Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates
May 18, 2018
Registration is now OPEN to all!
Arizona Attorney General and CWAG Chair Mark Brnovich, and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas invite you to the 2018 CWAG Annual Meeting in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico this July 22 to 25, 2018. Join your colleagues as CWAG explores the most pertinent legal issues during the days and spend the evenings enjoying the land of enchantment at our special events. The meeting website includes travel and hotel information to facilitate air and hotel arrangements, speaker details, CLE information and much more.

Registration is now open, and we encourage you to register now to secure your spot before the conference sells out.
  • Early Bird Registration Deadline: Friday, June 11, 2018 at 5:00 pm Pacific time. All registrations received or finalized after this time will be charged the full registration fee.
  • Final Registration Deadline: Monday, July 9, 2018 at 5:00 pm Pacific time. No registrations will be accepted after this time.
  • No On-Site Registration.

The CWAG host hotel Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa is sold out on Tuesday and Wednesday July 24 and 25. If you have been unable to secure a room, the nearest hotel is the Santa Ana Star Casino hotel.
Supreme Court Opens Door to Legalized Sports Betting
May16, 2018

On May 14, the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal law that effectively prohibited states from legalizing sports betting. The Court’s decision breaks Nevada’s monopoly on sports betting and will empower state legislatures throughout the country to authorize sports books.

In  Murphy v. NCAA , the Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Alito, ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), which barred states from “authoriz[ing]” betting schemes on “competitive games in which amateur or professional athletes participate,” violated the anti-commandeering principle of the Tenth Amendment. 

Mark Brnovich, Attorney General of Arizona, Chair of the Conference of Western Attorneys General and Co-Chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Gaming Committee:
“This is an important constitutional decision reaffirming principles of federalism and state sovereignty. I have always believed decisions related to gambling should be left to state and tribal governments.”
61-page Complaint alleges Purdue Pharma embarked on a massive deceptive marketing campaign that spawned opioid crisis
May 7, 2018

Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma L.P. and its affiliates, which manufacture OxyContin and other opioids. The lawsuit alleges that Purdue engaged in deceptive marketing regarding the risks and benefits of prescription opioids, fueling Nevada’s opioid epidemic and leading to the opioid overdose death of Nevadans.

The lawsuit, filed by the Office of the Nevada Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, alleges that Purdue violated the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act through deceptive promotional activities and materials that falsely denied or minimized the risks of addiction, trivialized the pain management uses, and overstated the benefits of opioids. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Purdue has:
  • Minimized the risks and overstated the benefits of the long-term use of opioids;
  • Downplayed the serious risk of addiction by claiming that signs of addiction are merely the result of under-treated pain;
  • Advanced misleading statements on the efficacy of the use of opioids on a person’s quality of life;
  • Denied or failed to disclose the greater risks of opioid use at higher doses;
  • Exaggerated the effectiveness of abuse deterrent opioids to prevent abuse and addiction;
  • Misleadingly promoted OxyContin as providing a full 12 hours of pain relief which it consistently does not; and
  • Overstated the effectiveness of doctors’ ability to manage patients’ addiction.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Files Lawsuit Against Major Opioid Manufacturers
May 15, 2018

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi filed an action in state court against some of the nation’s largest opioid manufacturers and distributors for their role in the opioid crisis. The complaint names as defendants the major opioid manufacturers, Purdue Pharma L.P., Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Cephalon, Inc., Allergan plc, Mallinckrodt LLC, and related companies, as well as the major opioid distributors, AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation, Cardinal Health, Inc., McKesson Corporation, and related company.
Attorney General Josh Stein Takes Leading Opioid Manufacturer Purdue Pharma to Court
Lawsuit centers on the company’s role in creating and fueling the opioid crisis in NC
May 15, 2018

