Monday, April 17, 2017

Tax Day 2017


Hope you had a nice weekend everyone. Here are a few stories from the end of last week in case you missed them:
  • The Supreme Court of Nevada ruled that elected judges cannot be recalled. [RJ]
  • Go here to make sure you haven't been suspended for failing to pay your CLE fees or report your compliance.
  • The Commission on Judicial Selection selected six individuals to be considered by Governor Sandoval for appointment to the Eighth Judicial District Court:
    • The Commission’s three nominees for Dept. 10, in alphabetical order, are:
      • Terrance Allen Coffing, 52, Las Vegas, attorney
      • Tierra Danielle Jones, 35, Las Vegas, attorney
      • Esther C. Rodriguez, 51, Las Vegas, attorney
    • The Commission’s three nominees for Dept. 18, in alphabetical order, are:
      • Soonhee Bailey, 46, Las Vegas, attorney
      • Mark B. Bailus, 64, Las Vegas, attorney
      • Jay P. Raman, 38, Las Vegas, attorney
  • Today Tomorrow is tax day. Do you do your own taxes? Do you hire a CPA? Or a tax attorney? Any tips?

36 comments:

  1. I don't like the Dept. 18 choices. Was this really the cream of the crop?

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  2. Coffing is going to be a great judge.

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    1. Coffing is certainly taking a pay cut to make this move.

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    2. I agree with what a previous blogger noted. Coffing gets extra points for being unflinchingly candid. On the application, when they asked him about his most note worthy writings, and for a writing sample, he readily conceded that as a partner in a prominent firm, he has not composed his own legal briefs for about a decade. He directs, supervises, edits, modifies, etc. But he does not compose them. Even though presumably these briefs carry his name, he gave all the credit to his associates, and singled them out by name for their exemplary work.

      First time I've seen an attorney be that gracious as to authorship. For example, whenever prominent attorneys are praised in the legal community for prevailing on important cases before the Nevada Supreme Court, they soak up the praise and reognition. I've never heard one say "Well,thanks for the compliment but my associate attorneys, Joe and Sally, conducted all the research and did virtually all the writing."

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    3. Well maybe Coffing did no real legal work and just directed or managed. Is that the best choice to be appointed judge. I mean, I am just asking. A professional manager as judge.

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    4. I would say someone who knows the law enough to edit briefs and then make the arguments in court is the best choice to be appointed judge. Because chances are those briefs and motions were reiterations of things that Terry wrote for Phi Aurbach or Al Marquis when he was writing briefs.

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    5. I'm not suggesting that it makes him more qualified. In fact, the more directly involved he is with the writing then arguably the more qualified he is, while the less directly involved with the writing he is then arguably the less qualified he is.

      I was merely observing that his full acknowledgment that others primarily drafted the briefs was quite refreshing. We know that senior partners of larger, more prominent firms regularly delegate the drafting process. But no one, to my knowledge, ever admitted it before in a judicial application.

      But, admittedly, if he is on the bench, and takes an important matter under submission , I would want him to draft the decision--not a law clerk. This is even more true if it's a bench trial or evidentiary hearing--he would be the one hearing the arguments and witness. Presumably, the law clerk would not be in court very often to hear that evidence. So, I would hope that he now gets into the habit of drafting as it would now be a whole different ball game than his position of supervising attorney. He will no longer be advancing arguments. He will be the one making the decisions. That makes all the difference. He will be the one appointed to make decisions--not a law clerk.

      And this has been a problem in the past. Occasionally, lawyers who for years never draft anything become judges, and it is hard for them to get out of the habit of delegating all the drafting.

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    6. Agreed. Also, consider that the associate attorneys who currently provide drafts of briefs for him are, presumably, fairly skilled with several years of valuable experience.

      On the other hand, most judicial law clerks are kids fresh from law school and they never practiced.

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    7. So Coffing was a civil Robert Shapiro and put together a team to fight for various organizational clients. Is that the best choice to be a trial judge?

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    8. If that's an accurate characterization, then the answer is "no."

      But keep in mind that when selecting judges, the question is seldom that of who would make the best trial judge of the applicants. In fact, the question is not even who would make the best judge of the applicants.

