CWAG Roundup

June 30, 2016

The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG), Oregon Attorney General and CWAG Chair Ellen Rosenblum along with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden look forward to seeing you for the CWAG Annual Meeting, July 17-20, 2016 in Sun Valley, Idaho at the Sun Valley Resort.  A working draft agenda is attached to this Roundup.  Please be aware that this is a draft agenda and it may change prior to the actual meeting.
Registration:  You may register online at or print off a registration packet from the website and email the forms to   If you have not yet registered we encourage you to do so as soon as possible and no later than July 1 to ensure inclusion in our events.
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.
Room Block Sold Out:  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 and our room block is currently sold out.  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 recommend you call the resort reservations number at 880.786.8259 to inquire about any possible room availability due to a cancellation prior to booking a room offsite.  If no rooms are available below is a list of nearby hotels.  Individuals should make a personal reservation as CWAG does not have any arrangements with them.
CWAG Chair and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum along with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden will be hosting the 2016 CWAG Alliance Partnership Binational State Attorneys General Exchange. 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. For additional information, please contact Alliance Partnership Deputy Director Lauren Niehaus at: or by phone at 303-827-9039. 
Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced that Jahna Lindemuth will be Alaska's next attorney general. She replaces Craig Richards, who resigned abruptly last week. Governor Walker praised Lindemuth's professional success. He also pointed to her commitment to the state as a lifelong Alaskan, and as someone who's done pro-bono work with the law firm Dorsey & Whitney on cases like the Fairbanks Four. That was the case of three Alaska Native men and a fourth Native American man who were convicted in a 1997 murder and were released last year after a judge vacated their convictions. "Her passion for Alaska is really what I was struck by," Walker said. Lindemuth, an Anchorage resident, said her work on the Fairbanks Four case is among the most meaningful she's done in her life. She also says she's committed to justice for all Alaskans and it's important to keep in mind that there are real people affected by every legal decision.
CWAG Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona recently signed a Letter of Intent with the Office of the Attorney General of Mexico to establish a law enforcement partnership aimed at fighting violent crime between Arizona and Mexico. "Collaboration with our southern neighbors is critical for the investigation and prosecution of drug, human, and sex trafficking," said General Brnovich. "This agreement is another important step in building a strong relationship with our Mexican law enforcement partners to promote the Rule of Law on both sides of the border." "Having General Brnovich take the initiative to formalize relationships with our counterparts in Mexico not only enhances binational collaboration, but demonstrates a deeper commitment to ensuring safety, security and a robust rule of law for constituents in both the US and Mexico," said Lauren Niehaus, Deputy Director, Conference of Western Attorney General's Alliance Partnership.
Attorneys General from across the country honored CWAG Attorney General Marty Jackley of South Dakota with the group's top award last night in Vermont. Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, in-coming president of the National Association of Attorneys General, presented General Jackley with the 2016 Kelley-Wyman Award, the Association's highest honor. The award is given each year to the Attorney General who has done the most to achieve the objectives of NAAG. "Marty demonstrates the collegial and collaborative efforts that NAAG strives to facilitate among its membership. His dedication, judgment and hands-on approach to NAAG leadership has made the association better," said General Jepsen, during the award presentation. In nominating him for the award, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi particularly singled out General Jackley's work with the 24/7 Sobriety Program and the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program- both emphasizing prevention over prosecution.
CWAG Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman of Colorado and Solicitor General Frederick Yarger have accepted another National Association of Attorneys General "Best Brief Award" at the organization's 2016 summer conference in Burlington, Vermont. This is the second consecutive year the office has received the award, which honors the best United States Supreme Court briefs authored by attorneys general offices across the country. "Winning two of these awards in a row is no small feat," said General Coffman. "The lawyers in my office do outstanding work, and my appellate and Supreme Court litigation team is no exception. They handle some of the most complex legal issues facing Colorado, producing written work on par with the best of the Supreme Court bar."
CWAG Attorney General Sean Reyes of Utah announced that his office has been recognized for its appellate advocacy by the National Association of Attorneys General.  The awards were announced during the NAAG Summer Meeting. Recently retired Attorney General Laura Dupaix was honored with one of two Attorney General Career Staff of the Year Awards for extensive work on several multi-state cases. Additionally, Solicitor General Tyler R. Green, Deputy Solicitor General Laura B. Dupaix, Criminal Appeals Director Thomas B. Brunker, and Search & Seizure Section Director Jeffrey S. Gray were recognized for excellence in brief writing for the U.S. Supreme Court with the 2016 NAAG Supreme Court Best Brief Award. The award recognized the brief submitted for Utah v. Strieff. "Congratulations to Solicitor General Tyler Green, our former Deputy Solicitor General Laura Dupaix, Criminal Appeals Director Thomas Brunker, and Search & Seizure Section Director Jeffrey Gray and their staff who contributed to writing this brief," said General Reyes.
