Friday, December 30, 2016

Top Ten Stories of 2016

As 2016 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 probably be back in 2017, but with the way 2016 has gone, who knows?!)

Our top ten Las Vegas related legal stories of 2016 are:


Thursday, December 29, 2016

RIP Troy Atkinson


  • Troy Atkinson passed away yesterday.  Condolences to his family and friends. 
  • The AG's office says the new background check law is unenforceable. [RJ]

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

RIP Chris Beecroft


  • Chris Beecroft, ADR Commissioner and Discovery Commissioner in the Eighth Judicial District Court passed away on Monday. [NV Bar]
  • It is being reported that Tadas Arlauskas, a Las Vegas lawyer and Boyd grad, allegedly sent emails to members of the Oregon State Bar inviting them to form a group for the "preservation of the white race." [Willamette Week]
  • Justice Cherry and Judge Silver will be heading up their respective appellate benches in 2017. [RJ]

Friday, December 23, 2016

Visions of Sugar Plums

Merry Christmas everyone! A lot of you are already out on vacation--good for you. For those of you at work, pretending to work, stop, go home and spend some time with your loved ones.

If you're drinking this holiday, don't drive.  If you're feeling down this time of year, please reach out for help.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255
Confidential help from a fellow lawyer is a phone call away
Toll Free: 866-828-0022
or
702-889-9404
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, December 22, 2016

2016 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 tomorrow--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- read: work appropriate and slander free) whine and complain about your salary, your job, your boss, the courts, nepotism, Robert Graham, Wiznet, the Nevada bar, bar counsel, UNLV Boyd Class of 2013, this blog, etc. It's also your chance to provide some feedback about the way things are done in the Las Vegas legal community. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who read this blog and see your comments and suggestions (including administrators, judges, and other lawyers). If you want a refresher on what types of things you were disappointed in or complained about last year, use the search box and enter "airing."

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice 2016


  • Here's a list of the firms that applied to be considered for the position of counsel to the Stadium Authority. [RJ]
  • Here's a look at one family affected by Robert Graham. [KTNV]
  • Paul Hejmanowski got his client a $28.7 million judgment against Bishop Gorman high school. [RJ]

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bonus Round 2016!!! (Plus Compensation Survey Results)

Each year at this time we take a look at bonuses. As a special bonus to you this year, we also have the results of our compensation survey. The last two years we did a magic numbers survey, but this year we have something a little different--we gave you a chance to tell us how much you make based on how long you've been working without asking where you work. This is finally your chance to get an idea of how much money attorneys in Las Vegas make!

While we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any of the results of this survey, we had over 100 responses. The numbers we are sharing are the first 100 responses (since that is all SurveyMonkey will let you see without paying for an upgrade).  Warning:  the results are not for the faint of heart. These numbers may make you think you are underpaid. They may make you think you are not special. Just remember that these are just numbers and do not take into account a number of other factors that come into play when determining compensation. Click through to see the results...

Monday, December 19, 2016

Rogue One


  • Could the Legislature do away with Nevada's death penalty this spring? [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Are the City and County close to an annexation agreement? [RJ]
  • Linda Graham says she filed for divorce from Robert Graham. [News3LV]
  • For the first time, women now make up the majority of US law students. [NY Times]

Friday, December 16, 2016

Pots and Kettles


  • Former clients of Robert Graham, now represented by a one, Mr. Gerald Gordon, have filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition against Graham's practice. [RJ]

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Winter Is Coming


  • A grand jury is hearing about the Susan Winters case. [RJ]
  • Is Linda Graham implicated in the missing millions too? [RJ]
  • The Legislature allegedly approved a deal for Faraday Future without any knowledge of the company's finances. [Jalopnik]
  • Here's the latest on the trademark rejection of the Vegas Golden Knights. [IPWatchdog]

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Growing Pains


  • In an interview, Robert Graham claims he didn't abandon his clients, but didn't answer questions about what happened to the millions of missing client funds. His attorney for the criminal portion of his case is Lance Hendron. [RJ]
  • Clark County filed suit with regard to the development of Blue Diamond Hill. [RJ]
  • Magistrate Leen ordered three separate trials related to the Bundy standoff. [RJ]
  • A British citizen who wanted to kill Donald Trump in Las Vegas gets a year in federal prison. [News3LV]

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Empty Stockings


  • Here are a few more details on Robert Graham and LawyersWest. [RJ]
  • Facing life in prison, Erik Nowsch plans to keep fighting. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Civil bench bar meeting today. [eighthjdcourt blog]

Monday, December 12, 2016

Lump Of Coal


  • As was first reported in the comments here, LawyersWest shut down suddenly, firing employees and leaving clients in the lurch. Now, attorney Robert Graham's law license has been temporarily suspended and there are allegations that his trust account, which should have had $13 million in it, has significantly less. Jasen and Brandi Cassady, the attorneys appointed to take over LawyersWest files set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for the clients. Other probate attorneys have stepped up to help. Graham is being represented in the bar proceedings by P. Sterling Kerr and has said that Graham voluntarily relinquished his license, is not a flight risk, and is going to be represented by someone else with regard to a criminal investigation. [RJ; LasVegasNow]
  • A lot of details are missing from the reports in the news--can you fill in the rest? Where did the money go? How did it suddenly see the light of day? Do you think this GoFundMe account is the right idea?
  • Judge Michael Villani upheld the guilty plea of Erik Nowsch. [News3LV]
  • Questions about defendants' mental capacity in death penalty cases. [RJ]