Atto rney General Josh Stein today filed a   lawsuit   against drug manufacturer Purdue Pharma over its marketing practices for prescription opioids. The lawsuit alleges that Purdue made deceptive and misleading statements to overcome prescribers’ and patients’ concerns and objections.
“As detailed in the complaint I filed today, Purdue Pharma repeatedly deceived prescribers and patients in its pursuit of profits – and far too many North Carolinians lost their loved ones as a result,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Purdue crossed the line, and I intend to hold them accountable.”
The   lawsuit   alleges many examples of deceptive marketing messages that Purdue pushed:
  1. “Pseudo-addiction” is a concept Purdue hyped to downplay concerns about opioid addiction. With no valid scientific basis, the company aggressively marketed the idea that people often engage in desperate, drug-seeking behavior not because they are addicted, but because they are actually not receiving enough opioids. Some of Purdue’s own doctors eventually acknowledged that “pseudo-addiction” was “an excuse to give patients more medication,” and had “led us down a path that caused harm.”
  2. Discrediting Non-Opioid Pain Relievers (such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen) allowed Purdue to undermine competition. Purdue’s marketing messages claim that these non-opioids are actually riskier than opioids for chronic pain – again with no valid science to substantiate the claim.
  3. Pushing higher doses for its opioid products, Purdue repeatedly claimed that its products did not have maximum dosage limits. When some doctors raised concerns, Purdue claimed that there are no maximum dosage limits for Oxycontin, and that the only real limit is when the patient experiences side effects including respiratory depression, a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
  4. Targeted vulnerable populations as patients, including veterans and seniors.

As described in the complaint, through these and other false statements, Purdue transformed the attitudes, habits, and practices of prescribers and patients in North Carolina. Under North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Attorney General Stein intends to stop Purdue from taking these illegal and deceptive actions and hold the company accountable.
Utah Attorney General Op-ed: We can beat the opioid epidemic
May 10, 2018

Utah leaders issued a joint editorial, urging citizens to contribute to combined efforts beat the opioid epidemic. The editorial was authored by Brian Besser, Drug Enforcement Administration district agent in charge of Utah; Sean Reyes, Utah Attorney General; and Sen. Mike Lee, Utah's junior Senator.

"Our nation is struggling through one of the worst public health crises in its history. Approximately 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, the most recent year of national data. Opioids accounted for nearly two-thirds of those deaths.

"This plague has not spared Utah. In fact, ours is one of the states hardest hit by the opioid crisis. On average, nearly six Utahns die weekly from opioid overdoses. Opioid deaths now outnumber deaths from motor vehicles and firearms. And three Utah rural counties were identified recently by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as being among the most vulnerable nationwide.

"This epidemic has affected every community in our great state; urban and rural, rich and poor, churchgoing and not. Nearly every family, no matter where they come from, has a story about how this tragedy has affected their lives.

"But in all of this alarming news, there is hope. There is a power in the togetherness of our common suffering. Through our shared pain and experience, we can work unitedly to identify solutions. In fact, we have already started."
Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program, Attorney General Hector Balderas, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller, Teeniors, and Adelante Join Forces to Promote Internet Safety and Cybersecurity for Seniors, Parents and Children

Initiative Will Develop Best-in-Class Toolkit for Law Enforcement Officials and Provide Significant Investments in Cyber Security Training Classes, Public Service Announcements, and Tens of Thousands of Online Safety Brochures 

May 16, 2018

Today, David L. Cohen, Comcast Corporation’s Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer; New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas; and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller announced a new Internet Essentials partnership to educate seniors, parents, and children across New Mexico about some of the most serious challenges they may face online.  
This innovative, multi-dimensional effort will combine public service announcements, free in-person training programs, and free educational resources including videos, brochures, and booklets that will also be made available online.
“As New Mexico's chief law enforcement, I am urging New Mexicans to take advantage of these free resources to help protect themselves against online threats and scams," said Attorney General Hector Balderas. "New Mexicans, especially our senior citizens, are far too often victims of financial scams so I am thankful to Comcast, the City of Albuquerque, Teeniors and Adelante for this partnership to protect New Mexico children and families.” 
Department of Homeland Security Unveils Strategy to Guide Cybersecurity Efforts
The strategy outlines guiding framework for the Department and the homeland security enterprise to manage growing national cybersecurity risks
May 15, 2018

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a strategy outlining the Department’s approach to identifying and managing national cybersecurity risk. The DHS strategy details a Department-wide approach to address the evolving threats to our nation’s cyber and critical infrastructure security.

