Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ride The High Country


  • Up in Humboldt County, officers were using drug interdiction stops to seize cash. And, naturally, now there's a lawsuit. [8NewsNow]
  • Over in Nye County, they have detectives being suspended for arresting an assistant sheriff who was allegedly removing his opponent's campaign signs. [RJ8NewsNow]
  • In Washoe County, the UNR student president is facing censure for dishonesty about his membership in a secret society. [RGJ]
  • The ACLU filed a suit in Clark County District Court against Clark County School District officials over a bully in band class. [Fox5Vegas; Las Vegas Sun]
  • Not Vegas centric, but anyone on the defense here have any good stories about jailhouse calls? [Las Vegas Sun]

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Judicial Election Update

In case you forgot or are somehow blissfully oblivious to all of the campaign signs around town, we are in the midst of a judicial election campaign. The primary election is on June 10, 2014, with early voting starting on May 24, 2014. That means its time to check in on the races. Your can see a full list of candidates on the primary ballot here. For the official list of candidates for each office (including those not at issue in the primary, check here.)

Over in district court, 17 of our judges are unopposed, while several departments only have two candidates that are already ready to face off this fall. However, in Departments 2, 22, 24, and 28, there are three or more candidates which means that the primary is going to be instrumental in determining which two candidates in each department move on to the next round of voting.  Two of those departments feature all challengers, while Departments 22 and 28 have Judges Susan Johnson and Ron Israel fighting for a chance to seek to retain their place on the bench. A defeat for either of them in the primary stage would be a serious blow. (For more information on candidates in district court races, see Terry Coffing's edjudicateclarkcounty website. It may not be entirely up to date yet, but we like what he is doing and want to encourage it.) 

In family court, seven of the judges are unopposed, with six departments having three or more candidates for your consideration. The hotly contested departments for the primary include Departments B (with 8 candidates!), C, J, L, P, and T. Because of the cutthroat nature of family court, we won't be surprised to see at least one incumbent lose in the primary.

What insights do you have on the elections so far? Are you hearing rumors about any one candidate out fundraising all the others? Are the candidates with the most signs the ones most likely to win or is there some other factor that will decide the winners? Have you been attending fundraisers and contributing money to all the candidates just in case? Can you predict which incumbents (if any) won't survive the primary?


Monday, April 28, 2014

Mellow Mood


  • Pro-tip from the Eglet/Wall Actos trial, if you're defense counsel for a drug manufacturer in a jury trial, don't go pointing your finger at the judge or raising your voice and gesticulating during a sidebar. [RJ]
  • North Las Vegas Muni Court Judge Catherine Ramsey upset over budget cuts, is alleged to be costing the City as much as $10,000 a month with some of her recent actions. [RJ]
  • A federal suit against Las Vegas Township Constable John Bonaventura was dismissed due to procedural reasons. [RJ]
  • The Grand Canyon Skywalk, which has been entangled in litigation since it opened, may finally be in the clear after the Hualapai Tribe reached a settlement with the family of the late developer, David Jin. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • For those of you who enjoy debating the constitutionality of cell phones and privacy violations, the US Supreme Court is hearing some cases you might be interested in tomorrow. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Because so many of the applicants for medical marijuana establishments were LLCs, Clark County is asking them to disclose the individuals behind them. Might we find more sitting judges? Or perhaps some of our colleagues [Ralston Reports]

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday


  • Justice of the Peace Diana Sullivan (who is up for reelection this fall) has been named in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of late marhsal Ziggy Reale. Also named in the suit were her executive assistant and court clerk. [RJ]
  • A Nevada man, John E. Williams III, filed a pro se suit in federal court against the NFL for the Seahawks playoffs ticket sales policy that would not allow citizens of Nevada or California to buy tickets (because they were more likely to be 49ers fans). [Sports Illustrated]
  • Las Vegas is finally growing up. You'll have to start dial 10 digits for all phone calls on May 3 with the introduction of the new 725 area code. [Las Vegas Sun]

Thursday, April 24, 2014

His Honor The Potrepeneur

Thanks to one of our anonymous commenters yesterday, today we get to further discuss the business of medical marijuana--this time, in the context of a sitting judge...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

High Times


  • Clark County received 206 applications for various marijuana related businesses--including 90 for the 10 dispensaries allowed under the law. [RJ]
  • Just remember, as attorney Stacy Rocheleau warns in this article, even medical marijuana use can have a heavy sway in child custody hearings depending on personal philosophies of the judge. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • The U.S. Supreme Court backs Michigan's ban on affirmative action in college admissions to public universities. [NY Times]
  • An Arizona jury awarded $300,000 to a man whose penile implant didn't work out. [RJ]

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day To You!