Friday, December 9, 2016

Hours of Operation 2016

A few years ago, some commenters were 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. 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 would you commend for making the best use of your time? 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Knights Who Say No


  • The USPTO rejected the Vegas Golden Knights trademark application. They plan to challenge the ruling. [Forbes; RJ]
  • Raad Sunna, the smoke shop employee who shot a 13-year old boy, is being represented by Dominic Gentile. [RJ]
  • North Las Vegas will make its determination about eliminating a judicial seat on Dec. 21. [RJ]
  • The Stadium Authority is looking for counsel. Applications are due by Dec. 19. 
  • Search warrants issued in the Susan Winters case. [RJ]

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pearl Harbor- 75 Years


  • Someone mentioned it in the comments yesterday and someone else let us know in a survey response, but apparently LawyersWest shut down abruptly on December 2. Anyone have details?
  • Here are some details about the $14.5 million medical malpractice award a jury returned last week. [RJ]
  • One side effect of marijuana legalization? The smell. [RJ]
  • Today is the last day for the position of District Court hearing master. [eighthjdcourt blog]
  • 75 years since Pearl Harbor. [KNPR]

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer


  • Murder charge for smoke shop worker who shot teen boy. [RJ]
  • Threats are flying about the State Treasurer's continued work on ESAs. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Allegations that a girl was killed over $450 in death penalty trial. [RJ]
  • North Las Vegas is considering eliminating one municipal judge position. [LasVegasNow]
  • Gag order lifted in the civil case regarding the death of attorney Susan Winters. [RJ]
  • It seems no one really wanted to talk about holiday parties yesterday, but someone did write in asking for your feedback on whether staff would prefer a holiday party or just putting the money that would go to a party into their "bonus." What do you think?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Holiday Parties 2016


  • A pre-trial release pilot program is more successful than expected. [Nevada Appeal]
  • Alisa Nave-Worth co-authored an article about getting your business ready for legal marijuana. [Vegas Inc.]
  • Not Vegas specific, but Charleston church shooter Dylan Roof decided maybe he does want lawyers to help him in his trial. [RJ]
  • Any stories from the Eglet holiday party? What is your firm doing this year? A fancy dinner? A casual trip to the bowling alley? A cruise? 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Job Tips: Sanity

Our 2016 compensation survey is still open, so if you haven't responded yet, please click here. One of you responded with a suggested topic:  what hobbies or activities have you decided to pursue outside of the legal practice to help counteract the soul-crushing, stressful nature of our profession? In other words, how do you keep your sanity?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Things Keep Changing


  • Congrats to Michael Lowry on his Compelling Discovery blog making the 10th Annual Law Blawg 100 list. [ABA Journal]
  • A task force is considering improvements to our juvenile justice system. [RJ]
  • Mystery man's identity theft sentence is upheld. [RJ]
  • The Army is concerned with the Golden Knights nickname...is an IP battle in the works? [RJ]
  • The UNLV student newspaper is changing its name. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Caesars Properties are going to start charging for parking. What is the world coming to? [Las Vegas Sun]

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Comp Survey 2016

The last two years we have done a magic numbers survey, but this year we decided to mix things up and do a compensation survey. Go here to let us know how long you've been practicing and how much you're making. We'll share the results before Christmas...

In the meantime, feel free to continue to discuss the Supreme Court's antics or anything else going on out there, just remember to keep it work-appropriate and slander-free.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cyber Turkey


  • A Texas judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the new overtime pay law. [PBS]
  • A permanent injunction was issued regarding Nevada's Educational Savings Account program. [RJ]
  • A Henderson startup is helping people with immigration paperwork. [RJ]
  • Gina Bongiovi shares the top legal mistakes businesses make. [Vegas Inc.]
  • A reader wants to know if anyone has any details regarding In the Matter of Discipline of Jacob Hafter. [Supreme Court case #71744]

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

We are headed out of town for the holiday weekend, but here's a short post for those of you working today. Thanks for reading the blog. We hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! We'll be back to posting on Monday.  And, the Vegas Golden Knights? Really?!?

If you're struggling this weekend, please reach out for help. It's only a phone call away.

Confidential help from a fellow lawyer is a phone call away
Toll Free: 866-828-0022
or
702-889-9404
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.


