Updates from the CWAG Alliance Partnership
Interdiscplinary Exchanges
April Advanced Interdisciplinary Exchanges in Mexico City and Oaxaca

In April, in Mexico City, Mexico, an Advanced Interdisciplinary Exchange was held for 13 participants from the Mexico City, Mexico State, Queretaro, Veracruz and Hidalgo Attorneys Generals' Offices, to explore the role of each branch of the investigative trilogy in preparing and prosecuting a criminal case.

At the same time in Oaxaca, Oaxaca, 25 prosecutors and 10 forensics experts from the Oaxaca Attorney General's Office participated in an Advanced Interdisciplinary Exchange. With 3 experienced instructors from the US, the participants viewed live video broadcasts from the Mexico City training, to explore the importance of working as a team to  prepare and prosecute a criminal case, from investigation through oral trial.

 City  Videos
June Interdisciplinary Exchanges in Phoenix and Guanajuato
Joseph Sciarrotta and Rodolfo Montes De Oca
From June 26-30, 15 prosecutors, investigators, and forensic experts from the Attorneys Generals' Offices of Baja California, Sonora and Chihuahua attended an Interdisciplinary Exchange in Phoenix, Arizona. Arizona Attorney General's Office Senior Counsel Joseph Sciarrotta welcomed  Sonora Attorney General Rodolfo Montes de Oca, who joined personnel from his office at the Exchange to  explore the role of each branch of the investigative trilogy in preparing and prosecuting a criminal case, w ith experienced instructors from Arizona and other law enforcement agencies. Participants also had the opportunity to observe an oral trial in progress, visit with judges from the Maricopa County Superior Court, and see the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

Phoenix Study Group
On the same dates, 43 operators from the Guanajuato Attorneys General's Office attended an Interdisciplinary Exchange in Guanajuato. The event streamed lectures live via videoconference from the Phoenix Exchange. And the participants carried out practical exercises to explore the importance of working as a team to prepare and prosecute a criminal case, from investigation through oral trial, with 3 experienced instructors from the US.
Mock Trial in Guanajuato
Crossborder Collaborations
Zacatecas Forum on Oral Trials

On May 19th, Zacatecas Attorney General Francisco Murillo Ruiseco  hosted the CWAG Alliance Partnership "Forum on Oral Trials: A New Way of Doing Justice," bringing together more than 600 members of the Zacatecas legal community to learn about oral trials from experienced US litigators, and observe a mock trial enacted by personnel from the state Attorney General's Office, Public Defender's Office, the Judiciary, and students from the UAZ law school.

Forensics Students Visit San Diego Crime Lab

On June 1st, the CWAG Alliance Partnership hosted a group of forensic science students from the University of Xochicalco in Mexicali for a visit to the California Department of Justice San Diego offices and the San Diego Sheriff's Office forensic laboratory. Forensic scientists and experienced DOJ prosecutors presented lectures on the use of forensic evidence at oral trial.

CSG-WEST Border Legislative Academy

On Friday, June 2, Administrative Director Susan Lustig introduced the CWAG Alliance Partnership to new legislators from both sides of the border at the Border Legislative Academy sponsored by the Council of State Governments West. 5 new office holders from the US and 8 from Mexico participated in the 3-day event, designed to present an overview of transborder activities of mutual interest.

Text Link
The CWAG Alliance Partnership Congratulates the Mock Trial Competition Teams from ABA ROLI Mexico and CWSL

The grand championship of the ABA ROLI Mexico and California Western School of Law mock trial team competition was held in Washington, DC, on June 26. After almost a year of preparation and batting their way to the top of hundreds of competing teams, the Champions of each program faced off to fight for the Champion of Champions title. Congratulations to both teams, and the organizations that put on this valuable training program.

CWSL Acceso

Instructor Spotlight
Illinois Supreme Court Appoints David Navarro as Circuit Judge in the Fourth Subcircuit of Cook County

Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of David Navarro as a Cook County Circuit Judge in the 4th Subcircuit, taking effect May 25, 2017.

"I am grateful to Justice Theis and the Supreme Court for this appointment," Navarro said. "I am honored to have this opportunity and look forward to serving the people of Cook County."

Mr. Navarro has served as the Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau for the Office of the Illinois Attorney General since 2009, and previously served in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office as an Assistant State's Attorney and Supervisor of the Professional Standards Unit. Mr. Navarro received qualified or recommended ratings from a dozen bar groups. 

Mr. Navarro earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago and his juris doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law. He serves on the board of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and is a former president of the National Hispanic Prosecutors Bar Association. He also serves as adjunct faculty at the Loyola University School of Law, as an adjunct professor at The John Marshall Law School, and as a faculty instructor for the Conference Western of Attorney Generals.

Derek Schmidt, Jeff Guimond, Patrick Lynch, Cynthia Stern
Board Member Patrick Lynch Recognized for Leadership

CWAG Alliance Partnership Advisory Board Member and former Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch was selected for the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Francis X. Bellotti Award, given to a former attorney general who has served the Society of Attorneys General Emeritus (SAGE) and worked diligently to further SAGE's vision and mission, during NAAG's Summer Meeting, June 20-22 in Big Sky, Montana.

CWAG Alliance Partnership Programs
Virtual Seminars

Experts from the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office will broadcast the next Virtual Seminar, on the Use of Objections at Trial. Join us online at https://www.livestream.com/objeciones from 9am-12pm Central Time on Thursday, August 10th.
Previously broadcast seminars (in Spanish) are available as well:
CWAG Alliance Partnership Programs

The CWAG Alliance Partnership facilitates collaboration between U.S. and Mexican state Attorneys General's Offices. Available services include:
  • Contacts Database
    • Comprehensive, sortable contact information for people involved with AP trainings, meetings and events
    • Quick-Response Liaison
      • Direct contacts within the U.S. and Mexican state Attorneys Generals' Offices for help on specific cases
    • Case Consulting
      • Help with case preparation, from investigation to presentation in court, by a U.S. criminal prosecutor experienced in oral trials
    • Office Reviews/Efficiency Audits
      • A team of experts observes and advises on processes and procedures, to help address a specific issue or give a general perspective
    • Best Practices Consulting
      • Experienced professionals share hard-earned knowledge about issues in administration of justice

For all information and requests, please contact:
Susan Lustig
Administrative Director
Cell: 805.264.4277

~ or ~

Lauren Niehaus
Deputy Director
Cell: 303.827.9039

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This material was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.

The CWAG Alliance Partnership promotes the Rule of Law in Mexico, offering a forum for strengthening relationships between U.S. and Mexican State Attorneys General. It supports implementation of an oral adversarial criminal justice system by offering opportunities for collaboration and cooperation between both countries.
Karen White, Executive Director
Conference of Western Attorneys General Alliance Partnership