  • Robert Draskovich will be allowed to continue as counsel for suspended Judge Steven Jones in his federal fraud trial. [RJ]
  • Looks like Judge Michelle Leavitt is going to get a chance to decide whether e-cigarettes are a tobacco product that would break a lease agreement forbidding fellow tenants of a 7-Eleven franchise from selling tobacco products. [RJ]
  • Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge Martin Hastings has launched a formal specialty veterans court after several years of trying to do it informally. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Las Vegas uses a lot of water and our primary water source, Lake Mead, might not be able to provide us with water past 2036. Be water smart. [Fox5Vegas; LA Times]

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sugar High Comedown


  • Bob Bennett, current head of security for the Eighth Judicial District Court, is going to be the next executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission. [RJ]
  • Are eyewitnesses trumped by science in criminal cases? [RJ]
  • Street performers who are not being allowed to use the restrooms at Fremont Street casinos are "speaking with lawyers" about their plight. [8NewsNow]

Friday, April 18, 2014

Far From Over


  • The family of Justice Court marshal Louis "Ziggy" Reale, who committed suicide last month, filed a federal suit alleging his death was the result of a hostile work environment. The suit, which alleges the hostile work environment stemmed from labor organization efforts, names several defendants including:  Las Vegas Justice Court; Clark County; Clark County Deputy Marshals Association; former marshal and VP of the union, Carl Beavers; and Reale's supervisor, Timothy Shea. [RJ]
  • Senator Harry Reid called Cliven Bundy and his supporters at the "Battle of Bunkerville" domestic terrorists. [RJ
  • Here are the opinions of two other attorneys, Tom Pitaro and Marc Saggese, on what might happen with Bundy in light of disregard of court orders. What do you think the future holds for Bundy? [8NewsNow]

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Reefer Madness

As you're probably already aware, the April issue of Nevada Lawyer contains an interesting message from Alan J. Lefebvre, President, State Bar of Nevada. For those of you who haven't seen it yet, the article was finally posted online in all of its glory here.

So, any other thoughts on it? How about substantive issues it raises? For those of you calling for Mr. Lefebvre's head after his interview on Ralston last week followed by this article, you can relax knowing his term is almost up. If you want a different type of person on our Board of Governors, you should consider applying by filling out this nomination form (more info here-but do it before the April 25, 2014, deadline).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Job Tips: Administrative Professionals

Love or hate them, we all have to deal with them. And speaking of dealing with them, all of next week is "Administrative Professionals Week" with Administrative Professionals Day on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (Wait a minute, how did this thing turn into a whole week?)

Anyway, this post is more of a reminder to think about doing something for those special someones in your office that always have your back (or are waiting for you to turn your back). What do you do for Administrative Professionals Day? Any tips on how to get the most mileage out of this proverbial pat on the back? Any words of wisdom for new associates still making less money than their secretaries?

What are you doing for your administrative professional(s) next week?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wish You Were Here


  • As attorneys in the CityCenter case gear up for a possible trial later this year, others are gearing up to take down the Harmon in a very undramatic fashion. [LA Times]
  • Wells Fargo sued Libo Agwara alleging unlawful detainer. A-699209
  • Attorney and candidate for lieutenant governor, Mark Hutchison, got the endorsement of Mitt Romney yesterday. [RJ]
  • The family court/medical marijuana case that the Las Vegas Tribune wrote on a few weeks ago is now off limits to the media. [Las Vegas Tribune]