CWAG Attorney General Hector Balderas of New Mexico has filed a lawsuit against Colorado in the nation's highest court alleging the state should be held responsible for the Gold King Mine spill and the contaminants that have leached from other mines for decades. The suit, filed on behalf of New Mexico's governor, environmental secretary and attorney general, alleges Colorado "is directly responsible" for the conditions that led to the catastrophe. "I have done what I can within the bounds of my power and authority as Attorney General to resolve this matter without litigation," said CWAG Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman of Colorado. "It is unfortunate that New Mexico has chosen to sue the State of Colorado over the Gold King Mine spill when it was EPA's actions that sent acid mine drainage pouring into the Animas River last August.
CWAG Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt of Nevada announced that the U.S. Supreme Court granted the State of Nevada's petition seeking the Supreme Court's consideration of a nationally significant question of Fourth Amendment search and seizure law. The Court issued an order that sends the case of State of Nevada v. Torres back to Nevada's state courts for consideration of how new guidance on the application of the Fourth Amendment from the Court impacts the Torres case.
"These Fourth Amendment questions have divided Nevada courts and others nationwide, and we are pleased by the U.S. Supreme Court's favorable ruling," said General Laxalt. "This case was brought to my attention at my first Law Enforcement Summit convened in 2015, and subsequently reviewed by my Office. Our hard-fought victory is a testament to the outcome that can result from law enforcement collaboration and the careful constitutional analysis and persuasive writing of attorneys within our Solicitor General's Office."
CWAG Attorney General Doug Chin of Hawaii announced that Governor David Ige signed SB 2954 (ACT 108) which authorizes county police departments in Hawai'i to enroll firearms applicants and individuals registering their firearms, in a criminal record monitoring service. The system, also known as the "Rap Back" system, is a service of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that provides continuous criminal record monitoring for authorized government agencies such as law enforcement agencies. The service notifies the agencies when a firearm owner is arrested for a criminal offense anywhere in the country. This will allow county police departments in Hawai'i to evaluate whether the firearm owner may continue to legally possess and own firearms. "This is about our community's safety and responsible gun ownership. This system will better enable our law enforcement agencies to ensure the security of all Hawai'i residents and visitors to our islands. This bill has undergone a rigorous legal review process by our Attorney General's office and we have determined that it is our responsibility to approve this measure for the sake of our children and families," said Gov. David Ige.
CWAG Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California issued a reminder to healthcare professionals about the upcoming deadline to register for the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) database.  All health practitioners licensed to prescribe or dispense scheduled medications are required by law to sign up for CURES by July 1, 2016. In 2013, Attorney General Harris sponsored Senate Bill 809, which created and permanently funded a new state-of-the-art prescription drug database referred to as "CURES 2.0."  "CURES 2.0 is not only a state-of-the-art, innovative, and secure database to improve healthcare providers' ability to combat prescription drug abuse, it's also a model for the nation on how to address this epidemic," said General Harris.  "California will continue to lead the country in the adoption of technology to help curb prescription drug abuse and the diversion of controlled substances statewide."
CWAG Attorney General Cynthia Coffman of Colorado has a firm belief in the sovereignty of states and her determination to defend it at all costs have placed her in a few difficult positions. Since becoming attorney general in 2014, General Coffman has had to defend Colorado's recreational marijuana laws, which she opposed before voters approved it. Last year, she joined two dozen states in a lawsuit against the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, leading to tensions with Colorado's Democratic governor who supports the plan. "My heart is in the practice of law, so it made all the sense to me," General Coffman said of her decision to run for the state's top law enforcement position.
Finding a sneaky way to watch your favorite shows and movies is often only an online search away. But those illegal streaming sites you love might be a hotbed of malware. A new report from the Digital Citizens Alliance and cybersecurity firm RiskIQ found that sites distributing pirated videos were far more likely to expose visitors to dangerous software than legitimate streaming sites or the Internet at large. The study worked by comparing a sample group of highly-trafficked sites known for pirated material with a control group of randomly selected legal streaming sites and other types of websites from different parts of Alexa's web rankings.
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