NAAG Fall Meeting in New Orleans Tackled Pressing Issues

The attorneys general gathered in New Orleans, La., Dec. 2 - 5 for the annual NAAG Fall Meeting and the high turn-out made it one of the most popular in recent years. It is the only NAAG annual meeting held just for attorneys general, their staff and invited speakers. Our host, Louisiana Attorney General James D. “Buddy” Caldwell and his superb staff led by Chief Deputy Trey Phillips, rolled out the “Big Easy” welcome mat and ensured everyone enjoyed their visit.

The Attorney General Meeting Planning Committee put together an outstanding program of dynamic and thought-provoking panels and inspiring speakers. Panel topics included “Current Law Enforcement Issues” moderated by NAAG President and Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. van Hollen who was joined by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, the National Association of District Attorneys (NDAA) President and District Attorney of the 27th Judicial District of Texas Henry Garza, and NDAA’s Executive Director Scott Burns; “Pipelines – Working with Federal Agencies” moderated by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel; “Working with FirstNet” moderated by Attorney General Van Hollen; “Application of Centrifuge and Other Technologies to Clean Up Response and Hydraulic Fracturing” moderated by Attorney General Caldwell; and, “Hijacking Patent Law” moderated by Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning.

The kick-off luncheon speaker was Ambassador William Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. A panel entitled “AGs and Public Health Law” moderated by Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell featured four assistant attorneys general who participated in the National Attorneys General Training and Research Institute (NAGTRI) public health law fellowship, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They presented their final research papers, which can be read here: http://www.naag.org/nagtrirobert-wood-johnson-foundation-public-health-law-fellowship-papers.php.

Attorney General Van Hollen introduced “The Fly Effect,” a statewide public awareness campaign to prevent heroin use. During the NAAG Business Session, members of the NAAG Substance Abuse Committee provided updates on various drug-related issues in their jurisdictions, former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna provided a briefing on the Information Technology and Intellectual Property Theft Enforcement Fund, the Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens provided an update on NAGTRI, and the membership approved the 2014 NAAG Strategic Plan. The meeting concluded with a presentation, “When Duty Calls: Examining Ethical Conflicts in the AG-Client Relationship” moderated by Attorney General Van Hollen. This panel explored the ethical issues surrounding AG representation of state agencies.

At the Wednesday night reception and dinner, the attorneys general bid farewell to Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who left office in January.

We now turn our attention to the NAAG Winter Meeting, Feb. 24-26 in Washington, D.C.; the Southern Region Meeting, April 1-2 in Savannah, Ga.; the Midwestern Region Meeting, April 14-15 in Lawrence, Kan.; the Chief Deputies/Chiefs of Staff Meeting, April 23-25 in San Diego, Calif.; and the NAAG Summer Meeting, June 2-5 in Mackinac Island, Mich. Go to the NAAG web site, www.naag.org, for online registration and other meeting information.

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NAAG President Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen
NAAG President Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen
New Mexico Attorney General King at the 2013 Fall Meeting
New Mexico Attorney General King at the 2013 Fall Meeting

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