Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top Ten Stories of 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, it's time to take a look back at the top ten stories that affected the Las Vegas legal community this year. Before we do, thanks again for reading, commenting, and offering your input because you are what makes this blog tick. As always, we're open to your suggestions on how we can improve the blog, so if you have any comments, criticisms, ideas, gossip, or want to volunteer to write a guest post, let us know. Here's wishing you a prosperous new year! (We'll be back next year!)

The top ten Las Vegas related legal stories of 2014 are:

Monday, December 29, 2014

Do You Want To Build A Snowman?

  • Here's a look at the City Center settlement with emphasis on how MGM, despite having paid out to Perini, might have been the real winner. [RJ]
  • In response to a lawsuit [A688898] filed by Adam Kutner, an anonymous blogger from the defunct Wild Wild Law blog has filed a motion to dismiss. Kutner is represented by Bradley L. Booke, while the blogger, Legal Eagle, is represented by Maggie McLetchie. [RJ
  • According to one study, American workers waste more than two hours a day at work. Surely this is higher at law firms, no? [Vegas Inc.]
  • Forecasters are predicting Las Vegas will get 1-3" of snow this week. Plan accordingly. [AccuWeather]

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Not Even A Mouse

Things should be pretty quiet around here the next few days. We don't expect too many creatures to be stirring. But if you are stirring, or shaking, make sure you don't drive! Have a safe and happy holiday! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Feats of Strength

  • As many of you have already observed, more information has been coming out about Lionel Sawyer & Collins and Fennemore Craig. A press release yesterday indicates less than half of the attorneys currently at LSC are making the jump to FC. Among those not going to FC are LSC's current managing partner and most of LSC's associates. No word yet on where Paul Hejmanowski and the 30+ other attorneys not going to FC will land. [Vegas Inc.]
  • Compelling Discovery blogger Michael P. Lowry and Kenneth R. Lund are moving up the ladder at Thorndal. [Press Release]
  • Now the Regents will get to decide how to respond to the NSHE plagiarism. [RJ]
  • Next year's Nevada legislative session is already shaping up to be an interesting one with such topics as "bringing your dog to the bar" on the agenda. [RGJ]
  • Despite being ousted as Assembly majority leader and taxation chairwoman, Michele Fiore is still making headlines. [RJ]
  • Anyone know what is going on with replacing Bill Kephart in the Justice Court. Applications were due a couple of days ago, but we have yet to see anything on who applied....

Monday, December 22, 2014

Bonus Round 2014!!!

Time to talk bonuses! Last month, 44% of you indicated that you were not expecting a bonus this year. Did your expectation prove correct? Did you at least get a cost of living raise? Did you get made partner with no pay increase?

How much was your bonus this year?

Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 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

Technically, Festivus is on December 23, but we just can't wait to get the festivities started!  Gather your family, friends, co-workers, enemies, judges, opposing counsel, etc. because it's time for the Airing of Grievances

For some of you, this is what you were born to do--this is your moment to shine. Your gift of complaining is finally welcomed and wanted on this one occasion. This is your chance to (civilly) whine and complain about your salary, your job, your boss, the courts, nepotism, the legislative Republicans, Lionel Sawyer & Collins, Wiznet, Lewis Roca Rothgerber, the Nevada bar, UNLV Boyd, this blog, etc. It's also your chance to provide some feedback about the way things are done in the Las Vegas legal community. If you want a refresher on what types of things you were disappointed in or complained about last year, here's a link to last year's post

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jolly Old

  • Governor Sandoval announced that the three inaugural judges for the Court of Appeals will be Judge Jerome Tao, Judge Michael Gibbons, and Judge Abbi Silver. All three are sitting judges that were former prosecutors. They'll take the bench in early January. This means there will be two vacancies on the bench in the Eighth Judicial District. Who do you think will end up there? [RJ]
  • Based on SEC filings, it looks like Perini came out the net winner in the CityCenter settlement. Congratulations to George Ogilvie and his team at McDonald Carano Wilson. Wonder what kind of bonuses they'll be getting? [RJ]
  • The Las Vegas City Council voted to move forward on a soccer stadium that will only be built if the City is awarded a team from Major League Soccer. [8NewsNow]

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Santa Claus Is Watchin' You

  • A very happy Judge Betsy Gonzalez and 20 jurors were pleased to learn that the CityCenter litigation settled yesterday morning. The exact terms are unclear, but it looks like hundreds of millions of dollars are being shuffled between the parties with Judge Jennifer Togliatti getting some credit for helping get the parties to a settlement. [RJ]
  • Seems like the RJ has had to report on itself a lot lately. The paper is in the headlines today for suing District Attorney Steve Wolfson for hindering the newspaper in its investigation into the DA's practice of undisclosed witness payments. The RJ is being represented by attorney Maggie McLetchie. [RJ]
  • In case you worried about outgoing Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto finding a job, you can rest easy. She's being hired by the NSHE Regents. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Looks like the NSHE may need her sooner than later in the wake of the plagiarism scandal. If you want to hear Chancellor Dan Klaich explain away the situation, there is an interview at KNPR. [RJ]
  • Taxationally challenged Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore, who is also presently set to be majority leader and tax committee chairwoman next year, has an explanation for her tax liens. [RJ]

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Eight Crazy Nights

  • An FBI agent involved in busting the World Cup betting ring at Caesars acknowledged that he did not tell US Magistrate Judge Nancy Koppe that the FBI had already secretly entered the villas before asking for a warrant. [RJ]
  • Unfortunate timing for a motion to dismiss brought by the family of a 13-year old girl who committed suicide last year. [RJ]
  • We'll get a decision by the end of the year on whether the HOA scandal trial will be moved out of Las Vegas due to excessive media coverage by the RJ. [RJ]
  • The Nevada Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts released its 2014 Annual Report of the Nevada Judiciary. Anyone catch anything interesting in it?
  • Opening arguments are supposed to begin today in the anticipated year-long CityCenter trial after six weeks of jury selection. [KTVN] ed. Lucky jurors dodged a bullet--it settled. [8NewsNow]
  • In case you have forgotten the joys of law school exams, here's a look at a recent UCLA law question that sparked outrage over its timing and content. [Above the Law Redline]

