Friday, May 27, 2016

Lawyer Smart

If you want to discuss a single characteristic of some lawyers, how about telling us who is lawyer smart? Is lawyer smart more or less than real world smart? Is lawyer smart more about strategy or knowledge of the rules or what?

Also:

  • here is the silent video of the interaction between Judge Hafen and Zohra Bakhtary, along with a statement from the Clark County Defenders Union. [RJ]
  • Here's an open letter to "Conrad" from the National Association for Public Defense. 
  • Judge Gonzalez rejected a motion to sever Elaine Wynn's claims in the Wynn v. Okada case. [RJ]

82 comments:

  1. A wise man once said, "if you know the rules you are already better than half the lawyers out there."

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    1. A wise person once said, "Don't vote for Conrad Hafen, or Eric Johnson."

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    2. If you have the time, google Conrad Hafen, and you will see his tweets, about 25, they are entertaining.

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  2. I just had a hunch that this Zohra clown was either a Boyd 2013 graduate or a Thomas Cooley clown. Sure enough...Cooley graduate. What do they teach at that half ass school? Was she the affirmative action hire at the PD office?

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    1. Finally, the bottom of the barrel has been scraped.

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    2. Wow. Just, wow.

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  3. 8:59, are you referring to the bottom of the barrel of comments, i.e., the "affirmative action hire" comment or the bottom of the barrel of lawyers, i.e., Cooley grads who don't know enough not to interrupt a judge?

    9:09, "Wow" is not an argument. Presumably, you're offended by the "affirmative action hire" comment. The comment shouldn't be so surprising. There's no direct evidence of it here, but there is circumstantial evidence, i.e., Cooley grad plus not enough sense not to interrupt or lie to a judge. The inference 8:41 drew is that those indicators of a poorly qualified lawyer plus the attorney's race imply she may have been hired for reasons other than qualifications. There's no direct evidence of that in this particular case, but it's not exactly an outlandish hypothesis. Affirmative action is a thing, you know. Again, the available evidence isn't enough to justify a conclusion, but it is some evidence. On the other hand, based on the fact that the PD office supports her even in light of the evidence (assuming it's not just blind, knee-jerk support for their gal, which would itself be troubling) tends to show that her skill (or lack thereof) as an attorney is par for the course at the PD office.

    P.S., this is not 8:41.

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    1. 9:41 is either Conrad Hafen or Mark Manendo. This blog shows the bigotry female attorneys face in this profession, in 2016. Disgusting.

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    2. An exclamation of disgust is not an argument. Nor are ad hominem attacks of "bigotry." Maybe if you tried an actual argument once in a while instead of insults and complaints against your opponent and the system, you might fare better as an attorney.

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    3. 9:59, I am a successful attorney, who has a much higher IQ than you would ever dream, you piece of shit. Go crawl under the Utah rock you came from.

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    4. Thank you, Sandoval, we have bigots like 9:59, aka, Conrad Hafen on the bench. Eric Johnson is not much better. Discriminate against women and minorities, nice.

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    5. Wait a second. How is Sandoval involved in Hafen? Hafen wasn't appointed, he ran in 2010.

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    6. 10:02, still no arguments, and when someone points out the fact, you resort to profanity. It doesn't matter how high your IQ is, frankly, although your reactions are some evidence that it isn't that high. If you resort to ad hominem attacks and profanity in the face of contrary arguments, your IQ isn't doing you any good.

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    7. Ohhhh, you're one of those. One of those people who say something sexist/racist, and then when people get angry and point out that you said something racist or sexist, you're all "Wah, wah, wah. Boo hoo. Why won't have a civilized discussion with me? You people are sooooooo emotional."

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    8. 10:29, fuck you! Your bigotry shows your low IQ.

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    9. 10:29, several facts were pointed out to you. You come from hill people, you are a bigot, and you have a low IQ. You make yourself an easy target. Keep giving me ammo to use against you. It is easy.

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    10. Okay, so we only have Sandoval to blame for Eric Johnson. That is bad enough.

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    11. How about this for an argument 10:29? You don't deserve to have a logical argument put back to you. You don't want to actually have a logical discussion or you wouldn't have posted what you did. You're not somebody who could be persuaded by logical arguments or you wouldn't have posted what you did. How do I know this? Because you're a grown-ass lawyer (you claim) who's had their whole goddam life to learn about and understand racism and sexism. So if you haven't done it by now, it's because you don't want to. And they only reason your posting this crap on this blog is because you want to lash out at all those women and POC who DARE (and really, how dare they?) occupy the same professional space that you do. So you post something to denigrate people and you hope, you really hope, that they respond so that you can condescend to them make yourself feel better about your innate superiority. So quit your blubbering about how people are swearing at you (My heavens! Bring the fainting couch!) and won't respond to the merits of your post. You're getting exactly the response that you deserve.

