Attorneys General Meet with President and Vice President during Spring Meeting

Forty Attorneys General, top federal officials, corporate and association representatives, and other stakeholders gathered for the NAAG Spring Meeting held March 1-3 in Washington, D.C. This meeting allowed Attorneys General the opportunity to network with colleagues and discuss significant state and federal legal developments with their counterparts in federal agencies.

“State-Federal Partnerships: Shaping the Future” was the meeting theme. The key issues included state sex offender management, community banks financial reform, prescription drug disposal, and employee misclassification. A range of noteworthy federal speakers participated: R. Gil Kerlikowski, Office of National Drug Control Policy director; Sheila Bair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chairman; Jon Leibowitz, Federal Trade Commission chair; Christine Varney, assistant attorney general, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ); Linda Baldwin, director, Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering & Tracking, DOJ, and David Venturella, executive director, Secure Communities Program Management Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was the featured keynote speaker who addressed a closed meeting session. Following his brief prepared remarks, Attorney General Holder engaged in a candid and wide-ranging conversation with the state Attorneys General on a variety of topics focusing on financial fraud, federal-state prosecutorial relations, and federal funding.

Another meeting highlight was the annual Supreme Court luncheon where the latest cases of the 2010 term were discussed by legal experts Theodore Olson and Walter Dellinger, and the Supreme Court reception held in the Upper Great Hall of the Supreme Court building.

During the Society for Attorneys General Emeritus (SAGE) Business Meeting, the founders and longtime co-chairs of SAGE, Frank Bellotti and Roy Zimmerman, announced they were stepping down. Each received a token of their colleagues’ appreciation and heartfelt thanks. Michael Cody and Stephen Merrill were elected as the new SAGE co-chairs, taking over after the NAAG Summer Meeting in June.

March 3 found the Attorneys General meeting with Vice President Joseph Biden and Mrs. Jill Biden at their historic home on the Naval Observatory grounds for introductions, conversation and coffee. Immediately following, the Attorneys General dashed across town for a meeting in the White House’s Roosevelt Room with Norm Eisen, special counsel to the president for Ethics and Government Reform, and Michael Barr, assistant secretary of Treasury for Financial Institutions. President Barack Obama then joined the group for a discussion focusing on federal-state partnerships, financial issues, and government reform.

The Spring Meeting concluded with Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna presenting a special invitation for his colleagues, SAGE members, and the public to attend the NAAG Summer Meeting in Seattle, Wash., June 14 – 16.

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Attorneys General wait in the White House for President Obama to arrive.

US Attorney General Eric Holder shakes hands with Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock, left, while Missouri Attorney Chris Koster, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler look on.

NAAG Counsel Dan Schweitzer, left, Walter Dellinger and Ted Olson, right, discuss the latest Supreme Court cases of 2010 at the Supreme Court Luncheon.

Vice President Joseph Biden with NAAG President & Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning.