Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No Business Like Show Business

  • Something about Clark County government just makes people want to be on tv. District Attorney Steve Wolfson will be presenting a proposal he has been working for six months to County Commissioners. He hopes to get you excited by suggesting you might be able to recreate your role for tv! [RJ]
  • Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson is embroiled in a same-sex divorce case where she granted an order for which she didn't have jurisdiction. Uh-oh! [8NewsNow]
  • Can anybody offer any insight into what is going on with the new Justice Court e-file site and Wiznet?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Super Seal

  • Federal prosecutors got in trouble with US Magistrate Cam Ferenbach over their use of "super seal" to seize assets without giving notice. [RJ]
  • Can you get a summons through email? [8NewsNow]
  • The Miller v. Laxalt race for Attorney General is heating up. [RGJ]

Friday, October 17, 2014

Early Voting Begins

It's finally time to start voting. After a long 10 months of anticipation, early voting opens tomorrow. Regardless of whether you think you should wait until Election Day in the unlikely event of an October surprise, people will start voting tomorrow. Now is your chance to step up and influence the votes of your friends and family. If you feel strongly that certain candidates should or should not be elected, let others know. The most frustrating thing about Nevada's elected judiciary is that uniformed voters don't know who to choose and some, instead of leaving it blank, just pick a name. Remember that every vote counts. We've covered all of the Eighth Judicial District Court races. If someone asks you who should I vote for or who should be elected to the bench, offer them some resources like Vote411, edjudicateclarkcounty.com, or {shudder} even our unscientific polls and anonymous comments.

If you're not comfortable suggesting candidates others should vote for, we suggest you consider making a recommendation to others to vote YES on Ballot Question 1 regarding the creation of a court of appeals in Nevada. If you need more information on that, start here.

Finally, remember that your vote doesn't count if you don't vote. Make sure you go vote!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Job Tips: When You've Been Unemployed

One of our readers wants to know your recommendations for the best way to deal with a period of unemployment on your resume. Whether you took a year off to travel the world or were unceremoniously fired for failing to meet expectations, how do you explain those gaps to future employers? Do you leave it off the resume and explain it if they ask? Do you put an explanation on the resume? If you were fired, how do you explain it in a way that doesn't just make you or your previous employer look bad?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

So Stipulated

  • David Olson, the Boulder City city attorney who was designated as an expert witness for his son in a suit against the City for unlawful arrest, entered into a stipulated agreement with the Nevada Commission on Ethics listing out all the things he did wrong and fining him $1500. [Nevada Commission on Ethics]
  • Here are more details on that office building shooting in Vegas the other day where the victim was a hearing advocate for a law firm. Attorney Jason Mills expressed concern about security in and round the building which houses the Nevada Department of Administrative Hearings. [RJ; Fox5Vegas; KTNV
  • Upgrades at the Clark County Detention Center means in about six months they'll start offering HD video visitation of inmates, among other things. [RJ]
  • A reality show pilot about the Clark County Coroner's office premieres tonight. [8NewsNow]

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nevada Attorney General Election Guide 2014

There is one statewide race on this fall's general election ballot that readers of this blog can offer some insight on:  attorney general. Unlike the races for the bench, this is a partisan office and may very well affect the outcome, but we thought we'd give you a chance to weigh in on the qualifications of the candidates and tell us who should be elected as Nevada's top state attorney. The three candidates are: Jonathan J. Hansen (IAP); Adam Paul Laxalt (REP); and Ross Miller (DEM). Although there are three candidates, this race is primarily between Laxalt and Miller--both legacy candidates who are following in the footsteps of previously elected Nevada politicians with the same last (and/or middle) names.

Ralston Reports has a lengthy piece up on the recent debate between Laxalt and Miller which brings us to three specific questions we'd like your input on below:

  • How should the leak of the Lewis & Roca review of Laxalt affect this race--does his performance at a law firm indicate how he will perform as AG?
  • How does Laxalt's military career and prosecution of terrorists in Iraq affect this race?
  • How does Miller's (disclosed) acceptance of gifts affect this race?

Who should be elected as Nevada's Attorney General?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Columbus Day

Federal courts are closed today in honor of uh, um, yeah, Columbus day. However state courts are open, as are most firms, so we figured a small post dedicated to the working men and women of Las Vegas legal practices was in order.

