Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates
January 10, 2019
Articles on topics relevant to the work of Attorneys General around the nation.
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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich Stresses Bipartisanship
AZ Central
January 7, 2019

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich called political polarization one of the biggest threats to the state during a public ceremony at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix.

During a short speech, Bronvich said political gridlock and polarization has seeped from Washington, D.C., into state governments. He said Arizonans must instead embrace bipartisanship.

Brnovich also spoke about his family's immigration story, saying many people might not know he's a first-generation American. He said his mother, Maria, immigrated to the United States about 50 years ago, when she fled the former Yugoslavia to escape a communist state.

He said she didn't speak any English, but "she understood that the United States is and will always be a beacon of freedom and liberty throughout the world."

Brnovich said this background helped to reinforce his appreciation for the U.S. Constitution and freedoms, adding that "our family didn't read about history, we lived history."
"We should be able to disagree without being disagreeable, to listen with an open mind to different opinions."
- Attorney General Brnovich
California Department of Justice Issues Information Bulletin Highlighting New and Amended 2019 Firearms Laws 
January 3, 2019

The California Department of Justice issued an information bulletin to all California law enforcement agencies, firearms dealers, manufacturers and vendors providing a brief summary of new California firearms laws that took effect on January 1, 2019. 

The information bulletin addresses new requirements relating to firearm transfers, gun violence restraining orders, multi-burst trigger activators, vehicle storage, identifying information, concealed carry licenses, prohibited possession, mental health prohibitions, unsafe handguns, and retired peace officers.

In addition, the California Department of Justice bulletin outlines recent amendments to existing firearms laws. In providing guidance on the new and amended laws, the California Department of Justice seeks to ensure that all law enforcement agencies, firearms dealers, manufacturers, ammunition vendors and consumers properly manage their firearms and ammunition under state law.
Attorney General Becerra, California Air Resources Board Announce Joint California-Federal Settlement Valued at More than $500 million with Fiat Chrysler for Use of “Defeat Devices”
Settlement includes consumer recall program for affected vehicles, penalties, payments to mitigate excess emissions in California, and corporate reforms.
January 10, 2019

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), together with the United States Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency, announced a joint settlement valued at more than $500 million with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and related companies (Fiat Chrysler). The settlement resolves allegations that the company violated environmental and consumer protection laws by using “defeat device software” to circumvent emissions testing. California will receive $78.4 million as part of the settlement. Fiat Chrysler is accused of installing the defeat device software in 100,000 vehicles nationwide and 13,325 vehicles in California. The affected vehicles are 2014-2016 diesel Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500s.
Oregon Leads Settlement with For-Profit Education Company; $6.1 Million for Oregon Students
January 4, 2019

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and 48 state attorneys general announced a settlement with for-profit education company Career Education Corp. (CEC) that will provide $493.7 million in relief to 179,529 students in the United States. Under the settlement, which was led by Oregon, 2,185 Oregon students will get student loan relief totaling almost $6.1 million.

In Oregon, CEC operated Le Cordon Bleu, American InterContinental University, and Sanford-Brown College, all of which have closed.

Under the agreement, CEC must:
  • Make no misrepresentations concerning accreditation, selectivity, graduation rates, placement rates, transferability of credit, financial aid, veterans’ benefits, or licensure requirements.
  • Not enroll students in programs that do not lead to state licensure when required for employment, or that due to their lack of accreditation, will not prepare graduates for jobs in their field. 
  • Provide a single-page disclosure to each student that includes: a) anticipated total direct cost; b) median debt for completers; c) programmatic cohort default rate; d) program completion rate; c) notice concerning transferability of credits; d) median earnings for completers; and e) the job placement rate.
  • Not engage in deceptive or abusive recruiting practices and record online chats and telephone calls with prospective students. CEC shall analyze these recordings to ensure compliance. CEC shall not contact students who indicate that they no longer wish to be contacted.
  • Require incoming undergraduate students with fewer than 24 credits to complete an orientation program before their first class that covers study skills, organization, literacy, financial skills, and computer competency. During the orientation period, students may withdraw at no cost.
  • Establish a risk-free trial period. All undergraduates who enter an online CEC program with fewer than 24 online credits shall be permitted to withdraw within 21 days of the beginning of the term without incurring any cost. All undergraduates who enter an on-ground CEC program shall be permitted to withdraw within seven days of the first day of class without incurring any cost.
Idaho AG Wasden Announces State's Participation in $1.5M Settlement with Retailer Neiman Marcus over 2013 Data Breach
January 8, 2019

The Neiman Marcus Group LLC has agreed to pay $1.5 million and implement a number of policies to resolve an investigation with 43 states and the District of Columbia into a 2013 data breach, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said.

