Friday, April 28, 2017

And Then There Were Two

A lot of discussion was had here after hours yesterday, but in case you missed it, Governor Sandoval selected Tierra Jones and Mark Bailus for appointment to the Clark County District Court yesterday.  Judges Jones and Bailus will fill vacancies left by the former Judges Jessie Walsh and David Barker. [LVRJ]

Speaking of Tierra Jones, good news if you are a fan of Las Vegas Law - the "reality" television show about the Clark County district attorney’s office - the Supreme Court of Nevada ruled unanimously yesterday that Las Vegas Law is "a news program", meaning that the show and production company meet the definition of news, so they can continue filming and producing, despite objections from the defense bar.  Season two is due out later this year. [LVRJ]

Speaking of bars, side bar - someone recently asked us to do a post soliciting suggestions/discussion on firm websites.  Apparently they are looking to revamp theirs.  I know we've had this discussion before, but anyone care to comment on who's doing websites right, or wrong these days?
  

24 comments:

  1. Regarding Board of Governors elections - I am interested in voting for candidates who are willing to shake up the status quo in general and who are willing to critically examine our dues and bar expenses in particular. I think the bar convention is a huge boondoggle for judges, bar staff, the board of governors, and a few elite attorneys. It serves only a few hundred people, at great expense. The CLE programs are overpriced. We have among the highest dues in the country - there should be a serious explanation of why this is the case. The bios sent by the candidates provide very little information. I would love to hear from candidates about their positions on issues involving the state bar. Short of that, does anyone have suggestions on candidates who will perform a governing role instead of just showing up for parties and expense-paid meetings?

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    1. When some of them campaign to be elected, they reference some of the critical issues you mention. But then once elected they fall into lock step with the status quo of the Board, and none of the issues you mentioned get addressed in any meaningful fashion. Once they are on the panel, they don't want to rock the boat, but instead wish to lay low and not attract any adverse attention for being controversial.

      The only thing I can think of is to vote for newcomers who are not yet on the Board. When those individuals claim they will shake things up if elected, there is at least a chance that one or more of them may eventually do something worthwhile. However, beware of incumbents who claim to be holy crusaders for the issues of importance to us, and who also claim to be vigilant guardians of the dues we pay, etc. Any incumbent who claims that is either lying to you or, has deluded themselves IMO.

      Think of it as being like The U.S. House of Representatives. Often, young up and coming politicians, who hope to have a bright future, will, during elections, yip and howl about how they are going to Washington in order to clean up Washington, that we are all sick of business as usual, and that a new broom sweeps clean, that they will work to fundamentally change Congress and work toward cleaning out all the corruption, etc. They also claim they will be a vociferous fighter for particular critical issues affecting the state they are from.

      However, once elected, they become meek, useless back-benchers, in order to assure their own existence. They wind up fighting for absolutely nothing they promised they would fight for. They do nothing about the issues affecting their own state, because Congressional leadership has no interest in such agendas.

      They know that if they open their mouth, act independent, or make any waves, that they will never climb the congressional ladder, will receive no desirable committee assignments, party leadership will target them for defeat in their next primary election, etc.

      So, anyone in Congress who tells you they are fighting for you is probably lying to you. If they were fighting for you and the State, they would be long gone. The fact they are still in Congress is not a testament to their principles, crusading skills, or fighting spirit. Instead, the fact they are still there is a testament to the fact they do nothing to help the people from their state, and in fact will sell out the people and interests of their state if they must do so in order to suck up to leadership.

      I have always thought of the Board Of Governors the same way. I never saw one of them ever take a principled stand which is in the best interests of lawyers in general,but which is not supported by most of the Board. They will always go along to get along, in order to assure their own political survival at our expense.

      The only time we hear of incumbent Board Of Governors supposedly fighting for the Bar, is when they are seeking re-election, and send out mailers with the grossly false claim that they have been a non-stop fighter for our interests. If any of those claims were true, there would have been significant progress on all the issues you list. But there clearly has not been.

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  2. I join you in wanting people to shake up the status quo and really make the Bar active. I am interested in candidates who are committed to replacing Kim Farmer, who has truly run the Bar into the ground and whose one achievement is getting a much nicer office for herself. I am interested in candidates who plan to make LRE (Law Related Education) self-sustaining again rather than subsidized by other Bar Programs (yes you are paying part of your dues to subsidize a program that puts on overpriced CLEs). I am interested in candidates that will fire Stan Hunterton; the entire Stan experiment has been a lesson in frustration and futility. As far as the State Bar convention, I do not want to scrap it, but I certainly want to make it self-sustaining and get rid of the expense-paid trips for staff and BOG members.

    If the convention is being held in a location that BOG members and jurists cannot afford to attend on their own dime, then it is being held in a location that is too expensive for them to attend on my dime.

