant cash advance (MCA) companies, Richmond Capital Group, Ram Capital Funding, and Viceroy Capital Funding, and their principals. AG James sued the companies in 2020, alleging they engaged in exploitive lending practices with small businesses, such as charging high interest rates, undisclosed fees, debiting excess amounts, and fraudulently securing judgments against them.Continue Reading New York AG Secures $77M Judgment With Merchant Cash Advance Companies

On January 26, a Massachusetts Superior Court rejected an effort by the Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) to vacate an order that cast doubt on the constitutionality of a new Massachusetts liquor law.Continue Reading Massachusetts Court Rejects State AG’s Effort to Vacate Order in Settled Liquor Law Dispute