In January 2014, Neiman Marcus disclosed that payment card data collected at 77 of its U.S. retail stores had been compromised by an unknown third party. The states’ investigation determined that approximately 370,000 payment cards – 204 of which were associated with Idaho consumers – were compromised in the breach, which took place over the course of several months in 2013. At least 9,200 of the payment cards compromised in the breach were later used fraudulently.

In addition to Idaho, participants in the settlement include: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington
Top Scams of 2018 Released by Vermont’s Attorney General
January 7, 2019

Vermonters filed 5,471 scam reports with the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program (CAP) in 2018 according to the Attorney General’s list of top 10 most commonly reported scams of the year. This amounts to a 4.55% increase in scams from 2017. As new scams emerged, old scams persisted. The IRS scam, which involves scammers claiming to be government officials collecting back taxes, was the most common scam for the fifth year in a row. Vermonters filed 1,429 reports regarding the IRS scam.

The top 10 scams of 2018 are:

  • IRS imposter
  • Social security number phishing
  • Computer tech support
  • Grandchild imposter
  • Debt collection threats
  • Spoofing
  • Reflector (claim to be Microsoft)
  • Email extortion
  • Publishers clearinghouse sweepstakes claims
  • Sweepstakes claims (general)
Texas AG Issues Consumer Alert on Social Security Scam
January 4, 2019

Attorney General Ken Paxton warned Texans to beware of calls from scam artists pretending to be with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and attempting to fool unsuspecting people into giving them their Social Security number and money.
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received a large number of complaints from consumers targeted by the Social Security scam. Crooks tell the would-be victim that their Social Security number has been used in a crime and they must pay a fee to reactivate it or to get a new number. During the call, the person is asked to give out their Social Security number.
In other instances of the scam, individuals are told that their bank accounts have been seized and they should transfer their money to the caller for safe keeping, or that they could lose their Social Security benefits because their Social Security number was used to apply for credit cards.
BDS is Anti-Semitic and Aids Terrorist Groups, Says Arizona Attorney General
Public funds should not support “economic warfare” against Israelis and their country, Mark Brnovich tells federal court • Stance could mark first time a U.S. government body has formally acknowledged that the BDS movement aids actors engaged in terror
Jewish News Syndicate
January 9, 2019

In an important victory against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, Arizona’s Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a brief in late December stating that the BDS campaign was motivated by anti-Semitism and aids terrorist groups such as Hamas.

He also noted the PLO and its practice of “paying cash stipends to the families of terrorists.”

According to a lawyer familiar with the case, it possibly marked the first time a U.S. government body has formally taken the stance acknowledging that the BDS campaign aids actors that engage in or reward terrorism.

Brnovich told the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that a state law enacted in 2016 “prohibits all state contractors who receive taxpayer money from discriminating on the basis of national origin,” and that the BDS was not protected under freedom of expression.
Colorado's New Attorney General Phil Weiser Sworn In
January 8, 2019

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser was sworn in as the State’s 39th Attorney General. As the state’s chief legal officer, Attorney General Weiser is committed to protecting the people of Colorado and building an innovative and collaborative organization that will address a range of statewide challenges, from addressing the opioid epidemic to reforming the state's criminal justice system to protecting our land, air, and water. 

