Thursday, June 22, 2017

Is This Real Life?


  • How and where OJ Simpson's parole hearing will take place next month. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Badlands developer forces vote; threatens to turn off water to the course. [RJ]
  • Is Reno really looking more like Silicon Valley? [Bloomberg]
  • City of Las Vegas decided homeowners need to get a special use permit if they're going to list their house on Airbnb. [Fox5Vegas]
  • The Golden Knights have players. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Despite the race being over, it is worth noting that the RJ reports that Judge Heidi Almase sent out a flyer apologizing for her characterization of criminal defense attorneys:                         
“During the Municipal election cycle, my campaign sent out a negative mailer demeaning criminal defense attorneys. These attorneys serve a necessary, and often thankless, duty within our courts ensuring the adversarial process is founded on principles of fairness and due process.
The campaign literature did not reflect my belief about this important function.
For disappointing those attorneys and the public, who I believe deserve the very best in their elected public servants, you have my personal apology."
— Judge Heidi Almase

68 comments:

  1. "Judges ban Las Vegas doctor from serving as expert witness in 2 cases"

    Dr Duke is on his way out. A boon to soft tissue injury attorneys everywhere.

    https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/news-columns/jane-ann-morrison/judges-ban-las-vegas-doctor-from-serving-as-expert-witness-in-2-cases/

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    1. Anyone have case numbers for the 2 cases? Terrible reporting.

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    2. Your NJA PAC dollars at work! Every personal injury attorney in Nevada should increase his or her annual pledge today.

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    3. Too bad Walsh is no longer on the bench. She'd have made it three.

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    4. Except every defense firm in town was automatically preempting Walsh for at least the last decade of her reign.

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    5. Analyze case and statutory law necessary to prepare peremptory challenge of Judge Jesse Walsh. .8

      Draft pleadings for peremptory challenge of Judge Jesse Walsh. 1.0

      Finalize and file pleadings for peremptory challenge of Judge Jesse Walsh. .4

      Receipt and study of court notice appointing new judge. .2

      Prepare correspondence to adjuster advising of successful peremptory challenge of Judge Jesse Walsh and reassignment of case to alternate department. .4

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    6. Read the article, named the Plaintiff in one of the cases, Case no A680635
      (Defendant is Scott Yancey)

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    7. Yes, I did, and found that, but the other case referenced, with the Order, no party names, no case info.

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    8. 10:22 - if you review the FFCL entered in the case it references the case in Denton's department referenced.

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    9. As someone who does both Plaintiff and Defense work, but who has never personally used Dr. Duke, I find this whole thing interesting. Has anyone here reviewed the facts or legal arguments behind this? I assume it's going to go to the NVSC... anyone have opinions on whether it will hold up?

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    10. This is not a new story. The NJA's coordinated character assassination of Dr. Duke is nothing new. It's been going on for many years. When they are done with Dr. Duke, they will move on to the next expert who has the audacity to challenge the aggressive treatment recommendations of the NJA's own pet doctors. Injury litigation is so icky in Las Vegas. On the other hand, there was that Criss Angel video with Dr. Duke confirming he raised someone from the dead.

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    11. NJA has nothing to do with it Dr. Duke. The latest case was Ganz and Hauf with Robert Eglet. Dr. Duke got caught lying and his reports say the same thing everytime. In fact, all his reports add up to over $1 million a year. He can be an expert he just can't do a DME. If DME's could be recorded then this would not be a problem and never come up. The problem is Dr. Duke lied and got caught.

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    12. NJA has everything to do with it. His reports say the same thing every time because most of the time he's retained on cases with bullshit "injuries" and the same set of attorneys using the same set of spinal hacks, who recommend the same absurd treatment that would horrify doctors in other locales.

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    13. If the guy disagrees with 95% of other doctor's opinions and makes a million a year to do so, that strikes me as a tad biased. Even if its the same attorneys and the same bullshit surgeons, he only feels that 5% are viable cases? I'm sorry but credibility has to count for something and 5% has to fall way below the acceptable variance. I do not do PI btw and insurance defense guys still win the Most Bitter Area of Practice Award year after year.