Call 1-800-273-8255
Available 24 hours everyday

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pumpkin Pie


  • Congratulations to David Jones on his appointment to the bench in Clark County District Court (filling the vacancy left by the passing of Judge Susan Scann). [News3LV]
  • Tonight the name, colors, and logo for Vegas' first big league team will be revealed. [Las Vegas Sun]

Monday, November 21, 2016

Cranberry Sauce


  • Are emails that elected officials keep on their private devices considered public records. [Washington Times]
  • Is the ESA program dead in Nevada? [Las Vegas Sun]
  • The Veterans' Court will recognize military service this afternoon. [eighthjdcourt blog]

Friday, November 18, 2016

Anticipation


  • President-Elect Trump has offered the position of US Attorney General to Alabama senator Jeff Sessions. [NY Times]
  • Judge Linda Bell issued a gag order in the civil case regarding the death of Susan Winters. [RJ]
  • Danny Tarkanian sued Congresswoman-elect Jacky Rosen for defamation. [RJ; Las Vegas Sun]
  • The CCSD bullying trial is still going. [LasVegasNow]
  • Illusionist Jan Rouven pleads guilt to child pornography before trial. [RJ]

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fall Is Here


  • They're still battling over Badlands. [RJ]
  • The Department of Corrections received a $978,000 grant to help with recidivism. [RJ]
  • The latest on the case of Susan Winters. [RJ]
  • Here's a list of all the Boyd alumni that won in the recent election--sorry, no Boyd '13s. [Boyd]

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Errant Golf Balls


  • The DA's office is halting prosecution of possession cases involving less than an ounce of marijuana. [RJ]
  • Opening statements took place in a Clark County School District bullying case. [LasVegasNow]
  • You're driving through a neighborhood next to a golf course and suddenly a golf ball smashes into your windshield. A golfer runs over, apologizes, and gives you his number. When you call it, he refuses to pay and denies liability. Who is liable for the damages? [Apparently, KTNV couldn't find anyone willing to opine on the record.]

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Do It Yourself


  • With the election of Donald Trump, local immigration firms are seeing an uptick in business. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Not Vegas related, but the nephew in the documentary "Making a Murderer" was ordered released yesterday. [NY Times]
  • Facebook and Google are under fire for publishing fake news. [KNPR]
  • Meanwhile, Jon Ralston is launching his own news source in 2017 called The Nevada Independent.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Nobody Does It Better


  • Big names, bad blood, and Badlands golf course. [RJ]
  • Editorial says Laxalt and Sandoval showed poor judgment on background check ballot question. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • An in-depth look at the case against Billy Walters. [KNPR]

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veterans Day


  • Thank you to all of our veterans.
  • Washoe County Judge Lidia Stiglich has been appointed to the Supreme Court of Nevada effective January 2, 2017. [KOLO]
  • Judge Richard Scotti sentenced disbarred attorney Jeanne Winkler to seven years in prison. [RJ]
  • Jason Stoffel won the first ever chili wars to benefit the Legal Aid Society of Southern Nevada. [eighthjdcourt blog]
  • Here are some photos of the new Supreme Court/Court of Appeals building which is scheduled to be done by the end of the year. [RJ]
  • The current issue of Nevada Lawyer reports the disbarment of Keith Gregory and Gerry Zobrist. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

You're So Vain


  • The Foreclosure Mediation Program will no longer accept mediations after the end of the year. [nvcourts.gov]
  • Judge Gloria Sturman got a brief moment in the national spotlight earlier this week. [Vanity Fair]
  • Recreational marijuana won't be "legal" in Nevada until January 1, 2017. [RJ]

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Vicious Circle

Congratulations to the winners of the judicial election yesterday including the unopposed members of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals; retained Judges Joe Hardy and Eric Johnson; and elected/retained Justices of the Peace Sam Bateman, Harmony Letizia, Rebecca Kern, Karen Bennett, and Suzan Baucum. You can view unofficial Clark County vote results here.

All five ballot questions on Clark County ballots yesterday passed--including background checks, and recreational marijuana. And control of the state legislature changed.  What does this all mean? Probably more work for lots of you. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Big Day


  • Here is video of an interaction between Judge Rena Hughes and a 12-year old girl in a custody hearing? Is it normal? Appropriate? Concerning? [LasVegasNow]
  • Anything else going on out there?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Day Eve


  • Tomorrow's the big day. Here's your last chance to make a pitch for why we should vote for which judges...
  • Was one early voting station kept open late in a Democrat party stronghold? [RJ]
  • RIP Janet Reno. [Las Vegas Sun]

Friday, November 4, 2016

Too Little, Too Late


  • The State wants to tax the escort service industry, but can't find them. [RJ]
  • Judge Boulware is set to issue a decision later today on the voter intimidation issue, but it is unlikely to include a restraining order. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Today is the last day to cast an early vote. [Las Vegas Sun]

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Cubs Win!


