CWAG Roundup

May 20, 2016

The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG), Oregon Attorney General and CWAG Chair Ellen Rosenblum along with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden invite you to join your colleagues for the CWAG Annual Meeting, July 17-20, 2016 in Sun Valley, Idaho at the Sun Valley Resort.
You may register online at or print off a registration packet from the website and email the forms to [email protected].  
Early Bird Registration: The deadline for Early Bird discounted registration is Friday, June 3, 2016 at 5:00p (PT). Your online registration must be finalized or your manual registration form received via fax or email to the CWAG office by 5:00p (PT) on June 3. All registrations received after this time and date will be charged the regular registration fee.
Room Block:  Despite our best efforts to gauge CWAG attendance, over the past several years the CWAG room block has sold out quickly and well before the "official" cutoff date.  This year has proven to be no exception.  Part of the problem is we run up against limitations in the size of resorts located in the scenic locations our guests love in the West.  We regretfully send this email to announce the Sun Valley Lodge and Inn are sold out.  There is good news in that our room block is not yet completely full!  We currently have 2BR - 4BR condos available ranging in price from $295 - $450 per night.  PLEASE MOVE QUICKLY TO SECURE THESE ROOMS IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING ATTENDING THE MEETING.
If you have not yet had the good fortune to stay at the Sun Valley Resort, the entire resort is self-encapsulated.  All the accommodations at the resort allow guests to be included in the Sun Valley Resort Village.  When reviewing the accommodation availability, hotel rooms at the Lodge (sold out) and Inn (sold out) as well as Lodge Apartments and privately owned condominiums, all are part of the Sun Valley Village and within an easy 5-10 minute walk of the conference space located at the Sun Valley Inn (see attached resort map).

We do expect the remaining block to sell out quickly so if you have not yet made a reservation we encourage you to call the resort as soon as possible to do so.  The reservations number is 800.786.8259 and be sure to ask for the CWAG discounted conference rate.

