Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

  • District Attorney Steve Wolfson officially kicked off his campaign yesterday with one of the biggest endorsements you can get in Vegas--Rick Harrison from Gold & Silver Pawn. [RJ]
  • Robert Langford (potential opposition for Wolfson next year) and Thomas Ericsson were appointed to represent Ammar Harris after the Public Defender's office withdrew its representation. [RJ]
  • The Harbor Cove HOA got a $65,000 penalty for refusing to allow a family to park an ambulance in their driveway that was needed to take their son to and from medical appointments lying down. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • The FAA has decided it is time to end the long national nightmare--you no longer have to put away your Ipad during takeoff or landing. No word on when this will go into effect, so tread lightly. [Fox5Vegas]
  • For those of you who missed the Craig P. Kenny annual party or those of you who enjoyed yourselves a bit too much at the party, the pictures are posted here.
  • Remember to be smart tonight--there will be lots of trick or treaters running to and fro--and if you drink, don't drive.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The District Attorney

The Las Vegas Sun has a puff piece on District Attorney Steve Wolfson as he kicks off his 2014 campaign today. He handles the softball questions like a seasoned pro.

As you may recall, Wolfson was appointed DA in 2012 after David Roger stepped down--meaning Wolfson was not necessarily the choice of the people. You have had a year and a half to see how he has done in the position and we want to know what you think? Is he living up to your expectations? If not, why? What qualifications do you need to be a DA? Who do you think should run for DA? Does the DA have to have criminal law background or can any old civil litigation attorney step in and get the job done? Is the job as much about the law as about being smart in running a business?

Should Clark County retain Steve Wolfson as district attorney next year?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Second Highest

  • 80% of the Boyd students who took the Nevada bar for the first time in July passed--that's the second highest pass rate for the school since it was founded. [UNLV]
  • The Public Defender's office was granted its request to withdraw as counsel for Ammar Harris--who has said he plans on suing the office for violating his civil rights while representing him. Harris will get a less than speedy trial now that he will have attorneys coming in a month before the trial date. [RJ]
  • Sheriff Doug Gillespie and Commissioner Steve Sisolak have toned down their rhetoric about the LVPPA arbitration, with Gillespie acknowledging that it was less than transparent. [RJ; Las Vegas Sun]
  • Metro announced a $1.5 million settlement with the widow of Stanley Gibson--the veteran killed by a Metro officer. [Fox5Vegas]
  • The Supreme Court of Nevada officially launches its new website today. You have to admit that some Nevada courts do a pretty good job of staying up to date on technology. []

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday, October 28

  • The Public Defender's office is seeking to withdraw from its representation of Ammar Harris. [RJ]
  • Is Clark County going to ban all newsracks on the Strip? [RJ]
  • Attorney Gregory Kamer is advising the district court on how to deal with the FBI investigation into the family court. [RJ]
  • More lawsuits against Metro means an increasing number of expensive settlements. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • After eight long years, UNLV finally beat UNR again! [RJ]

Friday, October 25, 2013

Nevada Day, Observed

Happy Nevada Day, Observed! Hopefully some of you are taking it a little bit easier today with state courts closed and school kids running amuck. For those of you stuck at work, here are a few items:
  • Judge Valerie Adair sentenced 63-year old Dr. Dipak Desai to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 18 years. Co-defendant and nurse anesthetist Ronald Lakeman got 8-21 years. [RJ]
  • US District Judge James Mahan sentenced suspended lawyer Stanley Walton to 41 months in prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme. [RJ]
  • Clark County Prosecutor Teresa Lowry has decided to run for the state senate seat currently held by attorney Michael Roberson. [Ralston Reports]
  • As one of our commenters noted yesterday, Lisa Willardson, the attorney behind Nevada Judicial Watch, has announced that she will be trying to unseat Judge Jennifer Elliot over in the Family Court. As you will recall, there was some controversy about Willardson being behind Nevada Judicial Watch, but a quick trip to her Facebook page (you have to be logged in to see all the good stuff) confirms that she is its owner/editor. (There is also a nice picture of her and Judge Steven Jones). By poking around, you can also discover that Roger Giuliani and Romeo Perez will also be judicial candidates for the Family Court.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Boyd Ranked Higher Than BYU & Utah?

A website called Tipping the Scales, a site whose mission is to be a must-read destination for law school applicants, recently debuted its ranking of the top 50 law schools. Thanks to a tip from one of you, we learned that UNLV fared pretty well on this list--coming it at number 27 and beating out BYU at number 34 and Utah at number 43. We'll let you discuss the merits of the gravity-defying ranking method, but props to Boyd for being that high on somebody's list.

Speaking of lists, Desert Companion recently issued its list of top lawyers in Nevada (around page 79). While the list was nothing exciting, Boyd thought it was and made an attempt at identifying Boyd Professors and Alumni that made the list.  