Monday, December 15, 2014

Copy That

  • According to managing partner Paul Hejmanoskwi, Lionel Sawyer is in a "state of transition." [8NewsNow]
  • The Nevada System of Higher Education incorporated portions of an unpublished Brookings report into a competitive grant application and didn't bother to cite the original report in its first draft.  The final draft had an asterisk at the end mentioning the report, but did not put quotation marks around the parts lifted directly from the report. You can get more details in the article by intrepid reporter Bethany Barnes. One of the money quotes comes from NSHE Chancellor (and active Nevada attorney) who said, "You don't plagiarize when you identify the author."  Meanwhile, UNLV political science professor David Damore said that "it is common knowledge that using whole phrases and large chunks of text requires quotation marks." Lawyers tend to do a lot of copying and pasting, so they should know what plagiarism is, right? So, was this plagiarism?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Give Toys

  • Since some of you are already discussing it, here's the link to the article on Attorney General-Elect Adam Laxalt's pick for Solicitor General. [RJ]
  • Galina Kilova, the woman who waited until after the Thanksgiving holiday to turn herself in to police in connection with a hit-and-run that killed a grandpa, was taken into custody by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Were photos of injuries to victims being destroyed in Las Vegas Justice Courts? Can anyone shed some light? [Las Vegas Tribune]
  • It's not just retailers like Target and Home Depot getting hit by cyber attacks. Details are emerging about an Iranian cyber attack on Las Vegas Sands Corp. back in February of this year. It's a long read, but something you should probably know.  [Business Week]
Finally, we just want to take a moment and encourage your generosity in supporting one of the many charitable projects going on right now. Many community organizations, including some sections of the bar, are helping brighten the holidays for some families who need a little help. Please give a little time or money to one of these organizations and make a difference in a child's life. It may not mean much to you, but it could mean the world to someone else. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hours of Operation 2014

We recently had some commenters discussing the fact that some judges are off the bench quite a bit more than you might expect. That's not to say that they might not be justified--you have to remember that they are government employees with certain benefits. Yes, some of them did have to campaign to keep their jobs. And by all means, Judge Bell should definitely take time to recover after getting hit by a car. But excuses aside, are our judges generally spending enough time in the courtroom? Which judges should be spending a little more time on the bench? Is there a minimum standard? Which judges make the best use of your time?

Do Clark County judges spend enough time in the courtroom?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Island of Misfit Toys

  • A little birdie tells us that Fennemore Craig is indeed the destination for many partners of the soon-to-be former Lionel Sawyer & Collins. It looks like LSC will be dissolving and FC (the firm that took in Jones Vargas) is picking and choosing which pieces to pick up. Supposedly, Sam Lionel will be going downstairs as a figurehead. (Actually, we haven't heard yet if FC is moving upstairs or LSC is moving downstairs-anyone know? Also, we haven't heard what will become of the Reno office.) We also hear rumor that the entire transactional department is making the move. As for the litigation and gaming law departments--well, you've already seen that they are scrambling. We suspect you'll probably see a lot of the more established golf-playing partners make the move while younger partners are given the old heave-ho. The buzz has this all taking place officially in the near future, but we have yet to hear a date certain. We'll continue to follow this breaking news story...
  • For those LSC refugees looking to hang a shingle and who want to stay downtown at minimum cost, consider checking out this new co-working space on the 2nd floor of the Fed-Ex building. [www.theoffice.vegas]
  • Lots of plea deals in the World Cup betting scheme the FBI uncovered this summer. [RJ]
  • Preparations are under way for the Court of Appeals and Governor Sandoval could announce his appointed judges before the end of the week. [Fox5Vegas]
  • The US Supreme Court ruled that Amazon employees don't have to be compensated for the time it takes them to get through security checks. [Las Vegas Sun]

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

You Better Not Cry

  • Blake Griffin's local attorney for a misdemeanor battery case, Richard Schonfeld, says prosecutors need to see the results of defense investigation into the allegations. Griffin has a status check set for January 12, 2015. [MyNews3]
  • Legal costs are mounting for the State of Nevada as it defends itself against a class action lawsuit with regard to its practices of buying mental health patients a bus ticket out of town. Unfortunately, those legal fees are headed out of state to the California office of Bingham McCutchen. Why aren't they using a Nevada firm? Well, according to a spokeswoman for the Nevada Attorney General's office, they need a California licensed attorney to fight the case in that state. Too bad we don't have any of those here... [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Former judge Steven Jones was finally disbarred last week. [RJ]
  • Petitions for background checks and recreational marijuana were certified by the outgoing Secretary of State, meaning that if the legislature doesn't act on them next year, we'll be seeing those issues on the ballot in 2016. [RJ]
  • Michelle Fiore (R), Nevada's new Assembly majority leader, has had a lot of IRS tax liens levied against her. [Ralston Reports]
  • A bench-bar meeting is scheduled for noon today in courtroom 15D where they plan to discuss recent Supreme Court decisions. Rumor has it lunch is being provided. [eighthjdcourt blog]

Monday, December 8, 2014

You Better Watch Out

  • Here's a piece on Nevada's new attorney general Adam Laxalt and his priorities for the job--but, be warned Jon Ralston says this article doesn't have a "scintilla of news." [RJ]
  • KTNV got fined $115,000 by the FCC for running "Special Reports" that were really just ads for car dealerships. [RJ]
  • In light of the recent NY grand jury decision relating to the chokehold related death of Eric Garner, here's a look at Metro's chokehold policy. [8NewsNow]
  • We missed this one a few weeks ago when it first ran, but Cal Potter is representing a clerk with the DA's office who is suing Clark County over daily searches upon entering the courthouse. [8NewsNow]
  • Based on your comments, something is definitely going on at LSC, but no one has quite said what yet...