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    1. LRE is not CLE. LRE puts on programs for high school students and elementary students-We the People, Mock Trial, Project Citizen. I agree that the Bar's CLEs should support themselves. If people don't want to come to them, improve them.

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    2. I think CLE actually makes money for the Bar.

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    3. Obviously I’m not an attorney, but I have some reasonable experience, including presiding over them, with real conventions, not just vacations masquerading as a convention. Here are my tough love suggestions to Nevada’s attorneys for state bar convention reform.

      • Do them in Nevada. Based on population, every third year in Washoe County and the others in Clark.
      • Don’t use a separate stand alone convention center, hold the convention in a full service hotel.
      • Book a decent hotel with good amenities and service, but don’t go overboard with a five diamond property.
      • Forget entertainment, dances, banquets, etc. Simple and fast buffets in the back of the convention hall for breakfast and lunch, maybe a nice dinner when you’re done.
      • Keep the guest speakers to no more than two and don’t let them speak more than 20 minutes.
      • A real convention is about work. Make the convention primarily about two things, the business operations of the state bar including budget, CLE, etc., and about adopting formal resolutions on public policy and legislation affecting the law.
      • You can have fluff before and after the convention but make the convention itself just one day.
      • Elect governors for staggered terms at the conventions. Require members to attend the convention in order to vote for the governors, except for members who reside outside the county where the convention is being held.

      Good luck.

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  3. I will vote for all new members of the Board of Governors. I am tired of the Quacks we already have. New blood is good and yes, Kim Farmer at the State Bar has got to go.

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  4. My desires for the State Bar are simple..

    1) Devote the time, energy and resources to make sure all applicants are honest, competent and qualified to be licensed;
    2) Investigate allegations of misconduct by those granted a license, and investigate/propose discipline against those that violate the rules of professional conduct;
    3) Investigate allegations of UPL and assist law enforcement with criminal prosecutions when it occurs;
    4) Negotiate group benefits with vendors for services desired by the membership;
    5) Coordinate the dissemination of information to the membership (Discounts, CLE Opportunities, Employment Opportunities, etc.)

    Leave sponsoring CLE, conventions, etc. to the private sector or the group of individuals affected.

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  5. TIERRA ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Any information or news about that trial in Judge Eric Johnson's courtroom involving
    Padda and Josh Aicklen that resulted in a huge verdict. Did I hear that right--160 million. Details. Anyone???

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    1. https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/the-strip/attack-at-las-vegas-strip-nightclub-leads-to-160m-verdict/

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    2. Lol $160M over security beating a guy? I guess the moral of the story is if you're gonna tort someone don't tort a hedge fund manager.

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    3. The best part is that Padda wasn't the reason for the verdict. That case was 100% Panish, the PI Guru from LA, but Padda clearly is good at juicing the RJ to yadda yadda over the best part.

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    4. Any idea of what Padda's cut will be? What's the going rate for associating with an out-of-state attorney? And Padda will surely use this verdict to his advantage even if he didn't really contribute. Kinda like how he touts himself as a "former federal prosecutor" yet did pretty much zilch while he was there.

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    5. I heard they argued puntives this morning. Any word on what happened there? The local papers are, of course, useless as always.

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    6. RJ just reported that the two sides reached a settlement while jury was deliberating punitives. Story quotes a member of the jury who said she would have been willing to go for $400 million in punitives and that 6/8 jurors had already agreed on at least 38 million in punis. Curious what you guys think about decision to settle from plaintiffs standpoint

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    7. "That case was 100% Panish."

      Incorrect. It was another partner from Panish's firm.

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    8. Decision to settle? You just got more money that the Nevada Supreme Court would have affirmed on appeal or likely than Johnson would have allowed under remittitur and have gotten more press than you would get allowing any further proceedings. And you now get to put on all of your marketing materials that you got $160M for your client. Yeah brilliant move by Plaintiffs.

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    9. The number of press clippings would have been the same. Settlement produced one story. Decision of punis would have produced one story.

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  7. Blog is doing web sites wrong.

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  8. @11:40 please explain

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  9. Does anyone have the skinny on that 160 million dollar verdict involving the Marquee nightclub/Cosmopolitan. The case was indeed brought by Paul Padda. Both sides brought in attorneys for their parties. Incredible result. One of the largest ever presumably. When a case like that settles, what range is it likely to settle at with punitive damages pending. How much insurance and how many levels of insurance were ponied up? What was going on with the attempted recusal of the judge?

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  10. Does anyone have the skinny on that 160 million dollar verdict involving the Marquee nightclub/Cosmopolitan. The case was indeed brought by Paul Padda. Both sides brought in attorneys for their parties. Incredible result. One of the largest ever presumably. When a case like that settles, what range is it likely to settle at with punitive damages pending. How much insurance and how many levels of insurance were ponied up? What was going on with the attempted recusal of the judge?

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