So, how are things at Boyd these days? Is Dean Dan Hamilton, author of this article in Nevada Lawyer, having any impact on things? Any word on what percentage of Boyd students passed this most recent bar exam? Did very many firms show up for OCI?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Sixty-Six Percent

  • Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was in town last night for Red Mass. There is a picture of him at the Mass, but nothing on what happened at his keynote address. Anyone care to fill us in? [RJ]
  • Here's a piece about "Deputized Attorney Robert Pool" getting sanctioned for his handling of a lawsuit for Constable John Bonaventura in the turf wars case involving the Shark Pimp. Commenters say the article doesn't have the facts right, can someone set us straight? Also, what's a deputized attorney? [RJ]
  • The jury in the Saudi airman rape trial got to hear attorney and erstwhile judicial candidate Don Chairez deliver a rendition of most of the plot of Lawrence of Arabia in his closing argument before prosecutors objected. The article mentions that his better judgment prevented him from reciting the plot of his other choice, The Hangover. Jury deliberations continue today. [Las Vegas Sun
  • Here's the list of the 66% that passed the July 2013 Nevada Bar Exam. Any guesses on what percent of the 66% are already employed? 
  • For those soon-to-be new licensed attorneys not already employed, it looks like Greenberg Traurig might be hiring--if you're interested in being involved in their new "residency" program where you get less pay AND have a lower billable hour requirement. [Above the Law

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

July 2013 Bar Exam Results

  • The unofficial results from the July 2013 Nevada Bar Exam will be posted online later today. Congratulations for those that passed and keep your chin up for those who didn't. Ed. Results are up--66% pass rate with 233 new admittees.
  • The LVPPA issued a memo, co-authored by Kathy Collins and former DA David Roger, responding to the memo by Mary-Anne Miller about the legality of that arbitration award that gave Metro a pay raise. They don't agree. [Ralston Reports]
  • Speaking of Metro, an officer shot a man last night that he mistook for a suspect. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • A California lawyer, John Thornton, has teamed up with local attorney Peter Wetherall to sue Sunrise Hospital for buying cardiac drugs from an unaccredited compounding pharmacy which allegedly led to the death of two children in 2012. [RJ]
  • It's National Pro Bono Week. You can find a list of local events going on this week at the bottom of the page here
  • Our condolences go out to the families of the victims of the shootings at Bally's and Sparks Middle School yesterday. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Is In The Air

  • Here's a summary (and a little more detail) about the FBI's investigation into the drama at family court. [RJ]
  • The St. Thomas More Society of Nevada is sponsoring its second annual Red Mass tomorrow.  It will be followed by the Society's annual gala which features a keynote address from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. [RJ]
  • Spread the word, if you get a call from someone telling you that you missed jury duty and have to pay up, it is probably a scam. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Culinary Union Local 226 workers protesting outside the Cosmopolitan are harassing tourists exercising their First Amendment rights? [Fox5Vegas
  • Get ready for downtown to be a mess this weekend due to the Life is Beautiful festival. [RJ]

Friday, October 18, 2013

On News, Rumors, Gossip, Etc.

As was so astutely pointed out by a commenter yesterday morning, the blog has had a lot more news and etc. lately than it has had rumors and gossip. When this blog started up, we warned you that we would probably not be able to live up to our predecessors--especially in terms of rumors and gossip. We've done our best though to keep the news and etc. posts going because of the opportunity it gives the legal community to discuss and comment on what is going on in Las Vegas. Fostering that feeling of a legal community was part of the reason this blog was started.

The blog continues to get more and more traffic. With a little help from a mention at Above the Law yesterday, we had one of our busiest days yet with almost 1300 site views. Would we love to have more rumors and gossip? You bet! But as we've mentioned before, we can't post juicy rumors and gossip without your support. (Is this starting to sound too much like an NPR funding drive?) Please drop us a line if you've got something to share. Or, if you prefer, just leave your anonymous tip in the comments. Do you have a great idea for a post or want to be a guest poster? Let us know. Want your firm to be the focus of a firm spotlight? Let us know. Got a scenario you want us to present as a job tip? Send it in. Has your firm started prepping you for extra big or small bonuses this year? We wanna know. Is a partner, or better yet an associate, in your office getting ready to run for district judge? Please share.

