Thursday, June 15, 2017

Knock Knock


  • The 9th Circuit upholds ruling to return $167K seized in traffic stop. [RJ]
  • As mentioned in the comments the other day, the Supreme Court disbarred Easton Harris after he was charged with 116 violations of the Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct. [nvcourts]
  • A short piece on the legality of door knockers. [Fox5Vegas]

32 comments:

  1. In the forfeiture case, Gorman spent $153,000 fighting to get his $167,000 back at the trial level. Through the briefing at the Ninth Circuit, the estimated bills are north of $250,000 fighting to get the $167,000 back. If you want to know what is wrong with the Bogden/Myrhe regime, you are looking at Exhibit "A".

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    1. Yes, it is very wrong. Hopefully this will go up to the Supreme Court and with any luck, they'll affirm as well.

      But on another note, let's say the Supremes decide not to hear this case - wouldn't he be able to apply for all reasonable attorney's fees at the federal district court level?

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    2. Potentially. But think about if Gorman has eaten through $250,000 how much the AUSAs have eaten through of your tax money. But they do not care because it is not their money that will pay their fees and it is not their money that will pay Gorman's fees. And they know the chilling effect that it will have on future claimants who don't lay out 1.5x the principal sum to fight for principle. AUSAs-- playing with your liberty and house money.

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    3. 42 U.S.C. 1983

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    4. And Bivens. Also:
      [FN4] Meanwhile, the court entered judgment in Gorman’s favor, ordered the funds returned to him, stayed that order pending our consideration of the government’s appeal, and stated that during appeal, the seized funds shall accrue interest from the date of seizure calculated pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2465(b)(1)(C)(i)–(ii) and post–judgment interest as set forth in 28 U.S.C. § 1961.

      For the reasons set forth above, the district court’s order granting Gorman’s motion to suppress is AFFIRMED. The parties agree that if the district court’s order granting the motion to suppress is affirmed, its award of attorneys’ fees should also be affirmed. As a result, the award of attorneys’ fees is also AFFIRMED. (Final paragraph)

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  2. The amount of dipping into trust funds that is going on with small to mid sized firms, plus the implosion of large & longstanding firms, is very concerning. I have only been in practice for 10 years, so maybe my optics are off. Is this par for the course?

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    1. “Firms are always rising and falling in America.”

      — Nathaniel Hawthorne

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    2. I've been in practice 21 years an have been managing partner of our firm since 2008. We're solvent and have a prudent reserve in place. Our partners never miss a paycheck and our partner distributions are regular. We only have equity partners, not fake partners. Our associates are paid at an above-average rate and have a defined and stable bonus plan. I would say the key to all of this is that we've never borrowed a dollar. When we need to pay a big expense, we cash flow it. I think that helps us not to overspend. When business dips or we run into an noncollectable client (which is rare), we suck it up and we don't borrow to keep our partnership distributions artificially high. Running a law firm on debt is what gets so many into trouble. Law firms that live within their means generally fare better.

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    3. @9:25 has hit the nail on the head. I have been practicing for 25 years, have been involved in law firm management for more than 10 of those 25 years, have practiced in small (10 attorney or less) boutique firms and large (more than 600 person) national firms. There is no mystery. Have a realistic budget for fees and expenses, adjust the budget throughout the year, keep on top of accounts receivable, live within your means, be conscious of market trends, and be prepared to adapt. The method is simple, the execution is hard for some people. How do you lose weight? Exercise more and eat less. Simple method but difficult for some people to implement.

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    4. This is exactly right. Firms get overextended on palatial buildings, maintaining partner income at a certain level regardless of the ups and downs of business, and making incredibly bad deals with landlords - who are often a select group of partners sucking their tenant/law firm dry with high rents and fees. These firms can often keep operating for several years, like the Ottoman Empire or LS&C, until the whole thing comes crashing down.

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    5. Never, ever borrow or draw against a line of credit to make partner bonuses. Always pay your bills on time. If you are billing by the hour, don't let client accounts get out more than 90 days. And, have your clients front significant expenses, not the firm, such as for experts.

