Thursday, June 29, 2017

Stay Weird Austin


  • Today marks day 1 of the State Bar of Nevada's Annual boondoggle Meeting in Austin, Texas. Do we have any readers in attendance willing to give us an update on who is there, what is being said, where next year's meeting will be?
  • Nevada State Senator and member of the Nevada bar Tick Segeblom is going to be the first Nevada legal recreational marijuana customer, creating all kinds of ethical conundrums for Bar Counsel. [PRNewswire]
  • One of Stephen Stubbs' clients is making a documentary about that client's arrest. [KTNV]
  • Prosecutors get a conviction in the Randolph trial. [RJ]
  • Judge Denton ruled that Kaempfer Crowell will have to pay the Vistana Homeowners Association $3.1 million for the former incarnation of the firm's involvement in the HOA scandal. [RJ]

58 comments:

  1. https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/news-columns/jane-ann-morrison/law-firm-ordered-to-pay-3-1m-to-las-vegas-condo-owners-association/

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  2. Can someone put JAM out of her misery already? Jesus what a miserable human being.

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  3. Bar convention next year is in Chicago

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  4. has anyone seen the javs of scottie flipping out on his clerk, its priceless. I heard she quit mid trial.

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    1. where do we see this?

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    2. Guess how many times he said the word "crinkle"

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    3. Wait, Richard Scotti?

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    4. Scotti always seemed like an even-tempered guy to me, and in what context would one use the word "crinkle" 17 times?

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    5. I heard he had to apologize on the record to his clerk in front of the attorneys that were present when it occurred.

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    6. Word is he's very difficult to work with, a real prima donna.

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    7. Too bad; if those traits aren't apparent in private practice, a few years on the bench will always bring them out.

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    8. So true. Few judges are not jerks.

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    9. In private practice, his ego was kept in check by better attorneys with bigger egos. On the bench, there is no one to keep him in check so he is letting some of his inner primadonna loose. Yes the word from people inside of his chambers has reflected that he is not easy to work with.

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    10. I agree with 2:01 that he is generally an even-tempered guy. Plus, I consider him bright, as well as well-principled.

      However, he did flip out with the clerk situation, and was apparently unnecessarily intemperate another time or two.

      But I understand there may have been a very constructive intervention whereby the C.J. may have assigned another judge to speak to him. If that intervention actually occurred, I personally believe Scotti was probably very open to the data and will make the necessary adjustments.

      There have been some judges over the years who would be too arrogant to take constructive advice from others as to proper courtroom decorum. Thankfully, I don't think Scotti is one of them.

      So, personally, I believe we should presume he will make the necessary adjustments. If I'm wrong, and he doesn't listen to the advice and guidance he is offered, then I will lose any sympathy I have for him and not give him the benefit of the doubt.

      Most judges can be edgy from time to time, but the extreme nature of how he abused the clerk is what makes this of import.
      Therefore, even if something this serious is a fairly isolated incident for him, it is so non-judicial and extreme that he deserves the adverse public attention he is receiving. But I also believe, considering that his temperament is generally pretty good and respectful, that he deserves a chance to make certain he improves in this area and has no so such extreme lapses in the future.

      It's interesting that he presumably had the opportunity to go off record for all this. If it's something that does not really impact the rights of the parties, and is possibly something of no critical concern to the attorneys, he could have handled matters off the record as to how he wishes his clerk to receive, organize, and mark exhibits, etc. Not sure why he decided to give a very public dressing down on the record. Perhaps doing so on the record caused him to grand stand more. Perhaps had he spoken to her privately, he would have been a lot less harsh.
      Still not sure why he insisted on polluting the record with all this. He did himself no favors.

      But I for one think he will learn from this and not repeat such behavior. If I'm wrong then he is really going to encounter some major problems.



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    11. If you think he is an even tempered guy, then you clearly don't know him very well

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    12. Scotti was even-tempered when he was an ALJ at the Contractors Board. Always polite.

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    13. Well, he seems to me to be, although, admittedly, my experiences with him are limited.

      I still contend that he has the sense and intelligence to make the necessary changes, and try to avoid a repetition of this type of conduct.