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    14. Dr. Duke isn't hired on every single case, usually only the ones where medical buildup is perceived. It stands to reason that 95% of the time Dr. Duke would find over treatment, needless surgical recommendations, etc.

      And, for every Dr. Duke, there are 20 "treating physicians" that shouldn't be able to testify. They copy and paste their patient notes from one patient to the next. I've even seen a final evaluation using another patient's name throughout (like when Plaintiff's counsel copies and pastes a complaint/discovery responses and forgets to change the clients name). You are recommending surgery because a million dollar commercial policy is on the table. If it was a minimum limits policy, 6 weeks of chiro would be on the table.

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    15. Ganz?

      https://youtu.be/C8_3jS9wd9w

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    16. The doctors the plaintiff's bar uses are cutters. As in, they never examined a spine they didn't think should be fused. And fusions suck, they rarely help, they're just really expensive. I almost feel bad for many accident victims who get wrapped up with aggressive PI attorney who use aggressive doctors who will recommend anything to run up bills.

      Then regarding the credibility/bias issue which to me falls well within the purview of cross examination.

      There are other issues like discussing legal issues during IMEs which should never happen.

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    17. 12:47, if you feel that 5% is an unacceptable variance when dealing with $1mm income, how would you feel about doctors who continually recommend spinal fusions, but who never disclose their ownership interests in the surgical centers? The same surgical centers that, coincidentally, charge 5x as much for the procedure and materials? Because income derived from that is considerable.

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    18. It must show bias because we all must presume that the Plaintiffs' bar doctors are accurate and not running up their bills, right? Anyone who dares question the orthodoxy of the same set of quacks making the same recommendations and findings must be biased to the point that he cannot be an expert. Right? It is a ridiculous ruling that destroys Williams's credibility quite a bit. If Walsh could actually write and string two coherent sentences together, I would have thought she wrote (allowed Eglet to write) the Decision.

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    19. I still don't see how NJA has anything to do with it. Are you claiming because the attorneys are members of NJA they have something to do with it? If all the attorneys you reference Trump supporters would Trump have somethimg to do with it? I get you don't like plaintiffs attorneys and you are a bitter insurance defense attorney, but I still don't get how NJA is involved. Did they file an amicus brief?

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    20. Don't you think it is normal for a surgeon to recommend surgery? When you go to a butcher he recommends meat, not salad. People, especially surgeons, recommend what they know and surgeons believe surgery is the cure. I do t think that is bias. It can be with some doctors, but Duke believes 95% are uninjured, unless they are his patient, then it is the reverse. Weird.

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    21. Does this mean there is now an active effort by the DC to root out biased doctor's on both sides? If so, then this is a welcome first baby step. If not, then the conspiracy theorists might be onto something...

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    22. My understanding is that DC Bulla tried to pull back after her original recommendation. She said that she never intended to call Dr. Duke "biased" against PI plaintiffs, etc. It seems that she didn't realize where this was going when it started. But by then, the cat was out of the bag.

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    23. 3:19, I don't think that is accurate. She has repeatedly said he is biased and explains to defense counsel to use him at their own peril as his reports seem to always exceed the scope of a DME, not to mention his expertise.

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    24. I find it interesting how many ID attorneys have come out of the woodwork to question plaintiff attorneys and their treaters whilst defending Duke. Don't you guys have something better to do to pad your billable hours?

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    25. There is a difference between a treating physician and hired expert. The bias issue always comes up on both sides, but to claim a treating physician should be excluded is a tougher road to travel. You would essentially have to claim the treatment/surgery was unnecessary and purely for purposes of the case. This is how the "medical mafia" claims came about and that went no where. It is funny to hear defense attorneys claim there is a conspiracy considering what happened with the "medical mafia" claims, not to mention that Allstate goes into every state and sues doctors to force them out of the personal injury business. The only valid claim I have seen in one of these cases locally is where they claim Dr. Belsky failed to disclose her financial interest by referring patients to her husband. The claims of other doctors failing to disclose are bullshit as every patient has to sign off. I believe Dr. Belsky has changed how she does things now, but I am unsure as I never used her as a doctor for clients. Defense attorneys are now mad Dr. Duke is considered bias when every insurance company in the state was trying to get the DOJ to indict lawyers and doctors. Kabins plead guilty and still performs just as many surgeries now as he did back then. The guy truly believes he can fix someone with surgery. Go figure, a surgeon believes he can fix someone with surgery.

