Thursday, July 5, 2018

Constabulary Crisis


  • Another constable investigated for misconduct--this time in Mesquite. [RJ]
  • Marc Randazza and Jay Wolman are defending Alex Jones in a Sandy Hook case. [NY Times]
  • The I-team has a look at the cage where a child was allegedly held. [LasVegasNow]
  • The State finally released its controversial plans for executing Scott Dozier next week. [RJ; LA Times]

52 comments:

  1. A friend from law school who practices in bay area called me a few years ago and asked me what I knew about Marc Randazza. They had a Yelp defamation case together. Randazza filed a Anti-SLAPP motion for his client who posted the negative review. I told my friend I had never heard of him.

    A few months later my friend called again to tell me Randazza won the case and Randazza's client was going to recover attorney fees under the California statute. They ended up settling. My friend said that if he ever needed a First Amendment lawyer, he would be calling Randazza first. After that I google stalked Randazza. He seems like a top notch First Amendment lawyer. Does anyone know if he actually lives in Nevada?

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    1. Marc is a stud. I went to Boyd, so I don't know much about the law, but winning on behalf of Alex Jones seems like a pipe dream.

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    2. I know Marc. He does live here and has for quite a few years, although he is admitted in several other states and takes cases all across the country. He is a really great guy and the first to stand up for the free speech rights of the marginalized, unpopular (and often obnoxious). He is a true Warrior for Liberty and I have deep respect for him personally and professionally even if I disagree with him on any particular issue (which I often do).

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    3. "Pipe Dream" Why? Are facts stacked against AJ?

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    4. Marc does indeed live here, and I think he's active in the Italian American group here in town. Total fun dude; we're lucky to have him here.

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    5. I know Marc. He's a character. Many of his clients are scum and he will tell them to their faces that they are scum. But, he passionate about protecting rights. He would be the first lawyer I would hire if I was ever involved in a First Amendment / Civil Rights issue.

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    6. I would never represent Alex Jones, a Neo-Nazi who has defamed the parents of the Sandy Hook victims, and who called victims of school shootings, "Crisis Actors." Some might call such rants, "First Amendment Rights," while others might call it cruelty.

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    7. "Some might call such rants, 'First Amendment Rights,' while others might call it cruelty."

      Such rants are both. That's really the essence of free speech rights- they are only as valid as our commitment to protecting the most repugnant speech.

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    8. @11:36 that is why you are not a 1A attorney--your feelings are more important to you than the Constitution. Attorneys like Randazza are needed to defend people like Jones. There was a time that the ACLU would have done such a thing. But now that it is the ASJWU, not so much. Free speech isn't "just until I don't like it because it was mean".

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    9. I am an 1A attorney, buddy. I have represented murders and gotten them off death row. But I would never represent a Neo Nazi who defamed the parents of murdered children. That is my choice. I believe choice is also included in the Constitution.

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    10. The problem, 11:36AM, isn't so much that you wouldn't represent Alex Jones. That is your right. While I admire Randazza for doing so, honestly, I wouldn't either. The problem with your statement is the implication that Alex Jones' speech is either protected by the First Amendment (and therefore deserves rigorous representation) or it's cruelty. I say they are both. Perhaps you didn't mean to speak in disjunctive terms. Also, I think it's dumb to question a commenters legal or professional acumen, especially among anonymous posters.

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    11. wtf does "representing murders" and death row have to do with the First Amendment?

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    12. Seems a little overbroad to consider Jones "press" and in any event the Sandy Hook families don't seem like public figures. Whole thing reeks of intentional cruelty a million times more than any legitmate journalistic purpose. Put me on the jury, my pleasure to help Mr. Jones put his money where his mouth is.

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    13. Yeah I am pretty pro 1A and generally like what Randazza does, but I think you could be a 1A warrior and still refuse to rep Jones here. I don't think it's absurd that Randazza took it, but "those parents are crisis actors" looks easily like a negligent publication of a false statement of fact to me. I am not the 1A lawyer Randazza is, so maybe I am missing something, but this doesn't look like the ACLU in Skokie to me.

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    14. I must agree with 12:46 postings concerning 11:36.

      Obviously, 11:36 is repulsed by Alex Jones, as am I and millions of other thinking, caring human beings.

      But as 12:46 points out, the way that 11:36 heavily qualifies who he/she would or would not represent based on whether the client's moral barometer fits that of 11:36, does make it clear that 11:36 cannot really be close to being a solid lawyer, as 11:36 has a lay person's perspective that it is always fine to indulge one's conscience--even at the cost of a party who has critical constitutional rights which must be protected.