Before running for office, Weiser served as the Hatfield Professor of Law and Dean of the University of Colorado Law School, where he founded the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship and co-chaired the Colorado Innovation Council. 
Weiser served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice and as Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation in the Obama Administration’s National Economic Council. He served on President Obama’s Transition Team, overseeing the Federal Trade Commission and previously served in President Bill Clinton’s Department of Justice as senior counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, advising on telecommunications matters. 
Attorney General Ford Sworn in as Nevada’s 34th Attorney General
January 7, 2019

Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford was sworn in as Nevada’s 34th attorney general and the first African American to take statewide constitutional office. He swore an oath to serve and protect Nevadans at an 11:30 a.m. ceremony in front of the Capitol Building in Carson City. Nevada Supreme Court Justice Hardesty administered the Oath of Office to AG Ford, along with the five other constitutional officers. At the ceremony, AG Ford was joined by members of the public, as well as his family, friends, staff and numerous other public officials.

Before his election, AG Ford served as the Majority Leader of the Nevada State Senate. He previously served as the Minority Leader, Assistant Majority Whip, chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Education, and member of the Judiciary Committee. Before beginning his legal career, AG Ford served as a public school math teacher, shaping hundreds of lives. He later attended law school and went on to clerk for the Honorable Denise Page Hood of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, as well as the Honorable Johnnie B. Rawlinson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He spent many years in private practice, including as a Partner at Snell & Wilmer LLP and later as Partner at Eglet Prince, both in Las Vegas.

AG Ford earned his B.A. from Texas A&M University in Interdisciplinary Studies and then earned his M.A. in International Education from George Washington University. He also earned an M.A. in Educational Administration, as well as his law degree and Ph.D. in Educational Administration from The Ohio State University.
Attorney General Camacho Takes Office
The Guam Daily Post
January 8, 2019

Surrounded by family, friends and supporters, Leevin Taitano Camacho was sworn in as Guam's attorney general in the atrium of the Guam Judicial Center in Hagåtña.

He was introduced by Supreme Court Associate Justice F. Philip Carbullido, who said Camacho has shown a "fire for law burning inside of him" and has proven to be a "great advocate for his clients and his community."

Chief Justice Katherine Maraman administered Camacho's oath of office before an audience of island dignitaries and several of Guam's past attorneys general.
South Dakota: New AG Is a Top 2019 Legislative Session Player
The News Tribune
January 7, 2019

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg is fresh in his job as the state's chief lawyer and law enforcement officer. 

He participated in a clerkship after graduation before becoming a partner in the law arm of Harmelink, Fox & Ravnsborg in Yankton, SD where he is licensed to practice law in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska as well as the federal courts of South Dakota and Iowa, the Federal Court of Claims and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Jason also serves as a Deputy States Attorney for Union County in South Dakota.

Ravnsborg is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserves and has been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Germany during his military career. He has been awarded the Bronze Star along with many other awards and has been honored for his service by Congress. Jason has had four company commands and currently serves as a battalion commander overseeing approximately 1,000 soldiers in South Dakota and Nebraska.
Travis LeBlanc, Leading Cyber, Data and Privacy Partner, Joins Cooley
Business Wire
January 7, 2019

Cooley is expanding its global cyber/data/privacy and telecommunications practices with the arrival of prominent litigation partner Travis LeBlanc, who will be based in Washington, DC, and San Francisco. He was formerly a partner at Boies Schiller Flexner.

LeBlanc has deep experience in federal, state and local government litigation, policy and regulatory matters, having served in his FCC role, as a senior adviser to former California Attorney General Kamala Harris and as an attorney in the DOJ Office of Legal Counsel during the Obama Administration. In 2017, the US Department of Commerce and the European Commission tapped LeBlanc as an arbitrator for the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework, which provides the foundational framework for the transatlantic transfer of personal data between companies operating in Europe and the US. In August 2018, LeBlanc was named as one of five presidential nominees to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent agency that provides oversight of the counterterrorism programs and activities of the US government.
Updated American Indian Law Deskbook Is Now Available

The American Indian Law Deskbook  is a concise, direct, and easy-to-understand handbook on Indian law. The chapter authors of this book are experienced state lawyers who have been involved in Indian law for many years.

American Indian Law Deskbook  addresses the areas of Indian law most relevant to the practitioner.
Topics include:
  • Definitions of Indians and Indian tribes
  • Indian lands
  • Criminal, civil regulatory, and civil adjudicatory jurisdiction
  • Civil rights
  • Indian water rights
  • Fish and wildlife
  • Environmental regulation
  • Taxation
  • Gaming
  • Indian Child Welfare Act and tribal-state cooperative agreements