Monday, September 10, 2012

We're Back! And dumb lawyers were busy...

The boys are back in town.  More figuratively than literally.  Sorry I've been out of commission.  Associates tend to get dragged down into busy weeks and the last few have been shining examples of why I tell people to go be an accountant instead.

now excuse me while I go drop a captain's log

Speaking of horrible nightmares for the legal community...we have a trio of absolute fails from lawyers and one particularly amusing benchslap from the 9th Circuit.

Find out about these miserable failures after the jump.

First and absolutely foremost, we return to the story of Cannon's cannon.  We told you about this story before, but Friday was the big day for attorney Curtis Cannon.  He is set to plead guilty on September 20 to one count of "voluntary sexual conduct between a prisoner and another person."  Yes, this really is a crime and no, I have no idea why.

why so serious?

 Before you start whining, I agree it would still be an ethical violation since we have pretty clear rules about banging clients.  Obviously we don't want lawyers philandering with every woman who gets popped for solicitation...although I imagine that would increase applications to the public defender's office.  No matter how you fellatio about it, it still seems pretty stupid as a felony (fellatelony?)

that joke is punishable by death in Nye County
Anyway, the DA's office has agreed to not oppose probation in exchange for the guilty plea.  No such agreement appears to have been reached with the young lady from the incident, who may still face an additional four years if convicted.

Contestant Number Two is our favorite phantasm of a lawyer, Barry Levinson.  After months of speculation, the Nevada Supreme Court has taken the dramatic action of temporarily suspending Levinson pending a full hearing before the Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board.

fun fact: Levinson once represented John Wayne Bobbitt
The Levinson formerly known as an attorney is under investigation for allegedly misappropriating several hundred thousand in client funds.  Levinson is accused of numerous other ethical violations, including failing to report multiple trust accounts to the bar, failure to pay settlements and "showing dishonesty" to clients and the Court.

how Barry Levinson apparently sees himself
Levinson's attorney, William Terry, believes the suspension was "premature ... because few of the allegations deal with clients who have no received funds."  You know you're on solid ground when your attorney is arguing you aren't that bad because you're only accused of a few instances of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. We'll see what happens next.

Our final stupid attorney is the one and only Lawrence Davidson.  He was sentenced today to almost nine years in prison after pleading guilty to 24 counts of mail fraud and money laundering.  Mr. Davidson admitted that, among other much worse things, he had fraudulently negotiated settlements totaling $1 million without client authorization.  As a result of his guilty plea, Davidson will not be tried on charges of conspiracy in connection with the political corruption case that sent four county commissioners to prison.

actual photo of Davidson
Davidson had previously fled to Israel using a false passport after being charged in 2006.  For reasons that are currently unknown to me, Davidson elected to return to the US and surrender to the FBI for what will be a long, painful prison sentence.

apparently better than living in the Middle East


Today's bonus is perfect for all of you.  It's petty, political, and involves judges actually calling each other names in court filings.  Last week, a judicial catfight broke out over Nevada's famous "none of these candidates" voting option on the Nevada ballot.

even their fights to the death are cute

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Jones doesn't want the "none" option to appear on the ballot.  He thinks it will be bad for Romney.  I don't see the connection but whatever.  After ruling that the "none" option should be removed, Judge Jones refused to grant a stay pending an appeal to the 9th Circuit.  Judge Jones also reset hearings on the matter to September 14.  That would be a problem since the ballots for the election in November will be finalized for printing on September 14.  Essentially, Judge Jones would moot the issue for this election.

incriminating evidence found in Judge Jones' chambers

Well, the 9th Circuit did not take too kindly to these actions.  After Senior Deputy Attorney General Kevin Benson filed an emergency motion, the 9th Circuit brought down the hammer, accusing Judge Jones of "dilatory tactics" and writing in the opinion that "[s]uch arrogance and assumption of power by one individual is not acceptable in our judicial system."

"rarely do judges get in a personal battle in official court documents" - actual line from article

Suffice to say, Judge Jones was offended and counter-accused 9th Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt of "inappropriate judicial activity" and whined about having his "personal integrity and motivation" questioned by the 9th Circuit.  All that being said, Judge Jones did not explain why he reset pending hearings for the same day as the ballot deadline nor why he refused to grant a stay.

So those are my favorite screw-ups of the last week.  Ok, your turn.  What other craziness happened while I was busy actually working?



  1. Is the nine-year-federal-prison Lawrence Davidson the same Larry Davidson who used to work and Benson and Bertoldo? He seemed like a pretty good guy back then. Tough to figure how that guy became a white collar criminal.


    More NV attorneys doing us proud in the national news!

  3. Anybody know if the metal detectors at the RJC are still down?

    (Since apparently, the courts can't be bothered to post information like that in their website.)