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Break 2014

As many of you are very aware, the Clark County School District is on Spring Break this week. That means that several of your colleagues are dragging their kids to various locations in Southern California to congregate with other "Spring Breakers." (Check these prior posts out if you want advice on how to schedule a vacation or various ideas on where to go.) The remainder of you are stuck in the office dreaming about the good life that might have been...
  • For those of you were anxiously following the Bundy v. BLM "Battle of Bunkerville," it ended over the weekend with the BLM retreating over concern for its employees' safety. [RJ]
  • According to a former BLM boss, Bundy is not a victim. [Ralston Reports]
  • Meanwhile, the BLM's "Free Speech Areas" are sparking some debate. [RJ]
  • The disbarred attorney, John Michael Schaefer, who was recently told he can't run for Nevada State Controller because he didn't satisfy the residency requirement, is making a fourth attempt at reinstatement to the bar. (He is also appealing the residency requirement.) According to the article, it looks like Justices Gibbons and Cherry are already in his corner. [RJ]
  • The chances of getting audited are the lowest they been in years, but you should probably still get your taxes or request for extension filed on time. [Las Vegas Sun]

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Feeling Perky?

Feel free to continue to discuss judicial elections, the follically-challenged, or the militias mobilizing for the Battle of Bunkerville/Great Range War of 2014.

In addition to those topics, we'd like to know what kind of benefits you get for being a lawyer in Las Vegas. Are your benefits so slim that you were had to buy insurance under the Affordable Care Act or are perhaps you one of the lucky ones that has access to a chef, a gym, a helicopter and the company car? What kind of special perks does your firm give you to keep you happy?

What kind of benefits does your firm provide?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Great And Powerful


  • Ralston Reports last night (video link) featured two more interviews germane to the David Thomas/Randy Tindall/Bob Eglet/Judge Rob Bare affair. His first guest was perennial judicial candidate Michael Davidson who confirmed in the RJ article that a representative of Sheldon Adelson contacted him asking him to run against Judge Betsy Gonzalez. Davidson mentioned others had contacted him too, but even after prodding by Ralston, Davidson offered no specifics about the offers or who made them, ostensibly because he is "in the business of confidentiality." The second guest was State Bar of Nevada President Alan Lefebvre who had a difficult time explaining why there isn't really anything the State Bar can do about this situation. Ralston also reported that, surprise, Judge Kerry Earley denied the motion for a mistrial in the Robert Eglet multi-billion Actos trial (TM).
  • The hits just keep coming for suspended Family Court Judge Steven Jones. New allegations from federal prosecutors suggest that Jones used his position and influence to get his brother-in-law released on his own recognizance for a felony bad check case despite prosecutor's recommendations that he be held without bail. Now, felony bad checks don't normally get you held without bail, but you know what they say about throwing a federal prosecutor a bone... The judges whom he allegedly influenced were then-justices of the peace Doug Smith, Tony Abbotangelo, and James Bixler. [RJ]
  • The jury awarded comedian George Wallace $1.3 million in suit against the Bellagio, much less than the $9 million he was seeking. Wallace was represented by Dominic Gentile, who wasn't thrilled by the damages the jury awarded. It looks like the payday wasn't enough to keep Wallace's show at the Flamingo from shuttering. And, in comments afterward, Wallace indicated he was offended by a caricature that Bellagio's counsel, Paul Haire, put up next to a photo of Wallace during closing arguments. Apparently Haire apologized to Wallace, but does anyone have the details? [Las Vegas Sun; RJ]
  • Finally, we have something they like to call a *blind item*. A tipster let us know that the named partner in a firm with several offices in southern Nevada, who has a hard time keeping associates, was cited for battery a few weeks ago. Apparently, firing an associate wasn't enough and had to be followed up with a shove...

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Repercussions


  • Robert Eglet's latest multi-billion dollar quest (relative to the diabetes drug Actos) is back under way subject to a motion for mistrial. Defense attorneys (which include Dan Polsenberg) filed a motion for mistrial based on the RJ article this weekend which happened to mention Judge Kerry Earley, Robert Eglet, this trial, and David Thomas in the same sentence. Kerry said she had not read the article and planned to rule on the motion on Wednesday. [RJ]
  • Did anyone catch the interview with Randy Tindall on Ralston Reports last night? Probably not since it was on opposite the basketball game, but you can view video here (starting about 5 minutes in). Also invited to the interview, but "unavailable":  David Thomas, Rob Bare, and Robert Eglet. It includes Tindall's bold accusation that Judge Rob Bare is making misleading statements. [Ralston Reports]
  • Also interviewed on Ralston Reports was Terry Coffing, who was plugging a new website called edjudicateclarkcounty.com which is intended to educate voters about candidates in the upcoming judicial election. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Judicial Election Shenanigans

