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 is 1.888.627.8546. Ask for the CWAG room block to receive our discounted rates.
Draft agenda now available!
CWAG Attorney General Marty Jackley of South Dakota announced the rollout of Project Stand Up- a statewide anonymous texting program that allows citizens to standup to drug crimes in their communities. "As our nation faces a growing drug epidemic, it is important that South Dakotans use innovation and technology to better protect our communities. Anonymous texting allows citizens to be proactive and take part in keeping their communities safe. Please join me, law enforcement, healthcare providers and our communities to Stand Up to illegal drug use," said Attorney General Jackley. Project Stand Up is a coordinated effort amongst law enforcement officials and healthcare providers statewide to standup to illegal drug use in South Dakota. Texting a tip is simple- just text 'drugs' to 82257. The tipster will be asked a series of questions for additional information. The level of involvement lies with the citizen, while always remaining anonymous. An educational component will be added in the fall to address the legal consequences of drug use.

CWAG Associate Attorney General Brad Schimel of Wisconsin sued Atomic Glass and Food Town Mini Mart, in Milwaukee County, for selling designer drug synthetic cannabinoids known by such names as "Spice" and "Kush" in violation of Wisconsin consumer protection law. "I will not tolerate any drug dealer putting our communities at risk with dangerous and unpredictable drugs. At DOJ, we work hard to bring all illicit drug dealers to justice, whether their retail venue is on the street or at a store," said Attorney General Schimel. "This case would not have been successful without dedicated attorneys, investigators, and law enforcement from DOJ, DATCP, Milwaukee Police Department, City of Milwaukee and the DEA." Synthetic cannabinoids, known to be unpredictable and dangerous, are one type of designer drugs. They are similar to THC, the main psychotropic compound in marijuana, but have slightly different chemical compositions. Synthetic cannabinoids are often dangerous, and have been linked to cases of organ failure, acute psychotic episodes, delirium, and death.
CWAG Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona said he has been working with pharmacies to combat opioid addiction in Arizona. He appeared with CVS officials at a press conference to announce the new policy to sell Naloxone without a prescription to be administered to anyone unconscious who is suspected to have overdosed on opioids. "This is an epidemic, and we as a society need to do something about it," Attorney General Brnovich said. CVS joins Walgreens as the second pharmacy chain to sell Naloxone to customers without a prescription. "We are in full support of making this drug readily available," said Robert Marshall, regional manager for CVS Pharmacy.  "We're going after doctors that over-prescribe, and we're going after pill-mills."  said Attorney General Mark Brnovich

CWAG Associate Attorney General Bill Schuette of Michigan issued the following statement regarding the signing of House Bill 4219 into law. The new law will allow human trafficking victims the opportunity to have their prostitution related charges diverted by the court. "Victims of human trafficking are just that, victims. The crimes they committed while they were under the control of a trafficker were overwhelmingly done out of fear, force and coercion. I will continue to support legislation that gives human trafficking victims a chance at regaining a normal life which was so cruelly robbed from them."
CWAG Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum of Oregon praised the Oregon legislature for passing legislation (HB 2090) that will update Oregon's consumer law to hold companies accountable for their online privacy policies. "This new law does something very simple, but important: If a business tells you its privacy policy is going to treat your online information a certain way--and then it doesn't comply with what it told you--it's in violation of the Oregon consumer protection laws. We are living in an era where companies are happy to give out our personal data for the right price, and some are even completely disregarding their own online privacy policies," said Attorney General Rosenblum. "Oregonians give up a lot of data to private companies every day--everything from your location, browsing history, steps per minute, traffic patterns and much more. Now under the law, what a consumer agrees to when signing up for an app or other online tool will actually have to be followed. With shifting sands for consumer privacy at the federal level, this bill adds a level of accountability for the truthful handling of online data that is needed now more than ever."

