Q&A: D.C. Attorney General on Consumer Protection Efforts

By: Richard P. Lawson
– Corporate Counsel

State attorney general's offices have become increasingly active in enforcing consumer protection issues. I recently spoke to Karl Racine, Attorney General for the District of Columbia, on his office's priorities related to consumer protection. Following is a transcript of that conversation.
 
In order to get a sense of the issues you deal with on a daily basis, please tell us a bit about the structure of your office and the kinds of cases you handle.
 
As attorney general, I serve as our city's chief legal officer. That means our office advises and represents the city's agencies and officials in court. We also have a co-equal duty to promote and defend the broader public interest of District residents. The Office of the Attorney General  has approximately 575 employees, about evenly divided between attorneys and investigators, paralegals, and other professional and support staff. Those attorneys and staff handle tens of thousands of cases each year. Among our multitude of roles, we take action to defend the District in civil litigation; protect vulnerable children and adults who are being abused; prosecute some crimes—including almost all offenses committed by juveniles in the District; and, of course, bring affirmative suits and other actions against bad actors who take advantage of our residents.
 

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