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    12. 10:43 and 10:52, Amen!

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    13. A double-ad hominem profanity. We have a winner! Again, I am not 8:41 (not that I think 8:41 is necessarily a bigot). A bigot is someone who dislikes, distrusts, etc. people of a particular persuasion (race, gender, etc.) wholesale without individual consideration. I challenge you to identify any such judgments I made about any group of people in any comment above. I identified the fact that affirmative action exists, which is not disputable. I also noted that 8:41 was combining this fact with the facts that the lawyer in question went to a very poorly regarded law school (are we really going to argue the merits of Cooley?) and had misbehaved in court. The latter fact is at least debatable, although it's a hard sell that she wasn't contemptuous, but I've yet to see any actual debate, at least in this thread. The inference 8:41 had drawn, which I twice noted there was no direct evidence for but was not the outlandish hypothesis a couple commenters had made it out to be, was that she may have been hired for reasons other than relevant qualifications. You then started calling people names, and when I called you out for not arguing the issue but only calling people names, you just started sprinkling profanity onto the name-calling. You also seem to be obsessed with IQ. IQ has nothing to do with winning a debate, although all things being equal the higher IQ person probably has a better chance at coming to a correct conclusion based on evidence and reason. Having said that--and I hate to even take the bait, but I'll indulge your obsession--my IQ is about 150. Again, that doesn't mean I'm right, and it doesn't mean you're wrong, whether your IQ is 75 or 180.

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    14. 11:02, ass wipe, go buy a clue.

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    15. 11:02, your idiocy is helping all the minority causes, keep it up.

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    16. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWdd6_ZxX8c

      Yeah, well, that's just like, you're opinion, man.

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    17. I've had my whole life to learn about racism and sexism. Therefore, it's my fault that I don't realize that when a lawyer repeatedly interrupts a judge when being repeatedly warned to stop and the judge takes action against her, it has nothing to do with contempt and only to do with the parties' race, gender, etc. Got it. Talk about fainting couches. Get over yourself. People need to take responsibility for their actions and stop screaming "fill-in-the-blank-ism" when things don't go their way. You identify a case where this judge was treated with contempt in a similar way by a man or a person of a different race and he let it slide, and I'll listen to your -ism arguments. Seriously, I will.

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    18. 11:15, you keep showing your low IQ. Tony May must have been your bar examiner.

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    19. I don't think the Clark County Public Defender's Office has a problem with satisfying affirmative action quotas. Zohra got hired because of who she is and who she worked for, she's not dumb. The head of the City of Las Vegas Criminal Division is a Cooley grad, also not dumb. I am not a Cooley grad, I went to a first tier school, but I have found that irrespective of where you went to school, you're either good or you're not. One of the sloppiest lawyers I know is an Ivy Leaguer. Actually, two of the dumbest attorneys I know are Ivy Leaguers. The idea that you are saying the ad hominem attack refutes the racist argument made (I don't see the sexist part of it to be honest) is dumbfounding. Saying a person got a job based on affirmative action is subtext for "brown person isn't qualified." That's offensive. And to be honest, the best argument made was "wow".

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    20. When affirmative action is finally outlawed, these kinds of arguments won't be possible.

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    21. 11:26, it's not subtext, it's direct text, and it's only offensive if it isn't true. If it is true, then the fact that more qualified persons got passed over because of their race is what is offensive (to put it in your terms, the "subtext" would be "screw the white person"). No one here seems to claim they know what the PD's affirmative action policies or practices are or whether the attorney here benefitted from any such policies. 8:41 made an assumption (well, asked a question) based on the little information we have from the articles. It would be enough to say, "That's possible, of course, but without any more evidence than a Cooley grad's contemptuous behavior in court, you can't conclude the lawyer is not qualified to work at the PD's office or that she benefitted from any affirmative action policies." There's no evidence of affirmative action hiring here, but although 8:41's comment was provocative, it was hardly beyond the bounds of rational hypothesis.

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  4. 9:41 here again. I should add that I agree the judge didn't handle the situation gracefully. He should have continued the hearing and found her in contempt, giving her a small fine, which could be escalated if she continued to run her mouth. He should have maybe even removed her from the case so as not to have tainted the client's cause.

