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Rutledge Appoints Renae Hudson Deputy Attorney General of Civil Litigation Department

Rutledge Appoints Renae Hudson Deputy Attorney General of Civil Litigation Department

Fri, Jul 10, 2020

Says Hudson is ‘the perfect choice to fill this leadership role’

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today Renae Ford Hudson of Sherwood was appointed Deputy Attorney General of the Civil Litigation Department. Hudson is a litigator with over 25 years of trial and management experience. She is tasked with handling the day-to-day operations of the department and managing a 20 person team of litigators and legal assistants.

“Renae is the perfect choice to fill this leadership role in the Civil Department,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “She has the experience, skills and the leadership ability to guide this outstanding team of attorneys in and out of the courtroom as they fight to protect Arkansans.”

Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office in 2003, Hudson spent time practicing in the areas of criminal defense, family law and utility regulation. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law where she taught litigation skills. In addition, she served as a local faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy Training Program.

Hudson graduated with honors from Arkansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and she received a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law. She is a member of the New Hope Baptist Church in North Little Rock. She is also a member of the Little Rock Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

The Attorney General’s Office Civil Litigation Department handles approximately 500 cases each year in state and federal courts and serves as counsel representing agencies, officials, boards and commissions when they are named as defendants in civil lawsuits. The lawyers also initiate lawsuits when necessary to protect the interests of the State of Arkansas.

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Rutledge Praises Easing of Obama Era Lending Rule

Rutledge Praises Easing of Obama Era Lending Rule

Tue, Jul 7, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement following the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s issuance of a revised final rule that will make credit more accessible to Americans. The CFPB rule reverses restrictions imposed on lenders during the Obama Administration.

“Arkansas law already prohibits the types of loans targeted by this unnecessary Obama era rule,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “While loan sharks continue to be a problem by preying on Arkansans with outlandish terms and repayment conditions, I will continue to enforce Arkansas law to prohibit these types of loans.”

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Rutledge Applauds SCOTUS Decision Upholding Protections for Consumers Receiving Robocalls

Rutledge Applauds SCOTUS Decision Upholding Protections for Consumers Receiving Robocalls

Mon, Jul 6, 2020

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 which prohibits robocalls to cell phones. The Court also ruled that an exception in the TCPA that exclusively allowed robocalls from federal government debt collectors was an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment.

“The Supreme Court wisely ruled to protect consumers by upholding federal robocalls protections for Americans.” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans are fed up with these annoying calls and through my work with the legislature and the Federal Communication Commission, this decision brings us one step closer to permanently hanging up on robocalls.”

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July is Military Consumer Protection Month

July is Military Consumer Protection Month

Thu, Jul 2, 2020

Rutledge to offer free identity theft webcasts for veterans

LITTLE ROCK – Scam artists will use every trick in the book to take advantage of Americans and no one is immune, even our military service members. July is Military Consumer Month and aims to educate military families about potential deceptive practices that specifically target these families and their unique circumstances. In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received 3.2 million reports nationwide, with nearly 650,000 of those complaints categorized as imposter scams.

“It is shocking that there are people in this world that will take advantage of our service members and veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “With such a large military population living in Arkansas, we must use every resource to educate and protect our service members, veterans and their families from experiencing fraud at the hands of con artists.”

Rutledge is offering free webcasts that can assist veterans with consumer protection and how to avoid common scams and identity theft, Wednesday, July 15 and Wednesday, July 29.

In 2015, Rutledge launched the Military and Veterans Initiative at the Attorney General’s Office to assist active duty military, reservists and veterans with consumer-related issues, veterans courts, the Hiring Heroes program and many other collaborative efforts.

Attorney General Rutledge shared the following list from the Federal Trade Commission of the most common complaints filed by service members in Arkansas in 2020 to present day.

  • Identity Theft – 2,210 complaints filed
  • Credit Bureaus, Info Furnishers and Report Users – 1,016 complaints filed
  • Imposter Scams – 458 complaints filed
  • Telephone and Mobile Services – 365 complaints filed
  • Online Shopping and Negative Reviews – 260 complaints filed
  • Banks and Lenders – 238 complaints filed
  • Debt Collection – 233 complaints filed
  • Auto Related – 153 complaints filed
  • Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries – 138 complaints filed
  • Internet Services – 127 complaints filed

Military Consumer Month is a partnership between the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Department of Defense and other state and local organizations.

Arkansas military service members, veterans and families should file complaints with the Attorney General’s Office on ArkansasAG.gov or by calling (800) 482-8982.

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Rutledge Urges Senate to Pass Law to Fight Shell Companies

Rutledge Urges Senate to Pass Law to Fight Shell Companies

Tue, Jun 30, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today led a bipartisan letter signed by 42 attorneys generals urging the U.S. Senate to pass S. 2563, the Improving Laundering Laws and Increasing Comprehensive Information Tracking of Criminal Activity in Shell Holdings (ILLICIT CASH) Act. The letter was sent to Sen. Mike Crapo, Chairman, and Sen. Sherrod Brown, Ranking Member, of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. The ILLICIT CASH Act updates the federal framework for fighting money laundering and terrorism financing, which has not been comprehensively reassessed since its inception in the 1970s. It creates new tools for information sharing between financial institutions and law enforcement. Along with that, the Act requires a covered entity to report its “beneficial owners,” the actual people who benefit from or control the entity.

“By passing the ILLICIT CASH Act, Congress would increase transparency in the American financial system,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This increased transparency would make it tougher for criminals to use shell companies to launder money from crimes like drug trafficking, terrorism and tax evasion and give law enforcement the resources they so desperately need.”

The letter led by Attorney General Rutledge recognizes that many states do not have the ability to track information on the actual people who control or benefit from corporations and other entities doing business there. Without that information, states cannot know if an entity is a shell for concealing the illicit proceeds of criminals like drug traffickers, terrorist financiers, tax evaders and corrupt government officials.

Under the ILLICIT CASH Act, certain business entities will have to disclose a “beneficial owner” to the federal government. A beneficial owner is a “natural person” who controls an entity, owns at least 25% of it, or receives economic benefits from it. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of Treasury (FinCEN) will then keep all the disclosed beneficial ownership information in a federal registry. The Act requires FinCEN to release beneficial ownership information to law enforcement agencies, including at the local and state levels.

Rutledge led the letter with Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, which was signed by attorneys general in: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, N. Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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Rutledge’s Statement on SCOTUS Splintered Decision Ruling Against Louisiana’s Reasonable Admitting Privileges Statute

Rutledge’s Statement on SCOTUS Splintered Decision Ruling Against Louisiana’s Reasonable Admitting Privileges Statute

Mon, Jun 29, 2020

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s splintered decision narrowly ruling against Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act (Act 620) which would require any physician who performs abortions in the state to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. Reflecting the weakness of the abortion practitioners’ position, there was no majority opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts who provided the deciding vote explained that he had only voted to strike down Louisiana’s requirement because he believed this case was identical to an earlier case.

“Abortion is a serious medical procedure that can often have complications and, if not adequately addressed, can leave women with long-term health issues including death,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Despite today's technical decision against Louisiana’s law, the Supreme Court reaffirms common sense laws that ensure protection of women’s health and welfare.”

The Court’s decisions comes after Rutledge led a 20-state coalition of attorneys general in support of Louisiana’s case to protect the safety and welfare of women by requiring admitting privileges to all clinics located in Louisiana. The brief argued the Supreme Court should not allow abortion practitioners to challenge health and safety laws, like those in Louisiana, Arkansas, Indiana and other states on behalf of women.

In March, the case, June Medical Services, LLC. v. Russo was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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