Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Department 19, Department 20, and Department 22 Election Guide

Today we're taking a look at three races for district court judge (because one on them isn't much of a race). Vying for the open bench in Department 19 we have Justice Court Judge William "Bill" Kephart facing off against Cliff Marcek. In Department 20, Nicholas Anthony Perrino is challenging Judge Jerry Tao. Finally, in Department 22, we have Judge Susan Johnson fighting for reelection against Jacob Hafter (whose own mom is not endorsing him-see RJ).

In other news, a recorded debate between attorneys/candidates for lieutenant governor Mark Hutchison and Lucy Flores will air today. [RJ]

Who should be elected in District Court Department 19?

Who should be elected in District Court Department 20?

Who should be elected in District Court Department 22?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Department H and Department I Election Guide

Today we're taking a look at Family Court Department H which features challenger Keith Lyons against incumbent Judge Art Richie and Family Court Department I which features Judge Cheryl Moss versus Travis Shetler. Please enlighten us on who will be getting your vote.

In other news:

  • The executive director of the Nevada Commission on Ethics, Caren Cafferata-Jenkins, is facing ethics complaints from a former employee as she runs for district judge in Washoe County. Specifically at issue is the state law which says the executive director cannot be involved in any political campaigns. Cafferata-Jenkins told the I-Team that just because someone is a candidate doesn't mean they're involved in a campaign. [8NewsNow (1)(2)]
  • Spanish speaking court interpreters want more pay. [RJ]
  • Judge David Barker was voted to be the new Chief Judge of the Eighth Judicial District Court, replacing Judge Jennifer Togliatti effective January 1, 2015. [Eighth Judicial Court Blog]

Who should be elected in Family Court Department H?

Who should be elected in Family Court Department I?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Department 14 Election Guide

In Department 14, we have Judge Adriana Escobar facing off against Michael Root. [Edjudicateclarkcounty.com] You know the drill.

The Nevada Disaster Legal Services Program will be offering free legal aid to victims of the flooding in Moapa on Monday, September 29, 2014. If you're interested in getting involved, contact Scott Lachman at slachman@wwhgd.com [RJ]

Who should be elected in District Court Department 14?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Department F Election Guide

Over in Family Court Department F we have Denise Gentile challenging Judge William "Bill" Gonzalez.  More info at Vote411.

Who gets your vote and why?

Who should be elected in Family Court Department F?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Department 5 and Department 8 Election Guide

Today we're looking at the races in District Court Departments 5 and 8. In Department 5 we have Judge Carolyn Ellsworth running against William C. Horne. [edjudicateclarkcounty.com; Vote411]

In Department 8 we have newsmaker Judge Doug Smith running for reelection against Christine Guerci-Nyhus. [edjudicateclarkcounty.com; Vote411]

Please give us some insight on who should be elected in a little over a month.

Who should be elected in District Court Department 5?

Who should be elected in District Court Department 8?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Department D Election Guide

In Family Court Department D we have Robert Kurth, Jr. facing off against Judge Robert W. "Bob" Teuton. You can find more info at Vote411. If you know a good reason why we should vote for one of these over the other, feel free to enlighten us in the comments.

Who should be elected in Family Court Department D?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Department 4 Election Guide

In District Court Department 4 we have Judge Kerry Louise Earley seeking reelection against Steve Smith. (More info at edjudicateclarkcounty.com and Vote411.) You know the drill--who should be elected and why?

In other news:

  • Here's a brief look at the Nevada Supreme Court's ruling on superpriority HOA liens yesterday. [Vegas Inc.]
  • The Court also ruled that strip clubs are not unfairly targeted under the live entertainment tax. [RJ]
  • The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline will consider a lifetime ban against Steven Jones to keep him from running for judge again after he gets out of prison (and after he reapplies for and gets a law license). [RJ]

Who should be elected in District Court Department 4?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Department C Election Guide

Today we look at the infamous Family Court Department C bench, which up until yesterday was "occupied" by Steven Jones. As you may have noticed, yesterday Jones pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a $2.6 million investment scheme. (You can get the full story at the RJ.) Supposedly, Jones was going to officially resign from the bench by sending a letter to the Governor. There has been no word on whether the Governor will act to replace him at this time since there is an election in early November that Jones is not in since he already decided not to run for reelection.

It is nice that the Jones debacle (because it really has been a debacle) finally appears to be over, but it is troubling how long it took to get here. After he was indicted in October 2012, it was late November  2012 when the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline suspended Jones with pay (the with pay part was required by state law) until his criminal case was resolved. Meanwhile, a temporary judge was paid to fill in for some of his case load. Jones contested the Commission's decision impeding the Commission's ability to make a decision. Then, we had the joy of seeing this picture and learning of Jones' relationship with (the late) Lisa Willardson, which after a hearing on the matter, Jones admitted remorse for making one mistake in his 25 years of service on the bench. As a consequence of that mistake, he got a slap on the wrist and did not collect his salary for three months while he was still suspended because of his federal indictment. Now, here we are almost two years later and Jones is finally stepping down from the bench. It's cliche to say the system doesn't work, but with this and the (late) Elizabeth Halverson debacle, it's clear that the Nevada system for judicial discipline DOES NOT WORK. Here's hoping that we learn from these mistakes and take steps to avoid these types of problems in the future.