      If I'm wrong, he will have a very difficult, and perhaps very short, tenure on the bench.

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    14. Even tempered?? That's a joke. I've been told by court clerks etc, that no one in any of the relief pools want to work for him because of his condescending attitude and short temper.

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    15. Who did Scotti run against?

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    16. Scotti has lost his marbles on the bench. One of his former law clerks/externs quit the entire legal field after working with him. Career killer.

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    17. In response to 10:40, in 2014 Scotti emerged form the Primary Election, which also included John Watkins, Bill Skupa and Phung Jefferson.

      He and Watkins were the two finalists who proceeded to the General Election, which was reasonably competitive with Scotti winning 53% to Watkins' 47%.

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    18. Voted for Watkins, don't blame me.

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    19. Not the first time he's been spoken to about his behavior/attitude by the presiding CJ.

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    20. He's a tool.

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    21. Rather than have a bad day at work and go home to kick the dog, he seems to have a bad day at home and come to work to kick the staff. I haven't heard of one of his staff who have said they enjoy working for him. He may be the next Almase, one and done.

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    22. His JEA likes working for him but that is more a product of their uber-GOP tendencies together.

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    23. At 8:38, one can hope he's one and done.

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    24. Like a rhinestone cowboy....

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    25. @6/29/16 at 2:36 PM None of the previous comments said anything about Scotti losing his marbles over exhibits. Either you were there or you are an RJC insider. Do tell. Inquiring minds want to know what you know.

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    26. I've seen the JAVS, apparently it has been passed around.

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  5. So, how does that work with someone like Ferrario? I assume the firm's insurance will pay that 3.1 million, but are the firm's partners (current or former) personally on the hook for whatever the insurance doesn't pay?

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    1. lawyer...represent self... fool for a client... etc. etc. And this makes me wonder if they even had any insurance. What carrier would ever allow a lawyer to represent his own firm?

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    2. Technically, he's over at GT now, but he was there when the conduct in question occurred. Or, maybe the policy was invalidated by some type of exclusion so they went with someone who would represent them for free?

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    3. Kaempfer Crowell carried on the liabilities and business when Bonner, Ferrario went with GT. It is my understanding that Ferrario represented the firm because he was the best litigator of the partners who were there (and is a damn good litigator). It is also my understanding that the parties stipulated before trial to high/lows on the Judgment.

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    4. As for the malpractice carrier, it's also fairly common for a legal malpractice policy to allow the insured firm to pick their own counsel, albeit at the rates that a carrier deems to be reasonable (i.e., minimum wage plus tips)

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    1. We're having fun talking about Richard Scotti and Mark Ferrario. What could be more interesting than that? Sod off.

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  7. It's been awhile since Adrian Karimi has been on here anonymously posting about himself as "lawyer hot," asking "who's that guy with the Louis Vuitton briefcase down at court." He must be on vacation.

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    1. I actually saw Adrian at court yesterday, so he is not on vacation. My question, however, is why the random Adrian post? Nothing else to do on a thursday afternoon?

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  8. There are maybe 200 in attendance at State Bar. Next year is in Chicago.

    The morning session on Ethics was good. Akke Levin and Joe Garin did the Ethics Jeopardy game in costumes. Akke was wearing a red game show dress. Garin wore a blue 70's tuxedo with ruffles. Very funny and topical. Kathy England was one of the contestants. She was good. Lots of audience participation too.

    The Drone session was informative but not very exciting.

    Eglet made great points about the disappearance of jury trials.

    Supreme Court update was informative.

    Time for drinks!

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    1. Don't often see the word "good" in the same sentence as England.

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    2. Coming from the pussy who is afraid of his own shadow in Court. Kathy has won more trials than you have ever dreamed of doing.

