Wednesday, August 22, 2012

You Got Served (slow week remix)

I know.  It's been a slow week of gossip.  No drama from family court and seemingly nobody getting reamed in the RJC, we're all a little bored.  And today's monsoon did not help anyone's mood really.  But in lieu of brand new gossip, we have two interesting stories that harken back to a couple of fun posts that sparked your interest.

I do not recommend this posture
For those of you who have been with us a while, you will remember the stories of warring local constables and the rapid fall from grace of former prosecuter/current crack convict.  Well, both of them are back in the news and we've got the latest after the jump.




We'll start with the constable, since we all know our lovely Henderson constable will be reading this and definitely have an opinion.  For those of you who don't recall and are so bored/lazy that you didn't click the link above to the old post, the basic story is that Las Vegas Constable Bonaventura sued to stop other township constables from serving documents outside of their respective townships.  Bonaventura was successful in getting a preliminary injunction, which is where the case stands now.

artist's rendering of what Constable Bonaventura may look like today
As is common with preliminary injunctions, Bonaventura needed to post a bond to secure the injunction in case he eventually loses his case.  As one would expect, Bonaventura secured a bond and then went to the County Commissioners to get reimbursed.  Here's where it starts to go sideways.  Apparently, Bonaventura's lawsuit was totally unsanctioned and he did not ask the commission about obtaining a bond before he coughed up the $2,000 needed to bond the injunction.  In a weirder twist, it turns out that while Bonaventura was plotting his lawsuit, the district attorney had been trying to work out a deal between the constables and the townships that would avoid the need for a lawsuit.

artist's rendering of what Constable Bonaventura may have been thinking


So, when Bonaventura asked to be reimbursed, the commissioners voted unanimously that the constable could suck it.  The commissioners made it clear that they were totally not cool with secret lawsuits and took great care to berate Bonaventura for his conduct.  While this may seem like just commissioners grandstanding, there was one nugget of interesting information worth mentioning.  Because of the nature of the suit, if Bonaventura doesn't prevail on his claim, the county will be obligated to pay all the legal fees of the opposing side.  Whoops!


Ok, now the other throwback story.  Remember when the big-time drug prosecutor was arrested for crack possession?  You know, the guy who made a name for himself by prosecuting celebrities for petty drug possession?  Ok, good.  So yeah, he (David Schubert) was set to surrender today and begin serving a nine-month sentence.  But apparently that isn't happening for the foreseeable future.  Why, you ask?


100% medically accurate

Because the Nevada Supreme Court is a little concerned that he may have been railroaded.  Yes, that is irony you are smelling right now.  Mr. Schubert has raised a number of challenges to his conviction, including accusing Judge Carolyn Ellsworth of outright bias and abuse of discretion in sentencing.  While we at LVLB have a small amount of trouble believing that you can call 9 months for crack possession abuse of discretion when you have made a career out of threatening years of prison time for identical offenses committed by anyone other than you, that's just our opinion.

a little hipster, but we'll go with it for now

If anyone out there has any info that can justify Schubert's stay or Bonaventura's "going rogue," let it be known in the comments.

a_a

42 comments:

  1. The problem with the way Schubert was treated is that for virtually anyone else caught with the amount of drugs he pled to the sentence would be ITS, low level drug counseling and a 30 day suspended sentence. In fact, I have many clients who received some variation of this sentence several times before the prosecutor held out for a harsher sentence. Ans so what if he made harsh offers to Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars (actually in Mar’s case not so bad considering the amount of blow he allegedly had). And Schubert was prepared to take his felony now, probation with a reduction at the end even though it seemed to most to be a bit much for the charge. The real issue seems to be that the District Court judge handling the case feels he needs to spend 9 months locked up before doing probation and getting the benefit of his negotiation. Schubert screwed up for sure, and he is paying for it in many ways, but this whole kerflufle is just out of control. I hope the SC finds he was railroaded and lets out lesser elected judges know that there is a limit to what they can do even if (or maybe just because) they are personally offended that prosecutors are human too.