Friday, December 5, 2014

Too Dainty To Shoot

  • The Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection narrowed down the field of 36 applicants seeking to be appointed to one of the 3 departments on the Nevada Court of Appeals. [Press release] Here is the list of the 9 finalists from which Governor Brian Sandoval (R) must make his appointments: 
  • Court of Appeals - Department 1
    • David A. Hardy, 50, District Court Judge, Second Judicial District
    • Kirby J. Smith, 57, Attorney, Lionel Sawyer & Collins
    • Jerome T. Tao, 46, District Court Judge, Eighth Judicial District
    Court of Appeals - Department 2
    • Thomas D. Beatty, III, 72, Attorney, Law Offices of Thomas D. Beatty
    • Michael Patrick Gibbons, 58, District Court Judge, Ninth Judicial District
    • Susan Holland Johnson, 55, District Court Judge, Eighth Judicial District
    Court of Appeals - Department 3
    • Allan Ray Earl, 73, District Court Judge, Eighth Judicial District
    • Abbi Silver, 50, District Court Judge, Eighth Judicial District
    • Joan Chisholm Wright, 62, Attorney, Allison Mackenzie Pavlakis Wright & Fagan
  • Based on the increasing rumors flying around town and in the comments over the last few months, something is definitely going on at Lionel Sawyer & Collins. Depending on who you believe, either everything is fine or they'll be closed by the end of the year.... What information do you have on what's happening?
  • A former Las Vegas Justice Court worker was sentenced to 18-48 months in prison for embezzlement. [RJ]
  • Attorney David Lee Phillips, who made headlines earlier this year over grievances filed by the State Bar, has sued the State Bar of Nevada and two of its bar counsel in US District Court. 2:14 cv 2031 Mahan (Las Vegas). 
  • Here's a profile on attorney/Boyd grad Karissa Neff--one of the owners of Nevada's first and only female-owned firearms training company. [Vegas Inc.]

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Party Post 2014

It's that time of year again where tradition dictates that firms have a holiday party to make everyone uncomfortable, or not. What is your firm doing this year in terms of a holiday party? Will it be at Sage again? A dinner cruise on Lake Mead? An awkward soiree at one of the partner's homes in Anthem? Will there be gifts? Are you required to show up? Will you already have your bonus or will Santa deliver your lump of coal at the party? Will it be a potluck in the office with a white elephant gift exchange? What is Eglet doing (and has it already happened)? Will there be an open bar? Will there be hook-ups? And most importantly, will there be photos?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Academically Inclined

  • We're now being told that Judge Linda Bell's injuries from getting hit by a car are much more extensive that originally reported...[RJ]
  • HOA scandal defense attorney Daniel Albregts is trying to determine if the RJ legally obtained documents it printed last month or whether something more nefarious is afoot. [RJ]
  • The woman who turned herself in as someone who may be the suspect that hit the pedestrian grandfather who died last week, surprise, has a history of DUI and driving without a license. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • The University of Alabama-Birmingham announced yesterday that it is eliminating its football program. [ESPN] Some people think UNLV should follow suit--with one commenter suggesting UNLV has no business having a football team or law school. [RJ]

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Protect Yourself

  • Interviews of the applicants for the Court of Appeals are being live-streamed on the Nevada Supreme Court's website. Anyone catching anything interesting?
  • There will be a public hearing on Thursday regarding the proposed Rules of Appellate Procedure for Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. You can read the proposal here. Your thoughts?
  • We're at that time of year again where lots of Nevada inmates begin dying in rapid succession. According to intrepid reporter Bethany Barnes, there have been 8 inmate deaths in the last month. [RJ]
  • After being hit by a car, Judge Linda Bell is still out and not expected to return to the bench until later this month. Wishing her a speedy recovery! [RJ]
  • Last week a hit and run driver fled the scene of an accident that left a grandfather dead and injured an 18-month old girl. Herb Sachs, who is representing the as-of-yet unidentified driver talked to police last week and told them the driver would turn herself in today (after the Thanksgiving holiday). Understandably, this has caused some consternation for the public who don't understand attorney/client privilege or why she got to wait until after the holiday to turn herself in. Can some of you criminal attorneys enlighten us on the pros/cons of waiting to turn herself in (other than allowing enough time to pass a blood alcohol level test)? [8NewsNow]

Monday, December 1, 2014

Serial Protectionism

  • One of our commenters has asked for a post on Serial, a serial podcast exploring a murder case from the makers of This American Life. Are any of you listening? (If this is the first you're hearing of it, here is a NY Times article on the phenomenon.)
  • Abortion law in Nevada will likely get some scrutiny from the Republican controlled Nevada legislature. [RJ]
  • Uber has temporarily suspended service in Nevada due to the recent ruling. [Las Vegas Sun] Is Uber the victim of protectionism in Nevada? [RJ]
  • Speaking of protectionism, Nevada has the strongest anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) in the nation. According to First Amendment attorney Marc Randazza, one of the things that puts it above other states is its positive action provision. Under the anti-SLAPP provisions of states like WA, OR, and CA, if you win, the case is over. Not so here. In Nevada, if you're so inclined, you can file an anti-SLAPP cause of action against the person who filed the SLAPP. Randazza recently emphasized this point on behalf of his client Opinion Corp. (who runs the website pissedconsumer.com by asserting an NRS 41.670 cause of action against Nevada Corporate Headquarters, Inc. ("NCH"). Opinion Corp. was sued by NCH in Justice Court and successfully got the action dismissed, but was not awarded attorney's fees. Opinion Corp. offered NCH a chance to pay their attorney fees, but NCH declined, and litigation ensued.  Last week, Opinion Corp. got summary judgment from Judge Jerry Wiese, proving the power of Nevada's anti-SLAPP statutes. You can read the pleadings in Eighth Judicial District Court case number A-14-698267-C. [If you want to read some of Randazza's latest thoughts and opinions, check out the Legal Satyricon.]

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

  • Washoe County Judge Scott Freeman indicated he would be issuing a preliminary injunction preventing Uber from operating in Nevada because he's not willing to put the public safety at risk. [RJ; 8NewsNow]
  • Some smart turkeys have taken up residence in Nevada's Great Basin National Park keeping them safe from ending up on your table tomorrow. [8NewsNow]
We know some of the more fortunate among you have at least part of today off and we hope that all of you have the next two days off was well. Please remember to be smart and don't drink and drive. We'll see you back here next week. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Uber Analyzed

  • Congratulations to Michael Lowry, whose Compelling Discovery blog made the ABA's 8th Annual Blawg 100
  • A three justice panel of the Supreme Court of Nevada decided that Washoe County is the proper jurisdiction for the Uber dispute to be heard. The majority opinion, signed by Justices Hardesty and Douglas, concludes that the first-to-file rule triggering jurisdiction stems from the filing of the complaint, not from the filing of something like an application for TRO. Here, the application for TRO was filed first in Clark County and then in Washoe County, but an actual complaint was filed first in Washoe. The majority opinion also took umbrage at the suggestion that the Nevada Taxicab Authority was engaged in forum shopping, because despite the NTA's "inept effort to commence its case," the suggestion of forum shopping "impunes [sic] the neutrality of the three district court judges involved..." (Rare to see such an obvious spelling error and logical lacuna in the same sentence.) Justice Cherry dissented for two reasons:  first, he thought this should have been decided by the Court en banc; and second, he disagreed that the first-to-file rule is triggered only by the filing of the complaint. You can read the opinion here. What do you think? Did the court get it right?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Let That Be A Lesson