  • RIP Keith M. Lyons, Jr. [Facebook]
  • Is there a hole in Nevada property tax law that the Trump International Hotel exploits? [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Here's Jane Ann Morrison on the Prince/Ranalli/Esparza suit alleging racketeering. [RJ]
  • Here's an update on the voter intimidation case before Judge Boulware. [KNPR]

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Game Seven


  • Should Nevada have sentencing guidelines for criminal offenses? [RJ]
  • The Trump campaign is in federal court here this morning regarding alleged voter intimidation. [TPM]
  • The Supreme Court will hold a session at Valley High School on November 16. [nvcourts]
  • The day before, the Court of Appeals will hear oral argument at UNLV. [nvcourts]
  • Cubs or Indians?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

One Week More


  • Judge Cynthia Giuliani performed 22 adoptions yesterday in costume. [eighthjdcourt blog]
  • Nosy parents helps stop potential mass shooting at Vegas high school. [Fox5Vegas; LasVegasNow]
  • Here's a fascinating piece on a "Big League prospect who became a mob hit man" and who also happens to be the father of our local Heavy Hitter, Glen Lerner. [NY Times]
  • There is a fight brewing over whether dental hygienists should be allowed to inject Botox. [RJ]

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016


  • Some Las Vegas drug convictions rely on faulty police field tests. [Propublica via RJ]
  • The investigation into the death of Susan Winters continues. [LasVegasNow]
  • Here's a Reno case that might be interesting...[RJ]
  • Have you voted yet? Do you do early voting? Time is running out...
  • Does your office dress up for Halloween? Do you resent firms that do dress up? 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Nevada Day 2016


  • The Supreme Court issued a few decisions affecting low-wage earners yesterday. [RJ]
  • Acquittal for the Bundy boys in Oregon. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • For those of you not working today, enjoy your three-day weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Careful The Words You Say


  • The ABA wouldn't run an article calling Donald Trump a libel bully; Vox did. [Vox]
  • Jane Ann Morrison dedicates another column to Glen Lerner and a State Bar investigation relating to his actions in Louisiana. [RJ]
  • Boulder City Mayor and lawyer Rod Woodbury voted to approve contracts from the city for one of his clients. [LasVegasNow]
  • Here's the interview with Jim Murren talking about bringing an NBA team to Vegas. [KNPR]

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hang In There


  • Governor Sandoval urges you to vote no on question 2 regarding recreational marijuana. [RJ]
  • Have you seen AG Adam Laxalt's commercial against question 1? [VoteNoQuestion1]
  • Cliven Bundy's new lawyer is Bret Whipple. [RJ]
  • Reports of ballot flipping in Clark County amid record early voting. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Only 13 days until the election is over and 59 days until Christmas.
  • In a press release issued yesterday, it was revealed that the three finalists from which Governor Sandoval will select Judge Scann's replacement on the bench in the Eighth Judicial District Court - Department 29 are:

    •             Mark L. Gentile, 56, Attorney, Gentile Law Group
    •             David M. Jones, 50, Attorney, David M. Jones, Esq.
    •             Esther C. Rodriguez, 50, Attorney, Rodriguez Law Offices, P.C.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

World Series: Cubs vs Indians


  • Boyd professor Leslie Griffin has been upgraded to fair condition. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Judge Valerie Adair sentenced Michael Solid to 30 years to life for the murder of Marcos Arenas. [RJ]
  • Trial pushed back for Jan Rouven. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • asd
  • Yesterday, we inadvertently omitted Nevada Legal Services from the list of pro bono opportunities in areas like taxes, veterans issues, wills and POAs, criminal record sealing, bankruptcy, consumer, etc.  No family law.  And they give people the opportunity to teach classes or do clinics instead of taking cases.
  • The World Series starts tonight--any predictions on which team of lovable losers will win this year?

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pro Bono


A slow news weekend in Las Vegas law means it's a good time to talk about pro bono work. How many of you actually do it? Do you enjoy it? Does no good deed go unpunished? Should pro bono work be mandatory?

Here are a few links if you're looking to get started:
And, as always, feel free to discuss whatever else is going on out there.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Happy Friday


  • The Department of Labor sued a Las Vegas telemarketer for shorting worker pay. [RJ]
  • Animal cruelty charges for women running 'sanctuary' in Cold Creek, northwest of Las Vegas. [RJ]
  • First Amendment warrior Marc Randazza is hard at working protecting free speech in Nevada. Here's a look at the pleadings in a recent case where the Las Vegas Clark County Library District issued a notice of trespass to man trying to get a petition signed and to get people to register to vote before the deadline. The TRO lifting the notice to trespass was granted. 
  • A reader has a question regarding the unauthorized practice of law: "I read a lot of complaints about UPL and the problems it poses, but  I also see a lot of ads online for paralegals and legal assistants, and almost without exception, the ad lists requirements that seem to require either the ability to perform the jobs of attorneys, or damn close.  A national firm is looking for a paralegal who can: draft pleadings, including answers, complaints, discovery demands and motions.  Another firm looking for a paralegal who can handle everything from A to Z other than making court appearances and drafting complex motions.  Most request that the applicant be able to handle everything from case intake to drafting initial pleadings, motions, discovery and everything in between.

    So where is the line in the sand drawn?  Is it when the paralegal strikes out and does all of those things unsupervised, or when the law firm takes the paralegal's work product and bills it at the managing attorney's rate?"