    Looks like Gonzo appropiately sanctioned the attorneys...

  5. 12:34 PM

    Reading comprehension fail. "Judge fines Las Vegas Sands, affiliate $25,000 for 'intention to deceive'"

    Gonzo sanctioned the Sands.

  6. 4:20 is precisely correct (but you do not really call her Gonzo do you?). The Sands entities were sanctioned $25,000 + attorneys fees + presumptions. Judge Gonzalez did nothing to Steve Peek or Justin Jones or any of the other attorneys.


    We finally know the identity of at least one Mason at Mason and Mason. A quick search of the Bar's website reveals there's no "Denny Mason" licensed in NV. It's interesting that Denny Mason's tab lists Barry Levinson, "Law Office Administrator."

  8. I do not think you are allowed to have a "Law Office" that is not staffed by any practicing attorneys, even if you call one a "Law Office Administrator".

  9. Do you ever get the feeling that this Blog is being bombed with live turkeys?

  10. Gonzo's courtroom is often bombarded with turkeys.

  11. Supreme Court hammers JMac, sort of.

  12. Arthur Carlson, WKRP-CincinnattiSeptember 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    How do you bomb someplace with live turkeys? Turkeys can fly.

  13. Boyd grads..... What are you going to do with them....

  14. Do you want to spend $150/year just to be abloe to get into the RJC to conduct business?

  15. Sept. 18 @ 12:46...

    Why do I feel that even with the $150 per head they want to charge this is somehow going to end up causing the county to lose more money?

    It would be nice if they could fix the leaks so at least they don't have to cut down to one metal detector any time we get a big rain.


    The votes are in!!

  17. Well they voted for the scanners but jettisoned the $150 thing.

    "A plan to open the courthouse’s southern entrance – closed to the public for years – to attorneys for a $150 fee and to jurors is not happening in the near future, Togliatti added, because the court still does not have enough marshals to cover it."

  18. Re: Douglas Allen:

    WOW! So, he graduates from Boyd in 2002, gets admitted to both Nevada and Kansas bars in 2004, gets disbarred from Kansas in 2006, steals $60k from clients, gets suspended in Nevada in 2006 and disbarred in 2007, then picks up the name of another barred attorney, fakes some documents, and the bastard gets a job at LBBS, making probably low six figures, and LBBS only realizes the problem when he doesn't show up for a depo because he's being sentenced.

    That is a very busy boy. A very naughty, busy boy.

  19. Probably unconstitutuional to charge us $150 for the fast lane but we will pay it. The new little jockey in charge of security is a total Napoleonic DOUCHE!!!! Some friend of someone (FBI GT) who got juiced in with no clue. He must think we were his high school classmates who tortured him. Sorry Eddie Shoemaker. I wasn't even born when you were washing towels and jock straps at your high school.

  20. So Sisolak says lawyers shouldn't be allowed to "butt" in line. Mr. County Commissioner, until you are prepared to stop using all the privileges and perks you accept with your elected position, may I politely suggest you should shut the F up. I admire your position on most issues but you have no clue on this. There are multiple reasons to allow us to jump the line starting with the backround checks to even take the Bar Exam. As an elected official, you did not have to go through this like we did. Walk a mile in our moccasins oh priveledged one, and then pop off. Talk to your PR people first before braying like a jackass Mr. Vermillion.

  21. Well stated 9:59. Mr. Sisolak's comments really annoy me. We have business with the courts regularly, we don't just stop by a deposition. We already have to get to court 1/2 hour in advance to avoid the elevator delay. Now Mr. Sisolak would have us camp out at 6 a.m. for an 8:30 calendar call.

    He was just pissed that he had to stand in line one time. Give me a break. His diploma comment also suggests he feels inferior despite his wild financial success.


    ps the captcha is impossible

  23. Randolph's famous line--"That's what I do." I think we can now add--"in jail."

  24. I must admit, I had to look up the structuring law. I've never heard it called by that name.

  25. structuring is when you "structure" financial transactions in order to avoid reporting requirements. There are at least two local lawyers under indictment for structuring.

  26. "Structuring" is when one figures out what is legal requirements and conducts transactions which comply with the law so that upon determining that you complied with the law, then they indict you because planned your transactions to comply with the law and you did not violate the law.

  27. @4:20 Got some names for the indicted structuring attorneys?

    Levinson and Goldberg both Cooley grads...coincidence?

  28. @6:38,

    No, "structuring" is when you know the requirements for reporting a transaction, and deliberately create several transactions to avoid the reporting requirement. If you are depositing $25,000 in cash collected from BK clients who are hiding the money from their creditors, you make a deposit of $25k. Not $9k, $9k, and $7k. It isn't illegal to deposit large amounts of cash, the bank just has to report it when you do.