  • An ad run in the RJ for Judge Doug Smith just days before the election included supposed endorsements for five state agencies that don't even do endorsements. Of course, Judge Smith has never seen the ad and his campaign manager Tom Letizia couldn't remember all of Smith's endorsements off the top of his head. [RJ]
  • Has there been so much media coverage on the HOA scandal to warrant moving the trial out of Las Vegas? [RJ]
  • Will the Supreme Court of Nevada issue a ruling on jurisdiction in the Uber case today? (It is case number 66875 for those of you interested in seeing the briefing.) [8NewsNow]
  • Here's a reminder to be careful of what you write/post online, it could come back to haunt you later as it is for Ira Hansen, the Nevada Assembly speaker who just stepped down. [Las Vegas Sun]

Friday, November 21, 2014

Great Expectations 2014

It's the Friday before Thanksgiving and there are only 33 more days until Christmas which means it's time to start thinking about bonuses. Do you already know what (if anything) you'll be getting for a bonus this year? Is your firm more of the penny-pinching pre-Christmas Ebenezer Scrooge who won't even give you a day off or more of the generous Christmas Day Scrooge who offers to buy you the largest turkey in the window?

Let us know below what you're expecting this year and we'll check back later to see if you were right.

What are your expectations for a bonus this year?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

While You Were Sleeping

  • Surprise! An investigation into Metro's air unit by the District Attorney's office results in a finding the claims brought by "whistleblowers" were without merit. Link includes the report by District Attorney Steven B. Wolfson and Chief Deputy District Attorney Jessica A. Walsh. [RJ]
  • Attorney/notary Stephen "Bowtie" Stubbs is making headlines again--this time over allegations of a forged signature that he notarized. Assisting Metro with its investigation is Stubbs' client who was in trouble for driving while on hydrocodone. [RJ]
  • Here's an editorial on elected judges taking campaign contributions and then immediately applying for a new job. (And it has a picture that is NOT Susan Johnson.) [Las Vegas Tribune]
  • The Supreme Court of Nevada is fast-tracking the Uber jurisdiction dispute. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Although medical marijuana will soon be sold legally here, Veteran Affairs doctors will not be prescribing it since federal laws still classify it as an illegal substance. [8NewsNow]
  • Clark County Family Court is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week. [8thJDCourt blog]

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Miss Congeniality

  • Who wants to be a justice of the peace in Las Vegas Justice Court Department 6? (Open because Judge Kephart is moving to district court.) It is a two year appointment and being such, you don't even have to live in Las Vegas to get the job. The only caveat is that they're not revealing who applies until after the deadline closes. Apply within.
  • President Obama is coming to town on Friday. The internet is abuzz with speculation that Del Sol High School will be the site of the signing of an executive order for immigration amnesty. [RJ; Washington PostCNBC]
  • Construction defect "Sweeps" hearings are underway. A tipster informs us that there are two new dirt court judges:  Judge Jerry Wiese and Judge Joanna Kishner. One to replace Judge Earl and one to replace....Judge Johnson???
  • University of Arizona dean Len Jessup has been announced as the new president of UNLV. Does this mean changes for Boyd? [Fox5Vegas]

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Net

  • Thanks to inartful lawyering, as admitted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Kimberly Arguello, the Uber case is a mess. The State says it withdrew its motion in Clark County after Judge Freeman in Washoe County said he had jurisdiction. Judge Herndon disagrees and suggested the AG's office is forum shopping. Now things are on hold while they wait for the Supreme Court to weigh in. [RJ; Fox5Vegas]
  • More cops is back. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • With just under two months left before his position disappears into oblivion, Las Vegas Township Constable John Bonaventura is facing another federal lawsuit. [RJ]
  • As reported earlier this year, Nevada leads the nation in wire taps.  The I-Team takes a look at why and asks Dominic Gentile for his input. [8NewsNow I-Team]

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Blind Side

  • "Super-sealing" in federal court is now called "special processing," but otherwise has not changed. [RJ]
  • The Nevada Supreme Court will hold a public hearing on December 4 to discuss the rule that will decide what cases are automatically pushed down to the new Court of Appeals. [RJ]
  • The Uber battle is back in court this morning. [RGJ]
  • The Court of Appeals application packages are up and ready for your prying eyes. Let us know if you find anything interesting. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Forces of Nature

  • Originally scheduled for today, it will now be Monday when Judge Herndon will hear argument to decide whether a preliminary injunction should be issued against Uber. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • The Clark County Detention Center currently houses about 300 more individuals than it was built to hold. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Tomorrow open enrollment begins for this year on the Nevada health insurance exchange. [8NewsNow]
  • Props to the people who put together this month's Nevada Lawyer which actually has relevant articles. Among the interesting things in this issue, beyond the hot topics articles, the civility survey revealed that more than half of the respondents think civility has stayed about the same in the past five years and we see a few familiar names in the bar counsel report, including one former news-maker who was transferred to disability inactive status as a result of major depressive order. We wish him the best and hope he gets the help he needs. This is as good of time as any to remind you about one of our favorite programs offered by the state bar:  Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers.
Confidential help from a fellow lawyer is a phone call away
Toll Free: 866-828-0022
Mitch Cobeaga, LCL Coordinator
If you, or any lawyer in Nevada, are in need of confidential assistance with an alcohol, drug, depression, stress or gambling problem, help is readily available through the LCL Hotline.When calling, leave your first name and telephone number. A fellow lawyer, who has also had problems, will call you back. You'll be listened to with an understanding heart rather than scorn, judgment and condemnation. You can talk frankly. The person returning your call is solving problems just like yours, and is living happily and usefully doing so.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hope Floats

  • A total of 36 applications for the 3 positions on the Court of Appeals were received by the deadline yesterday. Applicants include attorneys from all over the state, as well as judges both currently on the bench and retired. As some of you already noted in the comments, superficially, it's pretty easy to narrow the list down to the real contenders for each slot. What do you think about the number of applications for these three slots and the quality of applicants? Is this a good sign that if we could get the voters to accept an appointment/retention system for judges, we'd get better people on the bench? [RJ]
  • NBA star Blake Griffin is facing a misdemeanor battery charge in Las Vegas and has a hearing set for December 8. [Fox5Vegas]
  • In what is sure to be an exciting development for attorneys practicing in the criminal courts, Metro has begun using body cams. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Petitions were turned in to require the 2015 legislature to consider recreational marijuana. [8NewsNow]
  • Also turned in, were signatures for a gun background check. [KNPR News]

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Job Tips: Changing Practice Areas

We recently got an email from a reader asking for your advice on switching practice areas. This reader not only wants to change practice areas, but wants to make the jump from civil to criminal to broaden her experience before running for judge at some point in the future.

