Program Updates - 2007
STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL AND PHARMACEUTICALS: WRITING A NEW PRESCRIPTION TO CURTAIL DRUG COSTS (DECEMBER 2007)
A new report by Julie Brill, Vermont Assistant Attorney General and Ano Lobb, M.P.H.(December 2007)
This report is the culmination of the National State Attorneys General Program's efforts to bring together State Attorneys General, academics, and state and federal regulators in an effort to focus on the role that State Attorneys General can play in curtailing current spending on pharmaceuticals by states, consumers, private insurers and employers. At a conference held at Columbia Law School in May 2007, with representation from 38 Attorney General offices, leaders discussed the policy options for states and Attorneys General to pursue in their efforts to implement savings of pharmaceutical dollars. The report summarizes the efforts of states and their Attorneys General in each of these areas, presenting specific solutions currently employed by various states for consideration.
THE HOME FORECLOSURE CRISIS: A PANEL DISCUSSION (OCTOBER 30, 2007)
Why Americans are losing their homes and what’s being done to do to stop it.
Listen to the mp3!
Tam Ormiston, Jane Azia, James Tierney, Ronald Mann, Margaret Becker
For more information, visit our “Predatory Lending” page
AG'S FORM TASK FORCE TO COMBAT HOME FORECLOSURES (SEPTEMBER 8, 2007)
A recent Wall Street Journal article outlines the work that AG's are doing to help families stay in their homes amidst the rising tide of home foreclosures. Led by Iowa AG Thomas Miller, attorneys general and banking regulators from 10 states have formed a task force aimed at pursuading mortgage-servicing companies and investors to restructure troubled subprime loans. The task force, has invited a dozen of the nation's largest subprime-mortgage-servicing companies to meet later this month in Chicago.
To read Iowa AAG Patrick Madigan’s Policy Paper, click here
NEW PREDATORY LENDING PAGE (AUGUST 10, 2007)
The on-going sub-prime lending issue has put in danger the ability of millions of Americans to stay in their homes, disquieted investors and roiled markets worldwide. In response to this burgeoning crisis, we have added a Predatory Lending resource page to our website to help State AG's address the issue.
NEW DISASTER PLANNING SECTION (AUGUST 10, 2007)
The tragedies of September 11 and Hurricane Katrina have taught us that disasters can strike anywhere and anytime. In order to assist state AG’s before, during, and after a state of emergency, we have compiled helpful resources on our new Disaster Planning page.
MILGRAM CONFIRMED AS NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY GENERAL, REALIGNS OFFICE'S PRIORITIES (JULY 2, 2007)
On June 21, 2007 Anne Milgram won unanimous confirmation as New Jersey’s new Attorney General. Prior to assuming the post, Milgram served as Assistant Attorney General, first under AG Zulima Farber and then AG Stuart Rabner, who recently won confirmation as Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court. Milgram has distinguished herself by restructuring the state’s anti-terror efforts, protecting victims of human trafficking, and investigating conflicts of interest in the student loan industry. Milgram lists her top priorities as public corruption, gangs, consumer protection and homeland security. Milgram named John Vazquez, who investigated pervasive fraud in New Jersey hospitals, Deputy Attorney General.
NAAG'S EASTERN REGION TRIAL PRACTICE ACADEMY AT COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL (JUNE 26, 2007)
On June 25-29, 2007, the National State Attorney General Program at Columbia Law School hosted NAAG for its Eastern Region Trial Practice Academy. During the program, Assistant Attorneys General participated in lectures and workshops on trial advocacy skills and prepared for mock trials of State v. Graves.
PHARMACEUTICALS CONFERENCE, MAY 10-11, 2007
On May 10 and 11, representatives from the offices of state attorneys general came to Columbia Law School to wrestle with issues that arise from the relationship between state attorneys general and the pharmaceutical industry.
Keynoted by Dr. Mark McClellan, former Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and visiting fellow at AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, the conference gave all participants the opportunity to meet with the leaders in this important field.
In addition to assistant attorneys general from 35 states, the conference was also attended by:
Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Idaho
Attorney General Steve Rowe, Maine
Attorney General Mike McGrath, Montana
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, North Dakota
Attorney General Patrick Lynch, Rhode Island
Attorney General Bill Sorrell, Vermont
The conference began with an historical analysis of past attorney general initiatives that drew on NAAG's 2005 Presidential Initiative which was conceived and chaired by Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell and his staff. The conference included sessions on evidence based medicine and counter-detailing, direct-to-consumer advertising and counter-advertising, marketing efforts directed at physicians and health care institutions, and new state laws that attempt to increase the transparency of industry marketing practices. It also discussed issues arising out of bulk purchasing, formularies, and pricing systems. Finally, participants reviewed efforts by federal agencies to preempt critical state regulatory measures.
The conference was primarily organized by Vermont Assistant Attorney General Julie Brill and Iowa Chief Deputy Attorney General Tam Ormiston. The conference was by invitation only and contained a session that was only open to governmental attendees.
For a full Agenda and access to conference materials, click here.
DIRECTOR JIM TIERNEY APPEARS ON COURT TV (MAY 7, 2007)
Jim Tierney, Director of the National State Attorney General Program, appeared as a guest commentator on Court TV’s live coverage of California v. Philip Spector. From 1991 to 1995, Tierney was a member of the Board of Commentators at the Courtroom Television Network and now appears as an occasional guest to offer expert commentary. While Attorney General, Tierney’s office had the responsibility to oversee the entire criminal justice system as well as exclusive responsibility in the prosecution of Maine’s homicides.
