Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates

July 19, 2018
The CWAG Annual Meeting is Next Week!
Arizona Attorney General and CWAG Chair Mark Brnovich, and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas look forward to seeing you at the 2018 CWAG Annual Meeting in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico this July 22 to 25, 2018. The meeting website includes travel and hotel information to facilitate air and hotel arrangements, speaker details, CLE information and much more.

Registration for the CWAG Annual Meeting in New Mexico is now CLOSED as the meeting has reached maximum capacity. There will be no on-site registration.

The CWAG host hotel Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa is  sold out . If you have been unable to secure a room, the nearest hotel is the  Santa Ana Star Casino  hotel.

The official hashtag of the 2018 CWAG Annual Meeting is: #CWAG2018
Hot Topics On The Agenda At The 2018 CWAG Annual Meeting
Check out the latest articles on topics that will be addressed during the Annual Meeting in New Mexico! ( Note: Subscription may be required for access .)
Arizona’s Top Cop Talks Tech: Arizona AG Mark Brnovich on Technology, Law Enforcement and the Growing Challenge Posed by Rampant Cybercrime

Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute
July 18, 2018
Back in the early-1990s, when Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich started his legal career, the internet barely existed, no one knew what a “web page” was, phones were not smart, and people could not commit many crimes using a computer keyboard.

Times have changed. And now, as Arizona AG and chairman of the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG), Brnovich is in a perfect position to analyze and comment upon the many ways in which technology has impacted the job of Attorneys General everywhere. Among Brnovich’s top concerns these days is figuring out how to combat the escalating scourge of cybercrime while also respecting people’s right to privacy in the digital realm. As AG, Brnovich is also mindful that government overreach can stifle business innovation, so he tries to use his office to create a level playing field for all.

“I start off with a broad philosophy that the government shouldn’t be in the business of second-guessing business decisions,” says Brnovich. “My role as AG is to enforce the rule of law and make sure everyone is playing by the same rules.” To those who don’t want to play by the rules, his message is stern: “I tell people in the business community, we’re not going to second-guess your decisions, but if you are doing something illegal or inconsistent with state law, we’re going to come down very, very hard on you.”
AG Brnovich Urges U.S. Supreme Court To Protect Consumers From Class Action Settlement Abuses in Google Case
July 17, 2018

Attorney General Mark Brnovich, leading a bipartisan coalition of 19 state Attorneys General from across the country, filed a brief urging the United States Supreme Court to protect consumers from class action settlement abuse when it decides on a Google class action settlement appeal next term. 

In the Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation class action settlement appeal, Google settled a far-reaching consumer privacy case for $8.5 million, but consumers will not receive any of that money. Instead, more than $2 million will go to lawyers, and more than $5 million will go to five organizations that had nothing to do with the lawsuit, something that is called a cy pres -only settlement arrangement.

In the Amicus Brief, Brnovich asked the Supreme Court to prohibit cy pres-only class action settlement arrangements, like the $8.5 million Google settlement at issue, which divert all the settlement money away from consumers. Brnovich also urged the Court to implement limits so that, to the extent cy pres is allowed in a class action settlement, the lawyers for the class cannot get fees based on amounts awarded to cy pres recipients, since they don’t produce a direct benefit to the consumers who are supposed to receive some relief as a result of the litigation.

Joining Arizona are Attorneys General from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.
Blog: Changes to California’s Automatic Renewal Law Effective July 1
July 5, 2018

A newly amended version of California’s Automatic Renewal Law is now in force, putting into effect additional requirements to what is arguably the country’s stiffest consumer-protection law focused on subscription-style plans.

Although numerous laws in other states and the federal Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act provide similar enforcement regimes, the amended ARL – which went into effect July 1 – further underscores the California law’s status as the highwater mark for regulation in this space.

Since its operative enactment on December 1, 2010, the ARL has been a favorite tool for both the plaintiff bar and government enforcers. In California, which is home to significant technology corridors, the ARL has had a unique impact on e-commerce companies with subscription-style offerings. E-commerce companies across industries – from streaming music to identity security to online dating – have been the subject of ARL actions.

However, California companies are not alone in facing the ARL’s impact. Indeed, any company doing business should take notice of the ARL and prepare for its new requirements.
Alaska - State Can Continue Lawsuit Against Opioid Manufacturer
July 17, 2018

Alaska’s lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, LLC for its role in the opioid crisis passed its first legal hurdle. The Alaska Superior Court denied the request of Purdue Pharma, LLC to dismiss five of the state’s claims against it, keeping alive the core allegations in the case.