What can you tell this reader about changing practice areas? Can it be done successfully? What pitfalls are to be avoided? Have you made the change and lived to tell about it? And on a related note, do judges need wider experience among several practice areas before being elected?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day 2014

  • Happy Veterans Day and a special thank you to all those who have served for our country.
  • Unsuccessful candidate for district attorney, Raymond James "Jim" Duensing was convicted of three felony charges in his trial that overlapped the election. He will be sentenced in January and faces up to 12 years in jail for an incident relating to a traffic stop. [RJ]
  • As one of our commenters pointed out yesterday, you can go here to see who has applied for the three positions on the Court of Appeals. So far, candidates include Judge Susan Johnson, Judge Jerome Tao, Judge Abbi Silver (who each filed for one of the three departments) and Thomas D. Beatty, III and Aurora Maria Maskall. If you want to join this list, time is running short as applications are due by 5pm tomorrow.
  • Club Paradise, a Vegas strip club, sued three former managers and dancers alleging that they inflated customers' credit card charges by false pretenses and/or forgeries. [8NewsNow]
  • Local attorney Jay Young is leading a double-life as a singer on Gladys Knight's latest album, which makes you wonder who else among us is hiding their talents. [KNPR

Monday, November 10, 2014

Look Both Ways

  • The latest pedestrian in Vegas to get hit by a car was Judge Linda Bell who encountered a vehicle driving the wrong way Friday morning. She went to the hospital and okay, but it's a good reminder to look both ways and be careful crossing the road outside the RJC. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Here's a look at the impact of two recent Nevada Supreme Court rulings on the local strip club industry. [RJ]
  • Several lawyers were out of a job after last Tuesday's election. Don't worry, they'll bounce back. [RJ]
  • Judge Susan Johnson beat her opponent in the election by the largest margin of any judicial race on the ballot in Clark County. [RJ]
  • Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, complete with court closures and parades. Plan accordingly. [RJ]

Friday, November 7, 2014

Repo By Remote

  • Our new appeals court judges, who have less than a week to apply, are slated to make $165,000 a year. [RJ]
  • Political consultant David Thomas had 11 wins and 4 losses in this year's judicial elections. [RJ]
  • Although there have been a tide of recent rulings allowing gay marriage, a new set of rulings in the 6th Circuit upholding gay marriage bans will send the issue back up to the Supreme Court. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Legal aid lawyers are seeing cases of repossession by remote, where lenders use shut-off devices to "repossess" cars--sometimes while they're driving down the freeway. [8NewsNow]
  • Here's a reaction to the election results. [Las Vegas Tribune]
  • Is golf a dying sport? (Only if the associates don't start playing...) [Fox5Vegas]

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Magic Numbers 2014

Here are the results for the 2014 Magic Number survey. These numbers are based on what first year associates are making and what the billable requirement is at a firm. These two pieces of information combined give us the salary per billable hour or Magic Number. These numbers come from your survey responses and we make no guarantees regarding their accuracy. If we received more than one response for a firm and the numbers differed, we put the average. (That means if you submitted a response for your first year salary and the number below is higher--that is probably a good sign someone else is making more than you at your same firm.) You also have to remember that this does not take into account benefits or intangibles (like a private chef), so your mileage may vary. If you are an experienced attorney and get sick at the thought of how underpaid you are, enter at your own risk. The results are after the jump.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Red Wave

Finally, campaign sign season is over. Republicans won big last night. Not only do Republicans now control the Senate and House in Washington, but they won all six constitutional offices in Nevada, as well as control of the State Senate and Assembly.

At the state level, congratulations are in order to our new lieutenant governor Mark Hutchison (what does this mean for the firm?). Congratulations also go to the surprise winner of the attorney general race, Adam Laxalt, who managed to overcome the release of less than flattering Lewis & Roca performance reviews. 

The voters finally gave the Supreme Court its wish--Ballot Question 1 narrowly passed and we'll be getting a Court of Appeals. That means two months to figure out who will be the three lucky individuals taking the seat on that bench in January. Feel free to begin speculating below. The application is available here and must be submitted by 5 pm on November 12.

At the county level, it is no surprise that Steve Wolfson will continue as Clark County District Attorney.  Assistant Sheriff Joe Lombardo will be dropping the "assistant" from his title.

Congratulations to the following candidates who won in the Eighth Judicial District Court:

Dept. 2- Richard Scotti
Dept. 3- Doug Herndon
Dept. 4- Kerry Earley
Dept. 5- Carolyn Ellsworth
Dept. 8- Doug Smith
Dept. 14- Adriana Escobar
Dept. 19- Bill Kephart
Dept. 20- Jerry Tao
Dept. 22- Susan Johnson
Dept. 23- Stefany Miley
Dept. 24- Jim Crockett
Dept. 25- Kathleen Delaney
Dept. 28- Ron Israel
Dept. 30- Jerry Wiese
Dept. 32- Rob Bare
Dept. B- Linda Marquis
Dept. C- Rebecca Burton
Dept. D- Bob Teuton
Dept. F- Denise Gentile
Dept. H- Art Ritchie
Dept. I- Cheryl Moss
Dept. J- Rena Hughes
Dept. L- Jennifer Elliott
Dept. M- William Potter
Dept. N- Mathew Harter
Dept. P- Sandra Pomerenze
Dept. S- Vincent Ochoa
Dept. T- Lisa Brown
Justice Court Dept. 12- Diana Sullivan

There was not much in the way of surprises and the incumbents did a pretty good job of holding their seats (for the most part, ahem, Judges Bill Gonzalez/Ken Pollock). So, what can we learn from this election (John Glen Watkins and Joe Hardy)? In the next election, put a lot of thought into who you run against. There are very few people who could look at the roster of judges for the next six years and not find someone who shouldn't be there. If certain candidates had filed into other departments, we could have seen some very different results for incumbents. Then again, maybe the outcome would be the same. Based on the performance of the incumbents, we can also surmise that the low voter turnout means more educated voters. At least educated in the sense that they appeared to know who the incumbents were. There is also a good chance they were aware of the Judging the Judges survey as one of the lowest performers in that survey was not reelected. What other lessons can we learn?

