CWAG Roundup

October 6
, 2016

We invite you to attend the CWAG Endowment Dinner on Tuesday, November 29, 2016, at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale.  The CWAG Endowment is a fund established to support the educational, research, training, and other work of CWAG and the state Attorneys General.  CWAG has benefitted from the generosity of the sponsors that will be in attendance. The cultivation of these relationships and your support of this event is greatly appreciated. The evening will begin with a reception in the Grand Ballroom 3 which is located on the 4th Floor of The Ritz-Carlton from 6:00pm - 7:00pm.  The progressive dinner will immediately follow the reception in the Grand Ballroom 1 & 2 from 7:00pm - 9:30pm. Please RSVP no later than Wednesday, November 23rd to Meeting Planner Alejandra Stephens at AStephens@CWAGWeb.Org or 303.304.9206.
We hope to see you in Fort Lauderdale!
CWAG Attorneys General Marty Jackley of South Dakota and Bob Ferguson of Washington announced they have joined 19 other State Attorneys General in an amicus or "friend of the court" brief, challenging a decision granting broad protection from civil liability even when it took active steps to promote sex trafficking of children. Data reveals that these children exploited through sex trafficking are typically given a quota by their trafficker of 10-15 buyers a night, and sold up to 45 times a day during high demand sports events and conventions. "The internet continues to be the primary method of advertising for sex trafficking and South Dakota is not immune from these types of ads. It is an uphill battle when sources like actively promote and refuse to cooperate in the prevention of child sex trafficking.  Companies selling ads for profit should not have immunity for their role in harming children," said Attorney General Jackley.  " actively promotes child sex trafficking and must be held accountable," Attorney General Ferguson said. "I won't stand by and let this site profit from promoting this type of sordid and illegal activity." The states that have joined Washington and South Dakota on the brief are Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah and Vermont.
CWAG Attorney General Lawrence Wasden of Idaho announced that ACTIVEOutdoors, a Texas company, recently sent important notice letters to persons who purchased Idaho hunting or fishing licenses before 2007. The letters, dated September 19th, concern a data breach that occurred at ACTIVEOutdoors-a vendor of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. AllClear ID is offering free credit monitoring and identity repair services to affected residents. Details regarding the offer, including instructions for signing up, are outlined in the letter you received. The Attorney General provides helpful information about how to protect yourself from identity theft and what to do if you become a victim. The Idaho Coalition Against Identity Theft, a group of government agencies and businesses, also provides valuable information for identity theft victims.
CWAG Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona announced that a judge granted the Arizona's Motion to Consolidate 1,106 open lawsuits filed by a serial litigator targeting Arizona businesses. The judge also stayed the 1,106 cases pending further order of the court and barred the Plaintiff, Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities, from filing any new complaints asserting similar claims. Attorney General Brnovich believes Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities is a serial litigator engaged in trolling litigation tactics aimed at producing profitable out-of-court settlements. The State intervened in the litigation as a matter of general public importance given the high volume of lawsuits being filed against businesses in Arizona.
CWAG Attorney General Hector Balderas of New Mexico sent an investigatory letter requesting information to the manufacturer of EpiPen, the brand name of an auto-injector used so that synthetic adrenaline can be administered safely and quickly to treat anaphylaxis caused by a severe allergic reaction. In the past months, the price of EpiPens has risen dramatically, raising alarm that some New Mexico families may not be able to afford this life-saving medication. In 2007, EpiPens' retail costs were somewhere around $60. Today they sell for more than $600. The letter from the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General seeks information regarding the number of EpiPens sold in New Mexico and how many schools are participating in the "EpiPens4Schools" program, among other information. "Protecting New Mexico children and families is my top priority," said Attorney General Balderas. "I have initiated this investigation to make sure that we are holding out of state corporations and giant drug companies accountable to New Mexico laws, and that we are doing everything in our power to make sure New Mexico children and families can afford their life-saving medications."
Following last year's launch of an unprecedented criminal justice open data initiative, OpenJustice, and the passage of Assembly Bill 71, CWAG Attorney General Kamala D. Harris of California launched a web-based tool that allows California law enforcement agencies to digitally report law enforcement or civilian uses of force. As part of the Attorney General's commitment to promoting government adoption of technology, this tool was built as an open-source project and the software code will be made available free of charge to other law enforcement agencies around the country. A public demo of the tool is available at Previously, law enforcement officers in California reported on any death in custody on paper forms. No state in the country, including California, collected data on any non-lethal use of force.  "As a country, we must engage in an honest, transparent, and data-driven conversation about police use of force," said Attorney General Harris.  "I am proud that California continues to lead the nation in the adoption of technology and data to improve our criminal justice system and keep our streets safe."
CWAG Attorney General Tim Fox of Montana announced a proposed settlement with ExxonMobil Pipeline Company to resolve claims stemming from the Yellowstone River July 1, 2011 oil spill.  ExxonMobil Pipeline Company has agreed to pay $12 million in natural resource damages to the federal government and the State of Montana as Trustees for the natural resources devastated by the spill. A proposed consent decree was filed in federal court. The State and federal government have also issued a draft restoration plan that will take action to address the natural resource damage. Attorney General Fox added, "This proposed settlement was reached through the efforts of the Montana Department of Justice's Natural Resource Damage Program and the U.S. Departments of Justice and the Interior.  Under a joint State-Federal restoration plan, also issued today for public comment, these funds will be used to restore and improve the environmental and recreational resources of this great river."
CWAG Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum of Oregon announced the appointment of Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris as Oregon's first statewide Elder Abuse Prosecutor. In the new position, Mr. Norris will lead the Oregon Department of Justice's elder abuse unit, which includes two full-time investigators, to tackle the epidemic of elder abuse in Oregon. "Dan's range of experience dealing with vulnerable victims is extensive. He recognizes the diverse needs of our state, but he also intuitively understands some of the root causes of why Oregon has a skyrocketing rate of elder abuse," said Attorney General Rosenblum. "I'm proud of the Oregon legislature and Oregon's advocacy community for coming together to fight for Oregon's seniors." In March, 2016 the Oregon legislature funded the new elder abuse unit, which will work with Oregon's 36 district attorneys, and other prosecutors, law enforcement and community partners throughout the state. In addition to the investigation and prosecution, the unit will develop training materials and best-practice policies to improve the identification, investigation and prosecution of elder abuse.
CWAG Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt of Nevada issued the following statement after the Nevada Supreme Court's ruling on the Education Savings Account program: "Today's rulings on Nevada's Education Savings Account program are a landmark win for the families and children of Nevada. The Supreme Court agreed that the main constitutional hurdles to educational choice cited by opponents are without legal merit. Namely, the Court agreed with our common-sense arguments that ESAs were enacted for an educational purpose, not a religious one, and that the Legislature, in addition to its longstanding support of our public school system, can support educational opportunities outside of that system. After today's ruling, there is only one step left to take in order to make the vision of educational choice a reality for thousands of Nevada families. The Court ruled against the State on a small funding issue that was not even debated or contentious when this bill was passed. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has made crystal clear that ESAs are constitutional and that the Legislature can fix this funding technicality and allow for the implementation of ESAs statewide. I am proud of my legal team and the Nevada courts for bringing this much-needed clarity to our State in record time, where the ultimate goal is to create a personal approach to education by maximizing each child's natural learning abilities."

Chris Coppin
Legal Director
Conference of Western Attorneys General
1300 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
505-589-5101 (cell)
817-615-9335 (fax)