Now, please sit back and enjoy several comments which are sure to have the juiciest rumors and gossip yet...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Up and Running

  • Congress got the government running in the nick of time, but with Nevada's delegation split on the measure by a vote of 4-2. [RJ]
  • The Metro officer who shot Gulf War veteran Stanley Gibson was fired; appeals/lawsuits are possible. Fox5Vegas has video of an interview with the officer and his side of the story. [RJ; 8NewsNow]
  • To back up his suspicions about the legality of the police pay raise arbitration, Commissioner Steve Sisolak got county counsel Mary-Anne Miller to write a memo on everything that was wrong with the process. Turns out there are several issues. [RJ]
  • The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline announced the appointment of Paul Deyhle, of McDonald Carano's Reno office, as its new executive director and general counsel. [RJ]
  • Justin Teixeira, who is still awaiting the results of the California bar, was sentenced to 190 days of boot camp. [RJ]
  • It looks like some changes will be coming to family court, including domestic violence education and sensitivity training. Apparently, the reform is being led by Judge Frank Sullivan. Anyone seen the memo with the rest of the changes? [8NewsNow]

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Deadline To Default

  • Congress is one day of failed negotiations away from potentially putting the U.S. in default on its debts. Are national debts dischargeable in bankruptcy? [USA Today]
  • William S. Reed, a Colorado lawyer, who was taking advantage of Nevada's favorable corporations laws to hide assets for clients, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Phillip Pro to 108 months in prison and ordered to pay $40 million in restitution for conspiracy to defraud the U.S., aggravated identity theft, and attempted tax evasion. [RJ]
  • The Clark County DA's office ruled that an officer involved in a fatal shooting last November acted lawfully, keeping the streak of officer-favorable rulings alive. [8NewsNow; RJ]
  • The DA's office also decided not to prosecute two nurses who were fired in connection with the death of a 2-month old at Sunrise Hospital. [RJ]
  • According to an informal poll conducted by Jon Ralston, Lucy Flores is the current favorite to be the Democratic Party's candidate for lieutenant governor. If that is what happens, it could set up a potential face off against Mark Hutchison. [Ralston Reports]
  • Justin Teixeira, the UC Berkeley law student who pleaded guilty to killing Turk the bird, has a sentencing hearing set before Judge Stefany Miley today. [MyNews3, Dist. Ct. Case No. C289436] Ed. Teixeira was ordered to boot camp at Nevada High Desert State Prison for 6 months, after which he will return to court April 14, 2014, for evaulation and further determinations regarding sentencing and/or parole. [8NewsNow; Fox5Vegas]

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Firm Spotlight: Pisanelli Bice

Time to turn the ol' firm spotlight on Pisanelli Bice. Founded in 2010 by Jim Pisanelli and Todd Bice, the firm already has a number of high-profile clients and focuses on meeting the complex litigation needs of those clients. Currently employing 10 attorneys, the firm's practice areas include:  litigation, health care, hotels and gaming, election, construction, and appellate law. They're even in the news today as counsel for Fremont St. Experience LLC in this RJ article on Judge Elizabeth "Betsy" Gonzalez's Friday night field trip to Fremont St.

So, what have been your experiences with this firm so far? Does their reputation proceed them? Are they a formidable foe? Are they good to work for? Is the pay good?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rebels On A Roll

  • So, how many of you were at the party Friday night? Any good gossip to share?
  • Naturally, Sheriff Doug Gillespie denied any collusion with an arbitrator. [RJ]
  • Nevada Assembly Majority Leader and attorney William Horne, caught the attention of the local press by representing a client at a public hearing related to the medical marijuana regulation law he helped pass earlier this year. The article includes a brief discussion of the ethical implications--pay attention, this will be on the quiz. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Here's a discussion about the DA's practice of paying witnesses to attend pretrial meetings with prosecutors, but not keeping receipts of the payments. Anyone have any further insight on this? [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Miracle of miracles! The UNLV football team has its first regular season 4-game winning streak since 1984. While it is unlikely to continue next week at Fresno St., bowl eligibility is now on their minds. [Las Vegas Sun]

Friday, October 11, 2013

Excuses, Excuses

  • Craig P. Kenny & Associates' 17th Annual Open House is tonight.
  • Attorney Robert Flummerfelt is representing a Hawaiaan woman in her suit against Boyd Gaming for discrimination against her when employees confronted her coming out of a ladies' restroom thinking she was a man. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • County Commissioner Steve Sisolak thinks there was some collusion between Sheriff Doug Gillespie, the police union, and arbitrator Robert Perkovich to secure a pre-determined outcome before an arbitration took place that resulted in raises for officers. That might explain why they went all the way to Illinois to pick an arbitrator. [RJ]
  • Finally a list where Nevada is neither first, nor last:  lawyers per capita. Nevada ranks 42nd with a mere 24.83 lawyers per 10,000 people (until bar exam results come out in a few weeks). [The Law School Tuition Bubble via Above the Law]
  • Only one public defender per customer, Leon Benzer! The alleged mastermind behind the HOA scandal's current lawyer Daniel Albregts argued that a second attorney was necessary to handle all the evidence in play. Magistrage George Foley, Jr. disagreed. [RJ]
  • Five months after the evidentiary hearing, Judge Linda Marie Bell issued a statement that she is still working on a ruling in O.J. Simpson's attempt at getting a new trial. No indication on when to expect it. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • National Pro Bono Week is coming up and on October 23, 2013, LACSN is sponsoring a pro-bono Ask-a-Lawyer event. Volunteer attorneys are needed to provide counsel and advice for all areas of civil law. If you have two hours of time you can spare that morning, contact Sara Freest at or (702) 386-1070 ext. 1444.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Family Court: Beyond Thunderdome

