Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates
2017 CWAG Annual Meeting Registration Now Open !
San Francisco, CA
July 30- August 2, 2017
The Conference of Western Attorneys General along with CWAG Chair and Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin invite you to the 2017 CWAG Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, July 30-August 2, 2017. Join your colleagues as CWAG explores the most pertinent legal issues during the days and spend the evenings enjoying the urban charm of the city at our social events.
 To register online use the following link: 2017 CWAG Annual Meeting Registration
If you have attended an annual meeting in the past few years your contact information has been saved in the registration system.  Please review your contact information during the registration process to make sure it is current.
To register go to "Sign In" and enter the email address and password you or your assistant previously provided. If you can't recall your password, click on the "Forgot Password" link and your password will be sent to the email that is saved in the system.
If you have not previously registered for the annual meeting go to "New Registration", enter your email and create a personal password to be used for future registrations.
Early Bird Registration:
The cutoff date for Early Bird registration is Friday, June 2, 2017 at 5:00pm (PT).  All registrations received after this time and date will be charged the regular registration fee.
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. 
Hotel room cutoff: 
If the room block sells out prior to that time, reservations will be accepted on a space available basis. The reservation number for the Westin St. Francis is1.888.627.8546. Ask for the CWAG room block to receive our discounted rates.

CWAG Associate Attorney General Doug Peterson of Nebraska announced that Jim Smith has been named full-time Solicitor General for the State of Nebraska. The Solicitor General has the responsibility to oversee and direct civil appeals in the Attorney General's Office. The Solicitor General handles all appellate matters involving the death penalty, as well as federal habeas corpus claims. "Jim Smith has extensive experience trying cases both at the trial level and appeals in state and federal court. I look forward to Jim bringing his vast years of experience to the position of Solicitor General," said Attorney General Peterson. Additionally, Corey O'Brien has been selected as the new Criminal Bureau Chief, Ryan Post was named the chief of the Civil Litigation Bureau and Ms. Meghan Stoppel was named the chief of the Consumer Protection Bureau.  

Attorney General Brian E. Frosh of Maryland issued an Immigration Guidance Memorandum for Maryland State and local governments. The Guidance Memorandum updates an August 2014 "ICE Detainers" advice letter, and serves as guidance describing the current legal landscape governing the participation of law enforcement officials in immigration enforcement, and to help those officials make decisions about how to engage with federal immigration officers. "In 2014, the Maryland Office of Attorney General concluded that compliance with ICE detainers is voluntary and State and local law enforcement officials are potentially exposed to liability if they hold someone beyond his or her State law release date without a judicial warrant or probable cause," said Attorney General Frosh.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas filed a lawsuit asking the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to uphold the constitutionality of Senate Bill 4. SB 4 bans sanctuary cities in Texas and requires all governments throughout the state to comply with immigration law and detainer requests. "SB 4 is constitutional, lawful and a vital step in securing our borders," Attorney General Paxton said. "SB 4 guarantees cooperation among federal, state and local law enforcement to protect Texans. Unfortunately, some municipalities and law enforcement agencies are unwilling to cooperate with the federal government and claim that SB 4 is unconstitutional." Attorney General Paxton filed the lawsuit to defend the right and duty of law enforcement agencies throughout Texas to detain individuals pursuant to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) federal detainer program.
A joint investigation and takedown by CWAG Associate Attorney General Maura Healey of Massachusetts and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Division has resulted in the arrest of five individuals in connection with a major human trafficking and money laundering operation that extended throughout Greater Boston. Victim specialists in the FBI's Office for Victim Assistance and Attorney General Healey's Victim Services Division are working with victim service organizations to ensure victims have the assistance and services they need. "Today's arrests follow a tragic pattern we are seeing in our neighborhoods-vulnerable individuals being preyed upon and sexually exploited for profit," said Attorney General Healey. "We want victims to know that they will not be prosecuted and that our offices will work to make sure they receive the services they need and deserve."

CWAG Attorney General Tim Fox of Montana issued the following statement following the Governor signing into law Senate Bill 29, a bill revising the definition of consent in Montana for prosecution of sexual assault: "The 2017 legislative session will go down in history as a turning-point for addressing sexual assault in Montana. The changes to Montana law included in Senate Bill 29 will fundamentally change how we prosecute sexual assault crimes in Montana, removing many of the barriers preventing prosecutors from convicting perpetrators of rape. All victims of sexual assault deserve justice, and I'm proud to have worked with Senator Sands and her colleagues in the legislature to ensure that, in Montana, 'no' means 'no'." Modeled after the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice, SB 29 removes the requirement in current law that 'force' must be proven to convict someone of sexual assault. The changes Montana's definition of consent to: "Consent means words or overt actions indicting a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or sexual contact." Attorney General Fox's office worked with the Legislative Law and Justice Interim Committee to draft SB 29.