That said, let's take a look at two candidates seeking to replace Jones. Should voters choose Rebecca Burton or John Hall "Jack" Howard, Jr? More info is available at Vote411 or you can see what we said about these candidates in the primary earlier this year here.

Who should be elected in Family Court Department C?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Department 3 Election Guide

District Court Department 3 features a sitting judge, Douglas W. Herndon, versus a perennial candidate, Michael D. Davidson. You can get more information at edjudicateclarkcounty.com or Vote411. If you want a reminder of how Herndon faired in Judging the Judges, 81% said he should be retained and he had 5 peremptory challenges. Is it time for Herndon to go or does he deserve another six years on the bench in Department 3?

Who should be elected in Department 3?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Department B Election Guide

In Family Court Department B we have Linda Marquis and Joseph A. Scalia, II running for the bench. More information is available at Vote411. Who gets your vote and why?

Who should voters elect in Family Court Department B?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Department 2 Election Guide

With early voting a little over a month away, it's time to start looking at who should get your votes this fall. You can see a full list of candidates and offices on the fall ballot here. We'll be giving you a chance to comment on each of the judicial races and to enlighten us on who we should be voting for this fall.

We'll begin with the open bench in Department 2. The candidates are Richard Scotti and John G. Watkins. You can see some more information on them at edjudicateclarkcounty.com. Who gets your vote and why?

For those of you wanting to discuss the news:

  • Bethany Barnes (@BetsBarnes) has done a follow up piece on the mystery of the DA's witness payment account. [RJ]
  • Jeff German (@JGermanRJ) has more details on the HOA scandal including the role of attorney Keith Gregory. [RJ]

Friday, September 12, 2014

Boulder City

  • If all you know about Boulder City is from this blog, you must be getting some pretty interesting ideas about our neighbor to the southeast. They're in the news again--this time because their city officials are costing taxpayers more legal fees by dragging out a protracted court battle they've already lost. Back in 2010, the City Council directed City Attorney, Dave Olsen, to go to court seeking clarification on ballot initiatives (which had passed) limiting the power of the Council. At least that is one side of the story since this process involved the City naming six individuals who had brought the initiatives. (You can read a more detailed account here.) Ultimately, this went all the way to the Supreme Court where Boulder City lost. Now, the City has incurred over $220,000 in attorney's fees (they used Lionel Sawyer & Collins) and has been ordered to pay $180,000 in attorney's fees to the other parties (who were represented by former City Councilwoman Linda Strickland and her husband Tracy Strickland--the Stricklands who have previously gone to battle against Stephen Stubbs). Boulder City recently challenged the attorney's fees (now they're represented by Steve Morris) and lost with the judge awarding another $10,000 in fees. [8NewsNow I-Team
  • In addition to all that, you might recall a story about Boulder City's City Attorney Dave Olsen. We mentioned him back in May when it came to light that he had decided to be an expert witness for his son in a civil suit his son brought against the City. Former Boulder City Police Chief Tom Finn (who was ousted a year ago, but was still recently in the news voicing his opinion) filed a formal ethics complaint about Olsen. This week Olsen agreed to one willful violation and is facing a fine of $1500. No word on whether a complaint was filed with the State Bar--but shouldn't they be involved too? [8NewsNow]
  • In case all of the above was starting to make you think Las Vegas is pretty normal, don't worry, next week we'll begin our look at the judicial races for the upcoming election and you'll be reminded how truly special you are too!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

13 Years Ago Today

Remembering what happened 13 years ago today can be hard. It can also be good. It can remind us how we hurt, how we felt, how we reacted, why we should be vigilant, and what it feels like to pull together as a country. Every one of was impacted by those tragic events in 2001. Where were you? How did you find out? What did you do? 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Noble Profession

Once in awhile law is referred to as a noble profession, but most of the time we don't get any respect. Lawyers tend to get lumped together as a group of blood-sucking vultures who serve no useful purpose to society. Of course, we know better than that. We know that lawyers are not as bad as the few that grab the public's attention with negative headlines. That said, there are definitely some areas of law that get more respect than others and we want to know which practice areas you perceive those to be. If someone getting into the law was looking for the most respectable practice area in Las Vegas, what would you tell them?

