Tuesday, February 19, 2013

All I Care About Is Love (read: Money)

While some of you lightweights (including POTUS) were out enjoying the nice weather during the three day weekend that resulted from George Washington's Birthday Observed (commonly referred to now as President's Day), the hardworking members of the Nevada legislature were introducing legislation that if passed, is almost certain to affect you. More specifically, according to the RJ, one of our own ranks, Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, introduced Senate Bill 161 (that link tracks the bill, while this one is initial proposed language) which proposes to change the language that currently allows for attorney's fees in construction defect cases. To quote the RJ...

 "Senate Bill 161 removes the clause that a claimant can recover "any reasonable attorney's fees" and redefines construction defects to situations that present "an unreasonable risk of injury to a person or property."  

This is not the first time the Legislature has attempted to change the attorney's fees provisions, but what do you think of the proposed change? Given the HOA scandal, there is little doubt that the current attorney's fees provision provides some incentive for abuse, but is eliminating that potential abuse worth eliminating the protection provided to homeowners in Nevada? Do Nevada attorneys really only care about money and not about righting the wrongs for those homeowners? Is the Legislature thinking about the potential ramifications on the entire legal community from restricting those fees? Changing this language not only limits the homeowner's rights of recourse, but it affects the entire "cottage" industry of construction defects attorneys and experts. While trimming some fat may not be a horrible idea, are we sure we want that same group looking to transition into other areas of law?

What do you think--is SB161 a good idea or bad idea and how could it be better?


  1. The smart people made their money bringing (and to a lesser extent defending) residential construction defect suits between around 1994 and around 2006. And if they were really smart, they made a ton of money. Even some marginal and downright incompetent lawyers were able to make a living nibbling on the fringes of the construction defect litigation world. This was a real gravy train for a very long time. That's why som many lawyers from California came to wet their beaks.

    Of course just as with any market irregularity, the pendulum has to eventually swing back. The manner in which residential construction defect cases were litigated was absurd. Indeed in many cases, the defect allegations themselves were absurd. But the absurdity of the system was hidden. After all (wink), it's about protecting Nevada's homeowners and families and children. Barf.

    To delay correcting the preposterous legislation that is "Chapter 40" based of fear that it will put lawyers out of work is lunacy. The free Peanut M&M's and lunches cannot last forever.

    And by the way, let's finally put the pretext aside, this was never about leaky stucco.

  2. Lots of mediocre mediators and special masters were also able to earn on the CD cash cow.

  3. By leaky stucco do you mean missing weep screeds?

    And some really bad mediators. Thanks for the good times Gary.

  4. Personally, I don't think the Legislature will go for proposed change because it will affect their constituents negatively. CD lawyers often get a bad wrap on here, but they are fine lawyers and I have no concern about them doing other areas of law if the CD well actually dries up.

  5. the real problem isn't the lawyers having to find other work, it's the three judges who will all of the sudden have time to handle other civil and/or criminal cases. Eek!

  6. judge bill henderson hates women. why is he in family cout?
    3 years & counting march 7 10am he will bullie & threaten me
    again to help my ex. lady's if you have him in a 1st time up coming case
    please come see the horrors you"ll have to face...

  7. Potter, Is the most HORRIBLE JUDGE EVER..... he is heartless does not even read the papers that are submitted.Read my sons report card wrong!!!! Come on, your ruining peoples lives here. They say best its for the " Best interest of the children" Maybe someone should tell Mr. Potter that.... It makes him feel good to have the power and make people feel stupid. He needs to go..Should not be a Family court judge at all if any kind of judge....