For Immediate Release - June 22, 2012

Assistant Attorney General Matthew Berge Receives National Award for Work Enforcing Tobacco Regulations

Receives National Association of Attorneys General's Laurie Loveland Award

BOSTON – In recognition of his strong leadership and continued work to control tobacco in the Commonwealth, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Berge was awarded the 2012 Laurie Loveland Award, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. 

The award, presented annually at the summer meeting for the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), honors the efforts of an individual to advance the work of attorneys general on tobacco related issues.

“We are extremely proud of Matthew’s work on tobacco enforcement for the Commonwealth,” AG Coakley said. “Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States, and Matthew’s creativity, dedication, and hard work have been paramount to our office’s success in fighting tobacco-related issues for Massachusetts residents.”

Berge, a Dorchester resident, has taken a leading role in tobacco enforcement while serving in the Attorney General’s Office.  From 2006 until 2012, he served as Senior Litigator and States’ Liaison Counsel for the 2003 Non-Participating Manufacturer (NPM) Adjustment Arbitration, in which 47 states are litigating a $1.1 billion dispute with tobacco product manufacturers who signed the 1997 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

In this role, Berge oversaw the Massachusetts prosecution of its claim in the case to a successful resolution in 2011, and also acted as the states’ liaison with the tobacco companies’ attorneys and the three-judge arbitration panel. To learn more about tobacco enforcement in the Commonwealth, please visit the Attorney General’s website.

NAAG’s Loveland Award is awarded in honor of the late Laurie Loveland, the solicitor general for former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp. Loveland, who died at the age of 43 in 2002, was well-known for her time and energy spent on the tobacco negotiating team of Attorney General Heitkamp’s Office. 

Founded in 1907, the NAAG is comprised of the attorneys general from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the chief legal officers of the commonwealths and territories of the United States. The association’s goal is to help attorneys general fulfill the responsibilities of their office and assist in providing high quality legal services to the states and territorial jurisdictions.

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