Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top Ten Stories of 2015

As 2015 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 without you, the blog is dead. 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 in 2016!)

Our top ten Las Vegas related legal stories of 2015 are:

10. The las vegas law blog actually broke a national story this year--remember how Harry Reid was injured while exercising--he decided to sue the manufacturer of the equipment and we were the first to report it. 
9. A docu-drama is being made about District Attorney "Steve Wolfson and his powerhouse team."
8. Attorney Keith Gregory was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the HOA scandal.
7. Barry Levinson died in prison early on in his 78 month sentence related to the HOA scandal.
6. The Nevada Court of Appeals heard its first oral arguments and issued its first opinion.
5. After a raid of her offices earlier this year, attorney Vicki Greco was arrested earlier this month.
4.  The Nevada Supreme Court and Court of Appeals are getting their own new building in downtown Las Vegas.
3. Former judge Steven Jones is serving a 26-month prison term and feds are trying to get access to his PERS retirement funds.
2. Joe Hardy and Eric Johnson filled vacancies on the bench created when Judges Abbi Silver and Jerome Tao moved up to the Court of Appeals. 
1. Last year, our top story popped up at the end of the year and dealt with the demise of Lionel Sawyer. This year, the big demise was earlier in the year and it took out Gordon Silver. The fallout included a suit from the firm's landlord seeking over $750,000 in back rent. 

* Okay, no list of legal stories from 2015 will be complete without mentioning a national story with lots of local impact: Obergefell.

So, what do you think? What did we miss? What do you think will be the big stories next year? Which big firm is teetering on the brink? Who will win the presidential election? Who will occupy the top floor of the RJC once the Supreme Court moves out? Stay tuned....

23 comments:

  1. Let me start by saying, I am not homophobic and my brother identifies as a bi-sexual. (Is that enough of a disclaimer?). However, Obergefell was a massive overreach by the SCOTUS. It was inevitable that gay marriage would become the law of the land over time even without this ruling. Battles were being won in one state after another.

    Point being, there was no need for the SCOTUS to go out on a limb like they did. Their ruling can easily be summed up as "they ruled this way because they felt it was right." They barely gave lip service to the constitution or stare decisis. They anointed themselves as super legislatures.

    People cheer the result, but ignore the tools used to get there. This decision was bad for separation of powers, and for the reputation of the court. It will be used in the future by the other side, and the results won’t be pretty. There is a reason the court has traditionally used judicial restraint, with Roberts' decision in the first ACA case as a good example of that.

    The Judicial Branch has traditionally enjoyed the most widespread support of all three branches. Starting acting like a legislature, and you will be treated like one. Just like Roe v. Wade and its penumbra ruling forever changed confirmation hearings into political circuses, this ruling will leave its unwanted mark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not homophobic either. Or racist. I have plenty of black friends. And gay friends.

      Delete
    2. "I'm not homophobic, BUT...." Spoken like a true Mormon.

      Delete
    3. I completely agree with 11:45. I'm surprised anyone disagrees.

      Delete
    4. There is no reason to make any disclaimer. Your legal arguments are valid or not based on their own merits. It doesn't matter what your political opinion is or whether you have ever met a gay person or hate them. "Progressive" legal theorists like to attack people with honest and correct legal theories that result in outcomes they disagree with. They attack the person (ad hominem) and the argument itself based on the political outcome rather than the merits of the legal argument (ad popularum). They (well, many of them) don't care about truth, separation of powers, intellectual honesty, or any of the other virtues that characterize a proper liberal democracy. They only care about getting the political results that satisfy their emotional whims at all costs. If they are not careful, they will get the government they want.

      Delete
    5. And clearly the legal theories are "correct" when they are ones you agree with. In all of this gnashing of teeth and wailing about violating the constitution, the above comments are nothing more than broad generalizations about legislating from the bench. Please point out where in the decision the constitution was violated.

      Delete
    6. Rather than write a dissertation on the subject in blog comments, I would encourage you to read Robert's dissent. Has all you need to know. Scalia's dissent lacks substance.

      Delete
  2. What's sad is it's so knee jerk to call a well reasoned criticism "homophobic" that he could see the need to start by saying he is not homophobic which of course is exactly the implication of the immediate responses

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 11:45 Here. I have had this conversation with more than one person (including other lawyers), and it always comes down to name calling. If you ask them if they read the decision or the dissents, they generally say no. Ask about precedential value, and they try to assure you it is a one off thing. Yet, we lawyers still occasionally quote Marbury v. Madison in our briefs, which was over 200 years ago. Obergefell is going to be used for decades or more to justify using the SCOTUS as a legislature by appealing to the courts "New Insight."

      Special interest groups no longer need to persuade 535 members of congress, instead they just need to convince 5 lawyers in black robes to write the law for them. Its even better than congress since the decision wont be subject to further judicial review. It's and astounding breach of the constitution.

      Delete
    2. 11:45, are you LDS?

      Delete
  3. What's going to become of Hutchison & Steffen? Earlier this year, there were rumors that they were tightening their belts because the rainmaker lieutenant governor was busy in the political sphere. I don't think they'll go under, but maybe some downsizing?

    ReplyDelete
  4. What's happening with the Lionel Sawyer drama? What's happening with the Gordon Silver drama? There must be some updates. Who owes how much to who?

    ReplyDelete
  5. IS there any more L&S or G&S drama? This is why I don't tend to get wrapped up in these stories.....last I checked, Paul Hejmanowski was still practicing law and billing at some exorbitant rate and living (probably) in a much nicer house than I do. Ditto Jerry Gordon. The only people shit outta luck are some support staff who are hopefully now gainfully employed, and the landlords at Hughes Center and BofA, and fuck landlords.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jane Ann Morrison Column in the RJ today about Noel Gage. It was an interesting discussion on how he got his license back at age 77 after being a convicted felon.

    http://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/columns-blogs/jane-ann-morrison/vegas-attorney-noel-gage-gets-his-law-license-back-despite

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How long will Jane Ann last with Sheldon owning the RJ? Not long I'm guessing.

      Delete
    2. She won't be missed.

      Delete
  7. good article thank you very interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Why not Bloomfield case in top story list?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Not many calls today but the few that came in are super crazzzzeeeee!!!!! Got to love New Years Eve.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Assuming the new owner of the paper wants to criticize judges and lawyers, Jane Ann Morrison will fit right in with the new owners.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What about Half Price Lawyer shutting down leaving thousands of folks in the cold?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did they even reopen again? There is some confusion about that.

      Delete