Friday, January 6, 2017

Judicial Drones


  • Judge Jessie Walsh is retiring next week. [RJ]
  • There is a scandal heating up over at the Nevada Dental Board regarding attorney John Hunt and his conflicting roles of "outside counsel" and "general counsel." [WorldHealth.net]
  • As was already mentioned in our comments, there is a lot of changing of courtrooms going on this weekend. Make sure you check this out before heading to court next week. [eighthjdcourt blog]
  • Bita Yeager has been named as the hearing master for specialty courts. [eighthjdcourt blog]
  • Jurors will hear details about a rape fantasy in the "War Machine" case. [RJ]

35 comments:

  1. Walsh is no big loss.

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    1. On the other hand Bita Yeager was a loss to the bench. But from what I've heard we can certainly use some good hearing masters, so good for her.

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    2. I'm guessing Walsh has plenty of time in for a pension, so why not take it and then get paid to be a Senior Judge?

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    3. Prediction: she goes to work for E&P. Why not? It seems like she's effectively been working there for decades.

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    4. She has no need to work at E&P. She is financially fine.

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    5. Doesn't the relationship between E&P and Walsh violate the law forbidding the ownership of human beings?

      Who will be the next judicial asset of E&P? Who could possible fill the hole in the plaintiff's bar left by her?

      The defense bar wins this one!

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    6. I'm sure they can afford a replacement.

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    7. She was so awful, arguably one of the worst judges in Nevada history. Buh bye.

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    8. 10:58 may have missed the point 10:11 was making. 10:11 states that the Judge may as well go to work for E & P since she has "effectively been working there for decades." 10:58 then responds that Walsh will be fine enough financially that she need not go to work anywhere.I would suggest that 10:58 concentrates on not always taking all suggestions as being literal, and try to develop the ability to think in intangibles and understand when one is trying to make a point, rather than an actual suggestion. 10:11 is merely offering his view point that he believes the judge was in the bag for that firm, or at least afforded them a significant advantage and preferential treatment.
      And because he chose to make that point in a humorous, satirical, biting manner, 10:58 misunderstood the point. 10:11 was not really suggesting that she work at P & E, or any place else. He was merely taking a swipe at the judge. Do you always react in such an extremely concrete, tangible, non-interpretive manner to all representations in legal briefs, questions and observations from judges, and the like? If so, I hope no one, when speaking to you, ever offers a cliché, figure-of-speech, idiomatic expression, simile, metaphor, symbolism, satire, sarcasm, exaggeration, hyperbole, etc. If someone, on a 110 degree day said "it's hot as hell outside today", you would probably respond that according to certain theological writings throughout the ages, that Hell is probably substantially hotter than August in Nevada.

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    9. 4:04 I hope you're trying to be ironic. If not, I think you missed 10:58's point.

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    10. I heard an interesting rumor today - that Judge Walsh was off the bench living in Florida for some time, letting Deputy Diamond rule the roust, before Judge Gonzalez called her and asked WTF, to which Walsh replied, "Oh, I am retiring ..." Anyone know if there is any truth to that story?

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    11. Yes there is truth to the story because Judge Gonzalez (as then-Chief Civil) was getting complaints that pleadings were taking an inordinately long amount of time to be processed and hearings were taking forever to be scheduled. An Ex Parte Application for Writ of Attachment based upon monies being stolen took 90 days to process (at which time the monies were gone). A Default Judgment prove-up was set 75 days after filing. And Judge Walsh was nowhere to be found. Plus the loss of Jeri Winter meant that half of the team that was always running Dept. X was already gone. She kept up the charade into the New Year when she was able to retire.

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  2. What does a hearing master in specialty courts do? I'm all for Bita, but those judges seem to do less and less.

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  3. I think there's a lot of status checks, checking in, seeing how you are doing, etc. which occurs in specialty courts. So most in-court time is spent on actual litigation and these specialty issues are handled by people with more time i.e. hearing masters.

