Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Going Social


  • A CCSD police officer, who was fired after it was learned he was an FBI informant, is getting his job back and two years of back pay. [RJ]
  • There is a legislative hearing scheduled tomorrow on a bill that would remove the AG as counsel for the Gaming Control Board. [RJ]
  • Here's a transcript of the conversation between AG Adam Laxalt and Gaming Control Board Chairman A.J. Burnett. [NELIS via @seanw801https://twitter.com/seanw801]
  • Not Las Vegas, but a Nebraska lawyer was suspended for failing to properly communicate with his client. Among his communication practices was responding via Facebook. Do you communicate with clients via social media? Would you ever? [Omaha World-Herald]

28 comments:

  1. Awesome job EJDC! Day 2 and cannot log into File and Serve. Your new system sucks worse than your old system.

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  2. The new Odyssey File and Serve - forcing you to click 5,000 times to do what used to require 1 click.

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    1. Since when does "progress" involving giving up a moderately flawed system for an entirely flawed system?

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  3. I don't see how communication with client via facebook is bad, or doesn't count as communication. Some clients are on facebook more than anything else. And Facebook at least gives you read receipt time stamps when messages are read. That's better than sending anything via snail mail.

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    1. Have you considered the fact that the social media vehicle (Facebook, Dropbox, etc.) is a system controlled by third parties rather than the client. That third party has the ability to access and read whatever you send to the client without either of you knowing it. Consider issues such as attorney-client privilege when you use these types of communication vehicles.

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    2. They have an end to end encryption feature making communications unreadable by third parties.

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    3. I believe that about as much as I believe that the internet providers don't track people's searches and website visits...

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  4. Judge Tao and his fame-seeking opinions are at it again. Pedroli Raches v. Pedroli (No. 67469). Can someone put his writing style out to pasture?

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    1. This case presents a heifer of a problem. The meat of the
      appellant's complaint asserts that, in connection with winding up a family
      partnership involving Pedroli Ranch and its assets, the appellant
      (Barbara) directed the respondents (Honorine and Jack) to lasso up the
      ranch's 76 head of cattle and herd them to market. But when the
      appellant saw the profits from the sale, she didn't exactly jump over the
      moon but instead has a beef with how things turned out: she claims that the respondents unfairly milked the opportunity beyond its worth and
      hornswoggled her, out of 53 head which they sold on their own for $28,000
      before trying to hoof it out of town without sharing the proceeds.
      The respondents, not wanting to be branded as desperados,
      say that the allegations are bull and make a lot of hay over nothing
      because it's common to miss some cattle during round-ups out on the open
      range. But, this not being the appellant's first rodeo, she contends that,
      while respondents can claim honest mistake until the cows come home,
      missing nearly 70% of the herd seems unlikely, if not udderly dishonest.
      So, the appellant prodded herself to action, took the bull by the horns, and
      stampeded down to the county courthouse to file her complaint for
      conversion; violation of NRS 568.350; fraud/misrepresentation;
      interference with business expectancy; civil conspiracy; unjust
      enrichment; agency; accounting; and injunctive relief.

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    2. Good hell, that's painfully embarrassing. It's not funny or clever in any way. Reminds me of that movie "Bee Movie" that my kids love and makes me want to shoot myself because the writing is so lazy. "Let's just brainstorm and come up with as many bee puns as we can and then write a whole move around it!" Tao's opinion deserves as much ridicule as it will surely get.

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    3. The Dissent: "Bullshit."

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    4. That has some career clerk (or new young upstart clerk) fingerprints all over it. Clerks think these things are cute. I know, I used to be one. Not cute. Write clearly and simply. Thanks.

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    5. I think it's clever. Go back to your HOA foreclosure crap cases 10:05 AM and 11:20 AM, and let the rest of us find a little joy in the law.

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    6. @1:22 PM - if you think cow puns are clever, more power to you. I'm not against Judges having a bit of fun here and there. I actually get a good laugh out of some of Judge Kozinski's opinions. Just read the beginning of his dissent in United States v. Ramirez-Lopez. That's some smart humor.

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  5. This Laxalt transcript is fascinating. Neither of them refers to Judge Gonzalez as Betsy. Laxalt calls Ira Raphaelson a real lawyer. Laxalt's next week going to be on a roller coaster--as in Universal Studios. HA!

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  6. IMO, there is good news and bad news for AG Laxalt. But the bad news is ultimately of far more effect than the good news, so none of this winds up really hurting him.

    The bad news is that it is clear he tried to persuade the Commission to improperly intervene in the Sands litigation.

    But the good news for him is that none of this will have much effect on re-election for two main reasons: (1) It's all too arcane and obscure. There is no smoking gun or inflammatory quote that can be used as a dramatic sound bite in a brief t.v. political ad. There is nowhere where he says anything akin to him recognizing that he acknowledges that intervention is illegal and/or highly unethical and improper, but that he is requesting it anyway.

    If anything, he is a great deal more careful and circumspect than I ever gave him credit for. I prejudged him based on his relative youth and relative lack of meaningful experience to be the State's top attorney. Granted,the attempt at improper intervention is in keeping with someone who is too young and inexperienced, as well as being too potentially ethically murky, for the position. But the way he insulates and protects himself with how he couches his remarks is surprisingly Machiavellian.