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    26. Well then strike his opinions beyond the scope but those within the scope? No basis.

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    27. Not an ID attorney or even someone who does PI. Just saying the same skeptical eye should be cast at all physicians. That is why we have cross-examination. Tear Duke a new one. But to say its bias because he does not agree with the orthodoxy that doctors can only say that people are hurt is ludicrous.

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    28. I think everyone should read the pleadings, before claiming which way the judge should have ruled. There are some very specific issues that were raised.

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    29. Would you mind posting them?

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    30. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    31. Um blogmaster, this ^^^ post is not helpful

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    32. This issue has been around for ages. There are a few practical solutions which if adopted would reduce, or potentially eliminate the problem, but we all know that no one wants to actually solve the problem.

      Changes that affect the Plaintiff (Plaintiff providers)

      1) Where the Plaintiff has health insurance, require that the provider bill the health insurance for their services. It would reduce the necessity for medical liens, and the Plaintiff, as the third party beneficiary between the health insurance company and the doctor would benefit from the required contractual discount. [No need to beg for a reduction of the lien amount. The insurance company drives a harder bargain for the doctor to be on the list of approved providers]. If the Plaintiff is uninsured, or has a need for a specialist not covered by the health plan, then a lien can be used;

      2) By forcing the bill through the health insurance, not only does the Plaintiff get the mandatory contract discount, they potentially hit their maximum out of pocket limit for the year, making their remaining medical (related or unrelated) covered at 100% for the remainder of the year.

      3) Require the treating physician to disclose any financial, social, familial, etc. interests in referrals to/from other providers or facilities. Also require disclosure of the identity of patients (can be identity of counsel and a way to identify the case (claim number?)) and amount billed for treatment in which a PI claim was made. [HIPAA should not be a problem as that plaintiff waived the right to privacy in submitting the claim (and records) to a third party with which they had no privity]

      Applicable to Defendants/DME

      1) Allow Plaintiff to have exam observed/recorded (as long as not disruptive). The right to privacy belongs to the Plaintiff thus they should be allowed to waive it for the presence of a witness, court reporter or videographer;

      2) Require disclosure of DME exams performed in the preceding 36 months with copies of reports produced pursuant to expert designations and NRCP 16.1, invoices and contact information re plaintiff/counsel

      3) Allow defendants to comment to the jury when the plaintiff had available health insurance but chose to use a lien instead of their health insurance.
      Applicable to the

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    33. @2:30--how does NJA have anything to do with it? NJA employs lobbyists to push these issues with elected officials. NJA collects money from its members and turns around and gives big $$$ contributions to sitting judges, like Tim Williams. In turn, those elected officials, including Judges, do everything in their power to do right by the plaintiffs bar.
      NJA has everything to do with it.

      Speaking of NJA, last night was the gala for the mutual back-patting society. I haven't heard of any debauchery or drama, but I'm sure there are stories to tell. Anyone have anything good?

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    34. It always seemed to me that it would be great to have a truly independent medical exam. If we were really interested in justice, we would be looking for doctors who would give honest opinions, not advocates for either side.

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    35. 818 NJA does not give to judges or endorse judges, so try again.

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    36. NJA GALA REPORT: It was great. We spent most of the night discussing more efficient ways to bill hours. We also talked about how to write more effective and pleasing reports to our high-school-dropout adjusters (overlords). Wait. Never mind. That was a nightmare I had last night after partying with my friends/colleagues and eventually passing out in my money-filled bathtub.

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    37. 10:44, perhaps not directly. Like not in the name of NJA. But you don't seriously believe that, do you? If you say gullible slowly, it sounds like oranges.

