Public Client Representation
State and local governments have a fundamental responsibility to provide for the welfare of the public. The ability of governments to serve and protect its residents, however, is threatened by the combination of lower revenues and rising costs. Government budget shortfalls are increasing in part because private companies externalize costs. Corporate profits grow, but often at the expense of the public interest.
When corporations cause public harms and refuse to pay their fair share, governments must undertake enforcement actions that put more pressure on already constrained resources. Many local governments, outmanned and outgunned in the battle to rein in corporate wrongdoing, are turning to support from private law firms.
In our proud tradition of effectuating meaningful change through litigation, Milberg partners with state and local governments, including cities and counties, to address the harms facing its residents. Milberg’s Public Client Practice has achieved success against some of the world’s largest and most powerful corporations, including drug companies, tobacco companies, mining companies, and oil and gas companies. As a global practice, Milberg is well-positioned to represent public clients both in the United States and internationally.
Milberg’s Public Client Cases
Our attorneys have represented public clients in matters that include:
Opioids and Pharmaceutical Drugs
The opioid crisis has cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars. A large percentage of the cost is borne by local governments in the forms of health care, substance abuse treatment, criminal justice, judicial services, lost revenue, litigation, and other costs. Sanders Phillips Grossman (now part of Milberg) formed the Opioids Task Force to advise states, counties, cities, and municipalities on opioid litigation. The Task Force is comprised of attorneys and former government officials dedicated to recovering damages associated with the epidemic.
Previously, the firm also participated in several successful litigations for municipalities and unions seeking reimbursement of costs associated with pharmaceutical wrongful advertising and other abuses.
Big Tobacco litigation is a landmark example of private law firms assisting state Attorneys General and local municipalities in the fight to hold corporations for hurting public health. The recoveries from tobacco lawsuits helped to fund anti-smoking campaigns that dramatically reduced tobacco use across the country, particularly among young people. But this progress has come to an end in recent years due to the youth vaping epidemic brought on by JUUL Labs, Inc.
Milberg is helping communities fight back against this new era of tobacco addition through the JUUL Task Force. The primary objectives of the Task Force are to raise awareness of the addiction epidemic and solicit recovery damages for schools, municipalities, states, and government agencies. Our attorneys are pursuing damages to cover anti-addiction programs, PSA campaigns, and devices installed in schools and other youth facilities to monitor and prevent teenage e-cigarette abuse.
Predatory Lending/Reverse Redlining
Redlining is when banks single out neighborhoods based on race in order to deny loans to the people who live there. The historical discriminatory practice gets its name from the way lenders identified neighborhoods they deemed especially risky by literally drawing red lines around them. Redlining was official policy until the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. Reverse redlining, where minority borrowers are approved for loans but subject to predatory lending practices such as unnecessarily expensive mortgages, played a major role in the 2008 financial crisis.
Milberg represents, and has represented, county governments in cases against Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and HSBC for alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act during and after the 2008 crisis. Our reverse redlining clients include:
- Cobb County, Georgia
- DeKalb County, Georgia
- Montgomery County, Maryland
- Prince George’s County, Maryland
- Cook County, Illinois
Environmental health is one of the most important issues of the 21st century. The more we learn about the connections between human actions and natural systems, the clearer it becomes that major action is needed now to prevent environmental catastrophe.
Large corporations play an outsized role in polluting local communities and altering the global climate. But for years, corporate polluters hid behind “preemption” as a shield to prevent local governments from seeking compensation for environmental harms. That is now beginning to change thanks in large part to the effort of Milberg’s attorneys. Using precedent we helped to create in our DePue and Roxana cases, Milberg is now helping local governments make their communities cleaner and safer.
While many of our environmental and toxic tort cases are confidential matters, Milberg is engaged on behalf of cites, states, commonwealths, and territories across the globe, pursuing, investigating, and litigating a wide range of matters.
Milberg’s Public Clients
Learn More About Milberg’s Public Client Representation
To discuss how Milberg can help you and your team in public client matters, or to learn more about our capabilities in this area, please get in touch with our team leader or your preferred Milberg contact.