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Consumer Protection Section

 

The Consumer Protection Section includes five units: (1) the Counseling, Intake and Referral Unit (“CIRU”); (2) the Dispute Resolution Unit (“DRU”); (3) the Predatory Lending Unit (“PLU”); (4) the Charitable Solicitations and Deceptive Conduct Unit (“CSDCU”); and (5) the Antitrust Unit (“AU”).

Counseling, Intake and Referral Unit

The CIRU serves as the central clearinghouse in Virginia for the receipt, evaluation, and referral of consumer complaints, and operates the state’s consumer hotline through which consumers are educated about where specific complaints should be filed.  Complaints received are handled within the CIRU, referred to the Section’s DRU or investigators, or referred to another local, state or federal agency having specific jurisdiction.

Dispute Resolution Unit

The DRU offers alternative dispute resolution services for complaints that do not allege or demonstrate on their face a violation of consumer protection law.  Participation in this facilitative process is voluntary and allows both the business representative and the consumer to share their perspectives.  Where a complaint alleges or demonstrates on its face a violation of law, the matter may be referred to a Section investigator, who may either attempt to resolve the complaint, or, where a pattern or practice of violations is found, work with Section attorneys in the PLU, CSDCU, or AU to prepare a law enforcement action.

Predatory Lending Unit

The PLU investigates and prosecutes suspected violations of state and federal consumer lending statutes, including laws concerning payday loans, title loans, consumer finance loans, mortgage loans, mortgage servicing, and foreclosure rescue services.

Charitable Solicitations and Deceptive Conduct Unit

The CSDCU investigates and prosecutes suspected violations of the Virginia Consumer Protection Act (“VCPA”), the Solicitation of Contributions law, and other state and federal consumer protection laws.  In addition to the VCPA, the Unit enforces a number of other industry-specific and subject-specific statutes enforceable through the VCPA, including the Virginia Health Spa Act, the Virginia Home Solicitation Sales Act, the Prizes and Gifts Act, the Virginia Travel Club Act, and the Post-Disaster Anti-Price Gouging Act.  The Unit also enforces the Virginia Telephone Privacy Protection Act.  Among other federal statutes, the Unit enforces the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act, and its accompanying regulations, the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

Antitrust Unit

The AU investigates and prosecutes suspected violations of state and federal antitrust laws, and provides advice to state agencies on antitrust issues. To enforce the antitrust laws and promote competition, the Unit: (1) conducts civil investigations for possible antitrust violations, (2) reviews proposed mergers and other transactions for their potential impact on competition, (3) files civil cases in state and federal courts (either alone or with other States) to enjoin restraints of trade, and to recover monetary losses and civil penalties, and (4) advises state agencies on the competitive implications of government actions.


The Section becomes aware of consumer protection and antitrust enforcement matters through a variety of means: (1) consumer complaints filed with the Section; (2) investigations we initiate and complete internally; (3) investigative referrals from the Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs within the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; (4) multi-state investigations conducted by various groups of state attorneys general; and (5) referrals from, or  joint investigations with, federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

Richard S. Schweiker, Jr.

Senior Assistant Attorney General/Chief

Consumer Protection Section

Office of the Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street

Richmond, VA 23219

 

 

 

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Real Estate and Land Use Section

The Real Estate and Land Use Section serves as legal counsel to various State agencies. Real estate transactions include sales, purchases, leases and easements on state lands, boundary line disputes, title disputes and landlord/tenant litigation. In this regard, the section provides daily advice on real estate and business issues for the Department of General Services; institutions of higher education such University of Virginia and Longwood University, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, the Department of Historic Resources, including renovation and restoration incentive programs, and local soil and water conservation districts on their open space easements.

We review titles, conservation easements, liens, and prepare closing documents for land acquisitions for public use. We assist university counsel with construction projects and property transfers. We negotiate lease agreements with the Science Museum of Virginia and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Current office space leases for all state managed agencies are prepared and executed in our section for the Department of General Services.

 

Katheryn E. Surface Burks

Senior Assistant Attorney General/Chief

Real Estate and Land Use Section

Office of the Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street

Richmond, VA 23219

 

 

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Construction Litigation Section

The Construction Litigation Section is responsible for all litigation concerning the construction of roads, bridges, state parks and buildings for the Commonwealth’s agencies and institutions of higher learning. The Section provides ongoing advice to the Department of Transportation and other State agencies such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Department of Military Affairs. This coordination helps to continue support for effective partnerships between the Commonwealth, general contractors, the road builders and facilitate timely and efficient completion of construction projects across the Commonwealth.

 

Jay P. Stroman

Senior Assistant Attorney General/Chief

Construction Litigation Section

Office of the Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street

Richmond, VA 23219

 

 

 

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Commerce, Environment & Technology  Division

The Commerce, Environment and Technology Division provides comprehensive legal services to secretariats, executive agencies, state boards and commissions for much of the Commonwealth’s government. Composed of three Sections, Technology and Procurement, Financial Law and Government Support and Environment, the Division provides legal advice across a wide range of substantive areas as well as guidance on matters of employment, contracts, technology, purchasing, environment and the regulatory process. The Division’s attorneys regularly assist state agencies with complex and sophisticated transactions and also represent those agencies in court, often in close association with other attorneys in the Office.

Sections

Financial Law & Government Support


Environmental


Technology & Procurement


 

Deputy Attorney General:
Commerce, Environment & Technology Division

John W. Daniel, II:  Deputy Attorney General for Division of Commerce, Environment and Technology.

Bio

John W. Daniel II currently serves as the Deputy Attorney General for Commerce, Environment and Technology.  The Division provides legal services to 129 state agencies in a wide range of disciplines. Mr. Daniel began his career in state government as a staff attorney with the Division of Legislative Services and then as an Assistant Attorney General. In 1986, Mr. Daniel was appointed Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade.  In July of 1986, Mr. Daniel was appointed the first Secretary of Natural Resources for the Commonwealth and served in that position through January of 1990. Mr. Daniel practiced environmental law for 25 years before returning to the Office of the Attorney General in January of 2014 in his current role. Mr. Daniel represented clients with both private and public interests before state and federal agencies. Mr. Daniel earned his J.D. from the University of Richmond and a B.A., from St. Andrews Presbyterian College where he is a member of the sports Hall of Fame.