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  5. On the Hafen-Bakhtary issue, I actually think blame lies with both. This is coming from perhaps an outsider, as I practice primarily in Bankruptcy Court, which is kinda federal court (ok, and kinda not), but I know that in that Court there is no way in hell you talk over or interrupt a judge. Ever. If you do you will get your ass handed to you. In other words, I have an issue with an attorney interrupting a judge--the courtroom is the judge's dojo--which is clearly what this attorney was doing. That having been said, the Judge should also allow the attorney to make his or her argument, fully and completely (within reason of course). Here it would seem that Judge Hafen did not allow a full argument in defense as well, so bad judge too. In short, I think both have some fault. I think a much better way for the Judge to handle this is to not handcuff someone obviously, but to say stop, take a deep breath and start over. Instead, handcuffs seems like a pissing contest and the judge will always be able to piss farther...

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    1. You're dead on. She screwed up by instantly conceding to the new citation instead of asking for a moment to investigate it and speak with her client. What she did was not good lawyering. BUT, Hafen acted like a total jackass and was way out of line.

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    2. Absolutely. And unfortunately (while we all are professionals) yes I hold the Judge to a higher standard. Bad lawyering. She made a mistake. He could have halted the proceedings and brought her and DDA to the bench and admonished her. He could have reprimanded her and said "Counsel, we are headed down a slippery slope here if you keep interrupting me...." He could have shown the exact control that he was trying to exert. Power is the ability to control the situation without force, not the exercise of unnecessary force.

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    3. The fuck you to the troll was the best for me. Short and to the point, and is well deserved.

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    4. Fuck you. Blow me. Eat shit. Go to hell! I just won every argument ever.

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    5. Same to you, buddy. Your bishop is not going to like that.

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    6. You don't continuously interrupt a judge. Ever. Even acting as a zealous advocate for your client - you wait until the judge is done, ask to make your record and then make your arguments. No doubt, he would have let her speak once he was done explaining. You really need to read the transcript.

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    7. "he would have let her speak once he was done explaining." I can see you've never appeared in front of Hafen.

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    8. I just realized I have posted anti-Zohran opinions without addressing the counter point that Judge Squishy Face didn't handle himself well. Squishy obviously refuses to learn how to wield judicial authority. With power comes responsibility. Zohranic Zillas will always terrorize weak judges. Squishy needs to man up.

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  6. Zohra is a cancer on the bar and needs to be reformed or removed. Ridiculous. Shame on the criminal defense bar for falling for this baby Kardashian hissy (or hussy) fit.

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    1. I have decided to run for PD. I am going to fire Zohra and make the PD's office great again!

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    2. 11:32 is what you will get if you vote for Trump or Conrad Hafen.

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    3. You honestly disgust me. "Baby Kardashian" where the hell are you getting that?

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    4. 11:50, good. Trump and Hafen, 11:50 and 11:32.

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    5. Zohra does a great job and tries very hard, unlike many others. Sometimes she may be a bit too much of a Kool-Aid drinker and needs to pick her battles better but the alternative bump-on-a-log PD she is not. Good for her. For a Cooley grad, she is outstanding. Compare her to Barry Levinson et al. You go Zohra!!!

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    6. 11:55, #feelingthejohnsons

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    7. You don't run for PD. You get appointed.

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  7. 11:03 is Conrad Hafen, vote the sexist piece of shit out.

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    1. 11:09 is a misandrious troll! Off to sensitivity camp to increase her concentration! This is a hate free zone.

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    2. 11:12, I am a male, and you are the troll.

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    3. 11:12, go to the Veterans in Politics website, there are some resources there to help you.

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    4. 11:12 - On the link you provided, it shows you how to spell the word correctly, its misandrist. Just sayin...

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    5. Watch it, Mr. Male Misandry Troll! I am about to be offended. You don't want that on you conscience.

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    6. 11:29, 11:12 used the adjective. You used the noun. Just sayin'.

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    7. Yes, I am a male, I know my anatomy, which you are lacking any. You have a low self esteem to treat other human beings the way that you do. There are males who are against discriminating against women and other minorities, so go away.

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    8. Hey, 11:29, you have self-identified as a western, patriarchal oppressor. I am an emancipated free thinker who will not be bogged down by your archaic concepts of "spelling" or "grammar" And don't you dare whip out "logic" on me!

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  8. Dealing with the Judge Gonzalez rulings, I am wondering how she is getting around the jurisdiction issue raised by Elaine Wynn's claims. As her claims arise out of the divorce judgment, it is an issue of interpreting/modifying that underlying judgment.