That said, to all of the candidates who ran, thank you for doing so. Although you may not have won this time, you gave us a chance to make a choice. And as long as we're doing elected judges, having a choice is a big part of the equation. 

You can see full results for Clark County here and the State of Nevada here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Election Day 2014

  • The polls are open and will be until 7 pm tonight. Make sure you vote! Vote Yes on #1 and vote for good judges! Good luck to all the candidates!
  • Attorneys for Leon Benzer in the HOA scandal are alleging prosecutorial misconduct after reports about negotiations with Benzer were unsealed and published in the RJ last week. [RJ]
  • As is bound to happen when a criminal defendant is running for District Attorney, one of the jurors in the trial of Raymond James "Jim" Duensing noticed his name in her sample ballot. [RJ]
  • Are "Classic Car" license plates a smog-check loophole being abused by people with late 80s Honda Accords? [8NewsNow]
  • The State of Nevada released its list of Green Rush winners--i.e. businesses approved for medical marijuana licenses. Shockingly, the identities of 37 of the 55 licenses issued are unknown thanks to state law. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Last call for responses to our magic number survey.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sweet November

  • Tomorrow is Election Day! If you haven't already voted, please make time to do so. That said, anyone have any last minute information that could sway votes one way or another?
  • Local pundit Jon Ralston makes his predictions for the outcome of statewide races tomorrow. [Ralston Reports]
  • Family Court Judge Cynthia Giuliani continued her tradition of dressing up to grant adoptions at Halloween. [RJ]
  • Here's a nice Q&A with James Pisanelli of Pisanelli Bice. [Vegas Inc.]
  • A 29 year old woman with brain cancer, who moved to Oregon to take advantage of their physician-assisted suicide statute, ended her life on Saturday. She publicized her plight to advocate for death with dignity. Nevada is not one of the five states where people have that right. [People]

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy 150th Nevada!

It's Nevada's 150th birthday! For those of you who weren't so lucky to get the day off, here are a couple of news items:

  • In a very Nevada-like way, on the eve of Nevada Day, the Supreme Court of Nevada issued an opinion holding that the strip-dancers at Sapphire are employees--not independent contractors. [Terry v. Sapphire Gentlemen's Club; CBSNews]
  • The RJ has some of the juicy details about how Leon Benzer carried out the HOA scandal, including a $10,000 gift/bribe to his personal attorney Keith Gregory. The RJ intended to publish the article on Sunday, but Benzer filed a motion to quash and the RJ went ahead and published it already. Enjoy! [RJ]
  • Raymond James "Jim" Duensing, candidate for Clark County District Attorney, is currently playing the role of defendant in a trial against him being prosecuted by the office of that position. It is not expected to conclude before election day. [RJ]
  • Trick or treat? MGM Resorts International confirmed it is in talks with a group to bring an NHL team to Las Vegas. [Fox5Vegas]

Thursday, October 30, 2014


  • Judge Herndon doesn't see the harm being caused by Uber and denies the TRO. Preliminary injunction hearing is set for November 14. [RJ]
  • One perspective on why the Laxalt/Miller race for attorney general is so competitive. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Another candidate is ruled ineligible for not meeting the residency requirements. [RJ]
  • Do you have your Michael Davidson for District Court Judge chip clip? [Fox5Vegas]
  • Sneaky FBI agents dressed up like the Geek Squad to get access to rooms so they could get search warrants with regard to an illegal World Cup betting ring busted earlier this year. [Fox5Vegas; RJ]

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice

  • A woman sued her two former attorneys David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld in federal court for legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and not disclosing conflicts. [RJ
  • Judge Michael Villani denied a motion to overturn a conviction based on the prosecutor's partial disclosure of witness payments and the defendant's failure to follow up on it. [RJ]
  • A TRO against Uber was issued in Washoe County yesterday. Today Uber gets its chance in Clark County. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • We're still taking responses for our Magic Number survey here.  We've already received 22 responses, but still need information for the following firms:  Lewis & Roca; Hutchison Steffen; Payne & Fears; Greenberg Traurig; Fennemore Craig; Wood Smith; Wilson Elser; Thorndahl Armstrong; Snell & Wilmer; Richard Harris; CPK; McDonald Carano; Olson Cannon; Lionel Sawyer; Lincoln Gustafson; Lipson Neilson; Lee Hernandez; Koeller Nebeker; and Kolesar & Leatham among others. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Monster Mash

  • Judge Douglas Herndon will hear the State of Nevada/Taxicab Authority's Application for Temporary Restraining Order against Uber tomorrow morning. [Dist. Ct. Case No. A709002; RJ]
  • OJ Simpson's appeal is now before the Supreme Court of Nevada. [RJ]
  • Defense attorneys for the Metro officer accused of possessing and distributing child pornography found in his Google cloud are arguing that he doesn't know how it got there and the cloud is not under his control. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Bill Clinton will be at Springs Preserve at 3pm today to rally the troops. [8NewsNow; Las Vegas Sun]
  • Just in case you thought Nevada has a corner on the market, Pennsylvania's Supreme Court is in the news for an email scandal involving one of its justices. [WSJ Law Blog]

Monday, October 27, 2014

Uber My Dead Body

  • The Nevada legal battle over ride-sharing service Uber has begun. The attorney general's office managed to get a temporary restraining order issued in Carson City, but was unable to get one in Clark County. Uber is being represented by Don Campbell, who says that that Catherine Cortez Masto and her office sought to get ex parte TROs, even though she was aware Mr. Campbell was involved. [RJ]
  • Meanwhile, the Nevada Taxicab Authority has a new public relations problem on its hands as it fights the future. [RJ]
  • The Clark County District Attorney's office is still dealing with the fallout of undisclosed witness payments. In the latest case to be brought up again (after the RJ showed an attorney information about the payment), prosecutors claim to have disclosed the payment, while the defense maintains the disclosure was not enough. [RJ]
  • The CityCenter Harmon Hotel trial, which is supposed to last at least a year, starts jury selection this week and has required modification to Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez's courtroom. [RJ]
  • According to Ralston Reports, early voting turnout favors Republicans. Will this affect your favorite judicial races? 
  • We've already had 15 responses in our magic number survey. If you haven't taken it yet, you can do so here

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Magic Number Survey

You asked for it and here it begins. The Magic Number survey. For those of you not familiar, go visit the old Wild Wild Law blog and you'll see what we're talking about. We want to know what first year associates at your firm are making, as well as their billable hour requirement. These two pieces of information combined give us the salary per billable hour (or Magic Number) that is sometimes used by naive associates trying to determine where to work. (Of course, you know better, don't you....)