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Election Primer 2016- Ballot Questions

Voters in Clark County will see five ballot questions this fall. Question 1 (about gun laws) and Question 2 (about recreational marijuana) are getting most of the question, but here is your chance to weigh in on how you think people should vote: (the following summaries come from Ballotpedia)

A yes vote supports this requiring firearm transfers to go through a licensed gun dealer. Certain transfers, including temporary transfers and those between immediate family members, would be exempted.

A no vote opposes this proposal requiring firearm transfers to go through a licensed gun dealer.
A "yes" vote supports legalizing the recreational use of one ounce or less of marijuana by individuals 21 years of age and over.

A "no" vote opposes this measure to legalize one ounce or less of marijuana for recreational use for individuals 21 years of age and over.
A "yes" vote supports inserting language into the Nevada Constitution requiring "an open, competitive retail electric energy market," the reduction of energy market regulations, and the elimination of energy monopolies.

A "no" vote opposes this proposal to insert requirements for an "open and competitive" energy market into the state's constitution.
A "yes" vote supports this amendment to require the Nevada Legislature to exempt from sales and use tax durable medical equipment, oxygen delivery equipment, and mobility enhancing equipment prescribed for human use by a licensed health care provider.

A "no" vote opposes this amendment to require the legislature to exempt certain types of medical equipment from the sales and use tax.
A yes vote is a vote in favor of the county continuing to index fuel taxes based on inflation through December 31, 2026, with proceeds used for public safety and roads.

A no vote is a vote against the county continuing to index fuel taxes based on inflation through December 31, 2026, with proceeds used for public safety and roads.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Judicial Election Primer 2016- Justice Court

As reported in the comments yesterday, the three finalists for appointment to the Nevada Supreme Court are:
•             Elissa F. Cadish, 52, Las Vegas, Judge
•             Mark Ralph Denton, 65, Las Vegas, Judge
•             Lidia S. Stiglich, 46, Reno, Judge

Some of you already started discussing candidates for bench in justice court, but here's the dedicated post on the topic.

Las Vegas
Department 3:  Harmony Letizia v. incumbent Janiece Marshall
Department 6:  Rebecca Kern v. appointee Bita Yeager.
Department 7:  incumbent Karen Bennett v. Vinny Ginn
Department 13:  Shana Bachman v. incumbent Suzan Baucum

Henderson
Department 1:  Sam Bateman v. Michael Davidson v. Harvey Gruber v. Gayle Nathan v. Jeffrey Posin v. Shane Zeller (there was no primary for this department as this is a vacancy that is the result of Judge Burr stepping down to go to municipal court due to the untimely passing of Diana Hampton).

Any insights (besides physical appearance) as to why any one of these candidates is better than the others? Any predictions?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Judicial Election Primer 2016- District Court Departments 15 and 20

Early voting starts this Saturday, October 22--meaning it's time to discuss who you think should be elected to the bench.  If you want to see the results of our informal survey, click here.

In the two district court bench seats on the ballot this fall, we have Governor Sandoval's appointed judges seeking retention against a challenger.

Department 15:  Here we have the governor's appointee Joe Hardy, Jr. facing off against Bruce Gale. In our survey, Judge Hardy is the leader, but do you think he should be retained?

Department 20:  In this department, the governor's appointee was Eric Johnson and he is facing off against Anat "Annette" Levy.  Since we know several people have raised the issue of whether Ms. Levy even has an office in Nevada, we reached out to her on 2 separate occasions, but received no response. Who do you think should be elected in this department?

Ed.  Here's the link to the RJ editorial on judicial elections.

Monday, October 17, 2016

You Can't Always Get What You Want


  • A murder charge was thrown out due to a Metro detective's interrogation. [RJ]
  • Governor Sandoval will sign the stadium bill into law today at UNLV. [Fox5VegasRJ]
  • Here's a heads up: there will be lots of road closures and traffic issues on Wednesday due to the debate and the Rolling Stones. [RJ]
  • The battle rages on about developing Badlands golf course into more than 2,500 housing units. [RJ]
  • Meanwhile, if your curious about what has been happening with Silverstone Golf Course, read this legal update via Facebook.
Click here to take our 2016 election survey.  

Friday, October 14, 2016

Stadium Surprises


  • Years later, there is still a legal battle going on between the two moms. [RJ]
  • Late night breaking news complicated the Assembly's consideration of the stadium bill. And now a wildfire will delay things further. [KNPRLas Vegas Sun; RJ]
  • The attack on a UNLV law professor was random. [RJ]
  • Heads up!  The debate next week is already starting to have impacts on traffic and police presence in the area. [Fox5Vegas]

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Like An Octopus


  • Assuming it goes forward, here are the topics for next week's presidential debate at UNLV. [RJ]
  • Not Vegas centric, but the NY Times article about women claiming Donald Trump touched them inappropriately has resulted in legal threats (via Mediaite) from his lawyer. Any experts on Sullivan in the house? 
  • Will the Assembly push the stadium bill through? [Las Vegas Sun; RJ]
  • Here's your reminder about Craig P. Kenny's annual party tomorrow:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Low Expectations