What is the most respectable practice area in Las Vegas?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Out To Dry

  • It appears that suspended Judge Steven Jones has decided to accept a plea deal that will likely get him no more than 27 months in prison as opposed to the 12 years he would have been facing if his federal fraud charges actually went to trial. In addition to whatever time he gets, he will be resigning from the bench (a job which he hasn't performed in quite some time) and surrendering his law license. Our commenters brought up some good points yesterday. What does this whole experience with Jones say about the Commission on Judicial Discipline and our ability to remove/deal with corrupt judges? [RJ]
  • Here's a couple looks at how the gay marriage cases oral arguments went yesterday. [RJ; Las Vegas Sun]
  • Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Coffin is questioning why a feasibility study report that was done on the proposed soccer stadium was not produced to the Council until after their meeting last week. Hmm.... [RJ]
  • Northeast Clark County experienced the worst flooding it has seen since 1981, including wiping out portions of the I-15 which may be closed for 3-4 days. If you're headed to Mesquite or other destinations northward on the I-15, plan accordingly. [Fox5Vegas; Las Vegas Sun]

Monday, September 8, 2014

Win Lose Or Draw

  • DA Steve Wolfson, who is up for reelection this fall against Raymond "Jim" Duensing (btw--his trial is still on for October 28, 2014), wants DUI marijuana laws changed. [RJ
  • The Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments on the gay marriage cases today related to gay marriage bans in Nevada, Idaho, and Hawaii. [Las Vegas Sun]  The oral arguments begin at 1:00 pm and can be watched lived on the 9th Circuit website. [Live Stream]
  • Among the Plaintiffs in the Nevada suit to overturn the gay marriage ban are Las Vegas attorney Tara Newberry and Reno attorney Mikyla Miller. [RGJ]
  • Jon Ralston has an in-depth look at how the Tesla deal was done. [Ralston Reports]
  • Next year the Nevada legislature will likely consider whether Clark County schools should start later in the day. [RJ]
  • Another look at Nevada ballot question #1 this fall which proposes the creation of a court of appeals. [Las Vegas Sun]

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Price Is Right

  • Tesla has selected northern Nevada as the site of its $5 billion Gigafactory and, in exchange, Nevada only has to give it $1.25 billion in tax abatements/incentives. [RGJ]
  • Can someone explain this? "Nevada homes relatively affordable for buyers with student debt." [8NewsNow]
  • The US District Court of Nevada is inviting attorneys to apply to be appointed to the pro bono Inmate Early Mediation Panel. [CCBA
  • A reader wants to know your suggestions on the best place for a lunch meeting with clients.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Who Are You?

Although some of you more paranoid types might not believe this, we generally have very little insight into who is visiting the blog. We know we get about 1800 page views a day and that Safari is the most frequently used browser, but we have no idea how many of you are Boyd grads, how many visitors we're getting from certain firms, or into which group of potential visitors you classify would yourself. To that end, today's poll asks a simple question:  who are you?

Feel free to enlighten us further in the comments. Or, if you want, feel free to talk about the Hutchison/Flores debate yesterday, the City of Las Vegas' difficult decision on the soccer stadium, or the Tesla gigafactory that may be locating in Nevada if the legislature gives it the right tax breaks.

Who are you?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Abandon Ship!

  • Things just got interesting in the Family Court Department M election as attorney/candidate James M. Stuart was sanctioned in bankruptcy court yesterday.  The sanctions stem from Stuart not attending a hearing for his clients.  Stuart claims he did not attend per the instructions of his clients. However, the clients disagree and said they met with him the day before the hearing and wanted to proceed. Bankruptcy Judge Gary Spraker found that Stuart abandoned his clients and sanctioned him to disgorge his $1,000 in fees, suspended him from representing debtors for six months, and ordered him to complete three CLEs on ethical duties to clients before he will be permitted to represent debtors again. The memorandum decision regarding sanctions is here and the order imposing sanctions is here. Stuart is running for the bench in Department M against incumbent Judge William Potter.
  • The accused "Thunder From Down Under" attacker Joey Kadmiri fired his attorney, referred to the prosecutors as Beavis and Butt-head, and questioned whether Judge Jerome Tao was part of a conspiracy against him. Despite finding Kadmiri "highly rational," Judge Tao scheduled a competency hearing out of an abundance of caution. [RJ]
  • Judge Gloria Navarro has ordered that Randolph Goldberg be barred from practicing in the US District Court of Nevada. Goldberg was sentenced to two years in prison for tax evasion and already voluntarily surrendered his law license. [KTNV]
  • The Cosmopolitan is making counterclaims against Vegas Nocturne producer Spiegelworld related to the fallout surrounding Rose. Rabbit. Lie. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Here are Utah attorney Douglas Shumway's thoughts on Adam Laxalt's leaked performance evaluation. [Shumway Van & Hansen Blog]

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Buckle Up

  • Lower enrollment at Boyd School of Law (110 students instead of 150) means a $3 million budget shortfall. That means the school was counting on $75,000 per student. It also means they're asking the state for more money and looking to create an LLM in gaming law and regulation to compensate for that shortfall. [RJ
  • Curious about the status of the proposed Federal Justice Tower? Here's an article explaining what's going on and what's taking so long. [RJ]
  • The Clark County Commissioners are looking into banning glass bottles on the Strip. [Fox5Vegas]
  • With Labor Day behind us and summer unofficially over, you can officially brace yourself for the campaign ads. The fall general election is 9 weeks from today.