Announcements, information and updates from CWAG Members and Associates
November 8, 2018
Articles on topics relevant to the work of Attorneys General around the nation.
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AG Pax­ton Leads 36-State Coali­tion Brief Urg­ing U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold States’ Sovereignty
November 1, 2018

Attorney General Ken Paxton led a bipartisan coalition of 36 states in a friend-of-the-court brief, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold its long-standing view on states’ rights to prosecute criminals.

In multiple cases dating back almost two centuries, the high court has ruled that being prosecuted twice – once by a state and again in federal court – does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s protection against double jeopardy because the states and the federal government are separate sovereigns with distinct and unique interests. Lawyers for an Alabama man are asking the Supreme Court to overturn its earlier decisions.

Texas is joined on the friend-of-the-court brief by 35 other states – including the 15 most populous states. Collectively, these states represent over 86% of the U.S. population. Their leaders span the political spectrum. They are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Attorney General Laxalt’s Office Announces Nearly 100 Percent of Backlogged Sexual Assault Kits Sent for Testing, Resulting in at Least 17 Arrests Statewide
State of Nevada to Consider First-of-its-Kind Software Contract to Provide Real-Time Sexual Assault Kit Tracking for Victims of Sexual Assault
November 2, 2018

Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that county forensic laboratories have submitted nearly all backlogged sexual assault kits for forensic testing, resulting in at least 17 arrests statewide. In addition to the statewide sexual assault kit testing progress, a vendor selection team, consisting of members of AG Laxalt’s Sexual Assault Kit Backlog Working Group’s Tracking Subcommittee, has entered into a contract to begin tracking sexual assault kits in Washoe and Clark Counties. The electronic database will then be made available to survivors of sexual assault looking to view the status of their case and, ultimately, expanded to Nevada’s other 15 counties.  
If the software contract is approved by the Board of Examiners later this month, a portion of the $523,268 in non-taxpayer federal grant monies will be used for the purchase and implementation of Nevada’s first sexual assault kit tracking system. The software will be used to develop a sexual assault kit tracking system to physically track the progress of each sexual assault kit collected and processed through Nevada’s two forensic laboratories, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Science Division and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Tracking will include an indication of status with dates and milestones from the time that a victim reports a sexual assault, to the retrieval of the kit by law enforcement, the testing of the kit, availability of test results, Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) entry/hits, law enforcement investigation review and results, and prosecution review and results.
Attorney General Becerra Condemns Hate Crimes in Response to Reports of Vandalism at Southern California Synagogue
November 1, 2018

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra responded to reports that a synagogue in Irvine was vandalized yesterday:

“We must all condemn in unambiguous terms the unconscionable vandalism just directed at one of our local synagogues. This comes on the heels of the horrific loss of life America suffered when an anti-Semitic racist brutally attacked congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Hate crimes must never find safe harbor anywhere in America. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. We stand with our fellow law enforcement authorities as they investigate this crime to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Electronic Smoking Device Retailing Registration Requirement in Effect in Hawaii
Registration Information Available on Attorney General Website 
October 31, 2018

Attorney General Russell Suzuki announced the establishment of
the Electronic Smoking Device Retailer Registration Unit within the Department of the
Attorney General, pursuant to Act 206, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018. The Act requires
an entity engaged in the retail sale of electronic smoking devices to register with the
Unit, provide identifying information, and allow for inspections of the retailer’s facilities.
Failure to timely register may subject a violator to a civil penalty of $100 for each day
the retailer is in violation, plus the costs of the investigation conducted by the Unit to
determine the violation.

Retailers must register immediately, starting November 1, 2018, and must complete the
registration by December 17.
Attorney General Laxalt, District Attorney Wolfson and Sheriff Lombardo Announce Guilty Pleas of April Parks and Co-defendants in Nevada’s Largest Ever Elder Exploitation Case
November 5, 2018

Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joseph Lombardo announced that court-appointed guardian April Parks and her co-defendants Mark Simmons, Gary Neal Taylor, and Noel Palmer Simpson entered guilty pleas in Clark County District Court to felony charges arising from a scheme to financially exploit elderly wards they were appointed by the court to serve.
SCOTUS 2018 Indian Law Merits Docket: Reservation Status, Tax, and Hunting Rights Cases

The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in three Indian law cases that will be decided this Term--Carpenter v. Murphy, Washington Department of Licensing v. Cougar Den, Inc., and Herrera v. Wyoming. Each involves issues that will have substantial practical and legal effects on both the parties and others.
Please join Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt as he moderates a discussion featuring Mithun Mansinghani, Solicitor General, State of Oklahoma; John G. Knepper, Chief Deputy Attorney General, State of Wyoming; and Fronda C. Woods, former Assistant Attorney General, State of Washington.
This webinar is available via CWAG’s content partner Thomson Reuters and may be available to you at special pricing via your existing WestLegalEd subscription.

Visit West LegalEdcenter and search Content Partner “Conference of Western Attorneys General” to add this content to your cart.

For questions, please contact Clay Smith at
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
2018 AG Race Results & 2019 Projected AG Political Landscape
All of the AG races have been decided, although the precise final vote tallies are still being tabulated in some states. Once all of the new AGs take office, the AG political landscape will be comprised of 24 Republicans and 27 Democrats.