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    6. And then the bulls are getting old, they become hamburger. Just because they drew $300,000 15 years ago does not mean they are worth it today (even if there name is first on the door). Firms that maintain paying semi-retired partners crash.

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    7. It is difficult to start up a law firm without a line of credit. But if you can somehow scrape and scrounge and make it through the first year without accumulating debt, your second year should be delightful.

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    8. Honestly, if you (1) have a book of business; (2) are willing to ham and egg it for 90 days taking cases which pay up front to keep moderate cash flow; (3) save a few pennies to tide you over until the first round of Accounts Receivable start to flow, anyone can hang out a shingle. I did for under $10,000 and had paid myself back within about 120 days. A recommendation is find a firm with whom you are friendly who will allow you to office share, save the receptionist, save the having to buy the office essentials (desks, wiring, telephone, internet).

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    9. I refuse to believe that a lawyer with 25 years experience (looking at you 9:58) wrote 7 lines of comprehensible text.

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    10. 9:58 here. A few of us old guys can write in complete sentences from time to time.

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    11. Having gone solo, worked for a firm and been part of a partnership at various parts of my career, I can tell you in most circumstances, when you first start a firm (either solo or in partnership with others) the first year or two tends to be fairly lean times. You generally want to have firm reserves of 120-180 days of expenses (without income being received) as well as personal reserves of 180-270 days of personal expenses to carry yourself without taking draws from the firm to pay your personal expenses. Once you make it through that period of time, assuming the firm succeeds, your cash flow situation should improve and it gets much easier to survive.

      For many the time frame listed above may be less, but I tend to plan for worse case scenarios to cover myself from unplanned financial problems. If by the end of those time frames you aren't able to at least cover the basic expenses of the firm and your basic personal expenses, it's time to take a second look at the long term viability of the firm.

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  3. Okay, I am trying to get use to the new EJDC website, how do access the minutes?

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    1. First you need to make sure you're signed in. Then, it should show up as a document under the hearing entry.

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  4. Still can't get the doorknockers to go away. Told them to go away and got yelled at. Seriously? My 5 year old grandson has better manners.

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    1. Invite an of-duty cop over for dinner and have them arrested for trespassing. That would be the best YouTube video ever.

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  5. As someone who had a case against Easton, let's just say this doesn't come as a big surprise. He marketed himself as "out of the box" lawyer who didn't follow the rules! Guess how that turned out.

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    1. I had a very different experience dealing with Easton, granted it was at least 4-5 years ago. He was aggressive but not dumb, just very, very green and flailing a lot; obviously didn't have a mentor and badly needed one. Unfortunate for his clients that he clearly never got one (may be his own doing).

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    2. 11:03 here. Agreed, he wasn't dumb at all.

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  6. Word is Judges Cadish and Silver will vie, in '18, for Justice Cherry's seat he is vacating.

    Of those two judges, one is more analytical, cerebral, and a better judge. But that is not the one who will win, Therefore, IMO, the better of those two judges should save their money and time and not bother with this extremely arduous project of raising over a cool mill. and running a state-wide race while on the bench.

    It appears to be that the better judge in this case is not the better fund-raiser, and not better juiced in or connected. The other is.

    Classic case of the better judge being beat by the far,far,far better politician. Think the hand-writing is on the wall in this one almost one-and-a-half years before the ballots are counted.

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    1. Cadish has personally told me that she is running for Cherry's seat in 2018. That will be interesting because she is not a particularly dynamic campaigner, but is a much better judge and would be a much better justice than Silver. Silver on the other hand is a campaign-machine and political animal.

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    2. I think you must have heard wrong......

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    3. No I heard quite correctly. After she was passed over in favor of Stiglich, she indicated that she had spoken with Cherry about his pending retirement and would go after his seat. Now she may be having second thoughts about running against Silver, which dear God please somebody run against Silver.

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    4. I can confirm for a fact Silver will go for Cherry's seat should he retire. She always runs for empty seats (to avoid making bad blood against an incumbent) and she has always wanted to be on the NV Supreme Court. Additionally, she has deep connections with funding with the local jewish community and her dad, who has contributed to all her campaigns.

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  7. Cadish will end up running for Douglas' seat. Mark my words!

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  8. Is Douglas retiring?

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