THE ROLE OF STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL IN DISASTER PLANNING AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Amanda Lewis ( Columbia Law School ’08) has addressed a key legal issue in emergency preparedness in a paper entitled “The Role of State Attorneys General During a State of Emergency.” Because most states have few statutory or common law guidelines for the exercise of emergency powers, she argues that state attorneys general must be a part of advanced emergency planning in order to fully protect the rule of law.
* Click Here For "The Role of State Attorneys General During a State of Emergency."
Johanna Coats ( Columbia Law School ’08) has written a paper entitled “The Role of the State Attorney General in Combating Human Trafficking.” She argues that “the complex requirements for successfully addressing the crime of human trafficking…demand a central figure with the ability to coordinate between governmental, non-governmental, state and federal entities, a role that is best suited to the state Attorney General.”
* Click Here For "The Role of the State Attorney General in Combating Human Trafficking."
THE FORECAST FOR CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY: A DISCUSSION HOSTED BY THE COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OF WASHINGTON, D.C. (APRIL 5, 2007)
Hosted by The Columbia Law School Alumni Association of Washington, D.C.
Jim Tierney moderated a panel discussion on Climate Change Policy on the State, Federal, and International levels. Panel members included: Vicki Arroyo, Director of Policy Analysis, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, David Hawkins ‘69, Director, The Climate Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Kathleen A. McGinty ’88, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection.
THE NEXUS OF IMMIGRANTS' RIGHTS AND CIVIL RIGHTS (APRIL 3, 2007)
Jim Tierney, Director of the National State Attorney General Program, spoke at a Columbia Law School Dinner for Facilitating Access to Rights and Political Participation in Immigrant Communities.
The dinner discussion also featured Avideh Moussavian, Senior Staff Attorney at the New York Immigration Coalition, Engy Abdelkader, Legal Services of New Jersey, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, African Community Liaisonat the Sanctuary for Families and 2004 Equal Justice Works Fellow . The discussion was moderated by: Prof. Ragini Shah, Clinical Staff Attorney, Child Advocacy and Immigration Clinic, Columbia Law School.
AG ROLE IN LABOR LAWS
The Role of State Attorneys General in the Enforcement of Labor Laws
Written by Jennifer S. Brand, Chief of the Labor Bureau of the New York Office of Attorney General, the article presents a detailed plan for state attorneys general to enhance enforcement of state wage and hour laws. Brand, who is a graduate of both Barnard College and Columbia Law School, has 18 years of direct experience in the enforcement of state wage and hour laws and for three months served as a Research Scholar at Columbia Law School.
A ROUNDTABLE ON THE ROLE OF STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL: THE RISE OF NEW ISSUES (March 1, 2007)
The panel featured State Attorneys General Rob McKenna of Washington, Patrick Lynch of Rhode Island, Gary King of New Mexico, and Bill Sorrell of Vermont for a roundtable on the role of state attorneys general. The discussion was moderated by Jim Tierney, Director of the National State Attorneys General Program and former Attorney General of Maine. Sponsored by Social Justice Initiatives, the National State Attorneys General Program, and the Center for Public Interest Law.
CONSUMER AND ANTITRUST LEADERSHIP SESSIONS (MARCH 1-3, 2007)
The National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School and Center for State Enforcement of Antitrust and Consumer Protection Laws, Inc. (State Center) hosted a leadership training program on State Consumer Protection on March 1-3 at Columbia Law School in New York City.
*Participants Click Here for Materials
As a result of state elections this past fall, there are seventeen newly-elected state Attorneys General and they are presently building their staff and understanding in the important and high profile areas of consumer protection and antitrust enforcement. Designed to support incoming Attorneys General, Chief Deputies, and Division Heads, the program assisted in creating immediate capacity on consumer and antitrust enforcement. We also fostered important relationships for the newly-elected Attorneys General and their key staff members. Participants included a small, invitation-only group of fifty individuals, representing over twenty states, as well as federal government officials and non-governmental leaders from five major organizations. Also in attendance were ten 2L and 3L students from Professor Tierney’s class on state attorneys general.
TAM ORMISTON NEW DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF COLUMBIA'S AG PROGRAM
The National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School is pleased to announce that Iowa Chief Policy Counsel Tam Ormiston has been selected as the new Deputy Director. Ormiston will work closely with Dean of Social Justice Initiatives, Ellen Chapnick, and Program Director James E. Tierney, the former Attorney General of Maine, in carrying out a number of initiatives. Ormiston received his B.A. in History and Psychology from Illinois College, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1970. He also graduated from the University of Iowa, having received is J.D. in 1974 and his M.A. in American Studies in 1977. Between 1978 and 1987, Ormiston served as an Attorney in the Consumer Protection Division of the Iowa Attorney General Office'. More recently, he worked as Law Advisor and Director of the Russia and Central Asia Program for The Asia Foundation. Ormiston returned to the Iowa Attorney General's Office in 1997, where he has been the Chief Policy Deputy for the past nine years, helping to direct and coordinate litigation strategy for national multi-state cases, including the Microsoft antitrust case, Household, Ameriquest, and Big Tobacco. Ormiston will serve at Columbia on a half time basis and remains Chief Policy Counsel for the Attorney General for the State of Iowa.