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 Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth Confirmed by Alaska Legislature
Alaska Attorney General was appointed to the position in August of 2016, and Tuesday, May 16, 2017, she was confirmed without debate on a 52-7 vote. Before becoming attorney general, she spent 18 years in private practice at Dorsey & Whitney, LLP.
Next week is National Police Week and North Dakota's fallen law enforcement officers will be remembered and honored during public events at the state capitol and in local communities across the state. "The memorial service gives us an opportunity to pay our respects to the law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and to publicly thank those who continue to protect and serve," said
CWAG Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. "After dusk on Tuesday evening, for the first time the State Capitol building windows on two floors will be lit to display a 'Thin Blue Line,' in a show of support and respect for law enforcement," he continued. The Thin Blue Line blue light display was suggested by Bismarck Police Chief Dan Donlin, who asked Attorney General Stenehjem to seek approval for the display. Attorney General Stenehjem asked legislative leaders to support the idea and it received enthusiastic support from the North Dakota Legislature, which authorized the display in Senate Concurrent Resolution 4015.
Legislation approved today by the Legislature will strengthen the Kansas response to human trafficking, CWAG Associate Attorney General Derek Schmidt said. Attorney General Schmidt praised legislators of both political parties for their unanimous show of support for anti-human trafficking efforts. The measure, Senate Bill 40, won final approval today 40-0 in the Senate after previously being approved 120-0 by the House of Representatives. It now will be presented to the governor for his consideration. The legislation provides for several changes in law relating to minor victims of human trafficking, strengthening enforcement efforts, discouraging demand, and expanding awareness training. "Enactment of this important legislation should help Kansas reach the top tier of states leading the fight against human trafficking," Attorney General Schmidt said. "These changes provide important tools to strengthen enforcement, discourage demand for trafficking victims, support and assist human trafficking survivors, and help identify this crime when it occurs along our roads and highways."
CWAG Attorney General Mark Brnovich of Arizona is urging the federal government to change its policy to allow state attorneys general to use federal funds to investigate and prosecute in-home Medicaid abuse and neglect cases involving seniors. Brnovich joined 36 other state attorneys general and the District of Columbia in signing the bi-partisan letter calling for expanded medicaid fraud authority. "The statistics are alarming, 1 in 10 persons age 65 and older who live at home will become a victim of abuse," said Attorney General Brnovich. "We need to do everything in our power to protect all Arizona seniors from abuse and neglect including those who are under in-home care services." Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs) investigate and prosecute state Medicaid provider fraud and resident abuse complaints in Medicaid-funded health care facilities. In most states, MFCUs operate in the state attorney general's office.
The future of undercover investigations in Colorado is in flux in the face of an ethical debate over the role attorneys are allowed to play in such probes. CWAG Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said in a recent court filing that she has abandoned all undercover investigations until the state's high court clarifies whether attorneys are ethically allowed to oversee nonlawyer investigators who use false identities or other tactics to catch lawbreakers. The issue came to the forefront over the past year after a defense attorney for a convicted sex offender questioned whether the underlying investigation that led to his client's conviction violated state ethics rules forbidding attorneys and their employees from engaging in dishonest or fraudulent conduct. Attorney General Coffman argues that legal guidance from government attorneys is essential to ensure undercover investigations "not only comply with the letter of the law and respect individual rights, but also that they produce evidence admissible in court." Such investigations are used by the office in cases ranging from consumer fraud to drug conspiracy, she said in the court petition.

The Washington Attorney General's Office (AGO) announced that it filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court today alleging campaign finance violations by the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC). Specifically, the AGO asserts KCDCC failed to timely file a total of $65,442 in expenditures and $74,261 in contributions throughout 2016. CWAG Attorney General Bob Ferguson recused himself from any involvement in the matter. After the state Public Disclosure Commission began an investigation, the AGO received a Citizen Action Notice alleging multiple violations of the state's public disclosure laws in March 2017. After receiving the notice, AGO staff determined KCDCC failed to timely file any reports of contributions received or expenditures made during election year 2016. An initial review showed numerous reports were filed between one and eight months late.

CWAG Attorney General Xavier Becerra of California announced that a federal judge approved a $250 million settlement with Volkswagen over its "defeat device" software to bypass emissions controls in its 3.0 liter diesel vehicles. The settlement was negotiated by attorneys and technical experts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Justice, California Air Resources Board (CARB), and California Attorney General's Office. California will receive $66 million from this settlement. Of this amount, $41 million will go to air quality mitigation projects selected by CARB and $25 million will fund CARB programs that help replace polluting cars with zero emission vehicles. Volkswagen is also required to buy back or modify 85 percent of its polluting vehicles in California and provide fair compensation to owners. "There is no excuse for what those at Volkswagen did," said Attorney General Becerra. "They lied to consumers and environmental regulators. They cheated on emissions tests. They did harm to our environment. They put profits before people, and that's inexcusable. Today's action should serve as further warning to wrongdoers who believe they can run and hide - we will hold you accountable." 
BNSF Railway has appealed a final environmental review of the Longview coal project, arguing the state and county overstated or miscalculated the risk of cancer for people living near the rail line to the terminal site. A final environmental impact statement released in April says diesel particulate emissions from trains serving the Millennium Bulk Terminal would cause "an unavoidable increase" in the cancer risk rate for Longview's Highlands-area residents. Officials from Cowlitz County and the state Department of Ecology say there would be a 10 percent increased cancer risk over background levels for Cowlitz County. Millennium Bulk Terminals officials point to different figures in the review that suggest there would be a 3 percent increased cancer risk. But BNSF spokeswoman Courtney Wallace said there are "no credible scientific studies" suggesting that locomotive diesel emissions substantially increase cancer risk for Washington residents who live by a rail line.
Chris Coppin | Legal Director
Conference of Western Attorneys General