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Attorney General’s Office Honored with Two Prestigious Awards

(Phoenix, Ariz. - July 21, 2010)  The Arizona Attorney General’s Office was honored with two major awards from the Conference of Western Attorney’s General (CWAG), which concludes its summer meeting today in Santa Fe, N. M. 

Assistant Attorney General Bill Richards received the Jim Jones Award, which recognizes the outstanding work of a lawyer on the staff of a CWAG member state, and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office website (www.azag.gov ) won the award for Best Overall Website. 

“I am extremely proud of the achievements these awards represent,” Attorney General Terry Goddard said. “Bill Richards has shown excellent leadership in our office in many ways, from his professionalism in the courtroom to his adroit handling of complex cases to his mentoring younger attorneys. Our web team has worked hard to make our site as user-friendly, reliable and helpful to the public as it can be.”   

The Jim Jones award is presented to the legal professional who shows a significant commitment to public service, advancement of multi-state CWAG goals, and a sustained commitment of time, talent and energy to issues affecting member states. 

As a Senior Litigator in the Attorney General’s Civil Division since 2004, Richards has been involved in some of the Office’s biggest cases.  They include a series of legal fights related to the United Effort Plan Trust in Colorado City, Ariz.; Espinoza v. State of Arizona, a class action lawsuit challenging Arizona’s educational system; and Mayor Unified School District, et al., v. Winkleman, et al., challenging the validity of easements and rights of way granted by the State Land Department.  Richards has also took the lead in defending the state against a myriad of challenges to budget bills passed by the Arizona legislature.  

The Office’s website was recognized for its comprehensive use of social media, smooth navigation, inviting appearance and concise presentation of information. The website team consisting of Dominique Medina, Sarah Acer, William Morris and Jane Irvine completed a major overhaul of the site last year to make it more efficient and easy to use. This is the second time the Office has won this award since 2006. 

CWAG is a bipartisan group comprised of the chief legal officers of 15 western states and three Pacific territories.  For additional information, contact Press Secretary Molly Edwards at 602.542.8019.