Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 Annual Airing of Grievances

"The tradition of Festivus begins with the Airing of Grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people! And now, you're gonna hear about it." --Frank Costanza

Technically, Festivus is on December 23, but we just can't wait to get the festivities started!  Gather your family, friends, co-workers, enemies, judges, opposing counsel, etc. because it's time for the Airing of Grievances

For some of you, this is what you were born to do--this is your moment to shine. Your gift of complaining is finally welcomed and wanted on this one occasion. This is your chance to (civilly) whine and complain about your salary, your job, your boss, the courts, nepotism, the legislative Republicans, Lionel Sawyer & Collins, Wiznet, Lewis Roca Rothgerber, the Nevada bar, UNLV Boyd, this blog, etc. It's also your chance to provide some feedback about the way things are done in the Las Vegas legal community. If you want a refresher on what types of things you were disappointed in or complained about last year, here's a link to last year's post

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jolly Old

  • Governor Sandoval announced that the three inaugural judges for the Court of Appeals will be Judge Jerome Tao, Judge Michael Gibbons, and Judge Abbi Silver. All three are sitting judges that were former prosecutors. They'll take the bench in early January. This means there will be two vacancies on the bench in the Eighth Judicial District. Who do you think will end up there? [RJ]
  • Based on SEC filings, it looks like Perini came out the net winner in the CityCenter settlement. Congratulations to George Ogilvie and his team at McDonald Carano Wilson. Wonder what kind of bonuses they'll be getting? [RJ]
  • The Las Vegas City Council voted to move forward on a soccer stadium that will only be built if the City is awarded a team from Major League Soccer. [8NewsNow]

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Santa Claus Is Watchin' You

  • A very happy Judge Betsy Gonzalez and 20 jurors were pleased to learn that the CityCenter litigation settled yesterday morning. The exact terms are unclear, but it looks like hundreds of millions of dollars are being shuffled between the parties with Judge Jennifer Togliatti getting some credit for helping get the parties to a settlement. [RJ]
  • Seems like the RJ has had to report on itself a lot lately. The paper is in the headlines today for suing District Attorney Steve Wolfson for hindering the newspaper in its investigation into the DA's practice of undisclosed witness payments. The RJ is being represented by attorney Maggie McLetchie. [RJ]
  • In case you worried about outgoing Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto finding a job, you can rest easy. She's being hired by the NSHE Regents. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Looks like the NSHE may need her sooner than later in the wake of the plagiarism scandal. If you want to hear Chancellor Dan Klaich explain away the situation, there is an interview at KNPR. [RJ]
  • Taxationally challenged Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore, who is also presently set to be majority leader and tax committee chairwoman next year, has an explanation for her tax liens. [RJ]

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Eight Crazy Nights

  • An FBI agent involved in busting the World Cup betting ring at Caesars acknowledged that he did not tell US Magistrate Judge Nancy Koppe that the FBI had already secretly entered the villas before asking for a warrant. [RJ]
  • Unfortunate timing for a motion to dismiss brought by the family of a 13-year old girl who committed suicide last year. [RJ]
  • We'll get a decision by the end of the year on whether the HOA scandal trial will be moved out of Las Vegas due to excessive media coverage by the RJ. [RJ]
  • The Nevada Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts released its 2014 Annual Report of the Nevada Judiciary. Anyone catch anything interesting in it?
  • Opening arguments are supposed to begin today in the anticipated year-long CityCenter trial after six weeks of jury selection. [KTVN] ed. Lucky jurors dodged a bullet--it settled. [8NewsNow]
  • In case you have forgotten the joys of law school exams, here's a look at a recent UCLA law question that sparked outrage over its timing and content. [Above the Law Redline]

Monday, December 15, 2014

Copy That

  • According to managing partner Paul Hejmanoskwi, Lionel Sawyer is in a "state of transition." [8NewsNow]
  • The Nevada System of Higher Education incorporated portions of an unpublished Brookings report into a competitive grant application and didn't bother to cite the original report in its first draft.  The final draft had an asterisk at the end mentioning the report, but did not put quotation marks around the parts lifted directly from the report. You can get more details in the article by intrepid reporter Bethany Barnes. One of the money quotes comes from NSHE Chancellor (and active Nevada attorney) who said, "You don't plagiarize when you identify the author."  Meanwhile, UNLV political science professor David Damore said that "it is common knowledge that using whole phrases and large chunks of text requires quotation marks." Lawyers tend to do a lot of copying and pasting, so they should know what plagiarism is, right? So, was this plagiarism?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Give Toys