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  4. Interesting article about Hunt, although the source/link appears to largely be a forum for homeopathy and other forms of quackery.

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    1. At least the part about the board putting out notice for "general counsel" is true. It's on their website. Sounds like Nevada through and through.

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    2. Someone should share the AG Opinion and policy with Michelle Briggs at the AG's Office who is a one-woman ethical nightmare within that office.

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    3. The entire AG's Office is an ethical nightmare. They have done horrific things to me on multiple occasions to the point where I've reported them to the State Bar--who of course responded with a letter saying that no action will be taken. Awesome.

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    4. Same. State Bar has written and then called me back and said "Yeah that was pretty dirty but c'mon....It is the AG. You don't really expect us to police them do you?"

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  5. Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting, great. More violence.

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    1. I was surprised to see that Florida has a Democrat for a senator. Was down there a few years ago and every other billboard had a dead fetus pic on it for pro-lifers.

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    2. Dead fetus = you concede that it was alive at some point.

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    3. Dude, you need to chill.

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    4. Plants are alive. Animals are alive. Human tissue like skin or organs can be referred to as alive or dead. Your position is not persuasive.

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  6. I am waiting for the assholes to crawl out of the word work to encourage Graham to commit suicide, which is WRONG. Seeing a disturbing pattern here on these posts that is sad commentary of our profession. I also feel bad the poor man who run over by M. Borders.

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  7. You're 100% correct. Their suggestions,(even if not meant literally , but rather a display of their intense anger and repulsion toward someone who may well have ripped off millions from very needy people), are despicable beyond contempt.

    Harm coming to Mr.Graham may be the pound of flesh these bloggers would like to see, but it would accomplish nothing except to devastate, and quite possibly destroy, his family. But it would not put a nickel back in the pocket of any victim
    I fully agree that if the facts are as presented, Mr. Graham should be harshly punished, and probably to a greater extent than will happen if any criminal proceedings are limited to State Court.
    Without Federal involvement, and Federal prosecution and sentencing, it's unlikely that he would receive an extremely long sentence in State Court--certainly not a sentence commensurate with the degree and extent of losses, which is mind-boggling. He will receive single digit years. Not only will he not serve 10 years or more if limited to the State System, but he will actually serve far less than 10 years. That, I agree, is an injustice, and a disproportionately light sentence. But to wish death to him for financial crimes, no matter how extensive the financial losses are, is disturbing to me beyond measure. In fact, the victims who have been interviewed don't seem bent on retribution, and acknowledge that him serving time in prison doesn't give them much satisfaction, and certainly doesn't restore any of their loses. These are utterly devastated people, and are the direct victims of this. None of them said anything remotely about wishing death or serious physical harm to him, so it is extremely warped that supposedly educated, enlightened members of the legal community are making these hideous observations.

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    1. 4:28 You are correct in that members of the Las Vegas legal community are "supposedly educated and enlightened".
      It's because of these types of elitist comments by attorneys such as yourself regarding attorneys as a whole that bring the real truth to the surface.
      As a fellow practicing attorney myself with over 30 years of experience in a broad range of legal practice areas, I can attest that the "ego mania" that exists within the attorney career culture is little more than a very thin veil to try and hide the enormous amount of personal self insecurity and personal self loathing that most attorneys are challenged to overcome.
      The statistical facts (choose whomever stats on the subject you wish) clearly point to this being the case as it relates to the epidemic alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction, divorce rates, anxiety disorders, and ironic to your comments ... SUICIDE RATES! for such an educated and enlightened group of what some say are professionals.
      At the end of every day, we are all just a group of people who are attorneys trying to make a buck. People such as Graham choose to use their position as a legal professional to commit criminal acts and he is hardly alone in Las Vegas!
      If he has any honor at all, and since he will NEVER pay full restitution to his chosen victims, including his now displaced and labeled former employees!, then your comments about morality and what is wrong with others expressing their position that if he were to choose to end is own life is moot.
      His choices are not defensible and should never be tolerated by anyone let alone the local legal community.
      I don't care what becomes of Graham, his wife, or his family, and before you question my morality, my ethics, or whether you believe that I am warped ... I have reached out to the Cassady's and offered my services pro bono and my firm's resources to assist with those clients that have had their family's lives destroyed by Mr. Graham. Have you?
      Shut the Fuck UP! with your State vs. Fed sentencing guidelines analysis.
      There will be a special welcoming party of fellow inmates at whatever state institution he serves his time at. There is a lot that can be accomplished by making sure that his fellow cellmate bunk buddy's commissary book is well financed.
      In the real world, far from the confines of courtrooms and conference tables, neither Mr. Graham or yourself would last much longer than 10 minutes no matter how supposedly educated or enlightened that you are as an attorney.