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  2. What 3:54 says makes sense in a sort of "let's treat everyone the same" way.

    Another way of looking at this is that the current array and range of various probation, counseling, anger management, drug court, treatment, rehabilitation, second chance programs is a freaking mess - and an expensive one. Really, it's a joke.

    A better solution would be to eliminate the vast majority of do-nothing beaurocrats in these various programs, use the savings to build a bigger jail, and just have every offender do straight time. Instead of having probation and "programs" be the rule, have it be the rare exception.

    It is an absolute joke how few of the offenders actually benefit in any way from these do-gooder programs. Most of the time is spent figuring ways to game the system, stay out of jail, and keep living the criminal lifestyle. The monitoring agencies are mostly clueless and inept.

    Criminals should go to jail. Maybe then there'd be fewer criminals.

    And for those that argue that this system would be more expensive, you're wrong. The probation system is a collossal ongoing expense. We'd only have to build a bigger jail once.

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  3. Get tough on crime and build more jails has been a colossal failure. Ask anyone involved with the prison system. The current probation system is fraught with its own problems, but the last 30 years has proven that building more jails is NOT the answer. Why not start with some intervention and other programs when the future "criminals" are in elementary, middle and high school?

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  4. How about we end the drug war. That is the utter failure and colossal waste of money.

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  5. amen @2:16, we need to decriminalize marijuana altogether as well as personal use amounts of other drugs. the war on drugs in total has been a colossal failure.

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  6. We have been trying to teach K-12 kids to stay off drugs for years. I would bet it they dedicated the entire school day to drug prevention it still wouldn't be enough to overcome the various pressures kids experience out of school.

    Maybe it's time to give up the war on drugs. We haven't won the war. Have we even won a major battle?

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  7. Hell yeah, @ 3:59--Metro is winning major battles weekly! Just ask Dr. Reefer and company. I agree with the posts above; drug war is a joke.

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  8. All this decriminalization will not happen as long as the private prison industry is in bed with Congress. CCA (Corrections Corp. of America) is a major political contributor and even sits on advisory boards on prison policy. They built the federal detention facility in Pahrump. They are now seeking contracts with states which guarantee a certain occupancy rate.

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  9. Speaking of political contributors - I got a mass email advising that the major plaintiff firms are throwing shin dig for new Judges Earley and Escobar. Wow they move quickly. Don't worry your honors, we won't think any less of you.

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  10. I'm all for quitting the war on drugs but then what do you do with DUIs? the way the current law reads, marijuana metabolites can lead to a dui. This means smoke a joint yesterday, drive today, and under the law you are still under the influence.
    As far as the main point, I agree Shubert got railroaded. ITS, $285 fine, Low Level drug counseling, and 30 days suspended sentence would be fair

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  11. 10:07 must be in the DA's office. But there is some truth to the assertion that probation and programs are almost entirely ineffective. Criminals are like addicts - they continue committing crimes until they no longer want to commit crimes. Very few receive even marginal benefit by participating in rehabilitation programs. It would be interesting to know how many offenders actually complete probation successfully without re-offending or violating probation in some way. I have to imagine that the overall percentage is fairly low.

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  12. @ 9:48
    2:16 here
    Alcohol is legal but you can't drive drunk as determined by BAC. Change the level of metabolites necessary to establish impairment. Also, I humbly suggest high drives might not be impaired...

    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/80575544/

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  13. The metabolite level is not the problem. Marijuana metabolites stay in your system and are stored in fat for long periods of time, sometimes 30 days. The presence of metabolites of any amount does not indicate anything about impairment.

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  14. 9:48 here. The problem is that right now no one is willing to change the level of metabolites needed for a DUI in Nevada. My point was that we not only need to decriminalize drugs, we also need to loosen the DUI standards. You decriminalize weed entirely right now and the level of DUIs prosecuted in NV will skyrocket even though the driver is not really under the influence. Also, if we are talking about decriminalizing all drugs...more studies need to be done on the amount of crap like coke that can be ingested before driving is impaired.