  • Bar results are out, but don't seem to be on the bar site at this time.  Someone in the comments says the passage rate this time was only 51%.
  • UNLV Boyd School of Law professor Leslie Griffin is hospitalized after she was attacked in a park last week. We wish her a speedy recovery. [news3lv; KTNV; RJ]
  •  Elizabeth Brown is the new Supreme Court Clerk of Court. [RJ]
  • The State Senate approved the bill for a new stadium--now, it's on to the Assembly. [Las Vegas Sun]

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Demoted


  • Prosecutor in Bunkerville standoff admits obtaining recordings of attorney-client conversations. [RJ]
  • Not Vegas specific (yet), but some New York firms are demoting partners. Anyone know of firms here doing this? [WSJ]
  • No deal yet on the stadium or more cops tax increases. [RJ]

Monday, October 10, 2016

Commence The Special Session


  • The Special Legislative Session for funding a possible Raiders stadium starts today. It will have to recess for Yom Kippur tomorrow evening if it isn't finished by then. What's the over/under on how long the session lasts. [Las Vegas Sun; RJ]
  • There were lots of developments in the presidential election over the weekend with the release of a tape with Donald Trump making lewd comments and the second presidential debate taking place. Is this going to have any impact on the judicial races on the November ballot? There are also rumors/suggestions that the debate in Las Vegas may not happen. What is your prediction? [RJ; KNPR; ]

Friday, October 7, 2016

Taking It Easy


  • Apparently, Judge Catherine Ramsey has not yet issued the apologies she agreed to in her stipulated discipline agreement. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • The Gaming Control Board is looking to strengthen regulations on money laundering. [RJ]
  • Anyone have any more details about this going on between Angius & Terry LLP and Akerman LLP?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

People Don't Like Me


  • RIP Joe Schrage. Details about his services and helping out his family here.
  • James Pengilly says he didn't brandish his gun at the deposition, but he did have it on him as he always does because "I’m an attorney and people don’t like me." [RJ]
  • Defense attorney Dan Silverstein will be the new Deputy District Attorney over the Conviction Integrity Unit. [RJ]
  • Attorneys in Bunkerville standoff case are concerned about secret jailhouse recordings. [RJ]
  • Governor Sandoval calls a special legislative session to start Monday on more taxes for the stadium, convention center, education, and more cops. [Las Vegas SunRJ]
  • Donald Trump says you're saying Nevada wrong. [KNPR]

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Job Tips: Vendors

One of our readers, who is not a lawyer, but still reads the blog daily wants your input on the following:

I work at a small, but exceptional, litigation support company.  I would like to know what is a good way to reach more lawyers and make them aware of the services we provide. Lawyers are extremely busy and dropping in on them unannounced is not acceptable.

So, from a lawyer’s standpoint, what is the best approach?
What say ye? And while you're at it, any other advice or tips for legal industry vendors?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pulling Guns


  • RIP retired Judge Carl Christensen. [RJ]
  • More on the investigation into the death of attorney Susan Winters. [RJ]
  • Lots of interesting stuff out of the US Supreme Court yesterday including NCAA amateurism and no trademark for the Washington Redskins. [SCOTUSblog]
  • The Eighth District Court will use a $1.4 million grant for residential treatment program. [eighthjdcourt blog]
  • If you missed it in the comments yesterday, a Motion for Protective Order and transcript describe what happened when attorney James Pengilly pulled out a gun in a deposition gone wrong.

Monday, October 3, 2016

First Monday


  • FBI agents posed as a film crew in Bunkerville standoff investigation. [RJ]
  • A new US Supreme Court term starts today with only 8 members and without any arguments since today is the start of Rosh Hashanah. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Here's a heads up on new discovery commissioner forms. [Compelling Discovery]

Friday, September 30, 2016

We All Win


  • The Supreme Court ruled against the Educational Savings Account law--yet, both sides are claiming victory. [RJ; Las Vegas Sun]
  • The ruling might have a national impact. [RJ]
  • Have you made up your mind about Ballot Question 1 yet? Steve Wolfson spoke in favor of the initiative. [RJ]
  • Have you made up your mind about Ballot Question 2 yet? A local church may be trying to influence the outcome. [Las Vegas Weekly]
  • Anyone have the scoop on the comment from yesterday about the Morris/Snell merger not happening?  ed. Apparently the merger is postponed until a certain conflict can be resolved, but for now it is no longer imminent. 
  • For those looking for a little money on the side, the County needs poll workers. [Las Vegas Sun]

Thursday, September 29, 2016

On The Side

The Blogger polls are not working very well in the posts, but we have one up on the side relating to a suggestion from a reader. How many of you work more than one job? It's probably not typical for lawyer types, but surely some of you do a little something on the side? What do you do to make extra money? Something law related, teaching, physical labor, etc...