You can take our short survey by clicking here. You can take it multiple times if you have information about more than one firm. Do your best to be accurate. The great thing about this survey is that if we get conflicting information, we can just average it.

For those of you nervous about taking the survey, please know we value your privacy and anonymity. The survey results will tell us your answers, how long you took to answer the questions, and your IP address. We're only going to disclose your answers. If you're paranoid about your IP address disclosing too much about yourself, feel free to use an anonymizer or proxy server if you can figure that out.

Doing What Comes Naturally

  • The July bar results came out yesterday and were pretty dismal with only a 57% pass rate.  [Nevada Bar]
  • Governor Sandoval says Nevada will oppose en banc rehearing of the gay marriage case. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Did you ever wonder which Avvo highly rated lawyers were also Boyd grads? Wonder no more
  • Family Court Judge William Potter is getting some negative attention prior to the election due to a ruling on what happens to a child when his gay mother is deployed and his father is in another state. [RJ]
  • An assembly candidate who was ruled ineligible to run, but remains on the ballot because of the timing of the ruling, could still potentially be appointed if she gets more votes than her opponent. [RJ]
  • Here are some judicial endorsements from the Las Vegas Tribune.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


  • Judge Abbi Silver set bail at $1 million for a pimp accused of torturing a prostitute. [RJ]
  • Will overpopulation in county jails lead to less bookings? It already has. [RJ]
  • Ride-sharing app Uber is getting ready to launch in Las Vegas. [8NewsNow]
  • Meanwhile, the Nevada Taxicab Authority approved an 8% increase in cab fares. [Fox5Vegas]
  • The Life is Beautiful festival is affecting downtown with road closures. [KNPRnews]
Sometime in the last day we hit 800,000 page views. We just want to say thanks for reading and contributing. As always, if you have any suggestions, let us know. (Unless it's the idea about looking at magic numbers--we're already working on that.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No Business Like Show Business

  • Something about Clark County government just makes people want to be on tv. District Attorney Steve Wolfson will be presenting a proposal he has been working for six months to County Commissioners. He hopes to get you excited by suggesting you might be able to recreate your role for tv! [RJ]
  • Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson is embroiled in a same-sex divorce case where she granted an order for which she didn't have jurisdiction. Uh-oh! [8NewsNow]
  • Can anybody offer any insight into what is going on with the new Justice Court e-file site and Wiznet?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Super Seal

  • Federal prosecutors got in trouble with US Magistrate Cam Ferenbach over their use of "super seal" to seize assets without giving notice. [RJ]
  • Can you get a summons through email? [8NewsNow]
  • The Miller v. Laxalt race for Attorney General is heating up. [RGJ]

Friday, October 17, 2014

Early Voting Begins

It's finally time to start voting. After a long 10 months of anticipation, early voting opens tomorrow. Regardless of whether you think you should wait until Election Day in the unlikely event of an October surprise, people will start voting tomorrow. Now is your chance to step up and influence the votes of your friends and family. If you feel strongly that certain candidates should or should not be elected, let others know. The most frustrating thing about Nevada's elected judiciary is that uniformed voters don't know who to choose and some, instead of leaving it blank, just pick a name. Remember that every vote counts. We've covered all of the Eighth Judicial District Court races. If someone asks you who should I vote for or who should be elected to the bench, offer them some resources like Vote411, edjudicateclarkcounty.com, or {shudder} even our unscientific polls and anonymous comments.

If you're not comfortable suggesting candidates others should vote for, we suggest you consider making a recommendation to others to vote YES on Ballot Question 1 regarding the creation of a court of appeals in Nevada. If you need more information on that, start here.

Finally, remember that your vote doesn't count if you don't vote. Make sure you go vote!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Job Tips: When You've Been Unemployed

One of our readers wants to know your recommendations for the best way to deal with a period of unemployment on your resume. Whether you took a year off to travel the world or were unceremoniously fired for failing to meet expectations, how do you explain those gaps to future employers? Do you leave it off the resume and explain it if they ask? Do you put an explanation on the resume? If you were fired, how do you explain it in a way that doesn't just make you or your previous employer look bad?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

So Stipulated

  • David Olson, the Boulder City city attorney who was designated as an expert witness for his son in a suit against the City for unlawful arrest, entered into a stipulated agreement with the Nevada Commission on Ethics listing out all the things he did wrong and fining him $1500. [Nevada Commission on Ethics]
  • Here are more details on that office building shooting in Vegas the other day where the victim was a hearing advocate for a law firm. Attorney Jason Mills expressed concern about security in and round the building which houses the Nevada Department of Administrative Hearings. [RJ; Fox5Vegas; KTNV
  • Upgrades at the Clark County Detention Center means in about six months they'll start offering HD video visitation of inmates, among other things. [RJ]
  • A reality show pilot about the Clark County Coroner's office premieres tonight. [8NewsNow]

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Nevada Attorney General Election Guide 2014

There is one statewide race on this fall's general election ballot that readers of this blog can offer some insight on:  attorney general. Unlike the races for the bench, this is a partisan office and may very well affect the outcome, but we thought we'd give you a chance to weigh in on the qualifications of the candidates and tell us who should be elected as Nevada's top state attorney. The three candidates are: Jonathan J. Hansen (IAP); Adam Paul Laxalt (REP); and Ross Miller (DEM). Although there are three candidates, this race is primarily between Laxalt and Miller--both legacy candidates who are following in the footsteps of previously elected Nevada politicians with the same last (and/or middle) names.

Ralston Reports has a lengthy piece up on the recent debate between Laxalt and Miller which brings us to three specific questions we'd like your input on below:

  • How should the leak of the Lewis & Roca review of Laxalt affect this race--does his performance at a law firm indicate how he will perform as AG?
  • How does Laxalt's military career and prosecution of terrorists in Iraq affect this race?
  • How does Miller's (disclosed) acceptance of gifts affect this race?