    He knows when to "play dumb." He never says anything remotely akin to he acknowledges that intervention is inappropriate, but please do me this favor. Instead he says things like according to his interpretation intervention is appropriate--particularly if instead of direct, clandestine contact, the Commission instead weighs in with an amicus brief. Repeated remarks of that nature would appear to insulate him and make it appear that he was not sufficiently knowledgeable of protocol, but there is nothing to demonstrate corruption. And because of how careful he was as to how he couched his remarks, there is just nothing politically sexy enough--no red meat for a 5 second sound bite or 30 second opposition ad. The public would never sufficiently follow it, or make the effort to do so.

    (2) The second reason it won't stick is that the AG is a state constitutional office which is primarily determined by party turn out at the polls. Democrats who didn't vote for him will, for the most part, continue not to vote for him. And no Republicans who voted for him will do otherwise next time based on this transcript.

    So, his re-election will not be determined by this supposed controversy, but will be determined by a much more mundane dynamic. If, like when he beat Ross Miller, republicans turn out somewhat more than democrats(which will not happen to the extent it did in '14 when he was elected),
    he will narrowly hold the seat by 52% to 48%, or perhaps 53% to 47% if he's fortunate. But if the democrats turn out in greater number, and Laxalt bleeds a few of the independents and unaffiliated who supported him last time, perhaps the Democrats retake the seat.

    So, although this won't change the mind of republicans or democrats, I suppose a few unaffiliated or nonpartisan who voted for Laxalt last time, could now abandon him based on this, but I don't think it likely.

    So, party turn out probably determines it--not some transcript the voter will never take the time to understand, and which includes no clear quotes indicating unbridled corruption.

    All of my remarks presuppose he encounters no ethical sanctions, or other charges, as a result of all this. I don't think anything like that would be successful(and might appear totally politically motivated). But if he does have to pay the piper in any meaningful way(which I really doubt), that would probably have some meaningful impact.

    BTW, I didn't vote for him, and I'm a democrat. But I still think it does not meaningfully impact his re-election.

    But if I'm totally wrong about all this, I'm eager to hear about that because there are some really politically savvy participants on this blog
    who I'm certain have a totally different, and totally well-reasoned and far more accurate, appraisal.

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    1. Agreed. Laxalt should be more worried about how Trump will taint all Republicans and turnout Dems in 2018.

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    2. MAKING DEMS GREAT AGAIN!!!

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    3. Read the transcript. It rambles and contains no smoking gun for or against Laxalt. Secretly recording someone in person is generally not a problem in Nevada but this involves two public officials so there could be some problems there.

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    4. @12:11 -- Laxalt is not running for AG. He's running for Governor. With that being said, the rest of your analysis sounds correct.

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    5. The individual words may not be a smoking gun, but the fact that Laxalt is being used by Adelson in this manner is definitely a problem. If the request for an amicus brief or to intervene was routine and normal, it would have been made directly from Adelson's attorneys to the Gaming Board. Instead Shelly called up the State's lead attorney and got him to do his bidding. Adelson is despised by a large number of voters, both Democrats and Republicans, and the idea of electing his puppet will not go over well.

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    6. I thought 12:11 hit the nail on the head till I saw your post.

      I still agree with 12:11, as you apparently do as well, that the language used in and of itself, is not necessarily the problem.

      But, as you point out, if it were one of those unusual situations which justified an amicus brief, Adelson's attorney should contact the Board directly. But trying to involve Laxalt, and him letting himself become involved in this manner, could adversely resonate with the voters and media and benefit Laxalt's opponent the next time around.

      But for it to work against him effectively, it has to be done as you suggest--really simplifying the issue and frame it as Laxalt letting himself be improperly manipulated and used to do Adelson's bidding. But, as 12;11 suggests, if those using this matter against Laxalt get too bogged down in the weeds of what was said in the transcript, it will just confuse people.

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    7. I think the other problem here is, what's the big picture attack against Laxalt here? He's too willing to do corrupt favors for Sheldon Adelson? Steve "The Raiders stadium is a great idea and we should totally do it" Sisolak is going to have a hard time plausibly making that argument himself.

      I also am a Democrat, and I hate how our elected officials keep shooting themselves in the foot.

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  7. Judge Tao made Volokh Conspiracy today (without any agrarian puns!):

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/05/16/is-projecting-pay-trump-bribes-here-onto-a-wall-of-the-trump-hotel-a-trespass/

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    1. Changing that opinion would be easy. Simply project something obnoxious, objectionable and/or offensive onto a windowless wall of any strip casino (or any building on casino property) and watch how fast it would be interpreted as illegal, criminal trespass.

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  8. I heard Matt Callister was in the wreck at Charleston with the hauler on Monday morning and is hurt pretty bad. Anyone heard any information?

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    1. Poor guy was already messed up because of his back. It is sad what has happened to him because of injuries.

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    2. Matt is a really decent human being and smart guy. I hope he pulls through.

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