Breaking:  Supreme Court issues ruling on ESAs.  The Supreme Court's site is being hammered, so good luck getting the opinion, but local reporters are tweeting about it.  Check out @NealTMorton for more information and screenshots.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Don't Forget To Register To Vote


  • They've heard every excuse for getting out of jury service. [RJ]
  • Dennis Prince is going after a former governor's son who is accused of running a ponzi scheme. [RJ]
  • Caesars has reached a restructuring deal with its major creditors. [RJ]
  • Don't forget to make sure you have registered to vote. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Did you know UNLV Law has a blog?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Job Tips: The Limited Partner

A readers wants your input and advice:

"I was made a limited partner at a small firm (less than 10 attorneys) back in January and I'm doing it wrong. The incentive to hoard work instead of giving it to paralegals or an associate has been too strong and I'm leaving money on the table (for the firm) by not getting to everything my clients are willing to pay for. Back in January, the idea of profit sharing for work given out or supervised was ruled out. I'm still well compensated with the projects I am able to get to myself, but I haven't been feeling generous enough to give work away. Frankly, I've been stingy with my time when the others in the practice group I used to supervise at straight salary want help or work. If/when I make equity partner, I will have some bad habits to undo if I stay on this path. 
The blog's experience would be appreciated to help me figure out how to approach the mismatched incentives. I think I need to adjust my perspective."

What do you think?

Job Opening

RENO - COMMERCIAL TRUST OFFICER/ASSISTANT GENERAL COUNSEL - NEW LISTING SEPTEMBER 2016

Multi-state trust management firm has an immediate need seeking an experienced trust officer to serve as resident Assistant General Counsel in their Reno office. Must have extensive commercial trust experience providing service to individuals of high net worth. Non-attorneys will NOT be considered for this position. Must be able to manage time and workload without local supervision. This is an In House position; a portable book of business is not required and the position does not require marketing. Incumbent will enjoy a full benefits package and a 40 hour work week. Salary range is 125-175K DOE.

Contact:

Jordan Ross, Principal
Ross Legal Search, LLC

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Great Debate


  • The State Bar Disciplinary Panel recommends that Jacob Hafter be suspended for six months.[RJ]
  • With reports about a disgruntled attorney shooting up a firm in Houston, if you are feeling angry, depressed, or facing trouble of any kind, please contact Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers.
  • What lessons can Nevada learn from Colorado about recreational marijuana? [RJ]
  • Here is another opinion on the topic. [Vegas Inc.]
  • Here are the applicants seeking to be appointed to Judge Scann's spot on the bench:
Karl Wesley Armstrong, 58, Las Vegas, Attorney
Chris William Davis, 56, Las Vegas, Attorney        
Bruce L. Gale, 61, Las Vegas, Attorney
Mark L. Gentile, 56, Las Vegas, Attorney
David M. Jones, 50, Las Vegas, Attorney
Jacob A. Reynolds, 37, Las Vegas, Attorney
Berna L. Rhodes-Ford, 45, Las Vegas, Attorney
Esther C. Rodriguez, 50, Las Vegas, Attorney
  • Tonight:  Clinton vs. Trump. 6pm. On pretty much every channel except ESPN. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Save the date, because you're invited!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Careful What You Like


  • A State Bar of Nevada disciplinary hearing for Jacob Hafter started yesterday. [RJ]
  • Attorney Erika Ballou ended up removing her Black Lives Matter button. [RJ]
  • If you live in Assembly District 1 or 5 and want to get appointed to the Legislature, now's your chance to apply. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Pro-tip:  Your children's online actions may affect your political race. [KNPR]

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Autumnal Equinox 2016


  • Interviews of applicants for the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Nancy Saitta will be conducted on October 17-18. [nvcourts.gov]
  • Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Barlow is being investigated by the FBI. Who is his attorney? [RJ]
  • Things are falling into place for Governor Sandoval to call a special session on the NFL stadium proposal to take place as soon as October 7. That means he has the votes right? [RJ]
  • Is wearing a Black Lives Matter button more a statement of solidarity than a political statement? [RJ; Las Vegas Sun; Fox5Vegas]

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Buttons In Court


  • One of the nation's most popular governors appointed his current general counsel, Joe Reynolds, to the Nevada PUC. Daniel Stewart will take over as Sandoval's general counsel on October 3. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Controversy is brewing over whether defense attorneys can wear "Black Lives Matter" pins in court after an incident between Judge Douglas Herndon and deputy public defender Erika Ballou. What do you think? Is this political speech? Is there any harm with wearing a button like this outside the presence of a jury? [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Downtown will be extra difficult this weekend with Life Is Beautiful festival going on.  How is it affecting your practice?

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Job Tips: Flexing Your Schedule

A reader wants your input on attorney schedules--specifically wondering about flexibility concerning the workday for attorneys and whether they are expected to be present from 8 to 5 or if they can set their own schedule (assuming they are present for court and meetings).  How does it work for you? Do you have to "use leave" for doctor appointments? If you work large numbers of hours in the early week and finish a huge project, etc., can you take a three-day weekend without "using leave?" Do you have to "use leave" at all or do you just come and go as you please so long as you meet your hours? It be would helpful if you identify whether you are an associate or partner and whether you are in private practice or are working for the government.

Monday, September 19, 2016

If We Build It, Will They Come?


