Monday, May 6, 2013

More Money Than God

"He's got to be doing something right to having acres of tequila plants in Mexico, a private plane, a limousine, a house in Big Bear." He once had "more money than God."  

According to an article in the RJ, those are some of the words that Edith Gillespie spoke in describing her half-brother and alleged ringleader of the HOA scandal, Leon Benzer. The RJ article notes that Gillespie casually made these comments over a glass of wine with one of their straw buyers who happened to be wearing a wire. Gillespie's attorney, Chris Rasmussen, who was hired before the recording took place is seeking to suppress the recording for violating her constitutional rights. 

Edited to add:  Jeff German at the RJ posted another HOA scandal related article this morning regarding the late David Amesbury titled, "Suspicions create mystery around death of lawyer." It discusses concerns that Amesbury brother Tom and Amesbury's estranged wife Victoria Villegas raised about his alleged suicide. Along with those concerns, there is some discussion surrounding his mysterious assault in Henderson and how he ended up several miles from his truck in his underwear, including the fact that Amesbury acknowledged meeting a gay man on Craigslist the week before the assault. This HOA scandal just gets stranger and stranger.

Speaking of big bucks, the RJ ran two more articles this weekend on the Jennie Dorsey/Kemp Jones/Harry Reid situation. The first article, by Jane Morrison, concludes that Kemp Jones contributions to the Super PAC are probably legal, but the timing is a little fishy. It also has a nice timeline of the sequence of events and gives you an idea of how much Kemp & Jones donated previously so you can decide for yourself whether everything was above board. Morrison sums it up nicely, "When [Dorsey's] partners had never donated in such large sums before, it smacks of old-style payola. It may be legal, but it’s not right."  

The second article points out, among other things, that two federal judges have been appointed from McDonald Carano and none of its partners donated money to political campaigns during that process.

Anyone have other insight to offer? Any reports from the Rick Harris party on Friday?  Also, major props to the staff at the RJ for following up on both of these stories.

16 comments:

  1. Sorry this is a bit off topic, but I have a question that I'd like to pose to your readers.

    I've been running my own firm for a short period of time. I recently received an e-mail from my paralegal that was not intended for me, but for a client of mine.

    The e-mail had a tone that made me think that there was more than just a client-paralegal relationship budding between the two of them. Instead of going in to quickly confront my paralegal, I decided to do a bit more investigation. As is my right, I read through the firm e-mails that the paralegal had sent/received from this client.

    It appears that my paralegal is engaged in an extra-marital affair with this client. I'm not going to get on my high horse and judge my paralegal for doing this(even if I am morally against it), I'm just worried about the effects it will have on my firm.

    I'd like some advice on how to handle this situation. Are there any Professional Rules I should be concerned about? Any advice is welcome.

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  2. Great question for Bar Counsel.

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  3. It's always great to talk to bar counsel, but I think this scenario is pretty clear from the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct. Rule 5.3(c)(2) says, "A lawyer shall be responsible for conduct of such a person [nonlawyer employed by lawyer] that would be a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct if engaged in by a lawyer if:(2) The lawyer is a partner or has comparable managerial authority in the law firm in which the person is employed, or has direct supervisory authority over the person, and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided or mitigated but fails to take reasonable remedial action.

    Rule 1.8(j) says "A lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them when the client-lawyer relationship commenced. This paragraph does not apply when the client is an organization."

    TL;DR: If you're a partner or supervisor and aware that your paralegal has violated a rule of professional conduct, then you could be on the hook if they were not already hooking up at the time you took the case.

    Source: my brain and the http://www.leg.state.nv.us/CourtRules/RPC.html

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  4. Someone asked on another post whether Gerry Zobrist was sentenced on April 15? Does anyone know?

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  5. This blog got tagged in the Above the Law blog. Nice work!

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  6. No. The sentencing was continued to sometime in July.

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  7. Why would the sentencing be continued until July? Especially if he is already guilty...his office is not taking calls right now.

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  8. PACER shows Zobrist's sentencing hearing is August 19.

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  9. did Zobrist get sentenced?

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    1. Not yet. Maybe next week.

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    2. Look up the case on PACER. Sentencing was continued until Sept. 5.

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    3. How do I get on Pacer? Do I have to be a lawyer?

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    4. Go here: http://bit.ly/1dutQ8Y

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    5. he got 7 years and has to turn himself in by Dec

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  10. 7 Years!
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reviewjournal.com%2Fnews%2Fcrime-courts%2Flawyers-7-year-sentence-leads-wifes-breakdown-court&ei=bQ5HUoOjHNKuyAGW9IDYAw&usg=AFQjCNE0A9m__rnoH5i5uQeSqarWoyiF1Q&sig2=Ea0nbhSDPH0GnkqNQl0jpQ&bvm=bv.53217764,d.aWc&cad=rja

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  11. Um.... He is still posting on FB and apparently spent Christmas in Disneyland. So much for reporting Dec 6th. Any idea when he will finally get his punishment?????!

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