      11:36 then responds, quite unconvincingly, that he/she is a solid attorney, who does not prioritize and indulge his/her conscience at the cost of a client as evidenced by the fact 11:36 has supposedly "gotten people off death row."

      Now, it is agreed, as some have posted, that it is pointless to debate on an anonymous blog as to whether or not one of the anonymous bloggers is a good attorney. Yet there is something highly troubling about the logic and apparent professional ethics of 11:36.

      According to the logic and professional ethics of 11:36, it is fine, and highly salutatory, if 11:36 gets someone off death row who may have killed and diced up children, and other unimaginable horrible and heinous acts. Yet 11:36 would never defend someone, even if court appointed to do so, who has committed no physical violence but merely says, and perhaps believes, wildly inflammatory rhetoric?

      So, killing and maiming people warrants the best and greatest of 11:36's efforts. But someone who offers wildly incendiary and racist rhetoric and opinions, but otherwise does not physically harm anyone, is far more contemptible, and deserves far less constitutional protection, than someone who actually maims and murders?

      So, in my view, 12:46 hit the nail on the head. It is hard to imagine that 11:36 is much of an attorney as he/she has a basic misunderstanding of the role of an attorney in our society, and the ethical requirements in representing such people, and the rights they are to be afforded.

      There may be professions or avocations wherein 11:36 can decide who to serve based on what he/she thinks of the client or customer. But the Law is clearly not one of those professions. Perhaps 11:36 should become a baker or caterer, and then decide to serve someone, or not serve them, based on what 11:36 thinks of the customer's personal life and who the customer decides to love.

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  2. Can any of you recommend a good tax planner (CPA or tax lawyer)? I had a large, unexpected bit of income this year, and I'd like to figure out what I can do to minimize the tax hit.

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    1. Gerson (Gary) Druckman, CPA. Amazing. Use him for business and personal.

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    2. Francine Miller

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    3. Thomas Crowe - read his bio - great!

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  3. http://www.swartscpas.com/team/executive-team/

    George and his team are awesome. Consummate professionals.

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  4. I love John Turco describing the metal cage as a 1920s crib. No, it is a cage. You made your client look worse.

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    1. I can't believe the mandatory reporters that didn't report have kept their jobs.

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    2. Red Rock Elementary prinicipal knew and did not do shit. ROT.

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    3. CPS kills babies. These parents were reunited with this poor special needs child. Where is Sandoval on this you ....I will leave the adjective to myself.

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    4. He is out endorsing judges.

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    5. To 2:11, it is unfortunate that you have this opinion of the child welfare system. Perhaps you should review NRS 432B before making uneducated statements. The purpose of the child welfare system IS to reunify children with their parents when it is safe to do so. CPS provides services and support to families who abuse and neglect children to address the underlying issues so it is safe to return children home. Despite how horrific the facts are in this case, it is possible for parents to be rehabilitated. Maybe you should take a pro bono case from Southern Nevada Legal Aid to get some first hand knowledge of the child welfare system before proffering an opinion. BTW, the Clark County Department of Family Services does not fall under the control of Gov. Sandoval.

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    6. 8:32, way to plug pro bono and defend CPS in one post. CPS is indefensible. Do you work for LACSN, troll?

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    7. CPS is under the State of Nevada Deapartment of Health and Human Services. Sandoval is governor. Wanna sign up for a pro bono civics class?

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    8. To 1:20 PM. I do not work for LACSN, but I have worked in the child welfare system for over 10 years. It was not a plug or defense. It just an attempt to get people who continually bash a system that they know nothing about to try to understand what really goes on. My bad.

      To 1:28 pm - Again, uneducated statements from people who do not work in the child welfare system. Rural CPS is under the State of Nevada Department of Heath and Human Services. In 2002, CPS was transferred to the State in Washoe and Clark Counties. The Director of the Clark County Department of Family Services, is appointed by the Clark County Commissioners.

      http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/family-services/Pages/default.aspx

      You can also check out Transparent Nevada.com and pull up any DFS employee name and you will see they are paid by Clark County not the State of Nevada. Perhaps that pro bono civics class is not needed after all.

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    9. If you have been working in the child welfare system for 10 years, then fuck you.

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    10. Clark County CPS does kill babies. County Manager, Jeff Wells, is the party in charge of CPS and the RJC. No wonder both are shit holes. This dude needs to be shit canned.