Who should be elected as Nevada's Attorney General?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Columbus Day

Federal courts are closed today in honor of uh, um, yeah, Columbus day. However state courts are open, as are most firms, so we figured a small post dedicated to the working men and women of Las Vegas legal practices was in order.

Here's to you, legal field employee stuck in an office on a beautiful fall Columbus day. Here's hoping that your billable hours are plentiful and your problematic clients are off today!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Playing Hooky

As if she heard your cries from the comments of this blog, the RJ's Carri Geer Thevenot (@CarriGeer) has delivered an article called "Questions raised about judges choosing campaign over court."

In it, we learn that Judge Kenneth Pollock has been out on medical leave from the bench since August, but has still managed to make several campaign events. When asked about his health, he says, "I really don't think my medical condition is relevant." Really, Judge? You're unable to perform your elected duties for  a couple of months and yet your health is not relevant as voters are making up there minds whether to reelect you?

In the article, we also learn that on October 2, a campaign event in Henderson drew 60 candidates between the business hours of 10 am to 2 pm. Two of those candidates were Judge William Gonzalez and Judge Kerry Earley, who both opted to have senior judges cover their calendar while they were out pressing the flesh. Gonzalez had the senior judge scheduled that day because he was sick--he was under the weather while he attended the campaign event and only did so because it was important. Earley used a vacation day that day and handled all but three matters scheduled to be heard that day in advance.

Now let us be clear, just because these three judges were singled out in this article does not mean they're always playing hooky. As state employees, judges get four weeks of paid vacation a year and work public employee hours. Also, because our citizens don't want to have judges appointed, the judges (who can't afford the services of David Thomas) may have no choice but to hit the campaign trail or be out of a job. Thus, it is understandable that a judge might use one of those vacation days for an important campaign event (you're excused, Judge Earley). It's also possible that a judge who had taken ill and was on antibiotics may have coincidentally been ill on the day of an important campaign event--but the fact that he was taking those antibiotics for more than a week prior leads one to wonder if that judge couldn't have used a vacation day and re-calendared hearings for that day instead of having a senior judge fill in at taxpayer expense (this one needs more investigation). It's also possible that a judge could have a doctor's note that says you are not to work, but are free to attend limited campaign events provided you get lots of rest. Yes, certainly possible. However, when taken in context, an extended medical leave that coincides with campaign season, attendance at out of town campaign events, and believing that the medical condition of such a judge is not relevant during an election--well, that's harder to excuse.

All of this begs a follow-up question, if this is the kind of use of senior judges we're seeing on just one day during campaign season, then how are the 26 senior judges being used the other 6 years of our judges' terms. We've heard some of you complain in the comments that this is a more widespread problem. In what departments are you frequently seeing the senior judges? Do you think it's a problem or just a good use of resources? Anyone want to go down to the RJC and request to look at all the senior judge requests and let us know more facts?

Finally, if you're going to be at one of the parties tonight, please drink responsibly and don't endanger yourself and others by getting behind the wheel drunk!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Justice Court Department 12 Election Guide

This year there is only Justice Court department up for grabs in the general election. We know that not all of you have much to do with Justice Court, but that is just all the more reason why we should open the the Department 12 race for discussion. In the incumbent's corner we have Judge Diana L. Sullivan and in the challenger's corner we have Marian Kahoiwai Kamalani. If you have any insight as to why one is a better choice than the other, please share it below.

Who should be elected in Justice Court Department 12?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Same Love

  • Yesterday a three judge panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Nevada's constitutional and statutory bans on gay marriage violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution meaning the State has to begin recognizing gay marriages. [RJ]
  • Clark County will begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses today at 2 pm. ed. US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued an order temporarily staying the decision. [Las Vegas Sun] Then the race is on to be the first wedding chapel to legally perform a same-sex ceremony! [RJ]
  • The I-team confirms what we already know:  the bulk of money raised by judicial candidates for elections comes from the lawyers practicing before them.  What we didn't know:  $3.4 million so far this election cycle. [8NewsNow]
  • Here's a nightmare--squatters staying in your vacant house and claiming they were scammed. [8NewsNow]
  • For all you party people out there:  it's that time of year again! The CPK party invite is below. Everyone is welcome. For you elitists, we hear there is a Judge Earl retirement party going on Friday night in direct competition to this party, but aren't privy to the details...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Departments 28, 30, & 32 Election Guide

Today we look at the last three races in District Court Departments 28, 30, & 32, each of which features one of our newer judges seeking to get reelected.  In Department 28, Judge Ron Israel seeks to keep his spot on the bench against challenger Susan Bush. In Department 30, Jeffrey S. Rugg is taking on Judge Jerry A. Wiese. Finally, in Department 32, Judge Rob Bare is up for reelection against Randall Tindall (who made news earlier this year for calling out political consultant David Thomas).

Who should be elected in Department 28?

Who should be elected in Department 30?

Who should be elected in Department 32?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Departments N, P, S, & T Election Guide

Today we finish up our Family Court polling by taking a look at the last four departments.  In Department N, we have Judge Matthew Harter (who got press earlier this for losing an endorsement because of his son's involvement in a burglary) seeking reelection against Monti Jordana Levy. In Department P, Nathan Gibbs is challenging Judge Sandra L. Pomrenze (in the 2013 RJ Judicial Evaluation, 53% said she should not be retained). For Department S, Judge Vincent Ochoa is defending his spot on the bench against Jason Patrick Stoffel. Finally, Department T features a contest between Maria Maskall and former-Judge Lisa Kent who changed her name and is running as Lisa M. Brown (she has run under both names previously).  The polls are below--you know the drill.

Also, as the discussion in the comments recently indicated, it seems that some judges might be taking advantage of the senior judges program to get a few days off to campaign. If you have specific information about this, please let us know.

Who should be elected in Department N?

Who should be elected in Department P?

Who should be elected in Department S?

Who should be elected in Department T?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Departments 23, 24, & 25

Over in District Court Department 23, Judge Stefany A. Miley is seeking reelection against Craig Friedberg. Vying for the open bench in District Court Department 24 are Jim Crockett and Joe Hardy, Jr. (Why are these two running against each other? What do you think about a system where judicial candidates are all in a pool and it says vote for 10 or however many open seats there are with top vote getters taking the bench--too crazy?) And in District Court Department 25, Sean P. Connell is challenging Judge Kathleen Delaney.

Who should be elected in Department 23?

Who should be elected in Department 24?

Who should be elected in Department 25?