  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reminds everyone that his preference is that the Raiders stay in Oakland. [FoxSports]
  • A quick look at jury duty. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • The Top 10 misconceptions about jury duty. [eighthjdcourt blog]
  • What else is going on this week?

Friday, September 16, 2016

Hail To The New Chief


  • Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez will become District Court Chief Judge on January 1, 2017. [eighthjdcourt blog]
  • A grand jury is targeting the husband in the death of a lawyer and North Las Vegas justice court pro tem judge after her death had previously been ruled a suicide. [RJ and a second article about her parents]
  • The More Cops tax hike is on its way to the legislature--along with a stadium. [RJ; Las Vegas Sun]
  • Former AG and current senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto is against recreational marijuana and public money for an NFL stadium. [Las Vegas Sun]

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Never Change


  • A judge ruled that the energy rate increase for rooftop solar customers followed an unlawful procedure. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Today's the day the SNTIC may vote on the stadium proposals. [RJ]
  • UNLV to spend $50,000 to update Hey Reb! [KNPR]
  • What you need to know about changes to discovery reports and recommendations submitted to the discovery commissioner. [eighthjdcourt blog]
  • Binding versus persuasive authority. [Compelling Discovery]

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Job Tips: Time For Change

One of our readers wants your input on the best time to change firms. There is some conventional wisdom indicating that leaving during the third or fourth quarter of a year doesn't make any sense if you've got a healthy bonus on the line.  Under what circumstances would you be willing to leave this late in the year? Does it make a difference if you're a partner with the firm? Is there ever really a good time to leave? What factors should one consider in making a decision?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Something Knights


  • Deal reached for NV Energy to grandfather in rates for some solar customers. [RJ]
  • Why didn't someone tell us about this very important advisory opinion from the Standing Committee on Judicial Ethics sooner? Good thing we didn't follow through with that plan to invite all the judges to vote on the Oscar for Best Performance by an Attorney. [JE16-002]
  • Opening statements in the Bundy brothers' trial starts in Oregon today. [RJ]
  • Adam Laxalt has taken his "AG for a Day" show on the road. [RJ]
  • The Las Vegas Something Knights? [thesinbin]
  • Titlemax is seeking judicial review of a decision ordering them to refund over 6,000 loans. [RJ]

Monday, September 12, 2016

15 Years Later


  • The nine applicants for the open seat on the Nevada Supreme Court are:
    • Michael Edward Buckley, 66, Las Vegas, Attorney
    • Elissa F. Cadish, 52, Las Vegas, Judge
    • Harriet E. Cummings, 56, Carson City, Attorney
    • Chris William Davis, 56, Las Vegas, Attorney
    • Mark Ralph Denton, 65, Las Vegas, Judge
    • Susan Holland Johnson, 57, Henderson, Judge
    • Michael King Powell, 68, Gardnerville, Attorney
    • Lidia S. Stiglich, 46, Reno, Judge
    • Paul Gordon Taggart, 50, Washoe Valley, Attorney
  • All of the applications, with the exceptions of medical records and personal identification information, will be available on the Supreme Court website.  The Commission invites written public comments about the qualifications of the applicants. As noted in the rules of the Commission on Judicial Selection, letters may remain confidential if requested by the letter writer; however, the contents may be discussed with the applicant during executive session. Anonymous letters may not be considered at the discretion of the Commissioners.
    Submit written comments regarding the applicants by 5 p.m. on October 14 to:

    Robin Sweet
    Secretary, Commission on Judicial Selection
    Nevada Supreme Court
    201 S. Carson St., Suite 250
    Carson City, Nevada, 89701

    The Commission will deliberate and nominate three finalists for each open seat. Those names will be submitted to Governor Brian Sandoval for the appointment.  Of course, your are also welcome to comment on the applicants below.
  • Attorneys weighed in on Friday on the need for bar guidance on medical marijuana issues. [RJ]
  • Greg Giordano is chief editor on a new practice guide on gaming law. [RJ]
  • We've got some news for you on the Morris Law Group joining up with Snell Wilmer. Apparently, the crew from Morris have already completed their Snell training and will start moving in today with their official start date on Thursday. For those of you wondering whether Steve Morris will be bringing his dog to the new office, not everyone at Snell is in favor, but apparently he is pushing the issue with Hughes Center management.  Finally, one of the downsides of mergers (or any job change for that matter) is that it creates new conflicts. Justice Kris Pickering (who is married to Steve Morris), recuses herself from any matters involving his firm. Although the merger hasn't officially happened yet, she recused herself from oral argument on Thursday in an HOA case in which Snell represents Wells Fargo. Pickering was in the SFR Investments 4-3 majority (which also included the now retired Justice Saitta) and, based on the oral argument, it appeared that Justice Hardesty (also in the SFR majority) was trying to find a reason to not reach the constitutional arguments against NRS 116. This was somewhat bizarre, given the scores of HOA cases on appeal making similar constitutional arguments. Perhaps he did this so that the court could wait until a non-Snell case comes up so that Pickering could join in the decision?
  • Lastly, we just want to take a moment and acknowledge that yesterday was the 15-year anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001. Never forget.