Albuquerque Attorney General Investigation Attorneys
Providing Forward-Thinking Guidance to Businesses Throughout New Mexico
Learning your business is the subject of a government investigation is never ideal. Despite your best efforts to meet your industry’s rigorous regulatory standards, agents of the state or federal attorney general’s office may choose to scrutinize some element of your company’s operations. These agencies have increasingly begun to work directly with other regulatory authorities, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, when conducting these investigations.
Our Albuquerque attorney general investigation lawyers have provided tenacious and results-oriented representation to New Mexico businesses for over 25 years. We work to find the appropriate balance between cooperation, negotiation, and litigation when communicating with government authorities, and our team at Atkinson, Baker & Rodriguez, P.C. is well-versed in how to effectively navigate investigations of all scopes. Our emphasis on outside-the-box thinking and creative approaches to complex problems allows us to capably advocate for you in these high-stakes situations.
Avoiding an Attorney General Investigation
State and federal attorney general (AG) offices have broad powers that can substantially impact your ability to do business. They are responsible for enforcing the law, proposing regulatory legislation, advising state agencies, and even initiating civil lawsuits on behalf of the government.
It is always in your best interest to maintain a positive relationship with New Mexico’s attorney general’s office, and there are several proactive steps your company can take to limit the possibility of an investigation. First, it is important to understand what gets the attention of an AG office.
Some of the elements that can trigger an attorney general investigation include:
- Compliance violations
- Whistleblower complaints
- Consumer complaints
- Negative media coverage
- Perceived behavior that may endanger the public
Your business must remain in total compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations. Doing so can dramatically reduce the odds of an AG inquiry. Repeated violations may get the attorney general’s attention and prompt a deeper investigation. Especially serious violations may also motivate a whistleblower to file a complaint.
Your company must swiftly address and resolve consumer complaints. Each AG office has a team that reviews, investigates, and responds to consumer complaints. They will typically consider the number of complaints, the nature of the complaints, and how the complaints are handled. If a great number of poorly handled consumer complaints accumulate over time, an AG office may identify a trend that spurs enforcement action.
An AG office may make an informal inquiry before initiating an investigation. In these instances, you should immediately engage and be as responsive as possible. Their concerns may be able to be resolved in an open dialogue.
Our Albuquerque attorney general investigation attorneys are familiar with a wide variety of avoidance strategies. We can also help you ensure any proactive communications with regulators meet all state ethics laws.
How We Approach Attorney General Investigations
Unending media coverage, a series of whistleblowers, or changing enforcement priorities may make an attorney general investigation unavoidable. If you do not already have legal representation experienced with these matters, it is important to seek capable counsel immediately upon learning your business is being investigated.
An AG investigation will begin with the issuance of a civil investigative demand (CID) or a civil subpoena. We will immediately review the substance of the request and weigh your options. Depending on the nature of the investigation, compliance may be the best path forward.
In some cases, we will negotiate to narrow the scope of the investigation’s inquiry. This can protect your company’s interests and limit the burden of the investigation. Maintaining responsiveness and open communication can compel an AG office to honor these requests.
We will also discuss implementing a confidentiality agreement with the AG office. This can protect your business’s proprietary information and trade secrets from being disseminated to third parties.
Our team at Atkinson, Baker & Rodriguez, P.C. handles every AG inquiry and investigation with the expectation that it may lead to litigation. That means we preserve and analyze every document and piece of communication involved. Our Albuquerque attorney general investigation lawyers will help you weigh your options at each stage of the process and provide the sophisticated guidance your business needs to succeed.
What Is a Qui Tam Lawsuit?
Your business will be at substantial financial risk if a whistleblower brings a “qui tam lawsuit” under the False Claims Act (FCA). This federal law provides enhanced protection and incentives for whistleblowers who report fraud against the government. Our firm has experience trying these cases and can fiercely advocate for you in and out of the courtroom.