Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates
January 24, 2019
Articles on topics relevant to the work of Attorneys General around the nation.
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A Post-Murphy vs. NCAA Development from the US Department of Justice
David C. Blake, Partner, Squire Patton Boggs
January 18, 2019

Most believed the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Murphy vs. NCAA largely settled whether online sports betting would be here to stay. State AGs and many others have frantically been dealing with the myriad challenges to safely, securely and with integrity implement online gaming. But unexpectedly, this past week the U.S. DOJ dusted off an interpretation of the U.S. Wire Act and tossed a curve ball to the burgeoning effort of bringing regulated real time online gaming to anyone with a phone.
In a win for the casino industry (and perhaps others like Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham), the U.S. Department of Justice released an  opinion  re-clarifying its interpretation of a still existing prohibition against online gambling and reiterating DOJ’s view that the Wire Act, a 1961 statute still makes it a criminal offense to transmit information to promote interstate or foreign wagering, to bring cases against any, not just sports-related, online gambling operation. The latest opinion is at least the third of its kind that touches on this issue issued in the last decade or two by the Department. It expressly overturns a 2011 opinion issued by the Criminal Division that found the Wire Act’s scope was much more limited, applying only to sports gambling.
The true impact of the opinion is unclear. If the opinion is enforced, and likely even if it is not, it is highly likely to be challenged. If it survives court challenges, the opinion may greatly impact interstate online gambling, including a recent agreement by New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada to allow online poker games. The opinion also effects the ability for states like New York and Illinois to sell lottery tickets via the Internet. However, the opinion is unlikely to have any bearing on authorized intrastate gambling. The opinion also will likely reinvigorate the debate at the U.S. Capitol about when and how, if ever, to modify the Wire Act in the modern era for online sports gambling.
Deputy AG Rosenstein issued a  memo  directing prosecutors to delay implementation of the opinion for 90 days.
Wasden Announces Idaho’s Participation in $120 Million Settlement with Johnson & Johnson and Subsidiaries over Hip Implants
January 23, 2019
Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced today that he and 45 other state attorneys general have reached a $120 million settlement with Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary DePuy. The settlement resolves allegations that DePuy unlawfully promoted its metal-on-metal hip implant devices, the ASR XL and the Pinnacle Ultamet.

In addition to Idaho, participants in the settlement include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington.
AG Ferguson to Sue if Navy Continues to Pollute Puget Sound, Harming Salmon, Orcas and Other Marine Life
Navy ignored concerns raised by EPA, Washington Department of Ecology
January 17, 2019

In a letter to the federal government, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced his intent to join a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Navy’s process to scrape the hulls of decommissioned vessels, which leads to ongoing pollution of Sinclair Inlet and harms salmon and orcas.

To clean a 60,000-ton, decommissioned aircraft carrier before transport, the Navy scraped the hull of the ship in Puget Sound in January 2017. The process released approximately 50 dump truck loads of solid materials, including copper and zinc, into the sound. Copper and zinc are highly toxic to marine life. A study conducted by the Navy found that the level of pollutants it released far exceed standards allowed by Washington state. The initial release of these metals, and their continued discharge of pollutants into the inlet, violate state and federal laws.
We Need to Own Our Data As a Human Right—And Be Compensated For It, The Economist
January 21, 2019

Identity and personal data will be vital aspects of living in the future, says, a musician and entrepreneur:

At a lunch at the World Economic Forum five years ago, guests were asked to predict what people would care about around 2019. My mind raced through thoughts about identity and data. When the host, Marc Benioff, the founder and chairman of Salesforce, turned to me, I stated: “idatity”. Identity and data are increasingly intertwined. The term I coined that day evokes the need for people to be more aware of how they safeguard and share their information.

Personal data needs to be regarded as a human right, just as access to water is a human right. The ability for people to own and control their data should be considered a central human value. The data itself should be treated like property and people should be fairly compensated for it.
AG Paxton Launches New Dose of Reality Website to Educate Texans About the Dangers of Opioid Abuse
January 22, 2019

In his office’s latest initiative to combat the nation’s opioid crisis, Attorney General Ken Paxton launched Dose of Reality, a new comprehensive website to inform and educate Texans about the dangers of misusing prescription painkillers. The new site is available at Attorney General Paxton was joined at a press conference by Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt and Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Courtney N. Phillips.
Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Joins Ballard Partners
Bondi to Chair Ballard’s Corporate Regulatory Compliance Practice
January 22, 2019

After eight years of serving as Florida's attorney general, Former Attorney General Pam Bondi is joining the lobby firm of Ballard Partners, as Chair of the firm's new corporate regulatory compliance practice.

During her tenure as Attorney General of Florida, Bondi worked closely with CWAG, participating on many topical roundtables, aiding and providing an important core relationship to our Alliance Partnership work in Mexico, and joining us on international missions to promote the Rule of Law abroad.

General Bondi also undertook dozens of major state and national initiatives, including filing the most comprehensive state litigation regarding the national opioid crisis. She played a leading role in achieving the National Mortgage Settlement that ultimately resulted in $56 billion in total relief nationally. In a tremendous victory for Florida, Bondi sued BP and other responsible parties in the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill case and settled for more than $2 billion in economic relief for Florida alone.

We want to wish General Bondi a successful future and we thank her for years of support and friendship with CWAG.
Gov. Ron DeSantis appoints Carlos Muñiz to Florida Supreme Court
January 22, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Carlos Muñiz to Florida's Supreme Court this week, filling the last of three vacancies on the state's high court.

"I wanted somebody with a top flight intellect," said Gov. DeSantis, who added that he interviewed 11 candidates for the position. "And with Carlos we have found that justice."

Muñiz was an aide to Attorney General Pam Bondi, and also worked with the Jeb Bush administration when Bush was Florida's governor.

Muñiz most recently served as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education under Secretary of Education Betsy Devos.
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