CWAG Roundup

February 9, 2017

Chair's Initiative and Western Pacific AG Summit
Honolulu, Hawaii
March 13-16, 2017
*REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! Click here to download registration materials and please contact meeting planner Ale Stephens at or 303.304.9206 with any questions.  
The preliminary draft agenda for the meeting can be downloaded here. Please send any panel suggestions to CWAG Legal Director Chris Coppin at
This conference will be held at the famous Royal Hawaiian Hotel. We will begin with a welcome reception on Monday, March 13, 2017, at 5:00pm. The Western Pacific Attorney General Summit will take place from 8:00am to 5:00pm on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. The Chair Initiative will take place on Wednesday, March 15th, from 8:00am to 5:00pm, and will conclude on Thursday, March 16th at 12:00pm. This conference is open to all private sector and government attendees.
The Pacific Summit will focus on major issues facing the Pacific jurisdictions, such as climate change, immigration, self-government, consumer retail access and economic growth. The Chair Initiative will explore how states have lead the way to solve national issues when the federal government has experienced deadlock and what the future holds for state action. The states are a vital and active source for ideas to solve important issues facing society. States lead the way on consumer and financial protection, healthcare, protecting privacy and so much more. Even when partisan politics keep the federal government from being as effective as it may, the states can put aside politics to address the needs of their citizens.
2017 CWAG Annual Meeting
San Francisco, CA
July 30- August 2, 2017
CWAG Cyber Security Forum
CWAG and  Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes completed a successful cyber security forum in Park City, Utah, on February 2 nd and 3rd. More than 100 attendees participated in a variety of panels surrounding many aspects of cyber security, including a glimpse into the future of cyber security by nationally recognized speaker, Dr. Peter Singer. To watch Dr. Singer's presentation, click here.
If you missed the forum, you still have the opportunity to watch the recorded program online! A program agenda is included in the links below for each day of the conference:
February 2, 2017
Click here  to watch the Cyber Security Sessions
February 3, 2017
Click here to watch the Cyber Security Sessions

CWAG Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California gave a lengthy interview about his positions regarding such topics as the Tenth Amendment, public safety, immigration, marijuana, the environment and the death penalty. Read the interview in the attached articles to learn more about our newest attorney general.
CWAG Attorney General Bob Ferguson of Washington became the first state attorney general to challenge the President's executive order on immigration. Attorney General Ferguson argues that the executive order violates the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of Equal Protection and the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, infringes individuals' constitutional right to Due Process and contravenes the federal Immigration and Nationality Act. A federal judge in Seattle granted Attorney General Ferguson's request to immediately halt implementation of the executive order on immigration nationwide. The order is now on appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Solicitor General Noah Purcell, Deputy Solicitor General Anne Egeler and Solicitor General's Office Fellow Kelly Paradis, as well as members of the Wing Luke Civil Rights Unit, including Unit Chief Colleen Melody and Assistant Attorneys General Patricio Marquez and Marsha Chien, are handling the case.

Michael Truman Greely, "Mike", 76, of Helena, MT, passed away on January 26th at his family cabin on the Missouri River. Mike graduated from Great Falls High before attending Yale University. After college Mike taught High School in Oklahoma and served in the Army Reserve, before heading to the University of Montana law school.  After his law degree Mike served as an Assistant Attorney General under Forest Anderson and then became a Deputy Cascade County Attorney in 1969. Mike was elected Montana's Attorney General in 1976 serving 3 terms, the last longest serving Attorney General in Montana.

