Serving States and Municipalities
Public institutions—including States, municipalities, and other government entities—are charged with ensuring the well-being of their constituents and the environment, and with maintaining a fair and competitive market to protect consumers, local businesses, and the local economy. When corporate wrongdoing threatens these entities’ ability to protect and serve the public, legal action is often necessary to safeguard their interests.
Keller Lenkner’s Public Institutions Practice represents States, municipalities, and other government entities as plaintiffs in legal actions for the benefit of their constituents. In line with our commitment to the public good, our practice provides pivotal support—in terms of expert attorneys and resources—to public entities for the benefit of their people.
Our team’s legal aptitude in areas of importance to public institutions has allowed us to build close relationships with public institutions across the country, serving as trusted advisors. Our attorneys have represented States in critical antitrust matters against giant corporations. We have represented State municipal governments in the national opioid crisis against pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, and distributors. And we have served as counsel to State attorneys general to help manage legal policy and strategy.
We have developed the expertise to help public institutions navigate the legal landscape they face every day. Our lawyers have the proficiency to partner with public entities, from States to cities to agencies, to tackle their most important and difficult challenges.
Public Institutions Claims We Handle
- Antitrust: We assist public entities in maintaining strong competition and protecting consumers and local businesses from anticompetitive practices.
- Tort Litigation: We partner with public entities to protect the health and well-being of their constituents when corporate misconduct threatens them.
- Environmental Protection: We help public entities ensure that the environment is not harmed in a way that threatens residents’ health and safety.
- Consumer Protection: We aid public entities in all other areas where unfair or deceptive trade practices jeopardize the health, well-being, or safety of the individuals and businesses they are charged with protecting.
Our team’s experience across many areas of complex litigation allows us to rise to the occasion to help litigate a wide range of matters on behalf of public institutions.
Case Highlight: The State of Texas et al. v. Google
Keller Lenkner represents the States of Texas, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, and South Carolina in the States’ antitrust litigation against Google. Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the suit alleges that Google monopolized products and services used by advertisers and publishers in online-display advertising. The complaint also alleges that Google engaged in false, misleading, and deceptive acts in interacting and transacting with consumers. These anticompetitive and deceptive practices demonstrably diminished publishers’ ability to monetize content, increased advertisers’ costs, and directly harmed consumers.
Case Highlight: Combating the Opioid Crisis
Over the last three decades, more than half a million people lost their lives to the national opioid epidemic. Now considered a public health emergency, the improper use of and addiction to opioids is a serious national crisis affecting all levels of society. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse in the United States alone is an annual $78.5 billion (which includes the costs of healthcare, social services, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice).
Companies involved in the development, manufacturing, and distribution of opioids have a responsibility to strictly control the prescription and dissemination of these powerful and dangerous drugs. But instead—in callous disregard of their customers’ health and safety—these corporations focused on profit and ignored the hundreds of thousands of lives destroyed in the process.
Keller Lenkner represents the State of Arizona in litigation against the Sackler family and their pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, Inc., alleging that the marketing of Purdue’s signature drug, OxyContin, violated a 2007 consent judgement barring such tactics in the State. The State also has evidence that the Sackler family funneled billions of dollars away from Purdue, despite being aware that the company was facing massive financial liabilities from litigation.
To combat the monumental social and economic damage caused by the opioid crisis, Keller Lenkner also represents municipalities across Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, and Wisconsin against drug companies, manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies. The cases seek financial relief for the rising costs associated with public healthcare, law enforcement, and other municipal expenditures related to the opioid epidemic. Our clients also seek injunctive relief to require those companies to stop their harmful practices.