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Alabama AG Uses Contingency Fee Agreements to Sue Drug Manufacturers

State AG Tracker Vol. 1, No. 3, 2009
E. Berton Spence August 11, 2009

Alabama Attorney General Troy King is one of numerous state attorneys general who has turned to the private, contingency-fee plaintiff’s bar to prosecute actions on behalf of the state.

In 2005, King filed suit against over 70 drug makers, alleging charges in excess of the “average wholesale price” (AWP) index Medicaid agencies generally rely on to reimburse pharmacists who dispense prescription drugs to eligible participants.1   As of this writing, the latest case to go to trial is one against Watson Pharmaceuticals.2   In this and the other cases, Alabama is represented by noted plaintiff’s counsel Jere Beasley of the Beasley, Allen firm in Montgomery, Alabama.

National Arbitration Forum Settlement with Minnesota Attorney General

State AG Tracker, Vol. 1, No. 4, 2009
Matthew R. Salzwedel, Devona Wells August 11, 2009

On July 20, 2009, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson announced that the country’s largest arbitrator of credit-card and consumer-collection disputes would no longer handle consumer arbitrations.

The National Arbitration Forum’s decision to end its consumer-arbitration business resulted from a settlement it reached with the State of Minnesota less than a week after Attorney General Swanson sued the company in Ramsey County, Minnesota, accusing the company of violating Minnesota’s consumer-fraud, deceptive-trade-practices, and false-advertising statutes.

State Attorneys General and Regulation of National Financial Institutions

State AG Tracker Vol 1, No. 2, 2009
Margaret A. Little June 04, 2009
Recently, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal issued a press release, joined by all 49 other state attorneys general, in which he advanced two propositions. First, he claimed that a Bush Administration Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) regulation had hamstrung the states from regulating national financial institutions, thereby directly contributing to the financial crisis, saying:

The Bush administration flagrantly favored national banks over consumers, exempting them from state regulation and helping set the stage for the ongoing economic meltdown. This rule was a key element in the perfect storm that devastated the mortgage market, turning the American Dream of home ownership into a nightmare and wrecking our economy. Without this rule, states could have stopped abusive practices, slowing or even preventing the current crisis.

Second, he urged the Obama administration to join with the 50 state AGs in urging the U.S. Supreme Court in Cuomo v. Clearing House Association, 08-453, to overturn the OCC regulation and permit the states to regulate national lenders.

The Rise and Fall of Lead Paint Litigation in Ohio

State AG Tracker Vol. 1, No. 1, 2009
David J. Owsiany May 18, 2009
Over the last four years, Ohio has experienced a significant amount of activity related to lead paint litigation.  By the start of 2009, however, all the lawsuits filed by Ohio’s cities had been dismissed and only the state attorney general’s case remained.  The Ohio General Assembly passed legislation to control such litigation, which nearly resulted in a constitutional crisis, requiring the Ohio Supreme Court to determine whether the legislation was properly enacted into law. The activity culminated when, in February 2009, Ohio’s newly elected Attorney General, Richard Cordray, voluntarily dismissed the state’s case, effectively ending government-sponsored lead paint litigation in Ohio.

The Supreme Court of Texas: A Balanced Court

A Special Issue Report
Aaron M. Streett October 14, 2008
The Supreme Court of Texas has come through a period of rapid transition, and what some have called the court’s “conservative counterrevolution” certainly has not ended with the departure of its leader, Chief Justice Thomas R. Phillips, who retired from the Court in 2004. The court has set about establishing a consistent, moderately conservative approach that resists expansion of novel causes of action and theories of liability, while continuing to prune some of the precedents established during the previous era.