    On a side note, the little words you have to enter in to prove you're not a robot on this site are horrible. I have to do it like four times before I can even figure out on of the words (and no I'm not a pothead)

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  15. Temporary win for the Shark Pimp

    http://www.lvrj.com/news/state-supreme-court-constables-can-work-outside-of-elected-jurisdictions-for-now-167393995.html

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  16. Sorry, but all of the constables (Vegas and Laughlin) sound like a bunch of lawless, unregulated white trash. Give an idiot a badge, vague powers and a profiteering motive and they run amuck...

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  17. August 27, 2012 1:15 PM - I regret you feel that way but perhaps the lack of full detailed explanation of the situation by the media is at fault. I hope I can clarify a few issues for you.

    I won't attempt to explain why the Las Vegas Constable’s Office chooses some of the polices it does, but the fact is that there are 11 constables in Clark County, not one, but when the Las Vegas Constable’s Office garners negative publicity in the press, the rest of us are tarred with the same brush.

    I can assure you that my office operates with a strict disciplinary regime. Additionally, I have taken the first steps to begin a three year long program with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies that will make the Laughlin Constable's Office the first constable's office in the entire nation to achieve certification.

    I also began the process a few months ago of drafting a complete agency manual to ensure operations are consistent, legal, and in accordance with best practice management.

    As to your comment on a profiteering motive, I would respectfully suggest that the profit motive has led to the legal and financial community in Las Vegas having more choice and higher quality in their options for civil enforcement service. May I suggest that you read the Callahan Report detailing the success of this in the federal government at http://www.businessofgovernment.org/report/franchise-funds-federal-government-ending-monopoly-service-provision

    Please feel free to contact my office and speak to me personally if you would like any questions answered.

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  18. Mary Brown/Phil Brown update:

    Former Judge Abbatangelo not allowed to withdraw yet because his Motion failed to include the basic details required to withdraw as counsel. Of course the interesting part of a withdrawal by Counsel is that Counsel is required to identify pursuant to EDCR the address and telephone number at which the pro per Defendant can be reached--which would obviously out the John/Jane Doe. Nonetheless a stay was granted pending counsel.

    Your move, Doe.





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  19. Have asked this question before and never gotten an answer: Stokes and Stokes advertises extensively that they have "3 former judges and a former criminal procesutor at Half Price Lawyers?"

    Who are these phantom judges?

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  20. Regarding half priced lawyers -- the "three former judges", to which they constantly refer in thier advertising, are all folks who at one time or another sat in as a part time alternate hearing master. There is clearly a difference between someone who is a former/retired judge and someone else who one time spent an afternoon as an alternate hearing master. In my humble opinion, the public is being deceived and it's just a fraudulent advertisement.

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  21. @8:19: Really? Because I've seen several campaigns for office involving former part time hearing masters many of whom state that they were prior Judges. Where do we draw the line between who's considered a judge and who isn't? Not standing up for Stokes because in all honesty I've never even heard the commercial and I don't know the composition of his staff, but I definitely wouldn't go so far as to call this false advertising. Besides, who cares? Why the constant vendetta against this firm?

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  22. Since in most cases judges are really just people who couldn't make it as attorneys and wanted a fixed salary so they can pay their mortgage, it's ironic that the general public believes the ads that seem to imply that former judges are something special.

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  23. @4:53- No the general public believes exactly what the ad is intended to convey and implies: former judges have juice and are so esteemed that they will be able to shepherd your case through. I agree--entirely deceptive.

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  24. judges make like 150k. Not much compared to partners and senior associates at Nevada's major firms, but not bad either. I think spending a few years as a judge would be a good way to learn the craft and later cash out with the gained experience and name recognition(e.g. Wall).