  • Since some of you are already discussing it, here's the link to the article on Attorney General-Elect Adam Laxalt's pick for Solicitor General. [RJ]
  • Galina Kilova, the woman who waited until after the Thanksgiving holiday to turn herself in to police in connection with a hit-and-run that killed a grandpa, was taken into custody by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Were photos of injuries to victims being destroyed in Las Vegas Justice Courts? Can anyone shed some light? [Las Vegas Tribune]
  • It's not just retailers like Target and Home Depot getting hit by cyber attacks. Details are emerging about an Iranian cyber attack on Las Vegas Sands Corp. back in February of this year. It's a long read, but something you should probably know.  [Business Week]
Finally, we just want to take a moment and encourage your generosity in supporting one of the many charitable projects going on right now. Many community organizations, including some sections of the bar, are helping brighten the holidays for some families who need a little help. Please give a little time or money to one of these organizations and make a difference in a child's life. It may not mean much to you, but it could mean the world to someone else. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hours of Operation 2014

We recently had some commenters discussing the fact that some judges are off the bench quite a bit more than you might expect. That's not to say that they might not be justified--you have to remember that they are government employees with certain benefits. Yes, some of them did have to campaign to keep their jobs. And by all means, Judge Bell should definitely take time to recover after getting hit by a car. But excuses aside, are our judges generally spending enough time in the courtroom? Which judges should be spending a little more time on the bench? Is there a minimum standard? Which judges make the best use of your time?

Do Clark County judges spend enough time in the courtroom?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Island of Misfit Toys

  • A little birdie tells us that Fennemore Craig is indeed the destination for many partners of the soon-to-be former Lionel Sawyer & Collins. It looks like LSC will be dissolving and FC (the firm that took in Jones Vargas) is picking and choosing which pieces to pick up. Supposedly, Sam Lionel will be going downstairs as a figurehead. (Actually, we haven't heard yet if FC is moving upstairs or LSC is moving downstairs-anyone know? Also, we haven't heard what will become of the Reno office.) We also hear rumor that the entire transactional department is making the move. As for the litigation and gaming law departments--well, you've already seen that they are scrambling. We suspect you'll probably see a lot of the more established golf-playing partners make the move while younger partners are given the old heave-ho. The buzz has this all taking place officially in the near future, but we have yet to hear a date certain. We'll continue to follow this breaking news story...
  • For those LSC refugees looking to hang a shingle and who want to stay downtown at minimum cost, consider checking out this new co-working space on the 2nd floor of the Fed-Ex building. []
  • Lots of plea deals in the World Cup betting scheme the FBI uncovered this summer. [RJ]
  • Preparations are under way for the Court of Appeals and Governor Sandoval could announce his appointed judges before the end of the week. [Fox5Vegas]
  • The US Supreme Court ruled that Amazon employees don't have to be compensated for the time it takes them to get through security checks. [Las Vegas Sun]

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

You Better Not Cry

  • Blake Griffin's local attorney for a misdemeanor battery case, Richard Schonfeld, says prosecutors need to see the results of defense investigation into the allegations. Griffin has a status check set for January 12, 2015. [MyNews3]
  • Legal costs are mounting for the State of Nevada as it defends itself against a class action lawsuit with regard to its practices of buying mental health patients a bus ticket out of town. Unfortunately, those legal fees are headed out of state to the California office of Bingham McCutchen. Why aren't they using a Nevada firm? Well, according to a spokeswoman for the Nevada Attorney General's office, they need a California licensed attorney to fight the case in that state. Too bad we don't have any of those here... [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Former judge Steven Jones was finally disbarred last week. [RJ]
  • Petitions for background checks and recreational marijuana were certified by the outgoing Secretary of State, meaning that if the legislature doesn't act on them next year, we'll be seeing those issues on the ballot in 2016. [RJ]
  • Michelle Fiore (R), Nevada's new Assembly majority leader, has had a lot of IRS tax liens levied against her. [Ralston Reports]
  • A bench-bar meeting is scheduled for noon today in courtroom 15D where they plan to discuss recent Supreme Court decisions. Rumor has it lunch is being provided. [eighthjdcourt blog]

Monday, December 8, 2014

You Better Watch Out

  • Here's a piece on Nevada's new attorney general Adam Laxalt and his priorities for the job--but, be warned Jon Ralston says this article doesn't have a "scintilla of news." [RJ]
  • KTNV got fined $115,000 by the FCC for running "Special Reports" that were really just ads for car dealerships. [RJ]
  • In light of the recent NY grand jury decision relating to the chokehold related death of Eric Garner, here's a look at Metro's chokehold policy. [8NewsNow]
  • We missed this one a few weeks ago when it first ran, but Cal Potter is representing a clerk with the DA's office who is suing Clark County over daily searches upon entering the courthouse. [8NewsNow]
  • Based on your comments, something is definitely going on at LSC, but no one has quite said what yet...