Attorney General Alliance 2024 Annual Meeting

By Steve Arthur, Vice President, Stateside Associates

The Attorney General Alliance (AGA) concluded their Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 15th, and it was a reminder that issues discussed at AG meetings aren’t just philosophical policy discussions. They provide a window into what issues are important to the AGs and future actions their offices may take.

For example, during a panel discussing ESG issues at an AG meeting in the first half of 2023, one attorney general suggested that there could potentially be anti-trust implications for companies in the same industry joining a voluntary consortium that pledges to reduce emissions beyond what is required by law. In September, companies that were members of the Net Zero Financial Service Providers Alliance received a letter from 22 state attorneys general asking for information about the commitments the companies were making and expressing concern about potential anti-trust violations.

What is being discussed at these AG meetings that are held throughout the year? 

At the AGA meeting, a representative from the U.S. Department of Justice talked about enhanced coordination with state AGs for investigations and efforts with other federal agencies to streamline actions against companies. Speakers also discussed novel ways for AGs to combat artificial intelligence (AI) deepfakes, such as considering personal data as part of a person’s likeness and using existing tort law to sue for using that “likeness” without permission. This could impact any company that uses or sells consumer data.

Of particular interest to senior corporate leaders, a speaker at the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) meeting in Chicago suggested that state AGs might need to use criminal enforcement against senior executives for anti-trust and other violations more frequently, instead of relying on civil enforcement. The speaker noted that criminal charges “focus the mind” and could change decision-making processes at companies if senior leaders faced potential criminal charges rather than just calculating potential civil fines for their actions.

What else is being discussed at AG meetings?

This year’s NAAG President, Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, has made protecting children her Presidential Initiative. With that as a focus, several sessions at both the Spring NAAG meeting and the recent AGA meeting have focused on young people’s use of social media and the impacts that use has on them. One session spent some time discussing how influencers can drive the use of certain products that might not be legal for use by underage youth. However, those influencers weren’t getting payments from those product producers, but rather from general advertisers. A question raised was how much responsibility advertisers have for the content influencers provide. If your company has relationships with influencers, does your company understand all the products they are promoting?


Other panels at the most recent AGA and NAAG meetings have included discussions on AI being used to create deepfakes that could be used for fraudulent purposes and how AGs and the private sector need to work together to counter these threats. Separate discussions focused on how deepfakes are likely being used to try to influence the outcome of our elections, and what the private sector should be doing in the AI space to keep everyone safe.

Other sessions focused on various aspects of consumer protection, from cybersecurity and organized retail crime to fentanyl and mental health challenges. These meetings provide the AGs an opportunity to learn about emerging issues that are often related to technology, so they spend time trying to understand how that technology can impact the way they enforce their state laws. Therefore, these meetings can also provide the private sector with opportunities to educate the AGs on emerging technologies.

State attorneys general are going to continue to play an increasingly important role in regulating commercial business activities and ensuring a level playing field for companies. Understanding their priorities and how they could impact your business is something more and more companies are coming to realize is an important business practice. It’s why private sector attendance at these AG meetings continues to increase each year.

The Stateside team has been helping clients build relationships and educate attorneys general on their issues for over two decades and is happy to discuss situations to determine and provide solutions.

Companies needing to know what AGs are talking about in more detail, but don’t have the resources to attend all their meetings, will benefit from Stateside’s new State AG Executive Report. Learn more about how this intel will help your organization.