    Also, is there a lot of spammers on here? Because the captchas are hard as hell to read. Think about removing them.

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  25. As a "REAL" judge pro tem, I take offense at this thread (insert sarcastic tone). Although, we do take the same oath as full time JPs.

    I thought it might be fun to resurrect a "former JPT" faux pas.

    Thanks, Mark Peplowski for sullying the names of all part time judges.

    http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/Jun-27-Tue-2006/news/8184513.html

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  26. While we're talking Stokes' advertising, at the end of his radio spots, I hear a muted voice that is extremely rapid. The barely intelligible voice sounds to me like it says, "Attorneys' fees excluded."

    If so, is the point of the advertisement to say that the low prices for legal services that Stokes just quoted does not include attorneys' fees? If so, then what price is he quoting? Does that not seem deceptive as well?

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  27. Anyone read Judge Jones' getting SMACKED down by the Ninth Circuit in Townley v. Miller?

    Best part from Judge Reinhardt's concurrence (talking about Judge Jones):

    "Such arrogance and assumption of power by one individual is not acceptable in our judicial system."

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  28. @7:31 - it says 'Injury fees excluded', presumably to state that half price does not mean they can get the medical provider to cut their bill in half.

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  29. @ 8:52-- I read a 3 Judge Panel of the 9th Circuit entered a stay without much comment from 66% of the Panel.

    Judge Reinhardt took it upon himself to go off on a tangent that is so patently political in its leanings as to be frightening. Yes the same Judge Reinhardt who was a long-standing member of the Democratic National Committee.

    Was Judge Jones's decision in Townley political? Probably. But Judge Jones at least masked it, unlike Judge Reinhardt who indicated that he has prejudged who should prevail in the matter.

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  30. Read the 9th Circuit Order: Reinhardt goes through every action of the DJ which demonstrated his deliberate attempts to extend any decision beyond the date on which the ballots needed to be printed. There is nothing political in the order or the concurrence. The merits of the case needed to be weighed as part of the determination of whether a stay was appropriate.

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  31. @10:55--- Read the Order. Read the Amended Order. There is no politics in the Order. There is politics dripping from the Reinhardt concurrence.

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  32. "injury fees excluded" is so hopelessly vague and ambiguous it can't possibly be considered a disclaimer. How do get "presumably to state that half price does not mean they can get the medical provider to cut their bill in half" out of that?

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  33. As someone who appeared in front of Clive Jones when he was a bankruptcy judge, and infrequently when he was a federal district court judge in Vegas and is now in Reno, I can tell you that in my opinion I have experienced the same kind of conduct by him as Judge Reinhardt indicated. I think Jones is a decent judge but he exhibited the same tendencies trying to insulate a decision he made (in favor of a Mo bretheren of his) in a heated case, even going so far as to threaten sanctions, taking us back into chambers, etc. Again, I think he is a decent judge and person, but his acts in this "none of the above" case showed an incredible lack of diligence on what was obviously a very time-sensitive and important issue. I know all federal judges are busy, but his actions here in this case exhibit a callous disregard here, and I think the Circuit Court judge was right to call him out on it. By the way, I am a lifelong Republican and still think Jonsey deserved to be smacked for his conduct in this case.

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  34. Levinson is finally suspended. About time.

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  35. I think spending most of his legal career on the bankruptcy bench was not good for the judge now that he is on the district bench. In bankruptcy court, he had almost unlimited discretion and fact-finding ability and his decisions were rarely reviewed.

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  36. I was surprised to read that Curtis Cannon pled guilty to a FELONY on the Jail Nookie case. Seriously--no pleading that down to a lower charge?

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  37. Judge Jones and Romney were classmates at BYU.

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  38. Been a while since a new post. Is the Blogmaster ok?

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  39. The timing of the slowdown seems to correlate with the political conventions. Perhaps our blogger is really Mr. Romney in disguise?

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  40. Can't be. Blogmaster is willing to cite a few facts.

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