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  5. I need community advice. This particular Judge was the topic of discussion a few weeks ago but we have a client beating down our door. We have an Eviction/Unlawful Detainer case in Justice Court. Filed the obligatory Motion for Temporary Writ of Possession in February on OST/OSC. It got set for first week of April because the Judge was supposedly "out." When it came on, Pro Tem said she was not comfortable with temporary writs but would set it for a Hearing in front of the real Judge for middle of May. We came to that hearing and the "real Judge" said that she wanted more briefing to be given to her by May 29th, so we obliged, with a promised ruling within 5 days thereafter.

    It is July 5th. It has been 5 months to hear and rule on a matter that ordinarily gets heard and decided in 2 weeks. In the meantime, the tenants have had 5 months unfettered rein over the Premises. The client is pissed that we are "not doing everything we can do" but honestly I am at a loss as to what to do. Do you call Chambers and say "Hey, remember us?" Do you file a Request for Status Hearing?

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    1. I would do what you have already considered: call chambers first. If that doesn't work, you can file the request.

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    2. That department is a disaster right now. Said judge appears to have come back from leave and made little to no effort to catch up on cases pending in the department. And I'm not sure a call to chambers will help, as they have been extremely unhelpful in her absence. I think you have the right idea with the Request. Get a formal record of the delay and the broken promise of a quick ruling to ameliorate your client a bit. And maybe some public shaming for that judge will get the department into gear, because your experience of kicking the can down the road and then ordering additional/supplemental briefing is pretty common right now.

      2022 can't come soon enough. I know several on this blog speak highly of the judge, but from what I've seen, the department is slow, unprepared, and perhaps worst of all, maintains very little courtroom control over certain attorneys who practice before it. If she has an opponent in 2022, whomever it is will get my vote because her "work" so far has done nothing but raise costs for Nevada taxpayers, build in inefficiencies into an already inefficient system, create uncertainty in her rulings, and unnecessarily draw out what should be short cases.

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  6. If I had to choose the method by which I would be put to death, and was given the choice between firing squad and injections, I am pretty sure I would choose firing squad. Death by lethal injection has all the sterile trappings of medicine, I think to make everyone but the executed feel better about it, all the while it seems to be a horrific and inhumane way to kill someone. In contrast, firing squads, when done right, are instantaneous.

    If we are going to keep the barbaric death penalty, let's give people the choice to die by firing squad. If that makes the public uncomfortable, too fucking bad. We, the public, shouldn't be able to assuage our consciences at the expense of the executed by placing a veneer of medicine over the practice.

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    1. 15 minutes with Stan

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    2. Which end of the firing squad are we putting Stan?

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    3. I think most of the public, like me, are perfectly comfortable watching the kinds of people who are given the death penalty suffer.

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    4. I have watched death by firing squad as part of a college course I took on the death penalty. It is definitely not instantaneous, and I believe the ones I watched were done "right."

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  7. For your enlightenment.
    Will the BOG support it?
    Will you give your public opinion and comment to fight it?
    https://www.nvbar.org/public-hearing-scheduled-for-july-11-regarding-professional-liability-malpractice-insurance-proposal/

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    1. BOG already supported this proposal. Yes I will be standing there opposing it.

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    2. Per the SBN Blast E-mail received just today -- and WTF with the abbreviated notice and July 11 cutoff deadline for comments?

      "The Nevada Supreme Court will conduct two public hearings on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 18. At 3 p.m., the hearing will be in regard to a petition, filed by the State Bar of Nevada's Board of Governors, to amend Supreme Court Rule 79 regarding professional liability insurance for all Nevada attorneys engaged in private practice.

      "Comments may be submitted to the court electronically or in hardcopy format to:

      Elizabeth A. Brown, Clerk of the Supreme Court
      201 South Carson St.
      Carson City, NV 89701

      "Those interested in participating in the hearing on professional liability insurance must notify the clerk by July 11. Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. on the same day."

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    3. 3:41 poses the question: "...and WTF with the abbreviated notice and July 11 cutoff deadline for comments?"

      The answer should be apparent. This is how comments are invited when an agency does not really want the feed back, but wants to make it look like they will consider comments, or in some cases the procedure actually requires that they open it up for public commentary.

      Or, more bluntly, perhaps they simply don't care what we think.

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    4. Take the time to read the BOG mandatory malpractice insurance petition, which with all its repeated references to ALPS might as well as have been co-authored by "ALPS, the State Bar's endorsed professional liability insurance carrier."