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    38. 11:34 either the NJA does or it does not. No doubt members give to judges just like most lawyers and law firms, but as one poster put it - just because a member does something does not mean the organization does. Under your theory if a terrorist is Muslim, then all Muslims are terrorist. You know you can look up on the secretary of state what an organization gives. If you give to a judge does that mean he is pro ID? I don't even do plaintiffs work, but from discussing it with people who do they just want a fair jury or judge. When they get that they usually win. ID lawyers always believe the plaintiff is faking
      Unless it is the plaintiff case they happen to get every 3 years from a friend. Below is a link to what the PAC gets involved in.

      https://www.nevadajustice.org/NV/index.cfm?pg=citizens

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  2. Anyone else find it ridiculous that those state bar emails with "job openings" often have job postings that have already expired by the time the dumb ass state bar sends out the email?

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  3. I see a link about Reno. Are there good lawyer jobs in Reno? I love the north, but I've been pretty disappointed by the number and quality of law jobs every time I've thought about making the move up there.

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  4. SFR heading back to District court after NSC decided that federally backed loans have a bit more protection. No doubt it will eventually wind up in front of them again, leading to SFR V: The HOA Strikes Back.

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    1. That was not my read on that opinion at all. It was a typical NSC dodge and punt, which is why Stiglich concurred. There is a federal foreclosure bar under FHFA; that was not in dispute. The only question of the six listed for appeal which the Nevada Supreme Court answered was whether servicers of federally-backed loans can assert the foreclosure bar and stated yes, they have standing to make the argument. The Nevada Supreme Court went no further. Honestly the decision was a disappointment.

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    2. Servicer standing is a big issue. This is not a small decision. The 9th Circuit will decide the bigger issue of whether HERA prevents the HOA from foreclosing on properties with Freddie and Fannie-owned loans, but the Nevada Supreme Court needed to answer this question.

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    3. 9th would decide the same at the time that it decides HERA. Not huge.

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    4. Standing is a local issue, so Nevada needs to address it as well. The application of HERA is a straight federal issue which the 9th needs to address. They can address standing in federal court as well, but that that doesn't mean that the issue is decided for state courts.

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    5. I do think it was a back door attempt by the NSC to extricate themselves from the crap they created in the prior ruling that the HOA super-priority lien trumps the deed of trust (the it looks like a taking but not a taking because it's the HOA doing it pursuant to statute instead of a state actor, and oh, by the way, can occur without notice to the lender..) decision.

      That decision, if left to stand without a change in the case law or statute would ultimately dry up the availability of real estate loans in Nevada, or at a minimum a dramatic increase in interest rates as compared to the rest of the nation. What rational lender would ever loan money here under those rules?

      This decision creates the back door since almost all conforming loans and most jumbo loans are ultimately sold to Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac to be serialized and portions sold to various investors.

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    6. Dry up loans? The law has changed so it only applies to foreclosures that are already completed, not to mention loans have increased and not dried up.

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    7. 10:47 - You should look at the actual numbers. Historically speaking, Nevada lending is dry and has been dry for a decade. See the GLVAR Newsroom (Total sales - cash sales). Approximately 3,141 new loans on a million housing units. That's bad. It is better than it was, but it is still pretty dry. Nevada is a bad state to lend money because if there is a default, its impossible to get money back. Lenders know it but don't talk about it.

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    8. Uh, I'm looking at the GLVAR newsroom article for the May 2017 stats. 26.9% of sales in May were with cash. Are you suggesting the rest of of the sales were with something other than loans? What are you looking at?

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    9. There are less than 5000 homes on market. You can't get a loan if there are no houses to buy. Tell me what major lender has pulled out of Nevada or any major lender who does not fund home loans in Nevada? It is a rhetorical question as the answer is none.

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  5. The Almase apology, although, I suppose, a small step in the right direction, is quite self-serving, does not ring as particularly sincere, and fails to take anything remotely close full accountability. It is, quite simply, woefully inadequate to address the magnitude of the massively circulated vicious, and knowingly false,attack she made against the entire defense bar.

    First, as to the self-serving aspects of the apology, she probably in part sent it because she does not need these people as enemies since she now presumably needs to make a living by returning to private practice. In which case it does no good if her colleagues despise her, disparage her, and won't refer cases to her, etc. So,she probably had those self-interests in mind.