Here's to you, legal field employee stuck in an office on a beautiful fall Columbus day. Here's hoping that your billable hours are plentiful and your problematic clients are off today!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Playing Hooky

As if she heard your cries from the comments of this blog, the RJ's Carri Geer Thevenot (@CarriGeer) has delivered an article called "Questions raised about judges choosing campaign over court."

In it, we learn that Judge Kenneth Pollock has been out on medical leave from the bench since August, but has still managed to make several campaign events. When asked about his health, he says, "I really don't think my medical condition is relevant." Really, Judge? You're unable to perform your elected duties for  a couple of months and yet your health is not relevant as voters are making up there minds whether to reelect you?

In the article, we also learn that on October 2, a campaign event in Henderson drew 60 candidates between the business hours of 10 am to 2 pm. Two of those candidates were Judge William Gonzalez and Judge Kerry Earley, who both opted to have senior judges cover their calendar while they were out pressing the flesh. Gonzalez had the senior judge scheduled that day because he was sick--he was under the weather while he attended the campaign event and only did so because it was important. Earley used a vacation day that day and handled all but three matters scheduled to be heard that day in advance.

Now let us be clear, just because these three judges were singled out in this article does not mean they're always playing hooky. As state employees, judges get four weeks of paid vacation a year and work public employee hours. Also, because our citizens don't want to have judges appointed, the judges (who can't afford the services of David Thomas) may have no choice but to hit the campaign trail or be out of a job. Thus, it is understandable that a judge might use one of those vacation days for an important campaign event (you're excused, Judge Earley). It's also possible that a judge who had taken ill and was on antibiotics may have coincidentally been ill on the day of an important campaign event--but the fact that he was taking those antibiotics for more than a week prior leads one to wonder if that judge couldn't have used a vacation day and re-calendared hearings for that day instead of having a senior judge fill in at taxpayer expense (this one needs more investigation). It's also possible that a judge could have a doctor's note that says you are not to work, but are free to attend limited campaign events provided you get lots of rest. Yes, certainly possible. However, when taken in context, an extended medical leave that coincides with campaign season, attendance at out of town campaign events, and believing that the medical condition of such a judge is not relevant during an election--well, that's harder to excuse.

All of this begs a follow-up question, if this is the kind of use of senior judges we're seeing on just one day during campaign season, then how are the 26 senior judges being used the other 6 years of our judges' terms. We've heard some of you complain in the comments that this is a more widespread problem. In what departments are you frequently seeing the senior judges? Do you think it's a problem or just a good use of resources? Anyone want to go down to the RJC and request to look at all the senior judge requests and let us know more facts?

Finally, if you're going to be at one of the parties tonight, please drink responsibly and don't endanger yourself and others by getting behind the wheel drunk!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Justice Court Department 12 Election Guide

This year there is only Justice Court department up for grabs in the general election. We know that not all of you have much to do with Justice Court, but that is just all the more reason why we should open the the Department 12 race for discussion. In the incumbent's corner we have Judge Diana L. Sullivan and in the challenger's corner we have Marian Kahoiwai Kamalani. If you have any insight as to why one is a better choice than the other, please share it below.

Who should be elected in Justice Court Department 12?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Same Love

  • Yesterday a three judge panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Nevada's constitutional and statutory bans on gay marriage violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution meaning the State has to begin recognizing gay marriages. [RJ]
  • Clark County will begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses today at 2 pm. ed. US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an order temporarily staying the decision. [Las Vegas Sun] Then the race is on to be the first wedding chapel to legally perform a same-sex ceremony! [RJ]
  • The I-team confirms what we already know:  the bulk of money raised by judicial candidates for elections comes from the lawyers practicing before them.  What we didn't know:  $3.4 million so far this election cycle. [8NewsNow]
  • Here's a nightmare--squatters staying in your vacant house and claiming they were scammed. [8NewsNow]
  • For all you party people out there:  it's that time of year again! The CPK party invite is below. Everyone is welcome. For you elitists, we hear there is a Judge Earl retirement party going on Friday night in direct competition to this party, but aren't privy to the details...