      As others have weighed in on, political considerations play more of a role than establishing who is the most legally skilled applicant.+

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    9. TAC is smart and knows the rules of evidence. Why should he ever have to write a brief??? That is law clerk work.

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    10. While drafting ability is certainly important, how many judges in the Eighth actually draft their own decisions? The vast majority of decisions are made orally on the record, with the prevailing attorney drafting the decision, subject to approval by the judge. So in that case, editing and reviewing skills, couple with knowledge of the law, is exactly what we need here.

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    11. Bell drafts her own decisions. Gonzalez takes counsel's submissions and drafts her own decisions. Togliatti takes copious notes and has binders of every trial she has ever tried but even she signs your Order. Not aware of any other Judge that does the drafting.

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    12. Coffing's acknowledgment that he hasn't authored a brief in the last ten years was far from a gracious act (as asserted by @2:05). His firm's briefing is often suspect (it reads well but is unsupported by the authorities cited). My practice group has a standing policy when it comes to MAC briefs -- check all citations for the propositions proffered. By acknowledging that he wasn't the drafter, Coffing gave himself an easy out if asked about some of the more questionable filings.

      None of this matters -- Coffing is by far the best applicant for the seat.

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    13. I think there's a possible point of confusion which is fueling this discussion concerning decisions issued on matters under submission.

      Judges cannot be expected to "draft" all(or, any, for that matter)of their decisions, but they must be the one who actually "decide" all matters.

      As long as the judge actually makes all the substantive decisions rather than delegating any of those decisions to a law clerk, it is fine(and expected) that someone other than the judge would actually type the decision

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    14. 11:57 -- is there any lawyer in the world where you'd take their citations and legal arguments at face value? I can't imagine having any standing policy regarding opposing counsel's citations other than check every one and except the spin of an advocate.

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    15. 12:43,

      Most lawyers are too lazy to look up cites. I am always surprised how often opposing counsel doesn't even bother to fully read their own cites. It's always fun to take them and use them against them.

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    16. Perfect example: Trump's lawyers cited Clinton v Jones (which held a sitting President can be sued) to support their argument he can't be sued. Legal scholars' response: WTF?

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  3. For Dept. 18, I cannot say that these were the 3 best candidates. However there were no good candidates for Department 18. What these choices do show is that the Judicial Selection Panel sends 3 candidates who are as different as possible rather than the top 3 candidates when they advance their names. Gentile is not a finalist for the first time in while which is just reflective that he was not the best white male candidate in that applicant pool. Had he been in Dept. 18, he probably advances.

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    1. I thought Bailey would make the final 3. But, there were other choices that would have made the choice difficult for the Guv. The Commission wanted to make Bailey the Judge. They added the other 2 to direct the Guv in his choice.

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    2. I was shocked that Phil Smith did not make it through. His pedigree is pretty solid.

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    3. I must really be out of it. I never heard of Phil Smith and his supposedly sterling reputation among the entire legal community.

      I guess I'm just a hermit or recluse.

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    4. I have heard of Phil Smith and find his reputation to be less than solid or sterling. I'm glad he didn't make it.

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    5. WHOYOUPHILSMITHPEOPLE?

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    6. Go Sunny Bailey!

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    7. Phil Smith has strong academics. He is a nightmare to deal with.

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    8. I have never been opposite Phil. I was an extern at the USAO and he seemed like a stand up guy the few times I interacted with him. I actually figured that him being local + military + Stanford + Yale Law School + a career in public service meant that he was a shoo-in for some appointed job some day. He can have it. I'll take my Boyd degree and make money.

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    9. 3:13 is Boyd '13, no doubt, living the life of caviar dreams and champagne wishes that the rest of us pine for.

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  4. CPA does my taxes. I usually have them done by early February. Always nice to have it out of the way instead of sweating it out in April.

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    1. Nothing to sweat.. just file Form 4868 which is a 1 page easy to complete form and get an additional 6 months to file the return (still have to pay taxes due but can estimate and square up in 6 months)

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  5. Tax day is tomorrow (April 18) due to Emancipation Day holiday in D.C.

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  6. Discussion of Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74 over at the Sun in the comments... https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/apr/16/klas-cameraman-arrested-at-trump-rally-released-fr/
    (no, I'm not "Cynical Observer")

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  7. There is an ammended CLE suspension order. The one linked to above is not the correct order.

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