Directed by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017, this strategy addresses strategic and operational goals and priorities to successfully execute the full range of the DHS Secretary’s cybersecurity responsibilities. The intent is for this strategy to enable the harmonization and prioritization of DHS planning, programming, budgeting, and operational activities across all DHS cybersecurity mission areas. It will focus on coordinating departmental cybersecurity activities to ensure a unity of effort.

The Department’s strategy sets forth a five-part approach to manage national cyber risk aimed at ensuring the availability of critical national functions and fostering efficiency, innovation, trustworthy communication, and economic prosperity in ways consistent with our na tional values and that protect privacy and civil liberties.
  •  Risk Identification: Assess the evolving national cybersecurity risk posture to inform and prioritize risk management activities.
  • Vulnerability Reduction: Protect federal government information systems by reducing the vulnerabilities of federal agencies to ensure they achieve an adequate level of cybersecurity.
  • Threat Reduction: Reduce national cyber threats by countering transnational criminal organizations and sophisticated cyber criminals.
  • Consequence Mitigation: Respond effectively to cyber incidents to thereby minimize consequences from potentially significant cyber incidents through coordinated community-wide response efforts.
  • Enable Cybersecurity Outcomes: Strengthen the security and reliability of the cyber ecosystem by supporting policies and activities that enable improved global cybersecurity risk management and execute departmental cybersecurity efforts in an integrated and prioritized way.
Scam Alert: AG Balderas Warns of New Messenger App Scam
The new scam just reported to the Office of Attorney General is perpetrated using a “messenger” app
May 17, 2018

Attorney General Hector Balderas issued a Scam Alert because New Mexicans who use “messenger” services or “apps” to communicate with friends are facing a new criminal hacking scheme. The victim believes he or she is communicating via a messenger service with a friend. Unfortunately, the other end of the message chain is being answered by an imposter who has hacked the actual friend’s messenger service—not the friend at all.

“Never pay anyone who demands payment via gift card because the use of non-standard banking devices is a sure sign you are dealing with a scammer,” said Attorney General Balderas. “Secondly, never disclose your personal information to someone who initiated the contact electronically with you.”
Attorney General Becerra Announces Criminal Charges Against Four Individuals Behind Cyber Exploitation Website
May 16, 2018

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced charges of extortion, money laundering, and identity theft against four defendants who are allegedly behind the exploitative website The website mines data from police and sheriffs' department websites to collect individuals’ names, booking photos and charges, then republishes the information online without the individuals’ knowledge or consent. Once subjects request that their booking photos be removed, they are routed to a secondary website called and charged a “de-publishing” fee to have the content removed. does not remove criminal record information until a subject pays the fee. This is the case even if the subject had charges dismissed or had been arrested due to mistaken identity or law enforcement error. Those subjects who cannot pay the fee may subsequently be denied housing, employment, or other opportunities because their booking photo is readily available on the internet.

“This pay-for-removal scheme attempts to profit off of someone else’s humiliation,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Those who can’t afford to pay into this scheme to have their information removed pay the price when they look for a job, housing, or try to build relationships with others. This is exploitation, plain and simple.”
CWAG Chair's Initiative Recorded Panels and Presentation Files Are Available Online
Thank you for your interest in the 2018 CWAG Chair's Initiative, focused on data security and privacy. To download the final agenda from the event,  click here .

Visit CWAG's LiveStream page to view  recordings  of each panel.

Thursday, May 3 Panels
Information Sharing and Analysis Center: A Collaborative Approach Against Tax-Related Fraud
Building Sand Castles in the Regulatory SandBox: FinTech, Financial Services & Cyber Security
When Crisis Strikes: Mitigation and Notification of Cyber Breaches
Mobile Sports Betting: The Global Perspective
Taking the Fight to IP Pirates
Privacy and Emerging Technology
Friday, May 4 Panels
E.U.'s General Data Protection Regulations
Identity in a Digital World: Managing Opportunity, Protecting National Security and Creating Consumer Value

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.