CWAG Associate Attorney General Jim Hood of Mississippi announced that the State has settled its claims with Branan Medical Corporation for $2,000,000.00. This settlement effectively recovers not only the State's cost for purchasing hundreds of thousands of drug testing cups during then-Commissioner Christopher Epps tenure at MDOC, but also any of Branan's profits. "I am pleased with Alere Inc. for cooperating and quickly resolving this matter with the State's taxpayers," said Attorney General Hood. "Alere bought Branan Medical after the Epps scandal occurred, and they were one of the first companies to approach our office seeking settlement in this case.  Due to their cooperation, we have quickly resolved this matter." This settlement ends one of 11 civil actions the Attorney General filed on February 8, 2017, accusing 10 individuals and 12 out-of-state corporations of using alleged "consultants" as conduits to pay bribes and kickbacks to then-Commissioner Epps for the awarding and retention of MDOC contracts all while defrauding the State through a pattern of misrepresentation, fraud, concealment, money laundering and other wrongful conduct, arising from the MDOC Prison Bribery Scandal.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Karl A. Racine of the District of Columbia announced that the Office of the Attorney General Office of Consumer Protection has obtained a settlement with a consent judgment against Burlington Financial Group, LLC (Burlington) and its owner and manager, Sang Yi, for falsely promising to reduce or eliminate debt for consumers. The Maryland-based Burlington is an example of a company that promised debt-reduction assistance for consumers and charged fees while only providing services that consumers could procure for free elsewhere. In return for their services, Burlington Financial Group and Sang Yi charged significant fees. For example, one District consumer agreed to make installment payments to Burlington totaling an eye-popping $30,089.70. "Many District residents are burdened by onerous debt from credit cards and other sources, and they are desperate for any solution that might reduce their payments," Attorney General Racine said. "Burlington took advantage of consumers like these by claiming it could help in ways it couldn't and charging for services that any consumer can obtain without charge."

CWAG Associate Attorney General Pam Bondi of Florida launched a new consumer protection program that will serve the unique needs of our military and veteran communities and directly assist with consumer protection-related issues. The Military and Veterans Assistance Program is Attorney General Bondi's most recent effort to spread awareness of and stop deceptive business practices affecting military service members, veterans and their families. "Florida has more than 90,000 active duty and reserve military members and more than 1.5 million veterans," said Attorney General Bondi. "To the men and women who have put on a uniform to protect our country, we will continue to do everything we can to protect you from these scammers. As Memorial Day approaches at the end of this month, I am honored to have the opportunity to assist the heroes who lay their lives on the line to keep us safe."
CWAG Associate Attorney General Mike Hunter of Oklahoma is urging Oklahomans to stop purchasing or using LayZ Board Hoverboards. A letter from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning citizens about hoverboards manufactured by LayZ Board, Inc., after investigators found evidence a LayZ Board was to blame for a house fire on March 10, in Harrisburg, Pa. that claimed the lives of two young girls. "Oklahomans should not purchase a LayZ Board Hoverboard, but if they have, they need to take it to a local recycling center for safe disposal immediately," Attorney General Hunter said. "Using this product is not worth the risk to the safety and security of families and loved ones. I am deeply concerned with the tragic case in Pennsylvania and do not want the citizens of Oklahoma to experience a similar situation. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families who experienced the heartbreaking loss of the two children."
CWAG Associate Attorney General Josh Stein of North Carolina applauded a U.S. Supreme Court Case ruling holding that patent trolls - i.e. businesses that exist for the primary purpose of bringing patent infringement lawsuits - cannot sue businesses in far-off states where they have little or no connection. "Patent trolls have regularly cherry-picked far-flung and burdensome judicial districts that they believe will be favorable for their case," said Attorney General Stein. "This can come at great expense and disadvantage to information technology businesses. I was proud to join a bipartisan effort to stop this drain on resources for many innovative North Carolina businesses. This ruling will help these businesses and their employees focus on innovating and creating, not on defending against abusive litigation tactics."

Global law firm Cozen O'Connor's State Attorneys General practice group has received the Burton Award's first "Blog of the Year Award in Law." The national awards program is held in association with the Library of Congress and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association. Cozen O'Connor's State AG Report blog is the weekly go-to resource for updates and analysis on key developments within each state's Attorney General (AG) office that may affect businesses and sectors across the country. American Bar Association President Linda A. Klein will present the award to Bernard Nash and Lori Kalani, co-editors of the blog and co-chairs of Cozen O'Connor's State AG practice group, on May 22, 2017, at the eighteenth anniversary celebration of the Burton Awards Program, held at the Library of Congress. During the ceremony, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be the guest speaker. The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement recognize excellence in legal writing, reform, and public service. According to William Burton, founder and chair of the Burton Awards program, the honor was presented to Cozen O'Connor for "the finest updated news on a subject presented in blog fashion, which possesses outstanding insights and analysis and writing."
Chris Coppin | Legal Director
Conference of Western Attorneys General