The Attorney General’s office filed the lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, LLC—maker of the opioid OxyContin—in October 2017. The lawsuit alleged that Purdue used deceptive practices in violation of state consumer protection laws, such as promoting the use of OxyContin for long-term chronic pain where there was little evidence to support it. Purdue responded by requesting the superior court to dismiss all the states claims. The court found that the State alleged facts sufficient to state claims against Purdue for unfair methods of competition, public nuisance, fraud, negligence and negligent misrepresentation, strict products liability, and unjust enrichment. The State will have to amend its allegations of violating the Alaska Medical Assistance False Claim and Reporting Act because the court found that the new statute is not retrospective.
Attorney General Coffman and Colorado Springs Mayor Suthers Commend Walmart’s New Initiative to Combat the Opioid Epidemic / p
Attorney General Coffman and Mayor Suthers receive hands-on demonstration at local Walmart pharmacy
July 18, 2018
Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman and Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers met with officials from Walmart and DisposeRx to receive a hands-on demonstration of an innovative new initiative to help curb the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic that Walmart is giving its pharmacy patients filling opioid prescriptions.
Walmart recently announced it would carry and distribute the opioid disposal solution, known as DisposeRx, in all of its 4,700 pharmacies nationwide, free of charge. DisposeRx is a powder that when mixed with warm water in a pill bottle, creates a gel that can responsibly be thrown out with household trash. P harmacists have been trained to help educate customers on how to safely and effectively use the product.
Attorney General Coffman applauded Walmart’s efforts for taking the lead by being the first retail pharmacy in the nation to utilize the program.
AG Balderas Fights to Return Unlawfully Transferred Land in Rio Arriba County to Land Grant Heirs
July 18, 2018

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced his office’s plan to fight for the rights of the Land Grant, Merced de Los Pueblos de Tierra Amarilla. In 2003, an unlawful transfer of title of property belonging to Merced de Los Pueblos de Tierra Amarilla was made to Al Frente de Lucha, a Colorado corporation. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Land Grant Division of the Office of the Attorney General filed a complaint, arguing that the court should declare the deed as void, and that the land in Rio Arriba County should be recovered by Merced de Los Pueblos de Tierra Amarilla, and held in a trust for their benefit.

“My office will fight to preserve the history and culture of land grants throughout New Mexico,” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “This land must be returned immediately, and placed in a trust for the benefit of Merced de Los Pueblos de Tierra Amarilla.”

It is the responsibility of the Office of the Attorney General to review important issues concerning land grants in New Mexico. The Office of the Attorney General worked collaboratively with the New Mexico Land Grant Council, New Mexico Legal Aid and the UNM School of Law Natural Resources and Environmental Law Clinic in preserving the land grant's rights.
Attorney General Josh Stein Takes Action on Behalf of Students
Stein urges USDOE to honor law enforcement partnerships; contacts Dream Center Holdings on behalf of Art Institute students
July 16, 2018

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein called on the U.S. Department of Education to honor its “historic law enforcement partnerships” by reinstating the long-standing practice of disclosing student loan information to law enforcement agencies – a practice it curtailed without explanation last month.
In a letter sent last Friday to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Attorney General Stein and 19 other attorneys general note that the Department of Education in June “quietly” revised its policy of disclosing student loan information to law enforcement agencies, reversing a practice that’s existed for the better part of two decades.
Attorney General Becerra Applauds City of Arvin’s New Oil and Gas Ordinance
July 18, 2018

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued the following statement on the news that the Arvin City Council passed by a 3-0 vote an ordinance that will require new oil and gas operations to be more protective of public health and safety. As part of the environmental justice work being carried out by the California Department of Justice, Attorney General Becerra filed his strong support for the ordinance on June 8, 2018, making clear that it was a lawful exercise of the City of Arvin’s authority.
Welcome to the Sponsor Spotlight, where each week CWAG will celebrate one of our private sector partners.

Millions of times a day, CVS Health is helping people on their path to better health—from advising on prescriptions to helping manage chronic and specialty conditions. Because they’re present in so many moments, big and small, CVS has an active, supportive role in shaping the future of health care.
Updated American Indian Law Deskbook Is Now Available
*Access may require subscription

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
Follow the 31 AG Races in 2018 on this Interactive Website
A significant number of states, 30 and the District of Columbia, have contests for the Office of Attorney General. Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General Practice hosts an interactive map for those interested in following the races throughout the country. The State AG Election Tracker includes state-by-state AG candidate snapshots, filing deadlines and primary election dates; daily news, insights, polling and fundraising data; and the ability to sign up for real-time election-night updates via text and email. Access is free.