They're willing to dig into their pockets and do whatever is necessary for their clients.

- Kenneth Feinberg, special master, Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Committee


Partnering with state governments and non-profit organizations to protect consumers, workers and public funds

Cohen Milstein’s Public Client Practice is a litigation and counseling practice dedicated to the needs of government and other public-sector clients.  A former Attorney General heads the group, which enhances the Firm’s ability to understand and serve the needs of these clients.  Our clients are largely state Attorneys General and other state agencies that hire us as outside counsel to leverage their own resources or to provide specialized expertise. Members of our Public Client Practice work with the Attorneys General and their legal teams to investigate and, when appropriate, litigate strategic enforcement actions that will recoup funds owed to the State or its residents, and achieve key equitable or other reform remedies.   

We currently represent Attorneys General in investigations and lawsuits involving fraudulent mortgage lending, deceptive practices in the sale of prescription drugs, and misclassification of independent contractors in violation of state laws.  Members of the Practice served as outside counsel to several states in their settlement with Countrywide Financial, one of the largest mortgage lenders.  This groundbreaking recovery, with $8.6 billion in damages and modification commitments nationwide, has been hailed as one of the largest and most important civil enforcement actions in history.  In addition to our government clients, the Public Client Practice also represents other public-sector clients, including nonprofit organizations and labor unions, in their efforts to ensure that laws protecting workers and consumers are enforced.  In all of our cases, the Public Client Practice draws upon Cohen Milstein’s national reputation, substantial resources and litigation expertise in the areas of consumer protection, labor and employment, civil rights, antitrust and securities.  With specialty practices dedicated to each of these substantive areas, the Firm is uniquely positioned to serve the needs of our government and other public clients.

Cohen Milstein's Public Client Practice is currently working on the following cases:

  • Assisting a state in a case involving a Fortune 100 company that treats its employees as independent contractors.  This misclassification deprives the state of unemployment and workers' compensation contributions it is owed and the workers of the legal protections to which they are entitled.
  • Representing a state in a confidential investigation connected to the financial meltdown.
  • Representing a state in several investigations regarding mortgage lending practices by major financial institutions.
  • Representing unions in consumer related investigations.

Relevant Reading

Rethinking the Public-Private Distinction in Legal Ethics: The case of "substitute" attorneys general
Michigan State Law Review
David B. Wilkins
Summer 2010