Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I Get Knocked Down


  • Say what you want about Stephen "Bowtie" Stubbs, but the guy continues to get clients and publicity. This time Stubbs is representing the man at the center of a video showing five Metro officers struggling to restrain him/beat him at the Vanguard Lounge in June. [Las Vegas Sun; Fox5Vegas]
  • Proving they don't understand a thing about their consumers, the Nevada Transportation Authority gave the ok to 9 taxi companies to charge customers additional fees when they use the new "Ride Genie" app. [RJ]
  • The District Attorney's office found a July 2013 shooting by Metro officers to be reasonable and justified. [8NewsNow]
  • Nevada Attorney General candidates Ross Miller and Adam Laxalt have agreed to have their first debate on September 20 in Las Vegas. [RJ]

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Yeah Boy!


  • State Senator/Attorney Justin Jones kicked off a campaign to get universal background checks on gun sales before the public in a 2016 ballot initiative. [RJ]
  • The Cordish Cos., the company hired by the City of Las Vegas to help get it a stadium, is the subject of racial discrimination lawsuits and complaints in three states. Of course, this news was a surprise to the Mayor and City Council. Since Cordish wants public funding, will this affect Las Vegas' chance at getting a Major League Soccer team and stadium? [RJ]
  • The State Transportation Board decided to go forward with the bond/design-build version of Project Neon to expand I15 between Sahara and the Spaghetti Bowl. [8NewsNow]
  • Judge Carolyn Ellsworth closed the battery case against Flavor Flav after he completed a required domestic violence counseling course. [Las Vegas Sun]

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hello, Monday.


  • Current Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Gibbons talks about his experience serving as foreman of a jury in a criminal trial last week. [RJ
  • As the East Coast and West Coast have already been dealing with things like Airbnb and Uber, Clark County is still struggling with things like party houses. [RJ]
  • Hillary Clinton's planned speech at UNLV in October has been making a lot of headlines--first, for her $225,000 speaking fee, now because of some of the requirements on her rider. [RJ]
  • A federal jury awarded a couple $2.4 million in a breach of contract and fraud case related to the purchase of a condo near the Strip. [RJ]
  • Here's a video report on District Attorney candidate Raymond "Jim" Duensing as he fights charges being brought by the office of the job he is seeking. [Video-MyNews3; old article from RJ]
  • The Mountain Ridge little league team is finding success at the Little League World Series. Their next game will be on Wednesday against Mid-Atlantic, which features 13 year old pitching sensation Mo'ne Davis--the first girl to play throw a shutout in the Little League World Series. [Fox5Vegas]

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Topless Club Lawyers


  • Were you curious how much time the Clark County commissioners spent with lobbyists before making their decision on medical marijuana licenses? Well, here's a look at how it went down. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Six defendants in the HOA scandal have asked Judge James Mahan to delay the scheduled October 14 trial date for another six months. [RJ]
  • A former lingerie football filed a class action suit against the Legends Football League. [RJ]
  • In a preemptive strike against Uber, the Taxi Cab Authority approved app "Ride Genie" launched yesterday. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Need a new job? Clark County School District is looking for teachers. [8NewsNow; Teach Vegas]
  • Need a new practice area?  Try this one. "Topless Club Lawyers in Court Again..." Ha. [8NewsNow]

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ballot Question No. 1

Yesterday, Nevada Supreme Court Justice James Hardesty officially launched the public relations campaign to encourage voters to vote yes this fall on creating a Court of Appeals. The RJ has an article here discussing Hardesty's views on Ballot Question No. 1 (the comments section is already filling up with public reaction). Justice Hardesty also appeared on Ralston Reports last night (August 12, 2014) if you want to listen to what he has to say on the topic.

Ballot Question Number 1 says,
"Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to create a Court of Appeals that would decide appeals of District Court decisions in certain civil and criminal cases?"  
The ballot asks voters to simply vote "Yes" or "No." If you want to see the question along with the explanation and arguments for and against as will be seen on the ballot, visit nvsos.org here.

In a nutshell, the proposed creation of Court of Appeals will give us a push-down model. All appeals will go to the Nevada Supreme Court, but a set of rules (which are presently in draft form according to Hardesty on Ralston Reports last night) will determine which cases are automatically pushed down to the Court of Appeals. In theory, the Court of Appeals would handle mostly non-high profile, error-correction cases that are unlikely to set precedent, freeing up our top jurists to issue more published written decisions. The Court of Appeals will start as a three judge panel and will be housed in the existing Supreme Court facilities at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. A budget has already been proposed and the Court of Appeals is expected to cost about $1.5 million a year--an amount which the Supreme Court says is partially (if not fully) paid for by money it reverts to the general budget each year.