CWAG Associate Attorney General Pam Bondi of Florida thanked Florida lawmakers for passing legislation that will bolster continued efforts to combat the national opioid epidemic in Florida. This legislation is a top priority for Attorney General Bondi, and now, it will go before Governor Rick Scott. "I want to thank sponsors Representative Jim Boyd and Senator Greg Steube, and each member of the House and Senate that supported this important legislation. Fentanyl is a dangerous synthetic opioid that is being mixed with heroin and other drugs-often with deadly consequences," said Attorney General Bondi. "This legislation has been my top priority this session because it gives us the tools we need to combat the trafficking of these deadly substances." Since taking office, Attorney General Bondi has issued executive orders and worked with state lawmakers to ban more than a hundred chemical compounds used to produce deadly synthetic drugs. Last session, Attorney General Bondi also helped pass legislation to better control synthetic drugs through a drug classification system.
 Dose of Reality, a public awareness campaign launched by CWAG Associate Attorney General Brad Schimel of Wisconsin, was honored by the Business Marketing Association (BMA) with two awards: the 2017 Bell Award and "Best of Show." "Since Dose of Reality's launch in September 2015, it has shattered the myths about prescription drug abuse and raised awareness about the dangers of drug overdose," said Attorney General Schimel. "I am proud that Dose of Reality is being recognized by subject matter experts for the prevention tactics we have used to bring attention to one of our state's most pressing public safety challenges." The Dose of Reality campaign won both the BMA Bell Award, which is the equivalent of first place, and, out of 150 total entries, "Best of Show." The Bell Awards are given by the BMA's Milwaukee Chapter, which is the first and oldest BMA chapter in the country. The awards entries are judged by national professionals from media markets outside Wisconsin.
CWAG Attorney General Sean Reyes of Utah announced that his office filed charges against the former Daggett County Sheriff, Jerry Jorgensen, and several of his deputies for criminal misconduct involving inmates at the Daggett County Jail.  The charges come after an investigation by the Utah Department of Corrections (UDC) Law Enforcement Bureau. The UDC received allegations of criminal activity being perpetrated by deputies at the Daggett County Jail which houses inmates for the Utah State Prison. After completion of its investigation, the UDC requested that the OAG review the findings of the investigation. "The alleged actions of at least one defendant constitute unbelievably inhumane conduct and a reprehensible miscarriage of justice and the actions of all the defendants are inexcusable," said Attorney General Sean Reyes. The numerous alleged policy and criminal violations uncovered throughout the investigation by UDC led to the removal of all Utah State inmates from the Daggett County Jail.  Jerry Jorgensen has resigned as Sheriff and a number of the deputies have been terminated by Daggett County.
CWAG Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington announced that he reached an agreement with Uber Technologies Inc. prohibiting its practice of sending unsolicited text messages to Washington consumers. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Washingtonians received unsolicited texts from Uber. The agreement, filed in King County Superior Court, also requires that Uber provide opt-out instructions to consumers who do consent to receive texts. "Receiving text messages you didn't ask for - and not knowing how to stop them - frustrates consumers," Attorney General Ferguson said. "This agreement ensures that consumers control whether they receive messages from Uber." Beginning in 2014, the Attorney General's Office received complaints from Washington consumers who received unsolicited text messages from Uber. Some messages contained information intended for Uber drivers, but were sent to consumers who did not sign up to be drivers. Other texts, originating from drivers themselves, invited recipients to also become Uber drivers.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Josh Stein of North Carolina announced that the Department of Justice has resolved a lawsuit against predatory auto title lenders in North Carolina. Liquidation, LLC made illegal loans to more than 700 North Carolinians under many names and charged interest rates of 161 percent to 571 percent, which far exceed legal limits in North Carolina. Loan amounts ranged from $800 to $7,000. "Law-breaking lenders can wreak havoc on a person's credit and cause financially-strapped people to get even further behind," said Attorney General Stein.  "My office will not allow predatory lenders to take advantage of consumers in this state. Companies that attempt to charge loan shark interest rates will be shut down." The defendants solicited the loans online, after which they asked people to send the defendants their vehicle title to secure the loan.  If people failed to make a payment, the defendants repossessed the borrower's vehicle. The defendants were not licensed to make loans in North Carolina and often failed to disclose all of the loan terms until after the borrowers agreed to the loans
"Local law enforcement is strapped," Senator Harris said, standing outside a Syrian restaurant. "They barely have enough resources to respond to the domestic violence call, the homicide call, the gang enforcement call. ... Now we're going to have an administration in Washington, D.C., that says local law enforcement must enforce immigration policy -- new immigration policy that says we're going to lower the bar in terms of who gets deported?" The senator, who had just met with the Los Angeles County sheriff and immigrant aid workers, told reporters she wanted to convey a message to all the "law-abiding" undocumented immigrants who are anxious and fearful under the new rules. My word to these families," she said, "is 'don't let anyone take your pride from you.'"
Chris Copping | Legal Director
Conference of Western Attorneys General