    NRS 3.223 provides: 1.  Except if the child involved is subject to the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe pursuant to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901 et seq., in each judicial district in which it is established, the family court has original, exclusive jurisdiction in any proceeding:

    (a) Brought pursuant to title 5 of NRS or chapter 31A, 123, 125, 125A, 125B, 125C, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 159, 425 or 432B of NRS, except to the extent that a specific statute authorizes the use of any other judicial or administrative procedure to facilitate the collection of an obligation for support....

    The parties divorce is an action governed by NRS Chapter 125, so it would appear that a motion to interpret/modify the judgment is also controlled by NRS 125. That being said, how does Judge Gonzalez get around the fact that the family court has exclusive jurisdiction in the matter?

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  9. This is basically the best advice when a judge is talking at the same time you are:

    http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/MjAxMi1iYmI0MTIzMjJiMjIwYTMz

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  10. There is so much more to this story than just this little portion of a transcript. Anyone who has ever appeared in front of Hafen will tell you first hand that he constantly interrupts defense counsel and will not allow attorneys to make a proper record. While in civil litigation you can also file a motion for reconsideration, appeal etc, and you can do that in criminal too but to a much more limited extent. Keep in mind if you have to wait until an appeal to make a record, the PDs client sits in jail that entire time.

    Also please take note that not only does Hafen refer to the attorney by her first name, but he interrupts her abut five times too. In fact he asks her a question and then will not allow her to answer it.

    To put it simply, this judge is horrible.

    Oh and for a fun read, google Conrad Hafen twitter. his tweets are hilarious.

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    1. That can't be real. How did that not come out in the election? Terrible spelling and decrying liberalism aren't the worst things in the world, but I figured the evidence would be deleted before an election.

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    2. Because he didn't' campaign at all. Just put his well-known name on the ballot and won.

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    3. I read Hafen's tweets, he scolds Obama and Michele like they will listen to him. Hilarious.

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    4. To be fair, my dad's pretty smart and he'd probably look dumb as hell if he tried to tweet. Olds should just leave social media to their younger underlings.

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  11. The only actual bigotry on this page is anti-Mormon bigotry. Seriously, WTF?

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    1. You read the 58 preceding posts on this blog and concluded that the ONLY actual bigotry on this page is anti-Mormon bigotry?!?! It must be fun to see the world through your eyes!!

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    2. What anti-Mormon bigotry?

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    3. I see references to geography. I guess that is bigotry.

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    4. There is discussion of hill people, I guess that is bigotry.

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    5. Hafen mentions his LDS religion, that must be bigotry.

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    6. Somebody told you to go fuck yourself, deservedly so, I guess that is bigotry.

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  12. It is threads like these that deter me from coming back to this blog.

    Serious question: Why does Hafen look that way? Is that a birth defect or something? Result of a disease? I know basically nothing about him but I'm trying to be diplomatic when I say that he is not fun to look at.

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    1. These two statements seem incongruous. "I don't like coming here because of the argumentative discord. Also, WTF is with Hafen's face?!?!"

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  13. Hafen looks like my dog's asshole.

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  14. I think lawyer smart is something completely different than real world smart. It's a little like street smarts--skills and knowledge applicable to a certain arena. Many of the lawyers I know are of slightly above average intelligence.

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  15. Hafen vs. Zohra "handcuffing" is yet just another example of the eroding social environment of this country. Anyone that is really paying attention and has any ability to comprehend the actions and interactions of people in daily society knows that people have become apathetic as to the values of personal respect, consideration of others , accountability, and basic decency in every possible venue imaginable. The courtroom is no different . Most of us on this blog can remember a time not that long ago when going to a bank, a church , and especially a courtroom ! was an experience that involved people at least acting as if they respected each other. There was also a time when being an attorney ... an officer of the court meant something as well. Everything now is just a "mind fuck" to manipulate people's emotions when most people have no emotional coping skills other than to complain and argue with anyone who will pretend to listen and pretend to care! This profession sucks just as bad as every other profession now sucks because the people who practice in this profession are miserable and lead unrewarding lives because all we do everyday is "mind fuck" ourselves and each other for a buck!

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  16. Since this post was supposed to be about "lawyer smart," I'll just say that I know some lawyers who are both assholes and the opposite of "book smart." Yet they managed to be successful, and have made a lot more money than I have. I consider myself to be intelligent and able to write/research/argue well, but I don't have that "secret sauce" I guess.

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  17. Melanie Kushner from Legal Aid died in a hiking accident at Red Rock yesterday. Tragic loss to our legal community and Legal Aid.

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    1. This is incredibly sad. RIP Melanie.

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    2. What a terrible accident. She did so much good work for our community.

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    3. She was a wonderful person. The legal community and the rest of the world has lost a good one here...

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