    Secondly, as to sincerity, it does not ring as sufficiently sincere--not even close. She essentially is saying even though I took weeks of planning, and spent tens of thousands of dollars, to inform the public what vile, contemptible scum you guys are, now that the election is over and I lost, please be assured that I in fact like you guys and appreciate the necessity of the work you do. That is not what is known as sincere.

    Third, as for accountability, she is not really taking anything close to full accountability. She distances herself from the mailer by saying the "campaign" sent it, and she never fesses up that she took a position that was unfair and untrue, and humiliated those who provide a vital function in the legal system, merely because she thought by doing so she'd gain an advantage with certain voters. She never explains and admits that she took this grossly unfair and outrageously false position in the hope that it would personally benefit her.

    So, IMO, the apology is woefully inadequate and is not even close to showing the guts or integrity to take full responsibility, and to fully admit the true reasons the mailer was sent.

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    1. Maybe it is just me and an issue of being cynical, or looking for the grammar police, but her writing

      "These attorneys serve a necessary, and often thankless, duty within our courts ensuring the adversarial process is founded on principles of fairness and due process."

      Strikes me much like the non-apology "I'm sorry you misunderstood my comment..." The audience hears an apology, but the speaker is actually saying the problem was with the audience, not anything they said.

      Was she being in artful, trying to say that the criminal justice system is founded on the principles of fairness and due process, which is protected by an effective adversarial process in which the defense attorneys are an integral part. Or rather, is it simply a case of Orwellian new speak.

      Additionally, whether she likes it or not, the candidate is ultimately responsible for the actions of their own campaign. I seriously doubt that any legitimate printer would print the offending postcard without a sign-off on the proofs and more importantly, payment for the order. Not items that candidates are likely to completely delegate to others and have zero oversight role.

      Her apology would have been much better if it was simple and direct.

      During the heat of the final weeks of the campaign an inappropriate mailer was created which does not reflect my beliefs about the criminal justice system, nor the important contributions of the many men and women working hard to protect the rights of all individuals whom find themselves involved in it.

      As the candidate seeking election, I am ultimately responsible for the actions of my campaign and regret this mailer was ever commissioned or transmitted.

      I wish to apologize to the members of the court, the legal profession, the voters and the community at large for this error.

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  6. Slate for the Washoe open seat is out and scummy James Keller is on the list again. I hope Ayres gets it this time. If Keller gets it, say goodbye to any rights for Defendants and enforcement of Brady.

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    1. I'm from the South. So, why is this man scummy and why would all defendants be in peril by this appointment?

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    2. Keller is atrocious as an AUSA, the worst of the worst. He handles cases both north and south (although more north). Ask any criminal defense attorney who handles Federal matters and has crossed his path, he is one of the worst violators in the US Attorney's Office of any form of decorum, rules of disclosure or evidence. And he is applying for a state court judgeship and has never practiced in the state courts in Nevada.

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    3. Uh, can you say Eric Johnson?

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    4. Eric Johnson is quality, just like Bulla.

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    5. Yes Eric Rubble Redux. Except even Eric seems like he has some interest in justice. Keller would not know justice even if his name was Buford T. But yes, we have already had an example.

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  7. For those who practice any Family Law, there is a published opinion issued today by the Nevada Supreme Court(Nguyen vs. Boynes) that appears to very dramatically expand equitable relief and confer parental rights to those who are not natural parents nor adoptive parents.

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  8. There is a Nevada Supreme Court published decision today which states that the NRCP 16.1 requirement to disclose damages includes the duty to disclose claimed future damages.

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  9. There is also a Nevada Supreme Court published opinion on judicial immunity for special masters. Larry Bertsch with the protection; the horrible Jay Bloom of multiple failed ventures on the loss.

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  10. Who knew the Supreme Court could publish so many opinions in one day. They are now almost up to 1/2 an opinion a week for the year.

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    1. To be fair, they took 2 weeks off where they issued nothing.

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  11. Seeing a lot of .tif filings with the new system. Can we go back to .pdf only, please? .tif files are a pain in the ass.

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  12. The whole system is a pain in the ass.

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  13. Please forward your info onto ATMS. I can "guarantee" you that you will be paid back in full.

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  14. I think it's good that Reno is getting the shot in the arm it needs. The city itself is pretty underrated compared to Vegas itself.

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