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  8. Come on it's Vegas let's figure out the odds on this. Put me down for he serves at least 15 years before any parole.

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    1. Rob Graham--In state court proceedings he will receive about 8 years with a plea agreement. It is going to depend on how much can be given back or located for the victims. The Clark County DA and the State of Nevada have upstaged the Feds and moved quickly. That being said, federal prison is much more comfortable and nicer. State prison when placed in the general population is quite harsh downright awful. Graham will be housed with street thugs and repeaters. In the federal system they call some places "Club Fed." No such label for the State. It is going to turn on whether Graham spent all the money as he was going along such as to support his overhead and extravagant lifestyle. Further there is nothing to stop the Feds from bringing their own case. Not sure if the State and the Feds worked this out. Generally, when one law enforcement agency brings an action, the other one (in this case) the Feds defer. Don't forget their could be victims in Utah and Colorado. He could be looking at state and federal proceedings.

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    2. He could end up with what appears to be a long sentence in State Court but in reality is mostly a suspended sentence as the State puts an emphasis on restitution to the victims (cannot do restitution behind bars). I expect a sentence of 120-180 months under a plea agreement in State Court, but expect him to actually serve around 2-4 years with the rest suspended.

      I ran a projected calculation in the Federal System (which uses intended loss rather than actual loss) and he could easily end up under Federal plea between 17-22 years. While there are "Club Fed" facilities, those are the camps which you are only eligible for if you have less than 10 years left on your sentence so he would end up in Big Boy Federal facilities. I suspect Graham pre-calculated all of this and intentionally handed himself over to the District Attorney to try to stay away from the Feds.

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    3. Depends on how they charge Rob Graham--one count or multiple counts. They could stack charges and make sentences run consecutively. Each and every theft could be a separate count. State said more charges coming. Obviously federal system is more draconian and will produce a longer sentence. Just about every sitting federal judge would show him no leniency and throw the book at him. The feds still have plenty opportunity to charge if they so chose.

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    4. Feds can charge him but probably will not. Rare that you get charged at both levels.

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    5. Restitution is a fairy tale at these levels. See, e.g. Gerry Zobrist's order of restitution for $30 million. That simply won't happen in any meaningful amount.

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    6. But Zobrist's Order is precisely illustrative of the ruse which is "intended loss" restitution. There were $30MM in loans involved in Gerry's case. No one actually lost $30M. But they set it up that there were $30M in loans so that should be an appropriate measure of damages.

      However state court judges have suspended sentences for long periods of time to allow restitution payments (see e.g. Case No. C-14-301201-1 where Earley sentenced mortgage fraud defendant to "MINIMUM of NINETY-SIX (96) MONTHS and a MAXIMUM of TWO HUNDRED FORTY (240) MONTHS in the Nevada Department of Corrections (NDC), SUSPENDED; placed on PROBATION for an indeterminate period not to exceed FIVE (5) YEARS" so Defendant could try to pay restitution.

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    7. 1:01-tell that to Dr. Desai

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