Friday, December 21, 2012

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

Maybe it's not the night before Christmas, but it is the Friday before what will hopefully be the slowest week of the year for you. We hope that you and yours (for those of you that have a yours or want to spend time with them) have an opportunity to step back, slow down, and enjoy putting a bookmark in these pages of your life. We hope you all have received ample bonuses and that you are not making your staff work on Christmas Eve and that you let them out early on New Year's Eve (my secretary made me write that). We hope that your books are all balanced and that your IOLTA accounts are full. Most importantly, we hope that you'll be safe and smart this holiday season: don't drink and drive.

Thanks for joining us this year. We're going to take the week off. In the meantime, if you feel so inclined, let us know what you're thinking, what the latest gossip is, or how we can improve the blog.

Happy holidays everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ho, Ho, Ho. Now I have a Machine Gun.

Let us begin by offering our sincerest condolences to the families of all those affected by the recent events in Newtown. Tragic though it may be, it has served to reopen a national conversation about guns and gun control in the USA. You, dear astute reader, are well aware of the arguments being made in the public right now. You know that Piers Morgan is using his show to call Americans idiots and that Walmart is selling out of the AR-15 (if you read the Drudge Report) and that a full rescission of the Second Amendment is necessary (if you read the Huffington Post--this is just speculation...we only read the headlines, not the actual posts.)

We want to know if you have any thoughts on the subject with regard to how it affects your lives here. As you are no doubt aware, Nevada (other than Clark County) is a very gun friendly state. We permit both open carry and concealed carry, and have specific exceptions that permit judges, prosecutors, and county employees to carry concealed guns in the courthouse. See NRS 202.3673(4). Do you think that policy serves a purpose? Would we be safer if our judges weren't packing heat under their robes?  Should criminal defense attorneys be allowed anywhere near guns? 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Time for the 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



Although Wikipedia says that Festivus does not happen until December 23, we think its time to commence the Annual Airing of Grievances (we'll save the Feats of Strength for the 23rd). Anyway, here's your chance to list your complaints from the last year. Think of it as a virtual bench/bar meeting where you have an open mic to identify the problems you face in practicing law (are you reading this Judge Togliatti?). Feel free to harp on the security and elevator lines (rumor has it the 8 new courtrooms on the third floor will be open by 2013--yay for escalators!), CLE requirements (you got yours done right?), lack of an intermediate appellate court, and Judge Israel's lack of follow through on discovery rules.

The floor is yours...


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

More Judges? Yes, Please!

Two little bits of recent news about area judges. First, as reported in the RJ, the Senate Judiciary Committee has a confirmation hearing set for Andrew Gordon tomorrow. Jennie Dorsey is still being vetted by Senator Dean Heller and so it is unlikely she will be confirmed as a federal judge before the end of the year. As you will recall, Senator Heller is rather fickle about judicial appointments, having sat on the nomination of Judge Elissa Cadish for quite some time now due to a gun control related answer she gave in a judicial survey. As the RJ reported, Senator Harry Reid has indicated that he will continue to push for confirmation of Judge Cadish to the federal bench into 2013.

In other news, the Las Vegas Sun reported that the Annual Judiciary Report confirmed that it is not just in your head that there is less work this year than last. Over 35,000 fewer cases were filed in 2012 than in 2011. Despite this drop off in filing, Clark County courts are still the busiest in the state. Another nugget from the article is that Chief Justice Cherry says the Court intends to ask the legislature to put an intermediate appellate court back on the ballot in 2014. We wish them luck! (Just what we need in Nevada--more judges!?)

Friday, December 7, 2012

BONUS ROUND!!!

It's time to talk bonuses. I know some of you are sensitive about issues like this and may not want to provide much information, but consider it a public service. Feel free to provide as much detail as you want, but at a minimum, we'd like to know how many years you've been practicing, the percentage of your yearly salary that your bonus represents (i.e. a bonus of $10K with a $100K salary is a 10% bonus), and what type of practice you're in (big/small firm, public/private).

Help us help you know if you're being fairly compensated!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

At the Christmas Party hop....

It's that magical time of year again when the employees of law offices across the country join together to commiserate celebrate the holidays at the annual holiday party. For some of you, that means a genuinely good time. For others, it can really be the most miserable, uncomfortable event of the year. In years past we have heard about holiday cruises, fancy dinner parties at the finest restaurants, bowling, not-so-fancy dinner parties at the partner's house, lunch in the basement, and the equivalent cash value in lieu of a party.

What is your firm planning for the holiday party? An evening at Marche Bacchus or a night out at your local Dotty's? Anyone have any great holiday party stories to share? Do you have to attend to get a bonus (we'll talk more about bonuses in an upcoming post)? Do you exchange gifts? How many of you have had sitting judges at your parties? How many of you invested in real estate based on the recommendation of those judges?