Here's your chance to weigh in on the topic. Let Nevadans know where lawyers stand on this proposal. Does Nevada really need a Court of Appeals? Detractors think this is all a ploy by lawyers to create more billable hours? Do you stand to benefit from this financially? Is there a downside that no one is seeing? Are our justices working hard to pass this just so they have more time to work on their golf swings or this truly a case of advancing the interests of justice?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Juror


  • Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Gibbons was selected to serve on the jury in a criminal trial this week. [RJ]
  • One of the defendants indicted along with suspended family court Judge Steven Jones pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Jones and the remaining defendants are scheduled to go to trial at the end of September. [RJ]
  • Attorney Robert Pool, who lost in the primary to Judge Ron Israel and Susan Bush, has accumulated over $12,000 in unpaid sanctions and fees. [RJ]
  • With the unfortunate news of the death of Robin Williams, it's a good time to remember that we're all in this together. If you need help, don't be afraid to say something. If you're worried about someone, let them know. In an AMA that he did at Reddit last year, he was asked what advice he had for people going through bad times for whatever reason. He said, "Reach out to friends. They're out there. And know that you are loved."

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cold Wind In August


  • The State Senate race between Justin Jones and Becky Harris made it into the New York Times! Spoiler alert: Becky breaks her media silence to give them a quote. [NY Times]
  • In another lawyer vs lawyer political face-off, Mark Hutchison and Lucy Flores are scheduled to debate each other in their race for the coveted position of Lieutenant Governor on September 3, 2014. [RJ]
  • Community activists are seeking to oust the Taxicab Authority's administrator. [RJ]
  • A column looking at lawyer advertising tactics. [Las Vegas Tribune]
  • Nevada's Mountain Ridge All-Star Little League team has made it to the Little League World Series. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Not Nevada specific, but here's a bar type question for all you legal minds stemming from this weekend's incident with Nascar driver Tony Stewart: Is he going to face criminal charges for the on-track death of Kevin Ward, Jr. [SI

Friday, August 8, 2014

Civility

Image from the Associated Press
I was reading this story in the LVRJ about an insurance company allegedly leaving a five-figure settlement payment at the insured's attorney's office in buckets of change, when it reminded me of some of my least favorite run-ins with opposing counsel over the years. 

I'm sure you all know this already, but thanks to the Board of Governors and the State Bar's efforts, our next batch of lawyers will now have to promise to "conduct [themselves] in a civil and professional manner, whether dealing with clients, opposing parties and counsel, judicial officers or the general public," as they are sworn in to the bar.

And I'm sure you also know that Nevada's Rules of Professional Conduct has long provided that "[w]hen a lawyer knows or reasonably should know the identity of a lawyer representing an opposing party, he or she should not take advantage of the lawyer by causing any default or dismissal to be entered without first inquiring about the opposing lawyer’s intention to proceed."

However, I'm also sure most of you would agree that this new oath and the foregoing Rule of Professional Conduct still allows for quite a bit of heinous shenanigans to occur between and among our distinguished colleagues.    

Anyone want to share some of their own or overheard favorite war stories and/or advice on handling a particularly difficult adversary? 

Has anyone ever had any luck with NRS 7.085  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Disaster


  • The race for the District 9 State Senate seat pits two lawyers against each other. In one corner we have incumbent Justin Jones (D),  an attorney at Wolf Rifkin Shapiro Shulman Rabkin, who stirred up controversy in his first term sponsoring a bill for background checks on private firearm sales and transfers. His challenger, Becky Harris (R), is an attorney at Lawyers/West and is taking the unusual tactic of not talking to the media. This should be an interesting race...
  • The Nye County Sheriff candidate caught removing campaign signs faces a single misdemeanor charge of injury to property. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Former lobbyist/lawyer Harvey Whittemore finally reported to prison to begin his two-year sentence. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Spiegelworld, producer of the Vegas Nocturne show that was at Rose. Rabbit. Lie. in the Cosmopolitan, is now suing the Cosmopolitan after the show and the club unceremoniously parted ways. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Clark County commissioners declared a disaster for Mt. Charleston after the flood damage last week. The Army Corps of Engineers has proposed a berm that would probably prevent floods in the future, but it is not being built yet because no one wants the liability in the event it fails. [RJ]
  • Three women are charged with bribing guards and smuggling a cell phone into High Desert Prison for Ammar Harris. [8NewsNow]

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Implosion


  • If you've been following along in the comments, you've heard a few nuggets about what's going on a Lionel Sawyer & Collins, including that the venerable firm is not just downsizing or contracting, it's imploding. It seems their website is up and running again, but we got a tip that their attorney page no longer lists direct dial numbers--just the main switchboard extension. Take that for what you will...
  • Here's a little legal analysis fun for you. Two men were throwing rocks at a beehive, angering the bees who attack everyone around and send three people to the hospital. No charges were filed yet, but if they are, what crimes did the two men commit? [MyNews3; KTNV]
  • People in Northwest Vegas who are regularly affected by flooding are looking to sell their homes. [8NewsNow]
  • Today is the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., we still have thousands of nuclear weapons in aging facilities. [Last Week Tonight with John Oliver via Huffington Post]