  • More trouble in Family Court as a man seeks $20 million in damages for alleged use of excessive force when marshals slammed him into the concrete. The article includes a 911 call recording with a witness reporting that two officers slammed the guy and that an ambulance is needed ASAP because the guy might be dead. [RJ]
  • Looks like Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is about to pay $1.5 million to the widow of the disabled veteran who was shot and killed by an officer two years ago. The article mentions the widow has lawyers, but not who they are. Nice work though. [RJ]
  • Attorney David Mincin got his client, a widow whose husband died after being shoved, $108,000 in punitive damages after the wife of the shover tried to hide assets. [RJ]
  • After his recent sentencing, Harvey Whittemore's law license was suspended and he will go before the Disciplinary Board. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • So far, 28 people have tested positive for tuberculosis after exposure to a contagious mother at Summerlin Hospital this summer. First lawsuit in 3, 2, 1....[8NewsNow; Fox5Vegas]

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Nicest Office In Town

Location, location, location? Grand lobbies and conference rooms? Multiple corner offices with a Strip/mountain view? Basketball courts? What makes for a "nice" office and who do you think has the nicest office in town?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Judicial Candidate Pre-Registration

It's hard to believe it's that time again already, but Clark County Judicial Candidate Pre-Registration opened last week. While the official registration is January 6-17, 2014, this is your opportunity to get all your paperwork lined up ahead of time. Along with preregistration, the County has issued the 2014 Judicial Candidate Guide which answers most questions you might have including what qualifications you need to run for judicial office as well as the campaign finance laws governing your candidacy.

According to the Judicial Candidate Guide, all district court judgeships, including those in the family court division are up for grabs. There are also two Supreme Court Justice seats available if you think you can beat Justice Kris Pickering or Justice Mark Gibbons. (Visit the Nevada Secretary of State election page for information on how to challenge them.) Additionally, there are a total of five justice of the peace positions (two each in Las Vegas and Henderson townships, and one in North Las Vegas).

For those of you unsure about whether you meet the time requirements to qualify as a judicial candidate, we suggest reading In the Matter of the Challenge to the Candicacy of Amber Lynn Candelaria, 126 Nev. Adv. Op. 40 (2010).

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Busiest Supreme Court In The Land

My what a busy Supreme Court Nevada has! Yesterday, they churned out what must have surely been a record number of opinions and even introduced the beta version of their new website. We have a few of the highlights after the jump:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Shutdown

  • The I-Team is reporting that the FBI hauled out boxes of court internal affairs documents on Monday in its investigation into abuse by family court marshals. Anyone heard anything else about what's going on? [8NewsNow]
  • The County Commissioners opted not to raise taxes for more cops. [RJ]
  • The owner of the D Las Vegas was the winner (and only bidder) of the auction for the old Clark County Courthouse. The price--a paltry $10 million. So far, he isn't saying what he plans to do with it other than demolish it. [RJ, Fox5Vegas]
  • A group of Nevada World War II veterans will take their honor flight to DC to see the memorial even if the government remains shutdown. [RJ]
  • Speaking of the shutdown, are any of you seeing any of the effects of it in your lives yet? Any rumors on when courts will actually start being affected? Any proposal on how to end the shutdown? Any suggestions on how to prevent this from happening again?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Opportunities Are Endless

  • The government is shutdown as Congress continues "negotiations" over the budget. The good news is federal courts will remain operational for at least 10 days before they have to begin furloughs. [Guardian]
  • Developer/lobbyist/attorney Harvey Whittemore was sentenced to 24 months in prison for illegal campaign contributions. [RJ]
  • A defamation action filed by Sheldon Adelson against the National Jewish Democratic Council was dismissed yesterday in New York. See, venue is important. [RJ]
  • More than 150 new Nevada state laws went into effect today. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • The Supreme Court overturned Judge Michael Villani's dismissal of charges against former UMC Hospital chief, Lacy Thomas. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Clark County Commissioners decide today whether to increase taxes for "More Cops." [8NewsNow]
  • The old Clark County Courthouse goes on the auction block today at 10:00 a.m. Could this be the site of your new office? Or a new Starbucks? Or some decent lunchtime fare? One can hope. [8NewsNow]