Do you remember how back on the last day for judicial candidates to file for election there were all sorts of filings and withdrawals, including Chris Rasmussen filing and withdrawing in three different departments? Well, Jane Ann Morrison at the RJ (who recently stepped down from her column to return to reporting) took an interest in those shenanigans and wrote up what she uncovered in an article published yesterday. While none of the revelations are truly shocking for those of us who have spent any time in Las Vegas, they are, nonetheless, still troubling...

Friday, April 4, 2014

As The World Turns


  • Could the U.S. Supreme Court's campaign finance ruling mean that Harvey Whittemore will have to start serving his sentence before his appeal is finished? [RJ]
  • The Supreme Court of Nevada ruled that using the GPS coordinates of a person's cell phone is not an illegal search if an arrest warrant has been issued. [RJ]
  • Richard Boulware's move out of committee was not without some drama. [RJ]
  • Judge Carolyn Ellsworth (who is facing a challenger in William Horne this fall), ruled that John Michael Schaefer, a disbarred NV/CA lawyer, cannot be on the ballot for Nevada state controller because he does not meet the residency requirements. [Fox5Vegas]
  • What impact is Metro's decision to stop responding to non-injury fender benders having? Have any of you or your clients been affected? [Las Vegas Sun]

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Abracadabra


  • Judicial candidate for Department 22, Jacob Hafter (along with his wife), is being sued based on allegations of fraudulent transfer. [Aprea II Limited Partnership v. Jacob Hafter, et al. A697994]
  • Thanks to ADKT 478, everyone needs to take an addictive disorders/substance abuse/mental health CLE before years end, and then once every three years thereafter. [NV Bar]
  • Magician David Copperfield appeared in the middle of another legal battle over accusations of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. Attorneys Jakub Medrala and Nick Donath are representing seven stagehands making the allegations in a federal suit. Earlier this year, Copperfield and his co-defendants sued three of these stagehands for a breach of secrecy agreements. [RJ]
  • An editorial suggests family court needs to evolve on medical marijuana. [RJ]
  • John L. Smith explains why Nevadans should be on board with a court of appeals. [RJ]
  • It looks like Richard Boulware is one step closer to taking the federal bench: 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Slow News Week, Day 3


  • A cattle rancher is butting heads with the BLM over grazing cattle. Legal issues aside, the picture of the "First Amendment area" speaks volumes. [RJ]
  • Attorney Matthew Callister filed a federal class action suit against the State of Nevada and Xerox, the operator of its health insurance exchange, on behalf of two clients yesterday who have paid, but received no coverage. [RJ]
  • Robert Cottle got a jury to award a $10 million judgment for the husband and sons of a mother who was killed in a drunken driving crash. [RJ]
  • Marijuana dispensaries are a mine field for local governments and draws lots of attention from "well-informed" citizens. [Las Vegas Weekly; Fox5Vegas; 8NewsNow]
  • The RJ and 8NewsNow both picked up on the story of the theft of confidential information from the State Bar. Only 18 people had information stolen, but it still begs the question why?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

That Time Of The Month


  • Judge Jenny Dorsey sentenced a Henderson couple to one day in prison and $354,000 in restitution for a short sale scheme, preferring to avoid prison time for the couple so they could continue to run a sandwich shop and make money for restitution. [RJ]
  • The gay marriage case that Nevada's AG Catherine Cortez Masto decided to withdraw briefing on may still end up headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. [RJ]
  • Is the recent news of college athletes unionizing going to equate to higher starting salaries for Boyd grads? According to Professor Laurence Tureaud, probably not.
  • Another Nevada Department of Corrections inmate has died...[MyNews3]
  • The High Roller Observation Wheel at the Linq started taking ticketed passengers yesterday. Someone who frequently makes headlines on this blog shows up in a video showing the view from the top. [Las Vegas Sun]