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    3. Kathy's a worthy adversary.... Like "the man in the black pajamas...."

      https://youtu.be/mZE0TYKYfEo


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  9. Meanwhile, while the Bar is hosting its shindig as the sun shines brightly in Austin, Texas, the Nevada Supreme Court is currently soliciting public comments on the Bar's board of governors' petition recommending Nevada adopt the new ABA Model Rule 8.4(g). Unfortunately, the proposal hasn't received the kind of bright sunshine conventioneers are soaking up in Austin. The new ABA Model Rule has been widely criticized, for a variety of reasons, including the fact it will violate the constitutionally protected free speech, free association, and free exercise rights of Nevada attorneys. In a nutshell, the Nevada Bar's petition expands the scope of regulated activity to include non-adjudicatory proceedings and non-client directly related law practice. Insofar as the proposed Rule reaches bar association, business, and social activities, the range of potential complainants is enormous. Anyone can object to something that they deem to be “harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or socioeconomic status.”

    Such a complaint would be within the facial scope of the Rule, which means the lawyer discipline cops would require a response from the lawyer involved because there would be no way to dismiss the claims on their face. As a consequence, Nevada lawyers could be subject to reprimand, suspension and disbarment for comments deemed offensive or harmful made while "interacting with . . . coworkers," "operating or managing a law firm or law practice; and participating in bar association, business or social activities in connection with the practice of law." To read the proposed Rule and the court's public comment notice go to: https://www.scribd.com/document/351999533/Nevada-Supreme-Court-ADKT-526-Public-Hearing

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    1. To put it in a nutshell, it's blatantly unconstitutional, which is what numerous state bars have already determined. That the NV BoG submitted a brief which says that 20 states have adopted a conduct code is incredibly disingenuous and borders on lying to the Court, since they neglect to mention that 8.4(g) is absolutely not the code adopted.

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    2. Impossibly vague. Does this mean that OBC will start investigating tweets and FB shares now?

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    3. Lying to the Court? I thought that was a violation of the already adopted RPCs. No in fact upon further investigation it is ABSOLUTELY a violation of the RPCs.

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    4. Holy *&$#. Any conservative attorney that advocated for traditional marriage, against sexual reassignment, or for Trumps travel ban would risk being sanctioned by the bar and/or have their livelihood threatened. No f(*&ing wonder the rule has been criticized, it would effectively end legal representation for republican causes.

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  10. Chicago? Seems like they have chosen to give double middle fingers to those who complain about the free boondoggle trips for BOG and staff. Let us eat cake! This is the kind of crap that totally turns me off to participating in bar actives or things like pushing us to contribute money for pro bono. But I guess they will just change the rule to make pro bono time/$ the donations mandatory.

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  11. I thought every other year had to be in Nevada?

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    1. That was the rule for awhile back in the 90's and maybe early aughts. It should have remained the rule in my opinion.

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    2. It was my recollection that they had an informal policy which was a 3-year rotation (1) Nevada (usually Tahoe); (2) Hawaii (usually big island) and (3) Random location (Monterrey, Santa Fe, Newport). Since Kim Farmer took over, she seems determined to suck from every teat she can.

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  12. Boondoggle indeed. They can do this because they have our mandatory monies to play with. At $490 per year, Nevada is already one of the most expensive bars to join and states to practice in. See http://workingforabetterbar.org/2017/01/31/state-bar-arizona-cost-practice-comparison/
    And now comes a 13th hour of mandatory CLE. Did you see yesterday's Nevada Bar blast email, "The Nevada Supreme Court has issued an amendment to Supreme Court Rule 210 regarding minimum Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirements. Beginning January 1, 2018, attorneys will be required to take 13 CLE credit hours: 10 general credit hours, two ethics credits and one credit in the area of substance abuse, addictive disorders and mental health." And the board of governors has created a task force to study whether Nevada ought to implement mandatory malpractice insurance like the program in Oregon. My Oregon buddies say this year it cost them $3500 for $300k/$300k minimal coverages. Oregon has twice as many lawyers as Nevada to socialize that expense.

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  13. Maybe now that the Nevada Independent is done with the legislative session they could consider a well-researched article on judicial boondoggles, state bar staff boondoggles, and other law boondoggles.

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    1. You cannot be serious! Ralston went and spoke at the SBN F**kfest. He got to suck from Kim Farmer's shriveled teat. Why would he write anything about what a waste of time and money it was?

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