      The board's petition is breathtaking in its tone-deaf smugness. While paying lip service at page 6 to "the economic pressures faced by attorneys in private practice and the impact of this requirement on the cost of doing business" or at page 9 "the impact of mandating a minimum professional liability insurance policy on private practice attorneys, especially those in a solo or small firm practice," all that counts for nothing. Far as the BOG is concerned, just suck it up no matter the substantial increase to your cost to practice. Chalk it up to the cost of doing business, you're SOL, buddy.

      Citing no empirical evidence about how many clients are being injured by the uninsured or whether unsatisfied malpractice claims against lawyers is a matter of general public attention or whether or not mandatory insurance will truly "ensure that all clients are adequately protected," the BOG has opted instead to glibly ram down one more predation on its members.

      But most unsupportable of all is the following unfounded presumption about the billable rate to pay for this individual liberty outrage also at page 9, "On a generalized basis (without the benefit (sic) specific firm risk factors) for firms coming into the market without prior acts exposure and seeking a $250,000 per claim/$250,000 aggregate policy, estimated premiums would be approximately $1,350; for Clark County, given higher overall claims experience in that area, annual premiums would be closer to $1,500. These rates are the equivalent of one hour of billable time per month."

      Got that? "THESE RATES ARE THE EQUIVALENT OF ONE HOUR OF BILLABLE TIME PER MONTH."

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    5. There is no data on claims where someone doesn't have insurance because no one makes the claims. Why sue someone who doesn't have coverage? If you can't afford insurance then you should not be in practice. Just like if you can't afford to pay insurance for a car, you should not drive.

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    6. So Gene or 8:21 PM, why can't a client sue a fat cat lawyer even if she is uninsured? She may be self-insured. After all, the public thinks all lawyers are rolling in dough.

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    7. 8:21 I sincerely hope you are trolling and not serious, do you have any idea how many family law / abuse & neglect lawyers (yes, I know they are appointed in Abuse & Neglect Court, but I am referring to the D cases involving abuse) are dedicated to providing services at almost pro bono levels, maybe $100 for a hearing here and $75 bucks for a motion there, foregoing the work that would allow them to buy insurance? Go to Ask A Lawyer any week and see the long line. Also, your analogy fails in several ways but the largest I see is that car insurance protects an innocent driver financially whereas there is unlikely to be a client, in these circumstances, that is harmed financially because there simply is no money there. I think you were trolling and I fell for it but just in case, my comment.

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  8. Dear ALPS,

    As someone who is currently paying $2500 per attorney per year for the LRIS minimums... FUCK YOU.

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  9. Yeah, screw ALPs, wonder if they paid for recent 40 under 40.

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  10. A good question to ask is what other states mandate malpractice insurance. Very few if any. I think NV is already doing more than most by mandating disclosure by lawyer if lawyer doesn't carry it - not sure if bar is supposed to make that info available to clients or what - but that is more than many other states require. If this measure would make Nevada just one of 2 or 3 other states we should really question the data on which the bar bases its case. Seems like with disclosure client can choose--and that that's the judgment of most state bars.

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  11. Since 1978, only one state, Oregon, has required professional liability insurance as a condition of licensure. To avoid an obvious conflict of interest and to additionally limit related problems raised by the state insurance commission, the Oregon Legislature worked with the Oregon Bar to set up a separate Professional Liability Fund under ORS 9.080. For the past five years, lawyers in Oregon have been forced to buy $300k/$300k annual converage at a socialized cost of $3500 regardless of practice size or practice emphases. Today, Oregon is far and away the most expensive state to practice law in the U.S. with annual dues of $552; 15 hours of MCLE and $3500 in yearly premiums for mandatory malpractice insurance.

    In January of this year, Idaho adopted an open market insurance requirement for its members. This is expected to increase the cost to practice for Idaho private practice lawyers in the first year by as much as $1500 to $2500 for the required minimum limit of $100,000 per occurrence/$300,000 annual aggregate. Thanks to this increase in mandatory insurance, Idaho's annual cost to practice now rivals Oregon's even though Idaho's annual fees are $107 lower than Oregon's at $445 and Idaho's MCLE requirement is 5 hours lower at 10.

    The Nevada BOG is petitioning the court to adopt the Idaho model but with minimum coverage limits of $250,000 per claim/$250,000 aggregate. If successful, Nevada will be only the third jurisdiction to impose mandatory malpractice insurance. Moreover, if the SBN BOG rule petition passes, Nevada will join Oregon as one of the most expensive places to practice law in the nation.

    Finally, other states have studied the issue off and on over the past 50 years -- hardly representing any kind of a tide or "turn toward mandatory professional liability insurance for all lawyers engaged in private practice" as was disingenuously overstated by Gene Leverty and the BOG in their rule petition.

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