Onsite Registration: Pre-registering for primary attendees and guests who would like to attend any of the substantive or social opportunities is required. CWAG must make commitments to the hotel and activity vendors based on pre-registered guests prior to our arrival. The registration fees cover the cost of activities and meals at the conference which have been pre-arranged. Given the necessity of pre planning, we will not be accepting any onsite registrations.
The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) Alliance Partnership, CWAG Chair and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum along with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden cordially invite you to attend the 2016 CWAG Alliance Partnership Binational State Attorneys General Exchange.
The Binational State Attorneys General Exchange will be held from July 16 to July 17 at the Sun Valley Resort in Sun Valley, Idaho, prior to the CWAG Annual Meeting which runs from July 17-20, 2016. 
CWAG has confirmed the attendance of Mexico's Federal Attorney General Arely Gomez Gonzalez, and anticipates approximately 25 state Attorneys General from Mexico and the United States to be in attendance at the Binational Exchange, in addition to other federal and private partners.
There is no separate registration fee for the Binational State Attorneys General Exchange. Please confirm your participation by emailing CWAG Alliance Partnership Deputy Director, Lauren Niehaus at [email protected] or by phone at 303-827-9039. The Binational Exchange is open to all attendees on a space available basis.
DRAFT AGENDA: CWAG State Attorneys General Binational Exchange
Saturday July 16, 2015
7:00pm - Welcome Reception and Dinner
Sunday July 17, 2016
9:00am - 3:00pm - Binational AG Exchange
6:15pm - CWAG Annual Meeting Opening Dinner (with Mexican AG Delegation)
Building a successful prosecution depends on each member of the investigative and prosecutorial team, starting with the first response to the scene of the crime, and continuing until a conviction is obtained. That is the message Al Lama, National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) chief of staff and National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI) senior program counsel, and fellow instructors shared with Mexican state attorneys general personnel during a March team training held by the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) in Mexico City. As Mexico transitions from an inquisitorial justice system inherited from Spain and France, to its new oral, adversarial criminal justice system, its actors require new skills. Through the CWAG Alliance Partnership, CWAG has organized volunteers from state attorneys general offices in the United States to work with their Mexican counterparts for more than seven years, to help their personnel acquire the skills necessary to success in the new system. As the June 18 deadline for the constitutional reforms looms, the pace of implementation of the reforms is frantic.
Prosecutors and special agents from the office of CWAG Attorney General Hector Balderas of New Mexico joined the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribal law enforcement agencies, service providers and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) to combat human trafficking on Native American lands in New Mexico. The working conference, Sex Trafficking in Indian Country, demonstrates the critical importance of federal, state and tribal entities working together with service providers to attack human trafficking and protect victims on tribal lands in New Mexico. "Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and the perpetrators prey on New Mexico's most vulnerable populations," General Balderas said. "Our partnerships with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, tribal entities, service providers and the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women are key to preventing and prosecuting human trafficking across our state."
CWAG Attorney General Tim Fox of Montana announced that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Montana's argument that a delay in sentencing does not violate a person's constitutional right to a speedy trial. General Fox issued the following statement regarding today's ruling:"In its unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the arguments made by the Montana Attorney General's Office. While this office certainly recognizes the need for sentencing to occur as quickly as possible after conviction, the Court agreed with us that a sentencing delay does not violate a person's constitutional right to a speedy trial. I am grateful to Solicitor General Dale Schowengerdt, who argued before the Court in March, as well as Assistant Attorneys General Mark Fowler, Tammy Hinderman, and Jonathan Krauss, who invested their time and talent into developing a strong case on behalf of Montana. As a result of their hard work, this case will have an impact on jurisprudence throughout the country."
CWAG Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt of Nevada celebrated National Military Appreciation Month and reminded Nevada's military service members, families and veterans to take advantage of new services offered by his first-of-its-kind Office of Military Legal Assistance. Launched in November 2015, the Office is the nation's first attorney general-led, public-private partnership offering our military communities access to pro bono civil legal services. Recently, the Department of Defense named the Office a "Best Practice Program," and recommended that the program be duplicated in states throughout the country. The program pairs Nevada's active duty, Guard and reserve service members with local attorneys to receive legal assistance for civil matters including: consumer fraud, military rights, immigration, landlord/tenant, predatory lending and creditor/debtor issues. Nevada veterans may also receive assistance with wills and powers of attorney.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Bill Sorrell of Vermont and Google announced that Google will ban advertising for high-interest personal loans, sometimes referred to as "payday loans." In 2014, as part of a statewide crackdown on high-interest lending, the Vermont Attorney General Office's collaborated with Google. Over the past two years, Vermont identified for Google hundreds of online lenders who violated Vermont or other state law by: (1) charging excessive interest, often 300% APR or more; or (2) failing to obtain a license as required by Vermont and other states that regulate personal loans. Consequently, Google disabled advertising for the identified illegal lenders. "I am pleased that Vermont led the states in working with Google to stop online advertising by predatory lenders," said General Sorrell.  Now, Google has taken a further step and simply banned advertising for all personal loans that charge over 36% annual interest or require repayment in under sixty days.
If you can dream up a way to smuggle marijuana out of Colorado, chances are someone else has already tried it: Cars and trucks. Potato chip bags and jars of peanut butter. The U.S. mail. Not even the sky is the limit: A pilot last year confessed he used his skydiving planes to deliver nearly a ton of pot to buyers in Texas and Minnesota, court records show. Authorities say growers are using loopholes in Colorado's legal cannabis system to produce marijuana destined for illegal export, tempted by the high prices that Colorado's high-grade marijuana commands on the black market, including convenient and discreet marijuana-infused candy. And with margins of as much as 300%, smugglers are willing to take big risks. "What we're hearing from out of state is that that best dope around is Colorado dope," says Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force, which operates in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. "It's high quality, and then you have the edibles and the hash oil."
CWAG Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California announced that Plains All-American Pipeline has been indicted by a grand jury on 46 criminal charges related to the May 2015 oil spill in Santa Barbara County. A Plains All-American Pipeline employee was also indicted on 3 criminal charges. On May 19, 2015, a pipeline operated by Plains All-American Pipeline ruptured, releasing into the environment approximately 140,000 gallons of heavy crude oil onto land, beaches, and the Pacific Ocean near Refugio State Beach.  Federal, state and local governments have spent millions of dollars to clean up the spill, which resulted in substantial damage to natural habitats and wildlife over a large area.  "Crimes against our environment must be met with swift action and accountability," said General Harris. "The carelessness of Plains All-American harmed hundreds of species and marine life off Refugio Beach. This conduct is criminal and today's charges serve as a powerful reminder of the consequences that flow from jeopardizing the well-being of our ecosystems and public health."
Chris Coppin
Legal Director
Conference of Western Attorneys General
1300 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
505-589-5101 (cell)
817-615-9335 (fax)

Conference of Western Attorneys General | 1300 I Street | Sacramento | CA | 95814