Last week, State AG executives and consumer protection staff gathered for the 2023 NAAG Consumer Protection Spring Conference. After a warm welcome to Florida by John Guard, Chief Deputy Attorney General in Florida, first on the agenda was the much-anticipated discussion with Attorney General John Formella of New Hampshire and AG executives Lacey Mase, Chief Deputy in Tennessee, Jennifer Levy, First Assistant Attorney General in New York, and Nathan Blake, Colorado Deputy Attorney General for Consumer Protection. The panel was moderated by prominent Consumer Protection figures Jeff Hill, Executive Counsel in Tennessee and Susan Ellis, Division Chief of the Consumer Protection Division in Illinois.


Attorney General Formella discussed that his priorities include elder abuse and financial exploitation given the aging state, consolidation of the healthcare industry and the resulting lack of services and rising prices, privacy, and social media platforms’ impact on youth.

New York’s Levy noted that most exceptionally, this bipartisan group is able to talk about priorities together, because ultimately consumer protection attorneys’ top priority is protecting the most vulnerable. AG James prioritizes obtaining restitution over penalties and using funds for abatement rather than to supplant the general fund. New York also focuses on threats to public health broadly, including their opioid work, JUUL, lead’s effect on children, COVID-19 issues, charity care in hospitals, and mental health resources.

Blake’s position, echoed Levy in terms of collaboration across party lines and regions. He underscored the importance of tackling technology in his office, including social media’s effect on teens and AI bias and potential use in scams, as well as potential deceptive advertising in the newly regulated marijuana industry in his state.

Tennessee’s Mase said AG Skrmetti prioritizes consumer protection and some of his current focuses include the solar industry and protecting veterans.


The discussion turned next to issues the offices are contending with currently. Several stated that they continue to wrestle with the right fit of outside counsel and local government assistance with consumer protection cases. The panel also discussed enforcement efforts to ensure that companies comply with CIDs and properly preserve documents when under investigation.

Reading Tea Leaves: 10 Years From Now

The panel was then asked what would be the biggest issues in 10 years for their offices. Several talked about the perpetual scams (like the grandparent scam) that will never really go away but will change with the times. UDAP statutes are flexible to address most future situations they explained, with the caveat that some specific areas such as technology may require legislative fixes to avoid the law falling behind. Tennessee made a more specific prediction that VR shopping and biometric wallets may create consumer protection issues in the future.

How to Approach AG Offices

Audience questions led to a discussion regarding the best way to approach an AG office. The panelists noted that for informational meetings, they like to hear from concerned companies, but had several suggestions for businesses approaching their offices:

  • The presentation needs to be tailored and specific.
  • Know your audience, and be prepared and transparent to the greatest extent possible.
  • It is important for both businesses and AGs to build relationships and know who to talk with if future issues arise.
  • Know what the AG’s mission is, and focus your presentation on how you will contribute to or align with that mission.
  • Most importantly, don’t waste an AG’s time. (And know how to spell the AG’s name!)


We heard from the panelists that their offices are focused on several key areas. Keep an eye out for more developments on these hot topics:

  • Healthcare and Mental Health
  • Elder Scams
  • Social Media and Children
  • Privacy and AI