CWAG Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona stated in a recent interview about fighting international crime that, "There's a good reason why my office isn't about to wall off relations with Mexico. We need each other to fight crime. Our policymakers are facing some complicated decisions on immigration reform and the proposal to build a new security wall along the border shared by the United States and Mexico. It's a politically charged, hot-button topic, to say the least. Regardless of where you stand on those issues, we can all agree that it's important for Arizona and Mexico to be good neighbors, with a strong working relationship. One of my priorities at the Arizona Attorney General's Office has been to expand the communication and cooperation between Arizona and Mexico's law enforcement officials.  Acting bilaterally to fight human and drug trafficking, we can also be more effective in combating corruption, money laundering and in dismantling organized crime."
CWAG Attorney General Marty Jackley of South Dakota announced that the State Senate passed his bill to address criminal self-dealing and conflicts of interest. Under current South Dakota law, it is only a misdemeanor to engage in self-dealings of taxpayer money for personal benefit or gain. "Public officials that illegally take taxpayer money that has been entrusted to them, violate the public trust and should be held responsible and treated as any other criminal thief.  This legislation further removes the presumption for probation that limits the sentencing discretion for both the prosecutors and the courts in EB-5 and GEAR UP type financial cases. It also provides whistleblower protections for employees that report any inappropriate self-dealings and conflicts of interest. I appreciate how the Senate has improved and strengthened this bill," said Attorney General Jackley.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Bill Schuette of Michigan announced that Michigan House of Representatives, Brian Banks, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of filing financial false statements and resigned his seat. Attorney General Schuette first charged Banks in June of 2016 with four criminal charges related to falsifying documents to obtain a loan from a Detroit-area credit union. "As an elected official, you carry a higher burden of responsibility and are expected to act as a role model in your community," said Attorney General Schuette. "Former Representative Banks violated the trust placed in him by his neighbors and constituents." The misdemeanor charge of financial condition; false statements carries up to a one-year prison sentence. Sentencing has not yet been set.
CWAG Attorney General Tim Fox of Montana invited Montanans to join internet users and organizations across the United States and around the world to celebrate Safer Internet Day on February 7.  This is the fifth year Safer Internet Day has been recognized in the United States, and Attorney General Fox is marking the occasion with a new public service announcement (PSA) detailing several ways to stay safe online. "Today's technology keeps us constantly connected, whether we are on our computers at work, our tablets at home, or our smartphones when out and about," said Attorney General Tim Fox.  "While that increased connectivity lets us do wonderful things like find highly-rated restaurants in new cities, or video-chat with our loved ones who live far away, it can also give scammers a point of access to our personal information and accounts."
CWAG Associate Attorney General Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas announced that the Cyber Crimes Unit assisted local law enforcement agencies in more than double the number of investigations in 2016 than 2015. Special agents of the Cyber Crimes Unit focused last year on providing training for law enforcement officers across Arkansas. This commitment led to the Attorney General's office assisting local law enforcement agencies in mobile device forensics and other investigations in more than 90 criminal investigations. In addition to assisting law enforcement agencies with 52 cases, the Cyber Crimes Unit closed nine cases, with three leading to trials and six plea agreements. These cases resulted in 466 years behind bars for offenders. The unit also made seven arrests in 2016 and assisted local law enforcement agencies in another seven arrests. They also conducted 24 cybertip investigations.
CWAG Associate Attorney General Tom Miller of Iowa announced that a Fairfield, New Jersey customer list broker late last week completed a $40,000 payment to the state and will remove Iowans from customer lead lists tied to sweepstakes and psychic scams. The agreement, called an assurance of voluntary compliance, requires the company to carefully monitor its lead lists. If Iowans appear on a lead list, Saavoy must ensure that no fraud was involved in creating the list, and that no fraud would be committed by anyone using the list. The company's only alternative, according to General Miller, is to remove all Iowa residents. "We allege that Saavoy was trading in so-called 'sucker lists,' renting out the names of fraud victims to scammers," General Miller said, noting that customer lists associated with psychics and sweepstakes are frequently abused. "This sort of cynical conduct results in feeding frenzies, as a host of con artists descends upon each susceptible person on the list."
Leading a coalition of 17 states, CWAG Associate Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on the question of where patent owners can file claims. The attorney general's brief stresses the harm to Texans from abusive claims of patent infringement, which are a drag on economic growth. In his friend-of-the-court brief, Attorney General Paxton explains that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit wrongly departed from the Supreme Court's interpretation of the patent-venue statute by no longer requiring businesses to be sued in the district where they reside or where the alleged infringement occurred and the defendant has a place of business. Instead, the Federal Circuit's case law allows these lawsuits in any judicial district in the nation where personal jurisdiction exists. This expansion of patent venue has contributed to rampant venue shopping for plaintiff-friendly jurisdictions, especially by firms that buy patents in order to use the cost of litigation to force payment of license fees. "The Federal Circuit's misinterpretation of the patent venue law undermines public confidence in the judicial system and has, as it was once described, turned the Eastern District of Texas into an intellectual property 'speed trap,'" Attorney General Paxton said. "Patent trolls know full well that the cost of litigating cases there makes it cheaper for many companies to just pay them to go away. That's why it's so important for the Supreme Court to reverse the lower court." Texas is joined in the amicus brief by Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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